Star Trek: Season 2, Episode 4

Mirror, Mirror (6 Oct. 1967)

TV Episode  -   -  Action | Adventure | Sci-Fi
9.2
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Ratings: 9.2/10 from 1,331 users  
Reviews: 14 user | 5 critic

A transporter accident places Capt. Kirk's landing party in an alternate universe, where the Federation is a barbarically brutal empire.

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Title: Mirror, Mirror (06 Oct 1967)

Mirror, Mirror (06 Oct 1967) on IMDb 9.2/10

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Marlena (as Barbara Luna)
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Vic Perrin ...
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John Winston ...
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Storyline

Beamed up during an ion storm, which causes a transporter malfunction, the landing party of Kirk, McCoy, Scotty and Uhura find themselves in a mirror universe aboard a parallel Enterprise run by ruthless barbarians. The ion storm also caused their malicious counterparts to beam to the real starship. Kirk and the others must find a way home before they are discovered and exposed by their parallel crew members, who use treachery, back-stabbing and seduction to get what they want. Written by fkelleghan@aol.com

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6 October 1967 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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Trivia

In the mirror universe, the male computer explains that James Kirk became Captain by murdering his predecessor Christopher Pike, a character played in previous installments by Jeffrey Hunter and Sean Kenney. This is possibly the only time in TOS where Pike is mentioned but does not appear. See more »

Goofs

In beginning scene when Kirk and the others first beam back up to the Enterprise, Kirk signals the ship to engage, then puts his communicator away and puts his hands down by his side. As they first appear in the transporter pad aboard the ship, he has his communicator still in his hand, held up to his mouth. During the original series, movement during transport was not possible. See more »

Quotes

Captain James T. Kirk: You heard my orders.
Mirror Spock: They are, of course, in contradiction to standard Empire procedure. You cannot ignore the consequences.
Captain James T. Kirk: Is that a threat?
Mirror Spock: I do not threaten, Captain. I merely state facts. I have found you to be an excellent officer. Our missions together have been both successful and profitable; however, I shall not permit your aberrations to jeopardize my position.
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Referenced in Buffy the Vampire Slayer: The Wish (1998) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A must-see for Star Trek fans
29 January 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Despite some gnawing scientific inconsistencies, "Mirror, Mirror" is one of the best of the original "Star Trek" episodes, a triumph of character examination.

A landing party of Kirk, McCoy, Scottie and Uhura is beaming back up from negotiations with the Halkans for dilithium-crystal mining rights when an ion storm opens a porthole between two parallel universes, and the landing party ends up on an "Enterprise" in the other universe -- a ship, crew and reality they barely recognize.

In this universe, Star Fleet is the military arm of an evil Empire which, as Kirk warns the parallel Halkan commissioner, "will level your planet and TAKE what we want -- that is destruction: you will die as a race." The crew of this "Enterprise" is a bloodthirsty band of pirates and evil opportunists. The writers had a marvelous opportunity to examine the negative side of the show's characters, and they didn't waste it. While Spock (sporting a very-complimentary mustache and goatee) remains mostly true to the unemotional, logical Federation Spock, Sulu proves to be a cunning plotter and schemer (and, late in the episode, a scene-stealer), while young Checkov turns out to be an impetuous risk-taker who nearly pays the ultimate price for attempting to assassinate what he believes to be a suddenly-traitorous Kirk. In short, the parallel main characters are exactly what someone familiar with "Star Trek" would expect knowing their normal personalities.

While trying to figure out how to get back to their own universe, Kirk also must avoid destroying the peace-loving Halkans, who refuse to deal with the Empire because of the power for killing and destruction that their dilithium crystals would give them. When he delays by giving the Halkans a twelve-hour ultimatum to consider their position, he is in violation of standard Empire procedure...and the Empire orders Spock to kill Kirk and assume command of the ship, in which case all other officers would move up one step in rank. Unbeknownst to anyone, the cunning Sulu plans to do away with both Kirk AND Spock, contriving to make it appear that they've killed each other when Spock set out to assassinate Kirk -- "after a fierce battle."

Kirk is faced with a further complication when he discovers a knock-out gorgeous mistress waiting for him in his cabin. Barbara Luna guest-stars as Lt. Marlena Moreau...without question, the sexiest woman ever to appear in the series. A sizzling seductress -- oozing "come-hither" sexuality one moment and with a knee-buckling fire in her eyes the next -- the clever, opportunistic and spirited Marlena has hitched her wagon to the parallel Kirk because she desires to be "the woman of a Caesar", and finds that THIS Kirk is a lot less brutal and insensitive than the one she's used to. One sees her sexual excitement stirred to a torrent when she believes that Kirk has some secret plot to reach unprecedented heights -- power is clearly an all-consuming aphrodisiac with her.

Yet, Marlena also seems to be the only one outside of Spock smart enough to be perplexed by Kirk's behavior; stunned by his compassion, she tells him in wonder, "You're a stranger." And she's apparently not displeased by this, either, because she then asks him, "Am I your woman?", clearly not caring whether he's the Kirk she knows or not because she wants this man. Unbeknownst to Kirk, she uses a secret device known as the Tantalus Field -- a spying device plundered by the parallel Kirk during one of his previous missions -- to monitor this "stranger" Kirk's actions, and will soon come to realize that she was more right than she knew.

Meanwhile, Kirk and Scottie find a way to create an artificial field wherein they can all transport back to their own universe...but clandestine maneuvering is next to impossible in this paranoid environment. And the clock is ticking -- within no time, the field density between the two universes will close, and the landing party will be stuck forever in this brutal new life.

Among the inconsistencies is the notion that none of these ultra-suspicious and treacherous Empire crewmen seem to realize that the landing-party personnel have undergone serious personality changes. In a Nazi-like police state, even the most-minor of behavioral changes is generally viewed as proof that the person is involved in traitorous activities. No explanation is offered as to why or how the parallel, Empire landing party would be transported back to their home at the same time as "the good guys" would return themselves to the benevolent Federation. And, although his parallel character has some surprising self-interest to him, a logical, emotionless Spock would never agree that "Terror must be maintained" as this Spock does. On the theatrical front, Shatner lives up to some of his hammiest moments as the evil Kirk shouting after a departing Spock on the real "Enterprise." And the viewer has to force him- or herself to ignore the blatant use of stunt doubles in one fight sequence -- characters who, but for their uniforms, look nothing at all like Kirk, Spock or Scottie.

Still, these are easy notions to put aside, because "Mirror, Mirror" is one of "Star Trek"'s best examples of the provocative "what-if" nature of science fiction (second only to "City on the Edge of Forever.") In its character examinations, it's also without peer in the show's history. One of the highlights is watching Uhura, needing to create a diversion on the bridge, tap into her own suppressed sexuality to lure Sulu's eyes from his security board. It's the only chance in the entire series for Uhura to play "hot"...and she's scorching. One has to assume that the parallel Uhura is exactly this kind of woman, because no one on the Empire "Enterprise" bridge -- least of all the happy beneficiary, Sulu -- is the least bit surprised at the sight of Uhura the seductress. All in all, a highly-worthwhile viewing experience.


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