‘Star Trek: The Unique Sequence’ Revisited: “The Bare Time”

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“You retain questioning if man was meant to be out right here!” moans Lt. Joe Tormolen (Stewart Moss). That is been a central theme of the primary few horror-tinged star trek episodes. On this case, although, Tormolen is simply over-carbonated. And, actually, the over-carbonation is the reply to his considerations.

Why are we out in area? That is the primary star trek script that basically is aware of the reply, and that reply is: we’re out in area to see our protagonists overact, rattling it.

The story does at first seem like one other spooky Twilight Zone-in-space episode like “The Man Entice” or “Charlie X.” Tormolen and First Officer Spock (Leonard Nimoy) beam right down to an area station to gather a science crew to assist with the statement of an imploding planet. After they arrive, although, life assist has been shut off, and all of the scientists are useless, some in weird methods. A lot is made from a man who died totally clothed in a bathe.

Spock and Tormolen did put on hazmat-style fits to guard themselves. However in a stunning show of carelessness, Tormolen takes off his glove to scratch his nostril, and will get contaminated with an odd fluid. It makes his hand itch and is accompanied by a nifty rattlesnake sound impact to let one thing is incorrect.

After they beam again as much as the ship, they’re run by means of decontamination and given a medical examination, however not quarantined for any size of time. As a result of, apparently, Starfleet is run by a bunch of slackers who discovered nothing from the Covid epidemic of the 2020s.

Drama is Infectious

In fact, the insufficient quarantine measures are insufficient, and the unnamed illness begins to unfold by means of the ship. If “The Bare Time” have been like earlier aired episodes, the epidemic would go away individuals useless in grotesque and terrifying methods—lesions, faces melted off, gasping strangulation. However this time round we’re making an attempt one thing completely different. The an infection impacts individuals considerably like alcohol. Which is to say, it makes everybody seize chunks of surroundings and stuff them of their mouths.

Tormolen will get increasingly agitated and despairing and tries to kill himself with a knife. However that is the least flamboyant response. Helmsman Lt. Kevin Thomas Riley (Bruce Hyde) channels the (stereotypical) drunken irresponsibility of his Irish ancestors, locks himself within the engine room, and seizes management of the ship so he can serenade all the crew with repeated off-tune renditions of “I am going to Take You House Once more, Kathleen.”

Navigator Sulu (George Takei) strips off his shirt to disclose spectacular musculature, and menaces the crew along with his fencing sword, residing out his buccaneer fantasies. “I am going to rescue you, honest maiden!” he declares to an unaffected and unimpressed Uhuru (Nichelle Nichols). She parries with an ad-lib that is among the greatest verbal ripostes in all of star trek: “Sorry, neither.” (They need to have simply made her captain at that time, however alas.)

Ostensibly, this can be a suspense plot; the Enterprise is taking readings of a planet that’s self-destructing. They want the crew at peak effectivity with the intention to hold from plunging into the environment and burning up amidst the gravity and magnetic fluctuations. So the illness places everybody in peril.

However actually the pleasure right here is within the round-robin over-acting. Initially, the an infection, handed on by perspiration, takes some time to manifest. However as we hurtle in the direction of the top of the run time, onset quickens.

emotional logic

Nurse Christine Chapel (Majel Barrett) will get all dreamy and declares her love for Spock. She grasps his hand, and logical Spock instantly begins to behave like he is in a hothouse cleaning soap opera melodrama, all tragic mooniness and stifled sobs. He bursts into tears repeatedly whereas muttering “I’m in command of my feelings!”

Then Captain Kirk (William Shatner) finds Spock in his quarters, and Spock grasps him. At which level Kirk too throws himself into the tragic love, revealing that he’s consumed by ardour for the Enterprise. It additionally reveals that Shatner is prepared and keen to go extra bombastic than any three different bombastic actors you’ll be able to line up for any given scene. He begins casting haunted glances at bulkheads and occasional nostalgic appears at comely yeomen whereas muttering “No seashore to stroll on.”

“The Bare Time” was used as a blueprint for the subsequent era episode “The Bare Now.” It isn’t a shock a later sequence picked it up, because it plots the course for the course the franchise would ultimately take, as characters turned extra essential than the plot.

Extra, the mode of unveiling character—by means of extremely contrived area magic which permits portrayals to go as broad as doable—turned a star trek staple, from the very subsequent episode, “The Enemy Inside” to the Mirror Universe to holodecks to innumerable AU crack fics. That is the fourth episode that aired, however in a whole lot of methods it is the primary actually Trekkie star trek—the second when the franchise regarded into Spock’s quivering eyebrows, inhaled shakily together with him, and declared, “Eureka! (so!)”

Charting a course

There is a pleasurable jolt of recognition when you end up. There will also be downsides although, as different extra intriguing selves get left on the reducing room ground. Bizarre horror star trek was in a whole lot of methods extra coherent, adventurous, and highly effective than we love our crew Star Trek, entertaining because the latter might be. “The Bare Time” would not have the main target or dreamlike logic of its predecessors, and so the plot holes and contrivances stand out extra jarringly.

The ridiculously poor quarantine protocols are solely the beginning. We’re presupposed to consider that safety is so lax on a significant starship that one lone half-soused goofball can commandeer all the ship whereas solely half-trying? What does Spock even imply when he says, with Vulcan seriousness, that Sulu is a swashbuckler at coronary heart?

After which there’s the last-minute salvation through antimatter technobabble, which turns into the invention of time journey. Initially, this was presupposed to segue right into a second half which turned the stand-alone episode “Tomorrow Is Yesterday.” As it’s, although TheEnterprise attains essentially the most important scientific breakthrough in all probability within the historical past of humanity solely by chance, and Kirk shrugs. Roll credit.

The unintentional silliness might be grating. But it surely’s additionally a part of the allure for star trek lovers. “The Bare Time” is the preliminary, tentative, joyful shout-out to the fandom. There can be many extra, however this, Sulu’s pecs and all, stays top-of-the-line.

Extra From Wealth of Geeks

This put up was produced and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks.

Featured Picture Courtesy of Desilu Productions.

Star Trek: The Unique Sequence (“The Bare Time”)


“The Bare Time” is the preliminary, tentative, joyful shout-out to the fandom. There can be many extra, however this, Sulu’s pecs and all, stays top-of-the-line.


Noah Berlatsky is a contract author primarily based in Chicago. His guide, Surprise Lady: Bondage and Feminism within the Marston/Peter Comics was revealed by Rutgers College Press. He thinks the Adam West Batman is the very best Batman, darn it.


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