Star Trek

Season 1 Episode 5

The Enemy Within

Aired Unknown Oct 06, 1966 on NBC

Episode Fan Reviews (12)

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out of 10
243 votes
  • 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.