(written from a Production point of view)
|"The Naked Time"|
|TOS, Episode 1x06|
Production number: 6149-07
First aired: 29 September 1966
Remastered version aired: 30 September 2006
|←||7th of 80 produced in TOS||→|
|←||4th of 80 released in TOS||→|
|←||4th of 80 released in TOS Remastered||→|
|←||4th of 728 released in all||→|
| Written By|
John D.F. Black
|Arc: Polywater intoxication (1 of 2)||→|
The Enterprise crew is intoxicated by an inhibition-stripping contagion which causes mayhem thoughout the ship.
The Enterprise orbits the planet Psi 2000, a world that was much like Earth in its distant past, tasked to observe the planet's impending disintegration. Commander Spock and Lieutenant Junior Grade Joe Tormolen beam down in environmental suits to a frozen surface laboratory and investigate the horrific deaths of the lab's scientists. Carelessly, Tormolen removes a glove of his suit to better scratch his nose, unknowingly exposing himself to a red, blood-like liquid substance leaping to his exposed hand.
The landing party returns to decontamination on the transporter pad, and further examination and clearance by Doctor McCoy. Tormolen's sudden anguish over the surface death scenes, something that didn't faze him previously, is brushed off with an order for him to rest.
Captain Kirk and his senior officers discuss the possible causes of the madness displayed on the surface. Concerned about the planet's break-up and the crew efficiency needed to maintain a tricky orbit for their observations, Kirk asks if the surface tragedy could happen aboard the Enterprise. Spock admits to limitations in their scanning technology, but Scotty is confident in his engines, as long as the bridge crew stays sane. Early stages of the planet's destruction begin.
Tormolen, aggravated by his hand and sweating, sits in the mess. Entering in a jovial mood, Lieutenant Sulu tries to sell Lieutenant Kevin Riley on the virtues of fencing. An effort to bring Tormolen into the conversation triggers a hysterical response. Tormolen brandishes his table knife and rants about the futility of life in space. He says "space isn't ours, why are we in it! It's not ours we have no right to it!". His mood quickly turns to despair and he turns the knife on himself. Sulu and Riley try to wrestle it away unsuccessfully, as Joe falls and impales himself.
Psi 2000's breakup accelerates, and the crew follows. Sulu and Riley, now at their conn stations and showing signs of infection, are slow in making a necessary orbital correction. Sulu abandons the helm in favor of some exercise. Riley becomes flamboyantly insubordinate to Spock, sporting an exaggerated Irish brogue. Reporting briefly to sickbay as ordered, Riley proceeds to flirt with Nurse Chapel, infecting her. Sulu, now fantasizing himself a musketeer, stalks the decks with a foil and frightens off two crewmen. Deeper in delusion, he returns to the bridge and takes Uhura, declaring her a "fair maiden" (despite her protest that she was neither), under his 'protection' before Spock subdues him with a Vulcan nerve pinch.
The planet convulses, but the helm is unable to respond. A call to engineering is answered by 'Captain' Kevin Thomas Riley, who has expelled Scotty and crew and begun the ship-wide broadcast of a one-man musical/comedy show. Without power, the Enterprise is twenty minutes from destruction, and the affliction continues to spread throughout the crew.
Spock tours the ship, urging Scotty to hurry in re-taking engineering, observing the madness of crewmen, and checking on McCoy's progress. Chapel is emboldened, confessing her love for Spock and infecting him with the touch of her hand, affecting him quickly. He insistently blurts "I am in control of my emotions". Ignoring repeated hails, Spock begins losing composure in the corridors (a crewman writes "love mankind" in red paint on a door, not helping him at all) and secludes himself in the briefing room trying to regain control by stating his duty and counting by twos before a complete loss of his emotional control.
Engineering is recaptured, but Scotty discovers Riley has shut the engines down completely; a normal restart requires at least thirty minutes. The Enterprise, now skimming Psi 2000's upper atmosphere, only has eight to spare.
