03 March 2015

Danger at the sign of the One-Horned Dog (Review: 'Star Trek' 1.5, "The Enemy Within")

Between watching the first part of this episode and watching the rest of it, the world lost Leonard Nimoy. He definitely lived long and prospered; his contribution to sci-fi in general through his role as Spock cannot be underestimated.

This watch-through will be tinged with a lot more sadness as a result.

Rest in Peace.

When watching the original series, I frequently encounter sights so ridiculous looking by modern standards that it causes me to actually burst into laughter. In this case, it's the little puppy with the horn.

He's both adorable and ridiculous. Shame he's not in Star Trek Online.

"The Enemy Within" sees a freak transporter accident split Kirk into "good" and "evil" versions - and as a result, Sulu and the rest of the away party are stranded on a planet where the temperature is rapidly plummeting.

Good and evil versions of a character are a much mined sci-fi plot and Star Trek provides another classic example of it; but with a good twist not done by most of those that have followed - they can't kill the evil version. Also, the lack of a 'darker' part in the good version slowly saps Kirk of the decisiveness a commander needs to function. Both elements remind me of Red Dwarf episodes - also, those are very clean engineering decks. We also get to see some more Shatner ham as his moodily lit bad version gets to sweat and yell a lot.

McCoy says "He's dead, Jim", one of the classic Trek lines, for the first time and Spock gets some very good stuff; acting as the 'logical' counterpoint to Kirk's very emotional side. This is also the debut of the Vulcan nerve pinch, much imitiated in playgrounds, I'd imagine.

The final confrontation between Kirks on the bridge is definitely in line with the plot; but there's some bad editing with the "evil" Kirk getting his image reversed. In a time where the "final cut" literally involved scissors, it's understandable, but still...

Something that needs particular attention is "evil" Kirk attempting to rape Janice Rand. It's a shocking scene by any standards, but what surprises me most (and it probably shouldn't do) is the way it's handled. Rand is interviewed about her attack by three male officers (including "good Kirk" and not provided with any support for what must have been a highly traumatic incident. In fact, Spock later makes a rather distasteful joke about it.


Another good episode, but docked down a point for some bad editing and some dodgy attitudes to sexual assault.


No comments: