It's the supporting players who provide the most watchable performances in the 1969 "Whom Gods Destroy," one of the best episodes from Star Trek
's final season on NBC. Running an errand to the planet Elba II, an inhospitable place housing a remote hospital for the hopelessly insane, Captain Kirk (William Shatner) and Mr. Spock (Leonard Nimoy) discover that a longtime patient and Starfleet icon, Captain Garth (Steve Ihnat), has overtaken the facility. Suffering delusions of absolute power, Garth declares himself master of the universe, though his mastery fails to lure the rest of the Enterprise
crew into a trap.
With Kirk and Spock subdued prisoners of the brutal Garth, the story opens to Ihnat's flamboyant yet sympathetic performance. You can see behind the character's crazy veneer to the bold starship commander whose exploits fired Kirk's imagination as a cadet. Equally good is Yvonne Craig as Garth's would-be queen, the very sexy Marta, a compulsive killer whose seductive dances, wayward intelligence, and exotic, green skin make her one of the most striking females from the original series. Newbie Trekkers will be happy to know that the story by Lee Erwin and Jerry Sohl clarifies a couple of biographical points about Kirk and Spock, including the captain's own reference to his Starfleet career track before becoming an explorer. --Tom Keogh
From the Back Cover
Garth, a criminally insane madman from planet Elba II, captures Kirk with the ultimate goal of taking over the Enterprise
and becoming master of the Universe.
Keye Luke (Governor Cory) is perhaps best known for playing Number One Son in the Charlie Chan films. He later starred as Master Po in the Kung Fuseries.
This episode establishes Spock as the first Vulcan to be admitted into Starfleet.