Star Trek

Season 2 Episode 14

Wolf in The Fold

Aired Unknown Dec 22, 1967 on NBC
out of 10
User Rating
160 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

A serial killer stalks a planet...and Scotty is the primary suspect.

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  • Scotty is the prime suspect in a murder mystery.

    This murder mystery with a sci fi twist is famous for introducing the idea of a crewmember getting into trouble on a foreign planet (forcing the captain into the difficult position of defending his officer while honoring the planet's legal system) and infamous for treating women like sex objects or frightened children depending on the script's need.

    The captain's position is the key to the story, and while "Wolf" might be remembered as a quintessential Scotty episode, the true center of the drama is Captain Kirk, putting on his defense attorney hat and attempting to prove his engineer's innocence. Shatner hams it up, sharing the stage with Wisconsin's John Fiedler, a character actor best remembered as the voice of Piglet. With Fiedler playing an alien prosecutor and much of the plot consisting of arguments inside rooms, much of the episode is just talk; but the two actors keep it mildly entertaining for a few acts before Bloch, inspired by his 1943 short story, "Yours Truly, Jack the Ripper", takes things into left field with a climax that turns into a farce. (Not only does the last act become too silly to take seriously from a plot standpoint, it's here that 5'4'' Fiedler is switched out for a stunt double that stands over six feet all).

    "Wolf in the Fold" has an interesting idea that would return in better form in "Requiem for Methuselah", but much like "Catspaw", Bloch is unable to find enough successful ingredients to turn the premise into a standout episode.

    Remastered Version: The changes in "Wolf" are as basic as they come, with simply a few new shots of the Enterprise in orbit. The new version of the planet sphere (originally a blue tinted version of the "Catspaw" planet) has the main continent in shadow (with lights showing) to tie into the episode's nighttime scenes.moreless
  • Ignore Scotty's sexism and this is a chilling story for the right reasons

    Focus on Scotty's sexism and it's a chilling story for all the wrong reasons.

    Yes, it's the 1960s, sexism was rampant*, but most TREK episodes didn't go bananas over it. Only "The Lights of Zetar" and "Turnabout Intruder" dare to be overt in their flaunting of sexism, and the former also includes Scotty (again). I'll get to those stories' reviews later on... but in "Wolf", Scotty has some dialogue about hurting himself because of a female coworker. Kirk and McCoy hinge on this dialogue as well as part of the setup. It drives me nuts because I can't stand these characters of the future being sexist, but at the same time the goal was to frame Scotty and have a malevolent force cause havoc.

    The direction in this story is terrific - it is engaging, the fear is palpable - especially after the proceedings move to the ship. The guest cast are terrific in their roles as well. Nowhere is a bad actor to be found, but John Fiedler - along with James Doohan (more later) - steals the show as the possessed villain. The story holds up extremely well in this regard, and seeing him in other shows reveals Fiedler to be a great character actor as well...

    Using Jack the Ripper as a basis for an incorporeal critter that uses emotions to feed on (and would be revisited in "Day of the Dove", and in other sci-fi shows) is done better in those other shows, but in "Wolf" - despite Scotty - holds up extremely well for its age.

    Considering it's the 1960s, though, this sort of sexism was prevalent in the media. And I am not blaming the actors or writers as much as the mores of the time. And, given that the original pilot had a strong #1 (Majel Barrett) and the execs hated that character as she fought so many stereotypes... It cannot be helped that TOS was sexist at times. The actors cannot be blamed.

    But James Doohan really puts in a fantastic performance in this story (ditto for TNG's "Relics", despite a questionable plot that diminishes Scotty, also sees a top-of-the-line performance, making one wonder why Mr Doohan didn't get work outside of TREK as much as he had, because he's a darn good character actor, and he did so many voiceovers for aliens in TREK as

    Without the overt sexism, which was - again - partly needed but ends up feeling overtly contrived - this episode would score a 10.

    * (recall that the original pilot's #1 was a logical female officer, which the execs promptly nixed because her presence upended so many stereotypes and cliches accorded women that they could not deal with it... and the miniskirt was about sexual liberation, not male-dominated sexism bymoreless
  • Some interesting ideas ...

    I've always been a bit of a Jack the Ripper fan (is that the right word?) and thought that this episode contains some interesting ideas to explain the Ripper Killings of Victorian London. It was also good that Scotty got to be the centre of this story rather than Kirk or Spock, but at the end of the day, the whole didn't really come together.

    Even so, there was some nice, spooky touches. I especially enjoyed the way the "intelligence" kept jumping from one body to another in the climax of the show - an idea that predated EVIL DEAD (or THE HIDDEN, 1987) by almost 20 years.

