Star Trek: Wink of an Eye   Rewatch 
October 31, 2015 11:40 AM - Season 3, Episode 11 - Subscribe

The Enterprise responds to a distress signal only to find a barren planet with a persistent insect-like hum. The crew discover the Scalonians, an accelrated race, who try to take over the crew and use them as breeding stock.

"Wink of an Eye" was first broadcast on November 29, 1968, and repeated on June 24, 1969. It is episode #66, production #68, and was written by Arthur Heinemann, based on a story by Gene L. Coon (under the pen name Lee Cronin), and directed by Jud Taylor.

Memory Alpha Link

AVClub Review

Trek Nation Review

The episode can be viewed on Netflix and Amazon Prime.
posted by Benway (3 comments total)
I think the Trek Nation Review is right about the ick-factor of Kirk/Deela, but, the way the show snuck that sex scene past the censors is deservedly legendary. I remember watching this episode for the first time, and being shocked into laughter by that little gesture of Kirk pulling his boot on.
posted by oh yeah! at 8:01 PM on October 31, 2015

At least he made the effort to take his boots off first.
posted by briank at 7:31 AM on November 2, 2015

Sorry I'm late, Trekkers.

This episode is such a mess that the meta-narrative about how the show handled Kirk's implied 'bedding' of the Scalosian queen stands out as one of the best things about it. It's one of Star Trek and Roddenberry's top thumb-in-the-eye of the censors / establishment moments, along with "sorry, neither" and Mariette Hartley's double navel in Genesis II .

At least he made the effort to take his boots off first.

'Boots under the bed' or 'boots by the door' have been a literary trope pointing to (usually illicit) sex for centuries. They could have sent this message a lot of different ways in this ep, but 'putting on his boots' after is historically correct and absolutely perfect.

Deela fussing with her hair at the same time is almost perfect, given that she'd previously done so in exactly the same spot just a few minutes ago, saying that "all the rushing about had left her 'windblown'". Oh, my.

The soundtrack makes a series-best use of the 'creepy trombones' tag to signal the transition to accelerated state. And of course whenever we're in The Riddler's hideout transition or showing people in both states we use the "dutch angle" just to clue in witless viewers that things are off-kilter. It's stylin' in a 1960s sort of way.

But it's almost as if the show no longer had anyone who really cared to edit the scripts:
  • The crew spend the first ten minutes of the show dealing with the 'mystery' of a distress signal that's still broadcasting but finding no one alive on the planet. As if they have never received a recorded distress call from a dead civilization before!
  • Why'd they beam down to that fountain instead of, say, to the transmitter site?*
  • The whole acceleration angle is a popular | one, but they never pin down what it means. You get there by drinking the water and the antidote is also something you can drink. So it's no more than a change in your metabolism. Like magic elixirs on teevy that make you grow or shrink, it shouldn't affect your clothing or object you carry in your hands.
  • Shouldn't they be able to find evidence of the activities of the five living Scalosian (and their predecessors) around? Unmade beds? Food on tables? Lights on, worn carpets, furnishings?
  • Are Scalosian beds, barcaloungers, reading lamps, etc also accelerated? How about their clothes, shoes, tools, weapons, etc.
  • How does drinking contaminated water accelerate your shiny silver lamé suit and ballet shoes, much less your magic disruptor weapon?
  • Are Scalosian dandruff, boogers, turds, etc. also accelerated?
  • Is Compton's dead body still accelerated?
  • McCoy: "This is a barren world. Limited vegetation, no apparent animal life." What have the Scalosians been eating all these years?**
  • Isn't the phaser an energy weapon? The beam would then be emitted at a significant fraction of the speed of light, which is the same in any frame of reference. No matter how accelerated their perceptions and actions, Deela should not be able to step out of the way of a phaser beam.
  • If then the Scalosian water imparts a personal space warp to those who drink of it, you don't need a starship and all of its tech to travel between the stars. The next episode of Star Trek should have been very different. (See also "Plato's Stepchildren".)
  • One again, an entire civilization is afflicted with a great plague for centuries, the population crashes to a handful, they've resorted to kidnapping spacefarers as sex slaves for who knows how long -- and in less than an hour Bones McCoy, Simple Country Doctor™ comes up with a safe and effective antidote that you can simply drink from a glass.
  • Maybe they could tell Deela and especially Rael about it, eh? Maybe Doctor Bones' Magick Elixir™ cures 'marital problems' as well as acceleration; then they can make all the little Raels and Deelas they want without the help of unwary spacefarers.
Speaking of Rael, I would be remiss if I did not point out that he is played by Jason Evers, the same actor who played Jan-in-the-Pan's surgeon boyfriend in The Brain That Wouldn't Die***.

Finally, the last scene between accello-Kirk and accello-Spock are good Trekkin' and the business with staying accelerated to repair the ship, then appearing on the bridge was 'cool'. Then Spock ruins the moment with a truly rotten pun. Bad Trekkin'.

* Actually, I know why. They need the fountain so Compton can stupidly take a drink of the Scalosian water.
**Okay, so maybe they didn't find any animal life or crops because they're all accelerated. Is their dung also accelerated? Skellingtons? Offal? Silage? Tree stumps? Maybe there's a six-inch thick layer of pond scum in that fountain that Compton drank from, and they just couldn't see it 'cuz it's all accelerated.
***This is one of about two dozen films shown on MST3k that I had already seen unironically on its on dubious merits years earlier.
posted by Herodios at 9:51 AM on November 9, 2015

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