In TOS: The Apple, Captain James Kirk and crew beam down to a planet. Kirk says

There's a village about seventeen kilometres away on bearing two three two. We'll head that way.

On that journey, 3 crewmen die. Why not just beam directly to the village and save your crew?

  • 2
    Might just be a plot device. As in "The writers have declared that those characters must die to demonstrate the dangers of the planet." Feb 28, 2017 at 7:48
  • 1
    Those last bits mey make this question too broad, as I suspect the answer would be "plot device". Consider asking only about The Original Series. Feb 28, 2017 at 7:54
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    I've edited to make it about that particular episode, rather than a general rant about lazy captains.
    – Valorum
    Feb 28, 2017 at 10:43
  • Well sorry the ep was a bad example I guess the question did refer to all of the Star Trek's in general but that's fine I should just left it at what my Ole lady said maybe they just like walking . Captains don't need plot devices they need to complete the mission yes I know to check out the plants was the Mission in that episode but that's why the question was supposed to be more broad than just that episode or series . But as we're trying to save space on the Internet I'll just ask for my question to be removed thanks
    – user79074
    Feb 28, 2017 at 22:40

2 Answers 2


Later in the episode Kirk says

We're heading for the village. Avoid contact with the humanoids. I want you and Marple to make a full reconnaissance. And be careful. There may be other dangers besides poisonous plants. Keep in constant communication.

It could be simply they wanted to avoid beaming down in front of and disturbing the natives. 17km is just over 10 miles.


The goal here is laid out slightly earlier. They've been tasked with investigating the whole planet, not just contacting the locals. Jumping straight over the intervening territory would deny them the opportunity to do an on-the-ground survey of the flora, fauna and mineralogy between the landing site and the village.

KIRK: Well, the last scout ship reported some pretty strange sensor readings. Starfleet wants it investigated and the inhabitants contacted. We do what we're told.

TOS: The Apple

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