    An OK episode, but not a great one ...moreless
  • Wolf it Up!

    On a peaceful planet, scotty the crewmember who can't hurt a fly, is accused of murder. Someone or something on that peacefulk planet is killing its residents and its up to Captain Kirk to find the real killer or scotty will be tortured to death. A slow painful death. You don't want that on anyone mind. The trial is moved to the Starship Enterprise. Thge last 20 minutes is intense. Not only we can learn the identity of the killer, but the killer can seal people's badies until Kirk can get that thing off the enterprise. it;s good enough to get an 8.moreless
  • Scott is the prime suspect in the savage murder of three women.

    Wolf in the Fold is an underrated episode of Star Trek. Is Scott a murderer? Of course not, but the episode cleverly keeps you guessing. I'm anti-spoiler, so you gotta watch to see whodunit. The story line consists of three parts, each subsequently adding to the drama & suspense: three murders in which Scott is seemingly the only viable suspect, a kindofa faux trial aboard the Enterprise where the true killer is revealed, and lastly, the resulting danger when the killer runs amok in an attempt to overtake the ship and everyone aboard. I especially liked the trial, because you get to see Kirk, Spock and McCoy sift through the evidence and unmask the identity of the killer, which is a nice surprise in itself. Classic Star Trek cheese.moreless
Leonard Nimoy

Leonard Nimoy

Mr. Spock

DeForest Kelley

DeForest Kelley

Dr. Leonard Horatio "Bones" McCoy

William Shatner

William Shatner

Captain James Tiberius Kirk

John Fiedler

John Fiedler

Commissioner Hengist

Guest Star

Pilar Seurat

Pilar Seurat


Guest Star

Charles Dierkop

Charles Dierkop


Guest Star

George Takei

George Takei

Lt. Hikaru Sulu

Recurring Role

John Winston

John Winston

Lt. Kyle

Recurring Role

James Doohan

James Doohan

Lt. Cmdr. Montgomery "Scotty" Scott

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (4)

    • On the planet Jaris asks Scotty if he remembers anything about the murders. This occurs after Sybo was murdered. Scotty says he doesn't remember anything. But later on the ship, Scotty says he remembers Sybo's murder and relates what happens. Why didn't he say that he remembered the first time?

    • McCoy and Scotty put the dead Hengist in a chair - why? There's no way a recently dead body is going to stay propped up in one of those futuristic chairs.

    • Why does Kirk hold the hearing before they do the scan on Scotty's memories? They have the hearing and Kirk says they'll do it "later" - seems like it'd be a valuable piece of evidence to have during the hearing, and it doesn't seem to take very long.

    • The ID cards Kirk puts into the computer to verify their identity appear/disappear in close/long shots.

  • QUOTES (7)

    • Kirk: The Argelians will be the first to panic. Let's get back to the briefing room. (leaves with Spock)
      Sulu: (blissfully drugged) I wonder who it is we're not supposed to be afraid of. (spins in his chair as the rest of the bridge crew laugh)

    • Kirk: I know a place, where the women are so...
      McCoy: I know the place!
      Scotty: Let's go see!

    • Sulu: Captain...(injected with tranquilizer) ...whoever he is, he sure talks gloomy, hee hee.
      Kirk: Man your post, Mr. Sulu. If any of the other systems go out, switch to manual override, and above all, don't be afraid.
      Sulu: With an arm full of this stuff, I wouldn't be afraid of a supernova.

    • McCoy: When a man feels guilty about something--something too terrible to remember--he blots it out of his conscious memory.

    • Spock: In the strict scientific sense we all feed on death -- even vegetarians.

    • Spock: Women are more easily and more deeply terrified... generating more sheer horror than the male of the species.

    • Spock: Deriving sustenance from emotion is not unknown in the galaxy. And fear is among the strongest and most violent of the emotions.

  • NOTES (3)

    • This episode was written by Robert Bloch, perhaps best known as the author of the book Psycho, which was made into a movie by Alfred Hitchcock. Among other things, Bloch was also a short story writer; one of his best known short stories is Yours Truely, Jack the Ripper (which was later adapted for television for Boris Karloff's Thriller). This episode parallels that short story in many ways, especially in the aspect that Jack the Ripper is seen as being an immortal who is still alive and killing in the present.

    • Scotty makes a direct reference to the events in this episode during his appearance in The Next Generation episode, "Relics," saying he got into a "wee bit of trouble" the first time he visited Argelius.

    • Desilu No: 5149-36.