Star Trek – The Enemy Within

★★★★ October 6, 1966 Season 1 Episode 5

If you want to see where we are…and you missed a few… HERE is a list of the episodes in my index located at the top of my blog. 

This episode was written by Richard Matheson and Gene Roddenberry

A problem with the transporters causes Captain Kirk to re-energize as two versions of himself.

Kirk is split in half. He is the Jekyll/Hyde character, except he becomes two actual people. One exhibited animalistic behavior and the other a compassionate indecisive person. The problem is that the two look exactly alike. It allows William Shatner to go over the top…he is good at that but in this case, it really fits. He sneers as the evil side while he wonders indecisively as the other half. 

yeoman rand

The evil Kirk attacked Yeoman Rand and it’s brutally realistic. Shatner and Whitney do an excellent job in this scene. The episode examines the good and bad in everyone. It makes us who we are…both the ugly and compassionate sides make the whole.

Compassionate Kirk is too easily swayed by arguments and is paralyzed by the weight of decisions on his shoulders. Animal Kirk is too blinded by his desires to make decisions and is terrorized by fear.

Spock had to tell Kirk that he won’t be able to continue to be Captain if he kept losing his decision-making abilities. While this was going on, Sulu and crew are stuck on a very cold planet and cannot come up until the transporter is repaired. Dividing Kirk into two emotional halves to examine man’s duality is ingenious because it reveals not only Kirk but a broader look into our own human nature. 

Spock: If I seem insensitive to what you are going through Captain…understand…It’s the way I am. 


The original script called for Spock to karate chop Kirk to subdue him. Leonard Nimoy felt that this would be an uncharacteristically violent act for a peace-loving species like the Vulcans so he came up with a pincer-like grasp on the neck that has since become known as the Vulcan Nerve Pinch and become one of the character’s most famous gimmicks…it was used in The Naked Time but although this was filmed first…The Naked Time was aired first. 

This is one of the few times in Star Trek where it can be seen that the middle finger on actor James Doohan’s (Scotty’s) right hand is missing. Doohan lost the finger when it was struck by a bullet or shrapnel during the D-Day invasion in 1944. He took great pains to conceal its absence during the series, but his full right hand can be glimpsed briefly when he reaches into the box holding the snarling alien dog.

According to Grace Lee Whitney, while shooting the scene when a distraught, tearful Janice Rand accuses Captain Kirk of trying to rape her, William Shatner slapped her across the face to get her to register the proper emotion. As they shot the attempted rape scene days earlier, Whitney couldn’t get into the same emotion successfully, and it was Shatner’s “solution” to the problem.

The only Star Trek program written by Richard Matheson, a fantasy-horror legend who wrote two previous William Shatner vehicles: The Twilight Zone: Nick of Time (1960) and The Twilight Zone: Nightmare at 20,000 Feet (1963).


While beaming back aboard the Enterprise, a transporter malfunction results in two vastly different Captain Kirks being beamed aboard. His personality has in effect been split into two. One Captain Kirk is weak and indecisive, fearful of making any kind of decision; the other is a mean-spirited and violent man who likes to swill brandy and force himself on female crew members. Meanwhile, as Scotty struggles to repair the transporter, the landing party is stuck on the planet below with temperatures falling rapidly.


William Shatner … Captain James Tiberius ‘Jim’ Kirk
Leonard Nimoy … Mister Spock
DeForest Kelley … Doctor Leonard ‘Bones’ McCoy
Grace Lee Whitney … Yeoman Janice Rand
George Takei … Lieutenant Hikaru Sulu
James Doohan … Lieutenant Commander Montgomery ‘Scotty’ Scott
Ed Madden … Fisher (as Edward Madden)
Garland Thompson … Wilson
Jim Goodwin … Farrell
Nichelle Nichols … Lieutenant Nyota Uhura (voice) (uncredited)
Eddie Paskey … Connors (uncredited)


Author: Badfinger (Max)

Power Pop fan, Baseball fan, old movie and tv show fan... and a songwriter, bass and guitar player.

37 thoughts on “Star Trek – The Enemy Within”

    1. Yea they did it well… they made the most of what they had. I would love to have that Captains chair…. “JENNIFER come to the bridge!”
      Yea I don’t think that would go over well.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I am hooked on this show, and I just reached season 3 and it has about a hundred episodes. I recommend that you check it out, even though Nimoy plays a small part, his character is intricate to the story.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. I do remember that episode, but not the dog with the Martian feelers. Erik Von Zipper in the old Beach Party movies would give himself the “finger” by accident, always leading to paralysis, probably got that from the Star Trek series and Spock.


  2. I got such a chuckle out of that “alien creature” and how one was so tame and one snarling. Dangit didn’t notice Scotty’s finger but next time will be looking for it. I was quite disturbed by the attempted rape scene. Another one where I will look at Whitney to see her expression. I wonder did she know he was going to slap her and would like to know what she thought about that decision?? I really thought she would be one of the regulars on the show but then she disappeared. I wonder if that episode had anything to do with her leaving? Excellent choice of clip here, Max.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yea that scene was shockingly real…more than I thought Star Trek would be.
      I’m reading now on why she left…she says it was a sexual assault from a network exec….and Roddenberry says it was budget.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I just looked her up on imdb. I see she was born in Ann Arbor, Michigan! Just a few hours from here. I also see she went on to be in some of the Star Trek movies. I also sadly see she passed away in 2015 at the age of 85 😦

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yea I know…she was a beauty… she really was… she did come back for the movies because ST fans wanted her back…including me…

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Interesting background trivia. I don’t think that slap would have gone over well today, unless Ms. Whitney clearly gave permission. Those darn transporters caused some serious problems and plot twists. I think I’d be like Lt. Barclay from NG and Hoshi from Enterprise and try to avoid them. Dr. McKoy didn’t like them much either – getting your molecules scattered all over the universe… No thanks, I’ll take a shuttle.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sorry for the late reply… No that slap would not have at all. Oh yea I remember Dr McCoy saying that on a few episodes.
      Oh I’ve been meaning to ask you. Have you ever seen the “Star Trek Continues” shows?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s really good to me…they even got Scotty’s real son to play him…they did it for free so they could get by with it. The production is great. They nailed the feel of the original series.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I just watched the first episode. I was thinking Scotty’s voice was amazingly similar to the original which now makes sense. I also recognized Marina Sirtis/Counselor Troi as the computer voice. Yes, they nailed the feel of the original series. Realizing that was their goal helped me to overlook some of the stereotypically 60s reactions of female characters. It was fun overall. Thanks for the tip!

        Liked by 1 person

  4. All good buddy? Saw Banshees of Inisherin and Blanchett in Tar. You might get something from Banshees..You would like that I imagine.
    Hehe, My favorite so far is Tar. That is like a middle of Kubrick, Chazelle and Tarkovsky.
    Like I know diddly squat. Haha

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yea I’ve been working over so hopefully today and night will be better.
      The actor who plays Colm in Banshees of Inisherin…I’ve always liked him.


  5. Colin Farrell is brilliant and the young actor Barry Keoghan who plays the Policeman’s abused son even upstaged De Caprio’s performance in Gilbert Grape. If he doesn’t win best supporting actor at the Woke Oscars I’ll give it away. Blanchett in Tár is just brilliant.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s not upbeat by any stretch and it’s almost a pagan tale. You won’t find any answers in it. If there is an answer to be found then it becomes a gnostic fable for the special few. But the cinematography and acting are sublime. Tár with Blanchett is the best I have seen since Roma I think.

        Liked by 1 person

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