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Wink of an Eye (episode)

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Real World article
(written from a Production point of view)
"Wink of an Eye"
TOS, Episode 3x13
Production number: 60043-68
First aired: 29 November 1968
Remastered version aired: 13 January 2007
69th of 80 produced in TOS
66th of 80 released in TOS
16th of 80 released in TOS Remastered
66th of 728 released in all
Deela dodges a phaser beam
Teleplay By
Arthur Heinemann

Story By
Lee Cronin

Directed By
Jud Taylor
5710.5 (2268)
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For the VOY episode with a similar title, please see "Blink of an Eye".

The Enterprise is hijacked by hyperaccelerated, sterile aliens who want the crew for breeding stock.

Summary

Teaser

"Ship's Log, Stardate 5710.5, Lieutenant Commander Scott reporting. While exploring an outer quadrant of the galaxy, the Enterprise received distress calls from an apparently uninhabited, incredibly beautiful city on the planet of Scalos. Captain Kirk and a landing party have beamed down to investigate."

Captain Kirk and a landing party respond to a distress call on Scalos, but the planet seems deserted. McCoy and Spock detect no signs of life but Kirk hears an insect buzzing. Spock reports that the civilization was highly advanced, rating 7 on the industrial scale. He will have the abundance of literature translated and processed. Compton vanishes while taking a water sample, right before Dr. McCoy's eyes.

Act One

Kirk and the landing party return to the USS Enterprise, where they begin to analyze the mystery. Sulu reports that he is having a malfunction on his console and Chapel says that the medical supply cabinets have been opened. While being examined by McCoy, Kirk hears the insect noise again. Kirk and Spock discover a strange device hooked into environmental controls but they cannot disconnect or destroy it.

Kirk, Scott and Spock consult the ship's computer, which concludes that an unknown presence is trying to gain control of the Enterprise. The computer recommends negotiation for terms but Kirk refuses. He takes a cup of coffee from a passing yeoman. Kirk hears the buzzing noise again and sets down his coffee. Some bubbles appear in his coffee. Kirk's perception slows and the crew on the bridge seem to move in slow motion. Kirk has become hyper-accelerated.

Act Two

The Queen of the Scalosians, Deela, has given Kirk an agent that accelerates him to the Scalosian time frame; a Scalosian experiences time much more slowly, to a point where they can no longer be seen by the Enterprise crew. Kirk attempts to stun Deela with a phaser but she easily steps out of the way of the slowly moving beam. Deela is amused by Kirk's defiance; she says that "it always happens this way; they are very upset at first" but "then it wears off and they learn to like it."

The scene momentarily cuts back to normal time; Kirk's disappearance is noticed by Uhura, Spock and Sulu. Then, Kirk runs to environmental engineering where he encounters Compton, who has been accelerated and is guarding the entrance. Compton assures Kirk that he will come to accept the new arrangement. Kirk overpowers Compton, but Kirk is subdued in the control room by two male Scalosians. Deela fawns over the unconscious Kirk and hopes that she can keep him for a long time. Hopefully, she says, this species is strong enough to last. Kirk awakes, only to see Compton unconscious and exhibiting severe cellular damage. He ages rapidly and dies, becoming another casualty. Kirk exclaims, "He was so young."

Kirk makes a recording of his report in a medical lab, while Spock, Chapel and McCoy stand by like statues, moving in the slower time frame. He states that the cause is hyper-acceleration, and that the device in the environmental control will put the Enterprise into a deep freeze. Deela confirms his story, and tells him about the history of her race.

Act Three

Radiation poisoning had transformed the population of Scalos, accelerating them out of the normal timeframe and making them sterile. Their only hope, Deela suggests, is to abduct members from other races in order to procreate. Unfortunately, to do this, they must hyper-accelerate the other race, which usually causes them to die quickly. While Deela is distracted, Kirk slips the tape with his recorded message into the machine Spock is using and flees to the transporter room. Deela tries to transport Kirk to the surface, but the transporter is still inoperable from Kirk's sabotage efforts earlier. They retire to Kirk's quarters while the problem is investigated.

