(airdate: October 6, 1966)
Writer: Richard Matheson
Director: Leo Penn
Fisher: Edward Madden
Wilson: Garland Thompson
Lt. Farrell: Jim Goodwin
Captain's Log: While exploring the planet Alfa 177, Geological Technician Fisher injures his hand and beams aboard the Enterprise. He's covered with a yellow ore that adversely affects the transporter: anyone or anything that subsequently uses it is split into two different versions, a "good" version and an "evil" version. Kirk uses the transporter before this is discovered, and thus is split. The "evil" Kirk sexually assaults Yeoman Rand and attempts to kill his "good" version, while the "good" Kirk finds himself increasingly unable to make decisions. Meanwhile, the landing party are stranded on the planet surface, where temperatures are rapidly approaching -120° - but the Enterprise dare not use the transporter until the problem is fixed. The "good" Kirk convinces the "evil" Kirk to step into the transporter with him, where they can be reintegrated. The two Kirks are successfully combined, meaning that the transporter can be safely used again, and so the landing party is rescued.
Whoops!: So how exactly does a canine of that size, with that appearance (i.e., not a lot of body fat), survive on a planet that gets down to -120° at night?
It's a problem that's going to become really obvious in retrospect in about six weeks' time, but is there really no other way to get someone up from the surface of a planet than a transporter? Sulu and the others could have been back in an hour's time if they'd had the Galileo around, but apparently no one's considered the possibility of shuttlecraft yet. So instead they're relying on a transporter designed such that, if one transporter goes down the whole thing is inoperable and anyone below is stranded until the problem is fixed. Then they think they've fixed the transporter, but when they test it by sending the dog through it comes back dead - which could be due to shock or to a transporter malfunction. But why don't they test it on other things? They could try and send another heating unit down at least, to see if that works, but instead they let the landing party get more and more exposed to the extreme cold because they need Kirk to go through the transporter to make sure it's fixed, instead of testing it any other way.
Spock appears to be smiling in the final scene. When both Kirks beam up from the surface, neither one has an assignment patch on their tunic, although both get them back in subsequent scenes. There's also a brief moment on the bridge where Farrell is missing his patch too. Kirk and Spock learn that the transporter is making duplicates, and then subsequently discover that someone looking like Kirk assaulted Rand, leading Spock to declare that the only logical possibility is that there's an imposter aboard, rather than that Kirk was duplicated. [This is due to director Leo Penn reordering the scenes to make the act break more dramatic, but without catching the continuity problem the alteration created. There's also some minor side effects, such as Kirk insisting he's been in his quarters when we've just seen him in the transporter room with Spock.]
Cringe Lines: Spock, knowingly, to Yeoman Rand (who'd been recently assaulted by the "evil" Kirk): "The impostor had some interesting qualities, wouldn't you say, Yeoman?" We realize it's still the '60s, but holy hell, guys.
Technobabble: Scott and Spock were able to get the transporter working by tying bypass and leader circuits directly into the impulse engines, which led to no more than a five-point variation in the velocity balance.
Don't Wear a Red Shirt: The "evil" Kirk attacks Technician Fisher, Crewman Wilson (in a red jumpsuit), and Yeoman Rand. He also tries to kill his "good" counterpart with a phaser.
Alien Love: In possibly the most horrific moment of the entire series, the "evil" Kirk attempts to rape Yeoman Rand, although she's able to fend him off long enough to call for help.
Library Computer: Alfa 177 [and yes, it's spelled that way in the script] is a habitable reddish-brown planet with a fair amount of cloud cover. The surface of the planet [that we see] is fairly rocky, with impressive auroras visible even during the daytime, but with little vegetation and no obvious surface water. (That said, there's a box of colorful plant samples labeled "Botany" seen at the top of the episode, so it may just be that we didn't see the part of the planet with all the plants and water.) At night the temperature drops down to -120° [probably Fahrenheit, since that's more survivable than if it were Celsius, and the landing party is down there for a while]. Despite these disadvantages, it seems the planet has at least one indigenous lifeform: a small canine-like creature with a long gold-colored coat, a large horn protruding from the forehead, two long, thin, striped antennae emerging from either side of the horn, an exposed spinal ridge, and a fat hairless tail.
Also on Alfa 177 was a soft yellow ore with highly unusual properties. It was magnetic, and when present on someone who was being beamed aboard, it adversely affected the transporter, leading to the transporter essentially "splitting" the pattern into two versions. In the case of things such as equipment, this rendered them non-functional, but when a living being was transported, they were split into two versions: a "good" version and an "evil" version. The two versions could operate autonomously, with all the knowledge the original had, but unless they were integrated back together relatively quickly the two versions would die.
Two living beings were duplicated by the malfunctioning transporter: an Alfa 177 canine and Captain James T. Kirk. [The "T" is visible on the nameplate for Kirk's quarters. This will be confirmed next week in dialogue for "Mudd's Women". See that episode for more.] The canine was split into a very docile animal and a very aggressive, snarling animal. Kirk was similarly split: the "good" Kirk was very subdued, having lost his strength of will and subsequently the ability to make decisions, while the "evil" Kirk was violent and vicious, attempting to rape Yeoman Rand, attacking multiple crewmembers, and lying to others about his intentions and actions. Spock theorized that the "good" Kirk was made up of qualities including "compassion, love, tenderness", intelligence, and logic, while the "evil" Kirk was made of qualities including "hostility, lust, violence", and fear, and that it was the "good" side controlling the qualities of the "evil" side that made Kirk an exceptional leader. While both halves of Kirk were slowly dying, physical contact between the two seemed to temporarily stabilize both of them. When Scotty attempted to recombine the two sides of the Alfa 177 canine with the transporter, the animal died of shock, unable to deal with the sudden rejoining of the two parts; however, Kirk, being an intelligent, rational being, was able to survive the recombination, making him whole again.
The transporter can be overloaded when a certain substance is sent through the transporter beam. Part of the transporter circuits are located in Engineering, including the abort control circuit and the ionizer, which is a critical part of the transporter. However, by tying some bypass and leader circuits directly into the impulse engines, the lack of an ionizer can be compensated for, with no more than a five-point variation in the velocity balance.
A synchronic meter can be used to help diagnose a malfunctioning transporter.
Yeoman Rand's quarters are now 3C 46, on deck 12 [compare with "Charlie X", where she was in 3F 125]. Her quarters [and presumably all the other quarters as well] include a cylindrical cabinet with five drawers and a mirror that can rotate into the wall, hiding it from view.
Spock describes his human and Vulcan halves as being constantly at war with each other, although his intelligence allows them to coexist.
The engineering deck is in the lower levels of the Enterprise.
Setting number one on a hand phaser is stunning force. This is sometimes also called base cycle. A phaser can also be set to send out a sort of "shower" of blasts: Sulu uses this setting to heat a number of rocks simultaneously.
Spock has created a training program for the crew that includes survival procedures, which Sulu and the landing party enact while on the surface of Alfa 177.
Kirk has makeup in his quarters.
Final Analysis: "We all have our darker side. We need it! It's half of what we are." The show's take on Jekyll & Hyde isn't bad - in fact sometimes it works really well, although your appreciation of it probably depends on whether you think William Shatner is acting his heart out or just overacting. That said, while having the two sides of a person directly confronting each other is a good move, it does feel sometimes like this is an episode where not a lot happens. Good but not great.
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Page originally created: November 30, 2018
Page last updated: November 30, 2018