Captain's Blog pt. 91: Wink of an Eye

November 29, 1968
Airing the week after "Plato's Stepchildren," this episode again courted controversy (or would have, had anyone been watching:)

The Captain re-dresses. Indicating he and Deela did it. America has never been the same.
Title (2) Not bad. Not awesome, but accurate enough.

Story and Theme: (8.25 / 8.25) A strong episode on both counts.

The plight of the Scalosians is sketched out pretty well.
As is Deela's forthright pursuit of the Captain. (Here she admires his grooming products.)
"Not by killing others!"
Ra-el don't like it! (Rock the Casbah! Rock the Casbah!)
Deela's and Kirk's relationship is interesting. Her world-weary resignation mixed with catlike toying is fun. They're both manipulating each other, yet there's genuine affection. It lends unexpected poignancy to the end.

Uhura accidentally activates the distress call on the viewscreen.
Nice little moment from Shatner here.
And nice of Uhura to crop and zoom in on Deela's face.
Spock's "I found it to be... an accelerating experience" might seem a tad out of character, but I choose to believe it's application of a logic so subtle as to only appear that way.

Its Memory-Alpha entry suggests it was inspired by the Wild Wild West episode "The Night of the Burning Diamond," where Jim West drinks an elixir and spends some time at hyperspeed.
As Gene Coon (who came up with the idea; the story credit is his pseudonym, Lee Cronin) was a producer on the show before his time on Star Trek, it's certainly reasonable.
But what comes to mind for me, mainly because I love Silver Age Flash stories, is this:

The back-up story for this issue is "The Girl From the Super-Fast Dimension!" written by the incomparable Gardner Fox. It introduces Doralla Kon, a scientist from, you guessed it, a super-fast dimension. Granted, she's not trying to use Barry Allen as breeding stock, but I'm curious if Arthur Heineman (who did the teleplay) or Coon was aware of it. Probably not. But worth a mention.

Kirk and the Gang (30) A good ensemble episode. Only Chekov, save for a recycled shot of his back, is missing.

As for Shatner...
This is a best of both worlds ep. Great character stuff, solidly performed, and stuff like this, too.

Visual Design (1.75) Fairly threadbare, set-wise; the money seemed to be spent on Deela's costume.

Characters entering the hyperdimension are indicated by the gradual introduction of a Dutch tilt, a device which is consistently applied throughout all the cutting back and forth between the time-speeds.

When Kirk exits, though, rather than reverse the effect (i.e. slowly right-side the camera) it simply cuts to the straight-on perspective. Which is kind of cool; it conveys the abrupt snap of rejoining life at non-Scalosian speed.

Internal Logistics (1.5) In many ways, this is a lot like the TNG ep "The Next Phase," in that you can't really think about the super-speed/ hyperdimension stuff too closely, or it all falls apart. Nevertheless, some examples of things they could have cleaned up with a little consideration. (Oddly, not all of these are picked up by Phil Farrand. You'd figure the Nitpicker would've been all over this.)

When Deela spikes the Captain's coffee at super-speed, the liquid ripples at normal speed.
This is a cool visual example of the speed disparity, to be sure.
But wouldn't the beam continue on? Taking out Uhura, or at least Communications?
The phaser is not accelerated, but the turbolift doors seem to open and close at the same rate. (Though I will give them credit for being fairly consistent with the equipment-needs-to-be-modified-for-superspeed conceit.)
Spock and Scotty discuss what to do next after they get the Captain's message from Hyperdimension Deela.
Seconds later, he is shown here in the transporter room.
But much later than the scene above - in hypertime - we see him still in the doorway. Which makes sense to the above screencap, but not to the one on the bridge.
One last thing: shades of the Troglyte/ Stratos dilemma. It's not exactly unheard of for Spock or McCoy to think of a solution never considered before, although the Scalosians certainly don't seem to be technological lightweights. (Although they are definitely stubbornly opposed to cloning, apparently. Probably vaccines and climate change, as well.)

I sure hope the Enterprise beams down a large quantity of the counter-agent once they discover it works. The episode's last line (Kirk's "Goodbye, Deela") seems to indicate they're leaving the Scalosians to their doom. I've floated the idea of a Star Trek: After Kirk show before, where some new crew revisits many TOS planets for mop-up operations in the wake of Kirk's mayhem. Another fun one would be a support group of all these guest-star ladies who team up for closure and revenge. Maybe a TV Movie of the Week instead of a series - it'd be fun.

Guest (3.75) 

Deela is actually one of my favorite female guest stars on TOS. She's always likable, even when detailing how, regrettably, everyone must die.

She has a pretty long career, though nothing really jumped out at me at imdb.
Except this, on account of Stan from The Golden Girls.
Jason Evers plays Rael, and quite well. He had a long and varied career, as well. It's odd seeing him as the jealous lover, as he mainly appeared in tough guy roles where he usually got the girl.
Or girls, plural.
One of his more well-known roles. (Credited here under his birth name, Herb.)
Memorability (4) A quick google search indicates that I seem to enjoy this episode more than the online Trek community. I can't argue with Trek Today's take on it:

"'Wink of an Eye' chooses the superficial ending, in which the crew goes on its merry way while Kirk fondly remembers a sexual encounter. It's about the titillation of the crew being used as breeding stock rather than the crisis being suffered by the Scalosians and the desperation of their response. Deep thought is not called for - in fact, it must be discouraged, or we'd have to wonder why Deela didn't notice McCoy starting to work on his antidote and stopping him before he managed a single test on the Scalosian water. Ultimately we're left with a superficial Evil Alien of the Week story in which Kirk decides he can't trust people so unlike himself, even though he's forgiven numerous other aliens for threatening his ship and crew, offering them assistance from Starfleet with less dire problems."

But what can I say, it's always been one I love to watch.

Total Points Awarded: 59.25


  1. I always get this one confused with the one on the overpopulated planet that has -- implausibly built the replica Enterprise. Even now, I can't remember the name of that one. I could cheat and look it up, but that'd be no fair. I guess it's the idea of Kirk being onboard a mostly-deserted ship that causes my mental conflation of the two.

    You make good points about some of the plot holes. The one where the phaser beam simply stops in mid-air is the most trousblesome one, for my tastes.

    I should probably read more "The Flash" one of these days. That's a character who I know very, very little about. My main exposure to him, in fact, was via that live-action tv series from the early nineties. I'm still miffed about it getting canceled, even though I'm sure if I revisited it now, I'd find it to be fairly lousy.

    1. Ah yes, The Mark of Gideon. Yeah, that's down there with "Court Martial" for me as the lowest of the low in TOS. Not only the replica Enterprise but the entire plot is so contrived. There's some fun dithering between Spock and the High Council dude, but yeah, won't be covering that one.

      Not that I don't usually watch it when it comes around, but that's true of ALL of them, ha. (Probably similar to how you're going to buy the Under the Dome series on DVD even though you watched it and know you don't like it.)

      That Flash series, wow, haven't seen that in years. I loved it at the time, at least the first season, I think (like Quantum Leap) I somehow never caught the later seasons. The guy who played Barry Allen, tho (John Wesley Shipp) wasn't bad, if memory serves. Later he played Dawson Leery's dad on the Show With the Creek and had one of the more memorably ridiculous deaths in TV history.