Star Trek TAS: Season 1, Episode Eight “The Magicks of Megas-tu”

Stardate: 1254.4 (2269)
Original Air Date: October 27, 1973
Writer: Larry Brody
Director: Hal Sutherland       

“Ah, Humans. Lovely, primitive Humans. Can’t you do anything right?”

Rating: 2 out of 5.

The Enterprise is on a scientific mission to investigate whether or not the center of the galaxy is actually creating new matter, when the ship encounters a series of violent, flashing explosions. They are then sucked into a matter-energy wind storm which rocks the ship.

The Enterprise then crosses into the “center” of the galaxy which transports them outside of time and space. Life-support systems begin failing, and then a ghostly devilish figure appears named Lucien (James Doohan). He transports Kirk, Spock, and Bones to a planet called Megas-Tu, a fictitious world that operates according to magic. The Megans explain that they once passed through dimensions a millennia ago and they wound up on earth serving as advisors to humans. However, it soon becomes apparent that Lucien is hiding the Enterprise from

Back to 16th century earth where they are imprisoned by a strange man named Asmodeus (Ed Bishop) –he is particularly resentful of humanity. Apparently, Asmodeus and his cohorts were the catalyst for the 17th century Salem witch hunts on earth, and they stage a trial to put the Enterprise crew on trial. Then both sides begin demonstrating their magical powers until Kirk shows compassion by risking his own life for Lucien. In the end, they drink to newfound friendship and this bizarre adventure concludes.

My Thoughts on “The Magicks of Megas-tu”

“The Magicks of Megas-tu” is an eminently frivolous and embarrassing episode of Star Trek. The devilish alien known as Lucien is supposed to represent “Lucifer,” and he transports the crew into a strange dimension at the center of the galaxy where we relive the Salem witch trials. This episode just feels like a scattered mess and I would suggest skipping.  


Larry Brody (1944-present) wrote the script for this episode after having submitted several scripts to TOS, however he claimed that Gene Roddenberry rewrote most of the dialogue. The original idea for this episode to have an episode wherein the Enterprise meets God (at Roddenberry’s request), however studio executives constantly negated the idea. Therefore, the episode was revised significantly to include the devil and magic and so on. Brody claimed the script was so severely revised that he did not recognize it. He later returned to pen an episode of Voyager entitled “Tattoo.”

Star Trek Trivia:

  • This episode is often compared to the TOS episode “Catspaw” or “Plato’s Stepchildren.”
  • The stardate for this episode is technically earlier than the TOS episode “Where No Man Has Gone Before,” however the stardates are ambiguous and are sometimes inconsistent.
  • Director Hal Sutherland (1929-2014) directed all episodes of the first season of TAS. He gained early career recognition working on large Disney animation movies before switching to Filmation where he worked on TAS, as well as Flash Gordon, Batman, and Superman animated shows. Notably, pink is a recurring color in TAS. This is because Sutherland was colorblind and thought he was actually selecting the color grey.

Click here to return to my survey of the Star Trek series.

1 thought on “Star Trek TAS: Season 1, Episode Eight “The Magicks of Megas-tu”

  1. I am aware of how much backlash this episode supposedly received, particularly by school teachers at the time, because of the religious responses to how the Devil was portrayed. Of course the Devil’s portrayal in sci-fi, certainly in Dr. Who: The Daemons, can always be a very serious challenge. I can still applaud the powers behind Trek for their traditional courage in addressing many issues. But in the risks of going to far, and it can happen even with the best of shows, I prefer what Dr. Who could achieve in science-fictionalizing the Devil via The Daemons. Thank you for your review and trivia.

    Liked by 2 people

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