Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Star Trek TOS S1 Ep5: The Enemy Within

"How would Spock render a human unconscious?  ... I said to Leo Penn, ...I think we should forget about the pistol whipping, and try something different....  Spock is a graduate of the Vulcan Institute of Technology, where he took a number of courses in human anatomy.  Now, the Vulcans have an energy that comes off of their fingertips, which if properly applied to the appropriate pressure points of the human anatomy will render any human unconscious. ... we decided to demonstrate the technique ... and HE really sold it."

-Leonard Nimoy on the creation of the Vulcan Neck Pinch and selling the idea with William Shatner to director Leo Penn, Star Trek Memories, p.132- 

The always entertaining William Shatner unleashing the actor within. A wonderful image that captures the enthusiastic performance by Shatner in this still fascinating installment.

"I remember very vividly the day we came up with the Vulcan nerve-pinch.  It was a Jeckyll-and-Hyde type of story.  ... the good Kirk is about to shoot the evil Kirk, it was written that Spock slips up behind the evil Kirk and knocks him out with the butt of his phaser.  And I rebelled against that - I said that's a hangover from westerns.  In the 22nd century, you don't have to slip up behind people - Vulcans don't have to slip up behind people and hit them over the head with butts of guns.  We should find some other way of doing this.  And the director, Leo Penn, said, 'What would you suggest?'  And I said, 'Well, I happen to know that Vulcans have this power to render people unconscious  through their knowledge of the human anatomy plus a particular Vulcan vibration.  And this is the way it's done.'  I told Bill (Shatner) what I planned to do, and Bill understood immediately, and I reached up behind him and did that - and Bill just kind of froze up and went unconscious.  And that's the way that was born.  Roddenberry saw it the next day in the dailies, and loved it.  He started including it in future scripts.  So that's the way that things were developing.  Each day was a very creative day for that reason.  Bill was finding his things, De Kelley was finding his things, I was finding mine, and it was a very fertile time.  There were a lot of good things happening." -Leonard Nimoy on the Vulcan Neck-pinch, The World Of Trek, David Gerrold [p.47]-

Captain's Log Stardate 1672.1: Specimen Gathering Mission on Planet Alpha 177.
"I will love him and squeeze him and call him George. Can I please Captain?"
More terrific sets. More terrific colors. Plus a costumed horndog. In the transporter room things are problematic for Chief Engineer Montgomery "Scotty" Scott regarding the transporting equipment. A geological technician barely made it home. Scotty is suspicious. Captain James T. Kirk is ready to return from the planet below. As Scotty locks on to Kirk he experiences similar problems bringing the Captain home. Upon his arrival on the Enterprise, Kirk appears a little light-headed as a result of the transport, but okay. As Kirk exits the transporter room with Scotty, the room empties. Moments later, the transporter room activates once again this time materializing a kind of Bizarro version of Kirk. It would seem Kirk has been split into two separate beings- an almost Freudian-like schism of the Id, Ego and Superego into two distinct people. There is both an indecisive, gentle Kirk versus an aggressive, highly motivated version of himself. This is good, old-fashioned science fiction to be sure and the kind of good time Star Trek: The Original Series provided in nearly every episode. Most series could only hope for the kind of dud efforts Star Trek: TOS provided. Acclaimed writer Richard Matheson definitely plays it fast, loose and fun with the possibilities on this one as it should be. Like just about everything with Star Trek, this kind of material was clearly ahead of its time for television.

Kirk's ambitious alter ego is on the loose. Gentle Kirk returns to his quarters to lay down. Aggressive Kirk is angry requesting brandy from Dr. Leonard "Bones" McCoy. As he drinks and makes his way down the corridor what better opportunity for Star Trek's Captain Kirk to womanize than an unbalanced, angry Kirk. He passes by the quarters of Yeoman Janice Rand. Baby! The confusion begins with Star Trek: TOS, Season One, Episode 5, The Enemy Within. Are two William Shatners really better than one?
One of the darker moments on television in 1965.
Spock pays a visit to the good and kindly Kirk following Bones' request for Spock to check on him. Of course, they have the wrong Kirk. Spock informs him he was told he was acting like a "wild man." Kirk and Spock chalk it up to one of Bones' little put-ons.