A cold-restart with a controlled matter-antimatter implosion in balanced engines is possible, but requires Spock's attention. Meanwhile, McCoy has discovered a cure for the affliction.
Kirk finds his first officer in anguished reflection, regretting his inability to express love even for his mother. Kirk slaps him, and Spock admits to feeling shame over his friendship with the captain. Struck again, he responds in kind, sending Kirk backwards over a table, infecting him.
Kirk haltingly advises Spock that he's better off without love, and rhapsodizes over his great affair, the Enterprise, and the price she exacts. Kirk suddenly shouts out and admits that he has "a beautiful Yeoman". Self-awareness returns to Spock, who proceeds to help Scotty with the restart. Kirk finds the strength to return to the bridge with quiet words to his ship, "Never lose you... never."
Taking the center seat, Kirk's orders are muddled, but a cured Sulu is able to plot the escape from orbit. With a hesitating reach, Kirk longs for his beautiful Yeoman Rand, standing next to him, whom he can't touch but for duty. Spock and Scotty finish preparations, and the restart is engaged. The implosion is successful with an unexpected result, sending the Enterprise three days back in time. Perhaps deciding not to return to Psi 2000, Kirk orders a course ahead, warp factor 1.
- "Captain's log. Our position, orbiting Psi 2000. An ancient world, now a frozen wasteland about to rip apart in its death throes. Our mission: pick up a scientific party below; observe the disintegration of the planet."
- "Captain's log, stardate 1704.2. The science party we were to have picked up has been found dead. Life support systems had been turned off; station personnel frozen to death. Conditions highly unusual, meanwhile we remain in orbit to complete our mission: close scientific measurement of the break-up of this planet."
- "Captain's log, supplemental. Our orbit tightening, our need for efficiency critical, but unknown to us, a totally new and unusual disease has been brought aboard."
- "Captain's log, stardate 1704.4. Ship out of control, spiraling down towards planet Psi 2000; we have 19 minutes of life left, without engine power or helm control."
- "Captain's log, supplemental. The Enterprise spiraling down out of control, ship's outer skin heating rapidly due to friction with planet atmosphere."
"Your blood pressure is practically nonexistent, assuming you call that green stuff in your veins blood."
"The readings are perfectly normal for me, Doctor, thank you. And as for my anatomy being different from yours -- I am delighted."
- - McCoy and Spock, during Spock's medical exam
"Space still contains infinite unknowns."
- - Spock, to Kirk
"Get off me! You don't rank me and you don't have pointed ears! So just get off my neck!"
- - Tormolen, to Sulu
"Well, we're doing everything that's possible." "Bones, I want the impossible checked out, too."
- - McCoy and Kirk
"Have no fear! O'Riley's here! One Irishman is worth ten thousand of you!"
- - Riley, before Spock relieves him from duty
"You know what Joe's mistake was? He wasn't born an Irishman."
- - Riley to Chapel, on Tormolen's death
"I'll protect you, fair maiden."
- - Sulu and Uhura, after he enters the bridge with a sword
"I'd like you to teach me that sometime."
"Take D'Artagnan here to sickbay."
- - Kirk and Spock, after Spock applies the Vulcan nerve pinch on Sulu
"This is Captain Kevin Thomas Riley of the starship Enterprise."
- - Kirk and Riley, as Riley takes over engineering
"I'm in love with you, Mister Spock. You, the human Mister Spock, the Vulcan Mister Spock."
- - Chapel, holding Spock's hand
"I can't change the laws of physics. I've got to have thirty minutes."
- - Scott to Kirk, on restarting the engines
"My mother... I could never tell her I loved her."
- - Spock, to Kirk
"This vessel. I give, she takes. She won't permit me my life. I've got to live hers."
- - Kirk, to Spock
"I have a beautiful Yeoman! Ever noticed her Mr. Spock? You're allowed to notice her! The captain's not permitted!"
- - Kirk to Spock, on Rand
"Never lose you. Never."
