Man: Die Vernunft: The Unconscious Factor:
Hebraism as Health.
4A: The Enemy Within
Hebraism and Hellenism---
between these two points
of influence moves our world.
--(Matthew Arnold, Culture and Anarchy, 1869).
The theme of dualism, of the human dialectic as a modus vivendi, takes on added notions with Matthew
Arnold's introduction of the concept of Hebraism and Hellenism as polarities, as the major tensional opposites
between which modern man must seek a balanced middle path if he is to achieve fullness of individuali-
zation. Both concepts of life
represent different dialectical means to what Arnold insists is one true goal:
"The final aim of both Hellenism and Hebraism, as of both Hellenism and Hebraism, as in all great spiritual
disciplines, is no doubt the same: man's perfection or salvation." Hebraism is steeped in man's physical need
for action, is an offshoot of man's dark half--the unconscious, and is coalesced in and through what Kant
(and later, Carlyle) called the die Vernunft, defined by Kant as pure reason, defined by Blake, Coleridge,
and Carlyle as the human imagination--the synthetic, creative force whose power is not logical. This chapter
deals with illogic, with the Judeo-Christian tradiion, with man's unconscious self. Roddenberry's Star Trek
insists on the crucial importance of the inner unknowns of the human psyche. To know ourselves, we must
realize and acknowledge the unknown worlds of imagination, of primordial darkness, of the personal and the
collective unconscious. The pivotal term is Hebraism. The basic quest in literature since the mid-eighteenth
century is for Hebraism over
Hellenism--a quest that is carried on by the
Puritan tradition and reasserted by
Romanticism with its quest for the human
unconscious and for the supernatural. Arnold notes, with Blake and Carlyle in mind, that modern
humanism's fundamental ground is our preference of doing (Hebraism) to thinking (Hellenism). Energy, the
prime ingredient in Blake's world
view, is more favored than intelligence. Hebraism's insistence is based on
duty, self-control and work; the interest is in conduct and obedience based on a sense of man's physical
body and its desires and energies.
Hebraism considers cerebral thinking as an important complement to
correct action. Hebraism insists on strictness of conscience. In Culture and Anarchy, Matthew Arnold notes
the strong Biblical basis of Hebraism:
The understanding of
Solomon is the "walking in the way of
the commandments ... The disciples of the Old Testament may
be summed up as a discipline teaching us to abhor and flee
from sin ... of becoming conscious of sin, of awakening to a
sense of sin.
To Arnold, The Old Testament continues the tradition:
In the New Testament the
truth which gives us the peace of
God and makes us free, is the love of Christ constraining us
to crucify as he did, and with a full purpose of moral regenerating
the flesh with its affections and lusts ... to 'hold the truth'
in St. Paul which is just what Socrates' Hellenism
Since the Renaissance, Hellenism
has been the dominant zeitgeist. Hebraic man is guilty and is sin-ridden
man who was "baptized into death," who suffers in the flesh. The concept of the Biblical, post-Lapsarian man,
reinforced by the Protestant Reformation, stressed man's feeling and acting side, not to his thinking and
reasoning side. The rule is behavior, not beauty. The preoccupation with obedience and action is befitting
an industrial society where working hard leaves little world for leisure of thinking. As the nineteenth century
progressed, man kept looking inwards sometimes out of a paralytic fear of what Carlyle called the "disease
tendency of “mind to rise above
the mind; to envision...or as we say, comprehend the mind"
(“Characteristics," 1831). The concern of men like Blake, Carlyle, and the modern Existentialists
(especially Sartre and Heidegger) is that opinion and action had become discounted, that philosophical
speculation was not finding vent
in physical action. The disease of modernism had produced a crippling self-
consciousness that created inquiry, doubt, skepticism, a "march of intellect" that precludes creative action.
The cry was for less logic and
mind, and for more action. The industrial revolution fostered science and
metaphysics, fostered change that ironically left man unserved: “Nothing acts from within outwards in
undivided healthy force;
everything lies impotent, lamed, its force turned inwards, and painfully
itself” (T. Carlyle, "Characteristics,"1831). This created a sensibility among intellectuals that "Man is sent
hither not to question, but to
work,” that the end of man “is in Action, not a Thought." Blake, Hegel, Carlyle,
Browning and Tennyson dealt at one time or another with Carlyle's saying that "The sign of health is
unconsciousness," that the healthy
understanding is not the logical, but the intuitive, that the end of
understanding is not to prove and find reasons, but to know and believe. Insight and creativity were to be
found in the unconsciousness, and
analytics, self-contemplation, were the "symptoms of disease." Science had
created a morbid sensibility (fostered too by the Judeo-Christian tradition) that something is always wrong--a
consciousness of sin. Carlyle notes sardonically:
The tree of knowledge
springs from a root
of evil, and bears fruits of good and evil.
Had Adam remained in Paradise,
there had been no Anatomy and Metaphysics...
We stand here too conscious of many things:
with knowledge, the symptom of derangement
we must even do our best to restore a
--(T. Carlyle, "Characteristics," 1831).
Thought must be cured by action;
action is the only certainty, the only cure for the doubt created by
metaphysics. Self-consciousness is the stamp of the age we call modern. The cure to consciousness was
to balance it with a quest for unconsciousness. The quest was, and still remains, for a tensional balance
between Hellenic reason/consciousness and Hebraic action/unconsciousness. This balance is to be
achieved by the unifying, synthetic power of die Vernunft--the imagination which creates symbols, which
in literature and in Star Trek, unite the unconscious and the conscious factors.
The concern in this chapter
is with what Spock would call illogic, that unpredictable emotionalism
that makes a Dr. McCoy so viably human, a man of infinite feeling. Both Kirk and McCoy
are highly intuitive and have an uncanny ability to transcend logic and tap the inner recesses of the heart
of man. Both men are closely tapped into what Jung called man's collective unconscious. The Hebraic sense
of the universal man as he has evolved from millennia of experimental evolution makes a McCoy intensely
human because of his acute sense of human suffering, a trait accented by his role as the ship's chief medical
officer and by his less official role as Kirk's advisor on the topic of the human mind and the collective
unconscious as the core and the
source of his seemingly intuitive knowledge of what makes a man tick. No
logic, no dispassioned logic, provides such information because McCoy deals with man's heart, his
viscera; he is gut instinct
tempered by acute, experiential knowledge of human nature. His teacher lies in
his knowledge of man's development
since the very dawn of time. This
knowledge is innate and is acquired by a disciplined conscience
who knows the human soul, the human heart per force of the fact of being born a human being.
It is a specifical inheritance.
Men like McCoy belong to what Hawthorne called the "communion of the race"--a
knowledge of the tree of good and evil, a knowledge too of the Edenic tree of life. It is a matter of finely tuned,
but very human, instinct. The collective unconscious is man's primordial past. Jung defines it as:
The collective unconscious is an in born disposition to
produce parallel images, or rather identical psychic
structures common to all men, which I later called the
archetypes of the collective unconscious. They corres-
pond to the concept of the ‘pattern of behavior’ in biology.
In his Symbols of Transformation, Jung insists that the collective unconscious is universal:
It not only binds
individuals together into a nation or
race, but unites them with the men of the past and with
their psychology. Thus, by reason of its supra-individual
universality, the unconscious is the prime object of any
Therefore, one of the sources of Star Trek's great appeal is its universality because its characters are at once
individuals, but also all mankind
was from the beginning" ("Amok Time") as
it “comes down from the
beginning” as T'Pau states. In "Amok Time," we see the “Vulcan heart," the "Vulcan soul,” and it is
remarkably human in its primordial darkness and barbarism. Every Star Trek episode taps into this
historical, instinctive flow of human nature. As a result, however unconsciously, the viewer sees his present
self as he views his past human
self evolve on the screen. Star Trek's immense popularity lies largely in its
immense portrayal of
the collective unconsciousness as
it lives in men today. As it was, so too it is, and so it too shall continue
to be--man. As McCoy quips, "It's the human thing to do." Star Trek has captured the dark, inner recesses
of man's instinctual animality. Those precious moments with Zarabeth ("All Our Yesterdays") show
the past as it continues in the present. The viewer sees himself as he watches the human drama once again unfold,
much like the ancient Greeks who
watched Sophocles' dramas unfold again and again, loving the play because
they already knew the plot. The human anticipation of the collective unconscious gives man life
and a sense of his history. Star
Trek provides that universal and homogeneous substratum whose homogeneity
extends into a worldwide identity or similarity of myths and fairy tales.
depicts the primordial image, and it remains an unknown. The collective
food for Kantian imagination and archetypes which Jung compares to a deeply graven "river-bed in the soul"
in which the waters of life that had spread hitherto with groping and uncertain course over wide but shallow
surfaces suddenly become a "mighty river." Star Trek is replete with such archetypes that hibernate in the
human soul: "all the hidden forces
of instinct, to which the ordinary conscious will alone can never gain access"
(Carl Jung, Contributions to Analytical Psychology, 1922). Star Trek weaves masterful tapestries of the human
unknown--the unconscious--by building archetypes and unifying symbols by which the individual's creative
force is linked to the primordial
inheritance of psychic energy, a deeply rooted system that enables a McCoy
or a Kirk to tap that
mighty river, giving him a
psychic, imaginative grasp of situations that yield individuation and a further
continuation of life. The archetypes of the collective unconscious work hand in hand with
man's Hebraism whereby instinct
chooses an appropriate form of action whereby Kirk grasps the momentary
situation, as in “The Deadly Years" where Kirk, having recovered from the aging process,
fakes the corbomite maneuver,
knowing instinctively that the Romulans will give way. Hebraism and instinct
present “a practicable formula without which the apprehension of a new state of affairs would be impossible"
(C.G.Jung, Psychological Types). Kirk arrives at this knowledge because he is ironically "of the body" while
still maintaining his
individuality--something Landrau would never have accepted. The unconscious
with Kirk's very moral, Hebraic sensibility, enable him to survive, to be enterprising. Human enterprise requires
the symbol be charged with Hebraic dread, awe, and reverence to create an act which is both creative and
unconscious, an act that unifies
the unconscious and the conscious. Such an act has an anti-logical or illogical
or pre-logical basis that enables man to master reality. Such illogic gives man an intuitive grasp that transcends
the logic of reason.
Star Trek's symbolism is in
keeping with Matthew Arnold's point in Culture and Anarchy that it is
Hebraism and Hellenism--or in Jungian terms between Unconscious and Conscious-- that the human world
moves. Either concept or state of being, taken in extremis, means disease as Carlyle defines the term, a
sickness in the soul of civilized society. Hebraism is half the
human spectrum in Star Trek; it is
important because Roddenberry's modern man must be a moral man, first and
always. Carlyle once said that "Socrates is terribly at ease in Zion," that moral man's terrifying conscience is ill
at ease in the world of Grecian intellectual idealities, just as the body is ill at ease in a context of pure essence.
The moral man of action is aware of the difficulties which oppose themselves to man's pursuit or attainment
of perfection sought by the
Greeks. What thwarts such efforts is sin--a definite uneasiness that is man's
Judea-Christian confronts the pagan. Unconsciousness is not logical and Hebraism is not the path of reason,
but the path of confrontation of the whole man in the fullness and violence of his passion with the unknowable and
overwhelming All that is the God of the Book of Job. Hebraism stresses Job as a prototype of the modern,
existential man where natural and supernatural meet in the arena of existence, not on that of reason. Being born,
living and dying are rarely logical. Kirk is a modern Job who bends low the mightiest forces because he is faith
in its full primitive state. McCoy's relationship to Kirk is one of trust, not one of belief or dogma. McCoy in
Star Trek: The Motion Picture
(ST: TMP) says there are casualties of the worm-hole
This is the Hebraic man of blood, "bones," flesh and blood in his stalk physicality. "Bones" is human life and knowledge
based not on reason alone, but upon body and blood, heart and bowels; man is a creature of passion--the loves, the
failures, the agonies, and the ecstasies--whose very path treads upon doubt and mutability. From St. Augustine through
Kant and Pascal man becomes increasingly aware of his finitude. What Carlyle
calls that feeling of "unkraft," of feebleness, haunts man's every fibre. Hebraic man is religious, especially in the
intensity with which he lives and dies, and reason cannot fathom the religious experience that is life. Carlyle,
echoing St. Augustine, ridicules
Plato's question of what is man, emphasizing what I shall do: "Know what thou
canst work at.”
The question shifts from essence to existence, from what a thing is to what a thing is and does. As Sartre insists,
man must confront nothingness. The
Enterprise is hurled into non-being constantly; its journey is into immensity.
Pascal notes that man occupies that via media who is the All in relation to nothingness, who is nothingness without
the All. As Blake insists, progress comes if man marries his hell to his heaven, his evil to his good, his yin to his yang.
Nietzsche centers on this darkness
within, demanding externalization and its
concomitant assimilation of the dark
factor: "Mankind must become better and more evil" is not so different from Blake's late 18th century analysis of
mankind's inherent dialectic between opposites within and without. Hebraism has its counterpart in existentialism's
der angst--the age of
anxiety. Star Trek shows man in continual confrontation with the void of
NOT-ME in outer
space and in inner space. The theologian, Paul Tillich, shows that fear is at least fear of something; it has an object,
a discernable cause. One knows what he is afraid of. However, anxiety is an uncanny foment whose cause or
object is unknown. It is this nothingness that makes itself present and felt inside oneself. Much of the anxiety is
reduced to fear and, at times, to solution in
Star Trek; but the anxiety or the
solution is locked in the realism of illogic of the human unconscious. We
better understand ourselves by confronting the inner space of our primordial fears. Even Spock has an illogical
explanation for eating "animal flesh" in "All Our Yesterdays ," for desiring Zarabeth because he is resorting
to his barbaric ancestors who existed 5,000 years before the Enterprise. Hebraism brings forth characters
replete with resentment and doubt because there is no universal code of ethics. The individual is higher than
any universal. It is post-lapsarian, fallen man as his nakedness facing Blake's barren heath where that fallen man IS
just, where illogic, guts, and
sticktuitiveness enable the just man to plant roses amid the thorns in a post-
Edenic nature. Hebraic man-- a Kirk or a McCoy--must fight it out and figure it out with the coyness of the
fox and the strength of the tiger. Uhura, in ST: TMP says, "It's how we all feel, Mr. Spock" as the inscrutable Vulcan
barely notices the bridge crew's
existence in his first appearance. That sense of feeling is at the heart of this
and feeling is not feeling if subjected to the scrutiny of logic. That feeling has millions of years of human evolution
behind it, and it serves to keep man human in a technologized age. Surrounded by computers and microchips, man
has all the greater need to assert feelings to counterbalance the Norman invasion of our galactic glands. Tribbles
are like the lilies of the field, quips Spock, because they neither reap nor sow. They give us nothing--not from a
logical, utilitarian viewpoint; true as McCoy notes, but "I like
them" and that's enough. Even
Spock is not totally immune from their trilling and purring. Hebraic man is a
creature of the human body. In "Mantrap," Kirk chides McCoy for "thinking" with his "glands." A balance
between illogic and logic, between glands and reason is called for. They must complement each other
in a tensional dialectic between opposites.
What Star Trek achieves is a transcendence of tensional states by the liberating power of transcendent and
synthesizing symbols that embody man's total, overall human condition. This total man that evolves undergoes a
process of individuation and his personality is best characterized by an early Romantic quality--dynamism, energy,
vitality. What Gene Roddenberry studies is the evil stemming from what Jung calls "dissociation," wherein an
opposition exists between the conscious and the unconscious, between logic and illogic. There can be a
continuous rhythmic relation between integration
and dissociation within the individual’s history
such that either one in ‘arrested’ at a given stage
...or one is able to progress, continually incorpo-
rating the manifestations of the unconscious meaning
fully into ‘wholeness.’
--(Marius Philipson, Outline of a Jungian Aesthetics: Northwestern
Univ. Press, 1963, p. 37).
Jung points out that the "psyche
is not a unity, but a contradiction multiplicity of complexes," making human
"dissociation" not so abnormal. However a dissociation between the individual and the collective unconscious
cannot become permanent, for then we would have what Star Trek studies as an abhorrence--
"the differentiated modern ego...a veneer of civilization over a brute." This
Othello complex with its dissociation (a modern "disease")
requires immediate synthesis, a synthetic union
of "savage" man and “uncivilized” man. Man has psychic energy, and, as William Blake notes, energy is from
the body, not from the mind (reason).
Above all, Star Trek deals with symbols. Gene Roddenberry is a master of symbols, including cinematic
projections of the inner states of the human unconscious. The
symbol, as pointed out, is a joining device that
unifies the physical and the metaphysical; it is a physical reality that embodies/bodies forth spiritual meaning--
all about man's personality. Man has a need for symbols because man naturally embodies the NOT-ME with
something of the ME in order to recognize and to survive in his
earthly environment. In making symbols, man
becomes what Roddenberry calls “the creator" (Gene’s studio nickname) because through symbols he recreates his
universe. Man is the controller. By energizing his physical
universe, man becomes nature's dominant and
The study of man is the study of his dynamic imagination--his most formidable and perhaps his least used faculty
because its capacities go largely unrecognized or unknown. By symbols, the human imagination makes the invisible
visible while showing that everything visible is ultimately invisible in nature. Star Trek makes the suprasensory sensible
by the use of symbols. Art uses the concrete because the things of the earth are of our nature, are part of us to the
last, dust to dust, earth to earth. We understand what we
cannot see better if we see its symbol first,
and its symbolic meaning
thereafter. Time and eternity meet in the symbol. The use of timeless symbols
and archetypes gives Star Trek its universal appeal. The symbol appeals to man's primordial memory
because it makes him reach inside into his post-Edenic viscera, his millions of years of suffering and
despair, of victories and defeats. Then he can "redate" what he sees on the screen to his own being and to his
primordial past beings as it has
evolved into his present human nature. Star Trek is not a success because
it appeals merely to scattered individuals, but because it has something of a spiritual nature to say to man
in his collectivity.
The message is as universal as the response. Star Trek is a consummate study of man as he actually is,
now and forever. The first clear definition of the symbol as it best pertains to Star Trek and to modern art is
defined by Thomas Carlyle:
Rightly viewed no
meanest object is
insignificant; all objects are as windows
through which the philosophic eye looks into
Infinitude itself ....all visible things
are emblems; what thou seest is not there
on its own account; strictly taken, is not
there at all: Matter exists only spiritually,
and to represent some Idea, and body it forth.
--(T. Carlyle, Sartor Resartus, Book First, Ch. XI, 1933).
Carlyle calls these emblems
"clothes" wherein the "Imagination" must "weave Garments, visible Bodies,
wherein the else invisible creations and inspirations of our Reason are, like Spirit, revealed, and first become
all-powerful….." Gene Roddenberry himself would not object to Carlyle's view of just what we see about
man through a study of symbols. Indeed, an uncanny resemblance exists
between nineteenth century Britain's most brilliant mind and the view of man's inner self in Star Trek:
'To the eye of vulgar
Logic...what is man? An
omnivorous Biped that wears Breeches. To
the eye of Pure Reason [imagination} what
is he? A Soul, a Spirit, and divine Apparition…
Deep-hidden is he under that strange Garment [Flesh];
and Sounds and Colours and Forms.'
--(T. Carlyle, Sartor Resartus, II, X (1833).
Carlyle stresses the paradox of
inner and outer man, but stresses the uniform good of the dualities. One is the
man of mystery, “inextricably over-shrouded"; the other is "sky-worth, and worthy of a God." In this sense,
man is the ultimate symbol of himself and of Infinity: "For matter were it never so despicable, is Spirit, the
manifestation of Spirit." It is the so-called collective unconscious of man, that mysteriously intuitive self
that creates energy and wonder. As
Carlyle notes, the "progress of Science…is to destroy Wonder, and in
its stead substitute mensuration and numeration" for "thought without Reverence is barren, perhaps poisonous."
It is the intent here to study this wonder with some reverence. The wonder will remain a wonder because
it is ultimately unfathomable.
“La mystère vive; toujours
mystère! Some see, here and there, man the
symbol and symbol-maker as a task thereby warranted. Star Trek is one vast symbol.
Gene Roddenberry, in his
reverence for human life and human growth, requires a self sentience that nudges
the unaware individual into insipient consciousness of what was hitherto unconscious, buried within the self.
“The Enemy Within”
The first major symbol or archetype is that of man versus the
self: the symbol of the enemy within, the
confrontation with one's opposite/complement. Joseph Conrad first called this Jungian l'etranger the
secret sharer, also the title of an exciting and highly accurate story depicting the meeting between a self
and his double, his other self, his secret sharer. Gene Roddenberry has indicated that the episode "The
Enemy Within" is his most memorable episode of the three year series, the one with which he still
found the greatest identification and edification. It is his
favorite episode, and it sets the entire pattern for
Roddenberry's analysis of the nature of starship command. Eight specific Star Trek episodes deal directly
with the theme of the secret sharer, and they will be analyzed in this section as a manifestation of man's
confrontation with the unknown unconscious within. The enemy
within phenomenon, besides presenting
exciting action, sets a prototype for Gene Roddenberry's anatomy of the human personality
with its light and dark sides, which pervades all Star Trek
episodes with unyielding consistency and
aesthetic tenacity. This shadow, as Jung calls it, is one’s own “dark brother,” a "collective shadow"
that manifests itself as a concrete figure in the NOT-ME as
one's alter-ego and archetypal symbol that
bodies forth the contents of the self that have been rejected or suppressed or ignored in living one's conscious
self. The greater the zeitgeist of modern civilization demands a life of strict decorum, such as the life of a
starship captain, the greater the forcefulness or need for the
unconscious dark side to compensate, to seek
balance, for an overly strict world of ego achtung. The devil is always more active in
a Puritan world. Why, then, is the
devil in Milton's Paradise Lost the major and the most kinetic character?
The rigors of discipline forced upon a Kirk by his command and in a Kirk upon himself can leave him “no
beach to walk on," no outlet for pent-up negative creativity. Therefore, the symbol of the secret
sharer is adopted wholesale,
sometimes almost literally, from Joseph Conrad's brilliant short story "The
Secret Sharer" (1909)-- some time before Jung's archetypes were extant. Great literature
tends to be ahead of its time, and
the secret sharer symbol was a major breakthrough in fiction, especially
in its psychological accuracy and universality. Confrontation with the secret sharer is Roddenberry's way
to force every man to take a harsh and critical review of his own nature. Externalization of l'autre
(the other) is a necessary
experience for the integration and the balance between the conscious and the
unconscious factors that, in dialectical synthesis, create the healthy and whole self. Such an acceptance
of the opposites within is necessary for psychic harmony, self-control, control over the NOT-ME,
and, in Kirk's case, true command as captain of the Enterprise. In "The Enemy Within," Kirk's imagination
creates a palpable reality self that he must accept and assimiliate. Kirk, as a new captain, suffers from
an acute case of modernism's
self-consciousness, with a resulting need of what Carlyle insisted--
unconsciousness as health. The study centers about the twoness, the duality in the human personality.
parallels between Conrad's narrator in "The Secret Sharer" and Captain Kirk are
similar. Conrad’s Mr. Leggatt has assumed his first command of a seagoing vessel. Of his ship,
"All its phases were
familiar enough to me, every characteristic,
all the alterations which were to face me
on the high seas--everything! …except the novel responsibility of command." Like Kirk, Leggatt speaks
of "my strangeness" that "I--a stranger …..with a tangle of unrelated things, invaded by unrelated shore
people, I had hardly seen her yet
properly. Now as she [ship] lay cleared for seas……" Both Kirk and
Leggatt are young, strangers to themselves; as Leggatt notes: "I was somewhat of a stranger
to myself." Both men are
experiencing what Leggatt calls "the breathless pause at the threshold of a long
passage." Both captains endure the timelessness of a new command. Leggatt's wording incorporates later
Trek themes and nomenclature. Leggatt says:
...we seemed to be
measuring our futures for a long
and arduous enterprise, the appointed task of both
our existences to be carried out, far from all human
eyes, with only sky and sea for spectators and for
Both Leggatt and Kirk, as new
captains, must compare the ideals they have set for themselves with the
that the job of command imposes:
I was willing to take
the adequacy of the others for
granted. They had simply to be equal to their [crew’s]
tasks; but I wondered how far I should turn out
faithful to that ideal conception of one's own person-
ality every man sets up for himself secretly.
Kirk's secret sharer ( Kirk
2) is created by
a transporter malfunction. Leggatt's secret sharer
swims to the
ship, at first appearing like a "headless corpse," but seen proven half-dead with exhaustion. The sharer resembles
Mr. Leggatt and introduces himself::
"My name's Leggatt."
Captain Leggatt's secret sharer, unlike Kirk's rather violent one, is "calm and
resolute" where "good voice" and "self-possession...had somehow induced a corresponding state in my-
the secret sharer has fled from violence--imprisonment for killing a man. He has
past and Leggatt promptly calls the secret sharer "my double":
It was, in this night,
as though I had been forced
by my own reflection in the depths of a somber
and immense moan…. I needed no more. I saw it
all going on as though I were myself inside that
other sleeping suit.
Conrad's secret sharer, like
Kirk's double, is seen as an intruder, and Leggatt meets his double in his
oddly enough usually in the bathroom. The double is Kirk and Leggatt's dark side with the ego-consciousness
kept imprisoned within the self.
Leggatt's secret sharer has been kept locked up like a murderer. The secret
God only knows why they
locked me in every night. To
see some of their faces you'd have thought they were
afraid I'd go about at night strangling people. Am
I a murdering brute? Do I look it?
Kirk's double attacks Yeoman Rand, is lascivious and rapacious. Its brutality, although inherent, is self-destructive
without its alter- ego--Kirk's conscious half. Both doubles are sons of Cain:
The 'brand of Cain'
business, don't you see.
That's all right. I was ready enough to go
off wandering on the face of the earth--and
that was price enough to pay for an Abel
of that sort.
To the outside world, Leggatt's
secret sharer jumped ship and is to be listed as a suicide, but he kept
surviving unconsciously attracted to Leggatt's ship as a haven from society and himself. Officially, Kirk's double,
once its nature is understood by McCoy and Spock, must be kept in the closet, as it were,
and is officially called an imposter and an intruder who is NOT the captain. Such knowledge of the truth
would destroy crew morale because the captain cannot appear anything less than perfect before his crew.
Both Leggatt and Kirk try to hide the "wild beast" from the crew while both captains struggle with the
problem of the other who is both a NOT-ME and a ME. It cannot be destroyed; it must be assimilated
and synthesized to form the integrated Kirk or the integrated Leggatt. The "death" of the "imposter" will be
the beginning of a rebirth of two new captains. For both men, the power of the captaincy lies in the
sharer whose negativity gives the captains the
strength to lead others, to rule a ship; they are very
palpable symbols of an autonomous society, both in Conrad's short story and in Star Trek's "The Enemy
The captain must remain partly a stranger to his crew, but cannot be a complete stranger unto himself or unto
his crew. He is set aside. Captain Leggatt, Conrad's Kirk, explains the sense of l'etranger :
For the rest, I was
almost as much of a stranger on
board as himself, I said ....I felt that it would
take very little to make me a suspect person in the
eyes of the ship's company...and we the two strangers
in the ship, faced each other in identical attitudes.
Like Kirk, who corners his secret
sharer in engineering, both men, in talking with their doubles, are really
to an externalization of their personal unconscious. The self speaks to its alter-self. In Freudian terms, the ego
and the id are both rivals and partners to the one self (selbst). Sanity and insanity face both Kirk and Leggatt.
Leggatt, a Kirk, notes the theme of the dualism that is the man:
….and all the time the
dual working of my mind distracted
me almost to the point of insanity. I was constantly
watching myself, my secret self, as dependent on my
actions as my own personality, sleeping in that bed, be-
hind that door which faced me as if at the head of the
table. It was very much like being mad, only it was
worse because one was aware of it.
Both captains have that "scheme for keeping my second self
invisible" and "that queer
whispering to myself.” Both can say, "Anybody would have taken him for me." Leggatt's secret
sharer retains a calm, quiet exterior, but has a violent past; whereas, Kirk's secret sharer is unable to
hide his negative violence. Leggatt says of his secret sharer: "A spiritless tenacity was his main
characteristic." However, both men must be tested as new captains, and that test begins in the test with
the double. Conrad’s Leggatt notes:
If he had only known how afraid I was of putting my
feelings of identity with the other to the test ...
something in one that reminded him of the man he was
seeking--suggested a mysterious similitude to the
young fellow he had distrusted and disliked from the
first ... fear, too, is not barren of ingenious suffers
thus. And I was afraid he would ask me point-blank
for news of my other self.
Like Kirk and the double in engineering and in sickbay, where
Kirk actually caresses his secret sharer
(saving his life by unifying hands to create psychic wholeness), Leggatt too says, "I felt less torn in two when
I was with him." Kirk and his double, Leggatt and his double, are "the only two strangers on board,"
as Conrad notes. Both are experiencing the terrifying aloneness of the captaincy:
In my [Leggatt's] case they [captain and ship] were
not unalloyed. I was not wholly alone with my command;
for there was that stranger in my cabin. Or rather,
I was not completely and wholly with her. Part of me
was absent. That mental feeling being in two places
at once affected me physically as if the mood of secrecy
had penetrated my very soul.
Both Captains must turn their
doubles into singles, a process of psychic reintegration that recreates
the self. The stranger, the other, must become the familiar, the ME. Leggatt's double insists: "Maroon me ;"
and eventually Leggatt's double leaves the ship as captain Leggatt maneuvers the vessel dangerously close
to Koh-ring Island under the guise
of seeking the land breeze. His crew is terrified of running aground, while
Leggatt and his double agree mutually that freedom in the Pacific islands far from civilization is preferable to
facing prison or gallows. The civilized world would hang the human unconscious simply because
is not "civilized.” Leggatt's secret
sharer shares the fears of Kirk's secret sharer. Both aspects of the human
personality fear isolation as much as they do reintegration. There is something both terrifying and wonderful
in the understanding worked out by the opposites within him. This reintegration is the first test of the captaincy:
Be careful, he murmured,
warningly--and I realized
suddenly that all my future, the only future for
which I was fit, would perhaps go irretrievably
to pieces in any mishap to my first command.
In facing "my second self," the
new captain in Conrad's story sees his secret sharer "sitting so quietly…
like something against nature, inhuman.”
The rebirth for Leggatt and
for Kirk lies in the same need-- synthesis. Leggatt's secret sharer swims
from the ship into the night toward Koh-ring with Leggatt's floppy hat visible in the water, serving as a
reminder that the experience was real. Kirk and his secret sharer are synthesized by molecular scrambling
stored inside the memory banks of the ship's transporter. The two become
one, and Kirk's dark self is hidden safely away, inside, where only the self knows who and why. Joseph Conrad’s
captain’s reaction to his now-lost secret sharer is befitting Star Trek's brilliant enemy within episode:
I recognized my own
floppy hat. It must have fallen
off his head…and he didn't bother. Now I had what
I wanted--the saving mark for my eyes. But I hardly
thought of my other self, now gone from the ship, to
be hidden forever from all friendly faces, to be a
fugitive, and a vagabond on the earth...saving the
ship, by serving me for a mark to help out the
ignorance of my strangeness.
The secret sharer symbol shows, as
Gene Roddenberry says, “there
is no enemy.” The enemy is part of me,
a friend in time and function, when integrated with man’s consciousness. "We are two," Gene once said.
Kirk standing reintegrated in the transporter is Leggatt reintegrated. Both captains are now leaders of men,
truly tested. Conrad's early 20th century captain has the same experience and the same feelings
as Star Trek’s 23rd century
captain. Leggatt's last remarks show the captain who sits sternly and securely,
whether it be on the quarter deck or in the center chair:
Nothing! no one in the
world should stand now
between us, throwing a shadow on the way of
silent knowledge and mute affection, the perfect
communion of a seaman with his first command ....
my second self had lowered himself into the
water to take his punishment; a free man, a
proud swimmer striking out for a new destiny.
"The Enemy Within," written by Richard Matheson, is Star Trek’s sixth episode of the first season, and is an
important masterpiece because its
theme is the nature of man, and more importantly, the nature of command.
Like Conrad's Leggatt, Roddenberry's Kirk must
let no one in the world stand in
the way of command. Nothing must throw a shadow on the “perfect
communion” of a captain with his "first command"--not even an enemy from within. A captain cannot
himself be that shadow. Knowledge
of his secret sharer is knowledge of his own dual personality, and
both the light and the dark contraries within the man must, as Blake hopes, breed progression and command
over oneself before command can exist over a society in space--the Enterprise. "The Enemy Within" is
an intricate study of the
conscious and unconscious factors which constitute the total human personality,
and of the divisory ramifications of the dominance or lessening of one factor at the expense of the other that
creates a psychical intolerance that jeopardizes psychological synthesis and, hence, the ability of the new
captain to establish his first command.
As Spock points out, a captain can appear no less than perfect in the eyes of his crew. The criteria imposed upon
the captaincy are almost inhuman, almost super-human; and yet, as McCoy tells Kirk:
You're no different than
anyone else. We all have
our darker side. We need it. It's half of what
we are. It's not really ugly; it's human…yes,
McCoy is the least disturbed and
least frightened of the three main Trek bridge figures simply because man's
animal side is treated by the doctor every day. McCoy's psychical balance is a paragon of what the human
attitude toward the human self should be-- see, understand, and live the contraries. McCoy has assimiliatad
his secret sharer, and as such, it
shocks him the least. Acceptance of the unconscious, the "negative
is required for full humanization. McCoy tells Kirk, pointing to the other, that "Your strength of command lies
mostly in him." Ironically, man's violent, animal, ancestral, primitive half has the Nietzschean power. The body
holds the energy and the vitality to act upon the judgments of the intellect. But it takes the imagination to link
positive and negative factors within the human psyche. Man is a delicate balance of opposite, yet complementary,
forces. Thousands of years of
Platonic thinking combined with Reformation Colonialism and Neo-Platonism
have taught man to consider his body as distinct from his soul, his animality as distinct from his rationality.
