Star Trek – The Enemy Within

by Alan Rapp on June 14, 2014

in Television Reviews 

  • Title: Star Trek – The Enemy Within
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Star Trek - The Enemy Within

In the first of what would be several transporter accident episodes (a staple of every Star Trek series) a transport accident creates a duplicate Kirk (William Shatner), a fact which goes unnoticed for most of the episode. When the more savage captain attacks Yeoman Rand (Grace Lee Whitney) suspicion falls on Kirk who pleads innocence. Given the clues, including an evil duplicate alien dog from the planet below and a pair of Kirks strolling around the ship at the same time, it takes the Enterprise crew quite a while to come to terms with what exactly is happening aboard the ship. Kirk’s decision to hide the double’s existence from the crew (informing them that the man is simply an impostor) is problematic as well, although the episode will find away to explain some of the captain’s decision making when the truth about the doppelganger is revealed.

With the transporter trouble the the Away Team, which includes Sulu (George Takei), is stranded on the increasingly inhospitable surface of the planet until Scotty (James Doohan) can fix the problem (as the ship certainly doesn’t need evil doppelgangers of more crew members causing havoc). Discoving a connection between good Kirk and bad Kirk, Spock (Leonard Nimoy) surmises that the second Kirk isn’t so much a double as the unbridled Id of the Captain and his more aggressive nature without which his Kirk becomes less authoritative and increasingly unable to make decisions and commands.

Even in Gene Roddenberry‘s Utopian future, “The Enemy Within” demonstrates that mankind continues to carry and fight its darker nature (another them which would crop up over various Star Trek series in the years to come). Eventually Kirk agrees to allow Scotty to recombine his two halves leaving the crew with a single driven but rational captain and allowing the USS Enterprise to continue its search for strange new worlds.

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