- - Kirk, to the Enterprise
"Since the formula worked, we can go back in time, to any planet, any era."
"We may risk it someday, Mister Spock."
- - Spock and Kirk, on time travel
Story and Script
- The first draft of this episode's script was completed on 23 June 1966. The final draft was completed on 28 June, with revised pages dated 1 July and 5 July. The actual episode was filmed during early July. According to at least one source, this episode was to have been the first part of a two-part story that would have concluded with "Tomorrow is Yesterday". 
- This episode was referred to in TNG: "The Naked Now" and TNG: "Relics".
- According to Robert H. Justman in his book Inside Star Trek: The Real Story, author John D.F. Black was so focused on writing this episode that his duties as the series' story editor suffered. Black was later outraged when he discovered that Roddenberry rewrote his script without consulting him or even telling him about it.
- When Sulu invades the bridge bare chested with his sword, Sulu is glistening with sweat and grabs Uhura who struggles against him. Sulu is then wrestled down by Kirk and nerve pinched by Spock. Later it is revealed that the Psi 2000 virus passes from person to person by perspiration. It is unknown to what degree of physical contact is needed to contract the disease, or the exact circumstance for its transfer which might explain why Kirk, Spock, and Uhura did not contract the disease from Sulu.
- This episode features the first reference to bulkheads in Star Trek.
- McCoy tears the sleeve on Kirk's uniform to inject him with the hypo, but this seems to have been done for dramatic effect only as, in subsequent episodes, a hypo shot is delivered through clothing.
- During the rec room scene, Joe Tormolen tells Sulu "You don't rank me and you don't have pointed ears." Sulu does, in fact, "rank him". He and Riley hold the rank of lieutenant, while Tormolen is a lieutenant junior grade. Tormolen's tunic with the single broken line of braid on the sleeve is the only example of the lieutenant junior grade rank in the original series.
- According to Shatner's memoirs, the scene where Spock breaks down into tears was originally supposed to have been a simple sight gag of a crewman painting a mustache on Spock. Nimoy desired a deeper scene for Spock and created the poignant interplay between Spock's human and alien halves himself. As the production day was winding down, there was time for only a single take, which Nimoy did unscripted. The scene is echoed by Picard, suffering an emotional breakdown in Sarek's place, in TNG: "Sarek".
- This episode is considered a bottle show, as it contains no villain and only regular characters, and takes place almost entirely aboard the Enterprise. According to Black, at the time both Riley and Tormolen were under consideration to become regulars. (wbm)
Sets and Props
- The hand-held device used by Spock to figure the time before impact is actually an E6B flight computer, which pilots still use today. The particular brand of E6B used is a Jeppesen CSG-1P Slide Graphic Computer. The same CSG-1P can be seen in "The Corbomite Maneuver", "Mudd's Women" and "Wolf in the Fold".
- The environmental suits Spock and Tormolen wore down on the planet's surface were made of shower curtains.
- The sensor device Spock carries was seen previously in "The Enemy Within" as Scotty checked out the ore on Fisher's uniform. It is actually a repainted and slightly modified Nuclear-Chicago Model 2586 "Cutie Pie" Radiation Survey Meter from the late 1950s. In "Obsession", it can be seen being held by a crewman as he prepares to scan Garrovick's quarters following the infiltration of the cloud creature. It is also taken aboard the U.S.S. Constellation by the damage control party in "The Doomsday Machine". A photograph of a similar meter can be found here.
- John D.F. Black came up with Sulu's "berserk" scenes without specifying the weapon to be used. Unable to decide between a samurai sword or a fencing foil, he left the choice to George Takei, who picked the latter with the thought, by the 23rd century Humanity would have developed to a point where, in terms of culture, people have moved beyond simply adhering to ways of their ethnic background. 
