Clickerbox: Star Trek 1×04 “The Enemy Within”

The world’s first transporter malfunction splits Kirk into two, one good, one evil. Here comes the bullshit, boys and girls!

Beam me up.

So, Enterprise has Kirk and Sulu and a bunch of goons looking at rocks down on some forgettable planet with a forgettable name, when one of the forgettable minor characters falls down like an idiot, cutting his hand and getting weird magnetic ore smeared all over him. If you already know where this is going, give yourself a cookie.

Sulu is holding some kind of “beast” native to the planet, which is clearly a dog wearing a bath-mat and a foam horn. It would be cute if it weren’t one of the saddest things I’ve ever seen. That dog stares into my soul with eyes like the abyss and you can tell this creature just hates to be alive.

The workman, Fisher, beams up to the ship so McCoy can have a look at his boo-boo and kiss it better. Scotty notices the magnetic whatsit is making the transporter act all fuckin’ weird, but being the safety-conscious professional he is, he beams Kirk up next.

Kirk and Scotty wander off together, leaving the highly sensitive technology unattended. As soon as they’ve left the room, the transporter beams in a second Kirk. The Captain has been split into two halves, the first one the good half, this one, the asshole half. The Evil Kirk isn’t so much menacing as he is ridiculous. Shatner’s acting here is even more over the top than usual, and when EvilKirk first materializes, the camera does this silly dramatic zoom onto the Shat’s ludicrous face.

EvilKirk seems to have also inherited the Kirk libido, since his first instinct is to make a beeline to the transporter console and start humping it. I’m not joking, that’s what he actually does. He wanders into sickbay, where McCoy appears to be vacuuming Fisher’s hand demands liquor, and shambles off.

Spock confronts GoodKirk about this, who shrugs it off, his chest gleaming. Three shirtless Shatners, ah-ah-ah. Spock, in an oddly sensual tone of voice asks GoodKirk if there’s, uh…anything he can do….


EvilKirk makes his way up to Yeoman Rand’s quarters, and there the rape-fest continues. He demands Rand tiddle his willy, but she fights him off and scratches his face. Fisher happens by and sees all this, but before he can sound the alarm, EvilKirk runs after him and rapes him too, before wandering off with the bottle of booze still in hand, in search of something else to rape.

Honestly, I don’t see how this is different from the Captain’s usual conduct.

In sickbay, Rand tells GoodKirk, Spock, and McCoy that the Captain tried to rape her, and then ravaged poor Fisher’s asshole. GoodKirk denies this, pointing out the fact that his face is not scratched. and Spock decides there must be an impostor aboard. The really disgusting thing in this scene is that Rand says under normal circumstances she wouldn’t have reported the incident because:

After all, he IS the captain.

Yuck. Really? REALLY? You wouldn’t have reported a rape attempt? That’s some rather sickening implications right there, 1966. There’s only one attractive blonde who can get away with not reporting a rape, and her name is Veronica Mars.

The search for the imposter begins, and both Kirks are clearly not doing well in their separated states. The good half is becoming forgetful and unsure of himself, and the evil half is becoming increasingly scared and paranoid.

So, pretty much what I’m getting from this episode is that William Shatner’s good side is incompetent and retarded, and his evil side is a rapey alcoholic, from whence all the hamminess stems.

I get that this was fresh and original at the time, but this has been parodied and referenced so much there are pretty much no surprises here. Hell, this is the exact same plot as one of the Animorphs books, where Rachel morphs a starfish on a school trip, ends up getting cut in half, and both starfish halves morph back to human separately, one good, one evil, both believing the other to be some kind of Yeerk spy. That book also had a poop joke. Anyway, neither one can survive if the other dies blah blah blah.

McCoy and Scotty deduce that the split was caused by the transporter malfunction. They dare not beam the rest of the landing party aboard for fear they’ll be split, too, but it’s getting close to nightfall down on the planet, and nights there get down to 120 below zero.

GoodKirk shows off how retarded he is when he announces that there is an impostor and that he has scratches on his face over the intercom to the entire ship. Gee, buddy, you don’t think maybe the impostor would hear that?

And hear it EvilKirk does, because he covers up the scratches with makeup that he just randomly has in his quarters for some reason. He then has a rather hilarious temper tantrum, bellowing about how HE IS CAPTAIN KIRK FARGARGREGERfhfdgh.

In the briefing room, GoodKirk and Spock try to puzzle out EvilKirk’s next move. The walls in here are a rather chalky looking lilac for some reason. In fact, almost everything on Enterprise has some kind of funky paint job. Apparently this was because back in the day, NBC was the first full-colour TV station and Star Trek did its best to show it off. I wonder if it was impressive to viewers of the time, because to me it looks like the ship was decorated by a circus clown.