Meanwhile, in the transporter room, Scotty has a sweet dog in a fluffy costume in one arm and a similar dog in appearance that is more vicious and more aggressively "animal" in a cage. It really had me smiling to see those dogs in their little costumes again. Scotty indicates shortly after receiving the first dog through the transporter they received a duplicate, ferocious, "opposite" dog. All parties are on hold for further transportation including Sulu who must remain on the planet below. The pieces are coming together.

Upon arrival to her quarters, Rand finds "Jim" in her room and she's a might uncomfortable given Kirk's uncharacteristic behavior. While his advances toward her might normally be welcomed all is not right with her dear Captain and she knows it. He essentially mauls her in a near rape sequence. It's a fairly intense, disturbing event for 1960s television. I know I was uncomfortable watching it myself. She scratches his face to get away. The door opens and Rand pleads for Spock's help. A man runs for assistance, but is knocked out by this dark, unconscionable version of Kirk.

Spock and Kirk-lite attempt to make sense of what is going on. So the triumvirate, Kirk, Spock and Bones, visit Rand in sick bay. She indicates she scratched Kirk's face and the kind and gentle Kirk clearly has none. She's understandably a bit of a wreck following the incident, which was tantamount to a rape. The crewman who was knocked out confirms it was definitely Kirk who attacked him. Spock notes logically that there is an "impostor" aboard the Enterprise.
Scotty posits that perhaps the magnetic ore brought back aboard by the geological technician may have caused the transporter to go ka-phlooey, well in more technical terms that is. With the inability to take another transporter risk the four men on the planet below must remain there including Lt. Hikaru Sulu. Unfortunately, the planetary temps dip below 120 below zero at night [you'll recall The Sci-Fi Fanatic's own The Great Ice Planet Adventure, but honest I had no idea as Kirk & Bones were clearly the principals in harm's way]. Kirk and Spock know evil or "wild man" Kirk must be captured, not killed, so they can solve this transporter splicing issue.

Cuddly Kirk is clearly in need of his testosterone-driven alter ego and vice versa. They must become one again and soon.
Raging or constipated?
Soft Kirk places the crew on alert for the impostor. Phasers must be set for stun. It's interesting to see Shatner take the angry Kirk to almost angry new levels. Being the carnal part of Kirk's being he's obviously not the brightest bulb on the ship to be sure. Still, he is smart enough to cover the scratches on his face with make-up to create deception. This is definitely both one of Shatner's finest moments and arguably cringe-worthy. It's amazing how he could be both terrific and sometimes preposterous all at once, but the man is brilliant as Kirk.

On the planet below, it's getting colder than the proverbial witch's tit [an expression I had to explain to my son for the first time], at 20 below zero, for Sulu and company. Granted, there doesn't appear to be any frosty breath just a lot of quivering. Kirk and Spock are informed the impostor has attacked another crew member and has taken the man's phaser. Spock plans a game of cat and mouse by making an effort to out guess, out maneuver and generally out think the evil, less intelligent Kirk. Spock and Kirk go to the engineering room. I'm not sure why vicious Kirk would go there, but he's there. Spock suggests they call for back up. Kirk indicates he needs to toughen up and act like the captain. Kirk and Kirk come face to face. "You can't hurt me, you can't kill me. I'm part of you. You need me. I need you." As evil Kirk is clearly ready to shoot good and kind Kirk, Spock comes up behind him and gives him the old Vulcan neck pinch. That's never good. You're no match for the neck pinch. You can pack it up and call it if you get wacked by Spock.
Could we have applied that neck pinch a little sooner? That was a close one Spock.
Spock is informed by Kirk, while in sick bay with his alter ego, that he is rapidly losing the power of decision. This represents the best of Star Trek's scriptwriting. These are the moments we love.

