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Star Trek – Wink of an Eye (Review)

This July and August, we’re celebrating the release of Star Trek Beyond by taking a look back at the third season of the original Star Trek. Check back every Monday, Wednesday and Friday for the latest update.

The third season of Star Trek has an ethereal and mystical quality to it.

The Tholian Web is probably the best example of this, an episode structured as a ghost story in space. However, there are other examples; the barely-there ghost town of Spectre of the Gun, the legend of the Gorgan in And the Children Shall Lead, the H.P. Lovecraft monster at the heart of Is There in Truth No Beauty?, the half-formed world of The Empath, the siren of That Which Survives and the planetary madhouse of Whom the Gods Destroy. In the third season of Star Trek, it increasingly seems like space is an irrational place, a haunted and spectral realm.

It doesn't faze her in the slightest.

It doesn’t faze her in the slightest.

Wink of an Eye fits quite comfortably within that tradition. This is the perfect example of an episode which makes little sense as a science-fiction story, but which plays quite well as fantasy. Much like The Tholian Web draws upon centuries of stories about ghost ships, Wink of an Eye draws from another rich literary genre. This is the story about a man who is mysterious spirited away by a queen and her people, only to discover that time has been distorted in this mysterious realm.

In other words, Wink of an Eye fits quite comfortably in the tradition of fairy stories.

All's fair in love and war.

All’s fair in love and war.

Star Trek is traditionally a science-fiction series, albeit with certain concessions to the demands of weekly episodic television. Faster than light travel is necessary so that the show has somewhere to go week-on-week, while the transporter saves the budget of having to land a shuttle on every planet that the crew visits. Allowing for small improbabilities like that, the franchise is generally classified as science-fiction. Gene Roddenberry was very proud of this, recruiting science-fiction writers like Richard Matheson, Harlan Ellison and Theodore Sturgeon to the show.

However, the show was never exclusively science-fiction. There were always strong elements from other pulp genres that bled into the mix. The Man Trap was the first episode of Star Trek to be broadcast, featuring a creature described as a “salt vampire” but equivalent to a siren. Horror writer (and friend of H.P. Lovecraft) Robert Bloch contributed three scripts to the show; What Are Little Girls Made Of?, Catspaw and Wolf in the Fold suggesting that the Star Trek universe was a terrifying and irrational place.

Silent cities...

Silent cities…

The third season really emphasises this idea, suggesting that the world around Kirk and Spock has stopped making sense, that it refuses to conform to human understandings of physics or logic. The Tholian Web is effectively an eerie maritime ghost story in which the Enterprise finds a ship adrift and Kirk haunts his crew. The strange worlds of Spectre of the Gun and The Empath exist in defiance of the reality, feeling more like absurdist representations than anything tangible or material.

Time and again in the third season, the Enterprise seems to be hurdling outside the galaxy. In Is There in Truth No Beauty?, Marvick deposits the universe outside the galaxy in order to find some shelter from the chaos of existence. In Day of the Dove, the Enterprise is sent hurdling towards the edge of the galaxy out of Kirk’s control, trapped in an eternal bloodbath between the Starfleet and Klingon crews. Even in The Tholian Web, the Enterprise has to travel through oblivion in order to escape the eponymous trap.

Still crazy after all these years.

Still crazy after all these years.

There is a sense of chaos and irrationality that permeates the third season of Star Trek. There are multiple reasons why this might be the case. It is entirely possible to read this as a reaction to the national mood in 1968, a year of civil unrest and upset in which the United States seemed to be shaken (repeatedly) to its core. It is also possible to read this the show reflecting upon its own mortality, the inevitability of cancellation. After all, the show had been cancelled at the end of its second season. The third season was at best a temporary stay of execution, living in limbo.

It is also entirely possible that these themes arose merely as a response to outside limitations. The set design in Spectre of the Gun and The Empath was certainly informed by budgetary concerns, although The Empath had been written with that set design in mind. Episodes like Is There in Truth No Beauty? and Day of the Dove were restricted primarily to standing Enterprise sets for budgetary concerns, so pushing the ship itself to the very edge of reason was a logical way to raise the stakes for shows that could not take the cast outside these familiar environments.

Miss communications.

Miss communications.

Nevertheless, the fairy tale trappings of Wink of an Eye do not come out of nowhere. They do not exist in a vacuum. Wink of an Eye was the third of six assignments given out to writer Gene L. Coon (writing as Lee Cronin) at the start of the third year. Coon had left to work on It Takes a Thief at Universal, but was still contributing to Star Trek under an alias. Coon had written the scripts for both Spectre of the Gun and Spock’s Brain. He had promised the production team six scripts, but it was looking increasingly unlikely that he could deliver on that.

