The Naked Time was the first real breakout episode of Star Trek. It featured the show's first engineering crisis (and first appearance of the Jefferies Tube), an epidemic that allowed us to learn about our characters, and even a bit of time travel. The episode was popular enough that its premise was used for an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation, The Naked Now. It was even mentioned in another ST:TNG episode, Relics. There, Scotty guest stars and recounts stories of the good old days.
The Naked Time begins as the Enterprise crew visits planet Psi 2000 to pick up a research team before the planet collapses. (Hmmm.... I didn't know planets did that sort of thing. Stars certainly do though.)
Spock and Lt. Joe Tormolen beam down to the research station only to find it everyone dead and frozen. They must has suspected trouble as they wore these nifty suits:
After being decontaminated and checked in sick bay, Tormolen heads for the Rec Hall.
|3-D Checkers. Way cooler than 3-D Chess.|
The disease brings out otherwise hidden character traits and becomes a wonderful vehicle for learning about our characters. Thankfully, the cast pulls it off wonderfully.
|Note the Andromeda Galaxy and the Ring Nebula on the displays.|
|Too bad Christine doesn't know about Pon Farr.|
|Scotty: He can't change the laws of physics.|
|No beach to walk on.|
Alexander Courage was back to score this episode. His music was another element that helped to knock this episode out of the park. There's over 35 minutes of music written for this episode on the complete collection of Trek music from the original series released by La-La Land Records. The best tracks come from the episode's culmination: Captain's Wig (not a reference to Shatner's hair, really), The Big Go, and Time Reverse/Future Risk and End Title. A sample from Captain's Wig is on the La-La Land site. It is worth a listen.
Speaking of music, some of you might enjoy Five Year Mission, a band that is recording a song for each episode of the original Star Trek series. Some of their songs don't do much for me, but I do like the one they made for this episode, Vulcans Don't Cry. Here's the music video:
The Naked Time is one of the finest episodes of Star Trek. You can watch it online here at startrek.com.
Next up, Charlie X.