Star Trek

Season 2 Episode 4

Mirror, Mirror

Aired Unknown Oct 06, 1967 on NBC

Episode Fan Reviews (6)

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  • Is this the all-time best episode?

    “Mirror, Mirror” is justly one of the all-time fave episodes among old-school STAR TREK fans (are we still “Trekkers, these days?). There’s something compelling about seeing evil versions of our heroes and the story device has become a standard in comic books (especially Marvel books), movies and tv shows. But TREK was one of the first to do it for the mass market. Of course, we’d had evil or alternative versions of Kirk, Spock and even McCoy during season one, but this was the first time saw an alternative version of the Enterprise, and what an intriguing glimpse it is too.

    In this Universe, Starfleet officers advance through assassination and treachery. Every last vestige of loyalty and honour has been purged from the Mirror version of the Enterprise – except, tellingly, for Mirror Spock. Even in this fascist regime, Vulcans still value the concept of honour. Makes you wonder about the Klingons, doesn’t it? (Yep, I know there was more Mirror stuff in DS9, but I just don’t remember it too well right now!)

    Anyway, terrific episode where McCoy, Scotty and even Uhura get a lot more to do. Also, I’d have liked to have seen how the Mirror versions fared aboard “our” version of the Enterprise. Time constraints meant that all we know is via the great Spock line, “It is easier for a civilised man to play the barbarian than it is for a barbarian to play the civilised man.” Wonderful stuff!
  • Fly the Unfriendly skies!

    "Mirror, Mirror" is one of the best "Star Trek" episodes when Captain Kirk and three members of the Enterprise, enter tnto an parallel universe when the crew is different and the way they speak is also different. Kirk and the three others spent the rest of the hour trying to get back to their universe and it won't be easy. I like the differences between the parallel universe and the different between the enterprises. The way they speak, the way bthey show their power. The title Mirror, Mirror" speaks for itself. I would like to see the crew of the good enterprise taking on the crew of thy bad enterprise. But the series was short lived.
  • Uhura turns down date with Sulu and claims it had nothing to do with the 8 inch scar running down his face

    Whoop! Whoop! Whoop! That's the sound of my "Top Ten alert" alarm going off. I always scream with delight during two scenes. First when they cut to our Enterprise and the savage Kirk et al are being placed in the brig. "Has the whole universe gone crazy, what kind of a uniform is this, where's your beard, where's my personal guard!?" The other is Sulu waving his knife just before they cut to commercial and he says something like "Mr. Spock has orders to kill you captain, he will succeed. Apparently you will appear to have killed him after fierce battle. Regrettable, but it will leave me in command." Then he gives the most devilishly evil grin and they play that "in turmoil" music leading into commercial. Probably my favorite scene in all of the Star Trek episodes. The script is marvelous and I have never been bored with one second of that episode.
  • A transporter malfunction during an ion storm has Kirk, McCoy, Scotty and Uhura swapping places with their counterparts in a parallel universe, where officers try to assassinate their superiors to better their rank. For many years, my favourite episode...

    "Mirror, Mirror" is one of the all-time most popular Original 'Star Trek' episodes, and for a great many years was my personal favourite 'Trek' episode. In many respects it still is, and either way defiantly makes it into my Top 5.
    I've always loves stories of parallel universes and evil twins, and this story does it very well.

    We had already had glimpses of evil counterparts, such as Kirk's brutal double in the first season's "The Enemy Within" (which was also caused by a transporter malfunction), and in examples such as "The Alternative Factor", but this is the first time the notion of a parallel universe is fully explored.

    Parallel Spock, who isn't far off from his 'good' self, sports a goatee beard, starting a trend for 'evil twins' that would be duplicated many times (one of my early television memories is Michael Knight's evil (sort of) brother Garthe sporting such a goatee in 'Knight Rider's 'Goliath').

    The parallel costumes and make-up are good, with almost a pirate-y feel (I have to say, Uhura looks pretty hot in her parallel costume), and there are other nice touches – for example, Sulu has a huge scar running much of his face, no doubt the result of some previous attempt to better his rank.

    The only weak element in an otherwise great story, is Kirk's romance with Marlena (Barbara Luna). I find the scenes extremely flat and dragged out, and there is very little real spark between the pair. It is the only flaw in an otherwise excellent episode; I would have much rather seen a bit more of the evil Kirk and co. in our universe instead.

    Other than that, this is an excellent story, with some great touches, and very re-watchable. The "mirror world" concept would be continued with later 'Star Trek' series, (beginning with 'The Next Generation's third season episode "Yesterday's Enterprise"), but as good as some of those offerings are, I still find the original the best in many ways.