Spock indicates his insensitivity is the result of being "the way I am." The irony, of course, is that Kirk isn't exactly himself. Like Spock, Kirk is desperate to become who he really is. His life depends on it. It's a beautiful illustration of who we all are and what makes us complete. These elements of our unique selves makes us whole and who we are. There is a good deal of philosophy in play within The Enemy Within concerning matters of existence and the question of what makes us innately who and what we are.
It's getting cold on that planet below as Sulu and friends have taken cover requesting "coffee" or "rice wine." Scotty now has his hands full attempting to repair that transporter, which by his estimation will take one week to fix. That's not good news for Sulu. He gets wise and creative and uses his phaser to heat some rocks for warmth to stay alive. "Any possibility of getting us back aboard before the skiing season opens down here." Spock clinically provides survival procedures to Sulu.

In sick bay, evil Kirk is dying. Gentle Kirk holds evil Kirk's hand and brings him back into focus for a time. This is kind of funny, but deliciously classic Kirk.

An authentic horndog!
The timely whistle of bridge communications is always there to break us from some of the greatest scripting moments. It's almost like the period on a great sentence. Bones indicates gentle Kirk has all of the intelligence and does not fear like his alter ego. Spock summons Kirk to the transporter room. They have a plan. They want to test it on the horndogs first. The two spaniels, er, I mean intriguing, alien, space creatures, are placed on the transporter. They disappear and the attempt to fuse the two creatures as one begins.

Funny enough, when the animal returns we learn it is a male because we get the famous Bones determination "He's dead Jim." I never knew it was over a dog that I would first hear those fateful words, but the infamous catchphrase is indeed over a dead horndog. Well, kind Kirk is less than pleased to hear the news and so is the landing party who are in dire straits and nearing critical condition.

Love those violins. Ah the struggle for survival. Sulu reports in and it is 70 below and somehow he is still alive. Yeah, I'd say that's a minor miracle considering he has nothing covering his face to protect himself from the blistering cold.
A struggle ensues. Kirk versus Kirk. Evil Kirk puts on a green captain shirt. He returns to the bridge. He tells his crew he plans to leave orbit. Moments later, Bones arrives with the real Kirk also in green. Everyone is confused and uncertain who is who. Both men have scratches as the impostor did his best to throw off his pursuers and the audience. The aggressive, feral Kirk is nearly reactive like a cornered, caged animal. "Can half a man live?" says the weakened Kirk. At this point I really considered how these men were very much integral to the real Kirk. These versions of Kirk truly represented the man and I enjoyed what Matheson was attempting in his sole stint at writing for Star Trek: TOS. We were first led to believe our full support was intended for the backing of the gentle Kirk, while we rallied against the evil Kirk. As the show plays out, we realize the creators had us rooting against our dear captain, the key protagonist to our entry. In the end, we realize, both men are essential to the existence of Kirk and who he is. One Kirk cannot live without the other. Cheering for one over the other was like cheering against ourselves. It was like scorning a part of who we are that is absolutely essential to what makes us decisive or strong. These elements are essential to our survival and this installment allows us to consider such clever concepts within an entertaining construct. It is a sharp commentary on human behavior.

They always say you should love yourself first.
It all gives new meaning to the idea of male bonding to be sure. Spock implements the plan and Kirk merges with Kirk returning whole. "Get those men aboard fast!" Kirk is back! How could we want it any other way? This is indeed one of the finest examples within Star Trek for adherence to the Chinese philosophy of Yin Yang and the need for balance. What better illustration than the consequences resulting from an imbalanced James T. Kirk? Does it get any better? Oddly, without realizing it, but for a time, Matheson had us working against our very nature rooting against a part of what we love about Captain James T. Kirk. Author David Gerrold and Robert J. Sawyer commented as editors of Boarding The Enterprise quite succinctly regarding what would become a strong tradition of sf writing on ST:TOS. "Star Trek's episodes were as individualistic as the men and women who authored them, and many of the best were by people who had already established serious reputations in the world of print science fiction." This statement is an important fact in the development of a series that would be heralded as classic and the singular science fiction influence on film and television for years to come. Author Richard Matheson is a perfect example of this sentiment and his tale, The Enemy Within, is another exceptionally well-penned ST:TOS chapter for the ages.
The Enemy Within: B
Writer: Richard Matheson
Director: Leo Penn
Dead Crewman: 0
Dead Crewman To Date: 8
Babe Alert: 0
Babe Alert Total To Date: 5