To function, a man must have
and must coordinate both factors. The same Percy Bysshe Shelley, who wrote
"Hymn to Intellectual Beauty," had a fondness for women. Perhaps the Marquis de Sade helped restore
a balanced perspective. Post-lapsarian
man is "still half savage" ("Arena") and that savagery can be
even a terrifying self within the logical self. Such an unconscious without the restraint of understanding can destroy
an Othello who, in turn, destroys his Desdemona and himself.
Kirk faces his Iago within and realizes it is part of himself and he cannot live, no less command, without it.
While the two Kirks are in sickbay, an unusually euphoric Spock, his logic in a tizzy, sees the duality inherent
to the human mind (2 Kirks), the roles of the so-called good and evil. Man's negative side (his unconscious) is
"hostility, lust, violence."
His positive side (his conscious
self) is “compassion, love, tenderness." Like Conrad, Jung, and countless
other masters, Gene Roddenberry and Richard Matheson see that the enemy within, the secret sharer,
the negative side, is not the enemy. Roddenberry insists, "There is no enemy" in that this so-called opposite
is really a complement in the Conradian sense of a heretofore unseen friend, a secret sharer, not in
some twisted Freudian sense, as an inner Klingon that destroys. Kirk is a leader, an exceptional man, but
first a man--as McCoy knows too well.
What is common knowledge to McCoy is fascination to the Vulcan and a test for the captain of the
Enterprise. Spock states the theory of what is a commander made of:
Yes, and what is it that
makes one man an exceptional
leader? We see here indications that it is his
negative side which makes him strange, that his evil
side, if you will, properly controlled and disciplined,
is vital to his strength. Your negative side removed
from you, the power of command begins to elude you ...
your power of command continues to weaken, you'll
soon be unable to function as captain. You must be
prepared for that.
Spock apologizes for his logical
insensitivity as he dissects the "captain's guts," noting it is the
The answer to the dilemma as told by Spock and McCoy, is controlled intelligence which given the episode's
analysis, resembles the Romantic imagination as the power to synthesize opposites.
What Spock sees in his captain is a symbol, a symbol of every human being and a symbol of Spock,
the Vulcan. What Spock sees and understands is made possible by the unity of opposites within Spock--
half-human, half-Vulcan--both halves "submerged, constantly at war with each other":
Being split into two halves is no theory with me, Doctor……
I survive because my intelligence wins out over both.
Your intelligence would enable you to survive as well.
Spock's human half is akin to man's animal half;
his Vulcan half is akin to man's rational half. Both
Vulcan and human have within themselves the contraries necessary to destroy or to create. The ego's
control over the beast within (Plato's centaur) must, however, be controlled by a higher power--that
of the synthesizing imagination which transcends the warring opposites.
The statement about man and the power of command would of itself make "The Enemy Within" famous;
however, the screen direction of Leo Penn makes the episode a collage of scenes and symbols that enhance
and further symbolize the theme of the unity, yet violent contrast, between opposites in the human sphere. A
sense of setting and context weave an effective fabric of calm versus violence. The Stardate is 1672.1; the
planet is Alpha 177 and the Enterprise is ironically on a "specimen-gathering mission." Specimens indeed!
One of the functions of the symbol is to make the invisible visible. The cause is the most steadfastly reliable
piece of technology in Star Trek--the transporter. Besides being a good gimmick to duplicate objects and people,
and being the technological cause that makes the psychical schizophrenia of man visible to that man, the
transporter is an identity-based device. Disassembling and reassembling atoms ("scrambling") is a dissociating
and re-associating symbolic process. The transporter has a built-in memory device whereby it can “remember"
what constituted James T. Kirk in his oneness. Thus it is able to turn the two Kirks into the one Kirk at story's
end. Man's mind is not terribly unlike the atom scrambler of the transporter in analyzing
and in synthesizing data and
matter and energy. When Kirk, in his log, notes that “a duplicate of me….some
strange alter-ego had been created by the transporter malfunction,” one must remember that the
malfunction is a symbolic bodying-forth of an inner psychical reality. Man is two; the transporter makes this
duality visible and concrete. When Kirk meets this alter-ego, he is meeting a part of himself--the ME meeting
the ME in a concrete setting. Gene Roddenberry has taken full advantage of cinematic art's function
to make inner realities very
visible and, hence, more palpably real. Kirk's alter-ego is both fact and
but now is the first time he actually sees it as himself. In order to command, Kirk must be his own master.
The episode is so constructed
so as to juxtapose and to reinforce man's yin-yang opposites. In a fleeting
early scene, Yeoman Rand and Kirk are in Kirk's quarters. Kirk, in a potentially exploitative setting, retains
his "no beach to walk on" posture as he is very business-like and abrupt with the Yeoman, dismissing her with
Yeoman," concerning the ship's manifest report. This
strain of suppression of Kirk's feelings for
Rand and of his emotional suppressions in general shows in Kirk's physical fatigue as he lies down on his bed.
It is immediately after this scene that Kirk's double demands Bacchanalian indifference from McCoy's bottle
The Dionysian factor of the primordial self now becomes visible as the double enters and hides in Yeoman
Rand's quarters like a prowling predator. This scene of the double rapaciously and lasciviously assaulting Rand
is the exact opposite of the earlier-mentioned scene. The two scenes form a contrapunctal movement. As Spock
then enters Kirk's quarters at McCoy's behest, noting, "Dr. McCoy seemed to think I should check on you."
Kirk notes, “That’s nice" and Spock, annoyed by McCoy's emotionalism,
notes, "Our good Doctor said you were acting like…a wild man.
Demanded brandy," and leaves
embarrassed. The camera switch to the double in Yeoman Rand's quarters enhances the contrast
between reason and emotion:
Yeoman Rand: Can I help you, Captain?
Kirk 2: Jim will do here, Janice.
Yeoman Rand: Oh ...
Kirk 2: You're too beautiful to ignore. Too much
woman. We've both been…pretending too long
(Grabs her). Let's stop pretending. Come here,
Janice. Don't fight me. Don't fight me, Janice.
The Don Juan scene ensues and Rand scratches the double's face.
At this point, the viewer becomes aware of
the key symbol of man 's primitivism--blood. Geological technician Fisher bleeds. The double's face bleeds
and, as the double enters the corridor, his bloody fist singularly protrudes into full view, and the double sucks
the blood off his hand in a vampirish way. From thence, the double is equated with violence and blood
complemented by a wolverine sexuality. The primitive, self divorced from the rational self, works in anatomical,
hyperactive, kinetic consumption, without civilized restraint.
Somehow, Kirk and his double symbolize the Othello of modernism--the veneer of civilization that cracks
under volcanic, inner convulsion and eruption. The double-Rand scene draws a clear distinction between the
beauty of sexuality and the hideousness or sadism of unbridled sexuality. Like the "body" controlled by Landru
in "The Return of the Archons," even Landru, in the computer's concept of a perfect society, is forced to make
men zombies between 6:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m., but to make them revelers and rapists between 6:00 p.m.
( the "red hour") and 6:00a.m.,
with darkness symbolic of the primitive self and light symbolic of the civilized self. The problem lies in
the artificial separation of the two halves of man, giving Adam and Eve two faces, two lives, two selves:
(crying): He the double kissed me
and said that he was the captain ... he mentioned
the feelings we'd been hiding. He started talking
Kirk 1: Us?
Yeoman Rand: You started hurting me. I had to
fight you, scratched your face.
Kirk 1: Yeoman, look at me. Look at my face.
Are there any scratches?….Yeoman, I was in my
room. It wasn't me.
The dialogue centers about who
the ME is. Kirk does not know that he does not yet know who the ME is.
Rand was far from not wanting what she thought was the captain. It was Kirk's as-still-unacknowledged
In the scenario of blood
and violence of the inner, primitive Kirk is further symbolized by
paranoia in the transporter room. The two dogs (split by the transporter) brought in by Scotty symbolize the
two Kirks, with an obvious
emphasis that this is an animal. Scotty's explanation of the
calm pooch and the rabid,
caged beast (its double) is articulate and precise:
duplicate appeared. Except it's not a
duplicate. It's an opposite. Two of the same ani-
mal, but different. One gentle--this. One mean
and fierce--that. Some kind of savage, ferocious
opposite. Captain, we don't dare send Mr. Sulu
and the landing party up. If this should happen
to a man ...
It already has, and therein
lies the play. It exists and it happens to every intelligent man at moments
every lifetime since the creation of life itself. It's the beast within described in William Golding’s Lord of the Flies.
Man is naturally two, and the
animal imagery reinforces a perennial principle of sapient life-forms. Vulcans
Amok time every seven years; human man has it always, but civilization asks, yea requires, that he stifle it until the
freeing hours of darkness when the monsters from the ID prowl, like Blake's lions, roaming about the post-
The motif of Consciousness versus Unconsciousness, the juxtaposition of opposites and sameness, is further
symbolized by the dual settings of
the plot in "The Enemy Within." The planet Alpha 117 is a prison for the
landing crew led by Mr. Sulu. The surface temperature of the planet plunges past 1200 below zero, colder and
colder and colder. A clear symbol of coldness is juxtaposed with the warmth of primitive blood and
violence aboard the Enterprise. A hot versus cold dialectic evolves: not duplicates, but opposites. The plight of Sulu
deteriorates with Kirk's plight without his double. Kirk 1 notes in his log:
My negative self is
under restraint in sickbay.
My own indecisiveness is growing. My force of will
steadily weakening. On the planet, conditions
critical. Surface temperature is 75 degrees below
zero and still dropping.
As Sulu gives “room service
another call,” remaining calm and controlled in a crisis, Kirk 1’s impotency
increases: "You'll have to hold on a little longer. There is no other way.
Survival procedures, Mr. Sulu."
The scene of Kirk holding the calm dog in his arms further points out
Kirk holding his calm self, while eroding/dying mentally and physically--like the dog. Kirk's virtue of kindness
is not enough for command. Compassion is a fool's game. Warmth separated from cold is a geological and
climatical symbol of Kirk's dual selves--an extremely effective dramatic technique. McCoy tells Kirk,
"You have the goodness," but Kirk rebuts, "Not Enough. I have a ship to command." In Sulu's last
communication, the landing party's condition is critical; Kirk must act:
Sulu: Captain Kirk. Sulu
here. 1170 below. Can't
last much longer. Can't see clearly ... think
the cold penetrating communicator. Two men
unconscious. No time. No ... can't wait.
The cold symbolizes the increasing
state of physical and mental unconsciousness, a dying symbolic of Kirk's
schizophrenic condition. As Spock insists, Kirk is rapidly losing the power of command like the warm, passive
dog that eventually dies on the transporter platform. To be half a self is to die. Not to recognize one's secret sharer
can be mutually destructive of both selves.
The crisis on Alpha 177 and
the crisis aboard the Enterprise require a unified psyche, one self, and the
subsequent power of command. How to solve the problem? Kill the double? No, because that is suicide.
Spock: We can't take a
chance on killing it. We have
no previous experience, no way of knowing what
would happen to you.
Kirk: ….there can't be any chance of him being killed ...
he can't be killed.
Kirk, by knowing his unconscious self now made conscious, knows where he is and how he thinks:
Spock: Apparently this
double, no matter how different
in temperament has your knowledge....perhaps
we can out-guess him ... knowing how the ship
is laid out, where would you go to elude a mass
Kirk: The lower levels. The engineering decks.
Again, Kirk, by knowing himself, knows that self’s essence and its personality. Kirk must hold on as a tormented,
kind self until he reassimilates his double. The subsequent search by Kirk and Spock in engineering is also tellingly
symbolic. Why engineering? Engineering is the lower levels, the symbolic sense of man’s lower self. Engineering is a
symbol of Nietzschean power, of
the dark levels of the inner self. Engineering is power in the darkness of man's
soul, a Conradian journey into the Heart of Darkness in search of the Kirk 2, a journey into the very source
and heart of the ship--its primordial matter/antimatter energy. The engines symbolize the unconscious energy, the
darkness that lurks within the
heart of every human being.
Like Conrad's Marlowian narrator, the journey to the Heart of Darkness is the journey into the depths of the
primitive self, like the journey
of Captain Willard in Francis Coppola's movie, Apocalypse Now, which is based
literally on Conrad's story.
The Conscious and the
Unconscious must confront one another; two must reunite as one, but with a
difference--the new Kirk (renovatio) will now be conscious of his unconscious and his power of command,
stemming from this negative self (evil), will be known. It is the story of Conrad's Leggatt.
controlled but utilized, to control the NOT-ME. The confrontation of the non-violent Kirk with his alter-ego in
engineering shows the attraction/repulsion syndrome when one
sees who and what he really is. It is a Darwinian
culture shock to see that beast within looking right into one's eyes--light to dark, mildness to violence. Kirk 1,
unlike his "double,” shows no fear, a point McCoy makes, i.e., that human courage may stem from his positive
Self (Kirk 2). The scene in sickbay further symbolizes the
confrontation between Kirk 1 and Kirk 2 (the opposites).
Kirk 2 is hyper, under restraints. Kirk 1 is hypo, subdued. Kirk 2 is dying as is Kirk 1: half a man cannot live:
Kirk 1: What happened?
McCoy: Apparently, the body function weakened during
the duplication process--a fact I failed to consider.
Kirk 1: He’s not dying?
McCoy: Yes, he is.
Kirk 2: Help me.
Kirk 1: How can he die? How can I survive without him?
The scene involves Kirk l's love for and acceptance of Kirk 2
and is a climactical scene in terms of Kirk's desire to be
unified. What occurs is a marriage of opposites, a "joining" that is completed only in the transporter at episode's end.
The two selves must learn to accept that neither is really James T. Kirk while each claims to be, or thinks he is, the
captain. The fluctuating readings on McCoy's sickbay panel,
reminiscent of the doctor's condition in sickbay in
"Dagger of the Mind," brings Kirk's love to the surface, a love of what he detests within himself.
Kirk 1: Don't be afraid.
Here's my hand. Hold on.
You don't have to be afraid. I won't let go.
Hold on. You won't be afraid if you use your
mind. Think: Think: You can do it. That's
The panel readings return to
normal. The symbol of the hands of Kirk 1 and Kirk 2 joining yields life and the
first step toward synthesis and reintegration of the captain's self. McCoy sees that love gives life: "Jim, he is back."
To Kirk 1, McCoy, in a piece of brilliant irony, offers Kirk 1 brandy. The scene in sickbay is Kirk's anagnorisis,
whereby the reasoning half of man,
his intellect, understands the problem and the solution: "I have to take him
Kirk 2 back, inside myself. I can't survive without him. I don't want to take him back. He's like an animal--a
thoughtless, brutal animal. Yet it's me...me."
It is at this time that Spock
and Scotty regain transporter operation by bypassing leader
circuits. Just seconds after
Kirk 1 sees his Kirk 2 as an animal, Spock suggests that "we send the animal through." The dog-like symbol re-asserts
Kirk 1: Don't hurt him.
Spock: It's painless and quick. The animal will be
unconscious for only a few minutes.
In a juxtaposition of opposites,
the two dog-opposites are placed
on the transporter platform.
"Energize," then "reverse"
mean disintegrate and reintegrate in an attempt to achieve union. The transporter's circuitry reintegrates on a polarity
principle. Opposites yield synthesis. As has been the case before, Gene Roddenberry's view of man requires controlled
energy, a union
of controlling intellect and creative animal energy. The dog dies of shock because only man can reason, thus, only man
can grow into new atoneness:
Spock: No autopsy is
necessary to know that the
animal was terrified, confused. It was
split into two halves and suddenly thrust
back together again. This shock induced
by blind terror. (To Kirk 1) It
couldn't understand. You can. You have
your intelligence controlling your fear.
Kirk freezes in semi-catatonic indecisiveness. McCoy stalls, exhorting caution; whereas, Spock insists on instant
experimentation. Kirk, clearly losing command and vitality, is now reiterating his opposite's words of "Help me.
Somebody, make the decision." Spock asks, "Are you relinquishing your command, Captain ?" Kirk answers, "No.
No. I’m not.” McCoy states: "Well, then we can't help you, Jim. The decision is yours.” Kirk 1 states: "Mr. Spock,
ready the transporter room. Bones continue the autopsy."
What calls Kirk's waning intellect to the surface is his fierce determination to be the captain, to retain his identity
while knowing he must put his arms and his command around the dying Kirk 2; also aiding his identity is the freezing
plight of Sulu and the landing
party. "The captain is responsible for the lives of his crew," as Commodore
affirms in "The Doomsday Machine," and Kirk's sense of responsibility and love for his crew help him to pull himself out
of himself. The love of crew and of command complement the love/hate relationship with his Kirk 2. Kirk engages in
what the poet Matthew Arnold called "the dialogue of the mind with itself." Kirk 1 and Kirk 2 converse, yet they are
the same Kirk--2 in 1.
Kirk I: Can't wait. Can't let them die.
Kirk 2: What are you going to do?
Kirk I: Go through the transporter. Both of us.
Kirk 2: There's nothing I can do to stop you.
Kirk I: It's what I have to do. It's what I have to do ... what we have to do.
Although Kirk 2 is engaging in trickery, trying to survive as the captain's clone, the change of scene to Kirk 2 as captain
on the bridge brings out the final ludicrousness of power without compassion and reason, while simultaneously
dramatizing the role of the negative self as the key to command. The split Kirk's chaos within causes confusion among
the crew, reaffirming Spock's earlier contention that the crew never know the truth, that a captain can be nothing short
of perfect in the eyes of his crew:
Kirk 2: Grab him! He's the
Kirk 2: McCoy, he's fooled you.
McCoy: He attacked him....
Kirk 1: Mr. Spock, you know who I am. You know
who that is
Farrell: Which one? What do we do?
Spock: We'll let the captain handle this.
In this last scene of critical contest between Kirk 1 and Kirk 2, Spock reasserts the captain's need to cure his own
internal problem in order to be the captain. Kirk 2 is ready to kill to be captain, but his alter-ego, Kirk 1 reasons with
K2: Yes, I
know. You want to kill me don't you?
Farrell, James, grab him! He'll destroy
the ship. I'm the captain. Don't you understand?
I'm captaining the ship. My ship! My ship!
It's mine! I'll kill you!
K1: Can half a man live?... then we'll both die.
K2: Make me. I want to go back. Please I want to live.
K1 : You will. Both of us.
K2: I want to live.
Kirk's very instinct
for survival as a man is amply shown in both halves. Both want to live; both
want to be the captain;
both need the other in order to achieve such goals. Kirk's two selves have much in common when divided -
"duplicates". There is an eerie sense that what Scotty calls opposites are also somehow duplicates. Such is the nature of
the great leader in Star Trek. Both halves are complimentary opposites that function as one. This is the key to
transporter, with the two Kirks, reintegrates the captain because of Kirk's
ability to see and to assimilate his
opposites. The mind orders and rearranges matter. The key in “The Enemy Within," as in Conrad's "The Secret Sharer,"
is the determination
of a mind to hold command.
Kirk's unification is symbolized by his first integrated command: "Get those men aboard fast." Only a true
commander can fire such an order, and his power of command is still based on that secret sharer who is within--known,
understood, assimilated and functional. The half frozen men will live, as well as Kirk. In a sense, a balance of
temperature symbolizes physical/psychical balance. Kirk is no longer running hot
one minute, cold the
other. Continuity is restored. Conrad's Leggatt, the secret sharer, has jumped ship:
do you feel, Jim?
Kirk: How? I've seen a part of myself no one should
Normality is restored, but Kirk is the greater for his journey into the heart of darkness: "Thank
you, Mr. Spock, from both of us ... the imposter is back where he belongs. Let's forget him." To
Rand, Kirk shows a greater balance at the end than at the beginning. His cold, business-like tone
is now "Thank you, Yeomen." Kirk is indeed the same, yet very changed inside. Like Conrad's
Leggatt, "there is command." For James T. Kirk, he is in command: "This is Helmsman, steady
as she goes." "The Enemy Within" has been a study of man, but above all the study of the nature
Star Trek’s study of man's dark side, of the collective unconscious, continues. Roddenberry's journey into the heart
of Conradian darkness continues in the episode "Plato's Stepchildren." The ideal republic envisioned by Plato becomes
severely tested when Plato's ideals of reason and reflection confront Plato's image of the centaur--the animal body
supposedly ruled by a human head denoting the control of man's rational faculties over the animal senses and instincts.
Plato sought an ideal of controlling mind over matter and the baser instincts. William Blake noted that "Energy is the only
life, and is from the body; and reason is the bound or overall circumference of energy." The unifying symbol where these
two forces coalesce is the chemical, Kiromide, which comes from the soil of Platonius, and its power is acquired
simply by eating the native foods. Kiromide's correlation with the primitive earth is a crucial key to
understanding its effects as used by the Platonians. The theme of "Plato's Stepchildren" begins
and ends with the
discussion of Kiromide as a source of power. The episode's theme is the nature,
its use and abuse of power. Although external to the Platonians, Kiromide became an organically based
power that is in the very bloodstream of the Platonians. Blood is a key image in this episode; blood is
the organic vehicle, the carrier of its power that gives the Platonians telekinetic powers. Spock opens
the episode with the theme of power: "Kirornide is a particularly potent and long-lasting source of power."
All the episodes in between are variations on the use and abuse of power as it radiates from the human
unconscious and becomes visible in the form of ominous and deadly telekinetic powers of Parrnen, the
philosopher-King who has made just a few adjustments to Plato's original concept of a republic. Parmen's
flagrant abuse of his telekinetic powers shows the incapacity of a mentality totally built upon logic to cope
with and to control the creatures from the primitive ID as provided by the Kiromide. The result is a misuse
of reason and the concomitant need for a balanced control between Platonic reason and animal energy. In
a rhetorical gesture of dubious sincerity, Parmen, at the episode's conclusion, states the theme of the episode
and the human problem that is the study of this story: "Understood Captain. And you're right. None of us can
be trusted. Uncontrollable power will turn even saints into savages. We can all be counted on to live to our
Parmen's misuse of energy, like that of Apollo, shows the frailty of the Grecian ideal of a
republic ruled by
rational and reasonable men. Kirk manages to check Parmen only be recreating and acquiring
the power. Controlled power, seen in Kirk and Spock, counterbalances the uncontrollable
power as seen in Parmen who backs down only when beaten by the stronger mind with the
This episode is a study in William Blake's axiom that "mental things are alone real," that what we
cannot see is what should most concern us. "Plato's Stepchildren" is an ironic title because the Platonians
have misused reason; hence, they are not truly Plato's children. They more closely resemble Plato's illegitimate
offspring, like a trip through Plato's "Mirror, Mirror"--Alice through the looking glass. Some Utopia!
The fact that
Parmen is dying of a massive infection caused by a simple scratch shows the
and the vulnerability of reason without counterbalancing bodily energy:
Philananoles: You see, we scarcely have to move any more, let
Kirk: That's why you have no resistance.
Philananoles: That's right; a break in the skin or a cut
can be fatal.
Akin to the
infection consequence of acceleration in “Wink Of An Eye, the result is no
"pressing need for the
medical arts" because the thirty-eight Platonians are the product of a "mass ingenious program". Not unlike
Vulcan logic, "over-emotionality and concern with the family have been eliminated." The Platonians were "bred
for contemplation, self-reliance and longevity." The illness of a Parmen is a symbol of the potential effects of a
dependent on reason without the bodily work that fosters immunity to basic
Telekinesis has served to atrophy the body
because mind misuses
the organic energy to serve only the mind. The fact that there are no Platonian
fosters a symbol of a sterile society beyond the concerns of love and mutual survival. In essence, they have
become inhuman by misusing reason and by reflecting or suppressing healthful energies.
physical illness is symbolic of his greater physical imbalance. Platonia is a
soulless and bodiless
society of sterile, isolated minds. Speculative reason--metaphysics, contemplative meditation--never finds vent
in healthful action. Hellenism per se is not health. A schism between mind and body, between conscious and
has resulted in Plato's brutes. This episode endeavors to restore psychosomatic
the viewer's perspective. During his illness, Parmen has no control over the unconscious energy. His suppressed
in dreams and in delirium. As the scene shows objects being cast about by
the Enterprise also suffers a "storm"--all, as Spock notes, see the psychokinetic manifestations of Parmen's
delirium. While in delirium, Parmen's reason yields its control and the hideous nightmarish alter-Parmen created
turbulence. In an important conversation Philana uses the term "unconscious" to
stress the lack of
control that reason has over the dark half of man's psyche:
is the power transmitted?
Philana: Brain waves.
Spock: Do these waves cease while you are asleep?
Philana: No, not if they're embedded in the unconscious.
In an illness from the final script draft (omitted at filming) Philana answers Kirk's question: "How
do dreams affect them?"
by noting: "Our sleep is dreamless. Our price of eliminating emotions find no healthful vent
through the catharsis of normal dream sleep." When given the telekinetic power, the Platonians'
emotions run amok, creating a path of destruction in the form of Dionysian amusements. Sadism
becomes a reasonable form of vicarious sexual thrills as Kirk and Uhura, Spock and Chapel are
forced to line a Dionysian fertility play while Philana looks on, her sexual fantasies aroused
because she cannot engage in normal emotional outlets. The "revels" are a testament to
impotency's vicarious thrills in its own incapacities. Dreamless sleep brings nightmares into the
daylight. If one cannot have an emotionally balanced life, x-rated peep shows become the only
Parmen's almost schizophrenic condition is further evidence of the imbalance between
energy and reason in Utopia. He insists on the "amenities" of his guests, but causes Kirk to slap
himself furiously on the face as punishment for accusing Parmen of treating guests "like
common prisoners". In Act II, scene 23, in his atrium, Parmen shows gratitude and
spacemen, we are eternally in your debt. Please
accept these trifles as tokens of our gratitude. They stem
from the very source of our inspiration.
The shield of Pericles for Kirk, the Kothara for Spock, Hippocrates' cures for McCoy are
symbols of apology between scenes of intemperate violence. While Kirk wants the Enterprise
to be released,
Parmen wants to make amends while contemplating murder in his heart of darkness:
Parmen: My humble apologies. You were badly used. In my
own defense allow me to say that my illness was more
profoundly disturbing than I myself realized. I am
sure, Captain, that you too have been out of sorts,
and have been driven to fits of temper and rage.
Unlike you, however, what I think and feel, whether
for good or ill, is instantly translated into reality.
Please find it in your heart to forgive me.
The pressure of the Enterprise crew has brought unconscious elements into
Parrnen's consciousness, but
with no cure. What makes Spock 's flamenco dancing and Kirk's neighing like a horse so unforgivable is that
Parmen knows what he is doing, but his conscious reason, in very un-Platonian terms, refuses to control the
negative energy of his heart of darkness. The effort to keep McCoy as court physician is selfish and vindictive.
The unity of the Enterprise figures--Kirk, Spock. McCoy, Uhura, Chapel--contrasts with the Platonians'
command disorder and lack of purposeful work. Even amid pain and negativity, the crew remains a symbol of
human solidarity, of human reason in balance with human passion.
In "The Enemy Within,” there is, as Gene Roddenberry says, no enemy.
However, in "Plato's Stepchildren"
an enemy exists--l’étranger--and the unconscious is seen, through Parmen, in only its destructive capacity, and
this power is turned outward against the NOT-ME. The sadistic tools, the hot poker and the whip, show a negative
enemy turned outward. A sense of the unconscious one-sidedness must also be seen
in the great achievements
given our western civilization from Plato's legitimate children, Aristotle for one, in contributions to medicine, to
law, to the positive dictates of human reason and of democracy.
Parrnen's role as sadistic stepchild to Plato shows his "adaptiveness" to Plato's republic and the
rule of reason. Possessing such
an enemy within
results from the lack of counter-balancing, civilized reason. Any human capacity
extreme is a potentially lethal enemy indeed. The history of Western civilization is strewn, as Mr. Spock
constantly reminds us, with the courage of war after war. What makes the Enterprise landing party different
from Parmen and his Utopians is that those millennia of savagery are remembered and present, but they have
been reasoned out through human experience. As Kirk once said, we can say we will not kill today. In "Arena,"
Kirk is told, "You are still half savage" and so therein lies the truth of the tale.
The behaviors of the "controlled" crew on Platonius are a play within a play. The stranger takes every human
form, but with civilized man, there is, as Ecclesiastes notes, a time and a place for everything, but free will must
choose the time for
its revels to begin and to end. The tinge of the Marquis de Sade is present
nature. It would be illogical to say man is not occasionally violent. To impose violence under the guise of
Platonic academicians is a supreme irony and a travesty of Plato's teachings. However, man worships both Apollo
and Dionysius, as the philosopher Nietzsche points out; man's Hebraism is somewhat akin to Dionysianism in
stressing the flesh,
suffering, energy and fertility. To make Spock laugh and then cry rips away his
dignity as a man. This sadism is obscene and immoral. No "laughing spaceman,” Spock's Bacchanalian song does
point to this human half that he suppresses and controls. His intelligence and will provide the power of control.
However, the lyrics
of Bacchus do reflect his human half's enemy within that is a
secret sharer as long as it is balanced by reason:
Spock (to the lute):
Take care young ladies,
and value your wine.
Be watchful of your men
in their velvet prime.
Deeply they'll swallow
From their finest kegs,
Then swiftly before
Searing bitter dregs ...
AH! AH! bitter dregs.
With smiling words and tender touch,
man offers little and asks for so much.
He loves in the breathless excitement of night
Then leaves with you treasure in cold morning light.
AH! AH! ... cold morning light.
Lord Byron, too,
speaks of "life's enchanted cup" that "but sparkles near the brim" and once
finds "The dregs were wormwood" (Childe Harold's Pilgrimage, III, 8&9). While reminiscent of Samuel
sentimental warnings to virgins and would-be Pamelas, the lyrics, though uneven,
speak to the
theme of tempus fugit, but also speak to the nature of a life experienced without reason to temper the libido.
They speak of the enemy of excess. The fertility of Spock's lyrics contrasts with the sterility of the Platonians
As a play within the play, the body-controlled revels forced upon the Trekkers
leave their minds free to
speak of power and of passion. They voice suppressed feelings for an otherwise cruel play. Nurse Chapel's love
for Spock, so clear in "Amok Time" and in other episodes, is clearly voiced. Ironically the crew are freed to
express honest, human emotions:
:Please make them stop.
Spock: I haven't the power. I'm deeply sorry. We failed
Chapel: For so long I've wanted to be close to you. Now
all I want to do is crawl away and die. (kiss)
Without the depths of human choice and passions privacy, wholesome emotions become others' lewd spectacle:
Cupid's arrow kills Vulcans," yelps Erachtus. Uhura and Kirk are also affected
by the fickle pair-swapping
effected by telekinesis:
Uhura: I'm so frightened, captain. I'm so very frightened.
Kirk: That's the way they want you to feel. It makes them
think they're alive.
Uhura: I know it, but I wish I could stop trembling ... I'm
thinking of all the times on the Enterprise when I
was scared to death. And I would hear your voice from
all parts of the ship, and my fears would faint…
but I'm not afraid …I'rn not afraid.
The extensive quotes are important to emphasize the sincerity and the humanity of the couples. However, a divorce
exists between their energy and their reason, between physicality and mentality. Under control of Platonian telekinesis,
their "frankness" is belied by their emotional and rational honesty. The
Trekkers are being honest with each other,
and the look on Philana's face, seeing the truth of love in the play, shows the quality so cherished by an author
like Joseph Conrad--human solidarity. Star Trek speaks, in Joseph Conrad’s words:
... to our capacity for delight and wonder, to the
sense of mystery surrounding our lives; to our sense
of pity and beauty, and pain; to the latent feeling of
fellowship with all creation--to the subtle but
invincible conviction of solidarity that unites together
the loneliness of innumerable hearts, to the solidarity
in dreams, in joy, in sorrow, in aspirations, in illusions,
in hope, in fear, which bring men to each other,
which binds together all humanity--the dead to the living to the unborn.
--(Joseph Conrad, "Preface to The Nigger of Narcissus”).
Pain breeds this solidarity as does pleasure, a solidarity that the "Utopia" of
Plato's stepchildren has lost
communally and individually. The Trekkers recognize the stranger within themselves; they recognize the stranger
being imposed upon themselves. Both have the same source in the primitive, human collective unconscious.
Without this solidarity, the Platonians
are the living dead,
dwellers in T.S. Eliot’s "Death's Twelfth Kingdom.” They have ceased to move to
work, to emotionalize--in essence, to be human in any sense. Kirk shows the theme:
half dead, all of you! You died centuries ago!
We may disappear tomorrow, but at least we're living
now and you can't stand that! You're half-crazy because
you've got nothing inside! Nothing!
torture the Trekkers in an effort not merely to prove their superiority, but in
an unconscious effort,
to prove to themselves that they exist! The Trekkers show what Marlowe in Conrad's Lord Jim calls "that in born
ability to look temptation straight in the face--a readiness enough...a power of resistance...an unthinking and blessed
stiffness before the
outward and inward terrors, before the might of nature, and the seductive
corruption of men."
This blessed stiffness is symbolized by Kirk acquiring the power, twice that of Parmen's, of psychokinetic ability.
It is the controlled utilization, the control of reason, over this energy that leaves the crew with more than a balance
of power, but with a distant mental edge over the "corruption of men" ... if indeed the Platonians deserve that
distinction. As Kirk says, "Keep your power; we don't want it."