    All-in-all, a great episode, and deservedly one of the most popular of the Original Series. It still stands as one of my all-time favourites and definitely in my Top 5 – possibly my single favourite episode of the series.
  • Spock sports facial growth, Uhura flaunts some toned abs, and Sulu is genuinely creepy in both universes.

    A stellar plot, superior dialogue, and non-stop action ranks this episode among the best. It also raises again the question so often posed by Trek: how would my evil counterpart manifest itself? Or for some people, perhaps the question is actually "Am I the evil counterpart, living out a life of brute selfishness while my merciful and compassionate nature lies dormant - or existing elsewhere?"

    In addition to the philosophy and excitement generated by the nature of this episode, there are plenty of "gotta love-its" in this episode: from Kirk's fringed, sparkly-gold disco tunic to the hilarious fight scene in sickbay in which Uhura hurls herself flailing into a wall and Kirk smashes a paper-mache bust over Spock's head. There's the alternate Sulu, who with his lazy-eyed, maniacal smile is every bit as creepy as the ordinary Sulu we've come to know and dread - the chief difference is the jagged scar running like a topographical mountain chain down his porous face. Evil Chekov finally has manageable hair, but his grin is a frightening combination of an over-eager puppy and a sadist. The audience is also treated to a glimpse of all of his fillings when he's in the torture chamber. Then there's the whole behavior of the alternate universe personnel, beginning with our introduction to them through the goateed Mr. Spock and the poor Mr. Kyle, who bumbles and bumbles in both worlds. "Your agonizer, please, Mr. Kyle." Apparently, crew are equipped with their own torture devices used against them in order to teach a handy little lesson - fantastic!

    Then, there's Kirk. Amazing the oh-so-subtle differences in him when he's "good boy Kirk" and when he's "bad boy Kirk" - we've seen this theme several times throughout the series, but either way you slice him, Kirk's a womanizer and a cad in both roles. I especially like the dialogue between him and McCoy, which runs like this:

    McCoy: Captain, what do you suppose our counterparts are doing back on the enterprise?
    Kirk: Well, I know mine must be engaged in some particularly bad acting and effected emoting, trying extra hard to play the part of the villain that Shatner in all his skeeziness lends naturally.
    Then, of course, the scene switches to the evil Kirk screaming and having a fit before being thrown bodily into the brig - hilarious!
    Then there's poor Marlena, who is stuck with Kirk in both universes.

    Marlena: [after Kirk plants one of his smash-jaw, pursed lip kisses on her] It's been a long time since you kissed me like that. [you mean...badly?]

    Of course, the writers had to add some frat boy humor at the end on the bridge, which took away from the main theme of the episode, in my opinion, because really, we're just once again seeing Kirk at his worst:

    Kirk: [undressing Lt. Moreau with his eyes] She just seems like a nice, likeable girl. I think we could be friends....and, I've seen what she looks like in another universe in nothing but her underwear and a see-through, rainbow-colored robe!
  • Spock + Beard = Awesome

    With its killer high concept, "Mirror" has been a perennial top ten classic Trek episode ever since newspapers, magazines, and books began to rank them. The premise is so ahead of its time, it could have debuted in Star Trek TNG and still been mindblowing. (To think that just as television was pioneering the "evil twin" concept, Star Trek was already doing the "evil twin universe"!)

    The beauty of the idea is how "made-for-TV" it is. Much of the original series has a literary quality to it, owing to the contributions of some of the great science fiction writers of the time. "Mirror", on the other hand, is the first Star Trek episode to take advantage of the visual medium, with new costumes and literally dozens of creative touches helping to tell and sell its story.

    It's mostly a Kirk episode, with the captain having his life threatened literally just before every commercial break. The deliciousness, however, is in the world around him, from the new look of the interior of the Enterprise to the crazy recharactizations from the other castmembers. George Takai and Walter Koenig are able to cut loose, and Nimoy is able to up his awesomeness by playing it more cool than usual and (in the episode's most genius touch) adding a beard. Yet it's Barbara Luna who steals the show as the captain's mysterious woman, Marlena. First appearing about halfway through, she immediately changes the timbre of the episode with an understated performance that's all the more dramatic for being set against all the overacting going on elsewhere. And while Kirk enjoys his share of seductive ladies throughout his adventures, only Marlena has the courage to show off her evening wear with a casual remark that she's been "oiling her (I'm guessing the network censor didn't understand the line when he or she let it through; it was, however, cut from Star Trek's syndicated run in the 70s and