Writer Footnote: Richard Matheson [1926-present]. Author and writer best known for some wonderful works including I Am Legend, Stir Of Echoes, What Dreams May Come and Bid Time Return. I Am Legend was adapted three times to film for The Last Man On Earth [1964], the Charlton Heston classic The Omega Man [1971], and the Will Smith-helmed, I Am Legend [2007]. What Dreams May Come was beautifully directed by Vincent Ward and starred Robin Williams, Cuba Gooding Jr. and Annabella Sciorra. Somewhere In Time [1980] [originally Bid Time Return] starred the late Christopher Reeve and Jane Seymour. The underrated Stir Of Echoes [1999] starred Kevin Bacon. All of Matheson's film adaptations have been artistically successful on the whole. His story Duel was also adapted by Stephen Spielberg, his first big film, starring Dennis Weaver. Matheson also penned 13 episodes of The Twilight Zone and The Martian Chronicles [1980] mini-series, which also starred Barry Morse [Space:1999]. So Matheson's impressive resume adds one more unique moment in time, the scripting of Star Trek: The Original Series, Season One, Episode 5, The Enemy Within.

Director footnote: Leo Penn [1921-1998]. "That particular Star Trek [episode I did] with, frankly, all the bullshit that surrounds it, was personal. There was a personal tug-of-war that was---is---intriguing stuff" (Starlog Magazine #179, p.76). The father of Sean, Chris and Michael Penn. He also directed Lost In Space, Season One, Episode 4, There Were Giants In The Earth. A prolific television director and an actor originally blacklisted by the House Un-American Activities Committee.


Will said...

Awesome! I love, love, love, love this episode. Like any good science fiction tale (and Star Trek in particular), it brings up good questions about the human condition and what parts of our humanity make us good people and bad people and how a mixture of them makes us truly human (we all have good and bad moments).

When I've re-evaluated both TOS and TNG over the years, both amazing revolutionary shows for science-fiction, they both, obviously, appear dated for different reasons. But while TNG seemed to be a sort of 'bible' for all modern day science fiction to come, TOS episodes still holds an effective point of view on humanity that doesn't seem to age, much like the classic novels or films of yesteryear. 'The Enemy Within' might 'look' dated but it's incredible how effective, plot wise, it still is. Utterly watchable (the same can't be said for a lot of TNG episodes).

Ironically, I was watching the DS9 episode 'For the Uniform' where Sisko has to decide to play it 'nice' or become a little bit like his nemesis Michael Eddington to level the field. . .using Hugo's Les Miserable as inspiration. Sisko decides 'I'm going to be the bad guy' and he actually does something that, to some, would be considered 'evil'. The point came across that, within us, lies a villain (or an evil) and a hero and the two together can provide a positive outcome, if necessary.

Obviously 'The Enemy Within' is a bit more blatant in it's plot but clearly the theme continues from generation to generation!

Thanks for the review! It perked up my day at work!!!!

SFF said...

Hey Will,
Thanks for writing. I really appreciate your thoughts.

It's funny. I just finished reading your insurrection Review last night and I was so gassed at that point I simply didn't have it in me to write, but it was a very thoughtful review. I also agree with you on the entertainment factor. I always liked that particular film myself.

Anyway, as far as TOS goes, I think you hit on something that I genuinely believe as well and that is that TOS is the most consistently thoughtful, entertaining an-d well-executed of the ST franchises IMO. It happens to be the shortest, but above all it's simply the best.

The Enemy Within may be blatant as you say, but it's a lot more complex than we give it credit for because it is very much in your face. There were so many great ideas about humanity in TOS and in TNG as well, but TOS executes the best and for my money still has the most amazing ensemble on screen.

