Star Trek

Season 3 Episode 11

Wink of an Eye

Aired Unknown Nov 29, 1968 on NBC

Episode Fan Reviews (5)

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  • After responding to a distress call, Captain Kirk is abducted and accelerated by a group of Scalosians

    Gene Coon borrows a high concept from an episode of his old series, The Wild Wild West for his seventh and final script to be produced by Star Trek. The idea itself is brilliant: having two different perspectives of time happening concurrently is not only interesting itself but lends itself naturally to a compelling A/B structure. And if the ship-based wraparound story itself is simple and familiar (aliens attempt to take over the ship, but when the female alien becomes interested in Kirk, the male alien becomes jealous), it still works because of the nifty sci fi spin.

    Unfortunately, the nature of the concept itself makes it difficult to integrate the A and B stories, and in the end, teleplay writer Heinemann hopes the audience will either overlook time discrepancies or just go with it -- because it's impossible to have the speeds of the characters be so diverse while giving the "slow time" people enough time to engage in meaningful actions; yet if the "accelerated" people move any slower themselves, the crucial concept of them being invisible to the others begins to break down. (And it's not like the show doesn't have its hands full anyway! There are many smaller issues the episode finds difficult to tackle, such as how to deal with automatic doors and turbolifts in a reality where they should take hours to work). TNG would have to tackle the A/B issue as well in their sixth season episode "Timescape", with the writers solving it nicely by creating a time anomaly that allows for time to resume normally only to then go backwards. VOY tackles the sped-up concept themselves in their sixth season gem "Blink of an Eye", but they get around all the potential time-problems by using a "SimEarth" approach: the accelerated characters exist as a civilization evolving on a planet.

    As for "Wink", it does the best it can; but it's such an interesting episode itself that it's a bit frustrating to see such obvious time discrepancies, with Spock and Bones seemingly taking months of the aliens' time to complete their actions. (Perhaps if the aliens had to go back and forth from the planet to the ship on a shuttlecraft to get parts to complete their device, the "slow-time" scenes could carry out longer and make more sense).

    Nonetheless, Kathy Browne is a delight as Deela, an alien similar to Kelinda in "By Any Other Name, having a cheerful disposition and enjoying any attention Kirk gives her. (Considering there's a scene where he's in his bedroom putting his boots back on while she's brushing her hair in his mirror, I'd say he doesn't have a problem obliging). Most of the music is tracked in from "The Cage", which provides a creepy atmosphere for the "alien reality" (with the cinematographer adding a tilt to the camera for effect), and the story moves along nicely, making it all very pleasant.

    All in all, it's a nice little sci fi story... if you try not to think about it too much.


    This, of course, gives us new shots of the Enterprise and a planet (originally recycled footage from "Wolf in the Fold" but now a realistic Earth-like globe). But the showpiece is a new matte painting representing an alien city on the surface (replacing a reuse of the original matte painting in "A Taste of Armageddon"). It's a beautiful visual behind the characters requiring painstaking rotoscoping,

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