Indeed, Spock’s Brain represents Coon’s (or Cronin’s) last full script credit on Star Trek. Owing to the demands of overseeing It Takes a Thief, it would be impossible to deliver four more scripts. Instead, producer Fred Freiberger agreed to allow Coon (or Cronin) to submit story ideas that would be developed by other writers. Wink of an Eye is the first of these story ideas, developed by writer Arthur Heinemann. However, Coon (or Cronin) would only be able to submit one more such story outline, for Let That Be Your Last Battlefield.

Get Rael.

Get Rael.

Fred Freiberger allowed Coon the freedom to step away from his previous commitments, despite the fact that the production team were in pretty dire straits. As quoted in The Fifty Year Mission, Freiberger summarised the whole situation:

Gene Coon was a lovely, talented guy who came up with certain stories and said to do what you want with them, because he couldn’t get involved. He worked as much as he could with us and he was a complete gentleman and completely professional about the whole thing.

It is interesting to contrast Fred Freiberger’s warm affection for Gene L. Coon with his strained relationships with writers like Dorothy Fontana and David Gerrold. Of course, Coon passed away before he could offer his own account of these events, but they do suggest no lingering ill-will.

"I think the writers have finally flipped."

“I think the writers have finally flipped.”

Wink of an Eye is much a third season Gene L. Coon script. Indeed, the episode seems to share a number of key influences with Spock’s Brain, Coon’s prior (and much maligned) third season script. Both are very much classic science-fiction throwback stories, the sorts of lurid tales that might be found in pulpy science-fiction magazines or playing in low-rent theatres. In come ways, both Spock’s Brain and Wink of an Eye exist as throwbacks that take Star Trek on a tour through the history of science-fiction.

The Morg and Eymorg society in Spock’s Brain seemed like it might have been lifted from H.G. Wells’ The Time Machine, with some retro gender commentary heaped on top. Wells is considered one of the most influential figures in the history of science-fiction, so it seems appropriate that the franchise might pay tribute to his work. Wink of an Eye makes a number of nods towards another H.G. Wells story, The New Accelerator. The short story was published in the pages of Amazing Tales. It is perhaps one of Wells’ most overlooked works.

The next (tele)port of call.

The next (tele)port of call.

In The New Accelerator, the protagonist encounters a drug that allows him to move faster than the people around him. In some ways, Wells’ story reads as a metaphor for addiction, the protagonist hunting for “a stimulant that stimulates all round, that wakes you up for a time from the crown of your head to the tip of your great toe, and makes you go two—or even three—to everybody else’s one.” As with Wink of an Eye, the protagonist finds himself moving out of step with the world around him, faster.

Wink of an Eye is not a story about addiction. Kirk does not want to go faster. Indeed, Kirk spends a significant portion of the story trying to slow down. Instead, the speed of experienced by the Scalosians seems to be a source of palpable anxiety and dread. Scalos is revealed to be a sterile wasteland, a dead world. Deela warns Kirk about what happened to her planet. “Radiation was released. That changed us. It accelerated us. The children died. Most of the women found they could not have more. All of our men had become sterile.”

"I can see you."

“I can see you.”

Radiation. Sterility. Annihilation. These are all very much sixties anxieties, the pet terrors of a world living in the shadow of the atomic bomb. There were almost seventeen thousand qualified fallout shelter analysts working in 1968. That same year, Jeff Nuttall tied anxiety over the bomb to emerging counterculture, suggesting that teenagers were rightly sceptical of the generation whose “membership of the H-bomb society automatically cancelled anything they might have to say on questions of right or wrong.”

In this context, the Scalosians would seem to tap into an elemental fear in late sixties society, one tied to radiation and the bomb. Was society moving too fast? Speed and time were of the essence. Outlining the threat of a nuclear strike, President John F. Kennedy argued that “any misjudgment on either side about the intentions of the other could rain more devastation in several hours than has been wrought in all the wars of humanity.” Consider the rhetoric applied to this threat; “arms race”, “racing towards extinction.”

Get Rael.

Get Rael.

The Doomsday Clock was established in 1947. Although simply a metaphor, it still posited that complete annihilation of mankind was only minutes away. In fact, the clock had been moved a whole six minutes closer to midnight in 1968. Coupled with the civil unrest of that year and the massive social changes that took place over the longer course of the sixties, it seems like some viewers might empathise with Kirk and the Scalosians. In a 1985 interview with Benjamin H. D. Buchloh, artist Andy Warhol reflected, “In the sixties, everything changed so fast.”

