The Tholian Web : Wink of an Eye : Whom Gods Destroy.
Friday's Child : Wink of an Eye : Where No Man Has Gone Before.
The Enterprise receives a distress call from the planet Scalos, but the landing party doesn't find anything but strange lifeform readings and the apparent sound of insects. Then one of the team, Compton, suddenly disappears. Upon the return of the landing party a series of malfunctions occurs on the ship. After drinking a coffee Kirk suddenly finds himself on an accelerated time level, where the Scalosian woman Deela welcomes him.
The Scalosians are hyperaccelerated and sterile after a natural disaster on their planet, and they abduct outworlders to their time level in order to maintain their species. However, as the death of Compton drastically demonstrates, the accelerated outworlders easily die of cumulative cellular damage after the slightest injury. This is why the Scalosians plan to turn the Enterprise into a "deep freeze", to preserve the crew for their long-term demand.
Kirk, however, manages to record a tape with a message that McCoy finds in his computer on the slow time level. He and Spock, who has discovered that the "insect" sound is accelerated speech, develop an antidote. Spock arrives on the accelerated level, where he and Kirk destroy the Scalosian installation. They send the Scalosians back to their planet. Kirk successfully tests the antidote, while Spock remains on the fast level to repair the ship quickly.
Errors and Explanations
The Nitpicker's Guide for Classic Trekkers
- The episode opens with Scott making a log entry. Kirk and company are on the surface, trying to locate the source of a distress call. Just how often do Starfleet officers make these log entries? Has the landing party really been gone long enough for Scott to record one, or did Kirk simply forget to do it before beaming down? The apparent urgency of the distress call probably precluded Kirk making a log entry until the landing party had arrived, and checked the location the call was coming from.
- Of course, the really big question with this episode is: How fast are these Scalosians? What is the ratio between hyperaccelerated and normal existence? There are a few hints. First, the crew can‘t see them. That means a Scalosian cannot be in one spot for more than one sixtieth of a second. Otherwise their image would “ghost” due to persistence of vision. Second, Deela dodges a phaser blast! Obviously—even though phasers use some type of electromagnetic energy-—the discharge from a phaser must not travel at the speed of light. If it did, Deela would have to exceed the speed of light to get out of the way. According to our current understanding of physics, that's not possible. Third, Scott's entrance into the transporter room gives us a final clue. From the time the chief engineer appears in the transporter room doorway until Kirk decelerates to normal time, there are about seven minutes of running dialogue in the accelerated existence. In that time, Scott barely moves a step—maybe one half-second in normal time. Using this ratio, the Scalosians would live 840 minutes for every minute of normal time (7 minutes times 60 seconds times 2, because Scott only moved half a second’s worth). This estimate is probably low, because Deela did dodge a phaser blast, but it is sufficient for our needs. Here’s the nit. If it takes the Scalosians eight of their hours to install their deep-freeze device, how much time does the crew have to: (1) figure out that they've been invaded, (2) find the agent responsible for accelerating Kirk, (3) devise an antidote, and (4) dispatch Spock into hyperaccelerated existence to assist Kirk in thwarting the Scalosians’ plans? Even with the low estimate of the ratio between normal and hyperaccelerated existence, our fearless crew would have only 34 seconds to accomplish these teats! [N 1] Starfleet officers can work quickly when the need arises!
- Near the beginning of the episode, Kirk and Spock go to the life support area and examine the Scalosian equipment. The wall behind them holds a vertical stack of objects that look amazingly similar to the knowledge library that Spock discovered on Yonada in the episode (everyone take a deep breath so you have enough to get through this title) For the World Is Hollow and I Have Touched the Sky. In that episode, Spock identified them as the accumulated knowledge of the Fabrini. [N 2] The Fabrini probably provided Enterprise with a copy of the library, to be shared with the Federation, as a sign of gratitude for their assistance.
- Turbolifts and doors provide an interesting challenge for accelerated existence. Do the Scalosians actually use the turbolifts? Wouldn't that form of transport be insufferably slow’? And what about the automatic doors? The creators conveniently sidestep this issue for the majority of the episode by showing the doors open. Most of the time there’s no one near the doors, however. So why are they open? [N 3]The Scalosians probably embedded an override signal in the distress call.
Internet Movie Database
- At the beginning of the episode we see stock footage of Chekov although he does not appear in the rest of the episode. He may have been off duty for most of the episode.
- Why doesn't McCoy pass his cure to the Scalosians? They may have been in their accelarated state too long for it to be effective on them.
- ↑ Just for the sake of argument, let's say the ratio is much lower, in the range of 120 to 1. The crew would still have only 4 minutes to stop the Scalosians. Hardly enough time for Spock and McCoy to argue over how to proceed!
- ↑ I would hate to think that Starfleet absconded with this very important information.
- ↑ Because it would take forever for them to open for those living in a hyperaccelerated existence, and it's only a one-hour program!