Meanwhile, Spock leaves the medical lab when he realizes what the buzzing sound is. He replays the distress call and examines the telemetry from the original away mission. He uses the ship's controls to speed up and slow down the recording. Speeding up the distress call makes it sound like the now familiar buzzing noise. Back in the medical lab, McCoy discovers a tape with the same buzzing sound. He brings the tape to the bridge, where Spock slows it down and learns of the Scalosian plot.

Having repaired the transporter, Rael tries to inform Deela but she is in Kirk's quarters and does not answer. He interrupts them as they are about to kiss and attacks Kirk.

Act Four

Deela subdues him with her weapon and chides him for being jealous. After Rael leaves, Kirk seems to have accepted his fate.

McCoy, Chapel and Spock have synthesized an agent to counteract the hyper-acceleration, but do not know how they will administer it to Kirk. Spock takes the initiative and drinks the Scalosian water sample. Accelerated, he collects the antidote and goes off to find Kirk. The other Scalosians beam down to the surface, and Rael activates the refrigeration device. Kirk steals Deela's weapon and meets up with Spock; together they incapacitate Rael and destroy the device.

Kirk confronts Deela and asks what they should do with her. She points out that life with her would not be unpleasant but he states that he would rather stay alive. He sends Rael and Deela back to the surface. Spock gives the counter-agent to Kirk, but says that it has not been tested. Kirk says "Let's test it" and returns to normal time. Kirk appears in front of Scotty, who is pleased to see him. Spock remains in accelerated time in order to efficiently effect repairs to the ship. With the ship repaired, Uhura slips and activates the tape of Deela, and Kirk says goodbye.

Log entries

  • "Ship's log, stardate 5710.5. Lieutenant Commander Scott reporting. While exploring an outer quadrant of the galaxy, the Enterprise received distress calls from an apparently uninhabited, incredibly beautiful city on the planet of Scalos. Captain Kirk and a landing party have beamed down to investigate."
  • "Captain's log, stardate 5710.9. Mr. Spock has remained in accelerated time so that he might effect repairs to the ship more rapidly."

Memorable Quotes

"Who are you?"
"Deela ... the enemy."

- Kirk and Deela, in their first encounter on the bridge


"Captain, we have the right to survive."
"Not by killing others."

- Deela and Kirk, on her plans for the Enterprise crew


"I despise devious people. Don't you?"
"I believe in honest relationships myself."

- Deela and Kirk, after he sabotages the transporter


"A room should reflect its occupant."

- Kirk, on his quarters


"You're married to your career, and you never look at another woman."
"Well, if she's pretty enough, I'll look."

- Deela and Kirk, as he seduces her


"I liked you better before. Stubborn and irritating and independent, like Rael."

- Deela to Kirk, on his behavior


"Captain Kirk! Where the blazes did you come from?""
"Out of the nowhere into the here."

- Scott and Kirk, as Kirk returns from hyper-acceleration


"I found it ... an accelerating experience."

- Spock, on hyper-acceleration


Background Information

Story and script

  • Story outline: 22 March 1968, filmed middle through late September.
  • This episode was probably inspired by a 1966 episode of The Wild, Wild West titled "The Night of the Burning Diamond". In that episode, the villain hyper-accelerated himself with an elixir in order to steal valuable gems with impunity. The danger of hyper-acceleration was that the excessive friction of "wink of an eye" movement could set the body on fire. Interestingly enough, the episode also featured Star Trek communicator chirp noises to represent the sound of people talking as heard by those sped up by the elixir. Gene L. Coon was the producer for part of The Wild, Wild West's first season and came up with the story idea for this segment of TOS.(citation needededit)
  • The story concept has an even earlier pedigree: the writer of The Wild, Wild West episode, John Kneubuhl (who made an uncredited story contribution to "Bread and Circuses") based it on an H.G. Wells short story called "The New Accelerator." An episode of the 1966 Lone Ranger animated series also used this plot.
  • The producers managed to slip past the censors the scene suggesting that Deela and Kirk have just had sex. The captain is sitting on the edge of the bed, tugging on his boot, while Deela is busy brushing her hair. (The Star Trek Compendium, p. 121)

