Star Trek TOS Re-Watch

Discussion in 'Star Trek - The Original & Animated Series' started by Commander Troi, Oct 8, 2021.

  1. Commander Troi

    Commander Troi Quoter of Quotes Premium Member

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    This was the biggest plot hole. :lol: Sure, this is #5 in production order, but Galileo Seven had to have at least been read by someone, right? Oh well...

    It's interesting that we're on the same episode. I like seeing the different things each of us notices.

    Anyways, here's my review of The Enemy Within, written by Richard Matheson, who is best known for writing I Am Legend. FYI, Matheson said the subplot with the stranded crewmembers was added as a re-write. He was inspired by Jekyll and Hyde.

    The first thing I notice is the alien animal. Every time I see him/her in that goofy outfit, I think, "poor dog!" :lol:

    We establish right of the bat Kirk's concern for his crew when he sends Fisher up to sickbay. After beaming him aboard, Scotty sees something is off with the transporter, but beams Kirk up anyway.

    This is the first (of many) plots that hinge on a transporter malfunction. Mark that history. :D Also, the first Vulcan nerve/neck pinch and the first instance of "he's dead, Jim."

    I have to give Shatner his due in the episode - he sells both "sides" of Kirk extremely well. When we first see Hyde!Kirk, his eyes are darting everywhere and his body language is feral. He slinks. He snarls. He's somewhat cat-like in several scenes. It's very impressive and effective. This is very much Kirk's Id, "the primitive and instinctual part of the mind that contains sexual and aggressive drives."

    I loved how McCoy teases Fisher when no one's around but got serious when Kirk came in. :lol:

    I think the sexual assault scene was cut to be *much* shorter when I originally saw this in reruns as a kid. In full, it's disturbing and scary. Grace's performance here and in the sickbay scene after was fantastic, full of the second-guessing and memory-questioning common to these experiences. She even said, "I don't want to get you into trouble. I wouldn't have even mentioned it!" OUCH. I wish that was as firmly in the past as it should be. (I understand Grace went through this IRL. I don't have words.)

    Since Fisher also saw Hyde!Kirk, Spock goes to the only logical conclusion - an imposter.

    We follow up with a nice scene between Jekyll!Kirk and Spock in the transporter room. For not the first, or last, time, we hear that a captain cannot be seen to be less than perfect. I wonder if that's based in the attitudes of the time or a military viewpoint? Please weigh in with your opinions.

    Jekyll!Kirk is more and more indecisive and forgetting things. Hyde!Kirk gets angry at being called an imposter, screaming, "I'm Captain Kirk!" I think this, and Jekyll!Kirk's later decision not to relinquish command, show how important the identity of captain is to Kirk, split in half or not.

    There are some interesting points made by both Spock and McCoy about the nature of the two sides and how the whole person needs both. Going further into Freudianism, I'd say that Jekyll!Kirk is the Superego (the moral conscience) and what Spock calls the intellect could be seen as the Ego (the realistic part that mediates between the desires of the id and the super-ego).

    I like that Sulu maintains his sense of humor even as he's in danger of freezing. It's a nice addition to his character.

    McCoy determines that both Kirks will die if things aren't fixed. Hyde!Kirk cannot control his fear and Jekyll!Kirk soothes him. Hyde!Kirk fools Jekyll!Kirk (there's where the cunning is located) and escapes sickbay, running into Rand on the way. He tries to smooth things over (and sets up a date!), but by the look on her face, I think she wasn't completely convinced.

    Hyde!Kirk gives the order to leave orbit. If anyone misses a few minutes, this should tell you it ain't Kirk because he never leaves anyone behind, certainly not so cavalierly. The 2 sides meet up again, with Jekyll!Kirk eventually getting a very frightened Hyde!Kirk to give in.

    Kirk is put back together, the landing party is saved, and... seriously, Spock? :ack: I know that last line is a relic of the era, but as the kids say, "cringe!"

    Still, this is an excellent episode, if tough to watch in places. Again, Shatner's performance(s) really stand out.
     
  2. Timofnine

    Timofnine Vice Admiral Moderator

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    I am soooo happy that we have synchronised @Commander Troi ! Maybe other people will begin to synch up too!?