I loved your point about TOS being like a classic science fiction novel. Perhaps it's because it is so nostalgic in vibe like say The Illustrated Man or The Time Machine or perhaps some books you were thinking of in particular. But, TOS still holds up and, for me, looks amazing when held up to so many CGI-driven programs today. So I do differ with you there slightly. I don't look at them as dated and maybe it's because I'm dated I suppose. :)

But when I look at some older science fiction programming I think I can discern the poor from the excellent and I think Star Trek TOS and Space:1999 hold up better than most. Buck Rogers is a good example of looking more dated, but I suppose it is debatable.

Anyway, loved your inspiring thoughts that got me thinking more about the episode and the complex elements of the human condition posed by Matheson as you mentioned. They are most welcomed. Thanks again Will.

Matthew Bradley said...

As a longtime Matheson fan, I appreciate your giving him his due in this fun and perceptive analysis of his sole TREK outing. It's a shame the stars---if you'll pardon the pun---were not in alignment for him to do further episodes. He has said that he suggested other ideas Roddenberry evidently didn't go for, and that he (Matheson) was dissatisfied with the uncredited rewrites to his script, adding the B story of the men trapped on the planet's surface. But his contribution seems to have remained a favorite over the years. For further information, see my book RICHARD MATHESON ON SCREEN (http://www.mcfarlandpub.com/book-2.php?id=978-0-7864-4216-4), tentatively due out in early October.

John Kenneth Muir said...

Sci-Fi Fanatic: I too love this episode. And your great selection of photographs gets at a truth not often discussed: just look at how atmospheric this episode is, especially in comparison to later seasons (and later Treks). Look at the lighting in the briefing room, in the photo with Spock and Kirk.

I have always adored the expressive, atmospheric lighting and tone of the early, first season Star Trek episodes. There's something visually dark and menacing about this handful of programs that didn't get carried over into later episodes.

And here, the subject matter -- which kinda includes attempted rape -- goes hand in hand with those grim visuals.

As usual, a superb piece from one of the greatest sci-fi bloggers in the known universe...


SFF said...

Matthew. Thanks for stopping. I will indeed check out the book. Matheson has a tremendous cv. What Dreams May Come still remains a favorite along with I Am Legend.

I really appreciate the additional insights regarding Matheson's involvement with ST:TOS. As John Muir can attest from many of his writings on Space:1999 and other topics, it's amazing to me how many great writers get re-written. It's astounding, but definitely par for the course in that business. Anywa, very interesting. Matheson deserved better and a few additional stories from the man would have been great to see materialize.

John. Man, thank you. HA! I laughed so hard. "One of the greatest sci-fi bloggers in the known universe"! WOW! That is heavy praise. That's quote material if I ever saw it ;) ha still laughing.

But, great point about the images from the episodes earlier in Season One. You're right. They are indeed darker. That spotlight image of Kirk's face made me immediately think of the recent meme we circulated and almost mentioned it as far as the coloring or at least the lighting of it. It's a terrific point.

Leo Penn clearly did a nice job with his shoot on the episode and I suppose you have to really give him credit on the entry's look to be sure.

The Enemy Within is menacing as you said and that scene between Kirk and Rand as he physically violates her space and forces himself upon her is just as compelling today.

Once again, as Will got me thinking earlier, ST:TOS is a truly powerful series entry by entry. There is so much on offer within its alotted time. There's a reason this show still survives today. It was ahead of its time. It's a miracle it got off the ground back in the day. It is vibrant and abundant with ideas and the superior quality of the craft of all those involved. It's something special.

Thanks so much John!

"...one of the greatest science fiction bloggers in the known universe" You're killing me!

le0pard13 said...

This is one great examination of one of the best episodes of ST:TOS season 1, SFF. And it doesn't surprise me that it was penned by the great Richard Matheson. I don't think that man is capable of writing anything close to boring. And it does have a dark power about it (plus, Shatner proved how effective a villain he could really be in this episode). I think it's also worth noting your discovery of the original of that famed (and oft-repeated) Dr. McCoy expression. Who he pronounced should be the conclusive trivia question for real fans of this series!

I must commend you for a couple special details in this post, my friend. Your razor wit for those image captions really had me cracking up when reading the piece. As well, your footnote spotlighting director Leo Penn (I never knew he was Sean, Chris, and Michael's father) and Richard Matheson was an especially great touch, here. Last October, I wrote about one of Matheson's masterworks, I Am Legend. I feel close to that novel and it was wonderful the detail you devoted to it, and the author.

