The 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
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.
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!
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.