The last aspect of "Plato's Stepchildren" is small, but important--the character of the
dwarf, Alexander. Alexander has the greatest reasons for wanting revenge against Parmen after
millennia of abuse. In the last scene, Alexander fell for Parmen's trust, saying to Kirk, "Let me
do it! Let me finish him." But Kirk gently reasons, "Do you want to be like him?" Alexander
drops the knife at Parmen's feet, saying, "Listen to me, Parmen I could have had the power, but I
want it ... The
sight of you and your academicians sicken me! Despite your brains, you're the
contemptible thing that ever lived on this universe!" Alexander is not the dwarf; Parmen is! Alexander's
dwarfism is an ironic symbol of a giant heart in a small body. Parmen is the freak; Alexander is great and
noble and wholesomely human, a flower among whitened sepulchers. Alexander has the glory without the
power. The misuse of human energy by the Platonians had made Alexander feel small, the "buffoon," the
court jester. As with the Shakespearean fools, "beware the fool for he contains the wisdom in the play.” In the
teaser that opens the episode, the viewer first sees an enormous gigantic shadow he casts. The shadow shows
the compensatory elements that form Alexander's personality. He is an Alexander the Great; his size is ironic,
and both his heart and reason compensate for his small stature. The little man (homunculus) does indeed cast
a large shadow, for his unconscious and conscious factors always seek balance, even after millennia of
dehumanization symbolized by his dwarfism:
at your service. I sing! All variety of
games and I'm a good loser, a very good loser. Please
try to bear that in mind.
That Platonian's lack of rounded physicality makes Alexander the only balanced personality on Platonius.
The Trekkers add, or
resuscitate, an almost dormant factor in Alexander--his sense of ego identity.
noted to Kirk and Spock, "I never knew any people like you existed." Alexander's humanity and self-
confidence must be restored after being treated like an object. Alexander is strong, stronger than he thinks,
because he lacks the "power.” Alexander is the only character in the episode who
shuns the telekinetic power. Alexander's pituitary deficiency proves to be a
positive factor in
terms of overall character growth:
Alexander: I'm the only one that doesn't have the power. I was
brought here as the court buffoon ... that's why I'm
everybody's slave...and I never do anything right ...
They say I'm a throwback, and I am, and so are you.
Kirk: We're happy without it.
Alexander: You know, I believe you are.
Kirk: Where I come from, size, shape, color makes no
difference and nobody has the power.
Alexander and the Trekkers are treated by the monsters from Parmen’s ID.
Alexander notes, "All the time I
thought it was me...my mind that couldn't even move a petal." The Trekkers prove to Alexander that the
Platonians are no gods. "You showed me size; it's them; it's them ..." Human solidarity redeems Alexander and
stiffens the Trekkers' defense: “That's the first time anybody ever thought of my life before his own."
The "power,” the very theme symbolized by the element, Kiromide, is a manifestation of man's Hebraism.
It is the physical energy (bigotry, lust, libido, ID) conveyed by brain waves, but still organic and primordial in
its power. Power is carried by blood (McCoy compares Parmen’s and Alexander's blood samples) and is symbolized
by blood. The power is the ultimate form of man's own enslavement by his own primitive nature. Power
creates; power destroys. The collective unconscious provides man with both. One
mind imposing its negative
self--its stranger, its shadow--its personal and collective unconscious upon the personal and collective unconscious
of another is slavery. No one man should have that power without the complementing and counterbalancing power
of the human faculty most praised by Plato--the gift of enlightened reason.
Plato's cave (in
The Republic) is an unreal world, a world of ideas, of reflections, and
of half-truths. Reason must be tempered by healthful emotions, and man must realize he is "still
half-savage," and there is no Utopia, just an eternal struggle with the enemy within and, in "Plato's Stepchildren,”
it becomes the enemy as part of man's nature mistaken for the whole of man's nature. Blood breeds power,
but power, unfortunately, also breeds blood. Alexander states Roddenberry's ideal:
that's what I want? Become one of them?
Become my own enemy? Just lie around like a big blot
of nothing and have things done for me? I want to
move around myself. If I'm going to laugh or
Cry, I want to do it myself. You can keep your
precious power. ..
(end of “Plato’s
on the wall, who is the fairest of them all?" asked the wicked witch looking in
Beautiful outside, but inside? To the witch's chagrin, Snow White is the fairest--and so evolves the poisonous
apple/ beauty is its own beast. The mirror eventually reveals the heart of darkness that lacks any beauty.
Then, too, there are two mirrors, two perspectives to every individual and so the theme of the enemy within
becomes a study of the darkness within the entire society of man symbolized by the two Enterprises, one
yet two, similar but different. Snow Whites are fair and beautiful, but such characters, in many fairy tales, are
studies in the physical inferiority of good and the superiority of evil. Evil is strong; it is savage, brutal, ferocious--
yet it lacks indecision and fantasy. The mirror of mankind is akin to Alice in the looking glass--a world of
grotesque distortions. Savagery becomes more savage by contrasting it
with its opposite
("without contraries is no progression"), and it is this technique of
contraries-of light vs. dark that
is the cinematographic technique by which the phenomenon of the double is studied in "Mirror, Mirror". "And the meek
shall inherit the earth", or is it the dirt? The meek Kirk (Kl) simply had lost the power of command. The inhabitants of the
alien planet, the
Halkans, are the insipid Snow Whites of this episode. They are gentle, but
dignified. Their refusal to
fight is in sharp contrast to two starships bent on obtaining the Halkans' vast reserves of dilithium crystals. The episode
shortcomings of total pacifism, because the Halkans are peaceful almost to a
fault. Their "history of total
peace" is virtually suicidal. Principles are admirable, but they lack that mercurial Satanism that makes a race distinctly
breeds stasis. There is simply no energy, no vitalism to the sweet and gentle
robed Halkans. Their
leader, Tharn (the opposite of Thorn?) is a prime symbol in the "Teaser" of this episode because he possesses the
symbol of power, yet embodies none of the energy that the dilithium crystals symbolized and embodies. Power has bred
fear of power, and the Halkans invite destruction from without. They are a vacuum culture, an enigmatic abhorrence in
the laws of nature.
"Mirror, Mirror" is a study in the misuse of power and the limit of reason to channel power for constructive ends. The
contrasting elements are civilization versus barbarism, a mercy/savagery dialectic--a study of tensional opposites in the
nature on man. The
dual vision of the mirror becomes evident in the very first moments of the
Teaser via the chosen setting
of the story. A normal Enterprise landing party is addressing the
Halkan council using
reason in an effort to procure dilithium crystals. The council's spokesman,
Tharn, is as the
episode script says, "dignified, gentle, robed." The two parties fail to reach an agreement, but the conversation is
firm and controlled. However, the sky is heavily clouded, with much lightening and thunder. The presence of nature
is disruptive as the majestic storm introduces the violence of the subconscious. Thunder roars as Kirk says, "we have
shown the council historical proof that our missions are peaceful." Tharn answers, "The Council accepts that your
Federation is benevolent, as present--but the future is always in question. Uncertain indeed!" A violent magnetic storm is a
symbol of suppressed violence within man himself-the uncontrollable element, what Joseph Conrad calls lack of restraint
that distinguished the barbarian from the civilized man. The storm will come to symbolize the Enterprise's "double"
which is ostensibly
caused by this magnetic storm. The storm roars while Tharn speaks of his race's
"history of total
peace," an irony indeed. The storm also symbolizes the focus of the discussion between Kirk and Tharn--the dilithiurn
crystals. As has been noted in "Plato's Stepchildren,” the theme of this mirror episode is the use and misuse of POWER.
Tharn notes, "Our dilithium crystals represent awesome power. Wrongful use of the power, the taking of a simple life, is
reprehensible to the Halkans. A pacifistic culture setting on a planet made of potential power presents a situational irony.
The Halkan obsession
with peace is an obsession with suicide. The sweet, gentle Halkans are akin to
Kirk 1 in "The
Enemy Within,” full of goodness, devoid of command and strength.
peace, contrasted against the terrible power of the magnetic storm, helps to
show the illogic of what
Kirk calls the Halkans' "ethics.” The Halkans have Platonized dualism by simply "disappearing" war as a race. Is
their expressed intent to die as a race any less a misuse of power by denying its potential as an instrument for peace?
Is inviting suicide part of a history of total peace? Contraries are necessary for human growth. Scruples, multiple racial
one of Blake's proverb, "Prudence is a rich, ugly old maid courted by
incapacity." Prudence is an
old maid because she takes no risks. Courting the male, incapacity, ensures her status as an empty cistern, not a
fountain. Prudence without action breeds Nothingness. The Halkans are an atrophied culture whose ethics, like
Prudence, hamper growth by avoiding the use of the power within themselves, embodied in the symbol of dilithium
Halkans use no power; they literally sit on their untapped energies, thereby
stifling growth as a race.
Their "ethics" are in violent contrast to the violent magnetic storm besieging their planet. They establish peaceful ethics
in an atmosphere of uncontrollable violence. The stage is set for the violent collision of opposites in that the Enterprise
double (E2) is a
logical bodying forth of the Halkans' awesome power--the crystals-- which they
refuse to use, even
for peaceful purposes. Total peace is an historical fallacy, a rationalized dehumanization of suppressed power. Those
crystals' energy is
unused, and they take the form of a violent atmosphere about the Halkan planet
"a price they must
pay for their fantasy of
total peace. The
storm symbolizes the suppressive energies of the Halkin unconscious in their
atmosphere. They live
amid violence and refuse to recognize the problem at all. Also, it is the magnetic double (E2). The episode rises the
basic physics of magnetic plus and minus fields. The excessive ethics of peace creates its opposite (or makes it
conscious) to simplify the necessity of a balance between tensional opposites when E I is made aware of the dual
nature of power: power for peace, power for war. Ethics of total peace invites its opposite---ethics of total violence, i.e.,
Forever, Tharn there remains a thorn. It is the logic of physics, the logic of
history. Halkan peace is a foil for
this episode' s theme--the wrongful use of power.
Power is the key. Therefore, the "peaceful" Enterprise (E1) meets its opposite, its double, E2--the Empire vs. the
Federation. Both are dialectical opposites, like the two Kirks of "The Enemy Within,” of reason vs. energy, of Plato vs.
Nietzsche. Both are
two aspects of the attitude towards and the use of power. El meets its enemy
within, E2. Blake
notes, that "Love and hate are necessary for human existence," and this episode is a test of that theory of contraries
as necessary for
human growth. E1 must face E2, just as Kl had to face K2--only now the problem
is not within one
individual; it is an arena for massive social phenomenon. An entire society must face its own double. Sleeping Beauty
must taste the apple of the tree of knowledge, of good and of evil, in order to raise fantasy to the level of a balanced
perspective of opposites. Most fairy tales are rather gruesome if one analyzes them closely. The goal is a
wholistic view of
human nature. Fantasy married
fact to create the true tale of the
just man raging in the wilderness
where lions roam, planting roses amid the thorns. The magnetic storm symbolizes the manifestations of an
imbalanced ethic or history of man. Polarity, too, is a principle of a balance ethos. The episode, “Mirror, Mirror,”
uses the parallel universe theory of “The Alternative Factor, " two universes co-existing on a simple plane, one matter,
the other antimatter. In Mirror, Mirror,” the parallel universes are those coexisting within the mind of man himself.
Man's reason now faces his illogic in a myriad of sublime savagery. The alternative factor is the human unconscious
which is now applied, not just put to two Lazaruses, but to two aspects (opposites/complements) within the collective
(not just personal) unconscious of society's psychological makeup, an awesome power symbolized by the heart of the
energies—its dilithium crystals. A Federation and an Empire are two opposing
means to a similar goal--
to obtain those power sources. Man’s quest for power comes from, and is channeled through, his illogical aspect or ID.
Though the dialectic of El, and E2, a total picture of power is possible, with all its ramifications for construction and for
alternative factor here is the unconscious, and man must learn that power both
creates and destroys.
Just as Kl had to accept K2, to embrace it, so also, E1 has to accept K2, to embrace it as a viable part of the total self
of a living viable society. It is K1 and E1 that show understanding and Conradian restraint. Tharn says to Kirk, “You
have the right to force the crystals from us of course." To which Kirk rebutts: “But we won’t. Consider that.”
As the teaser passed its halfway point, the Enterprise emerges from the shimmer in the opposite direction. The four
El figures--Kirk, Scotty, McCoy, and Uhura--now appear aboard E2. Mirror, Mirror on the wall....switched by
a storm in the process of beaming.
They have entered that parallel
universe, a twilight zone of which dreams are made. Minor changes in dress
the more fundamental of Alice in the looking glass, a confrontation with the abnormal. These four Trekkers do not,
however, face their four mirrors, their four enemies within. The study is geared towards les autres, the others.
The four Trekkers are in a
parallel/opposite universe. What they face are the stranger-selves of the other
The ME meets the NOT-ME, but the E2 is more of a total societal shadow where E2 is E1’s enemy within now
made physically manifest to the four Trekkers.
The doubles of the four
Trekkers on E2 have simultaneously been beamed aboard El where they are in
parallel universe which is opposite to them. In essence, civilization confronts savagery aboard E2 while savagery
confronts civilization aboard E1. The thunder and lightening beam aboard both vessel/worlds in the form of displaced
opposites, each about to confront
its stranger, its double world. The Teaser focuses identity, as in “The Enemy
Within" on the transporter as the technological symbol of altered states of identity. The original Latin meaning, to
carry across, is applied to carrying the human personality across the thresholds of its opposite, multifaceted
manifestations. As the Trekkers materialize on the E2 transporter platform, the camera focuses on the unifying symbol of
the entire episode of mirrors--the
dagger through the galaxy symbol on the wall. The symbol heralds the dramatic
entrance of each man’s Kurtz, his appears on every major access door and wall on the ship. It is also worn as the
symbol of the Empire on the crew’s uniforms. The symbol confronts the viewer's eyes at every turn in this episode.
The symbol heralds the
dramatic entrance of man’s Kurtz, his heart of darkness, the violence in the
becomes visible and conscious as the four Trekkers glance at the alterations in their uniforms. The word empire
denotes the world of imbalanced Hebraic violence (the word “Gestapo” is in the script), of butchery, of totalitarianism
of rule by and through the dagger. Violence and blood hold together an empire with no Conradian civilized restraint.
Animals rule in human form as barbarism rules the moment as Spock with a beard (actually, a goatee) adds a chilling
Satanism to a world of darkness and appalling brutality. The irony lies in the fact that the empire has no awareness of or
tolerance for its opposite—civilized mores. What is soft must be exterminated as an example.The slightest hint of
vulnerability means death by one's own crew, as Kirk discovers when Chekov attempts assassination.
A Darwinan intolerance for mercy means, as Herbert Spencer noted, only survival of the fittest, and by fittest one only
means brute animal
brawn. A crew of technologized Neanderthals rules only
the dagger. The episode is strewn
with scenes of blood and torture--all the manifestations of man’s double as faced by Kirk in “The Enemy Within.”
Living, dying by the
sword stresses man’s Hebraic nature with its emphasis on suffering physicality.
An empire, not
a civilized federation, rules by the ideals of a latter-day Caesar or a Himmler. Even the empire salute has a Roman
basis to it. The dagger-through-galaxy has many faces--all based on man’s primitive past as it is now manifested to the
Trekkers who must find a way back to their universe (E1), but only after experiencing their doubles, their negative secret
sharers in the world of the empire. The symbol, like the two universes , is a puzzle of opposites, of altered personalities.
The earth forms the
cyclic center of the symbol as it
is pierced through the north and
down the middle
the dagger. The earth also
surrounds or engulfs
the blade of the dagger as though the blade
emanated naturally from the earth’s opposite polarities. The entire episode is based on these systems of reversed
polarities. The empire will be over thrown in two-hundred and forty years (as Spock notes) where the civilized galaxy
will engulf the Satanic dagger of the empire. The "Kurtz" at the heart of darkness will be exorcised by civilized law and
galaxy will heal itself from the wounds of primeval blood thirst. But in the
episode, the dagger acts as a
thorn piercing a world. The dagger is situated in a descending pattern that contracts with the Federations Galactic symbol
that stresses an ascending motion within the circle of a civilized world. The empire’s dagger is the death of a world, The
dagger is a bawdlerized rendition of the cross of Christianity as ironically symbolized in the handle and the blade of the
sword as it evolves from Roman times through the medieval Christian worlds of western Europe.
sword was the cross aimed at the enemies of Christendom. King Arthur’s Excalibur
ironic, tensional unity of destructive war (ex., the Crusades) and the peace at the heart of Christ’s teachings. Peace and
war meet in the death and resurrection of the Christ. Men must die so that others must live. This becomes necessary in the
pursuit and the
maintenance of peace.
Here too the dagger, the eventual
fall of this empire (much like Rome) in
"approximately two-hundred and forty years,” is to be absorbed by the very body it impales. As Carlyle notes (The
Revolution) ages of
destruction are often followed
ages of construction. War
contains the seeds of the
Romana, its own opposite, its own undoing. In this sense, the Federation and the Empire represent conscious
reason and unconscious illogic, two diverse
symbols of human society. The dagger once again acts as the ultimate symbol of human barbarism, man without civilized
The worlds of “Mirror, Mirror” are ones of violent contrasts as symbolized by the reversal in direction of the two
the Teaser. The ion storm symbolizes a greater storm that rages within the
heart of Hebraic man.
log, a stardate unknown. During an ion
storm, my landing party has beamed back to the
Enterprise and found it--and the personnel aboard--
changed; the ship is subtly altered physically
Behavior and discipline have become brutal--savage!
The key term is change as it relates to power (“The…power jumped for a moment" ), but the power is both technological
and biological. Ultimately, the change is psychological as altered states of mind are observed; the power of the
unconscious effects, the pain of consciousness of one’s double. Power and consciousness are related in a cause/effect
Scotty: Captain…the transporter chief mentioned a surge
of power...and we just materialized someone else.
Kirk: Yes here. Not our universe, not our ship. Something
parallel, a parallel universe, coexist with ours on
another dimensional plane. Everything duplicated--
almost. Another Enterprise. Spock with a beard.
Scotty: Another Captain Kirk? Another Dr. McCoy?
McCoy: An exchange.
Human awareness is linked to power, to surge of power that creates consciousness of altered states of mind and altered
states of beings. Mental powers become apparent through the power of nature and technology. Man is sent on a journey
into his heart of darkness, into the inner recesses of his being. Such awareness causes terror and pain--both primary
qualities of the human unconscious. The “agonizer” applied by the Satanic-looking Mr. Spock, to Mr. Kyle, the transporter
chief, for “carelessness with equipment" afflicts a world of pain. Each crew member apparently carries his own
agonizer. Spock demands of Kyle, “Your agonizer,
please,” as though
the device aggravated an already inherent sense of suffering which a crew member
with him. The agonizer serves to externalize an internal sense of pain. Man is his own agonizer as the device serves as a
devious device for
pain consciousness. Pain is an inherent part
of the human condition. The
empire thrived on pain,
showing a lack of restrain or of balance. Such a condition is in extreme, and therein lies the disease. The Federation
represents no ideal
world of peace without pain: however, within the world of El, a balanced
pain and pleasure is generally maintained. The tensional dialectic between peace and war serves to create a more
controlled human condition reminiscent of a civilized mores.
The Federation's side of the mirror reflects the necessity of opposites existing side-by-side to create progress by making
man more fully human. One is reminded of the narrator from Dostoyevsky’s Notes From Underground who finds
enjoyment in his toothache and in the malevolence of his moans because pain gives him a sense of self-awareness and
expression. The perverse narrator notes:
enjoyment of the sufferer finds expression in those
moments; if he did not feel enjoyment in them he would
not moan. they (moans) expresses the consciousness that
you have no enemy to punish, but that you do have pain;
the consciousness that in spite of all possible auto-
suggestionists you are in complete slavery to your teeth.
His moans do little good, but they do express the aimlessness of pain. Such is the role of the agonizer as a mode of human
expression. A distant lack of purpose is apparent. The Empire's world of pain serves no humanizing end. E2 is a
somewhat like the Halkans in that both are bent upon a suicidal path through
extremes of mortality
and pacifism. Each is doomed without the other. El presents a balanced
normalcy amid extreme opposite of E2 savagery and Halkan simpering pacifism.The terrible pain of the agonizer and the
agony booth both
emit a Dantesque descent into hell, into a world of the devil full of bearded
(Spock), scarred faces
(Sulu) and Perserdones (Marlena). A distinct criticism is apparent of Gestapo, police state mentalities full of Sulu-
security-chiefs, of pawns without redeeming bishops, of dehumanized Neanderthals who epitomize the utter
brutality of total mindlessness. E2 is the double in the mirror of a cosmic collective unconsciousness. In E2 the ethos has
changed. Characters are true to themselves in both worlds, but in the crossover, character traits are reflected (the mirror)
as well as altered. Character's are adapted to their ethos-double. The mirror reflects much of a character's good or positive
character traits. Spock, for example,is a “man of integrity in both worlds.” He symbolizes the presence of conscious
cerebralism in an otherwise Hebraic society. S2 shuns the burden of command and seeks no glory by assassination; S1
also prefers the role of science officer. Both Spocks are mirror, mirror, close reflections whose comparative qualities far
outweigh any contrasting qualities. Most changes are superficial, such as the uniform and the beard (more of a
Machiavellian goatee, really).
In this world of mirrors, each double-character contains principles in it of its other double (ex., Uhura, Kyle, Spock).
Spock especially retains a distinct crossover universality in both parallel universes. S1 has that devilish quality in him, but his
intellect meets his animal half in a controlled stand-off, like a truce with intermittent moments of Vulcan over human or
human over Vulcan. S2’s beard belies a logical and loyal officer whose integrity is intact. He remains part of the system
partly aloof from it.
Spock is already aware of what Kirk reminds S2 near the episode's conclusion about the empire being “illogical.” Spock
knows the ebb and flow of history. He has the power to change and the Tantalus field (in K2's quarters) would give Spock
the power to change his world. Roddenberry’s portrait of Spock in “Mirror, Mirror,” presents Spock as a potential
revolutionary. One must have both the power and the logic—keys to fuller humanization. By appealing to S2's
inherent sense of history, Kirk portents the downfall of pain without peace:
illogic of waste, Mr. Spock! Waste of lives-
resources, potentials--time! I submit to you that
your empire is illogical--because it can’t endure.
I submit that you are illogical-- to be a willing
part of it…when change is predictable
and inevitable--beneficial--doesn't logic demand that
you be part of it?
Spock2: One man cannot summon the future.
Kirk1: But one man can change the present!
One of this episode’s themes is the illogic of waste, especially of time and human resources. Change is both a good,
inevitable and painful. S2 must alter his logic and his theory of history, and the creative key is always control and balance.
Spock notes that terror must be maintained or the empire is doomed. It is the logic of history. But Kirk's reply is the
episode’s ultimate solution and man’s ultimate solution: “Conquest is easy. Control is not.” Conradian restraint and Blakean
balance create a truer logic of history.
The entire struggle of the Trekkers on E2 is one of adaptation and quest for balance. On an animal level, sharp instincts
for survival save the foursome: however, the logic of applied intellect through technology assures success. Man possesses
two powers or two uses of power: The power to create and the power to destroy. All too frequently, the two coincide in
real lights of history. The foursome of Trekkers always act as individuals (Uhura on the bridge distracting Sulu;
Scotty and McCoy in engineering; Kirk as coordinator, and as an aggregate society, i.e., as one body and one mind
with one motivating soul. Scotty gives the viewer the key to escape from the hell of the heart of uncivilized darkness
when he posits the technological
solution to a psychological quandary:
K2: All right, Spock…whatever your game is, I’ll
play it. You want credits? I’ll give hem to you.
You’ll be a rich man. A command of your own? I
can swing that too.
S1: Extremely fascinating
K2: Spock, what is it that will buy you? Power?
A dialogue evolves
that is between civilization and between the Conscious and the Unconscious,
between logic and
illogic within each Trekker and between Trekkers. Civilized man, through millennia of experience history and
evolution, has the knowledge of his past upon which to build his future by changing the present. Primitive man has
only a limited past and a limited present with no future for contemplation. A civilized man can mimic the past without
losing his identity. The Neanderthal (of any era) lacks the knowledge of historical precedent and has no desire to alter
his present. As a result, the foursome of E2 were immediately incarcerated upon beaming aboard E1 because they
could not be other than their unconscious, savage selves. Balance breeds
perspective and human drama in the Trekkers of El, aboard E2:
K: What I
don’t understand is how you were able to
identify our counterparts so quickly.
S: It was far easier for you as civilized men to behave
like barbarians than it was for them as barbarians
to behave like civilized men.
A final element of
Hebraic man in “Mirror, Mirror” IS the
relationship that takes place in this
act. The empire, in its lack of conscious control and civilized restraint, provides its captain with an Hebraic luxury as
captain's woman. Marlena, whose erotic talents could take her through the whole fleet, provides Kl with what
Kl does not permit himself as captain of El--that “beach to walk on.” “Civilized” morality would call a Marlena a
harlot, but in the empire’s world, she is a logical offshoot of its ethos. Of course that Kirk2, as buccaneer, would
be entitled to all treasures plundered. A persistent wrong exists because Marlena is a Yeoman Rand, but is permitted
a natural vent to her physical self, as is her captain. Kirk l can enjoy a Marlena, but only in the world
Some voices believe Kirk is too restrained in not permitting himself to be fully human aboard a civilized Enterprise
(E1). Kirk’s almost prudish behaviors vis-a-vis Rand creates an inner purgatory because dedication and duty make
the Enterprise the captain’s only woman—“no beach to walk on”—no love, no erotic love. Aboard E2, Kl has an
erotic female complement. Ironically, K2 had stopped treating Marlena as a woman long ago. He has the woman,
but he does not engage. Kirk1 aboard El has the love but cannot externalize his human eroticism, his barbaric sexuality.
The empire is not all evil, but both captains are loved; both captains do not return that love; both are in love with
dame duty who is
their only mistress. Both men are married to an obsession of getting on with
Oiling my traps darling. I’m
little out of practice. Maybe that's what
happened to us. It’s very hard for a working
officer to shine as a woman-- every minute.
And you demand perfection.
Kl: I’ve never seen perfection. But no woman could come
closer to it.
Marlena: I remember when you used to talk that way.
K1: I still do.
Marlena's only alternative to Kirk2’s apparent rejection is rank and her ability to “hunt fresh game” elsewhere.
Marlena is a business woman going about her profession. She supports her boss by using the Tantalus device to rid
the captain of his enemies, but she also harbors genuine affection “behind “her traps. ”The Marlena Moreau later seen
aboard El (a new Yeoman) catches Kirk's eye, but to what extent can he afford to be erotic and still maintain the
stoic respect required of a captain? A captain cannot afford the luxury of being anything but perfect in the eyes of his
crew, and unfortunately, erotic love , in a civilized society, is too often viewed as a weakness, a flaw, a slipping of
the veneer of restraint. Could they really become friends?
“Mirror, Mirror” treats
the duality within the human
treats civilization and barbarism on
social level. What Kirk experiences personally is the enemy within as it becomes a universal social phenomenon,
an entire society seeing its alter-self, its double, in the mirror. Man must recognize that his instincts, (if unbridled}
create chaos and death. But instincts combined with reason in a working dialectic can provide growth in human
society. The episode makes man see the light of his primordial darkness, makes him see the tragedy of creativity
unused or misuse for
destructive purposes. Destroying the Halkan race is no final solution to
dilithium crystals. The man of vision is the hero of this hall of mirrors because he transcends his limitations and works
for the good of the all. Power, a transporter, can bridge universes or can keep them extremely apart. This episode
seeks man’s consciousness of the abuses of the creative instincts lurking in the human unconscious; it also shows the
value and the necessity of using man's instincts in a constructive, creative manner. The episode combines tyranny
with revolution, brain with brawn, peace with war:
Kl: In every revolution there’s
one man with a vision!
S2 A man must also have the power.
Kl: Which will it be? Past or future? Tyranny or freedom? It’s up to you.
S2: Captain Kirk , I shall consider it...and so.
Mirror, mirror on
the wall, who is the fairest of them all?
“Balance Of Terror”
“We were wanderers on prehistoric earth,” notes Conrad in The Heart of Darkness.
The episode "Balance of Terror" deals with the fear generated within the human unconscious whose
conscious manifestation is terror and war. The episode examines war as a moral imperative, and studies the
displacement of man’s creative energies into destructively applied energies under the aegis of war as a conditioned
morality. The true terror in this episode is symbolized by the Romulans, but the real terror is that which is
within. The Romulans are the double, the enemy within, because in facing the Romulans, the Enterprise faces its true
enemy, the enemy within. Both commanders and both crews experience the terror of imminent extinction, yet each
man must face this terror of non-existence alone. The two commanders--Romulan and Terran--must use all their
instinctual resources in an immense effort to stay alive. It is old naval
warfare, one on one. Both are
intruders in each other’s view. Both are secret sharers in the terrifying unknown. It is Mark Leonard's first appearance
on Star Trek, here as the Romulan commander, later as Sarek of Vulcan.
The Romulan commander stresses the love/hate relationship of man within himself as he faces the
dehumanizing effects of endless conflict. “I regret that we meet this way. You (Kirk) and I are of a kind. In a different
reality I could have called you friend.” The logic of conflict is the illogic of an imperative madness of armed
destruction. Strangers meet first and last as enemies, never as friends because of circumstances largely beyond their
control. Each commander does his duty, but neither is clear in conscience as to the reason for what he must do. Kirk
and the Romulan commander are indeed much alike. Both are aliens to the other, yet both know the common
ground of what could have been
The Romulan has the Centurian as his companion in war and in peace. They possess a deep friendship and a
respect for each other. Kirk and Spock possess this same respect, loyalty and friendship. Both pairs are creatures of
duty, yet both are
capable of immense feelings for the other, even though the second in command may
just feel he
fully understands his commanding officer; however, he does much more than he will consciously admit. The
Centurian gives his life to save that of his friend and commander. Spock had (in many episodes) also jeopardized his
own life is a selfless sense of self-sacrifice. Duty and instinct form a bond of oneness between both: between
enemies and between commanding officers on each side of the armed conflict. The Romulan is war-weary and seeks
the stars of home. All he brings his glorious Praetor is proof of earth’s weakness and hence, another war.
He seeks solace in the midst of duty to his empire, an empire similar to the martial empire in “Mirror, Mirror.”
Kirk, too, seeks solace from duty and war:
wish I were on a long sea voyage somewhere,
Not too much deck tennis...no frantic dancing...and no responsi-
bility. Why me? I look around that bridge and I see
the crew waiting for me to make the next move--and Bones,
what if I’m wrong?
McCoy also acts much
like the Romulan Centurian, a voice of conscience, a voice of a warning, a voice
confidence to a troubled but determined captain:
But live got me...something live never said to a
customer, Jim, in this galaxy, there is a mathematical
probability of three million earth type planets. And
in all the universe, three million million galaxies
like this. And in all that, and perhaps more...only
one of each of us. Don’t destroy the one named Kirk.
The Centurian warns his commander of Decius, who has friends in power close to the Praetor: “Be wise, good friend…
seek danger where it lies.” The commander strips Decius of his rank for reading a message, an error that eventually
serves as an element in the Romulan defeat by the pursuing Enterprise. Again, the Centurion, like McCoy, offers solace
Take care, commander. He (Decius) has
and friends of his kind mean power. And power
Commander: Danger and I are also companions.
Centurian: We have seen a hundred campaigns together and still I do not understand you
Commander: I think you do. The earth Commander
will follow ... he must…and when he attacks we will
destroy him. Our gift to the homeland--another
Centurian: If we are the strong, is this not the signal for War?
Commander: Must it always be? How many commanders have we
lost in this way?
Centurian: Our duty is obedience.
The commander will do his duty, but obedience and duty mean “death and more death.” And the commander finds
himself “wishing for destruction before we will return.” The Romulan commander sows the seeds of his own defeat.
Although trained in duty, his other self wants peace. If anything, he is too merciful, ex., in not destroying the Enterprise
when she is apparently disabled in space. Kirk uses the power of a “sorcerer” making the ship “play dead” to
ensure the Romulan ship; in his own gluttony to kill, the Praetor’s insatiable appetite for blood is enormous. War,
Decius reminds his
commander of his duty to crush the "enemy”; however, that act of duty creates
the duty of self-destruction. The Romulan martial philosophy is self-destructive because the peaceful coruscations
of an enlightened commander are no match for the ravenous Praetor and the Decius-types. Indeed, there is much to
regret in two “reflections" (doubles) meeting each other in this circumstance. Both captains understand each other perfectly,
but duty is blind. Does each man understand why he does what he must do? To be taken prisoner is not the Romulan
"way." The illogic of conflict and destruction precludes personal feelings. Duty is a destructive step-dame who treats her
children cruelly. One is reminded of the Biblical quotation: "0 Death where is Thy sting? 0 Grave where is thy victory?"
“Balance of Terror" is a study of the conflict between the conscious and the unconscious factors within the power of
command. The cat-and-mouse game of pursuer and pursued is terror in that this one episode on the theme of ship-to-ship
conflict is a war of nerves, a waiting game whose barbarism is primitive in its terror because there is no true explanation for
murder under any aegis or rationalization. It is a dangerous game, a waiting game to see who will make the first mistake. The
individual becomes his own worst enemy. Balance within is challenged by imbalance without. Circumstances test the metal of
both commanders to see the stuff of which great men are made. It is only by animal cunning that the conflict is resolved
(if resolution exists). The Commander must place the Centurion's body in the debris tubes in an effort to feign destruction--
a tactic reminiscent of submarine warfare in the Atlantic during World War II. Deceive the enemy; smell him out;
find his weakness;
then move in for the kill or be killed. True, in a "different reality" enemies
can be friends, but the
reality is larger than anyone man or anyone society. The zeitgeist eclipses the freewill of the individual in the "center
chair." To both vessels, the enemy is always called the "reflection" before that mirror image becomes an “intruder”
that later becomes the "enemy." The true reality begins as a mere shadow of the self. What one sees is a reflection
of the self. Man’s primitive suspicion gives this reflection of the self a distinct, antiphonal identity. In essence, the intruder
is found as a mirror, mirror of the self, the ME who is and who really creates the enemy status of the reflection. In a
literal sense, the enemy exists within first and primarily. The terror lies within the ME, and the NOT-ME is a double
of the ME. The fact that the Romulans look like Vulcans is a key symbol of the nature of the conflicting opposites
within the ME. The Romulans represent a Vulcan barbarism of the past existing in the present. Spock's knowledge of
himself seals the conflict as a struggle of an enemy within.
