Wink of an Eye is not a very successful episode, let’s face it, but its main idea was reused in a better way both in The Next Generation (in the fantastic sixth season’s episode Timescape) and in Voyager (in sixth season’s Blink of an Eye). So, once again, here’s something that had a significant influence on future incarnations of the brand, although it wasn’t 100% original in the first place since H.G. Wells in 1901 had written a story, The New Accelerator, based on that same idea.
And what is this idea? There are humanoids who live in an accelerated way, so that their movements and sounds are imperceptible to Kirk and the rest of the Enterprise crew. More precisely, they think that the sound of the voices of these beings of the planet Scalos are just insects (since they are accelerated and produced high-pitched sounds). But what do these Scalosians want? Being sterile, they want to speed up some individuals in the Enterprise to mate with them and keep their race alive. In order to do this, they don’t hesitate to lure spaceships into traps, and they care little about the fact that the individuals that they accelerate thanks to their technology can survive little in their new condition. In short, they are really evil!
Queen Deela (Kathie Browne) leads the Scalosians and of course she chooses Kirk as his companion, welcomes him with a passionate kiss on the mouth, and then accelerates him . But Kirk doesn’t fall for her and manages to get Spock to understand what’s going on and save his captain and send the Scalosians back to where they came from. But why do I think that the episode doesn’t work? Because on closer inspection, the plot doesn’t hold at all. The two different timelines work well in terms of direction and camera shorts, but don’t work at the level of the story: whole years should pass for Kirk in the time in which Spock understands how this whole thing works! But if we overlook this detail, let’s call it that, there are several positive things in Wink of an Eye.
The director Jud Taylor, for example, had the idea of shooting all the scenes of the accelerated timeline using a Dutch plane (by tilting the camera sideways), and this works great. And the sense of teamwork between Kirk and Spock, although they can’t actually communicate in the real sense of the word, is amazing, as it’s based on more than sixty episodes in which they have become a wonderful team! And… Kirk makes love to a woman! Nothing is shown on screen, obviously, but seeing him putting on his boots while Deela tidies her hair close to a bed leaves little room for imagination. There’s even the mandatory redshirt, in this case poor Compton (Geoffrey Binney), who at least had some time to have fun with a blonde Scalosian woman whose name we don’t know.
In short, if you don’t think too much about the plot you may enjoy the episode even though little of what you see makes actual sense. Even the fact that an anti-accelerator cure is developed but no one thinks about giving it to the Scalosians who are left free to continue to kidnap and kill people as if nothing had happened is a bit strange… Ciao!
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