    I never spotted the Jekyll and Hyde comparison as obvious as it is, I have never read that book though so it would not be something that immediately comes to mind. This comparison of yours is something that stands out even more if you think back to how the writers had previously eluded to this ‘Jekyll and Hyde’ story in The Corbomite Manoeuvre with Balok’s two halves... Balok even mentions Jekyll and Hyde on screen when describing himself to the crew. Splitting people in to two halves is a common theme in Star Trek I think. Spock and his Human/Vulcan struggle being one of the most obvious examples…
    As well as the upcoming mirror universe episode.
    I wonder if we will see more of this type of ‘binary split’ trope in TOS as the series progresses? ;)

    Ironicaly, I have studied a lot of eastern texts over the years, in particular pertaining to the subject of yoga via the Yoga Sutra’s of Patanjali, The Mahabharata and it’s self contained texts such as the Upanishads, the Dhammapada and the Bhagavad Gita. For those unfamiliar with the term yoga beyond the gym, having a work out and stretch, the actual word is Sanskrit and means ‘yolking’ or to ‘yolk’… just like an egg. Yoga means to ‘join’ or to ‘unite’ our minds so that we become a whole being which is the best version of ourselves that we can possibly be, accepting who we are and using all of our experiences to become a well rounded individual. There are *many* forms of yoga though but I am describing it here in it’s most simplistic of terms in relation to this particular episode. ‘The Enemy Within’ has very strong parallels to yogic teachings in regards to Kirk’s persona, it is almost like a modern day parable of how we all have an internal conflict, but in this case represented through a science fiction lense. In the Bhagavad Gita this battle takes place between two families in an epic battle, though this battles does not *really* happen… it is a parable about a battle between ‘good’ vs ‘evil’. This battle is purely symbolic though and is about a battle in our own minds which we all fight just like Spock with his inner conflict and Kirk in this weeks episode. We all have our own methods of ‘yolking’ ourselves and becoming one with our personal inner conflicts, demons and desires both good and bad to balance out our character in to a whole and hopefully well rounded being. Some people use religion, relationships, drugs, meditation or even yoga as mentioned to achieve this… Kirk just happened to have the guidance of his crew, Spock in particular, and a transporter to help him with the job of becoming ‘whole again’.

    I see this story as being an analogy of a persons inner conflict; Kirk may be someone who has done *bad* things, but he has also done *good* things, though he realises just how bad he has been and is having trouble reconciling himself with that knowledge. Luckily, his friends and support network around him have been judging him too and have decided that this Kirk is better off as a whole, well rounded person who is capable of commanding them and the Enterprise. His crew probably realise that they will not be Kirk’s final judge and it is not for them to do so… karma, or whatever god they believe in will catch up to Kirk. Maybe through becoming whole, uniting himself he can change the balance of his karma as the series progresses? We are all shades of grey on a spectrum of colour after all… it would be stupid if in a future episode of Star Trek they decided to split us in to black and white halves one week to try and make a point! :guffaw:
     
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2022
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  3. Neopeius

    Neopeius Admiral Admiral

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    We're going to be rewatching TEW at the end of our summer reruns, though historically, it never reran during the original series.

    Last time I watched it, I decided to think of "Evil" Kirk as "Real" Kirk--because he's just as much Jim Kirk as "Good" Kirk. It made for an interesting experience.
     
  4. Timofnine

    Timofnine Vice Admiral Moderator

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    Both Kirk’s are Kirk, which is the point of the episode I think. This is quite shocking though when you consider the actions of ‘bad’ Kirk. It shows that everyone, even Kirk, has this potential ‘dark side’ buried within them. Even Spock has this ‘dark side’ which he suppresses as do all Vulcan’s. We just use our ‘intelligence’ to make good judgments, manage our thoughts and control our actions and urges. We know what is right and wrong and also have morales that we adhere to. These things separate us from ‘animals’, though even animals learn these things to some extent. We also know the rules of law. Kirk was broken down in to the very raw components of this in ‘The Enemy Within’.
     
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2022
  5. fireproof78

    fireproof78 Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Indeed, and it's a running theme throughout TOS, if there were such a thing. The idea of human nature and while we have choice we can go very dark. And we all have that capability.
     
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  6. Maurice

    Maurice Fact Trekker Premium Member

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    Are these reviews or just blow by blow descriptions of what happens?
     
  7. Maurice

    Maurice Fact Trekker Premium Member

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    Not to defend ending of "The Enemy Within" but when one reads the behind-the-scenes docs early in the show's production there are notes that Rand and Spock are friends. I suspect this line began with that relationship in mind... Spock could say something no one else could.

