|||[Boldly Going]||| Star Trek: The Original Series—Season One: Ep. 1.5 “The Enemy Within” – (Original air date Thursday, October 6, 1966)

 

TrekEnemyWithin

 

Welcome to my rewatching of the original 79 episodes of the series that launched the franchise. Below are the bulletpointed notes I jotted down while watching “The Enemy Within”

  • The Planet-of-the-Week is Alfa 177 (yes, with an ‘F’). I’m hoping it has a moon named Amigo, so that we can honestly say this is “Alfa and Amigo.”
  • I apologize for the preceding. I was just amusing myself. I can’t promise I won’t do it again.
  • In the opening scene, there’s Kirk and Sulu, and a bunch of guys in blue coveralls. Both Kirk and Sulu are wearing shirts in this scene, but that’s likely to change at any moment. They’re wearing golden yellow uniform tunics, to be more precise. Proper Trek uniforms.
  • Sulu is holding a peach-colored unicorn dog with antennae. I just watched the K-9 Cosplay episode of AMC’s Comic Book Men, and this scene reminded me of it. I’m not sure that Alfa Unicorn Dog could have won the contest, which was judged by Batman ’66’s own Boy Wonder, Burt Ward. That’s straining a bit, but there’s a 1966 connection if you’re looking for it.
  • Both Sulu and Kirk drop some exposition about the planet beginning to get colder. Kirk says that, at night, Alfa 177 gets down to 120 degrees below zero. Brrr.
  • I’m sure that the frigid temperatures of the planet will have no bearing on this episode’s drama. Or the fact that Sulu downplays the fact, saying that 120 below zero is “nippy.”
  • Geological Technician Fisher takes a tumble down a bank and cuts his hand. He’s also covered in some kind of gold dust. There’s gold in them thar hills. Kirk looks at Fisher’s hand and then tells him to beam back up to the Enterprise and report to sick bay, where McCoy will spray the wound with some Bactine and slap a Band-Aid on it.
  • Or else Nurse Chapel will pronounce Fisher dead twenty minutes later and Bones’s medical opinion will be that the geological technician just lost the will to live.
  • Or the gold dust will give Fisher god-like powers and he’ll take control of the Enterprise and generally raise hell until Kirk kills him or a Giant Green Head comes to take him away.
  • At this juncture, this story could go in literally any direction.
  • Scotty is operating the transporter again because the Chief Engineer has nothing better to do. As Fisher is materializing, there’s a flashing red light, and Scotty says something about “cadjular engagement” that means nothing to me.
  • Memory Alpha (with a “PH” and not an “F”) suggests that this was “coadjutor engagement,” an emergency step in the act of beaming. My Netflix closed-captioning says “cadjular engagement,” which is what it sounds like Scotty said.
  • Scotty scans Fisher with some device and says the yellow ore on Fisher’s suit is magnetic. He orders Fisher to decontaminate the uniform. Scotty speaks with some authority in this episode. He is, after all, third in chain-of-command, after Kirk and Spock. I think James Doohan is aware of this fact. Doohan stormed the beaches at Normandy, you know.
  • Scotty says that Fisher’s beam-up acted like a burnout. At a glance, systems seem to check out okay. Scotty orders his un-named black partner in this scene to go get a synchronic meter so that they can double-check the system.
  • In spite of these concerns, Scotty beams up Captain Kirk anyway, before double-checking the system. The Kirk who materializes seems disoriented and confused. Scotty begins escorting Kirk to sick bay. When Kirk tells him not to leave the transporter room unattended, Scotty says that “Wilson” will be right back. So, the previously un-named crewman is Wilson.
  • As Kirk and Scotty leave the transporter room, the system activates itself. A second Kirk appears on the pad. The musical cue turns sinister, and the way this Kirk’s face is lighted shows us that Kirk-2 is Evil. Duhn-duhn-duhnn!
  • So, this will be the first of our Transporter Accident shows, which will become a Trek Trope.
  • End of teaser. Opening credits and Shatner intro. To boldly go where no man has gone before, splitting infinitives until they become accepted grammatical usage.
