Star Trek

Season 1 Episode 5

The Enemy Within

Aired Unknown Oct 06, 1966 on NBC
out of 10
User Rating
240 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

A transporter malfunction causes Captain Kirk to split into his "good" and "evil" selves, and a landing party will freeze to death if the crew is unable to find a way to merge the two Kirks back together.

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  • Captain Kirk is split into two people, one good and one evil.

    Star Trek takes its first high concept, a double role for William Shatner, and does it so poorly, the evil twin idea doesn't return again until Star Trek TNG. The problem is that, contrary to Mr. Spock's tactless rhetorical question to Yeoman Rand near the end, neither the meek, indecisive Kirk or the violent, rapist Kirk are particularly interesting (or pleasant) to watch. Beneath the creative cinematography and cunning direction by Sean Penn's dad, used both to highlight the differences between the Kirks and to allow William Shatner to play both parts in seemingly the same shot, the character examination only proves that good is boring and evil is ugly thanks to lazy writing and Shatner's overacting. It's ironic that Shatner has cited this episode as his favorite, saying the only thing better than one of him is two of him (which is all really just a joke he liked to employ on the convention circuit) when the truth is the one character missing from the episode is the Captain Kirk we know and love.. an inescapable void.

    Perhaps it's too bad Mr. Spock isn't divided instead, especially with Nimoy later stealing the show with evil Spock in "Mirror Mirror". (Another more compelling direction would be dividing Spock into his Vulcan and human halves, but this idea might have be too much for a character and series still getting its feet wet; Star Trek would finally do just such with B'elanna Torres in Voyager's first season episode "Faces").

    Whatever the case, Captain Kirk does deserve some credit. Obviously the events in this episode illustrate the need for the Enterprise to have some sort of shuttle to ferry crewmembers around when the transporter isn't reliable.. and it's not long before the ship gets one, complete with a shuttle bay!

    Remastered: This gets just your basic makeover, with the Enterprise establishing shots upgraded to feature a more realistic ship and planet.

  • To thine own selves be true....

    In "The Enemy Within," the Enterprise crew has to look out for an evil James Kirk when a malfunction in the transporter created two Kirks: an all-evil Kirk and an all-good Kirk.

    "The Enemy Within" is a thrilling and well acted Star Trek episode about the human condition. The episode pushes the envelope for late 1960s television as the evil Kirk gets a little too physical with Yeoman Rand - that scene is still shocking to this day. The evil Kirk is a formidable opponent - but is he as bad as one might think? Does the nice Kirk need his evil to be back to his normal self? This is an interesting theme and is dealt with extremely well by the Star Trek writers and filmmakers. Also, the fact that the transporter is not working - since it happens to be creating two different halves of people - makes it unable for the Enterprise to beam an expedition team off of a rapidly cooling planet. This aspect of the story gives urgency to the tale of two Kirks aspect.moreless
  • Captain Kirk gets duplicated in the transporter into a "good" Kirk, and a "bad" Kirk. There is a group of 4 men on the planet including Sulu who will freeze to death, but they cant be beamed up with the transporter causing doubles.moreless

    Great episode, with the evil Kirk always having the shadow on his face to make him look dark and bad. The doglike creature shown at the beginning of the episode is pretty funny looking, kind of like a unicorn dog or something. With a party down on the planet which will get incredibly cold as the day wears on, but the transporter making duplicates of good/evil in a person or animal they cant bring that party aboard. So Kirk tries to keep everything together but finds his will and power of command slowly weakening. This episode keeps you thinking and shows the difference between good and evil. All in all if you are a big Shatner fan, give the episode a go... he appears as two people .. how much more Shatner do you need? Anybody who liked the series ... watch this episode ... its a good one.moreless
  • A transporter malfunction results in Captain Kirk being 'split in two' – one half brutal, the other unable to make decisions. With an away team stuck on a freezing planet unable to transport up, finding a solution is paramount. An enjoyable story...moreless

    This is a very good first season episode, and it is interesting to see Captain Kirk "split in two", with one half good, one half bad. Although limited by the effects of the time, there is some good lighting and the odd clever jump edit that brings the "bad" Kirk to life.

    I have always loved 'evil twin' scenarios, and the second season's classic "Mirror, Mirror" has always been one of my favourite 'Star Trek' episodes. Likewise, this episode taps into a similar vein, and it is great to see the good Kirk, unable to make decisions after being split in half, try to get his bad half under control.

    There is a noticeable mistake running through the earlier parts of the episode, where both Kirk and the bad Kirk have their insignia missing from their uniform tops. Apparently it had been removed when the top was dry-cleaned, and nobody noticed that it hadn't been reattached – pretty slack on somebody's behalf, and surely someone must have noticed! Further bloopers appear later in the story when the bad Kirk is on the bridge – the viewscreen behind him can be seen to be blank; and the scratches on his face jump sides on close-ups (due to the film being reversed).