- The dead woman's body on Psi 2000 was a mannequin. Her torso was permanently damaged by the "ice" put on it, and after the shooting, "she" was taken by Bob Justman to his office, and was displayed there along with the M-113 creature from "The Man Trap" and later the two Gorn costumes from "Arena". Justman placed the naked mannequin under a shower, to scare unsuspecting visitors in the restroom. (Inside Star Trek: The Real Story)
- This is the first appearance of the recreation room in the regular series (after it's very different deciption in the second pilot, "Where No Man Has Gone Before"), which is actually a redress of the briefing room set. The three-dimensional tic-tac-toe game seen alongside the chess prop, can be seen in many later episodes in the same set.
- In this episode and "Charlie X", the Jefferies tube is located in a spur hallway. In the second season, the set piece had been moved to a main corridor.
- The lighted panels in sickbay and engineering did not contain lights that moved in patterns; rather, stage hands manipulated objects behind the panels to make it look as if the lights were shifting about. In "The Naked Time" and other episodes, you can see this money-saving trick in action, especially in close-ups or in rooms on the sets that are well-lit. (Inside Star Trek: The Real Story, p 116)
- The phaser does not produce a beam as Scott uses it to cut through the bulkhead to engineering, but blue sparks fly out of the wall to show the cutting action. The absence of a phaser beam is probably due to a post-production oversight, or the need to save money on special-effects costs. But it is also possible that because Scotty is engaged in such a delicate operation, the phaser is on an extremely tight setting, and the energy beam is so narrow as to be invisible. A similar effect (or lack thereof) was used in the third season in "The Way to Eden".
- This is the only episode in which the appearance of a meal from a food synthesizer is accompanied by a puff of steam.
Cast and Characters
- This is the first episode in which Eddie Paskey has dialogue. Originally, his character was to have said more lines. Not having any other acting job than being an extra, he was so nervous that a few of his lines had to be said by Spock instead. 
- This is also the only episode in which Frank da Vinci (Brent) has on-screen dialogue (four words).
- Nurse Chapel appears to be watching a slide show of some sort when Riley surprises her. This episode was Majel Barrett's debut in the regular series (as Nurse Chapel), and establishes her love for Spock.
- When Uhura takes Riley's place at the navigation station, this is the first of only five times when a female Enterprise crew member will sit at the combined console. The others are Jana Haines in "The Gamesters of Triskelion", Lt. Rahda in "That Which Survives" and two unnamed Lieutenants in "The Way to Eden" and "Requiem for Methuselah". [Note: Yeoman Rand also briefly takes the helm in this episode]
- This is also one of four episodes in which Uhura is at the navigation station. The other three episodes are "The Man Trap" (in footage reused from "The Naked Time,") "Balance of Terror", and "Court Martial".
- George Takei had great fun acting in this episode, and took his fencing very seriously, avidly practicing his technique on the set and working out to define his chest muscles for his memorable scene in the corridor. (Captains' Logs: The Unauthorized Complete Trek Voyages)
- Director Marc Daniels visited Takei in his trailer, and asked him to take off his shirt. After observing his bare chest, Daniels announced that they will do the fencing scenes "shirtless". Unknown to him and the rest of the cast and crew, Takei spent all his free time in the next three days doing pushups. (Star Trek: The Original Series 365)
- This is the only TOS episode in which the three primary female crew members– Uhura, Chapel and Rand–appear together. The characters will not appear together again until Star Trek: The Motion Picture.
- In his autobiography To the Stars, George Takei says this was his favorite episode.
- In a 2001 interview, writer John D.F. Black also nominated this episode as his favorite. (wbm)
- This episode was nominated for a Hugo Award in 1967 as "Best Dramatic Presentation".
- The book Star Trek 101, by Terry J. Erdmann and Paula M. Block, lists this episode as one of "Ten Essential Episodes" from the original Star Trek series.
- This episode was long a particular favorite among fans at conventions. At various points they would hiss in imitation of the passage of the virus, sing along with Riley, applaud Sulu's initial appearance as a swashbuckler, and cheer Kirk when he declared that he would never lose the Enterprise.