At the same time, much like Spock’s Brain, the strong influence of cult sci-fi b-movies can be felt on Wink of an Eye, particularly in Deela’s plot to abduct the male crew members of the Enterprise for the purposes of breeding. Although there are male Scalosian characters, the plot focuses primarily upon Deela. Deela is the queen of Scalos, and the male population of the planet has been rendered entirely sterile. The result is a matriarchal society that abducts males from passing ships as breeding stock. And Deela has set her eyes on Kirk.

Everything is skewed.

“Funny. I though ‘Special Guest Villain Lee Meriwether’ wasn’t showing up until next week.”

This is very much a pulpy science-fiction trope, one alluded to Spock’s Brain when a society of hyper-advanced women stole the eponymous organ in order to power their city. This “alien babes need breeding stock” plot was the basic plot of 1954’s Devil Girls From Mars. Alan Moore would incorporate it into the back story of Silver Age space explorer Adam Strange during his iconic run on Swamp Thing during the eighties. More recently, Brian Azzarello employed in during his Wonder Woman run, to considerable controversy.

It is, understandably, a trope that has to be employed with a great deal of skill and care. After all, it is easy for this to turn into a misogynist power fantasy that celebrates male virility while also reacting in horror towards societies entrusting power to women. These elements allowed the basic plot to be ruthlessly parodied in Futurama‘s Amazon Women in the Mood. It would be very easy for Wink of an Eye to turn into a story about how manly James Tiberius Kirk is, the last hope of a matriarchal planet populated by sterile men.

"I know your delivery's been getting slower all season, but, still, Leonard..."

“I know your delivery’s been getting slower all season, but, still, Leonard…”

To be fair, there are shades of this to the episode. In some ways, the Scalosians appear to be a nightmarish depiction of female sexuality. They certainly manage to “turn” Compton against his friends and against his oath to Starfleet through the power of sexual temptation, portraying female sexuality as something dangerous and weaponised that can be employed against unsuspecting men. “At first I refused, but then after a while I found I couldn’t help myself,” Compton confesses.

In the same time, it turns out that Kirk’s masculinity is so powerful that Deela cannot overwhelm him in such a manner. Although Kirk appears to fall under her spell after sleeping with her, it turns out to be a clever ruse. If anything, Kirk’s raw masculine sexuality turns out to overpower Deela. After sleeping with him, her mind is so clouded that he is able to outwit her and enact his own plans. As with The Enterprise Incident and For the World is Hollow and I Have Touched the Sky, another female leader is overwhelmed by the raw sexual energy of a Star Trek lead.

What's the big Deela?

What’s the big Deela?

Still, Wink of an Eye does offer mitigate these issues somewhat. A lot of this comes down to Deela herself. In theory, Deela is really just a one-shot guest character who will hook up with Kirk and never appear again. However, the character benefits from both Arthur Heinemann’s script and Kathie Browne’s performance. In many ways, Deela seems a match for Kirk. She is flirty and playful, seeming more like a real character than Natrina from For the World is Hollow and I Have Touched the Sky or Miramanee from The Paradise Syndrome.

Unlike the Romulan Commander in The Enterprise Incident, Deela is allowed the foresight to expect Kirk’s escape and sabotage attempts. “I would’ve been disappointed if you hadn’t tried,” she remarks after his first attempt. Indeed, even after Kirk begins playing along to lull her into a false sense of security, there is a sense that Deela is at least a little uncomfortable. “I liked you better before,” she reflects. Of course, Deela is still outwitted by Kirk in the end. It likely speaks to the ambient sexism of the third season that this still feels like a victory.

"You might be Queen of Scalos, but you'll never be Captain of the Enterprise. I know, there are rules."

“You might be Queen of Scalos, but you’ll never be Captain of the Enterprise. I know, there are rules.”

That said, Wink of an Eye does make a number of small gestures to undercut the potential sexism of the plot. Most notably, Deela’s interactions with Kirk subvert gender norms in a number of intriguing ways. “I want to keep this one a long time,” Deela reflects of Kirk. “He’s pretty.” The decision to describe the show’s rugged and masculine lead as “pretty” instead of “handsome” seems pointedly emasculating. As does the portrayal of Rael as a jealous-to-the-point-of-violence romantic rival, particularly the emphasis on his emotionalism.

