FROM BEYOND TELEVISION: BATTLE STATIONS, FANTASY & FUNNY BUSINESS presents
STAR TREK the original series Season 1 episode 4
THE NAKED TIME ****
THE NAKED TIME ****
Directed by Marc Daniels
The Enterprise respond to a distress call from Psi 2000 and upon landing, discover the research stations life support has been shut off. With no survivors, they find the frozen dead in a most peculiar state. One of them was found taking a shower fully clothed! A member of the landing party inspects further and unwittingly brings back a deadly space bacteria with him aboard the ship. Having an adverse effect on those exposed through a simple touch, the bacteria causes the crew to literally go insane. With the ships engines having been shut down, Kirk must save both his crew and the Enterprise before the ship plummets back into the frozen planets atmosphere.
This is one of the most fondly remembered episodes of the original series. It's also the first of several shows where we get to see some curious toying around with the roles of some of the main cast, most particularly Spock. Both he and Kirk get into a slight scuffle at the end. One of several brief fights over the course of the three season run. There's also a hint that Kirk desires Yeoman Janice Rand, something that comes to the fore in the next episode, 'The Enemy Within'.
"Attention cooks, this is your Captain speaking. I would like double portions of ice cream for the entire crew. And now, your Captain will render an ancient Irish favorite...'I'll take you home again, Kathleeeeennnn....!"
Easily the most hilariously memorable role on this episode is Bruce Hyde as Kevin Thomas Riley. The character appeared in one other episode, but this one is the best. Upon exposure to the disease, Riley turns into this playfully dangerous, devil-may-care irritant who single-handedly puts the entire ship in mortal danger after locking himself in the engineering room and forcing everyone aboard to listen to his rendition of 'Kathleen' over and over, suggesting the women wear their hair "loosely about their shoulders", and announces a dance in the "bowling alley".
"Lieutenant Uhura, you've interrupted my song. Uh, I'm sorry, but there'll be no ice cream for you tonight...And now, crew...I shall render "Kathleen"...one more TIME!"
It's a totally bonkers performance and one that warrants numerous viewings in addition to the other craziness going on. Stewart Moss as Joey, the one who unknowingly brings the space bacteria aboard the Enterprise, also played Hanar in the overly violent ST episode, 'By Any Other Name'. He also appeared in 70's horror movies like the groovy DOCTOR DEATH: SEEKER OF SOULS (1973) and the goofy THE BAT PEOPLE (1974).
George Takei gets to run around brandishing a rapier reliving something out of an old Errol Flynn movie. He gets a bit excited on the bridge which prompts Spock to incur one of those always welcome Vulcan Nerve Pinches. Meanwhile, fights break out all over the ship, others act totally pleased with themselves while others such as Nurse Chapel reveals her intimate feelings for Spock. The Vulcan himself, fights against letting his human side ascend to the surface. Even when the disease is contained, the Enterprise is far from out of trouble. It turns out Riley had shut down the engines and their 30 minute restart is impossible in the amount of time before the ship crashes back into the atmosphere of Psi 2000. Kirk and Scotty are forced to test a scientific theory in order to save the ship and its crew.
What this episode does most brilliantly is showing the Enterprise in peril, yet making it hilarious at the same time. The script, like so many of the original series, allows for so much character development allowing the viewer a look into the thoughts of some of the secondary roles on the show and also those of the main cast. We get a glimpse of Christine Chapel's love for Spock as well as Kirk's love for his ship. All in all, it's a great episode, one of many and one of the most fun out of its 79 episode run.
TUNE IN NEXT TIME FOR ANOTHER PROGRAM!