    Anyway, here's how the script describes the scene:

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
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  8. Timofnine

    Timofnine Vice Admiral Moderator

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    Both, to add context. It’s just a bit of fun. Some people might not have seen the episodes yet you see. :)
     
  9. UnknownSample

    UnknownSample Commodore Commodore

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    The writers like to play with Kirk and his ego (I guess that's ego in the popular sense, not the Freudian sense?) over the course of the series. As if they never forgot a point in this episode, that command is a complicated area, possibly making a positive out of a negative. They throw in hints that he may be just a bit full of himself now and then, but don't dwell on it. By the time of Enterprise Incident, it doesn't seem totally impossible that he's really become a pathological egomaniac...
     
  10. Ssosmcin

    Ssosmcin Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    In that case you may want to add spoiler tags. :vulcan:
     
  11. Timofnine

    Timofnine Vice Admiral Moderator

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    I think that they do not need spoiler tags as the episodes aired over 6 months ago now? :shrug:
     
  12. 1001001

    1001001 Do You Really Wanna Taste It? Moderator

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    There's no need to spoiler tag episodes from 56 years ago.
     
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  13. Ssosmcin

    Ssosmcin Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Well if you're meticulously recapping an episode because people "may not have seen it" then you're spoiling it, no?

    I wasn't entirely serious.
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2022
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  14. Timofnine

    Timofnine Vice Admiral Moderator

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    I’m trying to do it in a fun way @Ssosmcin , more of a light hearted ‘commentary’ review.

    I’m not always entirely serious either, unless I’m being serious. Hehe. :D
     
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  15. dupersuper

    dupersuper Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    We...have very different takes on Kirk.
     
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  16. ZapBrannigan

    ZapBrannigan Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    No, it does seem impossible for the Kirk character. If anything, you're describing the common (but surely not universal) "character arc" that actors themselves follow when they get the lead in a series that becomes a hit. They start out as troupers and treat everybody pretty well. Then the growing sense of their own importance, and the yes-folks surrounding them, enlarge their egos and they can turn into demanding, inconsiderate jerks.

    Part of the magic of our fictional heroes is that success doesn't spoil them, despite the facts of human nature.
     
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  17. Timofnine

    Timofnine Vice Admiral Moderator

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    Yet another parallel with how the character of James T Kirk (or actors in general) may be examined in relation to ancient Eastern philosophies interpreting the human condition and mindset.

    One of the obstacles on the path of yoga is said to be ‘Ahamkara’, our ‘ego’. Someone’s ‘self’ is determined by the image that we have of ourselves through our own perceptions, combined with our interactions with the physical world around us, again our external perceptions. Also, our interactions with the people that influence our lives feeds our ego as we perceive their expressed perceptions of us and build up our ‘Ahamkara’. These things all shape our personalities… our thoughts and our desires. These things all give shape to our ‘false self’, a product of our own ego; our self worth, self esteem and self confidence included.

    Egoism is an attachment to whatever the ego wants. So in the example of Captain Kirk, what exactly *does* he want as a character? What is ‘driving’ his ego? What obstacle or ‘Kleshas’ can he not overcome? If Kirk does indeed become a ‘jerk’ as the series progresses, then it is only a result of what is feeding his ego and his false perception of himself which results from this. Is it his crew? Is it his command? His ‘love life’? :shrug:

    It could be said that Kirk metaphorically reached enlightenment, or Samadhi, when he entered the Nexus in Star Trek Generations. But again, this was all generated by his ego and could not represent a true enlightenment. As far as I know, James T Kirk never reached enlightenment. Though I am sure that he is having a restful… shavasana. :D
     
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2022
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  18. hofner

    hofner Commodore Commodore

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    Yeah, I guess it's a pretty safe bet that most people who frequent the TOS forum haven't seen the show. :D

    Robert
     
  19. hofner

    hofner Commodore Commodore

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    Being blind, I use a screen reader to read stuff out loud for me but It can't do anything with images.

    Could I impose on you or anybody else to type out what the script says about this scene? I am very curious about what it says.

    Robert
     
  20. Timofnine

    Timofnine Vice Admiral Moderator

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    Maybe we can help to encourage them to watch the show then? Or if they *have* already seen it, perhaps induce a rewatch? If they don’t want to watch *nor* rewatch, they can have a commentary to refer to instead. :D

    Tonight, I shall be beholding… The Man Trap