The Naked Time

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"The Naked Time"
Star Trek: The Original Series episode
STNaked Time.jpg
Sulu attacks Kirk with a foil on the bridge.
Episode no. Season 1
Episode 4
Directed by Marc Daniels
Written by John D. F. Black
Featured music Alexander Courage
Cinematography by Jerry Finnerman
Production code 7
Original air date September 29, 1966 (1966-09-29)
Guest actors
Episode chronology
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"Where No Man Has Gone Before"
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"The Enemy Within"
List of Star Trek: The Original Series episodes

"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. Though their mission is to observe and document the planet's breakup, they have also been tasked to locate a research team on the planet that had not been in communications with Starfleet for months. A landing team beams down, finding the life support systems shut down and the team having frozen to death, though in bizarre situations, such as fully clothed in a shower, as well as one woman who has been strangled to death. One Enterprise crewman, Joe Tormolen, removes his gloves and accidentally touches a strange red liquid. The team is beamed back to the ship and put into quarantine by Chief Medical Officer Dr. McCoy. McCoy finds no medical issues with the team and allows them to return to duty.

Tormolen begins to develop a strange issue and then begins acting irrationally, expressing hostility towards other crew members. He attempts to corner Lieutenants Sulu and Riley with a knife before turning it on himself. His wound is minor and not life-threatening, but once in Sick Bay he soon dies, to McCoy's bewilderment. Meanwhile, both Sulu and Riley begin to also act irrationally; Sulu begins acting like an 18th-century sword-fighter, while Riley revels in his Irish ancestry, locks himself in the Engineering section and proclaims himself Captain of the ship. Those they have touched soon follow suit, and the infection quickly spreads across the Enterprise crew. As the crew abandon their posts, the Enterprise‍ '​s orbit destabilizes and the ship begins to fall into the planet's erratic gravity.

Spock becomes infected when Nurse Chapel confesses her romantic feelings towards the Vulcan. Spock struggles to contain his emotions, and infects Captain James T. Kirk when Kirk tries to help. McCoy, having taken precautions to avoid infection, studies blood samples from the planet, and finds that the water from the planet possesses a previously undetectable complex chain of molecules that affects humanoids like alcohol, depressing the centers of judgment and self-control while transmitting through others by touch. He develops a serum to reverse the effects, administering the initial doses to the senior crew to allow them to recover control of the ship.

Chief Engineer Scott eventually regains control of Engineering from Riley, but Riley has already shut down the engines, and it would take too long to restart them before the Enterprise crashes into the planet. Kirk orders Scott to engage in a full-power restart, a dangerous process that mixes matter and antimatter in a cold state to create a controlled implosion and drive the ship away from the planet, a process proven by theory but never implemented before. The restart is successful, propelling the Enterprise at impossible speeds away from the planet. By the time the crew regains control, they find that the implosion created a space-time warp that sent them back 71 hours in time. While Kirk hopes reliving the last 3 days is nothing like what they have already experienced, Spock comments that they now know a way to travel back through time.


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".[1]


George Takei has repeatedly mentioned in interviews that this is his favorite episode, and spends a chapter on it in his autobiography.[2]


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".

Footage from this episode appears in the 2014 film X-Men: Days of Future Past.


  1. ^ "The Naked Time". 
  2. ^ Peter Anthony Holder (November 21, 1994). "An Interview with George Takei". 

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