Star Trek (1966) season 1, episode 4
"The Naked Time"
WRITER: JOHN D.F. BLACK
DIRECTOR: MARC DANIELS
AIR DATE: September 29 1966
The Enterprise explores a space station where everyone aboard froze to death after the environmental controls had been switched off. Aboard, members of the crew were discovered in unexplainable situations in death, such as being fully clothed in a shower. As Spock and Joe Tormolen investigate in protective suits, but unfortunately Tormolen removes a glove and inadvertently exposes himself to the pathogen which caused the calamity aboard the station.
"The Naked Now" is the first episode which does not feature an alien or invading force, at least none that is readily seen or identified. The only enemies on the Enterprise are the members of the crew themselves.
With no discernable enemy other than themselves, and an unknown ailment spreading through the crew of the Enterprise which is cancelling inhibitions and bringing their primary fears and desires to the forefront. It is a simply episode which allows us to learn more about key members of the crew.
The episodes continue to air out of order. "The Naked Now" aired fourth but chronologically was meant to air seventh. The novelization was written by James Blish. Star Trek continues to produce spectacular episodes on a tight budget. Here are a few points of interest for the episode:
The thermal suits worn by Spock and Joe Tormolen are made from shower curtains, and must have been both uncomfortable and warm. The device used by Spock is a radiation survey meter which has the nickname 'Cutie Pie'.
Some of Spock's anatomical functions are detailed when he returns to the Enterprise. McCoy indicates that Spock's pulse is 242 and blood pressure is practically non-existent. He also confirms what we saw in "The Man Trap": Spock's blood is green.
The food synthesizer is introduced in this episode essentially doing away with the need for a chef as heard in "Charlie X".
Joe Tormolen's ranks is Lieutenant Junior Grade, the only occurrence of this rank during the series and clearly identified by the braid on his arm. His statement that Lieutenant Sulu does not rank him is therefore untrue, but this may be attributable to his being afflicted by the unknown ailment.
When George Takei read the script for this episode is solidified his choice to become a regular on the series. Takei had the choice between a fencing foil and a samurai sword. He choosing the foil. Director Marc Daniels visited Takei in his trailer before filming and asked him to remove his shirt, then proclaimed that Takei would perform the scene shirtless. For the next three days, George Takei did push ups in preparation.
When Sulu grabs Uhura on the bridge proclaiming "I'll protect you, fair maiden." Uhura's response was an ad-lib by Nichelle Nichols, "Sorry, neither", indicating that she is neither 'fair' nor a 'maiden'. It is also interesting to note that the censors obviously missed this line as it wouldn't be likely that they would permit the implication that Uhura is single but not a virgin during 1960's television. Sulu's exclamation "Foul, Richelieu" is a reference to Cardinal Richelieu of France, the main antagonist of Alexandre's Dumas' "The Three Musketeers" (1844).
This episode is the first to show Spock using the Vulcan nerve pinch on Sulu. Spock's makes an uncharacteristic joke by instructing crewmen to "Take D'Artagnan her to sick bay", is another reference to "The Three Musketeers". D'Artaganan is the fourth musketeer. Read the book.
Spock's hand held time computation device is a E6B flight computer, also known as the 'Whiz Wheel'.
While Scotty carefully cutting open the door to the engine room, post production neglected to insert the phaser beam.
Nurse Chapel is introduced in this episode where she first indicates her attraction for Spock which will be revisited in future episodes.
Spock contracting the disease was originally meant to be a simply sight gag with the crewman in the hallway painting a moustache on his face. Leonard Nimoy suggested a different approach which lead to his extended breakdown scene. With very little shooting time available, Nimoy accomplished the scene in one take.
After the cure is discovered, McCoy rips Kirk sleeve to administer the antidote. This was obviously done for effect as the hypo can go through clothing in future episodes.
When the Enterprise's engines are cold restarted the ship enters a timewarp travelling back in time three days. The original plan was for this episode to be the first of two parts which would have had the Enterprise travel farther backwards into the events of "Tomorrow is Yesterday".
|It is hard to decide if anything could have been done better by the crew in resolution of their situation. Certainly it would have been a good idea if Joe Tormolen had not removed his glove at the beginning of the episode, but of course the episode would not have taken place if he had. The original plan of having this episode be part one of a two part story, the second half being "Tomorrow is Yesterday" air for quite some time, would have been an interesting take but the story still works as presented. Another interesting scene is how Kirk looks longingly at Rand near the end of the episode. This brief scene could be taken as foreshadowing of the events of "The Enemy Within" unless you consider that the episodes take place in the opposite order chronologically, at which point the scene takes on a bit of a creepy feeling. We can't over analyse things though, and why should we. The episode is simply fun.[/justify]|