QuarkAssignments are handed out to the United Galaxy’s finest starship captains – a 30-year stint on the frontier here, a high-risk disarmament mission there – and Adam Quark is surprised when he fails to draw the short straw for once. His assignment: a diplomatic mission to a world that hasn’t decided it it’s going to ally itself with the United Galaxy or with the Gorgons. But this planet’s idea of diplomacy is what’s euphemistically described as an “extended romantic interlude” with its female ruler, and men on this planet seldom live past the ripe old age of 25 due to the voraciousness of its women. Quark already knows Princess Carna from a previous encounter (which he managed to survive), so he’s fairly sure he can succeed in the ensuing negotiations and win a promotion to command of a starship that isn’t tasked with garbage collection. But it’s garbage collection that sabotages Quark’s ambitions: exposure to an alien virus begins aging Quark at the rate of several years per hour. With the years piling on, and Ficus unable to nail down an antidote to the virus, Quark is in danger of losing more than just a promotion.

written by Bruce Kane
directed by Hy Averback
music by Perry Botkin, Jr.

Cast: Richard Benjamin (Adam Quark), Timothy Thomerson (Gene/Jean), Richard Kelton (Ficus), Tricia Barnstable (Betty), Cyb Barnstable (Betty), Conrad Janis (Otto Palindrome), Alan Caillou (The Head), Barbara Rhoades (Princess Carna), Bobby Porter (Andy), Dana House (The Handmaiden)

The Old and the BeautifulNotes: Quark has not only inherited Star Trek’s sound effects, but its transporter technology as well. This episode also anticipates future Star Trek spinoffs’ reliance on a quick, too-easy wrap-up at the end of the episode, thought at least here it’s meant in good fun. The actress who plays the disgruntled United Galaxies starship captain at the beginning of the episode is uncredited here – we’ve been unable to track down any information on who played that part.

LogBook entry by Earl Green

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