Star Trek: The Alternative Factor

September 16, 2013 in Guest Blogs, Star Trek by GuestBlogs

A guest blog by Siblings and Mindless-Droid

“Madness has no purpose or reason but it may have a goal” – Spock


This week’s classic Star Trek episode is The Alternative Factor. Unfortunately we can’t use The Guardian of Forever and go back in time and remake this one. You can watch the original version here and the episode synopsis is here

This episode is not one of the best of episodes and would probably rank near the bottom of most lists. It does have an interesting premise of an alternate or parallel universe one that would be executed much better in the season two episode Mirror Mirror, but the story just didn’t seem to click. In doing some research there were some problems with the episodes production. The original actor who was to play Lazarus didn’t show up for the first day of shooting and a romantic sub plot between Lazarus and Lt. McMasters was written out. I think that this was one of those episodes that started out with a really interesting and unique idea but in going forward it just didn’t come together.


The re-mastered parts fit well in this episode mostly shots of the Enterprise especially when they fired the phasers on Lazarus’ ship. It was a cool shot seeing the ship from behind firing on the planet. Once again the version aired on ME-TV was edited randomly in several places so much so I gave up trying to keep the original version on my laptop synced with the televised version. They cut McCoy’s report on Lazarus’ condition which really didn’t hurt the episode since no one seemed to be keeping an eye on him anyway. They also cut out Spock telling Kirk that Lazarus was a liar and a big part of the search on the planet after that I gave up trying to catch the edits. Now some mindless thoughts as I watched the episode.

If everything winks out how can instruments measure winking out if they winked out? what?

Four Red Shirts uh oh

The planet looks like the Arena in Arena

That’s a pretty lame ship Lazarus has

Kirk: Could this being be a threat to the ship? Spock: Possibly OK let’s beam him onboard and let him wonder around unsupervised

If all of reality winks out why would they have to and what would be left to invade?

Extra extra read all about it older readers will get that one

Possibly the most dangerous man in the entire universe Kirk: Where is Lazarus? McCoy: I don’t know it’s a big ship. WHUUUUUT ??????


Why do they keep letting him walk away?

We just keep dilithium crystals in a drawer. They’re the heart of the power of the ship that can propel it at speeds faster than light and she almost touches them? Isn’t that what kills Spock in Wrath of Khan?


Lazarus is missing was he ever found?

Lazarus certainly falls a lot.

McCoy wants security out of sick bay from guarding Lazarus and says he won’t go anywhere insert Picard Riker Worf triple face palm here. WOW this is really getting ridiculous.

Again they leave him unguarded.

This episode does remind me of why Kirk says this line in Star Trek VI “Once again we saved civilization as we know it”

That’s all for this week Live Long and Prosper and add a comment it’s the logical thing to do.

Sister: Since when is Doctor McCoy the Enterprise prankster? Kirk was so sure he was playing some kind of joke when he claimed that Lazarus had healed at a miraculous rate.

If ever a Star Trek ship looked like a sci-fi cliché, it’s Lazarus’s little disk with a bubble canopy…


This was my second time watching “The Alternative Factor,” so I remembered that there were two versions of Lazarus, one good, one crazy. However, I could never decide which I was watching. When Kirk is transferred to the alternate universe, that was the first time I thought to myself, “Hey this Lazarus really does seem more lucid and calm!” This may have more to do with my less than stellar ability to read people’s emotions than any fault of those who made the episode. (And let’s hope that’s the case, because they made plenty of other mistakes.)

Mindless Droid, didn’t Spock die of an overexposure to radiation? I don’t think dilithium crystals are inherently dangerous. In “Elaan of Troyius” I believe the title character actually wore them around her neck for a while. But maybe I misunderstood what you said.

Brother: I had basically forgotten about this one. I had hoped that the refurbished version would have a less annoying transition every time Lazarus changed universes, but was denied. Maybe the effects sequences had been shortened in the edited version on MeTV, but I can’t remember the unedited version to say for sure.

How could Bones be stupid enough to let Lazarus walk out of sickbay the second time!