    Anyway, the story is a good one, and the added twist of Mr. Sulu and co. being stuck down on the freezing planet, unable to beam up, adds some extra urgency to proceedings. It did strike me, though, why a shuttle wasn't launched to pick them up – even if it would take time getting there, it surely would at least have been a back-up plan. Or maybe I missed something there.

    As good as the story is, if I was forced to be critical, I would say that it loses its way in the latter stages. After the bad Kirk has been captured, and the good Kirk tries to bond with him, the story seems to go slightly limp, and lose some of its urgency. Likewise, the bad Kirk doesn't actually seem all that bad later on – he just shouts and rants a lot. But these are more just nitpicks than anything. All-in-all, a good story.moreless
  • A good exploration of the limits of both a person and a technology in a sc-fi setting.

    A transporter malfunction splits Kirk into two separate men, each retaining only parts of his personality and abilities.

    While this is possibly not one of the most exciting episodes of the series and it takes place mostly on the ship set, it does a good job mining the horror of the situation. I like the idea that the Enterprise is so dependent on its transporters, so much so that a crew might be stranded if something goes wrong. While the writers soon "invented" the shuttlecraft, the drama here is pretty sharp and effective. Sulu's line about lowering a pot of coffee from orbit is one of my favorites of the series, it's funny and "plucky" at the same time.

    And if a spaceship is going to have a matter scrambler/assembler, this story is a memorable example of how it might "go wrong". Not realistic, but memorable. Shatner always rises and falls based on his overblown reading of lines (even to this day on "Boston Legal"), and here it's perfect as he's asked to play outrageous and exaggerated versions of his character. He's not only at his best as belicose but as whining, petulant, and vain. The scenes of him staggering about the decks with a bottle of Sorian Brandy are just about perfect for the story. This installment also is not shy about dealing with sexual assualt, fairly rare for the time it was made. Spock's line to Rand at the conclusion is a nice "spicy" element to the program that is often lost in later episodes.

    As a balanced story, one of the best of the series.moreless
Edward Madden

Edward Madden

Technician Fisher

Guest Star

Garland Thompson

Garland Thompson

Technician Wilson

Guest Star

Jim Goodwin

Jim Goodwin

Lt. John Farrell

Guest Star

Grace Lee Whitney

Grace Lee Whitney

Yeoman Janice Rand

Recurring Role

George Takei

George Takei

Lt. Hikaru Sulu

Recurring Role

James Doohan

James Doohan

Lt. Cmdr. Montgomery "Scotty" Scott

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (26)

    • Why don't they just beam up the landing party and have a security team standing by to subdue the "evil" versions when they come through? It would buy time to find a solution, and even if no solution is found, wouldn't dying as split good and evil parts be preferable to freezing to death?

    • When "evil" Kirk blasts the panel in Engineering, why do Spock and "good" Kirk not report it to a repair crew, but instead, have Scotty stumble on to it later?

    • When "good" Kirk and Spock step into the transporter to go to sick bay, there is slight jump in the frame before "evil" Kirk's blood-stained hand thrusts onto the screen - revealing the cut that allows William Shatner to be in two places at once.

    • Apparently, the transporter isn't just giving Kirk split-personality problems; when Spock goes to reunite Kirk's two halves, watch him as he engages the beam and you will see his head and upper body vibrating, as though he were going to split in two.

    • When beamed up (and before on the planet) the Kirks had no chest insignia on their uniforms, yet as they both started to wander the ship, the insignia was present on both with no time for either to have got changed. Indeed, the first place good Kirk goes is to his quarters at which point he changes into the green uniform, but this was after the insignia had appeared.

    • On the bridge, Navigator Farrell's uniform goes from bearing the Enterprise chest insignia when Spock leaves, to having none when evil Kirk arrives, yet in that same scene, the insignia is present again when Farrell turns around to face evil Kirk.

    • When the evil Kirk makes the good Kirk drop his phaser during their fight, it falls behind evil Kirk. He then just bends down and picks it up, without having to back up or turn around to find it.

    • Evil Kirk does such a good job with the makeup that Rand's fingernail marks are completely invisible to Wilson (and the audience) when he knocks him out and takes his phaser. Yet in the next scene in the engine room, we see one of them on his cheek. Either it's some really fast-decomposing make-up or Evil Kirk wiped it off to show that one mark.

    • After trapping "evil" Kirk on the bridge, Shatner's double's hair is darker with obvious amounts of gray.

    • In sickbay after Spock and the Good Kirk subdue the Evil Kirk, the status monitor for the Evil Kirk's bed isn't on, even though McCoy has said he's too weak to give a tranquilizer to and will be waking up soon.

    • When Kirk confronts the evil Kirk on the bridge, the viewscreen is off in one scene and then on again in another and then off again.