    There's also a B story where our Mr. Spock deals with the evil counterparts of Kirk and company that have ended up in our mirror universe by mistake; but it's short and only there to complete the story. And taken as a whole, the episode's framework itself is so strong, it even makes up for the episode's flaws and less than clever ideas. (Even on an old VHS tape, it's easy to see the faces of the stunt doubles when Spock and the rest fight at the climax. And what's with the silly idea that evil-Kirk stole a device from an alien that includes a magic death button? Come on, just give Marlena a normal surveillance system and let her pick up a phaser when she needs

    "Mirror, Mirror" went on to be nominated for the 1968 Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation and through the years has removed one of the Star Trek's franchise's most unique offerings, spawning prequels and sequels. Most importantly, it takes a show that was never conceived as an ensemble piece and breaks the mold, using the entire cast so memorably that many fans remember the series for using its background players more than it actually does.

    The mirror universe returns in DS9's second season episode "Crossover". Later, the series Enterprise does its own version, with a sci fi twist allowing "In a Mirror, Darkly" to simultaneously serve as a prequel to "Mirror, Mirror" and a sequel to "The Tholian Web".

    The Remastered Version (2006): There aren't a lot of exterior shots of the Enterprise in the original, but there is a memorable bit at the beginning where we get several shots of the ship in one universe and then the other. The new version is able to better differentiate the two ships and create a more exciting montage. (And yes, the . Enterprise actually says . Enterprise"!) Then there's the alien planet sphere, originally a pink tinted version of the Operation--Annihilate planet. The new version is more Earth-like and features the . Enterprise in a reverse orbit. CBS Digital also adds some minor touches, adding some sparks to the "agonziers" and turning Chekov's trip to the agony booth into a scarier looking visual than the original (which just had some blinking lights).

    Bonus Review:

    Fairest of Them All: 8

    In the mirror universe, bearded Spock confronts the evil Captain Kirk and attempts to move the Terran Empire towards peace.

    Vic Mignogna and company are at it again, with another episode of Star Trek Continues in the style of The Original Series. This time they do a "Part II" of sorts, reenacting the mirror universe's final scene from "Mirror, Mirror" and going forth from there from mirror-Spock's perspective. It's a great idea, because Kirk's final speech to mirror-Spock perfectly sets up a sequel.

    Anime voice-over artist Todd Haberkorn dons the goatee, taking over Spock from Leonard Nimoy. No one, of course, can truly replace the great one, and Haberkorn is a clear step down; but as Spocks go, Haberkorn is satisfactory, playing the part with enough talent to be in the ballpark and enough respect to avoid parody.

    Much like its prequel, the premise of "Fairest" gives the cast a chance to let their hair down and have some fun, with several of the actors getting the opportunity to define their characters (with the mirror versions of Kirk, McCoy, Scotty, and Uhura largely absent from "Mirror, Mirror"). Meanwhile, Asia DeMarcos oils her traps in place of Barbara Luna, looking the part and giving a fine performance of her own. Acting wise, she's probably not on Luna's level, but the script wisely doesn't ask for any more than she has to give. (It helps that DeMarcos doesn't try to match the intensity of the other actors, probably because she's studied Luna's original performance and understands that Luna created Marlena as a counterpoint to Shatner, responding to his overacting with

    Meanwhile, Michael Dorn serves as the voice of the ship's computer, and there are even a couple of original series veterans making appearances. Bobby Clark, TOS stuntman and extra, takes over the part of the Halkan council leader, looking about 100 years old. Upstaging him and everyone else, the original Galileo shuttlecraft returns after a forty year plus hiatus, looking just as good as the day it was first shot in "The Galileo Seven". (The shuttle, after the original series was cancelled, had been donated to a school for the blind before being sold to a collector. Over the years, it changed hands many times and was in terrible shape by the 21st century, having been kept outdoors much of its life. But it was bought by a fan in 2012 and meticulously restored the following year, opening the door for Mignogna and company to bring a real piece of Star Trek to their series. It was an invitation they couldn't

    As the plot winds its way through the madness, it plays out in the same way you would expect a 1960s version to go, with all the exciting action and dramatic cliffhangers of the original series. The visual effects are similar to the remastered effects by CBS Digital, though the Halkan homeworld appears to be a hybrid between the original and upgraded version.

    "Fairest of Them All" is free to watch online. Simply search for it on youtube, or find it through yahoo, google, or your favorite search engine.