Indeed, Deela has a number of traits that are traditionally depicted as masculine. She is more cold and rational than Rael. She is more goal-orientated and level-headed. She is more pragmatic. She certainly has a more active (and polyamorous) sex life. Her treatment of Kirk and Rael is quite close to the way that male characters on sixties television treat female characters, particularly her description of the pair as “stubborn and irritating and independent.” Coming from a male character, that would seem a patronising description of a woman.

Embracing opportunity.

Embracing opportunity.

If anything, Wink of an Eye seems a more effective example of gender stereotype “turnabout” than The Turnabout Intruder. It presents a female character who is very much an equal for James Tiberius Kirk, in manners both flattering and otherwise. This is perhaps why Deela seems to understand Kirk better than Miramnee ever did. “Are you married, Captain?” she wonders. “No family? No attachments? I know. You’re married to your career, and you never look at another woman.” It is like Deela watched the end of Elaan of Troyius.

There is something endearingly good-natured about all this, and Kirk takes Deela’s observation in his stride. “Well, if she’s pretty enough, I’ll look,” he flirts. Despite the ickiness of the scene with Compton, Wink of an Eye seems quite sex positive. It certainly respects Kirk and Deela as adults, allowing them the dignity of a one-night stand. Despite the predatory nature of the Scalosian plot and the threat of extinction, the whole thing seems surprisingly amicable. Despite the Scalosian plot, Deela is never presented as a monster for having a sexual identity.

"A sexually empowered female guest star? Get back!"

“A sexually empowered female guest star? Get back!”

A lot of credit is due to writer Arthur Heinemann, working from Coon’s story outline. Heinemann seemed quite happy with the episode as it turned out, telling Starlog:

“Wink of an Eye is my favorite of the three,” Heinemann said. “It was directed by Jud Taylor, who’s a damn good director.  He asked me many questions about the people in the script. What they felt, what they thought, what they were like. He and I had a thorough discussion about the people, and he got his actors to project exactly what I had in mind.”

It is surprising that Wink of an Eye works as well as it does, given its subject matter. This is an episode that seems like it should be a mess on the scale of Elaan of Troyius or Spock’s Brain. It is to the credit of Heinemann and Taylor that it works so well.

"Radiation also hurt our textile industries."

“Radiation also hurt our textile industries.”

Indeed, Taylor does some great work with the episode. Particularly inspired is the director’s decision to employ Dutch angles to demonstrate when Kirk is “out of sync” with his fellow crew. The camera seems to skew slightly, tilting as if to suggest that there is something “wrong” with the world. Taylor employs this transition quite skilfully, particularly in the sequence where Spock takes the concoction to speed up his metabolism. The camera slowly tilts as a way to illustrate the transition from one world to another.

(On some level, this emphasis on Dutch also provides a nice piece of foreshadowing, as if teasing a crossover between Star Trek and Batman! Over the next couple of episodes, Star Trek would feature a host of famous faces from Batman! Lee Meriwether would appear in That Which Survives, while Frank Gorshin would play a memorable guest role in Let That Be Your Last Battlefield. Completing the Batman! trifecta would be a guest appearance from Yvonne Craig in Whom The Gods Destroy. The Dutch angles in Wink of an Eye seem to pave the way.)

Never too far a (force) field.

Never too far a (force) field.

This clever stylistic touch underscores one of the other major influences on the episode, beyond H.G. Wells and classic b-movies. As with Spock’s Brain, there is a sense that Gene L. Coon is conducting a form of narrative archaeology on Star Trek, tracing the show back it antecedents in weird fiction. It is something that happens quite a bit over the course of the third season of Star Trek, with the “Medusans” and the references to H.P. Lovecraft in Is There in Truth No Beauty? through to the maritime ghost story of The Tholian Web.

Wink of an Eye pushes the franchise back past its science-fiction roots to something altogether less rational. As with a lot of other third season episodes, Wink of an Eye places an emphasis on how little sense can be made of the science behind the plot. “Oh, there is a scientific explanation for it,” Deela assures Kirk as he tries to process what is happening. “But all that really matters is that you can see me and talk to me, and we can go on from there.” Scientific logic is clearly secondary.

Back in the chair.

Back in the chair.

Indeed, it occasionally seems like internally logic is tertiary. There are all manner of logical questions raised by the episode’s premise, but never properly addressed in the narrative. If Kirk is moving so fast that he cannot be seen by the naked eye, surely he runs the risk of burning up due to friction? If the turbolifts move so slowly to the Scalosians, how do they get around? Indeed, given they are invisible to the ship and crew, how do they get through closed doors? To be fair, the script suggested that all the doors on the ships were jammed open, but it was cut from the episode.