The use of the mythological story of Icarus symbolizes the themes of the visible and the invisible in human nature. Both
vessels pass through the gaseous tail of the comet called Icarus Four, an "ionized mass, a trail of frozen vapor particles.”
The invinsibility screen of the Romulans (later called a cloaking device in "The Enterprise Incident") symbolizes the hidden, u
unseen nature of the human unconscious. When the Romulan vessel becomes visible, it becomes an evil made conscious to
the human mind. As Kirk notes about the Icarus Four comet, an invisible object passing through the tail of the comet will leave
a visible trail. The visible and
the invisible work together to create altered states of reality; they serve as doors to the human heart of darkness--
opening and closing. Visibility is related directly to consciousness and to power. When the Romulan ship becomes
visible, the stage notes of the script note that: “Almost at the moment we see it, a thick, long, torpedo-shaped bolt of
brightness is launched from the 'hawk-body' of its underbelly. A blinding streak of speed.... " The torpedo-
bolt that destroyed the earth stations requires all the ship's power to launch, thereby rendering the vessel visible and,
therefore, vulnerable to attack. The Romulan vessel is caught in an energy didactic. The cloaking device or weapons--not
both at the same time. There is not enough power for both factors to work simultaneously. Defensive and offensive
positives yield no balance, and balance is a unifying theme in "Balance of Terror" because imbalance is the true terror.
Energy means mass phasers from the Enterprise, firing in traverse pattern, potshots in hope of getting a lucky strike. Both
sides lack balance and certainty; both are caught off-balance in a conflict without clear cause and without clear
textbook-tactical methodology. Both ships follow intuition, feeling, gut instinct, to penetrate the murky invisibles of human
conflict. Indeed, war seems to be the remotest shot in the dark. The comet, Icarus Four, coalesces these opposites of
visible and invisible, of known and unknown, of consciousness and unconsciousness, within the human sphere and serves
as a symbol of man's predatory proclivities--the quest, the hunt is the thing! The mythological character Icarus failed to
heed the warnings of
his father, Daedalus, and with his waxen wings flew too close to the
sun. Thus, his wings melted and Icarus fell into the sea. Aspiring beyond the reasonable limits of his human state
constituted destruction for Icarus. The violation of that literal or symbolic "Neutral Zone" in between life's complex
extremes breaks the balance of that neutrality. As a result, imbalance creates hostility and revenge in the opposite reality.
The Romulan treaty had ensured a sense of balance between the Federation and the Romulan Empire. Indiscriminate
use of power pits the Romulans against their double, their unknown darkness--the world of a democratic Federation.
The result is the fate of the Icarus figure and of the Icarus mentality within man that courts self-destruction. In aspiring
beyond one's place
in nature, one courts the vengeance of the powers of darkness. Icarus must pay
the penalty of
delinquent risk. Both Icarus and the Romulan Commander fly too close to the sun, to the unknown. Both aspire;
both fall into the heart of darkness and experience, as did Conrad's Mr. Kurtz, “the horror...the horror" of their own lack
of civilized restraint. A treaty of sorts exists within every human soul, within every civilization, and among different
societies with different codes of conduct. Violation of this balance of power, of mores, is a terrible risk.
The Romulan-Earth treaty settled an earlier ancient war. As Spock notes, Terrans and Romulans had never seen the
other. The treaty was handled under subspace radio. The people of Earth believe the Romulans to be "warlike, cruel,
treacherous...and only the Romulans know what they think of Earth." The neutral zone was established as the "buffer"
zone "entry into
which by either side...would constitute an act of war.”
destruction of the Earth outposts
guarding the neutral zone frequently breaks that treaty and violates that tensional balance between opposites symbolized
by that neutral zone. Each party to the treaty labors under blind racial prejudices based on unseen rumors and innuendo.
The Earth's fear of the Romulans is based on unseen and built-up prejudices and imagined stereotypes. Neither Terran
nor Romulan had even seen his counterpart. The Hebraic view of Romulans as cruel and treacherous is not entirely
true. Although a creature of duty and obedience, the Romulan Commander fulfills his Praetor's orders with great qualms
of conscience. He does not like what he has to do. Such wars tend to be between governments, not between the people
themselves. Both the Commander and his Centurion are capable of warm emotion and love. As people, Terrans and
Romulans differ little except in physical appearance, but for the Stiles’ and the Decius' of the universe, mere ignorance
of the "enemy” is a cause for unbridled hatred. This conflict, as with too many wars, is based on the factor of invisibility.
Ignorance creates hobgoblins of the mind within the unconscious darkness of man's world of inner emotions, of inner
suspicions and fears. Many of mankind's enemies emerge from within the dark realm of man's twilight, primitive kingdom
which sees enemies where they do not exist. The first visible appearance of this "enemy” becomes verification of those
Hebraic, instinctual fears. War is a visible manifestation of mankind's inner horror and gothic imagination. So he
strikes out to soothe the instinct of savagery, and the latent primitivism victimizes others as it victimizes the self as creator
and destroyer. T.S.
Eliot’s Prufrock speaks of "Time to murder and create"
and such tendencies take only "A minute to reverse," but who will create? He who has murdered? The human mind, once
pushed into an extreme of murder or of creativity is slow to recreate the balance that must exist between the two acts.
The Romulans commit themselves to murder, and the Terrans must restore that tensional balance, that neutral zone
between lives, under the aegis of self-preservation and duty. Both Kirk and the Romulan Commander have lost that
neutral zone between creation and destruction and are caught in the self-woven web of inevitable and inexorable
consequences of the horror within the heart of darkness. The hell of war is caused by, and is a manifestation of, man's
lack of balance in perspective. The Romulan invasion makes this heretofore invisible horror visible and conscious by
violating the neutrality of their own treaty. This seemingly martial mentality is a one-sided use (and misuse) of the one
concept that unites Star Trek's enemy within theme: power. The empire concept precludes human individuality and stifles
personal choice and
The strong use of ancient Roman names and settings solidifies the martial theme in man. The neutral zone set up by
treaty draws a line in space between planets with Roman names that figure prominently in the conflict of "The Balance of
Terror." The planets' names are Romulus and Remus, two figures prominent in the forming of the ancient Roman Empire
with which the Romulan Empire is equated and after whom it is named. Earth and Romulus are closely symbolic of
Remus and Romulus. Both are what Star Trek calls doubles. Romulus and Remus were the twin sons of the Vestel Rhea
Silvia via Ilia, daughter of Numitor who had been dispossessed of the throne of Alba by his younger brother Amuluis.
This brother vs.
continued in Silvia's twin sons, Romulus and Remus. The twin sons were placed in a trough and cast into the Tiber by
their granduncle. The trough became grounded in the marshes where Rome later was built. According to legend, the
brothers were suckled by a she-wolf, fed by a woodpecker, and later fostered by Acca Larentia, wife of the shepherd
Faustulus. The twins were later to receive recognition by their grandfather whom they restored to his throne. The twins
formulated the city of Rome. In a quarrel with his brother, Remus (like Abel) was slain. Many accounts of this legend
exist, especially those written by Fabius Pietor and Cincius Alimentus. Romulus eventually reigned alone and is believed
to have slain his own brother. Romulus is the founder of the military and political institutions of the ancient Roman
Empire. "Romulus" simply became shortened to "Rome." The naming of the two planets as Romulus and Remus poses a
deliberate play on the Roman legend of the twin sons. The neutral zone separates these two which, as twins, are really
one: twins, brothers, and (psychologically) doubles. The episode poses the necessity of the distinct, separate,
and continued existence of both doubles, of both "reflections." Both are the "shadows" of each other. The elimination of
one double by the other is a form of fratricide; also, the destruction of one double jeopardizes the balance of power. The
crime of the Romulans destroys their double, the Terrans' outposts on the Remus side of the neutral zone. The result is
the eventual destruction of the other double--the Romulan are perpetrators themselves. In "The Enemy Within," the
doubles of Kirk 1 and Kirk 2 are doomed to die without the distinct existence of both doubles as one living person--
James T. Kirk. Kirk and the Romulan Commander are indeed one of a kind, are twins, are
each other's double.
The destruction of the earth outposts also
destroys the twin balance of power. War is the killing of one's own selfhood. The martial victor also loses. There is no
true victory unless one grows by absorbing the visible double and makes it part of himself. Conrad’s Marlow must
absorb the Kurtz principle to become more fully human. He must take unto himself the evil double, however repulsive
and horrible that principle may be because it is himself and always was. Once made conscious and visible, the heretofore
invisible evil principle is assimilated and some good may come from that acknowledgement of the enemy within.
The Romulan ship is the “bird of prey," a symbol of man’s own predatory instinct. The Ronulans are now seen, made
visible. The unknown within becomes a known because the Romulans draw it forth in ship-to-ship combat. The
Romulans are a mirror, mirror of the Enterprise's untested ability in primitive ship-to-ship combat, part of Star Trek's
continuing theme of going "Where no man has gone before.” The Romulan self is the dark factor, a civilization’s
heart of darkness. The Romulan is purposefully limited by blood to Spock because the Romulan is a dark extinction of
Spock's primevil "zone of darkness" (“The Imnunity Syndrome") latently present within. Spock is half human with all its
primitive emotions. Spock is also half Vulcan, and even that half is part Romulan. Thus, both Spock's doubles confront
each other in this episode. The Vulcans are probable descendents of Romulan blood. The theme of evolution from
barbarism into civilized restraint focuses an understanding of the present conflict onto an understanding of the primitive
past made visible in the Romulan martial behavior. It is, ironically, the balanced psyche of Spock that ascertains war as a
moral imperative, i.e., that war is the only logical solution in an illogical situation. It is Spock's advice that convinces Kirk
that the Romulan
not be permitted to enter its side of the neutral zone and reach home:
if the Romulans are an offshoot
of my Vulcan blood ... and I think this
likely, then attack becomes even more
imperative....Vulcan, like Earth had
its...aggressive, colonizing personal, savage
even by earth standards. If the
Romulans retain this martial philosophy...
then weakness is something we dare not show.
The entire episode hinges on primitive human predatory instinct. The strong prey on the weak and two societies' futures
depend on a basic Darwinian struggle of natural selection, of base instinct versus base instinct. One dare not show
weakness; it is a law of nature. An act of war is rationalized as the less of two evils, and man's rational desire to know
and to grow is often adjunct to, and subservient to, his desire to destroy; destruction of others is a primitive reaction as
an act of self-preservation. One must kill in order to survive. The episode is a study in man's seemingly unreluctant
willingness to go to war, in the inevitability of conflict and destruction. Until man's rational and instinctual factors
are aligned and balanced in and between civilizations, the integrated society must destroy the capacity of non-integrated
societies to destroy reasonable men. If the killer instinct in a peaceful society becomes dormant or forgotten, that society
may easily fall prey to the Romulans and to the Klingons of the universe. Sometimes it is the “bad guys" who keep a
civilization civilized through eternal vigilance against the barbaric unknown. Barbaric instinct is the keystone of every
advanced civilization. Rome fell, as Gibbon and Spengler noted, from within. Rome was conquered not by vandals,
Goths and Visigoths
(the barbarians without), but by the enemy within the walls of Rome itself: centuries of decay, complacency, in-fighting
and an army that could no longer fight. The Roman Empire was built upon its army and reigned as long as its army had an
enemy to fight, a goal to achieve, an obstacle to overcome. Even Alexander the Great cried in tears when his armies
reached the sea because there was nothing left to conquer. Blood keeps man from becoming physically and morally
The Federation earth outposts lived behind a world of defensive shields. The Romulans broke those false, defensive
illusions. The Romulans pricked the sedate Federation into consciousness of its own passive posture. One dare not show
weakness: the survival of the fittest (Herbert Spenser). Time and time again the episode uses the term shield in total
surprise and consternation that the shields would not and could not hold. The "terror" of the episode's title lies partly in
the Federation's own abrupt awareness that the "balance" cannot be taken for granted, that imbalance can and does
burst forth. The "terror" also lies in the Romulans' total disbelief in their own vincibility, that their ultimate weapon of
power required visibility to be functional. Both parties to the conflict are terrorized by the distinct imminence of self-
extinction. Both parties are terrorized into an awareness of the limits of power. Power is the dispensing of energy, but
energy in equal amounts for engines and for weaponry is beyond given technologies, beyond science and brute
strength. Equal application of power is impossible simply because there is not enough energy in man and in his machines
to survive and to
make war. Contemporary history shows what happens to a country that spends over half its money on "defense,” i.e.,
on the weaponry of war. People suffer; man himself withers as his energies are spent. The Romulan ship is driven by
simple impulse powered engines. The ships weapon takes all its power. The Enterprise appears to have the edge
because it possesses warp speed; however, it has not the weaponry of the Romulans. The result is a technological
impass and the subsequent need for both parties to resort to instinctual tactics: cat and mouse, predator and prey--with
both parties frequently playing both roles. The society with the superior instinct to live, the better instinct to kill to live,
wins the conflict. The title "Balance of Terror" is ironic and deceptive as a key to the episode's final outcome. Peace, in
history, is frequently seen as a product of a balance of power. Equal abilities to destroy are viewed as deterrents to
offensive warfare. The two warships are balanced indeed. The terror lies in the destruction of man's inner preconceptions
that he cannot be destroyed after breaking the balance for peace. The principle of the balance of power is an incentive to
build bigger and more destructive weaponry. That society's double must then do the same. The very terror of modern
civilization lies in that hideously augmenting balance that opposites claim must be maintained; hence, balance is terror.
How can there be a controlled or limited war while a Romulan society possesses superior ability to destroy? The price of
its advanced weaponry is the simpering need to travel (and to live) on simple impulse power. A warring society
precludes its own cultural
because it cannot possess enough energies to both create and destroy. Vulcan grows into a peaceful society after
millennia of warfare. But no emotions, no illogic, can explode into another era of war. A Vulcan civilization depends on
the maintenance of civilization within the context of a Federation. Also, terror comes from balance once it is broken.
Simple impulse power (impulse is a psycho-technical term) is no match for warp power. Was there a true balance in the
first place, or was a society mesmerized into simply believing that a shield cannot be broken? Power is both the strength
and the Achilles' heel of Romulans and Terrans. Power has "limited range” and range means limited power, and so an
Enterprise must take wild "traverse" phaser shots at an enemy it cannot see--literally a shot in the dark; psychologically, a
shot from within darkness. Indeed, the Romulan Commander possesses a grain of truth when he says, “In a different
reality, I could have called you friend." But he is a creature of duty and his final act is that awful "just one more duty to
The sense of the enemy within in "The Balance of Power" is also visible within the confines of each ship. The Romulan
commander fights within himself, between emotion and duty, between a longing for peace and the necessity for conflict.
He is a very complex, multifaceted human/Romulan. The struggle for power is evident between Decius and his
wants the glory of the kill; the Commander seeks patience and caution. The
"bucks" his cautious commanding officer. Aboard the Enterprise, the theme of internal power separates the senior
officers into camps.
The most virulent enemy within is that of racial prejudice, and the main actors
scenario of bigotry are Lt. Stiles and Mr. Spock who engage in a not-so-private little war on the bridge, in the briefing
room, and in the phaser control room. Spock and Stiles are most surprised by the appearance of the Romulan
commander on the ship's viewing screen. Stiles, seeing the Vulcan-Romulan resemblance, blames Spock for the
Enterprise conflict. As Uhura decodes the Romulan message, Stiles voices his hatred.
didn't quite hear that, Mr. Stiles.
Stiles: Nothing, Sir.
Kirk: Repeat it.
Stiles: I was suggesting Mister Spock can probably translate it for you.
Kirk: I assume you are complimenting Mister Spock on his ability to decode?
Stiles: I wish I were sure, Captain.
Kirk: Here's something you can be certain of, Mister.
Leave any bigotry in your quarters; there is
no room for it on this bridge. Do I make myself
Stiles: You do, Sir.
With many generations of Stiles in the military service, Lt. Stiles is an authority on Romulans and their "bird of prey."
Although Stiles seethes with a hostility toward Spock that is felt by all around him, Stiles' philosophy about and
knowledge of the Romulans is seconded by Spock, the object of Stiles' bigotry. Stiles' hatred for Romulans is based on
These are Romulans! Run away from them and you
guarantee war. They'll be back, not just one
with everything they've got~
(Whirling on Spock)
You know that Mister Science Officer. You always
left out that one point. Why? Why? I’m very
interested in why?
Kirk: Sit down, Mister!
Spock: I agree. Attack.
The bigotry is finally resolved when Spock rescues Stiles from the phaser control room filled with phaser coolant gas,
and good humor
is restored by Spock's wit and understanding:
Stiles: I'm alive, sir, but I wouldn’t be…
Mr. Spock ...he pulled me out of the phaser
room room...saved my life; he risked his life,
and after I….
Spock: I saved a trained navigator so that he could
return to duty. I am capable of no other
feelings in such matters.
Kirk knows better and smiles.
The second enemy within aboard the Enterprise is a philosophical clash between the pro-martial faction and the anti-
martial faction. The emotional, unswerving voice of pacificism is Dr. McCoy who serves as Kirk's double in terms of
reason and conscience. Spock asserts that attack is "imperative.” McCoy asserts that, "War is never imperative," that
“attack begets attack; it doesn’t stop war. Galactic war.” Do you (Kirk) want that on your conscience?" Kirk's
decision to attack near Icarus Four is seen as a “big gamble.” McCoy keeps Kirk and the viewer ever-conscious of
morals and treaties. “Do we violate the treaty, Captain?" because, as McCoy notes, "Once inside (the neutral zone), they
can claim we did! A set up! They want war; we furnish the provocation." Dr. McCoy's pacifism really springs from his
humanism and benevolence, from his concern as man and physician over the taking of human life. Kirk hopes and quips
that Bones' services will not be required in the aftermath of the conflict. McCoy's devotion to his Captain prods
the sentimental soliloquy of the "three million Earth-type planets," that in the millions of galaxies, "only one of each of us.
Don't destroy the one named Kirk." For the Enterprise's role in the destruction of the Praetor's finest flagship, no injuries,
but one very
unnoticed, but important fatality.
In the next to last scene of "Balance of Terror,” the critical death of Robert Tomlinson is recorded. The dialogue and
the stage notes are important:
many men did we lose, Bones?
McCoy: Only one…Tomlinson.
Kirk: Can't place the name.
McCoy: The boy who was going to get married this morning.
(Beat, long, pained reaction.
Kirk knows who it is and is
shocked and pained by the sad news).
McCoy: His fiancee is at the chapel now.
(Kirk's eyes lower to the floor… he draws in a breath ...
moves for the door).
Kirk exits into the corridor on his way to the chapel. "Balance of Terror" is a play within a play. Little attention is paid to
the context within which the Terran-Romulan conflict takes place. The opening (teaser) and closing scenes are the same
--the chapel of the Enterprise. The Romulan attack against the Earth outposts guarding the neutral zone interrupted the
wedding ceremony, the marriage to be between Angela Martine and Robert Tomlinson. Marriage is the unifying theme of
the episode; rather, it is the destruction of the marriage as fact and symbol that serves as the final toll of this conflict.
Marriage is the symbol used by the great Romantic poets-- Blake, Shelley, Wordsworth, Coleridge--the symbolize the
function of the human imagination. The human mind interprets opposites to create new synthesis, unity, and harmony. The
death of Robert Tomlinson, as the “only” fatality of the conflict, demonstrates the real destruction, in human terms, of
such a useless war. His death symbolizes the failure of man to create beauty in the aftermath of destruction. Angela
Martine is a widow without benefit of marriage because marriage is the coordination of all man's inner resources, the
unity of the
conscious and unconscious factors for any coordinated and controlled destiny. True victory requires logic and illogic in
interaction. War demonstrates lack of balance, a lack of natural control over man’s heart of darkness, his animal half.
The marriage of man's opposing elements is the victory of uncontrolled and unrestrained darkness. The unconsummated
marriage ceremony shows the spoils of "victory" where male and female unite their differences and find each other
in man's ultimate ceremony of love. Tomlinson and Martine symbolize love destroyed by hate. War destroys the natural
liturgy of the human procreative spirit, the union of mind and body, of two opposite concepts--male and female--in a
creative act. The Romulan-Terran conflict was a battle of minds, and it was man's evil double that enabled one party to
survive; but the soul of the Enterprise suffered an irreversible loss--its marriage within itself. This marriage to be leaves
two lonely figures
in the chapel in this episode's closing scene: Captain Kirk and a tearful
Angela, one mourning
inside, crying outside. The death of Tomlinson is somehow symbolic of a dying within. His death also reflects upon
the dual nature of a captain's command. It is the captain's privilege to give and to recreate life; it is also the captain's duty
to destroy life. Kirk's decision to pursue the Romulans takes the life of one of his own most promising young crewmen.
The nature of good and evil is a captain's inner tool of command. He must frequently destroy at great cost to his crew
and to himself. One of the frequently forgotten pleasures of the captaincy is his role as minister of God, as priest over his
flock. He is the
good shepherd who commands good and evil, who creates both light and darkness,
mercy and justice:
Since the first wooden vessels, all ship's
masters have had one happy privilege ...
that of joining two people in the bonds of
matrimony. And so we gather here today,
with you, Angela Martine, and you, Robert
Tomlinson, in the sight of your fellows,
and in accordance with our laws and our
many beliefs, so that you may pledge your ...
Sulu: Alert, alert. Captain to the bridge.
All decks alert.
The outposts have been attacked just as Kirk is about to utter troth/faith. A red alert has cancelled a white wedding.
Blood has destroyed the bridegroom. The ritual of life is eclipsed by the ritual of death. And so life's liturgy runs its full
gamut in this episode about the failure of victory to create life. Life and death are older than the ancient wooden vessels,
as old as the fall of man and the murder of Abel by Cain, his brother. Nothing has changed.
The name of the world-be bride is Angela Martine. She is half-angel, half Mars--the Roman God of War. She is a
unity of the opposites seeking formal joining with Robert Tomlinson. Archangel Michael, right hand of God, carried a
torch and a sword as he drove Adam and Eve out of Eden and drove the fallen angel, Lucifer, from heaven into the fires
of eternal hell. This allegory is repeated in “Balance of Terror." Martine and Tomlinson were, ironically, the crewmen in
charge of the phaser room during the Terran-Romulan conflict. They were efficient causes in the destruction of the
Romulan vessel, yet the angels of death were to be the angels of life; but death destroyed the destroyers almost as if the
phasers were symbols of Martine's and Tomlinson's enemies within. All is not so fair in love and war. Man cannot
destroy and create
simultaneously. As in the Romulan vessel, there is not enough energy for both living and destroying. They had to become
visible to fire their weapon, and it had limited range. So it is with Angela and Robert--for worse, not for better--until
death. A suitable alternate title for this episode could have been "Till death do us part." In the chapel stand two lonely,
isolated people who cannot give full solace one to the other: Kirk and Angela. One has won and lost; the other has
simply lost. The captain has no one; Angela has no one. Both have lost in the balance of terror. Both have encountered
the double, the enemy within. Both are gratefully alive, but both are inexorably changed. The setting for "Balance of
Terror" is the chapel, the house of God in the darkness of endless space and time. The presence of the Godhead is the
alpha and the omega of the balance of terror. Opposites meet in the Chapel Perilous, and the Grail eludes its questors.
Man is left with the sad and terrifying Hebraic sense of suffering and sin. In the episode's last words, Kirk seeks light in
the darkness, a reason for it all: "It never makes any sense. We both have to know that there was a reason."
Angela simply answers with the dubious truth: "I'm all right." Kirk and Angela are alone as Kirk turns his back and begins
to leave the chapel. The final script draft reads: "... Kirk as he is...a man alone...then he moves on down the corridor...the
weight of command heavy on his shoulders, but worn with strength and dignity and understanding.” But there is no
solace for Kirk whose reason and sense of duty give him and Angela little comfort, little reason for the liturgy of death
and the ritual of marriage. Little difference remains between the two any more. Angela remains, almost a wife. There's
got to be a reason, but death is often its own beginning and its own end. Oh Death, where is thy sting? Oh Grave, where
victory?--Till Death do us part?
discerning intellect of man,
When wedded to the goodly universe
In love and holy passion, shall find these
A simple product of the common day
--I, long before the blissful hour arrives,
Would chat, in lonely peace, the spousal verse
Of this great consummation ...
--(Wm. Wordsworth, "Prospectus to The Recluse,” 1814).
In "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner,” a story of evil is told by the mariner while standing inside the church while a
wedding service goes on within the sanctuary. The mariner speaks his eternal tale to the Wedding Guest in quest for
reintegration of his soul with nature, God, and man. But the mariner never becomes part of the church, never
becomes married to the opposites and divisions his killing of the albatross has caused. Much penance has he done, and
more he shall do. Kirk and the Wedding Guest in Coleridge's famous poem have much in common, from the ancient
wooden vessel to a starship certain universals remain, including the rituals of sin, suffering, penance, and the quest for
rebirth. Kirk, like
the Wedding Guest, begins and ends a tale whose setting is the chapel (in
Coleridge's poem, the Kirk;
Kirk means church in Scots dialect). Both stories begin and end in church with a tale of violence as a play within the play.
Of the Wedding Guest, the narrator says:
the Wedding Guest
Turned from the bridegroom's door.
He went like one that hath been stunned,
And is of sense forlorn;
A sadder and a wiser man
He rose the morrow morn.
(S.T. Coleridge, "The Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner")
finis—“Balance of Terror"
"DAY OF THE DOVE"
Carl Jung speaks of a possession of the individual by the so-called "inferior function" which is "practically identical"
with the dark side of the human personality." This darkness "clings" to every individual personality and is "the door into
the unconscious (Carl Jung, Four Archetypes. Bolligen Series, Princeton, 1973). A shadow of ourselves may stand
before us that can be an inner friend or our enemy. Whether this double is an inner friend or foe, according to Jung,
"depends on ourselves." It can be the person we may never want to see or to be. Such is the case of the conflict
between the Klingons and the Trekkers in "Day of the Dove." The alien entity of pure energy is called a “crystal" in the
draft (hereafter called SFD). Its definition is not totally
clear, but its apparent effects are
the focus of this
episode. The day of the dove is the day of peace. The dove's biblical imagistic qualities appear as early as Genesis and
the story of Noah and the great flood. The symbol of the dove bearing an olive twig back from the fertile land heralds the
end of the flood and the story of a purified new race of God based on the descendents of Noah. The twig symbolizes
purification and fertility. The new land is ready for human and animal habitation. In the New Testament, the dove
becomes the symbol of the Holy Spirit bearing the gift of tongues to the twelve apostles. In Christian mythology, the
Dove becomes the symbol of Christ and the gift of peace. The dove is frequently used as a sacrificial animal following the
law of Moses in the
temple, a holocaust offered to God by man. The alien serves these functions
traditional biblical patterns. Ironically, the alien brings violence, but is not
violent of itself. The alien is an
eternal parasite using force that already exists in the universe. Thus, the alien fulfills the role of effecting sacrifice and
holocaust. It does reek havoc aboard the Enterprise. On the other hand, the alien entity does offer the gift of the olive
branch of peace by inducing the violence inherent in the warring factions. It is the violence without death that brings the
warring factions to the table of peace talks and intercultural understanding. Besides appealing to man's reason, the alien
also appeals to man's instincts--especially the instincts of self preservation and xenophilia. Too much war becomes as
boring as too much peace. In this sense, the alien is the dove of peace. The indisputable fact of the plot is its peaceful,
even jovial, ending with Terrans and Klingons laughing at their mutual enemy. Through the alien, peace becomes a reality.
This is the one Star Trek episode where the Terrans and the Klingons willingly and decisively bury the hatchet in a scene of
united nations, if only for that one sweet moment in time. The picture of Kang, played skillfully by the adept Michael Ansara
(perhaps best known for his role as Cochese, another famous warrior) laughing and slapping Kirk on the back is an ideal
peace because it is mutually arrived at. The opposites or contraries breed progression. Out of evil comes the dove and its
day of peace. War ends quickly when soldiers realize that they are being used or brainwashed by an external force. Man fights
wars when, for whatever reason, he thinks his individual or natural or cultural self-preservation is
at stake. Once man realizes (as he has in two world wars in this century) that his instinct for self-preservation is no longer
in jeopardy, the situation of war peters out to its historical conclusions. Jerome Bixby's episode "Day of the Dove" is a
study in why and when men make war and peace. It is a study in motivational reason and motivational instinct.
Mankind’s Hebraic self understands sacrifice, ritualistic slaughter, and war, but the highest instinct, that of self-
preservation, surmounts any so-called need for hostility.
Reason tells man that order must be restored in order not to be used, not to be a pawn in an alien's parasitic sadism.
The sadistic impulses and passions, where present, yield to instinct and to reason, and both factions grow and learn from
a very distasteful experience. They have even been denied the traditional spoils, accolades, and dignity of victory or of
defeat because no one dies, because no one can or does win or lose. War ceases to be of mutual interest, of individual
or social benefit to anyone. The alien proves to be a catalyst first for war, but ultimately and finally, for peace. The alien is
thus the symbol of mankind's "inferior function," the darkness that clings to every personality. It is the door to the
unconscious of man. The alien is a double in a cultural sense, an inner foe. In spite of its external appearance, the alien is
a symbol of man's darker side. The alien cannot survive if the violent passions of man were not played upon, induced,
into physical externalization.
Whereas Kirk's personal energy within was a secret sharer and not really an enemy or the enemy, the alien in "Day of
the Dove" is a symbol of a true enemy within man and between men. The alien is not alien; it is inside man in the form of
dormant passions, a Pandora's box that simply awaits an external stimulus or situation to explode into wholesale hostility
and aggression. It twists man inside out in an act of devastating self-consciousness. Man is not man until he realizes that
his potential to destroy is just as strong as his potential to create, and that both powers stem from the dark vales of the
Collective Unconscious. It is not really a question of what the entity is doing to man, but what man is doing to himself
and to others. Kirk is the first to realize that the hostilities are in extremis and not characteristic of the human behavioral
What's happening to us!? What are we
saying to each other?!
Spock: …fascinating. A result of stress?
Kirk: We've been under stress before! It's never
set us at each other's throat! But...
why are we behaving like a group of savages?
Look at me! Look at me!!
It is me; it is us; it’s what we are doing to each other, not the alien's doings. This recognition of the enemy as truly an
enemy within is the beginning of the story's resolution. It is the story's anagnorisis--the ultimate recognition of the problem
to be resolved. The hatred must cease, first from within the self where the entity is feeding in mental parasitosis. After
recognition of the
entity as external manifestation of the problem, intra-personal and inter-personal
begins. The enemy is still basically an enemy within.
It is after this realization that the captain's
sole resolve is to stop
all hostilities because carnage begins to feed on itself and both Klingons and Terrans are speeding toward the end of the
galaxy, beyond the point of no return, into a possible eternity of endless bloodshed. The dilithium crystals are being
drained, and the ship will no longer be in human control. Beyond a certain point the mind loses perspective on its
aggression and simply seeks revenge. It must be stopped while the situation is within man's own control.
The dilithium crystals symbolize the human energy and passion being wastefully expanded. One of the aspects of Greek
tragedy is the enormous consequence of little beginnings, a point later made by Thomas Hardy in Tess of the
d'Urbervilles. Both Sophocles' Oedipus and Hardy's Tess must reap the full and unforeseen consequences of
their acts of murder, and these consequences tend to grow geometrically, increasing the tragedy of man's human situation
which he has initiated and which he can no longer control. This is the warning to man in Sophocles, in Hardy, and in
Roddenberry's abhorrence of useless violence. It is self-destructive in the long run, destructive of others in the
short run. The key is the controlled use of human energies and passions to create, not just to destroy. In his work, The
Anatomy of Human Destructiveness (Holt, Rinehart, and Winston, 1973: hereafter called
AHD), Erich Fromm notes the importance of human energy as an element that can be destructive:
concept of social character is based on the consideration
that each form of society (or social class) needs to use
human energy in the specific manner necessary for the function-
ing of that particular society (AHD, 252-53).
Fromm refers to a specific model of human sadism (that of Lorenz) in stressing the idea of an enemy within that lies in the
human character itself:
...inasmuch as character-rooted sadism is a spontaneously
flowing impulse, seeking for occasions to be expressed and
creating such occasions where they are not readily at hand
by 'oppetitive behavior.' The decisive difference is that
the source of the sadistic passion lies in the character ...
hence it is common to all men...who share the same character.
--(Erich Fromm, AHD, 253).
Star Trek's theme lies in pointing out the idea that war is the ultimate misuse of human energy. It is mindless movement,
an endless wasteland leading only to the valley of the dry bones with no Ezechiel, no Yahweh to breathe resurrection
into the bones and into the bleached earth of expended passion without creative purpose.
A society that destroys itself by wasting energy employs the symbols and settings of a wasteland. Star Trek employs
some traditional symbols and settings in its comment on the martial mentality. Setting, especially as treated in the teaser to
"Day of the Dove," alerts the audience to the overall problem to be analyzed in the episode's four acts. The teaser begins
with the materialization of the Trekkers' landing party on the planet Beta l2-A whose surface is arid and barren.
