Director: Marc Daniels
Writer: John D.F. Black
Cast: William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, Stewart Moss, Majel Barrett, Bruce Hyde, DeForest Kelley, Grace Lee Whitney, George Takei, James Doohan, Nichelle Nichols, William Knight, and John Bellah
Composer: Alexander Courage
Air Date: 9/29/1966
Production #: 6149-07
While investigating the bizarre deaths of a laboratory team on the planet Psi 2000, Spock and Crewman Joe Tormolen (Stewart Moss) introduce a deadly, insanity-causing disease to the Enterprise. Before long, the ship is held hostage by an infected navigator, posing great danger to everyone aboard.
The first Star Trek offering to feature time travel, this episode should be commended for demonstrating how Kirk, Spock, McCoy and other Enterprise crew members operate under extreme pressure. Notably, the captain employs a highly unconventional maneuver when faced with certain doom, indicating a strong disbelief in the no-win scenario—now a defining aspect of his character.
When exposed to the Psi 2000 virus, Crewman Kevin Riley (Bruce Hyde) assumes control of the engine room and prevents the Enterprise from escaping orbit. A compelling sense of urgency then follows, with Kirk and Scott (James Doohan) trying frantically to regain control of the ship, restore engine power, and prevent further tampering from deranged crew members.
Early in the narrative, Sulu (George Takei) removes his shirt and prances around the Enterprise with a sword in hand—a display that will likely induce cringing from viewers of a serious inclination.
After an awkward encounter with the infected Nurse Christine Chapel (Majel Barrett), Spock experiences an emotional breakdown that will undoubtedly surprise newcomers to the Star Trek franchise. Specifically, Spock conveys tremendous regret for never expressing love toward his human mother—a confession that, though prompted by the intoxicating effect of an alien pathogen, is delivered with genuine, heartfelt remorse that could not have originated from any drug or illness. Therefore, “The Naked Time” establishes Spock—often viewed as a cold, mechanical figure by those with only a basic knowledge of Star Trek—as a deeply complex individual who, despite having powerful emotions, must conceal his vulnerable side in order to follow the ways of his people.
“The Naked Time” is a well-made episode of Star Trek, the juvenile antics of Sulu and Riley notwithstanding. Especially worth praising is the performance of Leonard Nimoy, whose passionate, albeit subtle, portrayal of a tormented Vulcan deserves nothing but praise from fans of this series.
Overall Quality: 9/10
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