As I've come expect, another of your fine ruminations on this outstanding science-fiction television series. Thanks for this, SFF.

SFF said...


Thank you for the kind words my friend.

I should qualify my horndog remarks by the way. As a teenage we often would say to one another, "Wow, she's a babe," or "she is sweet." And of course we would go back and forth about babes until one of us would say to each other, "you are such a horndog!" Well, I never realized it was an actual creature until seeing the little guy in The Enemy Within. So there's the backdrop to horndog.

Thanks again for your comments. I try to note the details without losing sight of the big picture, but honestly, "He's dead Jim" is the first time Bones has actually said those words and it was on a dog- a horndog!

I try not to get too silly with the captions but sometimes I just can't resist and my humor takes off. Thanks again my friend

Fritz "Doc" Freakenstein said...

Thank you, Sci-Fi Fanatic, for continuing your methodical, insightful and entertaining reviews of each episode of the first and best Star Trek series! I enjoy your episode recaps, replete with your insights and commentaries, because it makes me reevaluate these classic programs in my own mind's eye. I've watched every one of these 79 episodes more times than I can recall; usually one or twice per decade starting once in the 60's, twice or thrice in the 70's and at least one more time in the 80's, 90's and beyond. I've never thought of myself as a Trekie or Trekker, but I've been told by more than a few people that I'm living in denial.

I'll start right off by saying that The Enemy Within has never been one of my favorite episodes. As with most of the original Trek episodes that I don't like, it is the basic premise that bothers me. The idea that the transporter could divide a human or a "horndog" (this describes the 'evi'l Kirk as well, does it not?), into two separate, duplicate material bodies, replete with separate "good" and "evil" personalities is just poor science fiction. Yes, the transporter itself is fuzzy sf at best, but at least if used properly - following the matter transfer principle rule - than we can accept that as science fiction. What I can't accept is that you can make two bodies from the rematerialized matter of one body. Does this one flaw in the story ruin the entire episode? No. But combined with some of the dramatic flaws in the episode itself, these keep The Enemy Within from being one of the better ones. I won't rant on William Shatner, because as classic Trek fans... we all love Bill as Kirk. This is not one of Bill's finer Trek moments, as he really goes over the top in several scenes as the "evil" Kirk. The limited budget of Star Trek often got in the way of the dramatic scenes in Trek and unfortunately it strikes again here. I'm sure when Matheson wrote the alien creature into his script, which he cleverly uses to demonstrate the serious and deadly dilemma that Kirkl is truly in, he didn't envision the silly looking dog-in-a-costume that was used to visualize it. The "horndog" really takes away from the dramatic impact of the story. Finally, The Enemy Within is basically a one-act moral play, without the depth of many of the better episodes of Star Trek. A similar theme is used in the second season episode Mirror, Mirror, which I think explores the darker side of humanity in a much more complex fashion.

Please do keep up the great recap reviews of Star Trek The Original series, Sci-Fi Fanatic! And don't stop adding the occasional funny photo caption, because sometimes we fans can take ourselves a little too seriously and these type of things help to remind us of that.

On a side note: I wanted to thank you for recently becoming a follower of my blog, Guardians of the Genre. I'll do my best to post as many sci-fi reviews as possible to make if worth your while. This is Freak... out.

SFF said...

My pleasure Doc. I always look forward to your commentaries right here. I welcome them [better late than never]. They are a pleasure to read.

First, I know what you mean. It feels like a rite of passage each decade to mark our lives by revisiting Star Trek. The show is infinitely rewatchable and classic. Not simply because of nostalgia, but because it's a fascinating series filled with nuance and details and colors. It's wonderful.

Second, as a result of our love for it, I think there is a little trekkie in all of us. But, like you, I do not feel as though I'm a trekkie in any way. I think to qualify you must attend Trek conventions, not just one, but many and almost always perhaps, but otherwise I certainly don't have the grasp or depth of knowledge concerning the series and its cast as some fans. I simply love it on its creative merits and narrative and ideas probably like you. Star Trek- the original, quite simply, is a beautiful thing.

