In this episode of Trekking Through Compliance, we consider the episode By Any Other Name which aired on February 23, 1968, Star Date 4657.5.

Story Synopsis

After a landing party beams down to investigate a distress call, they initially find no life form readings. Shortly thereafter, two “perfect” human life forms register and put in an appearance. They thank Kirk for responding so quickly to the distress call, and demands that Kirk surrender the Enterprise. Before Kirk can take any action, they press buttons on their belt which paralyze the landing party’s muscles. It turns out that the commander Rojan and his companions (Tomar, Hanar, Drea, and Kelinda), are members of the Kelvin Empire from the Andromeda Galaxy. They are members of a scouting party sent to search for a new planet (since their old one will become unlivable within 10 millenia due to high radiation levels). However, the Kelvin’s ship was destroyed by an energy field at the edge of the Milky Way Galaxy. The Kelvins were able to use a shuttle craft to reach their current planet, but need a new ship to return. They also plan to modify the ship’s engines to allow the intergalactic trip to be made in 300 years. While Rojan explains this to Kirk on the planet’s surface, other Kelvins take over the Enterprise.

When imprisoned behind bars similar to diburnium (but denser), Lt. Shae advocates a forcible breakout. However, in an out-of-character move, Kirk suggests that Spock using a Vulcan mind probe on Kelinda (as he had done to the guard on Eminiar VII). Spock is violently thrown back by Kelinda’s reaction, but when she enters the cell to investigate, Kirk knocks her out and attempts to escape. Unfortunately, Kirk and the escapees don’t get very far, and the Kelvins reduce Shae and Yeoman Thompson to two small gray polyhedra (which are purported to contain their essences). Rojan crushes Thompson’s polyhedron as a warning to Kirk but restores Shae to human form.

From his mind probe, Spock reports that the Kelvins are actually immense beings with 100 limbs which resemble tentacles. Spock pretends to be ill by going into a self-induced Vulcan coma and is permitted to be beamed up with McCoy. On board, McCoy tells Nurse Chapel to prepare 2 cc’s of stochaline. McCoy pretends that Spock will be fine in several hours and is only suffering from a flare-up of Rigelian Casaba fever.

Kelinda admires the plants on the planet surface and compares them to Kelvin sashir (“a rose by any other name,” according to Kirk). Spock and Kirk are beamed up to the ship, and discover the Kelvin power source. Spock and Scott prepare to blow up the Enterprise when it passes through the negative energy barrier at the edge of the Galaxy. However, Kirk hopes to avoid destruction, and so refuses to give the order. Actually, the Kelvins had discovered the plan and rendered it ineffective in any case.

As soon as the Enterprise is past the energy barrier, the Kelvins begin reducing the entire crew, with the exception of Kirk, Scott, McCoy, and Spock to more gray polyhedra. After Tomar expresses a desire to sample the ship’s food, Spock notes that since the Kelvins have taken human form, they seem to be indulging in sensory experiences which were hitherto unknown to them.

Kirk suggests that this unfamiliarity with senses can be used to confuse the Kelvins. Bones uses the stimulant formazine on Hanar to irritate him (telling him it is a vitamin shot), Kirk attempts to seduce Kelinda by kissing her, Spock plays on Rojan’s jealousy over the kissing incident, and Scotty loads Tomar up on Sorian Brandy (and when he runs out, resorts to his secret stash of Scotch Whisky), but Drea is unaccountably left unaffected. When Rojan tells Kelinda to stay away from Kirk and she refuses, Rojan loses his temper and threatens to neutralize the rest of the humans. As Scott is about to celebrate drinking Tomar under the table, he too keels over in a dead faint. Rojan becomes increasingly jealous and engages in a fist fight with Kirk over Kelinda. The Kelvins are dismayed by their very human responses and fearful that by taking human form, they have betrayed their own form and culture. They are therefore convinced by Kirk and Spock to work with the Federation to find a habitable planet in the Milky Way for their people, and Rojan returns control of the Enterprise to Kirk.

Fun Fact

The title is part of a quotation from Romeo and Juliet, Act II, Scene 2. “What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” Kirk recites it to Kelinda. It is often used to convey the idea that although you can change the name of something, its nature will remain the same. In this case, the Kelvans become Human. In doing so, they start behaving as Humans do.

Compliance Takeaways:

  1. Adapt but do not lose sight of your goal.
  2. Take care of yourself.
  3. Do you have an EAP program?


Excruciatingly Detailed Plot Summary by Eric W. Weisstein for By Any Other Name Any Other Name