Star Trek: The Naked Time   Rewatch 
August 16, 2014 5:36 PM - Season 1, Episode 5 - Subscribe

The Enterprise investigates planet psi 2000 to relocate a science team from a dying planet. After finding the team has been killed, Lt. Joe Tormelon brings back a mysterious infection that removes people's emotional inhibitions. The crew of the Enterprise soon find themselves unable to control their most pre-dominant emotions. Soon the entire starship is in a shambles and plummeting toward the self destructing planet.

Memory Alpha Link

The episode cab be viewed on YouTube, Hulu, and Netflix.
posted by Benway (15 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Well, the title of this episode was a little misleading, hahaha. Anyway, Vulcan neck pinch! As a kid in the 80s this was something of huge interest to my friends and I, even though we didn't even know what Star Trek was (at least I didn't). And Sulu, boy oh boy.

This episode was good all around. I am glad there wasn't another all powerful psychic being, and it is nice to know that the humans of the future are also idiots when it comes to following safety procedures.

I am kind of surprised that McCoy was able to just rip Kirk's shirt so easily, though. I would have imagined it was made of some space age armor fabric, but I guess not.

Oh and drunk spock was pretty interesting too. This was a good one. Double oh, 3d space checkers for those who think 3d space chess is too complex. And I think this is the first time seeing the food machine. Plus, time travel? Exciting stuff.
posted by Literaryhero at 5:54 PM on August 16, 2014

This was a fun episode. Seeing a young George Takei running around as a swashbuckler and Spock dealing with his human side made this entertaining. This was also the first time that Spock used the Vulcan grip to incapacitate. Kirk even expounds that "I'd like you to teach me that sometime."

Spock's makeup is finally right as are the iconic gold, blue, and red uniforms that we see throughout the series. This is also the first time we see engineering and the matter - antimatter drive.
posted by Benway at 6:05 PM on August 16, 2014 [2 favorites]

One of the classic blunders, not being born an Irishman.

I love emotional Spock. Usually it's more subtle than this, of course, but I think Nimoy's just great at fighting with himself to try to get his emotions under control.

I also love Spock's line (from before he was drunk) "Take d'Artagnan here to sickbay."
I am kind of surprised that McCoy was able to just rip Kirk's shirt so easily, though.
Kirk's shirts rip at the slightest breeze. It's a feature, not a bug.
posted by Flunkie at 6:46 PM on August 16, 2014 [4 favorites]

This is one of my favorite episodes of classic Trek.

"This is Captain Kevin Thomas Riley of the Starship Enterprise. And who is this?"

If only Miles O'Brien had had the chance to pull something like this on DS9.
posted by Telpethoron at 7:40 PM on August 16, 2014 [2 favorites]

I have loved this episode since childhood. "I'll take you home again, Kathleen!!"

Until this rewatch, I'd never noticed how much the dead woman on the floor in the opening sequence looks exactly like an old-timey department store mannequin.

The one thing they all can agree on: taking a shower fully-clothed is a definite sign of insanity. (Unless of course, you are, say, desperately trying to wash off an alien pathogen to which you fear you may have just been exposed...)

How did that butter knife cut Joe so badly? Is is made of adamantium or some shit? And why didn't any of the crew members sitting idly by at the nearby table in the rec room, watching Joe's freakout transpire, get up and call in the Red Shirts immediately? (I know, I know. We needed to see Kevin "get infected" -- after pushing the comm buttons, we see him gawk at his itchy hand, complete with rattlesnakey sound effects. Check.)

Nurse Chapel is rocking some sexy grey hair. I like! "I'm in love with you Mr. Spock. .. How we must hurt you, torture you.... I love you just as you are." Pitch perfect scene of drunken, unrequited love. Adore those two.
posted by hush at 11:20 AM on August 17, 2014

To paraphrase Nelson Muntz: I can think of at least two things wrong with that title.
posted by wabbittwax at 10:28 AM on August 18, 2014 [1 favorite]

"Sorry, neither" is one of the best lines in the entire series.
posted by Herodios at 7:00 PM on August 18, 2014 [5 favorites]

Finally finished watching it yesterday.

On re-watch (with about two years in between) I did notice a couple things. The title of the episode directly corresponds to what the alien "water" infection causes, it exposes the inner fears, thoughts and desires of those infected. In short, it leaves them emotionally/psychologically naked.

Also, FIRST TIME WE GET TIME WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARP. What a crazy tag on to the end of the episode. It was entirely unnecessary and while it's a trope with clock's turning backward to symbolize going back in time, I wondered, "Is this chronometer some how tied into the very essence of space time?" It made no sense for the clock to go backwards. It's just a highly calibrated machine which should have just kept going forward. That's a nitpick, I know. So yes, Star Trek IV was made possible (albeit without reference) to this episode, which introduced time travel to Star Trek.

Sulu with his sword, has to be one of the most iconic scenes in Star Trek, period. It's incredible that it pops up so early in the show. As a note, this was the first time (I think) that Sulu is shown at the helm.