A distress call had been received from an agricultural colony; however, no evidence exists of any such colony. The arid
setting of the
planet raises the theme of nothingness—“results negative...no evidence of a
colony..life readings, Dr.
McCoy? Nothing." The term is repeated several times, so that the problem is non-existence. The planet's physical state
will soon become a symbol for the characteristics of both Klingons and Trekkers--nothing. The problem is the existence
nothing, and wars are fought over "nothing" until there is "nothing" left. As Hamlet says, "Nothing comes of nothing."
Peace frequently breeds boredom, and boredom seeks relief in expenditure of human energy. Beta 12-A embodies in its
setting the human problem of the relationship between war and vacuity. A point of plot illogic is notable at this point in
the teaser. The officers of the Enterprise should have known that no colony existed on Beta 12-A in the first
place. Unless the alien was controlling their minds or unless the alien did remove the colony, and "one hundred men,
women, children ..." were destroyed. The matter is subject to discrepancy. What the landing party believes is true is the
truth it believes exists. The higher reality is that which is created in and by the human imagination: "results negative";
"nothing"; "barren"; “unable to"; hundreds "dead.” The theme of technological man's blunted creative forces
was raised early (1798) by the poet, William Wordsworth, who notes:
multitude of causes, unknown to former
times, are now acting with a combined
force to blunt the discriminating powers of
the mind, and unfitting it for all voluntary
exertion, to reduce it to a state of almost
--(William Wordsworth, "Preface to Lyrical Ballads,” 1798).
The arrival of the Klingon faction to confront the Terran factor enlivens the savage torpor into powers of the mind that
are indeed blunted, unfit, and savage. Only the creative individual can become more fully human under adversity. With
savage torpor of civilized society comes human imagination turned into a mechanical mechanism of mere fancy that
invents realities, making non-existent states existent, making dormant savagery active and kinetic. The human imagination
is a destructive
force in "Day of the Dove" as it creates terror. Even the quiescent Wordsworth notes that one function of the imagination
is to see "absent things as if they were present." The human mind, through the collective unconscious (a term first used by
Samuel Taylor Coleridge one hundred years before Jung's usage) and the imagination, something can come of nothing, or
nothing can become something, or change form. Hatred is one such something. Terrans do not need a reason to hate
Klingons need no reason to hate Terrans( Kang). The imagination can make or unmake.
Kang (originally "Kor"
in SFD) reacts violently to the destruction of his ship, blaming it on the Enterprise crew:
three years the Federation and the Klingon Empire
have been at peace....What were your [Kirk’s] orders?
To start a war? You have succeeded. To test a new
weapon? We should be happy to examine it.
Spock: We took no action against your ship.
Kang: Were the screams of my crew imaginary?
The concepts of real and unreal are reversed. Each party shares only its view of what happened to the other party.
Cause and effect relationships are blurred by hatred. Kang consistently uses terminology referring to imagination or
invisibility to counteract Kirk's statements of his truth. Kang says there was a Federation colony and “it was destroyed."
Kang asks: "By what? No bodies. No ruins? A colony of the invisible?!” For Kirk's imagination, the invisibility of any
colony is the test of a new Klingon weapon "leaving no traces.” Paranoia is the consequence, a popular Trek theme.
Both men have
grievances, have reasons to hate; both have more to blame other than the other party.
colonists? Imaginary weapons? Imaginary Klingon and human deaths? All are imaginary excuses. In the absence of rational
and immediate answers, the mind engages in frenzied fancy without reasoned or instinctual control.
Each faction denies the realities of any truths outside the conceptions of that faction. Lives, like swords, cross, but never
run parallel to each other. To each faction, the statements of truths of the other faction are lies disguised as fantasies.
Ironically, each party is correct, but only in its own fancy. The pragmatic Kang, lost in a Sahara (Beta 12-A) of sterility,
with a dead crew and a destroyed ship, wants what Kirk wants--an explanation. The human tendency, unfortunately, is
to stoke the coals of passion and fantasy. Terran and Klingon blame each other because man points to the first and
easiest and visible cause for seemingly inexplicable occurrences. Kang's determination to find a cause is livid and
terrorizing: "I don't propose to spend the rest of my life on this ball of dust arguing your Kirk's fantasies. The Enterprise is
mine!” The fantasies become nightmares when combined with the Hebraic tradition of neurotic fault-finding, an hysterical
need for the scapegoat, the Judas goat syndrome. Kirk, seeking an explanation for a lost colony, is not really seeking an
explanation; he is seeking a Judas goat that continues the Hebraic view of man as a suffering, alienated creature whose
nature is largely libidinal. It is not a question of what, of why, but a question of "Who did it ?" Later, it becomes “Why?"
It is just after the question, "Who?" that the Klingons arrive on the scene. Of course! The Klingons. Who else would do
it? The American archetype of witch hunting is carefully studied in "Day of the Dove" because the Klingons are guilty
before proven innocent, a fact that several lawyers begrudgingly admitted was too true to talk about when questioned.
The first suspect to emerge did it! The Klingons did it! The questioner never asks about the ME, only about the NOT-
ME. The problem is rarely seen as emerging from within; it must be "He did it" or "They did it." The very question of
Kirk: "Who did it?" is in itself a manifesta-
tion of a
conscious refusal to admit of an enemy within, just an enemy without, i.e., I
did do it! He did! The presence of the alien entity helps to exaggerate the
disease of fault finding; the alien also eventually gives man the excuse to
blame someone or something outside the self as the Judas. Jerome Bixby makes it
clear in this episode that the “blame" lies within the intricate fibers of man's
darker side. It is too easy, too simple, to say: The Klingons did it. Of course!
The alien lives on man’s inner fears and hostilities. No fears, no hostilities,
mean no "alien" because the alien is no alien; "it" is man himself in a flagrant
display of misspent passions, of misapplied human energies. In a bloodlust for
"Justice,” in a hurry to find “Whodunit?" the real guilt goes unnoticed or goes
free because man lustfully seeks a "Who,” no matter the innocence, no matter the
guilt, just as long as someone takes the blame. Any Judas goat will do to carry
the sins of an entire culture into the desert. Such a custom is Hebraic, and is
depicted many times in the new and old Testaments. “Day of the Dove" is a study
in the neurosis of witch hunting and fault-finding outside the ME. The enemy
within must cease to be "alien" and be acknowledged as part of the ME. In this
tensional integration of Conscious and Unconscious lies the beginning of sanity
and humanization. A famous comedian, when asked who did it, always got a laugh
when he replied: "The Devil made me do it!” The devil indeed! The Satanic
archetype appears frequently in Star Trek. Spock's ears ought not to be
overlooked. Much of McCoy's hostility/ambivalence toward Spock runs on the
"pointed" or "pointy-eared Vulcan." In “The Omega Glory," Spock's ears make him
the very image of the anti-Christ. When something goes amiss, one may hear a
friend mutter: "What the devil?” Theologians have argued for millennia
as to whether a devil exists as a distinct entity, ex., the devil in "Genesis" or Satan in Milton's epic Paradise Lost. He
lives, crawls, talks, remains very active and, thus, very evil. William Blake called hell "Ilron" and made it clear that "hell"
was a state of mind experienced in time present, not a place "down there" with fires, pitchforks, and creatures with hairy,
pointed tails. Blake also refutes the devil principle as the evil principle, saying: "But in the Book of Job, Milton's Messiah
is call'd Satan" (MHH). "Love and Hate are necessary for human existence." The devil becomes the Judas goat in
orthodox minds as a rationalized way to explain evil, and to avoid the problem of God permitting/creating evil, or to
avoid the Manichean heresy of two gods: one of evil, one of good. So, "The devil made me do it." This imagery and
psychology are applied to the Klingons by the Terran culture. The Klingons are evil--of course: That exonerates the
Terrans. In an easily underrated pair of lines in Act I of "Day of the Dove," Kirk says to Kang: "Go to the devil." Kang
intelligently retorts: "We have no devil, Kirk, but we understand the habits of yours." The devil is one image from the
collective unconscious of man. It too is one traditional symbol of an enemy who is seen as "alien" but who is really the
negative double, the “inferior function" of man. Thus, the Klingons fit Terran stereotypes of the devil, starting,
unfortunately, with the blackened faces. A Klingon is what the Terran sees him to be. He literally assumes the physical
and psychological vestiges of the negative principle.
The enemy within consists of images and symbols of which the devil is one. Other symbols of the enemy within are
swords, blood, and
These symbols are
man looking into the a mirror, mirror. Kang sees Terrans as Terrans see Klingons:
captain crawls like One…All weapons on him." With Klingons aboard and commuincations with Star Fleet
blanketed, Kirk says, "We've got a diplomat tiger by the tail.” The cat has strong roots in man's inner fears. Its
predatory fleshiness breeds terror. The animal imagery persists at key intervals throughout the episode, ex., in 1-16
(Act I, Scene 16), Kang tells Mara, "When I take this ship, I'll have Kirk's head stuffed and hung on his cabin wall.
Uhura, who is in a panic over the communications' problem says in 1-16: "Channels are open and still no outside
contact! I don't understand! Could the Klingons be doing something?" What appears in SFD and is cut from the film
is "Could the Klingons be doing something--from their zoo?" Most of Uhura's hostility is deleted in the final screening,
but the word zoo makes a point, although it may belabor the obvious and may be a bit out of character. A zoo
mentality exists in both Klingons and Terrans. They have reduced each other to civilized (not really primitive) levels.
Erich Fromm mentions “zoo” as a human condition which is one factor breeding human destructiveness because man
in a civilized society lacks the guarantees for the provisions of "basic necessities.” Fromm notes: "Man will have to
cease to live under 'zoo' conditions--i.e., his full freedom will have to be restored and all forms of exploitative control
will have to disappear"(AHD, 216). Scotty calls the Klingons “fuzz-faced goons," an old Roman image equating
enemies with hair and dark features (hence "barbarians"). The enemy within equates swords and animals to the key
blood--as mentioned in earlier
episodes. Mara quips: "Four thousand throats may be cut in one night by a
running man." The
Klingons are always bloody “creatures." Kirk uses an apt image in wanting a
truce: "We must talk to Kang--bury the hatchet."
Spock sees the choice of terms as “appropriate” but notes that, "However, it is notoriously difficult to arrange a truce with the Klingons, once blood has
been drawn." The armory holds not phasers but swords. Scotty finds a blood symbol from his Scottish ancestry--a "Claymore," a symbol of Scottish
victory, blood/ancestry and national pride. The Claymore, named after a Scottish family, is in Scotty's blood--his heritage. Phasers do not produce
blood; they merely incinerate, leaving no bodies. Modern technology has tried to make war "civilized," thus depriving man (or so the myth goes) of the
blood on his hands by depersonalizing the destructive powers. It is one thing to push a button; it is something else to run a sword through a man's body.
Medieval warfare was bloody, but one usually had a sense of the adversary behind the iron armor. Chekov shows the blood lust and sex lust as he rips
Mara's dress while holding a sword-point at her throat. The passion to love and the passion to murder are not terribly different, as Chekov sweats, pupils
dilated at Mara: "You don't die--yet. You're not human, but you're very beautiful...very beautiful." The blood lust creates madness as Kirk strikes Chekov,
seeing only potential rape. It is by ACT III-44 that Spock can safely say of Chekov: “He’s not responsible.” Kirk, however, remains terrified and mystified
by striking the young ensign: "What have I done?" Note, it is what I, not it, have done. McCoy adds to the cinematic scenes of sword fights in corridors by
stressing the blood element of the human personality: "Sword wounds--into vital organs--massive trauma, shock.....
They're all healing at a fantastic rate!" It is the human Hebraic sense of suffering that nudges human reason into
burying the hatchet
with a culture that lives by the sword and dies by the sword. Spock:
entity wants us alive."
Kirk: " …and so we can fight…and fight ...and keep fighting coming back for more like some bloody coliseum?
What next?!...the roar of the crowds (III-46)?" Even Mara tries to get her husband, Kang, not to fight, but Klingon
even refuses to believe Klingon; a husband is glad to see his soldier-wife alive, yet he refuses to believe she was not
harmed or sexually molested. Kang's love for his wife fuels his already outraged passions. Love and hate are in full
play as Kirk and Kang feed an enemy that feeds on hatred. But, to paraphrase Byron, this is the madness that makes
men mad. People try to kill while knowing they cannot be killed. As Alfred, Lord Tennyson notes, man had regressed
more in the nineteenth century than he had progressed since the beginning of humankind:
Cosmos: Cosmos, Chaos: Who can tell/
how all will end?/
Read the wide annals, you, and take their
wisdom for your/friend ….
Do your best to claim the worst,
to lower the rising race of men;/ Have we
risen from out the beast, then back
into the beast again?
--("Locksley Hall Sixty Years After," 1886).
Blood from blood will reek its own bloody vengeance and man will not even know why. It all seems "stupid," but the
problem is that it is human, all too human. For the martial mentality, it is the "logical thing to do." And therein lies the
horror, the darkness at the heart of man, senselessly destroying instead of sensefully creating. History indicates man
enough human energy to create and to destroy at the same time. The result is an "arrested culture" even though history
also shows that culture is often built upon the bones of the dead.
Omitted from the final screening, but included in SFD of 8/9/68 of "Day of the Dove" in 1-14 is Kirk's response
to Spock's statement that the Enterprise's “log tapes will indicate our innocence in the present situation," but that
"Unfortunately, there is no guarantee they will be believed.” In SFD, Kirk states a theory of war, its causes and
party--with violent ideas--
and the willingness to defend them to
someone else's death. The essence
of war, Mister Chekov and of prejudice (I -14).
The quotation is a key omission, but the episode by itself, leaves the viewer to draw the conclusion by himself. Two
elements of war are brought forward and are worthy of analysis: ideology and prejudice. First, war is a study in
ideology, in mind manipulation and propaganda. For war to develop, man must be fully consumed by an idea, an
ideology. Ideology depends on a man's respect for authority or authority symbols to a point of awe or devotion. A
culture is neurotically convinced, like the German people in two world wars, that they are fighting for freedom or for
self-preservation, that the aggression involves a defensive posture of armed resistance. Whether the propaganda
comes from a Goebels’
Ministry of Information or from a Communist Pravda, or from an American military
establishment, the society must link its "social character" and social identity to this ideology. Sometimes, the ideology
appeals to a chauvinism or nationalism, creating a twisted sense of solidarity and cohesiveness.
Franz Kafka, in a story entitled "The Great Wall of China" raises the proposition that a wall keeps the masses busy.
Its apparent function is to keep an invisible enemy out, while its real purpose is to keep the people of China in. The
wall is a symbol of mind manipulation by obedience to authority. In Star Trek, especially in "Day of the Dove,"
ideology creates the potential for hostility by creating an enemy with stereotypes. Hitler once used a propaganda film
equating the Jews, Czecks, and other non-Arians as vermin, as rats. The Terrans' ideology sees Klingons as sub-
human in much the same pattern. McCoy fears that Klingons will kill without reason. He equates Klingons with his
role as healer. Kirk sees Klingons as a violation of reason and as a threat to the Federation. Spock sees the
irrevocable circumstances of Klingon illogic. Scotty fears stolen technology and the loss of the Enterprise's edge over
Klingon technology. The problem fostered by ideology is one of predictable behavior and appearance without any
real knowledge of the anti-culture they have been brainwashed to fear and to destroy on sight, without question.
Ideology creates and stems from a blind obedience to authority and to duty. One kills Klingons because ideology
creates an enemy stereotype to help create a false solidarity among the crew. Ideology turns men into creatures of
blind obedience, into soldiers, into automatons, into “pawns.” Ideology creates mentality without thought, without
personal choice or creativity. For example, Kirk holds Mara hostage in hope that Kang will at least want a truce:
have Mara, your wife. We talk truce now, or she dies. Reply: She has five
seconds to reply
Kang: She is a victim of war, Captain. She understands
Kirk: He called my bluff
Mara: You're not going…
Kirk: The Federation doesn't kill or mistreat prisoners.
You've been listening to propaganda, fables….
this was a trick:
Scotty: It's the alien that's done this. We're in
its power--our people and yours!
Kirk: We only wanted to stop the fighting to save us all.
Both sides believe in the total brutality and animality of the other. The Klingons truly believe in Federation
"concentration camps." Both believe in propaganda of torture and death camps. The spectre of Hitlerian
extermination camps twists the humanity and the minds of both Terrans and Klingons.
Perhaps the most blatant effect of ideology is the inhuman spectre of man as soldier-pawn. Duty and obedience
adumbrate clear thinking and individual free will. The conflict between the two K's-- Kirk versus Kang--is the most
flagrant example of brilliant leaders leveled by subhuman propaganda. Both are creatures of duty, and that duty, if
retained blindly, means an eternal struggle that will exceed human control and choice. Both men cannot see the forest
for the trees. Only the symbol of the entity, a growing sense of self-awareness, and a growing instinct for enlightened
self-interest can save a snowballing scenario of bloodletting. Kang must be appealed to through his ideology to
disprove his ideology. He must, as a commander, be given a victory without defeat, a cultural and personal dignity
without losing his identity as commander and as soldier:
Look! Kang…for the rest of our lives, a thousand
lifetimes: Senseless violence. Fighting while an
alien has total control over us!
Kirk appeals to Kang's sense of blood while still giving him a sense of dignity and control. Kirk must destroy the
"good soldier" and “pawn” ideologies. The alien permits both leaders an opportunity and an excuse to cease hostilities
by referring to the third power which has its own ideology. In essence, Kirk makes the alien the real king on the
As a result, neither man would be disobeying orders or acting contrary to ideological-cultural-tribal laws. The
psychology of blood defeats the ideology of blood:
right, all right! (Taunting Kang). In the
heart… in the head. I won't stay dead. Next
time I'll do the same to you. I'll kill you.
And it goes on and on. The old game of war...
pawn against pawn…. stopping the bad guys...
while something, somewhere, sits back, and laughs,
and starts it all over again. Be a pawn: Be a
toy! Be a good soldier who never questions.
If man is to fight, it must make sense to that society's soldiers. Kirk appeals to an authority higher than Klingon or
Terran ideology—i.e., universal hatred of an individual being used. What Kirk seeks is an appeal to Kang's humanity
(or Klingmanity) while destroying Kang's blind Klingon ideology. Mara is a critical figure in this struggle to live
because she has seen and has experienced the falsity of Klingon propaganda. There are no tortures, no concentration
camps. Human and Klingon have what C.G. Jung called the medius terminus, the middle ground which the
conflicting opposites have in common. Ironically, the two enemies have a common enemy--the alien that symbolizes
the enemy within both Klingon and Terran that is making both faction act "out of character." Klingons are taught to
kill, but "for their own purposes." They need no further urging to "hate humans." Although Kang's hatred is not totally
destroyed, its violent instrumental aggressiveness has been defused. Spock knows that Kirk's appeal to Kang's
character is just that--to his
personality and sense of dignity and duty as a Klingon first, as a soldier
second. The parties are not forced to stop the fighting, and that means the element of free will has been permitted to
surface above the plateau of unconscious ideology. Freedom has a dignity as a function on instinct, for, as Spock
notes calmly: "Those who hate and fight must stop themselves. Otherwise it is not stopped." Mara reinforces Spock's
point of view: "I'm your wife. I'm a Klingon. Would I lie to you? Listen to Kirk! He's telling the truth." Truth
as Grecian agape is a form of love. Mara melds love for her husband to her cultural identity as a Klingon. They are
one. A love triangle emerges with three very substantial ingredients for peace: love, truth, social character. If a
civilized society presented these elements in the first place, no war or instrumental aggression would need ideology.
Erich Fromm makes the point of solidarity between and among all men that Joseph Conrad made the cornerstone of
his great studies of
man's "heart of darkness." War ironically provides a solidarity, an ethnic/racial
identity when peace
civilized life provides the elements of adventurousness,
solidarity, equality, and idealism that can be found in
war, it may be very difficult, we may conclude, to get
people to fight a war.
Ideology and the boredom of a technologized society help to anesthetize Man’s consciousness, his instincts, and his
reason. When Kang, Kirk,
and Mara and all others see that war accomplishes nothing, that it makes them
men and women, the swords drop from knowing hands and ring a metallic, beautiful sound of peace aboard the
Enterprise. The peace is chosen freely and willingly by the warriors. The haters choose freely and willingly not
to hate. The enemy
within has been controlled and a creative understanding
transcending both men rules the day of the dove. The loss of fuel is symbolic of expended and wasted human energy:
Kirk: This is Captain Kirk. A truce is ordered .. the
fighting is over. Lay down your weapons.
Kang: This is Kang. Cease hostilities. Disarm.
The second element of war, besides ideology, is prejudice. Both elements go hand in hand. Ideology fires
prejudice and prejudice reinforces ideology--all into a self-destructive whirlwind, into nothingness, into non-existence
("The essence of war…and of prejudice"). Prejudice frequently takes the form of ethnic and racial hatred, and thus
lies in the human unconscious waiting for a situation to stimulate it into violence. Prejudice comes from the Latin pre-
judicare, meaning to judge before the fact, to jump to conclusions before all evidence is understood, to act
impulsively based on what Jane Austen called "first impressions." It is to engage in blind thoughtlessness without
knowing the facts about a person or object. Its key ingredient is ignorance of "the other"-- perhaps the double or the
enemy within often imposed into or onto an object or culture that, through ideology and propaganda, becomes the
"enemy" who really is no enemy at all--just a fable, a fantasy, a frustration seeking a Judas goat. Prejudice lends itself
to mind-control, to duty, to the role as pawn, to good soldiering. Its key ingredient is individual thoughtless, indeed
to a lack of individualization itself. Prejudice tends to be a Juggernaut of total mindlessness. It is the wasteland, the
graveyard of human creativity. For Chekov, it is an obsession with an induced notion of “Cossacks! Filthy Klingon
murderers! You killed my brother! Piotr--the Arcamis 4 Research Outpost! A hundred peaceful people massacred--
just like you did
here~ My brother! You killed my brother!” Ideology coupled with racial
neurotic fantasies and illusions. Chekov is an only child, and subconsciously may have created a brother whom he
always wanted but never had. Chekov would rather leave the Klingons (as does Scotty) in the transporter, in non-
Doctor McCoy's prejudice is based largely on his inherent emotionality and on his role as ship's surgeon. It is
McCoy who patches the scars, sutures the sword punctures, mops up the gallons of blood in sick bay. Kirk asserts
that there is no proof that the Klingons violated the treaty or destroyed any outpost. McCoy's prejudice is not that
of a scientist: “What proof do we need? We know what a Klingon is!" A Klingon is a sub-human thing, an it, an
object. McCoy has thingized an entire culture into a familiar phraseology, i.e., you know they all look alike. The
episode never pictures McCoy treating Klingons in sickbay, a prejudicial action in its own right. Nor does he
volunteer at any time to serve Klingon wounded. Since they are not human, they do not need human medical
treatment. Yet McCoy treats Lt. Johnson whose blind violence against Klingons hardly qualifies him as very human.
Such ironies in the episode are endless. McCoy sees only Klingon murders in a tirade that is an apogee in the
episode's plot. His bigotry verges on insanity. He embodies all the elements he prejudicially attributes only to
Those filthy butchers: There are rules even in
war. You don't keep hacking on a man after he's
down....A truce?! Are you serious? I’ve got
men in sickbay, some of them dying. Atrocities
committed on their persons! And you talk about
making peace with these fiends? If our backs
were turned, they'd jump us in a minute. And
you know what Klingons do to prisoners: Slave
labor! Death planets! Experiments! While you're
...talking, they're planning attacks. This is a fight
to the death: We'd better start trying to win it:
Spock: We're attempting to end it, Doctor…by
reason, preferably. There is an alien on board which
may have created this situation.
McCoy: Who cares what started it, Mr. Spock. We're
in it! Those murderers: We should wipe out every one
of them….How many men must die before you two (Spock
and Kirk) begin to act like military men? Instead of
The above tirade does not appear in SFD, but was interpolated in the episode's final screening. The quotation speaks
for itself, but its twelfth-hour insertion indicates the producer's insistence on the universality of prejudice, and that
McCoy’s dark, human weaknesses are effective when he is the source. As ship’s Chief Surgeon, his prejudice
denigrates his dignity as a man and his professionalism as a doctor. Coming from McCoy, the ships humanist, the
spasms of raging racial dehumanization are terrifying and insanely effective on the screen.
Gene Roddenberry's distaste for senseless hatred and violence via prejudice also applies to a triad on the bridge:
Scotty, Spock, and Kirk. It is what a man is as manifested in what he says and does that is more murderous than his
bristling weapons of technology. Scotty, Spock, and Kirk (as with Chekov and McCoy earlier) show that
the problem is in man's "zone of darkness" (cf., "The Immunity Syndrome"), his inner heart of darkness that is the
problem, not the Klingons. The myths of the bad guys versus the good guys must be seen in its true light--within man.
man's soul, his guts, his reason--all are at war with the self, and that is the real war in "Day of the Dove" and in the
majority of human
prejudices. The secret and the reward, the problem and the solution, lie within
the ME. It is literally
halfway through this episode that Kirk realizes the problem is "US." This anagnorisis results from the racial
interchange in III-38. Scotty's Scottish temper rages as the worst in him surfaces to a conscious level. Like
McCoy's eruption, Scotty's prejudice is tantamount to hysterical paranoia, and his prejudice stems from,
and relates to, his duty as Chief Engineer of the Enterprise:
Stop! Chekov was right, Captain! We should have left
those fuzz-faced goons in the transporter! That's right
where they belong…non-existence! Now they can study
the Enterprise--add our technology to theirs--change the
balance of power! --lurches at Kirk--you've jeopardized
As Spock tries to ease Mr. Scott's anger, Scotty's prejudice turns against the Vulcan:
Keep your Vulcan hands off me! Your
“feelings” might get hurt. You green-blooded half-
The normally sedate Mr. Spock retorts:
Spock: May I say that I have not thoroughly enjoyed serving
with humans ... I find their illogic and foolish
emotions a constant irritant.
Scotty: Then transfer out! Freak!
Spock comes close to manhandling Scotty with his great strength surging into sudden rage. Kirk "bulls" (SFD) them
both back, shouting: "Gentlemen! Knock it off--To Spock: "Stop it, you half-human…" As of this point, all four
senior officers and one junior officer have screamed discordant notes of distasteful prejudice. Kirk sees his own
anti-Vulcan prejudice and catches himself before completing his remark. The realization surfaces: "What are we
saying?! What are we doing to each other?!” Scotty insists, "This is war!" But Kirk raises the episode’s key
isn’t any war--or is there?
is happening to us? We've been trained to
think in other terms--than war: We're trained to
fight its causes if necessary. But why are we behaving
like a group of savages. Look at me: Look at me
Has a war been staged for us--complete with weapons and
ideologies? And patriotic drum-beating? Even Spock…
even race hatred.
Spock's answer again shows that war must play upon the enemy within; it must deal with and stimulate a priori
conditions: "Recent events would seem to be directed toward a magnification of the basic hostilities
between humans and Klingons. Apparently it is by design that we fight. We seem to be pawns." Kirk states, "But
what is the game?
And whose? And what are the rules?! The game
emanates from within and every man must
choose the rules best suited to solve the game. The solution comes from a conscious understanding of the problem
and its source. "Look at ME:" Vengeance fuels vengeance. Soon there will be no control over human energy. Both
Klingons and Terrans are "strengthened by mental radiations of hostilities," not by some thud entity. Violent intentions
exist on the violence of the self and of others:
Mara: We have always
fought. We must. We are hunters, tracking
and taking what we need. There are poor planets in the Klingon
systems. We must push outward to survive.
Kirk: There's another way--mutual trust and help. Violence breeds
The source of, and the cure for, prejudice resides in the solidarity of the individual with the social community and
between differing cultural, ethnic, and racial groups. In SFD, Mara and Kirk kiss and speak of harmony between
races as Kirk states that "Individuals are important. You have to start with the individual…we could make history…
right now." The antipathy to being prejudiced, to being pawns, fosters a resolution. Sorrow, expressed sorrow,
prejudiced parties fosters harmony
whether between senior officers of the Enterprise, or between human beings and Klingons. The most distasteful
prejudice is that shown toward fellow officers, people with whom one must function as a human being:
Spock, if we are pawns--you're looking at one
that is extremely sorry.
Spock: I understand, Doctor. I, too, felt a brief surge
of racial bigotry. Most distasteful.
In finding and in defeating the "alien," Terrans become more fully human because all have found the "war" most
distasteful, useless, and undignified. Violence finally breeds its antithesis, peace. Good spirits and joviality help to
destroy the enemy within. "Good spirits" are an "effective weapon"--an interesting choice of terms by Mr. Spock.
Deleted from final screening, appearing in SFD, is a statement espousing mutual trust. The metaphors used are worth
dogs fight over a bone, Kang--or they can pool
their abilities, hunt together and share jointly
Kirk: We were evenly matched--a standoff. War was the
common enemy. Cooperate ... or fight for
all eternity. A universal rule ....
On the quotation, the SFD ends the fourth and final act of the episode. The deleted quote was too didactic and
redundant and better deleted, leaving the former enemies laughing jovially at an alien, at a war, at themselves for
being pawns on their own chessboard.
Warring factions have exalted themselves above ideology and prejudice. They have become themselves, more
fully free, and more fully human/Klingon. They have made history; they have evolved; they have been reborn and
transformed. A rebirth takes place because the dove has its day--peace: In summary, Gene Roddenberry·s view of
violence, its causes
and effects, its ideologies and prejudices, has the company of brilliant
Byron, upon visiting the scenes of the battles of Quatre Bras and Waterloo in 1815, bemoaned the nothingness over
which thousands died:
but a worthless world to win or lose;
So hath it proved to thee (Napoleon) and all such lot who choose.
(Childe Harold's Pilgrimage, III, 40.)
In the same poem, stanza 42, Byron describes the reason behind a character such as a Napoleon, whose
fundamental rise and fall is internal, much like the Kangs, or Goebels, or Mussolini's of the world:
quiet to quick bosoms is a hell,
And there hath been thy bane; there is a fire
And motion of the soul which will not dwell
In its own narrow being, but aspire
Beyond the fitting medicine of desire.
Erich Fromm says much the same thing about the fire or hell within that leads to vengeance and bloodlust:
is unique in man is that he can be
driven by impulses to kill and to torture,
and that he feels lust in doing so; he
is the only animal that can be a killer
and destroyer of his own species without
any rational gain, either biological or economic.
Alfred, Lord Tennyson said it all earlier, and with gusto, when he isolated the enemy within phenomenon, seeing man
as problem and solution:
we grown at least beyond the passions
of the primal clan? / "Kill your enemy,
for you hate him," still, "your enemy"
was a man.
of the Dove")
“The Conscience of the King”
conscience does make cowards of us all,
and thus the native hue of resolution
Is sicklied o'er with the pale cast of thought,
and enterprises of great pitch and moment
with this regard their currents turn awry
And lose the name of action.
--(Hamlet, III, i).
Technically, every deed of man constitutes morality, and morality gives man a conscience of this time spent on earth
as one vast morality play, as millions of scenes of the drama of human existence. Shakespeare's Jacques understates
the matter in saying that all the world is a stage, and man is the principal actor. One of Star Trek's virtues
is that it pricks man's conscience, its sense of right and wrong. The function of great art is to prod man into thinking a
little more about himself and about his relations with his fellow man and with his God. Long before Freud was a
twinkle in his father's eye, Shakespeare, the Bard of Avon, wrote about blood, guilt, conscience, darkness, ghosts,
kings and jesters. Shakespeare wrote the book about the human conscious and the human unconscious. No books
says more about modern human nature than the works of William Shakespeare. He makes us conscious that we have
"The Conscience of the King" has as its themes: Justice versus Murder; Humanism versus the Machine--the need
for Shakespeare to reignite the flame of human emotion and human morality in the cold vacuum of space.
"The Conscience of the King" is a play within a play, from within a play, about the reality of the pain of playing. It is a
drama of the human heart, a fantasy, a nightmare of what Conrad's Kurtz called "the horror! the horror!"--lines also
quoted in a similar
role by Francis Coppola 's captain in
Apocalypse Now. Life is a stage, and every man plays parts in the tapestry called life. Every thinking man contributes
to the fabric of all existence. The Enterprise's mission is to avert famine on the planet, Cygnia Minor. The little swan
planet is dying of
hunger. This background first is symbolic of the foreground drama--the theme of
the "hunger that never dies" (cf., “Wolf in the Fold)). All the episode's major characters are, in a sense, dying of the
hunger of the soul. The Shakespearian plays used in "Conscience" include Hamlet, Macbeth, Julius Caesar,
Romeo and Juliet, and Anthony and Cleopatra in order of use and importance. In its many senses, Gene
Roddenberry is the Shakespeare of modern cinema. Barry Trivers' original draft shows little working familiarity with
the actual scenes and lines of Shakespeare's tragedies. His title choice belies the draft. Only a close correspondence
between Roddenberry and Trivers produced an insistence on knowing the intricacies of Macbeth and
Hamlet. Gene Coon and Marvin March insisted on Elizabethan authenticity. In a memo of August 29, 1966, March
writes to Coon:
suggest dropping Arcturean and Venusian decor in favor for
a more conventional Elizabethan Design. This would mean architect-
ture, furniture and costumes--the man (Karidian) was totally
involved with the classical way of life and his main idea for
a Repertory Group would be to educate the audience--the approach
is that of a purist. Also, the contrast with our future would
make that world more believable.
The insistence increased toward believability and authenticity, toward the fact that Shakespeare is timeless and
universal. Roddenberry and Coon had to do their homework to produce a credible script. Both had to do
research in order to create the final script draft of "Conscience." They had to have had a working textual familiarity.