- From an aside to his assistant, we learn that Scott has his own office somewhere on the ship. Ten years later, Franz Joseph would offer a schematic of it in the Star Fleet Technical Manual. Similarly, at one point Riley mentions the Enterprise bowling alley. Joseph sketched that room, too, in his Star Trek Blueprints.
- The close-up of Kirk in his chair at the beginning of Act One is a recycled shot from the last scene of "The Man Trap" (it can also be seen in "Mudd's Women").
- "Preliminary Draft": 14 June 1966
- Draft script: 20 June 1966
- Revised pages: 1 July 1966, 5 July 1966, and 11 August 1966.
- Filmed: 30 June 1966 – 11 July 1966
- Score recording: 31 August 1966.
- Original airdate: 29 September 1966
- Rerun airdate: 27 April 1967
- First UK airdate 19 July 1969
- "The Naked Time" was the fourth episode of the remastered version of The Original Series to air. It premiered in syndication on the weekend of 30 September 2006 and most notably featured new effects shots of the planet from space as well as a shot of the science station on the surface. New computer-generated shots of the hyper-velocity time warp and Sulu's chronometer (now featuring a stardate clock and military time) were also added. Cited by Michael Okuda as an example of the mistakes to be corrected by the remastered episodes, Scotty's notoriously missing phaser beam was finally inserted into the episode.
Video and DVD Releases
- Original US Betamax/VHS release: 28 February 1985.
- Original UK VHS release (two-episode tapes, CIC Video): Volume 4, catalogue number VHR 2247, release date unknown.
- US VHS release: 15 April 1994.
- UK re-release (three-episode tapes, CIC Video): Volume 1.3, 8 July 1996.
- Original US DVD release (single-disc): Volume 3, 19 October 1999.
- As part of the TOS Season 1 DVD collection.
- As part of the TOS Season 1 HD DVD collection.
- As part of the TOS Season 1 Blu-ray collection.
Links and references
- George Takei as Sulu
- James Doohan as Scott
- Nichelle Nichols as Uhura
- William Knight as amorous crewman
- John Bellah as a laughing crewman
- William Blackburn as Hadley
- Frank da Vinci as Brent
- Eddie Paskey as Leslie
- Woody Talbert as Crewman #2
- Ron Veto as Harrison
- Unknown performers as
- William Blackburn as the stand-in for DeForest Kelley
- Frank da Vinci as the stand-in for Leonard Nimoy
- Jeannie Malone as the stand-in for Grace Lee Whitney
- Eddie Paskey as the stand-in for William Shatner
18th century; Alert Condition Baker Two; Alert System B-2; anatomy; antimatter; bio-analysis; biopsy; blood pressure; botany; bowling alley; bridegroom; briefing room 2; bulkhead; chronometer; checkers; coffee; cold start; cook; cycling station; D'Artagnan; Earth; Earth science; Electrographic Analysis; engineer; environmental suit; fencing; foil; food slot; food card; formal dance; France; Grayson, Amanda; gym; hair; ice cream; "I'll Take You Home Again, Kathleen"; intermix formula; intestine; Irish; Irishman; jumpers; king; knife; life support system; magnetic field; maiden; make-up; medicine; muscle; personality quotient; phase lock; physics; polywater; polywater intoxication; Psi 2000; psychiatry; pulse; queen; rapier; rec room; record tape; respirator; Richelieu; rose; Sarek; serum; shish kebab; space madness; spectro-analysis; stratosphere; strawberry; suicide; swashbuckler; time travel; tricorder; Vulcan; Vulcans; Vulcan nerve pinch; wardroom
| Previous episode produced:|
"The Man Trap"
| Star Trek: The Original Series|
| Next episode produced:|
| Previous episode aired:|
"Where No Man Has Gone Before"
| Next episode aired:|
"The Enemy Within"
| Previous remastered episode aired:|
"The Devil in the Dark"
|TOS Remastered|| Next remastered episode aired:|
"The City on the Edge of Forever"