Dagger of the Mind (Episode)

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A new treatment for the criminally insane has deadly results.

Dr. Tristan Adams

The Enterprise is delivering supplies to Tantalus V, a "progressive" penal colony directed by Dr. Tristan Adams. A Tantalus inmate escapes to the ship and demands asylum. An apparent raving madman, the patient is subdued and taken to sickbay. There, he is identified as Dr. Simon van Gelder, Dr. Adams' assistant.

Dr. Simon van Gelder

Captain Kirk and ship's psychiatrist Dr. Helen Noel beam down to Tantalus to ensure that all is well. After they leave, Mr. Spock uses a Mind meld on van Gelder and determines that Adams has turned Tantalus into a chamber of horrors, using a Neural neutralizer—a device responsible for van Gelder's incoherent state.

Dr. Helen Noel

Kirk and Noel experience the device firsthand when Adams uses it to convince Kirk that he is hopelessly in love with Dr. Noel. She risks her life to cut the colony's power so that Spock and a landing party can beam down through the planet's defensive force field. During the attack, Adams accidentally dies in his own machine, and van Gelder becomes the new director of Tantalus, where his first act is to dismantle the neural neutralizer.