Somebody knew his
unfortunately, likely reside with the late Gene Coon, who converted Trivers'
story into a masterpiece of credible Elizabethan drama for the 23rd century.
Planet "Q" means the planet of questions, and the answers reside in the dramatis
personae of "Conscience." The episode is a Shakespeare tragedy, and every noble
character has his/her hamartia, or tragic flaw.
Enter: Lenore Karidian:--her first name symbolizes her character and role. The name is mainly Greek in origin (Leonora), and means a predator murderess, lion-like. It ultimately comes from Helen, which means "torch." The Homeric implications of the Helen of Troy are tangential possibilities with the face that launched a thousand ships, the beauty who brings out the beast of Paris and of Agamemnon. When Lenore appears, it is because men die. Beauty is the beast, and ultimately, beauty will kill all the "ghosts" and "beasts." She make a fine Aphrodite, and kills with equal impunity (cf., Hippolytus). Like Geraldine in Coleridge's "Christabel," she is the evil factor who seduces innocence out of an insane sense of fate and duty. Lenore is an actor, but her role is not a role, but a reality. She is Lady Macbeth goading Macbeth--like Karidian, a soldier in a course--to the murder of King Duncan in the play's early acts. She becomes what Macbeth lacks, the "spur/ to prick the sides of my intent, but only/ Vaulting ambition, which o'er itself/ and falls on the other" (Act I, vii). There is no distance between Lady Macbeth's love for her husband and her bloodlust: "From this time/ Such I account they love. Art thou afeard/ To be the same in thine own act and valor/ As thou art in desire? ... /live a coward in thy own esteem….” Her love for blood is equalled only by her hatred
for her sterile femininity and for Duncan. Good and evil, love and hate, intermix and are swallowed by darkness as
Lenore methodically murders the witnesses to Kodos' execution of four thousand people because of “hunger."
Lenore seeks to purge her father's blood guilt by removing the witnesses to the murder of Macbeth/Karidian. As in
Macbeth, it is the cold, rational Lady Macbeth who jumps off the castle's battlements in the quandary of her
insanity. Suicide clashes with her love as "vaulting ambition" takes its tragic toll. But the woman is the initial culprit,
and she grows weak as Macbeth grows stronger:
damned spot! Out, I say! One two
--Why, then, 'tis time to do't. Hell is murky.
Fie, my lord, fie~ A soldier, and afeared?
What need/ we fear who knows it, when no one can call
our power/to account? Yet who would have thought the
old man to have had so much blood in him?
--(Macbeth, V, i)
Lenore kills her father--the ultimate tragic irony--because both have been morally dead for twenty years. Physical
death is posthumous to the hardening of the human heart. The rivers of the personal and the collective
unconsciousness flow with the episode's major unifying symbol--blood. Blood links the major actors: Leighton, Kirk,
Lenore, Karidian, Riley--all beginning with Governor Kodos' genocidal holocaust on Tarsus IV almost twenty years
ago. As is the case in Shakespearian tragedy, death is the result of a love-distortion. Evil sterns from a unifying virtue.
Bloodlust springs from the fountains of love. Lenore murders seven eyewitnesses because she loves her father. Her
love makes patricide possible and, symbolically, regicide as well. It is a sin of the heart, for the mind is gone,
destroyed from guilt
and conscience. Tragedy is always love's swan song, and Lenore is not only a
but also an Ophelia. In Hamlet, Ophelia's love for Hamlet, and the dark Dane's inability to reciprocate, is the major
cause for Hamlet's obsession with revenge against his uncle, King Claudius, for murdering the Dane’s father--this
blinds him to Ophelia's virginal passion. Ophelia dies, a victim of love. Hamlet too dies a victim of love, of bloodlust
ensuing from his love for his father, the murdered king. With flowers in the hair and the vacant mindlessness of her
starry, lost eyes, Lenore is "sweets for the sweet.” Lenore is a merchant in love with her would-be victim, Kirk. Her
love is pure venom. Helen destroyed Troy. Clytemnestra murdered Agamemnon. The Trojan War suddenly becomes
meaningless, adumbrated by love's insanity. Lenore is a Siren in a play about twisted and bloody love. Riley asks
song….make it a love song, something
to reassure me that I'm not the only
living thing left in the universe.
McCoy refers to Lenore as "Juliet," the only such explicit reference to that play. Lenore calls herself "Cleopatra" to
Kirk's "Caesar of the stars," The quest is for eternal love as expressed by Uhura's song which stresses the conscious,
lighter side of love. It is love as health, as the life-giving food of the human heart:
are green and glowing
Where my heart is, where my heart is ...
Somewhere, beyond Antares.
I'll be back, though it takes forever;
Forever is just a day ...
Where my love eternally is waiting….
Uhura's song is love as health, and it is in sharp contrast to the fate of Ophelia as Lenore poisons Riley's milk with
tetralubisol. The two loves of light and darkness occur simultaneously. Uhura's song in present in the background as
the poison is poured into the milk glass--a brilliant dramatization that emphasizes love's contraries. Love turned in
upon itself sickens
and becomes insanity.
Love turned without the self is healthy and peaceful as the song, a master- ful lyric not unlike Elizabethan ballads. The
song is a sublimation of Lenore's one, healthy, subconscious love. The theme is the heart; its antithesis is the
heart's blood of the dagger. As William Blake notes, Love and Hate are necessary for human existence. Juliet is the
innocent, virginal love in Shakespeare's play; however, Cleopatra is scheming, solipsistic, lascivious and, like Lady
Macbeth, Juliet, and Ophelia, commits suicide for twisted values concerning love. The deaths are from love in
extremis, love without balanced perspective between the male and female partners involved. Love and death are
closer bedfellows than fantasy may permit.
Uhura's song has its corresponding song by Ophelia in Hamlet. It is love's
dead and gone, lady,
He is dead and gone,
At his head a grass-green turf,
At his heel a stone'
--(Hamlet, IV, v) ...
They bore him barefaced on the bier,
Hey non nonny, nonny, hey nonny,
And in his grave rained many a tear…
There's rosemary, that's for remembrance ...
And there is pansies, that's for thought…
There's fennel for you, and columbines.
There's rue for you… there's a daisy. I
Would give you some violets, but they withered all
When my father died….
'For bonny sweet Robin is all my joy ....'
--(Hamlet, IV, vi)
Hamlet rejects her love: "I love you not. Get thee to a nunnery" (III, ii). In her rejection, just before her suicide,
Ophelia has the discernment to see the tragedy of Hamlet the man: "Oh, what a noble man is here o'erthrown."
These lines are reminiscent of Lenore's lines spoken over the body of Karidian whom she had destroyed with modern
with the Shakespearean
dagger. Lenore can hardly claim Ophelia's innocence in love, but her murderous motives are love-based ones,
beginning with her love for her much-maligned father. But like Ophelia, she is frequently blind to the faults of the one
she is protecting under the name of love. Both Hamlet and Karidian share the nobility and the harmartia of
Shakespeare's tragic heroes. And behind the noble men are the Ophelia's and the Lady Macbeth's, love's true
antitheses. Claudius states the case well: "Madness in great ones must not unwatched go" (Hamlet, Ill, i).
Lenore's love to create is equaled only by her love to murder. "Conscience of the King" is a brilliant study of the dark
side of the moon, and of the difference between justice and vengeance. When Lenore plays Lady Macbeth at the
beginning of the episode's teaser and Ophelia in the episode's last act, the very acting of a reality perpetrated off the
stage is reenacted on the stage, thus keeping the unconscious functioning at the conscious level. Lenore plays both the
lioness and the victim on stage. However, what makes Lenore a tragic figure is that she knows consciously,
exactly what she is doing. Only after killing her father does her insanity cease to be a persona. She knows; she
a violent play about violent times-
When life was cheap and ambition was God ....
Then it will become a floating tomb ... drifting
through eternity, the soul of the great Karidian
giving performances at every star he touches....
Father ... father ...
Oh, proud death, what feast is toward in
thine eternal cell, that thou such a prince at a shot so
bloodily has struck ... '
A popular rock group of the late sixties summarizes the self-destruction of such as Lenore Karidian:
Left all alone
Playing warden to your soul
You are lost in a prison
Of your own devise ...
Lost little girl.
Karidian, aka Kodos the Executioner. Like the other major characters in
"The Conscience of the King." Karidian
plays many roles, sometimes making the role the reality. This inability to distinguish between ghost and reality is his insanity. However,
Karidian's harmatia is different from his daughter's neurosis in that he has a conscience and does distinguish between good and evil.
Although his memory fades, Karidian is in control of his destiny and, like Oedipus the King, accepts the judgment of history and never
denies what he has done; nor does Karidian try to twist reality into what it was not or what it is not. Of all the characters (dramatis personae)
in this Roddenberry drama, Karidian is perhaps the most noble, the most sane; Karidian is the king with the "conscience" in the episode's title.
Everything he does or says is correct, the truth. Again, "What's in a name?" In Karidian's case, the names are the key to the man's character.
Research reveals some interesting speculations. First, Anton is linked with Anthony the Great, a hermit and founder of Christian monasticism.
Karidian's hermit-like habits speak for themselves. Anton stems from Greek and Latin: anti & onyma (name), i.e., "anti-.name ," a word
opposite in meaning to another word; "instead of, with altered sense," one lexicon notes. Karidian is Kodos' antiname; it is what he is not.
Also, Karidian is in opposition to and with himself, i.e., he is Kodos, yet he is not; he is Karidian, yet Karidian never existed "prior to
twenty years ago," according to the computor's files. As a Shakespearean actor, Anton Karidiaa is a living duality. His momentary neuroses
show that he is living with an "altered sense" of his own identity and historicity--a familiar technique in Shakespearean tragedy. Anton
Karidian is a saint of sorts, like St. Anthony, because he has spent the last twenty years of his life in penance for his sins of genocide.
He enters the episode playing Macbeth; he IS Macbeth (the teaser), yet his is not playing
Macbeth; he IS Macbeth. Every time Karidian plays this "role," he is reenacting the real murder of the inhabitants of
Tarsus IV. This is no role, but the real thing. Karidian is doing public penance for his sins, over and over and over
again, in expiation for the horror. He was a soldier in a cause, as was Macbeth a soldier, a creature of duty in the
service of King Duncan whom he later murders. Macbeth did not become Thane of Cawdor by cowardice; he was a
brave and courageous soldier whose deeds of valor were legion. Karidian, by his own admission, was a
soldier in a cause. He was doing his duty as he perceived it, when he separated Tarsus IV into those who would live
and those who would die. He did this evil so that good could come of it. There was only enough food for half the
population. The rescue ships arrived too late. Had it been otherwise, Kodos would have been a hero in the eyes of
historians. However, fate dictated otherwise, and Kodos the Executioner became anathema, a Hitler of the twenty
first century. Anton Karidian is inherently noble, a trait necessary for a character to be tragic in both Grecian and
Shakespearean tragedies. An inherent character flaw (harmartia) was his undoing, but Lenore saw and tried to
maintain her father's "anti-name" in keeping the noble soldier alive through drama.
The word "karidian" ialso has its etymology and its symbolic significance for the character whose
reclusive mystery is the heart of the play. Why "karidian’? Kar is from Hebrew d’ raim from spiritualist gara
meaning “to read.” Karidian plays many parts, a reader of sacred words. Karaite was an eighth century Jewish sect
that rejected the Talmud, and acknowledged only the Bible as its religious authority. The idea of a "rebellion" on
Tarsus IV is played down, but the “revolution" is alluded to in Kodos' decree of execution. "Idian" stems
from idioroa (Gk) meaning idiom, a particularity, a meaning different from the literal. It is a particular language or way
in which words are
thought. The source of the above includes the Oxford English Dictionary and
classical Greek lexicons. The definition
is more than chance; it defines the character of Anton Karidian--antiname language to express particular thought: The surname defines
Karidian's unique role as the leader of the Karidian Repertory Company. He is a man of language and of thought. Also, his real name,
Kodos if from the Latin codex, meaning a code of laws. It is also based on the Latin verb candere, meaning to strike, to hew into pieces.
He did this very deed as Governor Kodos. He does this very deed as Macbeth. Code stresses written rules of conduct, in idios, in one's
own personal, distinct way. The writer will leave his reader to look closely at a man's name and at a man's character. Kodos has
violated the code of human justice and behavior by making up his own code of genetics. A specific allusion to Hitler in the SFD
was deleted due to the obviousness of the allusion and to respect the reader's/viewer's intelligence. If the king did not have a conscience,
he would not be Anton Karidian, a king who plays kings. Karidian is like Claudius and is like Macbeth--two kings enthroned by murder
of kings and haunted by conscience and bloodlust. Both are what they are not. "The Conscience of the King," like Macbeth and Hamlet,
is an issue of morality, moral plays about disturbed, brilliant minds who suffer the use and misuse of power. Karidian lives with the ghosts
of his bloody deed. Hamlet is haunted by his slain father's ghost. Macbeth is haunted by Banquo's ghost. Every man has a ghost, a shadow,
the double of the dead, an undying primitive past of the personal unconscious that is an inherent part of the outward self. Such a ghost is an
enemy within, much like the shadow T. S. Eliot spoke of that man sees before him in the morning and sees behind him in the evening. It is
always there, and at noon, the shadow is indistinct from the man himself. Karidian's murder is a tragedy because of his noble bearing and his noble
conscience. For twenty years, the roles of Macbeth and Hamlet's ghost come to haunt Karidian. He lives his crime
from performance to performance, like the ancient mariner doomed to forever tell the story of his crime against
himself, against nature, against his fellow man, and against the code of Sinai. Karidian's crime stems from a conflict
between militaristic duty and an overabundance of suppressed human emotion. Karidian never loved to kill four
thousand people. It was his duty as governor to alleviate a planet's starvation. Like Oedipus the King, he had to act
even if the curse included himself and his family. Of note, Lenore possesses many of the character traits of Sophocles'
Antigone, daughter of the self-cursed Oedipus who called for ostracism for the murder of Laios and sterility to his
children. A reading of Antigone will show frightening simularities between the plights of these two extraordinary
women, children of extraordinary kings. Like the ancient mariner, the albatross "about my neck was hung" like a
cross, to be borne into eternity with infinite penance and no self- forgiveness. Karidian is a character of positive, but
misplaced, passion. His essential goodness is lost in the telling of the tale of terror. Kodos is only seen offstage once
in this episode, in the confrontation with Kirk in Karidian's private quarters where Kirk intrudes into the penetralium.
A man without feelings, without sensitivity, could not have been Kodos now. "I am an actor. I play many parts," notes
Karidian, but he has paid his debt; but neither he nor history will forgive him, and history wants him dead:
you Kodos….I asked you a question.
Karidian: Do you believe that I am?
Kirk: I do.
Karidian: Then I am Kodos, if it pleases you to believe so. I
am an actor. I play many parts.
Kirk: You're an actor now. What were you twenty years ago?
Karidian: Younger, captain, much younger.
The last line is both equivocal and true. In reading Kodos' order of execution over the loudspeaker, Karidian knows
the words virtually by heart, yet he never denies being Kodos or having been Kodos. The episode makes the viewer
a bit more sympathetic towards Karidian(or tries to)in showing that the man is in a hell of his own making, by his own
choice. He has also changed character over twenty years. Is justice still called for if society executes the hermitic
Karidian? Is it justice or revenge? Is the taking of his life fit retribution for twenty years ago when Karidian did what
he thought he had to do? Would Kirk have shunned his duty in the same situation? Duty can be a deadly mistress.
Interpolated in the SFD of August 23, 1966, are lines that show Karidian's sensitivity and sense of history:
if the supply ships hadn't come earlier than expected,
this Kodos of yours might have gone down in history as a great
Kirk: But he didn't, and history has made its judgment.
Karidian: You're so sure that I'm Kodos, why not kill me now?
Let bloody vengeance take its final course! And see what difference
it makes to this universe of yours!
Kirk: Those beautiful words of yours, well acted, change nothing.
Karidian: No, I suppose not. They're merely tools, like this ship
It is at this point that the last major theme of this complex "The Conscience of the King" episode arises--the
conflict between humanism and technology. Evil and wrong have humanized Kodos into Karidian. Shakespeare's role
in this drama sees the humanity of man and the need to maintain humanity in the face of slow destruction by
mechanization, especially in weaponry. Roddenberry's view is not just one of justice of law, but justice of heart. Not
to feel is not to be human. Man is turning into an ambulatory biped, an automaton as unthinking and blind as justice
herself. Roddenberry is very concerned that man, the human being, is becoming an endangered species. Instead of
being a controlling
subject, he is becoming
a cipher, an immovable, unfeeling object. Man is becoming thingized. Both Lenore and Anton Karidian, despite
different motives and designs, represent the best and the worst in humanity. One can deal with evil if he is human
enough to acknowledge it and to deal with it as a human being. Shakespeare is the written conscience of mankind,
and he indeed must exist in the twenty first century and in all future centuries if man is still to remain man, with all his
foibles and his weaknesses--and his capacity to love and to grow in his love. It is Kirk, the Enterprise, its bristling
weapons that are on trial in Karidian's quarters, not merely Karidian's past crimes. Karidian is a tragic figure, the
creature of passion we all must live with or die from within:
Here you stand, a perfect symbol of our technological so-
ciety: mechanized, electronicized...and not very human. You have
done away with humanity…the striving of men to achieve greatness
through his own resources.
Lenore enters and defends her father against Kirk's justice by sounding the same theme--the need for rehumanization
of man-the-thing: "There is a stain of cruelty on your shining armor, captain. You could have spared him ••• you are
like your ship--powerful and not human. There is no mercy in you." Is there to be justice or revenge? Kirk: "If I'd
gotten everything I wanted, you might not walk out of this room alive." To Lenore, Kirk(without emotion) says, "If he
is Kodos •.• then I have shown him more mercy than he deserves." The question of justice is left to the judgment of
the viewer, but Kirk represents the more prevalent (and witness) point of view. If Karidian is not Kodos, Kirk sees
"no harm done." But Lenore, insane or not, makes man think about man: "Who are you to say what harm is done?"
Again the theme is how one retains humanity in an impersonal, technological age. With man, one must take the bad
with the good,
because man is one. However wrong Kodos was, Star Trek insists that we view both
circumstances as part of the dastardly deed. If man were machine and perfect, he
would commit no
crimes. But then he would not be human either. Nor are machines perfect, as Dr. Daystrom witnesses. The final act
of Karidian on stage is one of self-sacrifice first, suicide second, if at all. Karidian saves Kirk's life by taking the lethal
rays of Lenore's phaser. Is this Kodos the Executioner or Anthony the Great?
Enter Ct. James T. Kirk to the dramatis personae. In choosing a man to play Kodos, Gene Roddenberry faced a
producer's dilemma: how to keep Kirk foremost without him being adumbrated by Karidian. The choice of the august
and brilliant actor, Arnold Moss, forces Roddenberry to contain Kodos both to leave him a mystery amd to prevent
him from blowing Kirk right off the set. Moss' vocal and metaphysical dominance is absolutely stentorian in his person
n his roles as Macbeth and as Hamlet's ghost. Kirk is a leading role as the representative of twentieth century technology
and as a human being whose parents (in Trivers' original draft Karidian was Kirk's father), especially the father, were
executed by Kodos on Tarsus IV. Kirk, therefore, is both observer and participant. He judges, yet he is emotionally
involved. As captain, he is, like Kodos twenty years earlier, military ruler of his society. He is judge and jury, according
to traditional military regulations, past and present. He holds the power of life and death, but unlike Kodos, he cannot
act capriciously without duty to man and god. He was a young man twenty years ago, and his memory of Kodos is
vague and uncertain. His quest cannot be for personal vengeance or he would no longer be captain; his quest must be
one of duty, a search for justice in truth. These facts make Kirk the random element in the human tragedy, a human
judge who must go by the book, but who is complemented by Shakespearean conscience and human intuition.
Every man plays many roles in
his lifetime; he is many people in many time frames. The roles are a matter of
what Eliot's Prufrock calls "putting on the face to meet the faces that you meet." The captaincy is one such role, and for Kirk,
it is the dominant one. He feigns very little and possesses an outside that tends to reflect the man's truthful inside. But there are
still the unknown dark factors of the personal unconscious to be dealt with in fulfilling the major role. Kirk, as with most complex
and thoughtful men, has his "ghost," and the concept of the ghost is a major unifying concept of "The Conscience of the King."
Such a ghost is often an unconscious factor within the Kirk which fate and chance bring to the surface, into the light of
consciousness. Such a ghost lies in the murder of Kirk's parentage by Kodos on Tarsus IV. The event was one that Kirk
preferred to suppress and to forget: "Kodos is dead!" When Dr. Leighton lures Kirk three light years off course, it is to raise
the spectre of Kodos, an inherent part of Kirk's past. Against his will, Kirk is now faced with a major characteristic of western
man—der angst--existential doubt. Nagged by uncertainty, Kirk must pursue the ghost from his past. Twice, Kirk denies Kodos'
existence, impatiently barking, "He's dead:" Like young Hamlet, Kirk is faced with the ghost of his slain father--the very role played
by Karidian in the fourth act of the episode. If Leighton is wrong about the existence of Kodos, "Then it will be a ghost Martha
and I receive in our home tonight." Again, it is the symbol of blood that links Kirk to Karidian, to Kodos. Kirk does computer
research on Kodos and on Karidian, hoping that the computer will negate Leighton's suspicions. The result adds only more certainty
to Leighton's claim. Reasonable doubt, as the law demands, does exist. The ghost of Hamlet's father appears in the comparative facts
and faces in the computer. The spectre of justice vs. revenge comes into play as Kirk assumes another of Prince Hamlet's personal
characteristics, i.e., vacillating doubt and chronic indecision. This occurs to Kirk the man who "hates mysteries" because they give him
a "bellyache." His confidence is
shaken, so Kirk must either ignore the ghost, or like Hamlet, pursue the ghost and its unresolved truths. Kodos' body
was supposedly burned beyond certain identification; his actual death, like Hitler's, was scientifically unconfirmed
and a mystery: "…slaughtered fifty percent of population earth colony that planet. Burned body found…..no positive
identification. Case closed." The pursuit of the truth now requires opening old wounds of a holocaust: "No infor-
mation available Anton Karidian prior to twenty years ago." The empty, metallic voice of technology, the computer,
raises Kirk's humanity and his Hebraic conscience; Hamlet is a very modern figure because of inaction caused by
uncertainty. Kirk assumes a similar posture, but differs from Hamlet in patiently pursuing the truth. He resembles
Hamlet in the moments when he appears to act from impulse and obsession, largely viewed as uncharacteristic
actions by McCoy and Spock who are concerned for the captain's mental stability. Hamlet too had a method in what
Claudius and the court saw as Hamlet's madness:
conscience does make cowards of us all,
And thus the native hue of resolution
Is sicklied o'er with the pale cast of thought,
And enterprises of great pitch and moment
With this regard their currents turn awry
And lose the name of action…
--(Hamlet, III, i)
The concern in Star Trek (and in Shakespeare) is with "to be, or not to be," with the “noble mind" that is "here
However, sanity can be a matter of perspective when one such as Hamlet acts
alone and without
seeking confidence in others. Perplexity over Kirk's actions beckons suspicions of obsession:
proud, revengeful, ambitious, I am with more of-
fences at my beck than I have thoughts to put them
in, imagination to give them shape, or time to act
them in. What should such fellows as I do crawling
between heaven and earth?
--(Hamlet, III, i)
The lines could be Kirk's as well as Hamlet's. Like Hamlet, Kirk's quest for the truth rings with vestiges of a twenty
Sherlock Holmes and taints
of "Mission Impossible." The method is that of manipulation to get Karidian to reveal his own treachery by setting up
a "play within the play." In the scene of Lenore and Kirk on the observation deck, with soft lights, "star light, star
light... I wish I may, I wish I might," a rather bad travesty of Juliet and Romeo, is a mixture of Kirk's amorous
infatuation with beauty and his need to know the truth of the beast. Lenore's (played by the stunning Barbara
Anderson) exceptional beauty is a form of dramatic and situational irony, because Kirk is her intended victim. Also,
Lenore is Kirk's object of scrutiny, using her to "get to" the hermitic Karidian. Love seems lost in the chess
manipulation of the queen by the knight in shining armor to checkmate the king, and the manipulation by the queen to
protect the king from the white knight--all in an atmosphere provided and simulated by modern technology:
And this ship….all this power, surging, and throbbing,
yet under control. Are you like that, Captain?
all this power at your command ..• and yet the decisions…
Kirk: come from a very human source.
Lenore: Are you, Captain? Human?
Gene Roddenberry probes the human unconscious, asking whether the machine has changed women into just people
or just automatons. Lenore is envious of Kirk's power, but power under human control, a question that reveals her
obsession: "All this and power, too …. Caesar of the stars... and Cleopatra to worship him." Move, countermove,
queen to knight's level three? Knight to queen's level one? It is all a game, but the most dangerous game. Kirk
receives the thanks of Lenore whose company requires a "good Samaritan" for a lift to Benecia colony. Kirk
is a master of contrivance. He "sets up" his suspects. The agreement for a performance of Hamlet aboard the
Enterprise is akin
to Hamlet's contrivance of having a play whose plot is the murder of a king by
his brother with the
complicity of the king's wife who then marries his brother, Claudius. Hamlet sits back and watches in glee and horror
virtually admits his guilt by his total enragement at Hamlet's little play. The
play within the play in
Star Trek and in Hamlet pricks the conscience of the king (Claudius and Karidian), and guilt entraps the murderer
while Kirk watches the guilty entrap themselves by providing the plot conditions and circumstances for self-revelation.
The parallelisms of
Shakespeare's tragedies to "The Conscience of the King" are uncanny adaptations
and are the
key to Roddenberry's play of bloodlust and conscience:
guilty creatures sitting at a play
Have by the very cunning of the scene
Been struck so to the soul that presently
They have proclaimed their malefactions;
For murder, though it have no tongue, will speak
With most miraculous organ. I'll have these players
Play something like the murder of my father
Before mine uncle. I'll observe his looks,
I'll tent him to the quick…and the devil hath power
To assume a pleasing shape.
--(Hamlet, III, i)
The final lines of Hamlet, Act III, are the source of the episode's title, literally, and they show Kirk's means to
ascertain the truth:
...the play's the thing
Wherein I'll catch the conscience of the King.
These are also Lenore's final words over the body of her dead father. The play revealed his best and his worst. She
has murdered Hamlet's ghost, thereby solving for Kirk the doubt of Karidian/Kodos' existence. Vengeance and
justice meet and merge in Shakespeare's Hamlet, and only death resolves the bloody deed. Kirk's roles as a man and
as a captain are reconciled. His intuition has proven to be the best weapon, not phasers.
Enter: Dr. Thomas Leighton. Spock judges Leighton as an excellent empirical scientist, even a genius at times. He
is not one given to
ses of accusation and conclusion, yet he says flatly and firmly, as a fact, that Karidian is Kodos. Leighton bears the
physical deformities effected by Kodos' executions and is killed (by Lenore) because he is one of the nine
eyewitnesses. Leighton is linked to the hunger/starvation background motif in that he lures Kirk to Planet Q with the
ruse of having developed "an extraordinary, new synthetic food that would totally end the threat of famine on Cygnia
Minor." Food is the lure, but the hunger is of the heart. Leighton is obsessed with Kodos. Kirk could help Leighton
identify Kodos, thereby relieving Leighton of his ghost:
You were there on Tarsus IV. You could help me identify
him. There are so few of us left…
Kirk: Kodos is dead. I’m satisfied with that.
Leighton: Well, I’m not. I remember that voice…the bloody
thing he did…
Leighton is obsessed with revenge, not with justice, and the obsession leads to his death at the hands of Lenore and
Macbeth's dagger. The scientist's need to know cannot be intuition, as in the case with Kirk. He must have facts, but
he omits facts and listens to Karidian's voice with fear and abhorrence. The man is absolutely terrified by his personal
discovery of the ghost, but he "has to be sure." Leighton's role in this episode is a brief candle, but he embodies the
value of the hunch. He is driven by a corpuscular intelligence. He is a genius: "Salus, salvation for the Romans, had
come to mean bodily sanity" (W. Pater, Marius the Epicurean). Disfigured, he seeks a physical sanity based on an
sensory data and human obsession. His body is in extremis; his mind is in extremis. Bloodlust
and revenge obscure the integrity of Leighton. Kodos has become his white whale, and his fate is not unlike Ahab's.
This scientist's name too suggests the character's definition. As Thomas, he is Thomas the apostle, the doubting
Thomas before the resurrected body of Christ glorified. Only the physical touch of his master's wounds satisfied him
as to the reality of this ghost of Galilee. Leighton's one eye raises the question of his ability to reason,
to see, in the full
human sense of knowing truth. Blessed are those who have
not eyes, but can
see. Obsession has wrought cataracts in the eye of his superb intellect. Even
his wife, Martha,
fails to recognize her husband or to be able to communicate, to reach him in his blindness and skepticism. As
Leighton, ley has an etymological source in the Latin lex, meaning law. As an empirical scientist, he is a creature
of the scientific method and the laws of nature. A more interesting source is the Middle English leye, meaning grove,
clearing, or glade--positive aspects of order and beauty based in nature's beauty. Lastly, Leighton is based on the
Indo-European root leuk, meaning light (vs. darkness). As a creature of intellect, he is the first to bring light to the
darkness of the ghost, Kodos. His role as a source of light in a world of Macbeth, becomes ironic and tragic because
Kodos cannot be approached fully by scientific reason; intuition must complement reason, and Leighton's obsession
with disfigurement precludes clarity and his occasional brilliance. His wife, Martha, is also a biblical character (Luke 10:38-42);
she is the sister of Lazarus and of Mary who is rebuked by Christ for doing housework while he talked to Mary. Martha, as
hostess to a cocktail party, keeps herself busy with housework--dishes and glasses--busywork. Martha is no help to her
husband. She has "given up" on him. The insignificance of her intellect and of her actions contrasts well with the roles of
Kirk and Leighton. The proximity of Martha to the man raised from the dead by Christ and to the Mary of sorrows of the
cross raises speculations about the entire panorama of death, of life, of ghosts, of resurrection from the dead in "The
Conscience of the King." The characters of Thomas and Martha Leighton, with biblical implications, serve to remind the
viewer that Star Trek is a moral phenomenon, a consequence of the study of the actions of human beings and their
consciences. Shakespeare and the Bible are mutually complementary works as studies of Hebraic man.
The presence of Reilly was a late character switch, based partly on a last minute need for an actor and a remembrance
of Reilly's audience popularity. The SRD of 8/30/66 called for a Lieutenant Darken, a middle Flemish name from
daeckeren, meaning to move slowly, especially to waver, to vacillate, to act irresolutely or indecisively. This sauntering
quality is transferred, with some loss of effect, to Reilly. Instead of the fairly serious significance sought in Darken, a
tragic-comic element emerges from the aberrant traps of the crazy Irishman, Reilly, who, along with McCoy, adds the
ast, and frequently overlooked, quality of Shakespearean tragedy, comic relief. Reilly's loneliness in engineering gives
the viewer a reason for Uhura's song and a sense of genuine human comraderie. As a witness to Kodos' executions,
Reilly is the last potential victim. As he looks at his food without interest, one sees the futility of food for the stomach to
feed the hunger of the isolated human soul. Sent to engineering for his own protection, Reilly is actually most vulnerable
to Lenore's tetralubisol in the milk. Reilly also lost parents and possibly siblings in the holocaust of Tarsus IV, and he
seeks vengeance against Kodos in the last act while Kodos is playing Hamlet's ghost. Disarmed by Kirk's reason,
Reilly disappears from the episode quickly. Reilly is best remembered as the stereotyped, inebriated Irishman from
"The Enemy Within," but he too has a ghost. Roddenberry runs the full spectrum of human personalities to show the
heart of darkness, the common ghost of lingering death that links one and all to a common past.
McCoy's dialogue with Spock has a similar tragic-comic impact, but as
outsiders to the tragedy (unlike Reilly, who is a victim), these two characters research the history of the nine
eyewitnesses and provide objectivity to the interiorizing horror of the blood. The scene between Spock and McCoy
in the sickbay still deals with the theme of physical and metaphysical appetites in man's lonely personal unconscious,
but with a comic twist:
This is the first time in a week I've had time
for a drop of the true. Would you care for a drink, Mr. Spock?
Spock: My father's race was spared the dubious benefits of alcohol.
McCoy: Oh! Now I know why they were conquered!
The above lines are memorable musts for lovers of Star Trek. McCoy is enjoying a drink, and Spock is ponderously
pacing because "The Captain is acting strangely….secretive. It's not like him." McCoy's almost peasant earthiness
saves the day. Lenore is “the little 'Juliet.” a “pretty exciting creature. Of course your personal 'chemistry' would
prevent you from seeing that." "Did it ever occur to you that he simply might like the girl?" McCoy is the porter at the
gate in Macbeth. McCoy is partly correct, but is teasing the cerebral Spock with facts and hilarious quips. McCoy
also reminds Spock that Kirk is the captain, and that's that.
right? All right. Have a drink.
Spock: No, thank you.
McCoy: You're welcome. But I will. And please, Mr. Spock ...
if you won't join me, don't disapprove of me, at least
not until you try it, huh?
Shakespeare, in Macbeth, provides a gateman/porter for comic relief from the unspoken horror of the previous acts.
The viewer literally "needs a break," and gets one in the tipsy cockney porter who provides a little sanity to the deeds
of a bloody night.
He is, indeed, a bit of a clown, earthly, yet aware:
Here's a knocking indeed! If a man were
porter of Hellgate, he should have old turning
the key. [knocking within] Knock, Knock, knock!
Who's there, I’ the name of Beelzebub? Here's
a farmer that hanged himself on th' expectation of
plenty. Come in time, have napkins enow about
you, here you'll sweat for 't. [Knocking within]~
Knock, knock! Who's there, in th' other devil's
name? Faith, here's an equivocator, that could
not equivocate to Heaven. Oh, come in, equivocator.
