<center>According to Memory Alpha's In Universe Timeline, the story sequence is:
The Enemy Within : The Naked Time : Balance of Terror.
In the Polywater intoxication
In the The Naked Now story arc, the story sequence is
The Naked Time : [[{{{2}}}]].
In the Remastered Episodes Chronology, the release sequence is
The Devil in the Dark : The Naked Time : The City on the Edge of Forever.


While Spock and his assistant Termolen are investigating strange occurrences on an outpost on the collapsing planet Psi 2000 that have killed the complete crew, Termolen contracts an infection. This infection is not detected and spreads among the Enterprise crew through skin contact, causing their emotions to go to extremes. Termolen, who was weary of his life as a space explorer, even dies. Kevin Riley, on the other hand, becomes megalomaniac, locks himself up in the engine room and shuts down the propulsion system. Using a completely new procedure to restart the engines Spock and Scotty save the Enterprise from crashing into the planet, and the ship also travels back in time.

Errors and Explanations

The Nitpicker's Guide for Classic Trekkers

Plot Oversights

  1. Tormolen removing the glove of his isolation suit. He did this in order to properly scratch his nose.
  2. Scott cutting through the walls of Engineering in order to open the doors, instead of beaming someone into the room, as happened with Kirk in ‘Day of the Dove'. Kirk being beamed into Engineering in 'Day of the Dove' could have been inspired by the events in this episode.
  3. Spock ordering the graffiti artist to the lab instead of Sick Bay. Spock probably wants the lab staff to test the graffiti artist, in order to help them find an antidote.

Changed Premises

  1. Spock continuing to look into his scanner during Sulu's conversation about leaving the bridge, but responding to McCoy's whispered compliment in Operation: Annihilate!. Spock is concentrating on his scans at this point, but was free to respond to McCoy's comment in Operation: Annihilate!.

Equipment Oddities

  1. Scotty grabbing the panel he has just cut from the wall. The cutting device is probably designed to cool down the cut as it goes.

Internet Movie Database

Character error

  1. When the first away team beams on board Scotty calls Kirk to let him know that they are being contaminated. Kirk says "you better have medicine check them out." Medicine is in reference to pharmaceuticals; Medical would be a place on a ship. This could be a slip of the tongue.


  1. When Kirk is having his emotional soliloquy in the conference room, Scotty enters, and Spock tells him that there is an intermix formula to restart the engines quickly and that he'd call it down from the bridge. However in the next scene, Spock and Scotty are in the Engine Room working together to restart the engines. Scotty probably insisted on having Spock present in the Engine Room to provide on the spot assistance.
  2. When Kirk and Scotty break into the engine room, Kirk grabs the back of Riley's chair and turns it around to face him. There is an immediate cut to a close-up frontal shot of Riley, and Kirk's arm is nowhere to be seen on the chair. Kirk probably let his arm drop as soon as the chair swung round.

Incorrectly regarded as goofs

  1. There seems to be no rhyme or reason to how the infection is spread. Sulu and Riley are infected from fighting with a fully-clothed Joe Tormolen, and Chapel by a calm Riley, but Uhura, despite being manhandled by a sweating, stripped-to-the-waist Sulu, is not infected. (IMDB) Similar paradoxes have been known to occur in the real world.

Revealing mistakes

  1. After the warp engines implode, the ship is going backward in time. They reverse course and time flows forward. The ship's chronometer is calibrated wrong - it goes from 7:59 to 7:00 to 8:01. Probably an intermittent fault in the chronometer. [N 1]

Ex Astris Scientia


  1. While the ship is traveling back in time, we see a counter running in reverse that is apparently supposed to be a shipboard clock. But as opposed to the receiver of a Starfleet time signal such a clock would always continue to run in forward direction. Not if it is using the external time signal to maintain accuracy!

Nit Central

  1. Will on Tuesday, June 24, 2003 - 10:31 am: Tormolen was on the surface as part of Spock's team; why wasn't he in the debriefing? Even if he didn't have anything to offer, such a meeting could only give him future experience. His presence at the debriefing may have been considered unnecessary.
  2. TheAuthenticFan-TAF on Sunday, September 19, 2004 - 11:16 am: If Time Travel is First Discovered in this Episode, Then how can we explain all the Time Travel Episodes of Enterprise and reconcile them with the Continuity? Brian FitzGerald on Sunday, September 19, 2004 - 4:08 pm: In Enterprise, they have episodes where the technology of others is used for time travel. This is the first one where the Federation's own tech can do it.
  3. Fred W. Kidd (Fkidd) on Tuesday, February 22, 2005 - 7:12 pm: (Spock and Tormolen on the planet's surface) Spock: Spock here, do you read, Enterprise? Kirk: Kirk ... affirmative. Spock: All station personnel are dead. Kirk: What caused it? Spock: Unkown, Captain ... it's like nothing we've dealt with before. ... a little presumptuous, aren't we, Mr. Spock? If a cause is "unknown", how in heck can you say that the Enterprise has never dealt with it before? Sir Rhosis on Saturday, February 26, 2005 - 8:23 pm: That's not really a contradiction. Spock is saying that while the CAUSE is "unknown," by using his vast memory he can report to Kirk that they have never dealt with a SITUATION like this before before. Or put better, "The cause is currently unknown to me, as it is a situation I am not familiar with, (but with further study I may pinpoint a cause for this situation)."
  4. mertz on Tuesday, July 26, 2005 - 4:54 pm: I've finally got one!! I HOPE this is a brand new nit, but knowing my luck, it probably isn't. When the bridge finds out that Sulu is chasing people with a sword, Spock comments that Sulu is acting like a swashbuckler, which he is. But how does Spock know he is acting like a swashbuckler? Why not a Sameri (can't spell, sorry), or some other swordsman? Spock was probably aware of Sulu's interest in fencing. [N 2]


  1. Listed under Equipment Oddities in the Nitpicker's Guide, this error has been corrected in the Remastered Edition.
  2. According to the Trivia section for this episode's IMDB entry, George Takei felt that having Sulu enact a Samurai fantasy, which was what the writer originally wanted, would be pandering to racial stereotypes, so he suggested the Three Musketeers fantasy instead.

The Original Series Season 1
Pilot episodes: The Cage I Where No Man Has Gone Before
Regular episodes: The Corbomite Maneuver I Mudd's Women I The Enemy Within I The Man Trap I The Naked Time I Charlie X I Balance of Terror I What Are Little Girls Made Of? I Dagger of the Mind I Miri I The Conscience of the King I The Galileo Seven I Court Martial I The Menagerie Part 1 I The Menagerie Part 2 I Shore Leave I The Squire of Gothos I Arena I The Alternative Factor I Tomorrow Is Yesterday I The Return of the Archons I A Taste of Armageddon I Space Seed I This Side of Paradise I The Devil in the Dark I Errand of Mercy I The City on the Edge of Forever I Operation: Annihilate!
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