Wink of an Eye feels quite removed from that the context of the Star Trek universe. Like other third season episodes, including Is There in Truth No Beauty? and The Empath, the episode feels like it came from a parallel version of the show. This is most notable in the scene where Spock works with the computer to determine what has happened, a rather clumsy way of delivering exposition and raising stakes that seems rather out of step with what the Enterprise computer has done before. “If incapable of resistance, negotiate for terms,” the computer advises.

Beaming with excitement.

Beaming with excitement.

In many ways, Wink of an Eye is effectively a fairy story. It is the story of a mortal being taken to a strange realm that violates the laws of physics, overseen by a queen. Kirk and Spock both make the transition by drinking a special potion; Kirk is drugged, while Spock takes it voluntarily. This reflects the fixation on food and drink within fairy tales, from the Brothers Grimm to old Celtic mythology. After all, those myths frequently warn that those who eat or drink with the fair folk are likely to remain trapped in their domain.

Wink of an Eye plays into and invites these comparisons, the episode drawing from the mythology and iconography of the fair folk. The first hint that the Scalosians exist comes during the teaser, when Kirk hears a faint buzzing noise. Kirk waves it away as if trying to swat a fly. He describes it as “insect life.” The sound and imagery evoke small creatures flying and buzzing, the beating of tiny imaginary wings. Like insects, but also like the most common modern depictions of fairies.

Who is the fairest one of all?

Who is the fairest one of all?

While time dilation is very much a science-fiction concept, it is rooted in these of fairy stories. The myth of Tír na nÓg, the home of the Celtic fair folk that literally translates as “Land of Youth.” Consider Oisín, the son of Fionn MacCumhaill, who was transported to Tír na nÓg; Oisín returned home to discover that more time had passed in the real world. He was out of step with his reality. Wink of an Eye leans heavily into this idea of time, emphasising the speeding up or slowing down of footage and recordings.

Time plays into Wink of an Eye, even beyond the suggestion that the Scalosians are traveling impossibly fast. Compton dies by aging to death. Wounded in the struggle with Kirk and Rael, Compton withers quick. Time and speed are inevitably linked, the death of Compton suggests the former more than the later. It recalls the myths of those withered old souls banished from imaginary kingdoms. Oisín himself faced that fate upon leaving Tír na nÓg, all those years catching up to him at once.

An old story.

An old story.

Of course, there is an important inversion to the fairy story presented in Wink of an Eye. As Josh Marsfelder points out:

In the traditional myths, one of the major differences between our world and the Otherworld was the sense of time. Time passed much, much more slowly within the Otherworld than it did in the land of humans: This is why Oisín can return to Ireland after what felt to him like three years, but were in fact three centuries for his compatriots. But, in Wink of an Eye, it’s the opposite: The Scalosians experience time at a much faster rate than others because they are accelerated. So what we have instead is a very obvious inversion-The hero is taken to a realm where time passes at a faster rate. Why might that be? This seems like an unusual switch to make, considering the Celtic Otherworld is meant to be the Fortunate Isles, or the Land of Eternal Youth or Summer. Doesn’t that miss the whole point? Well actually, no, because the Scalosians aren’t the fairies. The Enterprise crew are. Kirk isn’t the hero who finds himself across the sea or within the barrows: Deela is.

It is a very astute observation, and one that certainly fits with the facts presented.

"You know, given that the Scalosians were talking about radiation, should I be worried about all this glowing green stuff in my Sickbay?"

“You know, given that the Scalosians were talking about radiation, should I be worried about all this glowing green stuff in my Sickbay?”

There is a recurring theme of “otherness” to the Enterprise crew in the third season of Star Trek, perhaps reflecting the weird state of the show; the third season of Star Trek finds the show between two deaths, but also between two resurrections. So it makes sense that the ship would cast out of the galaxy in Is There in Truth No Beauty? or would journey through the void in The Tholian Web or be disassembled and reassembled (incorrectly) in That Which Survives. Presenting the crew as a mythical force in Wink of an Eye fits with that interpretation.

Indeed, Wink of an Eye also hits upon these themes of life and undeath. Kirk finds himself accelerated, but also closer to death. In some ways, this mirrors the third season as a whole. Star Trek was revived following its cancellation at the end of the second season, but the everybody knows that there will be no such reprieve at the end of the third season. Rather grimly, the episode ends with the implication that the Scalosian people are doomed. “And we will die and solve your problem that way,” Deela reflects. Death is inevitable.