[knocking within]J Knock, knock, knock! Who's there?
Faith, here's an English tailor come hither,
for stealing out of a French hose. Come in, tailor,
here you may roast you goose. [Knocking
within] Knock, knock, never at quiet! What are
you? But this place is too cold for Hell. I'll devil
porter it no further. I had thought to have let in
some of all professions that go the primrose
way to the everlasting bonfire. [Knocking within]
Anon, anon! I pray you remember the porter.
Amid the "French hose" and "napkins" are several strategic references to the Devil--a sense of balance sought and
achieved. Reilly, McCoy, and Spock, at key moments, all act as comic characters. Dramatically, it gave them
something to do; themetically, their roles as outsiders to the murders are peripherally more effective.
As Lenore collapses in awful insanity over the dead Karidian's body, the Shakespearean drama of the human heart
comes to a close. Macbeth is slain by Malcolm; order is restored. Hamlet is slain by Horatio's poisoned sword,
and Fortinbras restores harmony. McCoy: Lenore will "receive the best of care. She remembers nothing. She even
thinks her father is still alive, giving performances for cheering crowds." Kirk cared for Lenore, and McCoy expects
an indication of
Kirk's state of mind. The answer is in the deed and in the role of his
Ready to leave Benecia orbit, Captain.
Kirk: Stand by, Mr. Lesley. All channels cleared, Uhura?
Uhura: All channels clear, Sir.
Kirk: Whenever you're ready, Mr. Lesley.
Lesley: Leaving orbit, Sir.
McCoy: You're not going to answer any question, are you?
Kirk: Ahead warp factor one, Mr. Lesley.
McCoy: That's an answer.
Reason and order are restored. The ghost has been released from his torment. Justice has been served without the
need for extrinsic punishment. Evil begot evil, but eventually consumed itself. The theme of "The Conscience of the
King" is in the words of a prince and a king who goes out fighting, eyes open. Karidian is one such prince,
his Macbeth another:
Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day,
To the last syllable of recorded time,
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle:
Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more. It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
--(Macbeth V, v)
(finis "The Conscience of The King")
considering the embryological structure of man
--the homologies which he presents with the lower
animals, the rudiments which he retains, and the
reversions to which he is liable--we can partly
recall in imagination the former condition of our
early progenitors... that man is descended from a
hairy quadraped, furnished with a tail and pointed
ears, probably arboreal in its habits, and an
inhabitant of the Old World.
--(Charles Darwin, The Descent of Man, 1871).
"Turnabout Intruder" (story G. Roddenberry; teleplay Arthur Singer) is best
known as the last of the Star Trek
series aired at the end of the third season in 1969. The story was written by Gene Roddenberry himself. The writer
was contracted for a fee of $5,500 each for two stories with teleplays, according to a contractual letter by Marvin
Katz of April 3, 1968, to Norway Productions and Gene Roddenberry. According to Roddenberry's revised story
outline of April 30, 1968, "Turnabout Intruder" was to be “a story unusual even for Star Trek--and a most unusual
acting challenge for William Shatner and a female guest star." In the casting notes of 4/22/68, Roddenberry
concentrates on a play within a play "giving us Captain Kirk as a cunning, highly intelligent, ambitious female within
that body." Shatner was to give a "split-personality portrayal." Originally, this was to be a "dual role" in which Kirk
was to be made up as a female and dubbed with a female voice, so that "he could play both Kirk and Janice."
Because the makeup problems would be enormous, a female guest star was conceived as the vehicle for the dual
role. The thematic intent of the episode, according to the April 30th revision, was "to interpret the subtle but very
between male and female mind." The acknowledged source for the episode is
Thorne Smith's novel, Turnabout, and Roddenberry notes that the title could easily be "Kidnap," except for its
cience fiction originality as the first kidnapping of Kirk and the "very real and increasing likelihood of his death"
at the end of Star Trek's last season. Roddenberry then returned to Smith for the source of the title and for much
of its basic concept and outline. Hence, the Camus II device ("dual receptacle") permits a form of immortality
whereby old bodies could be exchanged for younger and newer ones. The role of the duality device was enhanced
further in the SFD of 12/30/68 into an elitist machine for superior genetics whereby "Mentally superior people who
were dying would exchange bodies with the physically strong. Immortality could be had by those who deserved it"--
lines omitted in the final screening/ take. The wall-panel device would, as a corollary, mean the death of the mentally
and physically weak individuals by the superior minds of Camus II's "advanced" civilization, now dead, possibly
by its own device and devise.
In the "Turnabout Intruder" episode, the wall-panel, as used by Janet Lister, is science perverted into a device
for a modern theme of trans-sexuality without benefit of surgery, whereby one becomes what he/she is not and
was not intended by nature to be--whereby the individual to be is unnatural and defies the laws of nature. One of
the episode's theme is "Don't mess with Mother Nature." Male and female are juxtaposed and realigned out of nature.
Mind and body are presented as an inversion of opposites without balance or integration. The study is that of
unnatural male and unnatural female--unnatural man compliments of a mechanical device created by man.
The episode has virtually enraged women's libbers because of the
tentatively managed sexism, seeing Dr. Janice Lester as Roddenberry's symbol of
the typical female
intellectual who is incapable of controlling her emotions, becoming a Satanic Pamela or Clarissa, early prototypes
of the waterworks, simpering female heroine in Samuel Richardson's eighteenth century novels of sentimentality.
Dr. Janice Lester is seen as an incompetent scientist whose omissions include the deaths of all but two of the
members of the scientific team studying the ruins of Camus II. Her flagrant emotionalism and hatred of her own
womanhood make her an incompetent scientist and a murdering feminist. Her protest throughout the episode is
the indignity of being a woman, and the vendetta is to show the captains of inner and outer space that women
are equal, if not superior, as captains of a technological civilization. What is often overlooked is not that Starfleet
has no female starship captains, not that "society" downgrades women, but that the individual woman--here Dr.
Janice Lester--is the cause and effect of her own twisted mentality. It is not men who are at fault; it is a woman's
inability to control her ME that is the problem.
Dr. Lester had the promise and the talent, but went amuck of her own intermixed passions. However, similar
questions are asked today about why no lady President, etc. In this episode, "radiation" is used as the cause of
Lester's problems. Society accepts the quick, easy, and empirical "cause" for an individual's mental aberrations.
Gene Roddenberry was delighted with negative mail written by women for originally making "Number One” a
female second in command. He was criticized for overstepping his bounds largely by women’s groups. Sexism
in "Turnabout Intruder” now comes from similar sources. Part of Janice Lester's problem, however, is sexism.
Her own feminity and her attitude of self-hatred at her female-hood are objects of contention in the episode.
he radiation is symbolic not of some physical illness, but of a disease
of the human heart
that attacks everyone with an inherently and environmentally induced
pre-disposition towards diseases
of the human spirit. Particular spiritual symptoms and their causes are the true study of “Turnabout Intruder.”
When queried if he had read any works of C. G. Jung, Gene Roddenberry answered no (but he WAS a member
of the Carl Jung Society and spoke before them in 1989 while this writer was in L.A). In truth, he knew and followed
Jung’s theories closely! The story, with particular adaptations, reads like a textbook study in Jung's animus/anima theories
of human psychology. However, Gene Roddenberry asserts that one need not read a textbook to write a story. Jung himself
insisted that psychology not be given to unbending names and inflexible stereotypes, such as those of Freud. Each situation
must be viewed differently and with an open mind. Words must not be superimposed on a fluid state of mind. Jung presents
interesting theories, however, and, with flexibility, they help to clarify the dual roles of Captain Kirk and Dr. Janice Lester.
Also, much of Jung has become common sense among writers and psychologists, etc. Jung's concepts of the archetypes of
the tricksters and of the spirit mingle with his concepts of the inferior function of the personal unconscious--the shadow and the
animus/anima of the human psyche. Obviously, Smith too knew his Jung, and Roddenberry adapted the archetypes without
knowing Jung's work at all? Impossible!
Much is also derived for basic observations of the human personality, which are no longer the sole purlieu of esoteric
sciences, but which have filtered down into the everyday schematics of common human knowledge and behavior. Much
of Star Trek is unconscious art and is based on careful observation of what exists, what is seen but not perceived, by
everyone who exists. One of the roles of the poet, published by Shelley and Wordsworth, is to make the invisible visible.
Such minds dare "tease use out of thought" into greater thoughtfulness.
unconsciously Jungian story presents some titilating speculations concerning
human nature's inherent dualism.
A male is also part female; a female is also part male, in chromosonal sexuality. The presence or absence of a 'y'
chromosome makes one genetically, biologically, a male or a female. Therefore, "man" is constituted sexually of the dual
principle of male and female. A balance of these opposites relates to one's definition of the ME. Lester and Kirk, juxtaposed
against the dual-receptacle wall panel, their bodies superimposed, one upon the other, is symbolic of the male in Janice
Lester and the female in James Kirk. What is extremely visible in the body switch is already present in each individual
involved. Hence, Gene Roddenberry can now study the minds of the male and of the female by the study of the two bodies
exchanged. What he is studying here is man's transformation into his animal self, making the unconscious animality a matter
of egoconsciousness. This development of man into his inferior function becomes his "shadow," further defined by Jung as
he anima (spirit-fem.) and the animus (spirit masc.). When a man is overpowered by the collective unconscious, "there is not
only a more unbridled intrusion of the instinctual sphere, but a certain feminine character also makes its appearance"
(C.G. Jung, Four Archetypes). This is the male's anima. Jung continues: ''If ... a woman comes under the domination of the
unconscious, the darker side of her feminine nature emerges all the more strongly, coupled with markedly masculine traits."
This is the female's animus. Kirk/J is Janice Lester's animus. Janice/K is Kirk's anima. The result is a study
possession by the anima and the
characters are external manifestations of opposite unconscious states that now
come to possess the main
characters. This is the "temporary insanity" Kirk/J alludes to in the mutiny trial scene. The characters are acting out their
states of mind. Janice Lester's animus is her enemy within, her shadow. Kirk's anima is his enemy within, his shadow.
But it is Janice Lester who comes under complete possession by her animus; hence, she receives most of the episode's
attention, in the body of Kirk. The result of Kirk's anima is increasing self-knowledge and a sense of calm deliberateness
in fighting anima possession. Janice Lester, however, loses her femininity (except in body) of mind and behavior due to
possession by the male half of her personal unconscious. Mentally, she is a male; physically, she is a woman. Kirk's anima
brings initial terror, but eventual calm. Lester's animus reeks bestial violence and the lust to kill Kirk, who is her animus.
Both characters react oppositely to their confrontations with their shadows, just as the mind-body dualism points out the
inner contrasts as well as the outer contrasts. Literally, a person is not what he or she appears to be. Kirk learns a great deal
about himself through the exteriorization of his own anima in Janice/K. Janice Lester's insanity precludes self-knowledge in the
exteriorization of her animus in Kirk/J. She sees a mirror, mirror on the wall, like the wicked witch in "Sleeping Beauty," or
like Alice in the looking glass in Lewis Carroll's work. All of Janice Lester's violence is due to the dominance of the
masculine part of her being. She terrifies Dr. Coleman, who is more feminine than Lester. Lester wears the pants in
the "Turnabout Intruder."
Gene Roddenberry is dealing with the nature of psychical trans-
sexuality. Man is not his body. Major sexual stereotypes are criticized overtly in this episode. A woman is expected to
purr and be soft, passive. The male is expected to roar, and be raspy, pugnacious, and dominant. The body exchanges of
Kirk and Lester give the viewer moments of horror and of humor. Janice Lester orders the crew about, with no sensitivity.
Her animus strikes Janice/K to the deck ("She might have killed someone," Kirk/J says). Kirk/J feels his new beard, his
animal body, but files his fingernails, flirts with Coleman (latent homosexuality), and puts on effeminate airs and speech.
Kirk (Shatner) acting like a fag makes this very masculine captain a great actor. Neither character is himself/herself.
Man is not just his body. The possession of breasts does not really determine femininity. Nor do muscles and lack of
breasts as such make one a man. In the character of Janice Lester, one shares the limits of female masculinity, that spiritual
trans-sexuality is a perversion of the self and of the persona (role) of that person. Indeed, things are indeed quite queer.
This is an episode whose major theme is glands. A physical examination by McCoy of Kirk/J gives no truth of the inner
self. The bodily stereotype disproves all suspicions:
That's enough, Captain. Your heart will last forever.
In the pink--as usual. Liver, kidneys, blood count, metabolic
rate, everything--even your glands—functioning at their normal
peak of efficiency.
Glands are the bases of the male and female stereotypes because even doctors will not and cannot look under the skin into
the world of inner space where true identity lives. The body is a symbol of the individual; it is just so much clothing, not
The theme of opposites and the necessity of opposites to breed progression remains as a backbone in things Star Trek.
Intruder" Blake's idea that "Love and Hate…are necessary to human existence”
hatred of her own womanhood is the major cause of her animus possession. Her
love, once brooded
upon, rejected, and repressed, is matured into an apple of hate. Love and hate are two polarities of the same entity--man.
anice Lester Kirk/J had enough time on Camus II to kill James Kirk, but she did not because, as Dr. Coleman notes,
she is still in love with Kirk, so much as to hate herself while projecting the hate onto Kirk. Kirk hates himself for
deserting Janice many years ago, but he had a decision to make. Kirk pities Janice for harboring love (rejected)
and hate all those years. Love and hate are one. Kirk's anima reintegrates these opposites; whereas, Lester's animus
destroys everything, and eventually, herself, her mind. A human being cannot be himself/herself without glands, but the
opposite principle--biological and psychological--exists in his very molecular structure, in his/her very psyche, his/her
"spirit," the vital element inside that makes the person vitally himself or herself. Thinking only with one's glands
("The Man Trap") is an imbalance, and shows shadow possession.
The enemy within is man. Man, as noted by Gene Roddenberry, is two, but unlike "The Enemy Within" where
Roddenberry asserts "there is no enemy," the animus/anima is an enemy until it is assimilated by the person, until it is
integrated into his/her process of individuation. Absorbing one's alter-self is essential to psychical integrity and human
growth in the thinking adult. The dualism, first asserted by Plato in western civilization, of man as animal and as intellect
the mind-body duality is the major symptom of the enemy within). Star Trek asserts the need
or sacred codes have been the
causes of the following Errors: 1. That Man
has two real existing principles; Viz., a Body
and a Soul… But the following Contraries to
these are True: 1. Man has no Body distinct
from his Soul; for that called Body is
a portion of Soul discerned by the five Senses,
the chief inlets of Soul in this age.
--(William Blake, MHH, 1790-93)
Wholism is health, and the animus/anima dualism is a symptom of a diseased or brainwashed mentality. The separation of
mind and body is to remind us of this growing neurosis of our dangerous civilization of primitivism. Janice Lester is
possessed by her male instincts. Jung says:
so-called civilized man has forgotten
the trickster ... He never suspects that his
own hidden and apparently harmless shadow
has qualities whose dangerous exceeds his
wildest dreams .... Such are the puerilities
that rise up in place of an unconscious
shadow and keep it unconscious…Outwardly
people are more or less civilized, but
inwardly they are still primitive…..The
trickster is a collective shadow figure,
a summation of all the inferior traits of
character in individuals.
--(C.G. Jung, Four Archetypes).
Civilization has buried the trickster in animal unconscious, even though the trickster was a source of omniscience in the near
and distant past of man. In Janice Lester, the shadow figure confronts the personal consciousness antagonistically; it rests
on her dynamism, on her love for Kirk, and on her self-hatred; they are so repugnant to her ego-consciousness that it has to
be repressed into the unconscious. But repression assures an explosion because repression gives the feeling repressed the
best chance of
survival as soon as an external circumstance forces the matter once again into
Janice Lester is a beast, Kirk's animus. Janice/K is a trickster, as in the medicine; she tricks Nurse Chapel into not
remaining, so she can use the broken glass to escape from sickbay where she is kept in safe keeping due to her "insanity."
Janice/K is cool at the trial, using logic and animus Kirk/J's lack of control to best advantage, eventually forcing Kirk/J to
"flip out" effeminately and totally, thereby weakening and eventually breaking the mind/body transference. Kirk's anima,
Janice/K, on the other hand, is violent and without reason. Her role as Captain depends on her acting like the captain. Her
animus prevents such order and equanimity:
repetition of your physical violence is not called
for…SIR. No physical resistance will be offered.
Kirk/J: First Officer Spock has been placed under arrest.
He has conspired with Dr. Lester to take over the ship
from your Captain. A hearing will be immediately convened
to consider the charges and specifications for a general
court-martial on the charge of mutiny.
This is not Kirk, not Kirk as Captain of the Enterprise. Lester, even in transference, cannot be her animus and suppress it
too. She cannot be Kirk without an animus/anima balance and integration. She cannot be who and what she is not. There
are no fewer than nineteen references to "kill" or "death" in this episode, with other countless references to “murder."
“Kill” is Janice Lester's animus, a tribal, savage, masculine animality, a fact somewhat symbolized by the black and white
schizoid, trickster dress Janice/K wears at the trial scene. As the script insists, Janice is in hell, in total pain from living in
her personal Hades. The episode makes a distinction between living and surviving. In a line in SFD of 12/30/68, omitted in
final script, Kirk says to Janice:
never wanted to hurt you.
Janice: You did.
Kirk: Only so I could survive as myself.
Retained in the script, Janice says that, "The year we were together at Starfleet is the only time in my life I was alive."
As Tennyson once said, there is confusion worse than death. A popular group (“The Doors”) calls it "Unborn
living...Living dead,” somewhat in the tradition of T. S. Eliot's death's twilight kingdom. The theme is the pain, the horrible
pain of living, of loving. Death is nothing compared to the pain of existence in the void of love hatred, of self-hatred. The
machine on Camus II posed immortality and a chance for rebirth for Lester, but it only made living a fantasy more painful:
"I am alone." Love's agony and ecstasy are shown in what may be the best opening human drama in Star Trek:
never stopped you from going on with your space work.
Janice: Your world of Star Ship Captains doesn't admit women.
It isn't fair.
Kirk: No, it isn't. And you punished and tortured me because of it.
Janice: I loved you. We could have roamed among the stars.
Kirk: We'd have killed each other.
Janice: It might have been better.
Love and hate, living and killing, coalesce into raw pain and paranoia. Smothering love without reciprocity breeds hatred
of others and of self. Janice Lester's mind is gone, and yet Dr. Coleman calls Janice/K "insane." Agony! Pain! Living is
hell! In her last scene as the transference is breaking, like Jack the Ripper, Janice says (of Kirk) "Kill him… Kill him! ...
Kill him. I want James Kirk dead--kill him! …..I will never be the Captain...never...never ... never--Kill him...kill him."
In the end, Janice Lester calls for the death of her own animus, almost for the death of deaths in herself.
In "Turnabout Intruder," living and loving have been questions of interpersonal torture and neurotic repression, of
personal nightmares without gestalt. The last theme is an impersonal one, the
question of the Law and the
limits of empiricism through the nature of "evidence." Pontius Pilate asked of Christ "What is truth? Noone before or
since has answered that question. Law, and particularly the American judicial system, still seeks and yet ignores the truth.
What is truth? How does one go about proving anything or anyone? How does one "make a case" for the question of
existence? The law, in the symbol of its blindfolded mistress, is the blindest system of eyes that cannot see, ears that
will not hear, legal technicalities that even make the truth a lie, that "disappear" people and human identities swept by a
deluge of inbred technicalities. The Kafkaesque trial of Janice/K and conspirators on the change of muting is a
condemnation of a legal system that loses human perspective amid a search for "proof." The key line comes from
Spock when asked by Kirk/J if he expects Starfleet Command to place "this person (Janice/K)" in command of the
Enterprise? Spock answers: "I expect only to reveal the truth." Kirk/J calls for a vote, and Spock again protests that
Janice/K, "our chief witness" will be "left to die on an obscure little colony with the truth locked away inside of her."
Indeed, the truth is literally inside Janice/K, and her death would be Kirk's death, his spirit dead in the dead body of
Janice Lester. Only in the death of Janice/K trickster can Janice Lester retain the transference effected on Camus II.
What is logical (ex. Spock's mind-meld with the mind of James T. Kirk) is not scientific. One is not the other, and the
episode demonstrates the limits of empiricism as legal proof. Scotty: "It may not be scientific--but if Mr. Spock thinks
it happened, then it must be logical." Irony: Janice/K enters a plea of innocence by reason of sanity. The episode shows
the insanity of the still controversial plea of innocence by reason of insanity. The question is that of evidence, ex.,
Spock to Janice/K: "That is your claim...as yet, it is unsubstantiated by
evidence or objective tests." Spock hopes that McCoy's examination of Kirk/J
will uncover "facts….that
would be objective evidence--the only kind...acceptable to Starfleet Command--and therefore the crew of the Enterprise."
Kirk's anima fights to prove objectively that Janice/K is in fact James T. Kirk. After the telepathic mind-meld, Spock says
to Janice/K, "I believe you. However, my belief is not acceptable evidence. Evidence must be factual." The law and its
definition of evidence show the limits of justice and empiricism. Acts III and IV of "Turnabout Intruder" show Kirk's anima
persistently and relatively calmly seeking evidence of her existence as James T. Kirk. After Kirk/J's examination, McCoy,
dismayed and shocked by his own inadequate empirical methodology, admits, "There is no positive evidence of any disorder."
Until Janice Lester's animus proves his own guilt and the truth, traditional sleuthing only shows humankind’s inability to adapt
empirical methodologies to a new, unprecedented legal problem. Who would not be put in a straight jacket for saying that he
is a she, or he is a she? The eyes, even when presented with proof of the animus, cannot believe the truth of what is rationally
and medically impossible. However, the mission of the Enterprise and its crew is to go "where no man has gone before,” and
Janice/K’s animus and Kirk/J’s anima have indeed gone where no man and no woman have ever gone before. But has Kirk
remembered Sargon using Kirk’s body in "Return to Tomorrow, "in Star Trek's second season? But that body-mind transfer
was the limited knowledge of Kirk, Spock, Dr. Mitchell and Dr. McCoy. But evidence must be public and publically acceptable
by conventional legal standards. British law, and to an extent its American offspring, is based on precedent. One must establish "facts"
hat are beyond "reasonable doubt." The trial, humankind on trial, absorbs most of Acts III and IV of
this episode. Everyone wants "proof”:
Scotty: Surely you must
have had more than that to go on.
Spock: I have stated my evidence. Telepathic communication
with the mind of Captain James T. Kirk.
Scotty: Your evidence is completely subjective. We must have
evidence we can examine out in the open.
Spock: You have had a great deal of evidence--except that of
the chief witness.
The immediate defendant in the trial is Kirk's anima, Janice/K, whom Spock insists "should be the real subject" of the
inquiry. It is Janice Lester's animus (Kirk/J) who, ironically, is counsel for the state (akin to district attorney, who
represents the plaintiff in the case.) It is almost like having a murderer as judge and jury against himself, and his anima who sits
as defendant. The trial also shows the travesty of the "insanity plea" in the law because it is almost impossible to prove guilt
by reason of insanity. The very proof of insanity (and its definition) has no acceptable evidence until the legal system
accepts the concept of Janice Lester's possession by her animus (Kirk/J) who stands before her, assuming her insanity:
Spock: The one who
should be the real subject
of this inquiry is kept locked away in isolation. Why? CAPTAIN.
Kirk/J: She is dangerously insane. We have seen the evidence.
Spock: She is dangerous only to your authority, Sir…
The witness, Sir. Bring on the witness~ Let your officers put the
Ironically, with the appearance of Kirk/J, the plea here is sanity, not insanity. The entire inquiry probes what Roddenberry
intended--the subtle but distinct differences between the male and the female mind. It probes the basis of proof in law. The
insanity plea is still the object of legal controversy simply because "objective evidence" to meet dated criteria of more
primitive times is virtually impossible to prove because mankind knows so little about the human brain and the terrifying
complexities of the human mind. We
still do not know who or what a person is, in fact. In assuming
Janice/K insane without evidence is the undoing
of Kirk/J as he begins to behave (empirical evidence) in court as he has
accused Janice/K. The irony is that Janice/K and Kirk/J are distinct only in body. Psychically, they are opposite spiritual
facets that constitute one person. As William Blake implies, the very split of man into two is a form of empirical and biblical
madness in the first place. The wording in a legal defense is as important as the eyewitnesses, i.e., those people extrinsic
to the duality. Those persons (Lester and Kirk) intrinsic to the transference dualism can free or implicate themselves only
through adherence to or violation of proper legal language and courtly presentation. Kirk/J must incriminate himself, or else
the legal system of checks and balances is impotent to handle an unprecedented situation. Logic and science must prove
guilt beyond a shadow (the animus) of a doubt. Empiricism is hereby rendered impotent by its own conventions. The voice of
logic, Mr. Spock, knows the truth that he seeks, but he must present acceptable evidence: "I am disappointed and deeply
concerned that there is no objective evidence to support my position-so far," as Janice/K enters the courtroom.
The legal problem now merges with the most underplayed problem in this episode, i.e., identity. Animus and anima, two
constituent elements of the one human spirit, now meet face to face. In a mature individual, a balance between opposites
would result. Kirk/J's possession by Lester's animus makes innocence and justice impossible and tragic because she refuses
to accept/reject her animus (Janice/K), and by superimposing her animus on Kirk--the love/hate object--she is ruled by her
negative, instinctual, inferior function of her personal unconscious. In a sense, Janice Lester is talking to herself as
she addresses her opposite/complement:
Kirk/J: You claim you
are James T. Kirk.
Janice/K: (composed) No--I am not Captain Kirk. That is
very apparent. I claim ... (voice grows stern) ... that what-
ever it is that makes James Kirk a living being special to
himself is being held here in this body.
Kirk/J: However--as I understand it--I am Dr. Janice Lester.
Janice/K: That's very clever. But I didn't say it. I said
the body of James Kirk is being used by Dr. Janice Lester.
Kirk/J: A subtle difference that happens to escape me.
This is wording, technical jargon, that has been an inherent element in western philosophy, and in western law and religion,
since the time of Plato and the other Aristolelian philosophies of ancient Greece. The symbol of the centaur symbolizes the
Hellenic (vs. Hebraic) conception of man, with the head of a man and the body of a horse, i.e., the intellect controlling the
animal half whence the collective and personal unconscious emanate. Man's intellect must control his glands, or he is not
"civilized." Janice/K's distinction of body vs. mind meets the archaic, conventional language of the law, from Justinian's
Code to the present and beyond. Star Trek is challenging our philosophical, psychological, religious, and legal stereotypes
whereby it is said that he is so and so, and she is so and so. It is mathematical, almost logical, but here very incorrect. But
the wording is acceptable and precedented, hence partially credible and possibly admissible in this military court:
James/K: It was brought
about by a violent attack by
Dr. Lester and the use of equipment she discovered on
Kirk/J: Violence by the lady perpetrated on Captain Kirk?
Tsk…tsk. I ask the assembled personnel to look at
Dr. Lester and visualize that historic moment.
It is in this and the ensuing lines that Lester's animus ceases just to be her enemy within, but now becomes her witness
from without. Her animus surfaces and melds with his body, so that there ceases to be a mind-body unity. The male body
with effeminate mannerisms, the body of Kirk livid with rage gives "reasonable doubt" to the crew who, at Kirk/J’s
behest, now act as jury. Man must
see and perceive the truth on his own.
Instead of using power intelligently and competently, the animus of Janice Lester now becomes witness for the defense
witness against Kirk/J, who now puts himself on trial. The court and western law recognize "violence," a legal term with
specific implications. Janice/K, Kirk's anima, through integrated calm in Janice Lester's body, controls Kirk's anima and
defeats Janice Lester's animus. The animus craves power and self-destruction. Janice/K retorts:
Janice/K: Yes! To get
the power she craved…to attain a position
she doesn't merit by training or temperament. And most
of all she wanted to murder James Kirk, the man who once
loved her. But her intense hatred of her own womanhood
made life with her impossible.
Kirk/J; Are you prepared with witnesses--one will do.
Spock: Sir, there is only one issue--is the story of life
entity transfer believable? This crew has been to many
places in the galaxy. They have been witness to many strange
events. They are trained to know that what seems to be
impossible is often possible given the scientific analysis
of the phenomenon.
Spock opens the Pandora's box by distracting the crew, as witnesses to a living impossibility, to the physical and scientific
reality, the proof before their eyes. Kirk/J will soon "flip out" because the truth is unmanageable by her masculine shadow,
the animus. Spock is successful in enraging Kirk/J by appealing to his expectedly calm, captainly demeanor. The legal ruse
works. Allegation is made; therefore, legally, a response is required by the opposite party--making Kirk/J the defendant in
plaintiff's pants: "You are not Captain Kirk. You have ruthlessly appropriated his body. But the life entity within you
(Kirk/J) is not that of Captain Kirk. You do not belong in command of the Enterprise, and I will do everything in my
power against you." Spock's credibility is, as Scotty notes, logical. The Platonic mind-body dialectic is not an alien
experience to the crew (certainly not now), and Spock's allegation calls for a rebuttal befitting the "life entity" of Captain
Kirk. The question is now one of
integrated (body and spirit) identity of both
parties, but now especially that of Kirk/J. The recess declared, the vote, the
evidence meets Kirk/J's own stipulated criteria: "When I return we will vote on the charge of mutiny. The evidence
presented is the only basis of your decision." Kirk/J has convicted himself of kidnapping a body of violence, of
impersonating a Starfleet Captain, of breach of Starfleet regulations by ordering the illegal death penalty. The crew
is now convinced of the impossible based on the evidence indeed presented by the plaintiff. Kirk/J simply is not
himself, as the earthy Scotty notes: "I've seen the Captain feverish, sick, drunk, delirious, terrified, overjoyed, boiling
mad. But up to now I’ve never seen him red-faced with hysteria. I know how I’m going to vote." The theme requires
that the individual and a jury of his peers determine Kirk's identity for him by the persona, the mask or role Kirk/J is
playing, literally in another body. The ultimate evidence is self-damnation and the call for "kill…kill."
In a line in SFD of 12/30/68, omitted in the final screening, Kirk says, "Only so I could survive as myself," a key
ingredient in a theory of identity based on love, but love with the maintenance of the ego identities of the two loves.
Love is a unity of diversity. Janice Lester's love was smothering Kirk, so he could not survive as himself, thereby
making love impossible. Love requires the separate and distinct identities of male and female life entities, body and soul,
body to soul, one to one, one in one, but never one at the expense of the other one--a principle of integrity as individuality
propounded well by the writer, D.H. Lawrence (cf., "The Horse Dealer's Daughter"). Love of oneself must precede
love of another. If you hate yourself, you cannot love another human being because the Jungian principles of animus
and anima must be accepted on the conscious level for the mental health of the female and of the male. The break of
the transference restores the individual and
separate identities of male and female, but only after forcing the reader to
recognize the male and female life entities that exist in every individual. Man (genus) is both male and female (yang and
yin), good and evil. Every man has a shadow, his enemy within. Unless l'étranger is accepted and assimiliated, neurosis
or psychosis is probable. The crew's "mutiny" (cf., Sulu and Chekov's actions) is sanity. Sulu notes the death penalty,
and posits: "The Captain really must be going mad if he thinks he can get away with an execution." Death, always death
is the bottom line that pricks man's consciousness into positive action because "That can't be the Captain,” based on
acceptable evidence. The higher truth, however, still remains invisible--"if the Abysm/ could vomit forth its secrets; but a
voice/ Is wanting, the deep truth is imageless" (P. B. Shelley, Prometheus Unbound, 1820).
Dr. Coleman, a weak and somewhat feminine/anima/passive man, bossed around by Janice as Janice and by Janice
as Kirk, a henpecked soul, gives the only sense of healthful love in the episode's last scene. Janice is to be helped by
Coleman without doubts or impediments because he accepts Dr. Janice Lester as she is: “you are--as I have loved
you."; “I would like to take care of her" is not pity, but love, unselfish and with knowledge of self and of the woman he
loves. Kirk's "if only" shows regret and a pity based on repulsion. "Her life could have been as rich as any woman's (pause)
if only (long pause) ...” “If only" is reminiscent of the callous Lancelot who, upon espying the dead body of the Lady of
Shalott (whose death is unwittingly partly his responsibility) says: "She has a lovely face; / God in his mercy lend her grace,/
The Lady of Shalott" (Tennyson, "The Lady of Shalott," 1832).
The best and most simple explanation of Janice Lester, howbeit sexist and incomplete, is a quote incorrectly attributed to
Heaven has no rage
like love to hatred turned,
No hell a fury like a woman scorned.
--(William Congreve, "The Morning Bride," Act III, viii).
“The Naked Time”
I knew the mass of men concealed
Their thoughts, for fear that if revealed
They would by other men be met
With blank indifference, or with blame reproved;
I knew they lived and moved
Tricked in disguises, alien to the rest
Of men, and alien to themselves--and yet
The same heart beats in every human breast.
--(Matthew Arnold, "The Buried Life" 1852).
The above quotation by
Matthew Arnold, an eminent writer of the Victorian era, states, in simple but
brutal terms, the
theme of “The Naked Time" (season 1, episode 06) and of the plight of estranged man in a hostile world which he, in part,
created, and which he does not understand and where he lives in agonizing doubt, uncomfortable and very scared. Written
by John D.F. Black and directed by Marc Daniels, man is an alien in a chain of beings where he is, theoretically, at the top
as the dominant entity. But with all his strength and technology, man still feels unkraft, feeble and impotent against a dualism
of forces without and within. Matthew Arnold calls it "something in this breast/ To which thy light words bring no rest."
