Executive Producer FRED FREIBERGER

There was this undiscovered 80th episode of Star Trek, right out of the vaults of Paramount Pictures. It had remained unaired because it was such a radical departure from what Star Trek looked and felt like that nobody thought it should ever be shown - particularly not since it would happen to be the last episode of the series (so they ended the show with "Turnabout Intruder" instead, which was worse).

What makes this episode special is that the USS Enterprise hardly appears in it at all.

In this episode, Chekov (Walter Koenig) got accidentally sent back in time to mid 1960s America. He wakes up in an orchard in Southern California, almost gets killed by an angry farmer thinking that the Reds were finally invading the United States, and stumbles upon two young men, Davy Jones and Michael "Mickey" Dolenz, on their way to a recording studio to audition for roles in an upcoming TV show.

Chekov realises that if he is to survive living in the late Twentieth Century, he's going to have to blend in. So he joins the band, meets Pete Tork and Michael Nesmith, learns to fake a SoCal accent, develops a cover identity for himself as "Paul Cheadle," and spends the next five years doing concerts, TV shows and movies as The Fifth Monkee.

Then one day Kirk and Spock finally come for him and he can finally put aside "Paul Cheadle" and rejoin Starfleet. His disappearance causes ripples of speculation across the world. Some people speculate that Paul Cheadle got heavily into LSD because of his talk of a future where men and aliens would travel together out to the stars, before throwing himself off the Golden Gate Bridge. Others speculate that, since once in a while his cover would slip and his Russian accent would come through, he could have been a spy working undercover for the KGB who simply got recalled back to Moscow.

The damage to the time stream was minimal; but the last scene, as the Enterprise warps away from the Earth of 1966 (the only time you get to see the ship), shows a 1960s style bank with a very modern ATM on the side and a young man withdrawing money from it, and next to it a shop window with Polaroid photos of the major stars of the time. There's a load of photos of the five Monkees hanging around with the Stones, having a lorra laughs with that Liverpool girl Cilla Black, a big picture of their appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show and so on.

And one of the pics shows the five Monkees on the set of the Enterprise bridge (so technically, while you do get to see the Bridge once, you only see it as a studio set), with Gene, William, Leonard, De, Jimmy Doohan, Nichelle and George standing in the back in civvies, with Jon Colicos still in his Klingon getup (this was from late season 1), and the five Monkees at station on the Bridge; Micky Dolenz at Engineering, Michael Nesmith at Uhura's station, Davy Jones at Navigation, Pete Tork at Helm ...

... and as the words "Executive Producer FRED FREIBERGER" appear in the corner you see, sitting in the Captain's Chair, with the saddest eyes you ever saw, the Fifth Monkee, Pavel Chekov.

Groovy, man. Live long and prosper.

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