Star Trek : The Enemy Within

November 10, 2014 in Guest Blogs, Star Trek by GuestBlogs

A Guest Blog by Mindless-Droid


This week’s classic Star Trek episode is The Enemy Within. During a geological survey mission on Alfa 177 geological technician Fisher falls down a hillside injuring his hand and covering his uniform in a strange magnetic ore. Fisher beams back to the ship but during transport the transporter registers a strange power surge. Fisher arrives okay and the transporter checks out. Captain Kirk is beamed up next and upon arrival feels dizzy. Scotty tends to the Captain walking with him to sick bay. Unknown to anyone the magnetic ore has caused a transporter malfunction and after Scotty and Kirk leave it activates again and a second Kirk materializes on the transporter platform. It seems the malfunction has split Kirk into two halves one good one evil.


This is the first of several transporter malfunction episodes in Star Trek. It’s also the first were the transporter is also the solution. This malfunction splits the person or dog as is the case with the Alfa 177 canine into two halves one good one evil. We see how after Kirk is split into two halves neither half can function nor survive without the other. We also get a bit more insight into Spock’s character as he theorizes as to what is happening to Kirk he explains how his Vulcan and Human half coexist.


As a character study this was a good episode how a person would react to being split into two halves but the surrounding story of the landing party stranded on the planet, well there are some plot holes. Doing some research I found that the subplot of Sulu and the others on the planet was added later as the original story focused solely on Kirk. The fact that a ship a large as the Enterprise would only have one transporter doesn’t seem logical and shouldn’t a ship that large have shuttle craft or some sort of other smaller ships in case of emergency. Then you have the transporter duplicating inanimate objects as Spock reports when they tried to beam down thermal heaters. Well why not beam down blankets every one you beam down turns into two they could at least have had more than those flimsy sheets they were covering up with. The showering phaser effect when Sulu heated the rocks was unique to this episode.


This episode also contains two firsts. Spock performs the first Vulcan nerve pinch on evil Kirk in engineering. The script had Spock kayoing evil Kirk from behind but Leonard Nimoy didn’t think that fit Spock’s character and improvised the nerve pinch. The second of the two firsts is when the Alfa 177 dog is put through the transporter to rejoin its two halves. The dog unfortunately does not survive and Doctor McCoy says “He’s dead Jim.” For the first time.