    • Despite various novels, fan speculation, and official and unofficial Enterprise blueprints, it seems clear in this episode that the Enterprise only has one six-person "standard" transporter - if it goes out, they've got nothing else to beam people with. There's no indication the malfunction here would somehow "contaminate" any other transporters - and it'd be pretty stupid design to make them that way anyway.

    • Scotty tells Wilson to get a synchronic meter to check the transporter after he beams a contaminated Fisher aboard. Then Wilson goes off without double-checking and Scotty beams Kirk on-board.

    • Rand and Spock seem wildly out of character at the end of the episode. She's all but raped by the evil Kirk, and Spock leers at her and comments that he had "interesting qualities."

    • Spock refers to his human half and his "alien half," and says the alien half is submerged. Not only does he typically act and consider himself a Vulcan, but he hardly keeps his Vulcan half "submerged."

    • So Kirk keeps make-up in his cabin?

    • When the evil Kirk knocks out the good one and goes to the bridge, Farrell clearly says, "No word from Mr. Solo, sir."

    • Sulu fires his phaser at a rock to heat it up - he holds his hand still but the beam moves widely back and forth over the rock.

    • The heart monitor on the sickbay bed that evil Kirk is on makes a thumping noise even after he gets off of it. It speeds up as he gets into his fight with good Kirk, but he's nowhere near it.

    • In the opening scene with Kirk and Sulu, the film is spliced in backward - their hair is parted on the wrong side. Also no one in the landing party has insignia. Presumably the director "flipped" the camera and tried to cover. (This is fixed in the DVD and remastered versions.)

    • The phaser in evil Kirk's hand in Engineering switches between a smaller Type 1 in the long shots, but a larger pistol-type Type 2 in the close-ups.

    • When McCoy asks how Kirk feels at the end, Shatner turns and then stops to answer him. Then the camera cuts to a close-up of Shatner and he turns again to face McCoy.

    • Sulu asks them to beam down some hot coffee twice. Why didn't they? It would have been duplicated, but would that not be a good thing in this case? They could have also beamed down heavy outer clothing, blankets, and shelters.

    • Spock records a log entry as the "second officer". It appears they got "first officer" confused with "second in command".

    • Why didn't they send a shuttlecraft to pick up the freezing officers on the planet?

    • Yeoman Rand scratches the left side of the "evil" Kirk's face. In the final confrontation between the two Kirks on the bridge, the scratches have switched to the right side of "evil" Kirk's face.

  • QUOTES (11)

    • Janice Rand: (startled) Oh! Captain. You startled me. Is there something that you... can I help you, Captain?
      Animal Kirk: "Jim" will do here, Janice.

    • Kirk: (his two halves reunited) Thank you, Mr. Spock - from both of us.

    • Sulu: (freezing on the planet's surface) Any chance you can lower us down a pot of hot coffee?
      Kirk: I'll see what I can do.
      Sulu: Rice wine will do if you're short on coffee.

    • Spock: (speaking softly to Yeoman Rand) The impostor had some rather interesting qualities. Wouldn't you say, Yeoman?

    • Spock: If I seem insensitive to what you're going through Captain, understand--it's the way I am.

    • McCoy: You have a point, Spock?
      Spock: Yes. Always, Doctor.

    • Spock: (to Captain Kirk) You're the captain of this ship. You haven't the right to be vulnerable in the eyes of the crew. You can't afford the luxury of being anything less than perfect. If you do, they lose faith and you lose command.

    • Kirk: I have to take him back inside myself. I can't survive without him. I don't want to take him back. He's like an animal. a thoughtless, brutal animal. And yet it's me. Me!

    • McCoy: We all have our darker side. We need it; it's half of what we are. It's not really ugly, it's human.

    • Spock: You have here an unusual opportunity to appraise the human mind, or to examine, in Earth terms, the roles of good and evil in a man. His negative side, which you call hostility, lust, violence; and his positive side, which Earth people express as compassion, love, tenderness. And what is it that makes one man an exceptional leader? We see here indications that it is his negative side which makes him strong -- that his evil side, if you will, properly controlled and disciplined, is vital to his strength. Your negative side, removed from you, the power of command begins to elude you.

    • Kirk: You're too beautiful to ignore. Too much woman.

  • NOTES (3)

    • The original script called for Spock to "karate" chop the evil Kirk at one point. Leonard Nimoy felt the action was too violent for a pacifist character, and so developed the famous "Vulcan Nerve Pinch" instead.

    • This was originally scheduled to be the fourth episode.

    • This episode marked the first appearance of Kirk's alternate green uniform. It was introduced primarily to tell the "good" Kirk from the "evil" Kirk. However, the producers liked the idea of setting the captain apart with a different colored uniform so they used it frequently throughout the series.