Episode of the Week : The Enemy Within

Discussion in 'Star Trek - The Original & Animated Series' started by Botany Bay, Feb 6, 2014.

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Rate "The Enemy Within"

Poll closed Feb 13, 2014.
  1. 1

    1 vote(s)
    2.7%
  2. 2

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  3. 3

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  4. 4

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  5. 5

    4 vote(s)
    10.8%
  6. 6

    11 vote(s)
    29.7%
  7. 7

    4 vote(s)
    10.8%
  8. 8

    6 vote(s)
    16.2%
  9. 9

    6 vote(s)
    16.2%
  10. 10

    5 vote(s)
    13.5%
  1. ToddPence

    ToddPence Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    While the "evil twin" trope was already a television cliche by the time "The Enemy Within" came around, the episode put a fresh spin on the idea by having the evil twin actually be the dark side of the personality of the series' lead. The episode is certainly one of the darker-themed entries in the early first season, with effective direction by Leo Penn. Shatner turns in one of the greatest of his performances on the series, compellingly portraying both the "evil" and the "good" Kirk as recognizably distinct and different types. The raw elements of this episode work so well, as they do in the best episodes of TOS, that the viewer overlooks the absurdity of the central premise (that the transporter could seperate positive personality elements from negative ones.) The subplot of the stranded crewmen succeeds in adding tension to the central storyline.
    Moment you might miss if you're not paying close attention - when Scotty is discussing the transporter situation, and the inadvisability of bringing the stranded crew aboard, he says "They might all be duplicated like y-" and then quickly catches himself and says "Like the animal." No dummy, Scott has of course figured out the obvious origin of "the imposter".
     
  2. Ssosmcin

    Ssosmcin Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    If I had to complain about anything in this classic episode, it's McCoy's attitude about the men below. "What if death was caused by transporter malfunction? Then you'd die. They'd die anyway."

    "They'd die anyway" always felt too cold for McCoy. What the hell did Sulu do to him? The guy's a doctor. Even if the line stayed, the delivery could have been a little different.

    Other than that, a solid 9 or 10. Easily in my top 5 Trek's ever. And god what a great score!
     
  3. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

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    Jim Kirk is McCoy's friend and under stress people can say things they might not otherwise say.
     
  4. Ssosmcin

    Ssosmcin Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Which is fine for real people, but it seems out of character for a scripted regular. But it was early in the series' development and Bones was a little crankier.
     
  5. The Old Mixer

    The Old Mixer Auld Lang Mod Moderator

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    You said it for me. It was only McCoy's third episode production-wise, the whole show was still working out its rough edges, including Nimoy's portrayal of Spock. Could we expect any more from McCoy at this point?
     
  6. ZapBrannigan

    ZapBrannigan Commodore Commodore

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    There's a sense in which the earliest TOS episodes were a little more sophisticated than the later, polished ones. Before the actors got their egos fully invested in fictional identities and these characters took on a life of their own ("My guy would never say that, re-write it!"), there was a rough-edged naturalism to the dialogue, with raw, unflattering emotions coming out more often.

    In this light, you could say that Star Trek followed the opposite path of Battlestar Galactica. Where ST began with some rough and raw naturalism and evolved into idealized romanticism, BG's original series was romanticised while the Ronald Moore remake went to extremes of naturalism.
     
  7. plynch

    plynch Commodore Commodore

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    But he is not an evil twin, or "bad kirk." Id/passion-Kirk is in fact good, for without him there is no Kirk-as-we-know-him. That twist, illustrating our id as a good and necessary component is a marvelous thing by Mr. Matheson. Along with the weakness and insufficiency of what we normally term "good." I show this ep in my psych class and have the kids cf. to Freud's tripartite model. I do not deny the episode's flaws, but because of its greatness, I give it a 10.

    One of the great teleplays ever, imho.
     
  8. The Old Mixer

    The Old Mixer Auld Lang Mod Moderator

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    In high school English, when we were studying Lord of the Flies, I showed an edited version of "The Enemy Within" to draw parallels between Ralph and Jack and the two sides of Kirk. Got a 115%.
     
  9. Botany Bay

    Botany Bay Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    TRIVIA :

    Actor Ed Madden (Geological Technician Fisher), also played the role of the "Geologist" in The Cage. Same character?
     
  10. LMFAOschwarz

    LMFAOschwarz Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I've wondered that, too. Doesn't he even say something in The Cage about "Geological lab report ready, sir."?

    (well, duh..Botany Bay mentioned geology, so I guess that's a bit redundant to point that out!)
     
  11. ZapBrannigan

    ZapBrannigan Commodore Commodore

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    I never noticed that!

    I'm sure he was meant to be the same guy, because otherwise why make Fisher a geologist? It seems oddly specific. And the supposed 13 year time difference would not be thought of until mid-season.
     
  12. Ssosmcin

    Ssosmcin Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I'm not as sure they put that much thought into it. Probably more of a casting coincidence since the guy in The Cage had like, what, 2 lines?

    For those who are put off by Spock's comment about "interesting qualities" at the end, at least it wasn't left as Matheson intended: he had JANICE say it! As it stands, you can chalk it up to Spock's alien insensitivity.

    http://www.orionpressfanzines.com/articles/enemywithin.htm
     
  13. Botany Bay

    Botany Bay Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    What happened to Kirk's insignia when he was wearing his gold shirt? Cushman (2013) says that the badges were removed each night when the uniforms were sent off for cleaning. When somebody forgot to sew it back on the next day, in their frantic race to meet airdates and shoot quickly, everyone assumed it was an intentional omission ordered by someone or other, and nobody questioned it.
     
  14. plynch

    plynch Commodore Commodore

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    People here speak of a perceived propensity on Mr. Cushman's part to make inferences and write of them as if facts. Does the author cite that statement?
     
  15. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

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    Actually it was several years ago that I heaard of that explanation for the missing insignia.
     
  16. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Admiral Admiral

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    Which part? The part that somebody forgot to sew it back on? That many ["everyone" sic] in the production crew noticed it, but no one spoke up for the reason alleged? Or, all of it?
     
  17. Harvey

    Harvey Admiral Admiral

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    The author doesn't cite except when printing a quotation. And those, alas, sometimes don't have a citation, either (or have a citation number which doesn't exist in the back of the book!).
     
  18. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

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    I read the uniforms had to be washed but the insignia (and likely the braiding as well) removed first. They were rushed and yet overlooked to sew the insignia back on. When it was noticed they didn't have time to go back and reshoot it and figured next to no one would probably notice anyway. I know I didn't the first few viewings.
     
  19. plynch

    plynch Commodore Commodore

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    i thought it was so when they flipped the film over for id-Kirk the badge wouldn't be on the wrong side. More noticable to the casual viewer than if just missing.
     
  20. Ssosmcin

    Ssosmcin Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I'm no weather expert, but at -117 degrees (Fahrenheit, I assume), with only blankets and their uniforms, wouldn't the landing party be, well, dead? If they had the kind of clothing you'd wear in the Yukon or something, I could see them holding out. But to me the temperature seems very extreme. The guys would be in just as much danger of dying from exposure and hypothermia at much higher temperatures.

    This crossed my mind as temperatures dipped into the single digits recently and I was fricking painfully cold in my non windy driveway all bundled up.