"The Naked Time" is an overt study of man's collective unconscious as a key to his identity, his "genuine self… the
unregarded river of our life….” The absolutely hectic pace of the action in this frenzied episode reflects western man's
"flying and elusive, rest" quality which he forever chases and thinks he knows. In this early episode, Gene Roddenberry's
Star Trek continues its subterranean study into the mysteries of the human heart.
As a being surrounded by his own shadow, modern man still wrestles with this shadow the enemy within, his stripped
psyche, naked before all. Stripped of the accoutrements of technology and designer jeans, man is naked, vulnerable as a
newly-born infant or as an elderly person in a wheel-chaired wilderness of unfeeling hands. One's naked time deals with
the absence or presence of physical and mental appearances that are symbolic modes/clothes for human identity.
Obviously, nakedness is man
stripped, like Othello, of the
veneer of western civilization. Man becomes that
someone that he chooses/wishes that others not see. In hiding from his
fellow man, mankind is hiding from himself/herself. His entire identity is a vast question mark. Barbarism emerges through the
chinks of dissolving Grecian marble, man the beautiful, nature the beautiful. Two distinct sources of man’s naked self-
consciousness, of his constant awareness that something is, or must be, wrong in the Biblical and in psychological senses.
Through Genesis and the gospels, and through religious orthodoxy, the guilt of the "fall" is raised and perpetuated. This
is what has been referred to as Hebraic man, suffering, sinful, bad-boy sons of Adam with the inborn incubus of “original sin.”
Man, especially in the western world, is dominated by Judeo-Christian orthodoxy where the emotions are evil, and the body
with all its "vices" is living monument to the evils of the flesh. Naked man feels doomed; his faith in an orthodox God is shattered
or adhered to in Jonestown/People's Temple blindness. The frenzy to believe in the other-than-self is one symptom of the inability
to believe in oneself. Milton attempted to "justify the ways of God to man" in Paradise Lost, only to enhance man's self-
consciousness of his “sin.” Man is constantly being reminded of his pre-lapsarian, Edenic existence, i.e., the way it was before the fall.
A belief in an eternal Heaven, a "homecoming" after this life, helped to sustain man's hell of everyday living with a diseased self-
consciousness. Post-lapsarian man has become a modern obsession, and orthodoxy keep man's stain of sin fresh in his
consciousness. Poor, poor, suffering man is taunted in the valley of the shadow of death. The teachings of Calvin have been
added to the Platonic world vision of the spirit, to leave western man stripped before his all-knowing God with a charnel, clay
ouse as the symbol of inherent evil. It is all very embarrassing! Twentieth century existentialism has tried to substitute redemptive
action for redemptive, orthodox belief in salvation. What is left is der angst, an anxiety that haunts sleep, that presents a
duality of life, what Matthew Arnold in "Stanzas
From the Grande Chartreuse" saw as a limbo of man "Wandering
between two worlds, one dead, / The other powerless to be born." The second source breeding this sense of powerless
modern science. Empiricism has made the unprovable unbelievable. Fact has rendered faith a matter of disbelief and
doubt. Darwin's Origin of the Species and The Descent of Man made fears into realities of anxiety. "The Naked Time"
has strong roots in science from Darwin to and beyond Desmond Morris whose book, The Naked Ape, is one possible
source for the title and the content of "The Naked Time." The probability of being a high-classed monkey still does not sit
well with civilized man's pride in his Age of Enlightenment, his Age of Reason that peaked in the early eighteenth century.
Science created, in the nineteenth century, what Thomas Carlyle (with regret) called the age of "downtroding and disbelief,"
the age of raw skepticism that stripped man naked in the winds of increasing knowledge that apparently disputed ages of
Christian dogma. The biblical fall of man, the rise of science, the psychology of the “lonely crowd” (David Reisman),
produced a lonely, lonely ME lost in T.S. Eliot's wasteland of the twentieth century. Man is ill-at-ease on Zion.
Western man's nakedness, reminiscent of Edenic innocence and subsequent “fall,” has become a source of
self-conscious, acute embarrassment of being caught adjusting his fig leaves around existential zones. He is embarrassed
at being caught, like Adam and Eve, naked behind the clothing of guilt. There is no return to the gate guarded by archangel
Michael with fiery sword. Religion and science have actually reinforced man's acute doubt in the dualism of body vs. mind,
of mind vs. mind into a self-alienation that marks the anti-hero from Romantic literature to the present. The naked time is
an enemy within, within every thinking
man, an enemy within working against man's rage for order amid a world of contraries that breed little sense of
progression. In his “Clothes Philosophy," Thomas Carlyle speaks of man and “The World in Clothes" and of man in
"The World Out of Clothes." In "The World in Clothes," man's first purpose for clothing was for ornament, the
second for utility. Clothes are used by man as a tool for worship of externals where clothing becomes decoration for
barbarous man, what Sartre called "être-en-soi," an end in itself devoid of essence. Clothing soon becomes a
barrier to the ME. Clothes give individuality and sanctuary, but they also breed shame and barriers between and
in foolishest love of
Ornament, what have they not become a Shame,
divine Shame (Schaam, Modesty), as yet a stranger
to the Anthropophagous bosom, arose there
mysteriously under Clothes; a mystic
grove-encircled shrine for the Holy in man.
Clothes gave us individuality, distinctions,
social polity; Clothes have made Men of us;
they are threatening to make Clothes-screens
--(T.Car1y1e, Sartor Resartus, 1833).
The very clothes that made man threaten to unman him. All the products of western man's technology are clothing.
They are tools, and man is a tool-making animal. As Carlyle notes in the invention of the railroad, man "digs up
certain black stones from the bosom of the earth, and says to them, ‘Transport me and this luggage at the rate of five-
and thirty miles an hour'; and they do it."
The "World Out of Clothes," however, means that man is truly a naked biped, that he and his essence are geistig,
spiritual first and last. Man is not his clothes. Man now asks who am I? In the world's "loud trafficking," in its "paper-
hangings," amid "Commerce and Polity,” a thinking man's sight "reaches forth into the void Deep, and you are alone
with the Universe, and silently
commune with it, as
one mysterious Presence with another," notes
Carlyle. The world is a parareality, the stuff that dreams are made of. "There is no space and no Time: We are--we
know not what;--light-sparkles floating in the altar of Deity." The world of externals, of clothes, only seems solid, and
the "Earth-Spirit in Faust names it, the living visible Garment of God." Time and eternity merge in the ME, and
tackle realities terrorize and demoralize man. Man's hope lies in knowing that clothes are a symbol, not a reality in
themselves without spiritual basis.
“The Naked Time" is man’s abrupt awareness that he is not hiding or cannot hide behind velour or braids or
Vulcan logic. Carlyle explains man's blindness and his nakedness, and what happens to Sulu, to Reilly, to Kirk,
to Spock, that madness, helplessness, strungoutness, is a normal part of man's individuation and maturation. It keeps
his head from swelling with clothes' pride and brings him face to face with his nakedness, a world shorn of its
Strange enough how
creatures of the human-kind
shut their eyes to plainest facts; and by the
mere inertia of Oblivion and Stupidity, live
at ease in the midst of Wonders and Terrors.
But indeed man is, and was always, a
block-head and dullard; much readier
to feel and digest, than to think and con-
sider.... Perhaps not once in a lifetime
does it occur to your ordinary biped, of
any country or generation, be he gold-
mantled Prince, or russet-jerkined peasant,
that his Vestments and his Self are not one
and indivisible; that he is naked,
without vestments, till he buy or steal
such, and by forethought sew and button
--(T. Carlyle, Sartor Resartus, 1833).
Man worships the Erdgeist, when man's dreaming is his reality, that as Socrates noted, we are wise only who know
that they know nothing. We are indeed too tailored. "The Naked Time" is the time when the thinker knows
consciously that "Man is a Spirit, and bound by invisible bonds to All Men; secondly, that he wears Clothes,
which are the emblems of that
fact," notes Carlyle. Where would man be without buttons?!!
"The Naked Time" is an intensely human experience where one confronts the animality of his primitive self, only to
discover its importance and its inevitability. Such a discovery means the popping of his buttons. The confrontation
with the ID, the enemy within, can be terrifying before it is consciously rewarding and accepted. The crew of the
Enterprise confront the beast, the pain of their Hebraism, the disease of self-consciousness. Space, in its dark
vacuum, is the last frontier, but perhaps it was and is always the first, the 'primus' in primitive, which means first--in
the beginning. Spock points out the unknowability of space: "Instruments, register only things they are designed to
register. Space still contains...infinite unknowns." Kirk prepares the viewer for the events unfolding in and around
planet Psi 2000, by drawing attention to the impossible: "Suppose something totally unexpected happens?" When
crewman Joe Tormolen dies, McCoy is baffled by the illogic of this man's death. It is not logical; the cause was
insufficient, the death not in keeping with the character of the man:
Kirk: That's a
supposition, doctor, not a first.
McCoy: That may be...I've lost patients before,
but not like that ... not Joe's kind...
that kind of man doesn’t give up!
Kirk: ... a coincidence maybe?
McCoy: You know that Joe was down on the planet surface.
And if you're gonna ask me if it's connected…He was
decontaminated ... he'd been medically checked;
we've run every test we know of for everything we know of.
Kirk: That's not good enough!
McCoy: We're doing everything that's possible.
Kirk: Bones, I want the impossible checked out, too!
This brief discussion is the key to the issues involved: the possible vs.the impossible, the man vs. his "kind of man."
The doctor seeks the heretofore unexpected and impossible in human nature--the unknown force that killed crewman
Joe Tormolen. Joe becomes the first victim and is the microcasm of life and death in space, the great unknown with
the greatest unknown, man in
space--not merely outer space and Psi 2000, but
what the poet G.M. Hopkins called the “inner
space” of man's unconscious. What the crew faces has no precedent
in books of logic or in Starfleet manuals. It is closer to "The Forbidden Planet" and the creature from the ID. What is
locked inside man's mind and glands is frozen dead, the human confrontation with inner, frozen death that thaws in the
white heat of human fury.
To the issue, the duty of the Enterprise is to witness planet Psi 2000, a frozen planet that is self-destructing, dying in its
cold, icy grip. The producer's directions in the SFD of June 28, 1966, are unusually graphic and correct. Psi 2000 is a "strange
twilight of a dead world, a frozen wilderness." It has a "deep purple sky….stark silent beyond belief…windless…desolate,
a textured cold that can almost be felt pressing against our eyes...ominous ." The optics of the teaser in the screening make
the above statement of frozen death ominous. The planet's state of imminent collapse is reinforced by the interior observation
station, the console room is “frosted over" with "massive ice coating." Chairs are "iced over." Doors are “frozen open,” and
the corridors behind them "frozen." The repetition of the six technicians as “frozen...dead" is hit hard, with crew members
“frozen...more than half iced over" as Spock and Crewman Joe Tormolen beam down onto a frozen world where human life is
in one vast state of “frozen to death."
But the teaser points to the comic aspects of the way in which the personnel died. One man was taking a shower fully clothed.
The engineer "With all life systems off….frozen there like he didn't care,” notes Joe. The drop of moisture, blood-colored, touches
Joe's flesh. The ice is alive with the itch of death and of madness. The implication that one technician was strangled to death, that
one died in
a shower, disturbs Joe who sees the
tragic-comedy and the hysterics of imploded death by suicide--cause unknown.
The fact that no one knows the cause, just the effects of the contamination, contributes to the hysteria of not knowing.
Spock to Kirk at end of teaser: "Unknown, Captain. It's like nothing we've dealt with before," an understatement of the
living hell that Joe's contamination evokes amid the crew. The collective unconscious cannot be decontaminated, just as
guilt cannot be forgotten. What contaminates the crew is loss of inhibition, of egocontrol of self and duty. In viewing the
tapes of the planet's technicians, Kirk makes a good guess: "Almost as if they were intoxicated...or drunk." Because the
cause is internal, the infectious bloody liquid is inherent to the human body with psychosomatic profiles and effects. The
planet's condition of "frozen...dead" is a symbol of the moral condition of the crew of the Enterprise, frozen in technological
sleep, yet to be awakened to the fullness of the complete human condition. They face a death within symbolized by a frozen
death without. The planet and its condition are the condition of the inexperienced crew who have yet to face, en masse, the
tragi-comedy of death. In the notes to Act One, the Enterprise is a mirror image of Psi 2000, "sleek...efficient...the look of
a man in space….tooled….equipped, and the planet Psi 2000...is a blue-white whirling mass of ice surrounded by a grey-green
aura, silent .. forbidding .. ominous...a physical example of solid in vacuum….meant to be the resident, the starship, the alien here."
Psi 2000, as Spock and Kirk keep noting, is "a planet once much like earth." The shining ship of reason's technology is the new
alien, in a physio-psychological whirlwind and vertigo because the ship must share in the planet's experience to show man's
pseudo-dominance (on an instinctual level) over the impossible that becomes a reality as
the planet literally jerks the ship and its crew out of their technologized sleep into the terrors of living heat around a
planet and station personnel who are “frozen to death." Frozen is a human condition, a moral condition of living death,
of uncertainty, of incomplete human growth. The planet, Psi 2000, makes blood run, tempers flare, inhibitions fly in
The Enterprise's scientific mission is close measurement of the "break-up" of Psi 2000. The planet shrinks in size,
and the crew "must be prepared to respond instantly to any sudden change." The phrase "break-up" is used many
times in the episode. The break-up of Psi 2000 symbolizes the psychological "break-up" of stability and order aboard
the Enterprise. The crew cracks up and discipline dissipates. Rapid shifts in mass require "compensation" by the
Enterprise. Constantly, one hears the order, "Compensate." When the planet yanks the ship, the crew must
compensate. As Joe's breathing drops, McCoy orders Christine to "compensate with respirator." The inability to
compensate for sharp changes is the test of a Starfleet crew and its command. But can man compensate for changes
from the enemy within? Can man compensate for himself, within himself? There is no rational solution, certainly
not an immediate one, for self-doubt that surfaces as man breaks up under the gravitational pull of a dying planet, for
self-doubt that surfaces when a new crewman "flips out" because he is unable to find a rational explanation for the
way six men died. Man faces the alien--himself. Joe is fraught with pain, doubt, and guilt for possibly bringing pain
and death to other worlds:
Joe: We're all a bunch
stick our noses into something that we've
got no business. What are we doing out
here anyway? Bring pain and trouble with us
...leave men and women stuck out on freezing
planets until they
die...What are we doing out
here in space? Good? What good? We're
polluting it….destroying it; we've got no
business being out here...no business!!
Joe's induced doubt blames him for the deaths on Psi 2000. The same induced neurosis forced Dr. Daystrom to
invent the M-5 multitronic unit to keep men from dying in space. The theme of "The Naked Time" is bodied forth by
three symbols of man's primitive guilt: blood, sweat, and tears. Joe plunges the table knife into his abdomen as
Sulu and Reilly fight to remove the bloody knife from Joe's bloody hands. The blood was preceded by the sweaty
palms, and the tears are those of remorse and guilt for six dead personnel. One constantly sees blood, sweat and
tears in all the major characters affected by the disease that is now self-induced. Joe repeats, "We don't belong
here…. not ours; I don't belong! Six people died down there...why do I deserve to live...? A classic text-book
neurosis, guilt in surviving a catastrophe, makes Joe feel he is the murderer. As Sulu and Reilly struggle for the knife,
all are aware of blood; it's a disease found in and communicated by man's blood, sweat and tears. Absent-minded
hand and palm wiping shows man's flesh guilt coming to the conscious surface where each main character must fight
the battle that now rages inside him. This war within is always evidenced in man's instincts--his blood, sweat, and
tears. There is no rational compensation for an unprecedented experience by man of his own fall from
Kirk: Was he (Joe)
trying to kill himself?
Spock: It's doubtful he meant to. He was confused
self-tortured; his capacity for self-doubt
has always been rather high, Captain. But what puzzles
me is what brought it to the surface with so much force.
Newtonian physics, gravity, push-pull, becomes a yanking out of man's
guts. His viscera bleed, his hands sweat, his eyes cascade in uncontrollable tears of fear and guilt at what is surfacing
before their very eyes. But no one can "compensate" for or against the collective unconscious which suppression
ironically forces to emerge so distastefully and so ghostly. As Joe is dying, as McCoy yells, "Then why is this man
dying?!! As Joe succumbs, Spock on the bridge, alerts "Planet break-up is imminent. It's shrinking in size at a
increasing rate." Shrinking in size is a major motif in the episode; it deals with the diminution of man's ego, pride,
and dignity. He too is, in a sense, shrinking and breaking up. As the planet shrinks, the ship is forced to "spiral down
to maintain the same distance from it.” While and where control is most needed, lack of ego-control, of self- control
plunges the ship out of control toward the dying planet. Sulu begins "sweating like a bridegroom," and leaves his post,
soon to be followed by Reilly whose hands sweat as he says, "Magnetic pull compensated for, sir, " as he loses
control: "Have no fear, O'Reilly's here, and one Irishman is worth ten thousand.”
The man of flesh, an enemy within each man of reason, becomes the dominant factor. Soon the phrase "out of
control" dominates the script:
Kirk: Captain's log…stardate
seventeen zero four point
four….ship out of control…spiraling down toward planet
...Without engine power or helm control...we have nineteen
minutes of life left.
Spock: Mr. Scott, acknowledge. Our controls are dead.
The cry is for “power" from engineering, now manned by "Captain" Reilly, who has done the impossible, relieved
Scotty of command. No control! No power! Both are symbolized by the "falling archetypes," symbolic of man's fall
(Biblical and psychological) and the descent of man (Darwin) who co-created barbarism and chaos. The horror is a
world of technology gone amuck!
Utter panic and frenzy: The ME cannot control
the self. Rampant individual misbehavior and no
engine power (compliments of "Captain" Reilly) are met with
differing actions of laissez-faire, violence, and laughing hysteria. Each major character takes on vestiges of his
repressed past personality, thereby reverting to primitivism. The key is lack of control and the will to control.
Spock's observations make the problem overt: "Fascinating. A pattern is developing-- Hidden personality
traits being forced to the surface. Reilly who fancies himself a descendent of Irish kings. Now Sulu, who is at heart
a swashbuckler out of your eighteenth century." The planet, the enemy without, and man, the enemy within, are on
a similar collision course for similar reasons: "Gravity pull increasing steadily .... Helmsman, stabilize position."
Fights break out in corridors; a crewman flirts with Rand, "Sinner Repent" painted in the bulkhead, all point to
a Star Trek book of revelations and apocalypse. Sulu pursues Cardinal Richelieu's men out of The Three Musketeers.
With an impish look and a sword, Sulu pursues fantasies, bare-chested (flesh of man) through the corridors. Reilly
sings "Kathleen," an old Irish ballad. Neither man is ipso facto antisocial, but Reilly has destroyed balance and power.
Sulu pricks his finger with his own sword--blood, sweat, and tears. The irony of imagery surfaces as the ship enters
the frozen planet's atmosphere where it will burn up (cold vs. hot); human rage and anger vie with Reilly's "double
portions of ice cream" (hot vs. cold). The hidden personality traits all stem from the human bloodstream, transferred
by sweat, effecting human tears. The Enterprise herself, as McCoy spurts out, "I'm getting you, Jim. Can you hold this
beast level? I've got Sulu tranquilized...we're running tests on him." Yes, the beast, not unlike William Golding's
popularization of the fly as Satanic force, was anthropomophically based and symbolized, in a downed pilot's
body as the force of evil
within the blood of man in Lord of the Flies. It is true when McCoy says, "Nothing unusual in his (Sulu's)
bloodstream." The beast is not unusual; it's quite ordinary and universally present, merely waiting the moment to rise
to dominate human reason with sweat.
The primary item is always man's need to defeat (or at least put at bay) death in Star Trek. As Uhura clocks off
the few minutes and seconds to total destruction, the unaffected crewmen, especially McCoy and Scotty, fight against
human time and the mortality factor generated by dread in the collective unconscious. An interesting battle ensues
between forces of passion and forces of reason. Amid this war within a battle, irrationality is played to the
background speaker and Reilly's song, "I'll take you home again, Kathleen." The producer's notes emphasize Reilly's
inability to sing on pitch ("A Capella… NO MUSIC SUPPORT PLEASE"), and Reilly's inaccuracy in his version of
the lyrics; however, there is a contentual irony and a thematic significance to Reilly's intoxicated antics. Kathleen is a
love song that both states a deeply emotional theme and accentuates Reilly's unconscious desire for "love" and
"horne" and "loving eyes; "I'll take you home again, Kathleen” and tears bedim your loving eyes; Roses have all left
your cheeks. I watch them fade away and die" as Scotty cuts through the bulkhead. One more time: "I watched them
fade away and die, and tears bedim your loving eyes." A madness is apparent, but so is a method. Suffering man
seeks consolation in Kathleen's suffering and the lover's desire to abate her suffering, to wipe away her tears, and to
cry at Kathleen's loss of rosy cheer and simple maidenhood. This is reflective of the fall from innocence (Edenic and
pastoral) of a ship in the throes of madness and imminent death. But man can still find sanity in a lullaby. Reilly's Irish
ballad (like Ophelia’s song) is a play within the play, madness as a method, or madness as antidote to a weary
and duty-worn Irishman? Reilly's
song remains a palpable phonic annoyance, but it is
functional in its context.
Reilly's ear-wrenching song is a sad one, a song that seeks to wipe away tears of lost or unfilled love, and it ends
as the hysterical laughter of the crewman grows louder, and as tears come to the eyes of Spock, leading us logically
into the tears of blood, sweat, and tears, and into one of the most unforgettable and most terrifying scenes in all of
Star Trek, the sorrows of Spock, akin to the “Sorrows of Teufelsdröck" in Carlyle’s Sartor Resartus. The ship's
disease of emotionality brings the suppressed, dark side to the surface. For the cerebral Mr. Spock, hell is his human
half that he must suppress every moment lest he slip, lest logic's veneer crack, revealing his human tears of love and
guilt. In sickbay, Christine's humanity surfaces above her detached duty as a nurse as she confesses her known, but
heretofore unexpressed, love for the Vulcan, a name based on the Roman god of fire. Christine seeks to express love
without hurt or pain:
Christine: I'm in love
with you, Mr. Spock….
you, the human Mr. Spock, the Vulcan Mr.
Spock ; I see things….how honest you are..
I know you feel….you hide it, but you do
have feelings ; oh, how we must hurt you ,
Spock: I am in control of my emotions.
Christine: I love you just as you are…I love you.
Spock: I'm sorry….I am sorry….Christine.
Christine finds catharsis in doing the impossible, the wrong thing, the human expression of her conscious love. In
accepting Spock, in touching him with the planet’s contagion, she accepts herself as her feelings really exist. Duty
yields to a higher necessity, the human instincts to love and the need to be loved. The poet Tennyson, in In
Memoriam A.H.H. says that it is “better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.” She has broken a
professional taboo of silent
objectivity and detachment for the totem of love, regardless of its
possibilities or consequences. Even if Spock cannot return this love, Christine
touches Spock's face; her sweat mingles
with his, thereby passing on lost inhibition into Spock's green blood. Within Spock, the blood of copper and the blood
of iron surge beyond Vulcan logic and Vulcan control. He is in hell, in utter pain, in trembling fear of his human half. The
sweat runs and Spock, like Sulu, Reilly, Christine, and others before him, wipes his sweat-laden hands as he passes
down the corridor, trying, like the ship, to control himself and his spiraling downward into the heart of darkness. Like
Conrad's Lord Jim, Spock approaches "near to absolute truth, which, like Beauty itself, floats elusive, obscene,
half-submerged, in the silent still waters of mystery."
With the scene of Spock's “baphometic fire-baptism,” he has “begun to be a man.” He, too, is vulnerable, very
human, becoming very much himself as his disease of repressed love shows that, for a few brief moments, he is his
own truth, not in control of his emotions. As Marlow says of Lord Jim, "He was overwhelmed by the inexplicable;
he was overwhelmed by his own personality--the gift of that destiny which he had done his best to master." This
incredible pain occurs as Reilly says, "I'll take you home, Kathleen, where your heart will feel no pain." Spock seeks
control and rest from the internal battle within the ME. His mind and soul stand naked to the world as he is stripped of
reason with "the agitating dampness on his palms…to Spock the feeling of slightly more than mild acid on his flesh….
rubs them absolutely….realizes what he is doing….the overtness of his behavior.” This is Spock's naked time, in an
absolute panic, in battle with the enemy within for his soul:
Spock: I am in control
of my emotions. I am in control of ...
I am an officer, officer ….my duty is to...tolerate,
I’m sorry ... two ... two ... four ... six ... six.
Spock cries and cries, tears running in torrents down his agonized and tortured face, a "flood of tears and one sob, an
emptiness in the face...the consummate emotion…as black as the consummate color, and fullness the same as
emptiness, a blank face, and tears streaming down."
As Spock's tears of his blood, sweat, and tears rage hot within the self, Scotty finally discovers that Riley has
turned the engines off. "Completely cold. It'll take thirty minutes to regenerate them":
Uhura's: Ship's outer
skin is beginning to heat,
Captain. Orbit plot shows we have about eight minutes
Kirk: (whirling): Scotty!
Scotty: I can't change the laws of physics. I've got to
have thirty minutes.
The skin of the ship and the flesh of its crew are haunted by uncontrolled beasts from the shadow within. Hot blood
and cold engines merge into imminent burn-up as men and ship descend into the oblivion of a death they cannot
control. The laws of physics merge with the laws of metaphysics into one maelstrom of rampant subjectivity.
Preoccupied with the self, man cannot control the other-than-self (nicht-Ich). Both must be restored; a balance of the
rational and the irrational must be achieved to restore unity and social order. An antidote for total abyss must be
enacted. The collective unconscious must be externalized, but also absorbed and shaped by human will into
constructive action and social preservation. Man, like the ship, is run by a tensional balance of matter and antimatter.
The naked time resembles man's inner abyss of the unknown. It must be made constructive as well as destructive. It
must surface, be stripped, but it must not possess man in his totality or he is ruined, sucked in, yanked into
the Psi 2000 of his inner penetralium.
The key to redemption and to life is an untried innermix, matter/anti-
matter formula that resides only in the scrambled brain of Spock whose obsession with his demon must be broken if
the formula is to be made known and tried. But the high-priest of formulae is possessed by his guilt and unexpressed
love. Kirk finds Spock weeping in self- pity in the cavernous briefing room where Kirk and Spock face their’s
and the ship's naked time. The scene is brilliant, loud, and replete with Kirk's logic counteracting Spock's illogic:
Spock: My mother;
I could never tell her I loved her.
Kirk: Spock, we've got four minutes, maybe five.
Spock: An earthman (woman) living on a planet where love
emotion bad taste
Kirk: The engines were shut off. We've got to risk a full power start.
Spock: I respected my father, our customs; I
was ashamed of my Earth blood, Jim, when I feel
friendship for you, I'm ashamed.
Kirk: We need a formula. You've got to hear me.
We've got to risk implosion.
The confrontation sees pain of body overcoming pain of mind. Kirk has to slap Spock into external consciousness,
out of the absorbing hell of self-consciousness. Violent, Spock reacts with tentative contact to the reality of the pain
of others. The violence of Kirk's fist passes the disease through sweat from Spock to Kirk. It is only through his love
for Kirk's naked time that Spock responds in a positive manner to the demand for a cold start, a rebirth from near
damnation. Spock says of the cold start, "It's never been done." Kirk, with his captainly insistence on solving the
impossible, rages at Spock as the disease emerges from deep within:
Kirk: Don't tell me that
again, Science Officer. It's a theory;
it's possible. We may go up into the biggest ball of fire since the
last sun in these parts exploded! But we've got to take that one in
a thousand chance!
Spock gains control as Kirk loses it. Friendship for Kirk and an invincible sense of duty and dignity yank Spock out
of his self-consciousness.
of emotion, its release like steam from a boiler, is catharsis, self- curative health. The key to the cure for self-
consciousness is not to ask "Who am I," but to "know what thou canst work at" (T. Carlyle, "Characteristics," 1831).
Kirk's disease of the shadow is his obsession with losing his command. As Captain, he must "hang on" or the entire
crew is doomed. Kirk sobers Spock as Spock watches Kirk deteriorate. Kirk’s intoxication is with a "no beach to
walk on," a struggle to repress his sexual desires for Yeoman Rand, to escape the incubus of duty. His "woman”
is the Enterprise; loss of that ability to command the ME means loss of captaincy and loss of identity with his love of
Kirk: I've got the
disease (angrily). Love! You're
better off without it: And I'll be better off without
mine; this vessel-- I give; she takes: She won't
permit me my life; I have to live hers--that beautiful
yeoman. Have you noticed her, Mister Spock? You're
allowed to notice her; the Captain's not permitted.
Spock: Jim (in empathy). There is an intermix formula.
Kirk: Now I know why it's called "she.” Never lose
Spock: There's an innermix formula; it’s never been
tested; it's a theoretical relationship between time
While Kirk ignores Spock, still speaking to the vessel, Spock ignores himself and attends to Kirk. Unlike Spock,
Kirk is strewn with doubt, but without tears. Roddenberry cannot afford to let Kirk cry outside, only inside, or dignity
and respect are lost, and he is no longer the Captain, the man of controlled emotions. Kirk accesses his doubts by
understanding and applying them, by controlling the vessel and being one with "her." He links the ME and the NOT-
ME (Ich/Nicht-Ich). He absorbs the disease and uses it to draw his emotional anti-toxin. His soul is in absolute rage
as he battles to absorb his
repressed, human need to love and to be loved. Spock tells Scotty to "Stand by
naked time submerged in duty once again. Kirk seeks a “flesh
woman to touch, to hold, a beach to
walk on, a few days, no braid on my shoulder" as the ship enters the planet's upper atmosphere, "skin temperature
now twenty-one hundred, seventy degrees." As the SFD notes state, Kirk moves down the corridor into the left, "the
blood moving through him only because Kirk wills it to flow, and muscles respond, but only with an absolute effort of
will." Irrationality yanks at him, and his fists together in an effort to hold on.
By the time that the innermix formula is ready for execution, the cure to the ship's break-up and descent, McCoy
simultaneously discovers the cure for the death shadow that has submerged the crew into the depths of self-absorption
and emotional solipsism. The laws of physics and the laws of metaphysics continue to merge, one external, one internal,
but the "cure" in both cases is the same for man and machine, i.e., "But if we can balance our engines into a controlled
implosion"-- a unity of inner opposites inwardly and outwardly directed for control. A controlled implosion is virtually a
paradox in terms, but impossibility has been the norm throughout the episode. The cure is in the Latin prefix, "in," denoting
“in” and “into." An inner problem is to be met by an inner cure through an external, Carlylean action. The medical inner cure
to the disease is water, the key to all life and the substance that is the majority element of which man is biologically constituted.
A human problem has a human causal agent--water. Man's very biological nature and the most primitive, creational element,
water, is the Biblical source of life (Genesis) and the intoxicating agent for the disease. Again, the problem is self-control
and its relationship to man's innermix being:
McCoy: It's water;
somehow on this planet water's
changed into a complex chain of molecules (laughing
crewman's voice). Water! That's how we missed it.
It passed from man to man through perspiration. Once
in the bloodstream it acts like alcohol, depresses
the centers of judgment, self-control.
This, too, like the laws of physics, is an innermix formula, and, because water was so obvious, it was overlooked as
laughter or sorrow, as overlooked as the water as primal agent in man's struggle with his human blood, sweat, and
tears--all water based! Both ship and man are cured by an innermix formula. When the engines are started, Kirk is
still aware of the need for the shadow, "no beach to walk on" as he controls self and ship. The producer's note to
the innermix is Biblical: "a dull roar growing up slowly as if starting from the bowels of creation...."
For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction, Newton's third law of physics reads. The implosion,
though successful, forces the ship to travel "faster than is possible for normal space." A time warp is created, and the
Enterprise's chronometer runs backwards. Power is reversed, and Kirk regains full control of himself as Spock says,
"We're back to normal time." "Engines ahead, warp one," Kirk orders firmly and cautiously:
Spock: We have regressed
in time seventy-one hours.. It is now
three days ago, Captain. We have three days to live over again.
Kirk: Not those last three days.
Spock: This does open some intriguing prospects ••• the formula worked;
we can go back in time to any planet, any era.
Kirk: We may risk it someday, Mister Spock.
As if “The Naked Time” had not enough suspense and an innermix solution, John Black and Gene Roddenberry
thicken the pudding with the imminent application of Einstein's relativity/time warp, and of the fantasy, now reality, of
H. G. Wells' time machine. All of Star Trek depends on the physical and psychological facts of this episode's
conclusions. In short, for man to progress, man must regress; in order to go
forward in time and in mind, man must go backward in time and in mind. Time warp in reverse means "reversing"
power to counteract itself. Normal power, speed, and direction follow stop, then forward warp speed. "Without
Contraries is no progression. Attraction and Repulsion, Reason and Energy, Love and Hate, are necessary to Human
Existence," and so William Blake does for inner space what Newton and Einstein did for outer space. Innermix,
controlled impulsion, and growth emerges from the darkness of the frozen death of Psi 2000 and six people "frozen
dead." Life emerges from death, progression from regression. Time is created. Change is effected. Nakedness leaves
man better clothed and buttoned for the future. A British writer, an authority on naked and clothed time, presents a
possible look into the future of dramatic writing, especially in Star Trek and the voyage into "The Naked Time":
Nevertheless there is
something great in the
moment when a man first strips himself of
adventitious wrappages; and sees indeed that
he is naked, and, as Swift has it, on a 'forked
straddling animal with bandy legs'; yet also
a Spirit, an unutterable Mystery of Mysteries.
--(T. Carlyle, Sartor Resartus, 1833).
finis Chapter 4A--The Enemy Within