  • After credits, Kirk’s log voiceover brings us up to speed about the curious alter ego produced by the transporter malfunction.
  • Wilson returns and asks if the captain is all right and offers to give him a hand. Evil Kirk gives him a wild side-eyed look and a strange half smile. I’m pretty sure Wilson knows something isn’t right about Kirk.
  • When Good Kirk goes to his quarters, Yeoman Janice Rand is there with her complicated beehive hairdo. It seems strange to me that Rand would just be hanging out in the captain’s quarters, but this is the future. Maybe this kind of thing is normal. At any rate, Good Kirk dismisses her without so much as a lascivious glance or off-color remark, as if he’s infatuated with the Enterprise alone and has no time for the fairer sex.
  • While this version of Kirk takes a nap, Evil Kirk goes to sick bay, where Dr. McCoy is still patching up Geological Technician Fisher. The evil captain demands Saurian brandy. If you’re taking part in the Saurian brandy drinking game, you should now take a drink.
  • After McCoy dismisses Fisher, he turns to the captain and says, “What can I do for you, Jim?” Evil Kirk goes all aggro and grabs McCoy by the neck and demands the Saurian brandy again.
  • Evil Kirk wanders the corridors drinking straight from the bottle like a savage, stopping only when he arrives at the quarters of one Yeoman Janice Rand. This version of Kirk is not in love with the Enterprise.
  • In the next scene, Good Kirk is waking from his nap and he is visited by Mr. Spock in his quarters. Spock says that McCoy sent him to check on Kirk. After the Evil Kirk’s Alpha Male clinic in sick bay, you can hardly blame the doc. Spock tells Kirk that McCoy said Kirk was acting like a mad man, demanding brandy. To which Kirk laughs, telling Spock it sounds like the good doctor has been putting him on again. That must be a thing: Playing practical jokes on Mr. Spock. Seems like that would lose something with a being who, in theory, displays no emotions.
  • By the way, this was another shirtless Kirk scene. I wonder at what point Shatner stops taking off his shirt. Probably after the girdle went on.
  • Next we have a transporter room scene. Mr. Spock and Good Kirk enter the room, where Scotty is holding the Unicorn Dog from Alfa 177 while another technician, who isn’t Wilson, I don’t think, piddles around in the background. Kirk is wearing his fancy green ice-dancing outfit again, I notice. I had really hoped we’d seen the last of that.
  • Scotty shows Kirk and Spock the results of beaming up Uni from the planet. The results, of course, are two Unis—the docile version that Scotty is holding, and a savage, growling, teeth-gnashing one in the crate. What a weird transporter accident. Scotty says they don’t dare beam up Mr. Sulu and the landing party. Should this happen to a man—
  • Just a reminder: Alfa 177 gets down to 120 degrees below zero at night. Just sayin’.
  • Meanwhile, Evil Kirk, still swilling brandy, makes his move on Janice Rand in her quarters. He attempts to smooth-talk her at first, telling her she’s too beautiful to ignore and too much woman. You know, sweet nothings. Then, he makes the mistake of grabbing her forcefully—not unlike the way he grabbed McCoy—and I believe we’re supposed to get the impression that he intends to rape her. Not cool.
  • Janice scratches the left side of Evil Kirk’s face, so now this version of Kirk is marked so that we can tell them apart. Well, if the raping, binge-drinking and general weirdness didn’t already clue us in, I guess.
  • Who should just be happening by while the attempted rape of Yeoman Janice Rand was going on? Why, it’s Geological Technician Fisher, who is apparently the only other crewman on board during this episode. Scratched-Face Kirk then attacks Fisher, who’s destined to log a lot of time in sick bay today.
  • Janice Rand tells her rape story to McCoy, Spock and Good Kirk. She’s naturally distraught. She mentions that she scratched Kirk’s face. There are, of course, no scratches on Good Kirk’s face. Kirk denies everything. Suddenly, a beaten-down Fisher comes into the room and corroborates Yeoman Rand’s story.