Production

  • At the beginning of the episode, Scotty is shown on the bridge recording a log while other dialogue is played over this scene. The footage is reused from "The Empath". This is evident because Scotty wears a very different hairstyle, and another woman takes the place of Uhura. A piece of Scotty's dialogue with Kirk on the planet below from "The Empath" can also be heard, very faintly. In fact, what he is saying originally played over Kirk's communicator in that episode.
  • Chekov is seen in a recycled shot of the viewscreen with his and Hadley's back, but does not appear in the rest of the episode.
  • The Eminiar VII matte painting is recycled here for Scalos, a statue seen in Anan 7's quarters is similar to a statue seen in this episode.
Scalosian fountain

Scalosian fountain

  • This episode was, in essence, a bottle show with the need for only one set, a fountain, which was designed by Matt Jefferies. Jefferies' fountain sketch appeared in the Star Trek: The Original Series Sketchbook (pg. 29).
  • The environmental engineering room, also designed by Jefferies, was a redress of the briefing room set. Jeffries' life support room sketch also appeared in the Star Trek: The Original Series Sketchbook (pg. 29).
Scalosian weapon

Scalosian weapon

  • The Scalosian weapon, also designed by Jefferies, was made from lathe-turned aluminum, and measured approximately 6 ¾" in length. A sketch of the design appeared in the Star Trek: The Original Series Sketchbook (pg. 91). The weapon made a sound identical to Klingon disruptors and the Ardana torture device in "The Cloud Minders".
  • Director Jud Taylor tilted the camera to indicate the journey into hyper-acceleration. This was also a common technique on Batman whenever the camera visited the villain-of-the-week's lair.
  • In the episode trailer, when Compton is accelerated he merely disappears, rather than "flickering out" as he does in the final episode.
  • This was Andrea Weaver's last episode as women's costumer. She went on to join another Desilu production, Mission: Impossible.

Special Effects

  • When Kirk shoots at—and misses—Deela on the bridge, it is the only time that a phaser beam is tinted green (although in several third-season episodes, including this one, the phaser effect is rendered as a green glow that fills the frame).

Continuity

  • The ultimately-used title of this episode will be a working title for the Star Trek: Voyager episode "Blink of an Eye", which has the similar premise of a hyperaccelerated alien entering the starship, but without hostile intention this time.

Remastered information

  • The remastered version of this episode premiered in syndication the weekend of 13 January 2007. New shots of Scalos from space, as well as an enhanced matte painting of the surface were inserted into the episode, alongside more realistic phaser effects. This was the first remastered episode from third season to air and thus featured a "new" opening titles sequence.
The next remastered episode to air was "Where No Man Has Gone Before".

Video and DVD releases

Links and references

Starring

Also starring

And:

Guest stars

Uncredited co-stars

References

"Bones"; cell; chief scientist; coffee; conn; crewman; deflectors; distress call; ear; Federation; force field; hangar deck; humanoid; hyper-acceleration; industrial scale; infertility; insect; intercom system; king; landing party; life support center; life support system; literature; logic; medical lab; medical supply cabinet; Milky Way Galaxy; painting; population; protective shield; quarantine; queen; radiation poisoning; red alert; repair crew; Scalos; Scalosian; Scalosian weapon; scientist; self-defense mechanism; skin; spaceship; standby alert; survey; suspended animation; suspended animation device; tape; technician; tricorder; vegetation; volcano; Vulcan; water, Scalosian; yeoman

External link


Previous episode produced:
"Plato's Stepchildren"
Star Trek: The Original Series
Season 3
Next episode produced:
"That Which Survives"
Previous episode aired:
"Plato's Stepchildren"
Next episode aired:
"The Empath"
Previous remastered episode aired:
"Friday's Child"
TOS Remastered Next remastered episode aired:
"Where No Man Has Gone Before"

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