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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