  • Spock says there’s only one logical answer: They have an impostor on board.
  • That’s the one logical answer, Spock? Wouldn’t the most logical answer be that Kirk tried to rape Yeoman Rand and should be confined to the brig during the investigation, just in case?
  • At any rate, the first act ends and everyone now knows that there’s an Evil Kirk roaming the Enterprise, jacked up on Saurian brandy and Janice Rand pheromones.
  • We kick off the next act with a captain’s log update. Here’s where the story’s at now. The crewmen on Alfa 177 are in growing jeopardy because the temperatures are plummeting, but they can’t be beamed aboard the Enterprise because of the transporter malfunction. Aforementioned malfunction has also resulted in an evil version of Kirk raising Cain on board the ship. Carry on.
  • The first thing that occurs to me is that they could use the shuttlecraft to begin evacuating the crewmen from the planet below. Nothing has been said that would preclude this course of action. Then it occurred to me that, at this point in the series, we haven’t even seen a shuttle yet, and as far as we know they don’t exist.
  • The scene that follows in the transporter room is mostly superfluous. Scotty explains what any astute viewer had already deduced was the cause of the transporter accident, the gold dust on Fisher’s uniform. Then Kirk reminds us that we can’t leave those four men down on the planet because the temperature gets down to 120 degrees below zero at night. Not only has this been pointed out on camera a couple of times now, Kirk just said it again in his captain’s log update. The expression on Scotty’s face suggests that even he knows this scene is pointless. There were fewer commercials back in 1966, so there were roughly 6-8 more minutes to fill in an hour-long show.
  • Kirk, in his Ice Capades outfit, is holding Unicorn Dog for no apparent reason as he and Spock discuss their plans. Kirk wants to tell the crew what happened to him in the transporter accident. Spock, being perhaps a bit more emphatic than an emotionless Vulcan should be, tells Kirk—with all due respect—that he can’t afford to allow himself to look less than perfect in the eyes of the crew or he’ll lose their respect and his command of the ship.
  • Perhaps we should keep count of all the occasions where Kirk appears less-than-perfect throughout the remainder of the series.
  • After Spock’s advice, we get our first real indication that Good Kirk isn’t exactly the “real” Kirk either. He seems indecisive and weak, lacking in a certain inner-fire. Could be the stupid green uniform tunic.
  • Good Kirk makes a ship-wide announcement that there is an imposter on board who looks exactly like Kirk and is pretending to be Kirk. He tells the crew to be cautious, and that the imposter may be identified by the scratches on his face.
  • One curious part of the announcement, which Spock reminds the captain to add, is that all phasers are to be set on “base cycle, stunning force.” Later in the series, that order would have been “all phasers set to stun.” It seems oddly phrased in this episode.
  • Evil Kirk, who is in the captain’s quarters (though wearing the correct uniform tunic), is angered by the PA announcement. You see, he’s under the impression that he’s the real Captain Kirk. A sweaty, overwrought and emotionally unstable Captain Kirk, but the real one, nonetheless.
  • Evil Kirk goes to a mirror and looks at himself in the reflection. There’s make-up on the counter. Make-up. I thought these were his quarters. I’m certain that they are. Why does Kirk have make-up in his quarters? Okay, this is the 23rd century. I realize things may be a little different, and I did think that Kirk was wearing guyliner in an earlier scene. If nothing else, Kirk’s alternate uniform tunic, the flamboyantly green one with the V-neck and the gold lamé appliqué work, suggests that Kirk may be a metrosexual.
  • Or, the make-up is there because the writers needed it to be, so that Over-emoting Kirk could conceal his Janice Rand scratches. Convenient. Or lazy writing. I don’t think that Richard Matheson, who wrote this episode, is a lazy writer. I’m willing to bet that he would have had Evil Kirk break into a female crewmember’s quarters to use her make-up. Having the make-up be in Kirk’s quarters seems like a re-write, or a condensation of the plot. Something to save time and money on the day of shooting.
  • Crewman Wilson—who, along with Geological Technician Fisher seems to be the entire ship’s crew complement today—happens by Kirk’s quarters. Evil Kirk asks for his phaser, then knocks him unconscious. Not a good day for Wilson or Fisher.
  • Meanwhile, we check in on Sulu, who’s still down on Alfa 177. It’s already 20 below zero, but Sulu’s still cracking wise about it not being exactly “balmy.” He’s not wearing a coat yet, so it hasn’t progressed to “nippy,” on the Sulu Scale.
  • Back on the Enterprise, Spock tells Gold Lamé Appliqué Kirk that they teleported heaters to the surface, but they duplicated and became inoperable. Scotty is goldbricking. Why is Wilson roaming the hallways and getting knocked unconscious by Doppelganger Kirk when he should helping Scotty repair the teleporter? Must be a union thing.
  • Spock is wearing one of those pirate-looking weapons belts in this scene, like the one Scotty wore in “The Naked Time.”
  • Spock and Kirk are informed, over the communicator, that Wilson was found knocked unconscious near the captain’s “cabin.” Wilson had said that this version of the captain called him by name as well.
  • Spock realizes that the other version of Kirk seems to have all of his knowledge about the ship and the crew. Armed with this, maybe they can outguess him and determine what his next move will be. Spock asks the Kirk in front of him where he would go if he were attempting to evade capture. The lower levels, the engineering deck. Of course, we already know Scotty is never there. He’s too busy operating the transporter.
  • Kirk and Spock go to engineering, their phasers set on base cycle, to stun not to kill. Spock suggests that they should have backup, which is logical, but Kirk doesn’t want anyone else there. For . . . reasons, I guess.
  • Make-Up Wearing Kirk is there, too, hiding on top of the various machines which apparently radiate no heat whatsoever.
  • The musical cues get increasingly tension-filled as the two versions of Kirk stalk around in engineering. Finally, they come face-to-face.
  • Emo Kirk tells Scratch Kirk that he knows the other can’t kill him. They are a part of each other. They need each other. Fifty years later, I have to wonder how intentionally homoerotic this scene was meant to be. More astute viewers than I am have pointed out many instances of homoeroticism in Star Trek. There is, in fact, an entire subgenre of fan-fiction devoted to the romantic relationship between Kirk and Spock. It’s not as far-fetched as I may have once thought. In fact, throw in some make-up and haute couture and some sweaty man-on-man scenes that would make Tony Curtis and Sir Lawrence Olivier proud, and the homoeroticism seems intended.
  • At any rate, Scratch doesn’t seem to be buying the “we need each other” line of reasoning, but Spock takes him out with a Vulcan Nerve Pinch just as the evil side of Kirk is firing his phaser.
  • As I mentioned in our last installment, this was the actual first use of the Vulcan Nerve Pinch, production-wise, and it was a creation of the actor Leonard Nimoy himself. However, its first televised appearance was in “The Naked Time” since the episodes aired out of order.
  • In the sick bay, with Scratch Kirk restrained, Spock, McCoy and Good Kirk hold an impromptu symposium about the nature of man, and the necessary integration of “good” and “evil” qualities. “Good” Kirk seems to losing his ability to command without his so-called “evil” qualities.
  • McCoy encourages Kirk to fight with his intellect. In these earlier episodes, the writers keep hitting the note that Kirk is supposed to be an intellectual man. He instructed at the Academy, he goes head-to-head with a chess grandmaster Vulcan. For God’s sake, the man reads books. He’s smart: We get it. I’m not sure that this was my takeaway when I watched these as a kid. I didn’t think Kirk was a dummy. But, he was a man of action, not some brainiac. More of a jock than the academic type.
  • I’m willing to admit that I may be relying on stereotypes more than I should. Kirk may have been a scholar athlete.
  • Scotty contacts the captain to report a new problem with the transporter. On the lower level, on the engineering deck, the casing (to what?) has a wide gap ripped in it and the main circuits have been burned through and the abort control circuit is gone all together. This is, ironically, where the Evil Kirk’s phaser blast struck. Of all the damned bad luck.
  • This compounds the problem of beaming Sulu and the landing party back on board. That’s what you do in the middle of a story, right? Get your characters up a tree, and then throw rocks at them. Ideally, the characters would find a way to get themselves safely out of the tree, but I think these characters will get rescued by the cavalry. The A-plot in this episode is the Kirk-vs.-Kirk story. The Frozen Sulu B-plot is just to keep raising the stakes and create a dramatic clock ticking. The Kirk/teleporter drama must be resolved before the away team is dead.
  • During our next Sulu check-in scene (41 degrees below zero), Sulu asks Kirk to find a long rope and lower down a pot of hot coffee. He adds that rice wine will do if they don’t have coffee.
  • Rice wine. Sulu is Asian. A sake joke. Hello, casual racism, my old friend.
  • I realize that sake is just the most widely known type of rice wine in North America, and that there are plenty of other kinds of rice wine in Asian culture. Sulu said “rice wine,” not “sake.” My comment could be misconstrued as casual racism as well, I realize. I assure you it is not. It’s unintended racism, at best.
  • After checking in with Sulu, Kirk asks Scotty how bad the damage to the teleporter is. Scotty says they can’t repair it in less than a week. Dramatic musical sting follows this statement, but we all know that Scotty seriously pads his estimates.
  • During the next captain’s log voiceover update, the temperature below is 75 below zero and still dropping, and Kirk is becoming more indecisive while his “negative self” remains in restraints in sick bay.
  • I’m no scientologist or nothing, but 75 below zero seems pretty deadly to me already. I know Sulu is making rocks glow with his phaser, but it seems windy down there on Alfa 177 as well. Shouldn’t our landing party members be exhibiting more of the debilitating effects of the cold? Frostbite, at the very least.
  • The deadly cold doesn’t seem to be affecting Sulu’s sense of humor at all. He asks if there’s any chance of getting them back on board before skiing season opens. That funny, rice wine-swilling, swashbuckling Asian dude.
  • In sick bay, the restrained Negative Kirk is screaming, as if in pain. I think I would like this sound byte as my cell phone ringtone. That would be embarrassing in a doctor’s waiting room.
  • Dr. McCoy tells Positive Kirk that apparently the physical processes were weakened in the act of duplication. Negative Kirk is dying. Of course, that implies that Positive Kirk may be dying as well. I no longer have the high regard of McCoy’s professional abilities that I took for granted as a kid. In some ways, he seems just as inept as Dr. Beverly Crusher.
  • The two Kirks hold hands until Negative Kirk’s vital signs return to normal. Afterward, McCoy says that Kirk could use that brandy now (even though he didn’t say Saurian brandy, you should still take a shot if you’re playing) and that McCoy thinks he’ll join him.
  • Then Positive Kirk says, “I have to take him back inside myself. I can’t survive without him. I don’t want to take him back. He’s like an animal. A thoughtless, brutal animal. Yet, it’s me. Me.”
  • I’m now adding thinly-veiled homoeroticism to the casual racism/casual sexism watchlist. “I have to take him back inside myself” could have been written in so many different ways that this could not have been accidental.
  • After Kirk’s conversation with McCoy, over brandy, in which McCoy essentially rehashes everything Spock already said about the duality of human males, uncharacteristically agreeing with the science officer, Spock himself pages Kirk to come to the transporter room (at this stage of the game, we have no indication that there is more than one on board). We know that there’s a bowling alley somewhere, though.
  • Scotty and Spock have an idea to send the two Unicorn Dogs through the transporter in an attempt to rejoin them. Scotty risks space rabies when grabbing Negative Uni in his crate for Spock to tranquilize. The experiment results in a single, rejoined Unicorn Dog. A success, but a qualified one. The dog is dead.
  • I got a visceral thrill when McCoy says, “He’s dead, Jim.”
  • The next captain’s log is a Mr. Spock voiceover. In the log entry, Spock calls himself “second-officer Spock.” He is second-in-command, but he should be “first-officer Spock.” I think. This episode makes me doubt myself.
