Star Trek: Season 1, Episode 5

The Enemy Within (6 Oct. 1966)

TV Episode  -   -  Action | Adventure | Sci-Fi
7.8
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Ratings: 7.8/10 from 1,240 users  
Reviews: 14 user | 10 critic

A transporter malfunction splits Captain Kirk into two halves: one meek and indecisive, the other violent and ill tempered. The remaining crew members stranded on the planet cannot be beamed up to the ship until a the problem is fixed.

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Title: The Enemy Within (06 Oct 1966)

The Enemy Within (06 Oct 1966) on IMDb 7.8/10

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Storyline

While beaming back aboard the Enterprise, a transporter malfunction results in two vastly different Captain Kirks being beamed aboard. His personality has in effect been split into two. One Captain Kirk is weak and indecisive, fearful of making any kind of decision; the other is a mean-spirited and violent man who likes to swill brandy and force himself on female crew members. Meanwhile, as Scotty struggles to repair the transporter, the landing party is stuck on the planet below with temperatures falling rapidly. Written by garykmcd

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6 October 1966 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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Trivia

The only Star Trek program written by Richard Matheson, a Twilight Zone (1959) legend who wrote a previous William Shatner vehicle, Twilight Zone: Nightmare at 20,000 Feet (1963). See more »

Goofs

Evil Kirk's phaser changes between cuts in the shoot-out in Engineering. See more »

Quotes

Lt. Cmdr. Leonard 'Bones' McCoy, M.D.: He's dead, Jim.
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Referenced in Breaking In: White on White on White (2011) See more »

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User Reviews

Psychological "thriller"
29 May 2009 | by (The San Francisco Bay Area) – See all my reviews

This episode explores the "duality" of man. The ying-yang of how and what drives and keeps a man sane. Shatner is challenged as an actor to give us two extremes of one character; a bipolar portrayal, so to speak. The audience witnesses the theory of what drives a man, and that which stables his more aggressive tendencies.

Is the premise true? A single Star Trek episode certainly cannot answer nor adequately extrapolate in a single dramatization, but it is an interesting character study from a purely psychological point of view. While other TV shows were concerned about what dad would do when he got home, Star Trek was examining deep human issues on all levels emotional and scientific levels (or as could be expected by a dramatization of science fiction).

Spock sums up the episode's and author's thrust near the end. And Kirk makes the final observation after being thrust into a kind of psychological rehabilitation courtesy Scotty's "finicky piece of machinery", remarking on a man's self observance. The idea here is to view ones' various personality traits, reign them in, then expunge them to reconfigure the subject back to psychological norms.

Not an episode that comments on any real deep social issues, but one that asks the viewer to look at a fractured man and his reconstitution.


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