While watching episode 5 of Season 2, "The Apple," Mr. Spock steps in front of Kirk and takes a hit from poisonous barbs from a dangerous flower on the planet they are investigating.

After being administered some form of antidote/adrenaline-like shot by McCoy, Mr. Spock awakens from his unconscious state and is immediately scolded by Kirk for risking his life for Kirk's sake.

The dialogue continues as follows:

Kirk: Do you know how much Starfleet has invested in you?!

Spock: 122,200...

Kirk (abruptly): Never mind.

...and that is the end of that discussion.

My question is, what was Mr. Spock about to reference? It is my understanding that money is not in use at that point in future-history, so what was Spock talking about?

I know that this was still the early days of Star Trek and that in the 1960s, writers didn't care as much about continuity like we do today. But, still, I'd like to know if ever an official explanation was given regarding where that discussion was going.

How much was Spock specifically worth to Starfleet?

  • Sadly Starfleet’s Treasurer-General was swept up in the “Spock Stock” mania of the early 2260’s. Dec 15, 2023 at 18:54

2 Answers 2



A similar comment is made in the earlier episode "An Errand of Mercy":

KIRK: The Federation has invested a great deal of money in our training. They're about due for a small return. We have two hours with which to do it in.

You didn't ask for the unit of currency, but presumably the "122,200" in "The Apple" refers to Federation credits.

  • Interesting. After reading your response and the linked reference, it appears that there were, both, "credits" as currency in-universe, but almighty-God Rodenberry refused to accept that money existed within the federation (at least later in the saga.) I guess a "credit" is a fuzzy concept within the Star Trek universe.
    – RLH
    Jun 15, 2016 at 2:52
  • @RLH : Definitely.
    – Praxis
    Jun 15, 2016 at 2:54
  • 6
    Picard talks about money having become obsolete in the Federation in "The Neutral Zone", but this is TNG, 80 years after TOS. In TOS, Harry Mudd aspires to wealth ("Mudd's Women"), and Cyrano Jones haggles with the bartender over the price of tribbles ("The Trouble With Tribbles"). Money is alive and well in TOS-era Trek, phased out by TNG. Starfleet indeed would have spent many TOS-era credits on Spock's training and development - it would have invested in him, Kirk, and all other crewmembers, including the hapless red-shirts.
    – Anthony X
    Jun 15, 2016 at 3:15
  • 12
    It could also be time. 122200 hours is about 13 years. spock could have been refering to the entire tour of duty as an investment.
    – SteveED
    Jun 15, 2016 at 3:59
  • From the official Star Trek #6 official episode novelisation - "Do you know how much money Starfleet has invested in you?” “Certainly. In training, fifteen thousand, eight hundred a year; in pay up to last month-“
    – Valorum
    Dec 15, 2023 at 19:24

In First Contact, Lilly asks Picard, ‘No money?? You mean you don’t get paid?’ And Picard replies ‘The economics of the future are somewhat different’…it’s not that they DON’T get paid, the currency system is different in the future. In some cases, what good is money when you can replicate food, many household and daily use items.

There’s never anything in cannon that indicates it is a purely socialist society

  • 3
    Hi, welcome to SF&F. Note that the question was about a TOS episode (late 2200s) and your response cites a TNG-era (2370-ish) quote. It's entirely possible that major societal changes have take place in the 80+ years in between.
    – DavidW
    Dec 15, 2023 at 18:08
  • 2
    Actually there's loads in canon that suggests that they're an entirely socialist society.
    – Valorum
    Dec 15, 2023 at 19:17
  • Be careful looking down that cannon. Dec 16, 2023 at 1:52

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