The Enemy Within

I watched the Star Trek (original!) episode The Enemy Within the other day.

Kirk gets re-duplicated in a Transporter malfunction. That makes it “science fiction”.

The original Kirk turns into a Virgin Kirk and a Chad Kirk.

The Virgin Kirk and the Chad Kirk

Even though Chad Kirk appears to be the more interesting of the two, the crew recognizes Virgin Kirk as the Best Kirk, the inheritor of Unified Kirk’s authority as captain.

This episode reinforces my Hegelian Dialectic understanding of the original Star Trek. Neither Chad nor Virgin Kirk can synthesize Spock’s analytical solution and Bones’ emotional solution into a working thesis. Heck, Bones, Scotty and Spock together can’t create a working synthesis. Apparently Kirk’s dual Virgin/Chad nature is the source of his synthesizing ability.

Ultimately, the Virgin Kirk is slightly stronger than the Chad Kirk. With time running out, Virgin Kirk makes the decision to re-transport both of Kirk’s Natures, hopefully melding them back into a whole.

The episode contains a larger implication: transporters could be used for a lot of things other than jaunts down to the surface of planets with foreboding music and a matte background of a dramatic alien city. Given that a transporter split a human into Chad and Virgin parts, perhaps a properly tuned transporter could cure psychiatric illnesses, by just transporting away neurosis or psychosis.

There’s also the question of what the merged Dual Nature Kirk remembers of the episode. Does he have memories of both, or neither, or just one of his natures? What are we, the audience, to make of Chad Kirk’s actionable sexual assault of Yeoman Rand? It appears that Chad is a largish part of Kirk’s True Nature. Does Unified Kirk act on these Chad urges often, because the title of the episode, The Enemy Within, suggests that the Chad part of Kirk should be treated as an adversary.

I’m not sure how splitting a human works from a Conservation of Mass perspective, but it does indicate that Transporters have a source of matter that they can reconstruct or duplicate transported items with.

As a TV show episode, it’s awful. The main special effect is a Pekingese dog with an obvious fake horn strapped to its head. Chad Kirk wears obvious eyeliner to make him look more ominous. Chad and Virgin Kirk do not appear facing the camera in the same frame together. I imagine they did this to save money on compositing, because the sets are hilariously cheap looking. Shatner’s backside double is almost credible, though.