Wednesday, April 3, 2013

The Naked Time: TOS Season 1 Episode 4

Plot Synopsis

The Enterprise is orbiting Psy 2000, a planet which is about to die. They are there to pick up a science team that was there to observe the planet near the end of it's life, unfortunately when they get there they find the team dead under mysterious circumstances. The environmental system settings are all out of whack, and the engineer died sitting in his chair, frozen, like he didn't care what was happening. Spock and crewman Joe Tormolen beam down in environmental suits to investigate, and apparently Tormolen is an idiot because he took off his glove while he was down there and was infected with something.

When they get back to the ship they are checked out by sickbay and the contagion is not seen, at the end we find out that it looks like water to the scanners or something. Anyway, if you are infected you feel like you are drunk, one of the things that happens is you sweat a lot which is apparently why the science team on the planet had changed the environmental setting to such low temperatures. The pathogen is also spread through skin to skin contact via sweat. But whatever, the whole point here is to get a bunch of drunk people running around the enterprise and for hilarity to ensue. We get random crewmen challenging Spock on the bridge

We get a shirtless Sulu challenging random people to fencing.

Another (or the same?) crewman takes manages to lock himself alone in engineering and take over the ship remotely.

Wait a minute, that could be a problem. Remember the planet that was going to explode? Yeah that could be a problem. It could go at any minute and we need to be able to run away at a moments notice, but he has transferred all control from the bridge. This seems like a pretty serious security problem to me! Anyway, with a backdrop of more and more craziness on the ship, Scotty manages to get back into Engineering and take control back. But the low level crewman has completely powered down the engines and it will take a half hour to warm them back up again. The planet is going to blow up in less than that much time.

It turns out that there is a way to pump matter and anti-matter into the engines cold, but no one has ever tried it before. Spock to the rescue! He gets the mixture just right and they get away just in time, but it turns out that they have discovered how to time-travel! Spock says that they can now go anywhere they want at any time. How much you wanna bet they use it to go to mid-twentieth century Earth? Seriously though, the implications here should be pretty huge, from now on in this series and in future series time travel should always be an option. I wonder if they deal with that at all? What might be neat would be if they use it willy-nilly for a while and discover problems inherent in it. Who knows, maybe they won't even share their findings with star fleet. By the way, if you know how this works out please don't tell me. I'd like to find out naturally as it comes up.

Unnecessary shirt ripping

I don't know why this cracked me up so much, but when Bones gave Kirk the cure, he ripped his shirt in a way that seemed totally unnecessary to me. In the last episode Kirk also had his shirt ripped too. It almost seems like they are just looking for ways to show off.

Notable Quotes

When Spock had just gotten to the planet and he had told Kirk that everyone was dead, Kirk asked what had caused it. Spock replied with a super intense tone and said
I don't know captain. It's like nothing we've dealt with before!
It might have been all about the delivery, but it sure made me laugh while I was watching it. Perhaps along the same lines, when Sulu was running around the ship challenging people to fence he said
I'm sweating like a bridegroom
Is that an old saying I've just never heard of or just a weird quirk of this character? Either way I love it. One final quote, which was actually an interaction between Bones and Spock. Spock was fine but Bones had to dig into him a bit
Bones: You're blood pressure is practically nonexistent, assuming you call that green stuff in your veins blood
Spock: The readings are perfectly normal for me doctor, thank you. As for my anatomy being different from yours, I am delighted.
Whoa, do Bones and Spock hate each other? Which brings me to my next section


Bones and Spock hate each other! They didn't seem to be playfully jabbing at each other like long time pals, they really seemed to be going at it. I'll have to see if this keeps up.

I guess we learned that Sulu likes to fence.

Also Spock told us that his mother was human on a world full of unemotional Vulcans. I'm pretty sure this is the first time we learn this. In episode zero he said one of his ancestors was human, but of course it is not uncommon for things to change between the pilot and the normal run of a show.

Connection to The Next Generation

The second episode of the next generation did a version of this episode called The Naked Now. In that episode, Riker even makes a reference to the person who died fully clothed in their shower at the beginning of this episode. Even though I haven't seen that TNG episode in years I remember that reference from Riker,  I have never seen the episode it was referencing until today, so that was kind of neat. I wonder if this episode was always a favorite of Roddenberry's, or perhaps of the writers of TNG. It's interesting that they did a version of it so near the beginning of that show's run.

Great Stuff I don't know how to Categorize

There was a scene with some younger people playing 3D checkers next to a 3D chess board. Awesome



Let me know how you would rate it


  1. Welcome to the wonderful world of Star Trek TOS! If this is, indeed, your first exposure to The Original Series, you are in for a treat.

    Spock and McCoy don't quite "hate" each other. They do snipe at each other a lot, though. In part it's comic relief, of course, but it's also the expression of their archetypes: reason vs. emotion. This is a theme which continues throughout the series and the movies as well and culminates with ... [grin!] ... no, I won't spoil it for you.

    Also, are you watching these episodes with the original effects or the newer effects which were produced a few years ago? I have both on my Blu-Ray set, and while it is nice to see the ORIGINAL Original Series, cleaned up and restored, I'm not so parochial as to not appreciate the improvements and occasional corrections which the newer effects shots bring to the table.

  2. Thanks Troubleshooter,

    I have seen all of the movies, and I have seen a few random episodes of the original series, but this is definitely my first proper look at it. I'm really enjoying it so far.

    I never thought of McCoy as the emotional archetype, but not that you mention it, that makes sense. As for him and Spock, I figured that they would probably wind up being friends, and it would most likely develop into somewhat of an adversarial friendship, but at this point they seem to really dislike each other. I would guess the actors are still feeling out their characters.

    It's funny that you mention the original v. remastered versions. When I started this I added the original version to my amazon watch list and that is what shows up on the tv in my living room when I go to watch it. I noticed just this week that there is also the HD version, so I'm going to watch that one instead for the next episode, and presumably from now on.

    1. I've forgotten where I got this, but it strikes me as being very true: Spock and McCoy represent the archetypes of reason or logic and emotion/intuition, respectively. Kirk draws on both of those and attempts to bring them to balance, sometimes needing to act on them, depending on the situation. You'll see this in a third-year episode. I should mention, too - while McCoy seems to take it on the chin from Spock's logical salvos, this will not always be the case!

    2. One other note regarding Spock and McCoy: go back to the scene inside the Bird of Prey in Star Trek III between McCoy & Spock ... and you'll see how Bones does truly feel about the Vulcan, when you boil it all down.

      What Prof. Henry Higgins said about Eliza Dolittle is really little different. The conflict shows because it's on the surface. The substance is deeper, and a bit harder to see.

    3. Yeah, I'm with you. Those 2 characters being those 2 archetypes makes sense. I'm not sure I would have thought of it exactly that way if you hadn't mentioned it, but I'm glad I'll have it in my mind going forward.

  3. "But whatever, the whole point here is to get a bunch of drunk people running around the enterprise and for hilarity to ensue."

    Dear God, why haven't I seen this episode? This sounds GREAT!

    As for Kirk and McCoy with ripped clothing and shirtless Sulu, why do I suspect that this episode is a favorite with the lady Trekkies?

    Finally, the McCoy/Spock, emotion/reason dynamic has been explored at TV Tropes, so much so that they've defined character archetypes. McCoy is associated with the id, Spock with the superego, and Kirk with the ego that must balance the two.

    1. Yeah, it's a great episode, I would check out the next gen version as well. It was a pretty good day for data :)