Going back to how the infection affected the crew, the affect on Spock was great and this time now sealed in the fact that he was indeed, half human. Nurse Chapel (First time, no?) begins her crush on him, which remains both cute and kind of tragic. Kirk fell into the trope of the captain who loves his ship, though at times, almost angrily so - complaining how the Enterprise controls his life and not the other way around.

I enjoyed it, definitely.
posted by Atreides at 6:56 AM on August 20, 2014 [2 favorites]

From what I recall, this was also the last episode where Sulu has a sword. Allegedly after being chased around the sets by a George Takai armed with a sword, the cast told Gene that if Takai was EVER given a sword again, they would all quit.
posted by happyroach at 12:18 PM on August 22, 2014 [2 favorites]

the last episode where Sulu has a sword

Sulu with a sword
in "Day of the Dove", episode #66 (third season).

Though to be fair, everybody had a sword in this one.
posted by Herodios at 9:01 PM on August 22, 2014 [2 favorites]

Just so you know, Atreides, the 1960s had a spate of books with "naked" in the title -- The Naked Communist, The Naked Society, etc., where the meaning was really laden with "unmasked". Probably until late in the 1950s the word would have been considered indecent. Now that general acceptance of nudity is that much greater the allegorical meaning has lost some of its punch. That said, I think everyone still said it with a little self-congratulatory smirk on how sophisticated they were to be saying the word in public.

In context here, though, where you clearly had a writerly exercise in opening up the characters beyond the series bible, as well as a sort of stretch to see where the actors could take that, there was also I think an intentional signal that this was to be a more sophisticated program, one that dealt with human conflict, and was -- with a little rule-breaking -- able to derive that out of the boy scout cast of characters put together by Roddenberry. There was also, for the first time, a sense that the entire ensemble had purpose and depth beyond being the tools of Kirk.

Illustrating all of that, the script was prepared for Star Trek: Phase II, the 1970s reboot, that ended up being repurposed into The Motion Picture. It was then reworked for Next Generation as "The Naked Now", ostensibly a sequel but with many of the original beats intact.

the cast told Gene that if Takai was EVER given a sword again

Funny how most of us didn't know for decades that Takei was really, really into swords, like, exclusively....
posted by dhartung at 11:52 PM on August 22, 2014 [2 favorites]

So, Trek was still trying to do the Very Serious Science Fiction thing at this point, so were there a lot of Comic Book Guys around at the time sneeringly asking why their FTL drive didn't let them travel in time? Was that scene just so they could have Kirk say "Some day maybe we'll risk it" ?
posted by rhamphorhynchus at 9:01 PM on June 11, 2018

When I first watched this, I knew the science in Star Trek was bogus, but I hadn't had a course in physics yet to allow me to shriek in horror every time they said the "mass" of the planet was decreasing. Also, if the sun the planet circled was "dead", how were we able to see anything, not even mentioning that the planet seemed to be illuminated on all sides?

Then there's the substance that disables everyone, made of polymerized water ("Kurt Vonnegut is on subspace frequency 3, Captain, saying his lawyers would be in touch"). Watching this during an actual pandemic, I have to comment on the shoddiness of the personal protective equipment, which appears to have been made from material bought at a Jo-Anne's Fabric remainder sale. We in 2020 can only shout "Don't touch your FACE!".

If I turn my brain off, though, this is a pretty enjoyable episode. It's a terrible thing, terminal Irishness. I wonder if they had to demote Riley because no one could trust him ever again. I liked the scene where Spock and Kirk pull themselves together despite the "illness", because they were made of sterner stuff.

I only have the dimmest memories of the original run of the series, because it was on past my bedtime, but whenever I saw Sulu and Uhura and the rest of the international crew, I was filled with a sense of wonder that in the future everybody would be treated equally, without regard to race or nationality. I was at exactly the right age (7-8) to unironically love this vision, while also not knowing enough to be offended by the stereotyping and the misogyny (which definitely gets me now. So grateful Sulu didn't have a Samurai sword!).

So did they finish their mission? Huh? Did they take those three days to observe the break-up of that planet?
posted by acrasis at 1:30 PM on October 11, 2020

And Sulu, boy oh boy.

Alternatively, "Oh, MY!"
posted by mikelieman at 2:14 PM on October 11, 2020

Rewatched this just now and one stupid thing bugs me. McCoy is in sick bay, having just tested his miracle serum on Sulu. It works immediately. Meantime, Chapel is leaning against the wall, twiddling her hair and looking goofy. McCoy orders Sulu released from sick bay, then he rushes out – not even stopping to administer the cure to his own nurse.

Footnote: Why did they think an actual gray wig would make Majel more attractive? At least she had a more natural blonde 'do later on.
posted by zadcat at 3:58 PM on September 26, 2021

« Older Major Crimes: Zoo Story...   |  The Wire: Hot Shots... Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments