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Rediscovering Star Trek : TOS S01E05 : The Enemy Within

Memory Alpha description:

A transporter malfunction splits Captain Kirk into two people – one good and one evil, and neither capable of functioning well separately.

Thoughts while watching:

  • Even for the 60s, that animal is a horrible makeup effect.
  • Spock claims that unsympathetic is just a reflection of who he is. Since we know that Vulcans are more emotional, just controlled, how bad would a evilSpock be if he had been split?
  • Shatner does a good job as the subdued goodKirk, but I think the evilKirk was a mistake as it let his overreactions out of the box.
  • The transporter room also makes heavy use of shadows.
  • Spock is wearing a sidearm through the episode. Unusual, but in season 1 there was a lot more of these little oddities.
  • The temperatures seem to be so low, it’s almost unbelievable that Sulu is talking.
  • The guy’s hand is cut, and you can’t call the ship for him, Kirk?  Boo.
  • So, you are unsure if the transporter is working properly, its not an emergency, and you still beam the **captain** up without waiting for your tests.
  • [[Sinister music]]
  • Still doing the thing where the logs are written by Kirk , looking back at the events that happen.  It takes away some of the feeling of suspense or danger.
  • Another episode, *another* sexual assault for Janice.  Once again, it’s special circumstances and not just daily abuse like the first couple episodes, but so far 4 of the first 5 episodes have had her being assaulted or harassed, and the one that didn’t – she wasn’t in. (Where No Man)..
  • That said, the attempted rape scene is very well done.  It’s brutal and make no illusions about that this is a **bad** thing happening.
  • The evilKirk’s hand being thrust into view, lingering severs no real point and is too melodramatic.
  • “He said he was the captain, that he could order me…”  But he didn’t. Maybe in an earlier version of the script, but he didn’t actually say that or anything close to it.   By leaving this line, what are they trying to say.  That it was so traumatic that Janice is fuzzy on the details?   It’s bad, and by leaving an inaccurate statement (without good dramatic reason and payoff) all they do is intimate that women’s recollections of these events aren’t 100% trustworthy.
  • What?  How is “there’s an imposter” the logical result.  Spock was there with goodKirk and Scotty looking at the duplicate dogThings.  He knows that this is possible and that one of the pair is hyper aggressive.  He also knows that Kirk was on the planet and beamed up.  How is Spock not making the connection!
  • Ok, right after the ad break Kirk’s log knows, and they know.  Still.
  • If only they had shuttles to get people. (I know the budget wasn’t there yet.).

Discussion

Despite my comments, this was a good episode, with an actual examination of how a person’s “negative” qualities actually are needed to be a whole person.   The Janice-rape scene was good.  It was brutal and had weight.  I don’t have an issue with it in this episode, and Charlie X also worked. It’s the unneeded bits in the other episodes that wear.    To be fair, in production order they were a little more spread out.

My biggest frustrations are with the logic holes in the episode.  Even accepting no shuttles, it still seems like they should have been able to test with another animal beaming up/down once they thought it fixed.

 

While William Shatner overdoes evilKirk, he is nicely subdued and weak as goodKirk.  The man has more range as an actor then is commonly thought of, and honestly, more then he tries to do in later years.