Star Trek (1968): S03E08 – For the World is Hollow and I Have Touched the Sky


“For the World is Hollow and I Have Touched the Sky” is the eighth episode of the third season of the American science fiction television series Star Trek.

Written by Hendrik Vollaerts and directed by Tony Leader, it was first broadcast on 08 November 1968.

In the episode, the crew of the Enterprise rush to stop an asteroid from colliding with a Federation world, but discover the asteroid is actually an inhabited ship.


The Federation starship Enterprise encounters a ship disguised as a large asteroid, which is on a collision course with planet Daran V. Captain Kirk and First Officer Spock beam to the ship’s interior, along with Dr. McCoy, who is suffering from a fatal disease called xenopolycythemia. They are attacked and subdued by a group of humanoids, whose High Priestess, Natira, welcomes them to the “world of Yonada” and orders them to be taken before the “Oracle”. This Oracle demonstrates its power by administering a powerful electric shock.

As they recover, an old man approaches them and tells them that he has climbed the mountains of his world and discovered that “the world is hollow and I have touched the sky”. He then collapses and dies, and his temple glows red. Natira enters and expresses regret at the man’s foolishness. She then gives the three permission to explore Yonada, but McCoy elects to stay with Natira. Spock notes that Yonada’s writing system resembles that of the Fabrini, a race that was destroyed by a supernova 10,000 years ago. The people of Yonada are evidently their descendants, but are unaware of the nature of their world.

McCoy and Natira have fallen in love, and Natira asks the Oracle for permission to marry McCoy, which the Oracle grants on condition that McCoy accept an “instrument of obedience”. Kirk and Spock are then discovered, having secretly entered the Oracle Room. Natira says she must execute them for their transgression, but McCoy persuades her to relent. As Kirk and Spock prepare to return to the Enterprise, McCoy declares his intention to stay behind with Natira.

McCoy marries Natira, and an instrument of obedience is implanted in his temple. Natira shows him their sacred text, the “Book of the People”. McCoy suspects it holds the key to setting Yonada back on course, and calls the Enterprise to share this information, which causes his obedience device to be activated. Kirk and Spock transport back to Yonada, and Spock removes the device from McCoy while Kirk tries to explain the truth to Natira. When Natira’s own device is activated, McCoy removes it while Kirk and Spock again deal with the Oracle. Spock learns from the Book how to enter the control room behind the Oracle’s altar, where they discover the ship’s navigational controls and correct Yonada’s course. Spock also discovers the Fabrini archives, which contain a cure for McCoy’s condition. McCoy returns to the Enterprise where he is successfully treated, hoping to see Natira again when Yonada arrives at its new homeworld in about a year.

Star Trek TV Series

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Star Trek TV Series, Films, and Documentaries

You can find a full index of all Star Trek TV series, films, documentaries here.

Production & Filming Details

  • Director(s): Tony Leader.
  • Writer(s): Hendrik Vollaerts.
  • Production: Desilu Productions (1966-1967) and Paramount Television (1968-1969).
  • Distributor(s): Paramount Pictures (1966-2006), CBS Paramount Television (2006-2007), and CBS Television Distribution (2007-Present).
  • Original Network: NBC.
  • Release Date: 08 November 1968.
  • Running Time: 50 minutes.
  • Country: US.
  • Language: English.

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