Star Trek TOS: Wanted: Starfleeters for Mating
Star Trek: The Original Series
Season 3, Episode 11
Wink of an Eye
Kirk kicked off Wink of an Eye by beaming down to a planet called Scalos after Enterprise received a distress signal. The Scalosians, who sent the SOS, were nowhere to be found while Uhura insisted the message was coming loud and clear back on Enterprise.
The mystery thickened when one of Kirk’s men, Compton, vanished. The group teleported back to Enterprise for a review of the distress call. Kirk and Spock speculated the video was recorded in the past.
Meanwhile, Nurse Chapel informed Kirk someone [or something] rummaged through the ship’s medical supply. Soon after, Kirk began hallucinating, hearing bug-like noises, so he ordered all crewmembers to arm with phasers. Force fields were discovered aboard the ship, affecting everyone except for Kirk and Spock.
The computer on Enterprise surmised something foreign was attempting to gain control of the ship. It also recommended to Kirk some negotiation with the unknown culprit, but Kirk was disinterested. Kirk opted for a cup of coffee, which intensified his hallucinations.
Point of order: This episode utilized a tilted camera angle throughout, a new technique for the series, perhaps to enhance the eeriness.
During the hallucination, the Queen of Scalos appeared, hoping to seduce Kirk and bring him to Scalos. Kirk removed his phaser, firing on the queen, Deela, but the laser traveled at a snail’s pace. Like many Star Trek foes, Deela was formidable.
Scalosians experienced time at a faster rate than humans on Enterprise. Everything for humans compared to Scalosians occurred in slow motion. This was called hyperacceleration.
Kirk determined the Scalosians wanted to “freeze” everyone on Enterprise in an act of enslavement. Any person who broke the freeze cycle would be “burned” and thus age rapidly to the point of death. This happened to Compton, the man who disappeared at the onset of the episode.
Deela explained radiation was the cause of her people’s plight, rendering the populace sterile and accelerating their perception of time. How did they want to fix the sterility? Find folks from other races and mate — hence the seduction vibe toward Kirk.
Kirk employed a familiar tactic to wiggle out of the conundrum — play along with the seduction. He led Deela on romantically, convincing her he was on board with procreating. Deela’s male lieutenant interrupted a kiss between Deela and Kirk, flipping out in jealous rage.
Back on the bridge of Enterprise, Spock independently solved the hyperacceleration riddle. He ingested Scalosian water, presumably to join Kirk in the Scalosian time warp. It worked. He joined Kirk, and the two disabled the cryogenic device devised by Deela’s lieutenant, Rael. Then, they dispatched Deela back to her home planet.
In the backdrop, Spock and McCoy developed an antidote to hyperacceleration. Kirk chose the role of guinea pig and took a swig. The medicine was effective, curing Kirk and enabling him to record a delayed time message of goodbye to Deela. Spock remained under the influence of hyperacceleration to repair Enterprise.
This episode was merely a vehicle to play with time, albeit in a new way for Star Trek. The speed-up, slow-down dynamic had not been used to date. Otherwise, the installment was filled with a couple of plot holes — if Deela mated with Kirk, how does that fix sterility or hyperacceleration — leaving a “so what?’ reaction from viewers.
The best part was Spock aiding Kirk at the climax as the captain simply smiled in affirmation of a friend’s help.
Themes: Varying Time Warps
Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. His odyssey with Star Trek starts from beginning to finish, watching ‘The Original Series,’ all the way to the present day. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ and The Doors (the band).