Star Trek S1E05 – The Enemy Within

Star_Trek_TOS_logo.svgThe early part of Star Trek has some really good episodes. This is another one of those episodes that people think of when they imagine classic Trek. And in this one, we get to experience William Shatner’s acting range. Warning: there are spoilers!

Season 1, Episode 5: The Enemy Within

Original Air Date: October 6, 1966

Stardate 1672.1

Planet: Alpha 177

Featured Alien: Alien dog

Main Cast: Kirk, Spock, McCoy, Scott, Sulu, Rand

Main Guest Characters: No one notable

Things I Noticed

Right at the beginning, we notice how cheap the production is. The alien dog looks like a dog in a costume. Honestly, you can easily tell it’s a dog.

In the transporter room, Scotty uses a sensor that looks like cheap plastic. More cheapness.

There was a continuity error, as well. When Kirk beamed up (both good and evil Kirk), his uniform insignia was missing. But soon after, it was back. How’d they not notice that?

And in sick bay, the plastic 20th century spray bottles are back!

On to the crew quarters, they have interesting decor. They’re so industrial-looking. Also, Rand’s mirror is so foggy or scuffed up so much, you can’t really see a reflection very well.

Also, every time I see Rand, I wonder how long it takes her to do her hair like that. It seems so elaborate.

And in Kirk’s quarters, I noticed that he has makeup. Why?

While Sulu and the others are trapped on the surface of the planet with freezing temperatures, they try to fix the transporter on the Enterprise. Why not just send a shuttlecraft? Of course, they hadn’t been designed for the show yet.

What really surprised me is how deserted Engineering is. Doesn’t anyone work there?

When good and evil Kirk fight each other, you can see that Shatner’s double is taller than him.

This is the first episode that McCoy uses the exact phrase, “He’s dead, Jim.”

In the scene on the bridge later in the episode, the scratches switched cheeks on evil Kirk. I guess they just mirrored the film.

Sulu and the others were left on the planet at nearly -120 degrees. How could they survive? They were wrapped in thin blankets.

My Impressions

I really enjoyed this episode. This is definitely classic Trek. It’s one of those episodes I looked forward to watching. As this centres on Kirk, we get to see a lot of his acting. As good Kirk, he’s quite normal. He doesn’t do any over the top acting at all. I was impressed. But as evil Kirk, he is overly dramatic. It’s so goofy-looking.

Kirk’s acting is definitely the highlight of this episode. Both good and bad. All the other characters are as I would expect them. Their personalities are set by this time, and it looks like they’ve settled into their roles.

Overall, I think this is one of the better episodes. Good stuff!

Verdict

★★★★1/2

Your Voice

What did you think of this episode? Do you agree that it’s one of Star Trek‘s stronger episodes? What did you think of Shatner’s acting? Let me know in the comments below.

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13 thoughts on “Star Trek S1E05 – The Enemy Within”

    1. Yeah, the first season has similar outdoor sets as TOS with fake rocks and a sky that makes it look like they’re filming in a planetarium with the sky projected on the dome. It really gives me that feeling.

          1. By the time the Borg come along the many of the episodes are about internal conflict, emotional pain, coping with trauma and moral duty: the episode in which an adolescent Borg individuates after being brought onto the ship for medical treatment is brilliant. I wish more Trek films had come out of that series.

            1. I really liked that episode. Very good one. I’m quite excited to get to The Next Generation. I need to watch The Original Series more quickly. I think I’ll try a couple episodes today.

            2. That will be interesting to see. My partner and I are on a Next Generation binge. I’ve not seen most of these episodes.

              What’s striking about it is that by the middle of the fourth season the story lines of far more complex, the characters are more richly developed and the culture of the enterprise which is a small nation in space is
              more diverse.

            3. TNG really does hit its stride around then. It tends to maintain that high quality through the rest of the seasons, though there are some unusual episodes, too. But if I were to choose a Star Trek series to watch for the rest of my life, it would be TNG with DS9 a close second. It’s just that TNG is far more positive, and has a sense of exploration that DS9 doesn’t. And I love the characters.

            4. Watched a fascinating episode in which Beverly Crusher has an affair with an ambassador. It turns out that the Ambassador is really a parasite that lives in a ‘host’ body to the mutual benefit of both. Crusher discovers this after the host is lethally injured. The parasite temporarily uses Rykers body and Crusher’s dilemma is whether she can love the Ambassador in the body of a man she treats as a sibling.

              And she can.

              Eventually a new host arrives and ta-da! It’s female.

              Now Crusher must ask herself profound questions about love and whether love for a ‘person’ transcends that persons gender.

              A fascinating moment in national debate about gender identity and same sex love.

            5. Ah, yes. The first appearance of the Trill, although the host species ended up changing after that episode.

              It’s a very interesting topic to cover, considering when it originally aired around 25 years ago.

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