76 – The Cloud Minders

Grade: F

The Cloud Minders (1969) on IMDb


Kirk and Spock visit a planet where some people live in a cloud and others live on the surface.  Those who live on the surface work in the mines, and the people in the clouds are supposed to be very intelligent.


The three worst episodes in all of the Original Series are all in this third season: Spock’s Brain, And The Children Shall Lead, and The Cloud Minders. This episode is always very difficult for me to watch. The dialogue is awful, the actors are basically sleepwalking through their roles, and the special effects are worse than useless. The city in the sky could not look any more fake if it were drawn in crayon.

It’s pretty annoying that Spock discusses Pon Farr with one of the guest characters named Droxine. Spock has already told Kirk that this is not a subject to be discussed even with close friends. Here, he’s very matter-of-fact about it, as if he’s talking about the Vulcan Post Office.

Some people actually liked this episode, but I honestly have no idea why.

Of Note

This episode seems to have been inspired by Metropolis, the 1927 silent film by Fritz Lang. As a silent film, there obviously is no dialogue in it, but I preferred that over the inane script in Cloud Minders.

The Time Machine also deals with this subject to some extent – there’s one version of humans living on the surface and a different version of humans living underground.