Star Trek: The Animated Series (1973): S01E13 – The Ambergis Element


“The Ambergris Element” is the thirteenth episode of the first season of the American animated science fiction television series Star Trek.

It first aired in the NBC Saturday morning lineup on 01 December 1973, and was written by Margaret Armen. who wrote the earlier episode “The Lorelei Signal” and also worked on episodes for The Original Series.

In this episode, Captain Kirk and First Officer Spock are mysteriously transformed into water-breathers.


On stardate 5499.9, while exploring the water planet Argo (which appears to only have dead ruins as indicators of intelligent life), Captain Kirk of the Federation starship Enterprise and his Science Officer Spock are lost from their survey party when their aquashuttle is attacked by a giant sea creature.

After a lengthy search the two are found, transformed into water breathers. Chief Medical Officer Dr. McCoy’s analysis indicates that this could not have been accomplished by any natural process, leading to the conclusion that intelligent life must still exist on the planet, but under the seas.

In order to return to their normal selves, Kirk and Spock must seek out the Aquans (who fear surface dwellers) and enlist their help in locating the lost formula for reversing the transformation, and then capture a giant sur-snake whose venom is key to the antidote.

Star Trek TV Series

You can find a full index of Star Trek TV series here.

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): Hal Sutherland.
  • Writer(s): Margaret Armen.
  • Release Date: 01 December 1973.
  • Running Time: 30 minutes.
  • Country: US.
  • Language: English.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.