"Well... it is marginally less bleak than the fate of my last lover."

“Well… it is marginally less bleak than the fate of my last lover.”

Or is it? It turns out that Deela’s big plan is to effectively freeze the Enterprise in amber, to trap the ship and its crew in stasis in orbit around Scalos. “They’ll remain here in suspended animation,” Deela assures Kirk. “It will do them no harm. We are saving them for when we need them in the future.” In their own weird way, the Scalosians seek to preserve the Enterprise and her crew, if only so that they might savour them like a box of really fine chocolates. They won’t be “burnt out” immediately, to quote Deela.

(It is interesting that the episode chooses to use the analogy of “burning out” to describe the threat to the Enterprise crew. It is certainly an appropriate metaphor, given the episode’s emphasis on speed. However, it is also the language that is used to describe celebrity or stardom. It is better to burn out than to fade away, to quote a cliché. Neil Young would include the refrain in his song Hey, Hey, My, My. Kurt Cobain would employ it in his suicide note. Perhaps a similar choice awaits the Enterprise crew.)

Freeze!

Freeze!

Deela and the Scalosians would preserve the crew, vacuum-packing them for later revival. Given that Star Trek was facing almost certain cancellation at the end of the season, it seems a potent metaphor. Consciously or not, a lot of the third season seems to be preparing the show for life after cancellation. The third season is packed with concepts, themes and images that would become part of the cultural lexicon of the Star Trek franchise. Death stalks the Enterprise, and the Scalosians tease the Enterprise crew with a temporary reprieve.

Of course, Kirk declines. Given the option of remaining frozen in time, Kirk chooses to keep moving forward. The future will hold what it will hold. The Scalosians might be moving fast, but they are going nowhere. The Enterprise will push boldly forward, even if those bold adventures push them into oblivion. It is better than remaining frozen in place or running to stand still. Star Trek faces its end in a dignified fashion, with Kirk ready to meet it on its own terms. In many ways, that willingness to move forward would keep the franchise fresh and relevant.

Holding patterns.

Holding patterns.

Wink of an Eye is a delightfully surreal episode in a season where it seems like the rational laws of the universe have begun to break down. It might not be hard science-fiction, but it feels quite magical. And what is wrong with that?

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5 Responses

  1. This is one of those episodes that does not hold up to a bit of scrutiny. After all, the Scalosians should have been able to accomplish everything, while Spock simply gets through a door. Yet, I still enjoy it. One of my favorite scenes is when Spock enters the accelerated existence, and he meets Kirk while running down a hallway. No word of explanation between them, Kirk just sort of nods, and they continue running. I really like the suggestion that they are used to the abnormal, and Kirk is just used to Spock solving the abnormal, and both just want to continue with their task.

    • I love that little scene.

      And I like Wink of an Eye. There’s an affable lightness and weirdness to these later third season episodes, which isn’t quite prime Star Trek or classic Star Trek, but which feels charmingly off-beat. It’s almost like watching the Star Trek universe evaporate around Kirk, rationality eroding. It feels appropriate for the season that’s in it.

  2. Thanks for your wonderfully thoughtful analysis of this episode; I love the way you tie the episodes to what was happening in the world at the moment and also to the history of science fiction and fantasy.

    My favorite moment in this episode is when Spock gets speeded up, he meets Kirk, who’s running to dismantle the machine, and Spock just falls in with Kirk and they run along together. There’s no “How did you get speeded up” from Kirk or “Where are we running to, and what’s the plan” from Spock — they see each other and are instantly in synch.

    Of course, this is probably either a result of one of those occasions when Shatner insisted on deleting Nimoy’s lines or a result of an authorial oversight, but the effect is to suggest that these two guys are such a great team that they don’t even have to talk to each other to know what the plan is, where they’re going and what they’re doing — one look at each other, and they just go DO it. 🙂

    • Heh. Just read the comment above mine. I didn’t realize that it had already been said. But now you know that two Trek fans had the same reaction independently.

    • Thanks! I figure that there’s been a lot of great Star Trek reviews of the years, so there’s a bit of fun to be had going a little weirder and more esoteric in my reviews, looking at the show as a context of its time. I tried to do something similar with my other television reviews, be they X-Files/DS9/Voyager/Enterprise. Haven’t written any TNG reviews in a while, but the immediate late-and-post-Cold War era is a little hazier to me.

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