  • This shot of the bridge is what I believe is the first appearance of Lieutenant John Farrell, who is sitting at what could be the navigator’s post. Maybe helmsman post. I’m only 97% nerd: I don’t know everything. Unlike Geological Technician Fisher and Crewman Wilson, Farrell will make several more appearances in the series, if I recall. Wilson was actually in the background in “Charlie X,” too, and Fisher was in the original pilot “The Cage.” But, I think this episode was the swan song for both Fisher and Wilson.
  • Spock thinks that it was fear and shock that killed Unicorn Dog. His theory is that Kirk’s intelligence will control his fear and that he could survive the reunification process. Unsurprisingly, although McCoy is open to the possibility that the dog was killed by shock, he’s not completely on board with sending the two Kirks through now.
  • While Spock and McCoy argue, the Weak-Willed Kirk is as easily swayed by each as I am by the arguments of opposing lawyers on a good legal drama. Incidentally, I loved Boston Legal, where William Shatner’s new bromance was with James Spader.
  • Spock likens Kirk’s current dilemma to his own situation, with his Human and Vulcan halves always warring inside of him. He thinks that Kirk’s intelligence will result in his success.
  • Sulu makes a final call to Kirk. 117 below zero. He’s not going to last much longer. Two of his men are already unconscious, and Sulu is fading fast.
  • Good Kirk decides that he’s taking his doppelganger through the transporter, and releases his restraints. Evil Kirk fake-swoons, then overpowers Good Kirk. He steals Good Kirk’s wraparound tunic and heads to the bridge, running into Yeoman Rand along the way and making a date for later.
  • Posing as the Good Kirk, Evil Kirk tells Farrell to take the ship out of orbit. It’s too late to save Sulu and the landing party. Evil Kirk isn’t fooling anyone.  When Good Kirk comes onto the bridge set, he is also wearing the hideous Broadway revue green tunic. Where exactly did Evil Kirk get his green tunic? Again, I’m confused.
  • Evil Kirk breaks down, then Good Kirk takes him through the transporter while holding him in an intimate man-hug. Spock operates the transporter this time. We’re not giving that loser Scotty another crack at it.  He killed the dog.
  • The reunion of James T. Kirk’s dual personalities is a success. His first command upon his return: Get those men back here fast!
  • McCoy says the landing party is suffering from severe frostbite and exposure, but he thinks they’ll survive. He thinks. What a doctor.  
  • Janice Rand attempts to talk to Kirk about the incident, but gets the brush-off from the captain, whose main lady is once again his ship. Spock makes a comment to Rand about the “imposter” having some qualities interesting to her.
  • Let’s see: Evil Kirk attacked her in his drunken lust and attempted to rape her in her personal cabin. She had to physically defend herself and call for help from the ubiquitous (in this episode) Fisher in order prevent the rape.
  • Yes, Mr. Spock. The imposter certainly had some interesting qualities. How could any woman resist his obvious charms?
  • When Rand leaves him, she is obviously disgusted by the Vulcan’s remark. Spock is wearing an uncharacteristic smirk as she leaves. Leonard Nimoy becoming the stoic Spock is a gradual process, it seems. So, apparently, is overcoming the concept of Rape-As-An-Expression-Of-Love. I mean, look what happened with Luke and Laura, all those years later.
  • That’s “Luke and Laura” of the soap opera General Hospital. Not Luke and Leia.
  • End of episode. Kirk, please burn the green tunic, as it is a constant offense to my vision.

Richard Matheson, the writer of this episode, was also responsible for I Am Legend (the terrific novel, not the crappy Will Smith movie), the Twilight Zone Episode “Nightmare at 20,000 Feet” (which famously starred William Shatner), and many, many more fantastic works before his death in 2013. While I think Matheson’s talent elevated the material in this episode, it’s still flawed-Trek at best and doesn’t quite make my All-Time-Best-Trek list.

3.5 of 5 stars from me today. I would still watch it in its entirety if I happened to stumble across it while channel surfing. But, I would still gripe about the things I perceive as problematic.

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