The Naked Time
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|"The Naked Time"|
|Star Trek: The Original Series episode|
Sulu brandishes a foil.
|Episode no.||Season 1
|Directed by||Marc Daniels|
|Written by||John D. F. Black|
|Featured music||Alexander Courage|
|Cinematography by||Jerry Finnerman|
|Original air date||September 29, 1966|
"The Naked Time" is an episode of the science fiction television series Star Trek. It was first broadcast September 29, 1966, and repeated on April 27, 1967. It is the fourth episode of the first season, written by John D. F. Black and directed by Marc Daniels. The story has a remake in Star Trek: The Next Generation, the episode "The Naked Now".
In the plot, a strange affliction infects the crew of the Enterprise, destroying their inhibitions.
On stardate 1704.2, the Federation starship USS Enterprise, under the command of Captain James T. Kirk, arrives in orbit around the dying planet Psi 2000, in order to observe and document the planet's break up. A landing team is also beamed down to the research station based on the planet in order to discover what has happened to the team of scientists who were stationed there, but who have not been heard from for months. The team is confused to find that all six of the scientists have died for no readily apparent reason. They are found in a number of bizarre positions - one man apparently in the middle of taking a shower fully clothed, and another having seemingly just sat at his desk until freezing to death - and all life support systems have been shut down and the controls frozen solid.
One of the Enterprise crewmen, Joe Tormolen, removes his glove while examining the station, and is contaminated by a strange red liquid. When Lt. Tormolen and First Officer Spock return to the ship they are given a clean bill of health by Chief Medical Officer Dr. McCoy, but Tormolen notices a strange itch on his hands, and begins to act irrationally. After yelling that human space exploration is actually doing more harm than good, he threatens Lieutenants Sulu and Riley with a knife, then attempts to turn it on himself. He suffers a minor wound, but is stopped and escorted to Sickbay. Dr. McCoy is then left bewildered when Tormolen inexplicably dies, despite the fact that his wounds were not that severe - Tormolen simply seemed to lose the will to live.
Soon, Tormolen's bizarre affliction begins to affect other crew members and quickly spreads throughout the ship. They each begin to display both comical and horrific exaggerations of character, revealing things about themselves which they would have usually kept secret.
As the affliction spreads, Sulu abandons his post on the bridge and begins acting like an 18th century sword-fighter, running around the ship and challenging everyone to a duel. Ship's navigator Lt. Kevin Riley, who believes himself to be descended from Irish royalty, wanders down to Engineering where he tricks the staff into leaving and takes over control of the ship, declaring himself the Captain of the Enterprise, before giving orders and warbling "I'll Take You Home Again, Kathleen" repeatedly over the PA system. The Enterprise starts to drift out of control and slowly falls out of orbit, pulled down by the erratic gravity of Psi 2000.
In Sickbay, Nurse Chapel then confesses her deepest desires for Spock, which leads to Spock himself becoming infected, and the Vulcan loses control of his emotions. He begins weeping over his hidden guilt at being half-human, and his regret that he can never openly express love for his human mother. Kirk tries to revive Spock, but becomes affected himself, first becoming overly romantic and obsessive towards the ship, then exhibiting paranoia, and finally breaking down for fear that he is losing his ability to command.
McCoy manages to avoid the affliction and finds that the water on Psi 2000 has a complex chain of molecules, which, once in the bloodstream, affects people in a similar way to alcohol, depressing the centers of judgment and self-control.
Riley is stopped and control of Engineering is regained. However, Riley has turned the engines off and Chief Engineer Scott tells Kirk that there is not enough time to get them started again before the Enterprise is dragged down by Psi 2000's break up.
To avoid crashing into the planet, Captain Kirk orders a highly dangerous attempt at a full-power restart, mixing matter and antimatter in a cold state in the ship's warp engines to create a "controlled implosion". Spock explains the physics behind this - that there is an intermix formula based on the theoretical relationship between time and antimatter - but warns that the theory has never been tested before.
Although the restart is successful, the Enterprise is sent hurtling backwards at impossible speeds away from the planet, creating a space-time warp, which results in the Enterprise and her crew being sent back about 71 hours in time. While they are recovering on the starship's bridge, Spock says that they have three days to live over again, to which Captain Kirk says hopefully, "Not those last three days." Spock also points out that since the formula worked, they can go back in time to any planet, any era. Kirk then replies, "We may risk it someday."
40th Anniversary remastering
This episode was remastered in 2006 and aired September 30, 2006 as part of the 40th anniversary remastering of the Original Series. It was preceded a week earlier by "The Devil in the Dark" and followed a week later by "The City on the Edge of Forever". Besides upgrading sound and image, the remastering also alters elements of the original episode. Besides the all-CGI animation of the USS Enterprise that is standard among the revisions, specific changes to this episode include:
- The planet Psi 2000 has been updated appearing more realistic.
- The matte painting of the planet's surface now includes the research station structure.
- When Scotty uses a phaser to burn through the bulkhead, the phaser beam has been properly added.
- When the Enterprise begins to fall into the planet's atmosphere, a fiery glow appears on the view screen from the reentry.
- The older style mechanical digital chronometer readout has been replaced.
- The time travel effects have been enhanced.
This was originally intended to be a two-part episode, with part one ending with a cliffhanger (with the Enterprise going back in time). The ending was revised so that the episode would become a stand-alone episode. What would have been part two eventually became another stand-alone episode, "Tomorrow Is Yesterday".
The events of this episode are repeated in the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "The Naked Now", where Riker references the incident as an in-universe historical event. Events are also mentioned in the TNG Season 6 episode "Relics".
|Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to: "The Naked Time"|
- "The Naked Time" at StarTrek.com
- "The Naked Time" at the Internet Movie Database
- "The Naked Time" at TV.com
- "The Naked Time" at Memory Alpha (a Star Trek wiki)
- "The Naked Time" Remastered version reviewed at TrekMovie.com
- "The Naked Time" Side-by-side comparisons of the 2006 "Enhanced" visual effects