Third, you are hysterical, Kirk is indeed a certified horndog. It's funny you mention The Enemy Within is not your favorite when it is a favorite of others. That speaks volumes to the qualities of each episode, because while each episode is great in so many ways, it definitely appeals to someone for some reason. Each episode can do that.

I completely understand your reasoning behind the episode as "poor science fiction." It certainly lacks in the science department, but I do love it for its fiction and its sense of embracing the impossible and having fun with it. For me, it's good, old-fashioned science fiction which is why I accepted Matheson's premise and story openly. But I do understand your reasoning to be sure.

I agree and make note that Shatner is over the top, but again I embrace the preposterous nature of his performance. I love it.

Doc, it's funny we're not far apart on our thinking on this one at all, but appreciate it differently. This is indeed a simple, straightforward tale and certainly lacks the complexity of some of Star Trek's best. I think the episode allows the imagination to ponder certain aspects of the story that otherwise play it out as not very reflective. I like the human nature issues the episode requires for us to dig deeper for, but it's not obvious and requires more effort on our part ro look for it if we wish. But it's funny, ironically, you and I very much of the same mind, but we are split on our take of the entry. Fascinating!

Glad you like the humor. I always wonder if I shouldd go there, because I like to take Star Trek seriously, but sometimes the photos scream for fun.

My pleasure to add you to the blogroll Doc. You guys offer another flavor to the science fiction and horror genre. You guys have alot of fun over there and it comes across. I say keep up the fantastic work!

So long super Freak my friend.

SFF said...

Oh, by the way Doc, silly or not, I do love that horndog! I wouldn't change a thing there.

Plus, it wasn't CGI, and although that wasn't available at the time, I'm pleased they had the creative will to place a dog in a furry horndog suit! Peace out.

Matthew Bradley said...

Let's not forget this episode's other "famous first" (in addition to "He's dead, Jim"), as it marked the debut of the Vulcan neck pinch. That, however, cannot be attributed to Matheson, for in his script I believe it stated that Spock knocked the evil Kirk out with the butt of his phaser. But Nimoy thought that was a little too unsophisticated for our Vulcan friend, and invented the nerve pinch just for the occasion. At least that's how he tells it...

SFF said...

Thank you Matthew for that great insight into TOS behind the scenes. Very interesting, could Mattheson be attributed with "He's dead Jim." ?

I will makenote of one correction. I believe this is the second installment noting the Vulcan neck pinch at least numerically by episode order right? It appears Spock pulled the Vulcan neck pinch on his deranged shipmate Sulu in The Naked Time, Episode 4, [see image].

I would note that as the first implementation of the Vulcan neck pinch unless I missed one earlier.

Cheers Matt for the extra information on this stellar episode. Thank you.

Matthew Bradley said...

Since the episodes were not always shown in the order they were produced, it's quite possible that "The Enemy Within" was shot before "The Naked Time," but I'm not in a position to ascertain that. I do know that Nimoy related the anecdote in his introduction to the Sci-Fi Channel Special Edition of "The Enemy Within" some years ago, and attributed it to that episode. As for "He's dead, Jim," the equivalent line is actually spoken by Spock in the published version of the script (included in MATHESON UNCOLLECTED: VOLUME ONE). When a disbelieving Kirk says, "It's not dead," Spock replies, "Yes, Captain, it is. Dead." So poor Matheson is 0 for 2 when it comes to introducing classic TREK elements, but it's still a great episode.

SFF said...


It's a great point. If any series was shown out of order or filmed at different times, etc... it was Star Trek:TOS.

So, I'm definitely basing my chronology on my DVD collection. I'll be the first to admit that I am far from a Star Trek expert.

While I love the series, I will not always have the facts on the background or other important anecdotal information so I welcome your input.

You will no doubt have some valuable information to offer based on your comments.

HA! Poor Matheson is right. I suspect there was some considerable tinkering with the man's writing, but as you said, still a classic.

Thanks again Matt and please continue to offer information like this. I'll be very interested as I'm sure others will too.