Star Trek: Mirror, Mirror   Rewatch 
March 7, 2015 3:54 PM - Season 2, Episode 4 - Subscribe

A transporter accident places Capt. Kirk's landing party in an alternate universe, where the Federation is a barbarically brutal empire.

"Mirror, Mirror" is episode, #33, production #39, and was broadcast for the first time on October 6, 1967, and repeated on April 12, 1968. It was written by Jerome Bixby and directed by Marc Daniels.

The episode involves a transporter malfunction that swaps Captain Kirk and his companions with their evil counterparts in a parallel universe. In the so-called Mirror Universe, the Enterprise is a ship of the Terran Empire, an organization as evil as the United Federation of Planets is benevolent.


Memory Alpha Link


The episode can be viewed on Netflix and Youtube.
posted by Benway (16 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
Evil goatee Spock represent!
posted by valkane at 5:23 PM on March 7, 2015


This episode spawned so many things - from the canon references of the ST:DS9 mirror-universe episodes, the general pop-culture knowledge of the 'evil goatee', and to the fan-fic series which broke my brain, Jane Carnall's "MirrorM*A*S*H" (sadly, I am only finding broken links to the chapters now, but has made me unable to see Hawkeye/Mulcahey without the slash, so, I guess I don't actually need to read it again).

Did ST:TNG really never do a Mirror-verse episode? Picard would have rocked the goatee. But I guess Riker having been both cleanshaven & hirsute would skew the paradigm. He'd be Schrodinger's Goatee.
posted by oh yeah! at 7:36 PM on March 7, 2015


I think the closest TNG got was with introduction of transporter accident-created Tom Riker. So not a mirror universe alternative but not the character as normally presented.
posted by sardonyx at 9:02 PM on March 7, 2015


Yeah, don't think that TNG actually got a canon mirror-universe episode, like DS9 did.

I guess it would have had to depend on which season it occurred in; shaven Riker could have put on a goatee, and hirsute Riker could have a much more stylized beard (goatee).

A candidate might be Yesterday's Enterprise where the Federation (and the Enterprise-D) had militarized since the Enterprise-C didn't manage to do a bit of self-sacrificing heroics, but it isn't Terran Empire mirror-universe.

I wonder, though. During Nemesis-era mirror-universe, did the Romulan's end up with a Picard clone - and would that Picard clone have been good instead of evil, or just more eviler?

Would mirror-Picard have taken over the Borg and assimilated them for the glory of the Terran Empire?
posted by porpoise at 9:30 AM on March 8, 2015


Regarding the use of the mirror universe in DS9, I have always been absolutely tickled that mirror O'Brien is still basically just O'Brien. And the mirror universe episode of Enterprise does a great job of making original series sets and styles look futuristic by comparison. Also, it has a tolerable theme song, unlike the rest of the series.
posted by The Great Big Mulp at 12:45 PM on March 8, 2015 [1 favorite]


TNG had a novelization I enjoyed: "Dark Mirror," which was goofy but pretty fun. Among the better details: Mirror Deanna Troi was a hypercompetent and lethal political officer, and Mirror Shakespeare's Merchant of Venice still cracks me up.

Also, it has a tolerable theme song, unlike the rest of the series.

I would've probably watched a whole season of Mirror Enterprise, unlike regular Enterprise.
posted by mordax at 7:35 PM on March 8, 2015 [2 favorites]


Just watched the first two DS9 mirror-universe epies (s02e23, s03e19) and they were... kinda cheese-y and not very well written. More of an excuse for some of the actors to dress "sexy" or "scruffy."

O'Brian Must Suffer!

The mirror-universe people definitely had better taste in fashion.
posted by porpoise at 8:31 PM on March 8, 2015 [1 favorite]


O'Brian Must Suffer!

Wait! His name was O'Brian in the mirror universe?
posted by juiceCake at 10:52 PM on March 8, 2015 [1 favorite]


"I would've probably watched a whole season of Mirror Enterprise, unlike regular Enterprise."

Ain't that the truth? Aside from the first five or so episodes of the first season of Enterprise, those mirror episodes were the only ones I watched. And they were good.

"Just watched the first two DS9 mirror-universe epies (s02e23, s03e19) and they were... kinda cheese-y and not very well written."

I remember those episodes being pretty good -- surprisingly, really, because I couldn't figure out how they were going to work.

Shit, I just realized I really want ST to return to television.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 11:23 PM on March 8, 2015 [1 favorite]


Wait! His name was

My bad(?) - I think he's called Smiley.
posted by porpoise at 6:45 AM on March 9, 2015


oh yeah!: "the general pop-culture knowledge of the 'evil goatee'"

Yeah, I think this is one of the most influential ideas from the series, in terms of pop culture at large, perhaps because it ties into the idea of the evil identical twin.
posted by Chrysostom at 10:20 AM on March 9, 2015


I remember those episodes being pretty good

Yeah, this. On rewatch, not as much.
posted by porpoise at 1:29 PM on March 9, 2015


No talk of evil goatees is complete without mentioning the DS9 appearance of Tom Riker.

After impersonating regular Riker, he reveals his deception by pulling off a fake beard to reveal a smaller beard. Because he isn't all that evil it's bigger than a goatee.
posted by squinty at 8:43 PM on March 9, 2015


and Mirror Shakespeare's Merchant of Venice still cracks me up.

see now I want to know about this, because in my head I am imagining a version of Merchant of Venice which is really right on and non racist, but at one point Shylock makes a speech full of racist innuendos that scholars point to as a sign that it's ok, Shakespeare was as enlightenedly racist as we are after all!
posted by Cannon Fodder at 3:53 AM on March 10, 2015


Also in light of this thread I'm amused that everyone on the mirror Enterprise is shocked that Mirror Kirk would ever disobey an order.
posted by RobotHero at 9:55 AM on March 10, 2015


A thing I had never noticed before, when the show cuts to Mirror Kirk getting thrown in the brig on the regular Enterprise, it does this kind of flip transition. I guess it's representative of "meanwhile in a parallel universe" but it's something I don't think you would see today outside of a comedy. Though it's pretty quick, and doesn't draw too much attention to itself. Are there other episodes where they use transitions like this?
posted by RobotHero at 6:38 AM on March 12, 2015


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