GoodKirk and Spock correctly guess that EvilKirk is hiding down in engineering, and it’s a pretty good scene of the two of them stalking EvilKirk through the engine room, each trying to get the drop on the other. Just as EvilKirk is about to kill the good one, Spock knocks him the fuck out like a boss. EvilKirk’s phaser discharge has damaged some technical fuckery-doo, which means its going to be even harder to rescue Sulu and the other goons.

Down on the planet, the temperature is dropping rapidly, and George Takei takes the opportunity to snuggle up to the other men. The transporter fuckery means beaming down heaters or shelter kits just makes copies that don’t work. They try to stay warm by heating the rocks with their phasers, but it won’t last long.

EvilKirk is strapped down in sickbay while the others try to come up with a solution. The two Kirks look longingly at one another, and I can certainly see why. This must be like the culmination of Kirk’s life: The ability to make sweet love to himself. Hell, EvilKirk is quite clearly sporting a raging boner as GoodKirk looks down at him lustily. The vitals monitor with the wicked bass throbs in time to the blood coursing through EvilKirk’s stiff cock….

Uh, yeah…..where was I?

Scotty comes in, saying he’s fixed the damage to the transporter, and they decide to test the reintegration out on the silly looking dog-thing, who has also been split. It does indeed pull itself back together, but it died in the process. STAR TREK KILLED A DOG. McCoy even says:

He’s dead, Jim.

Despite urgings to the contrary, GoodKirk decides to go through with the process himself.

I have to take him inside myself.

I’m calling it right now, this is the gayest episode of Star Trek to ever exist. OH. MY. GOD. There’s no way that wasn’t on purpose.

McCoy autopsies the unfortunate muppet and determines that it died from shock, likely from having no idea what was happening to it and being terrified. Spock tells GoodKirk he should go through with it then, since he does know what’s going on. Spock says he knows that GoodKirk can handle it, since Spock deals with two halves everyday, human and Vulcan. Aww, Spock, lemme hug you. McCoy and Spock recommending opposite courses of action goes to show just how easily GoodKirk can be swayed as he continues to flip-flop like the best of politicians.

All the while, EvilKirk still has a boner. It’s an obvious double in some places, but damn that is some serious narcissism.

Meanwhile, Sulu and friends are freezing to death in their big gay body heat huddle. Sulu gasps about how the cold is “penetrating” the “communicator”. Uh huh. GoodKirk unties EvilKirk to take him to the transporter room, but EvilKirk beats the snot out of him and takes off. He heads to the bridge and stops to chat with Yeoman Rand and convinces her that he’s the good one. DON’T FALL FOR HIS RAPEY TRICKS, SWEETIE!

I wonder how much of Rand’s willingness to let the captain molest her has to do with Gene Roddenberry’s well-known habit of taking female guest stars up to his office and screwing their brains out on a regular basis. Showing off the ol’ rod ‘n berry, as it were.

EvilKirk arrives on the bridge, and tells the fetal alcohol navigator Ferrel to take them out of orbit. GoodKirk shows up and each tries to convince the crew that the other is the bad one. EvilKirk quickly outs himself though, as he throws a hissy fit about how it’s HIS SHIP!!! before collapsing, probably in a puddle of his own piss.

Meanwhile poor Takei has passed right out, covered in frost.

The EvilKirk is dragged down to the transporter room, leaning weakly against GoodKirk, who holds him gently and smells his own hair. He orders Scotty to beam them back together.

I’ve seen a part of myself no man should ever see.

You looked at your own asshole, didn’t you?

Kirk is beamed back together, Sulu and the landing party is rescued, and Rand forgives Kirk. I’m not sure why, because while that was his evil half, he still has that rapey-ness within him. Besides, why is it in science fiction and fantasy, whenever there’s a story bringing out a man’s evil side it’s always with the misogyny and rape? Not ever guy has that in him. Jeez. I’m kinda sick of seeing it. Joss Whedon shows are especially bad for that.

On the other hand, Spock saying to Rand in a very sleazy voice that the evil Kirk had some interesting qualities and leering is a little much. The poor thing had just been nearly raped. Not only that, Rand’s actress Grace Lee Whitney really was sexually assaulted on two occasions by Star Trek production staff. What the fuck, Spock?

This episode is a lot of fun, but not because it’s particularly great. I had more fun laughing at it than anything else. It’s interesting to see where all the parodies came from, but I don’t think it holds up quite as well as it should, and that’s mostly down to Shatner being way more over the top than usual. It’s still an entertaining episode, the dialogue between Spock and McCoy continues to be great, and the scene in engineering is very well done. There are things to like, but more to laugh at.




Next time: Star Trek 1×05 “The Man Trap”

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