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Real world article
(written from a Production point of view)

For the TNG episode with a similar title, please see "The Naked Now".

The Enterprise crew catch a virus that removes their inhibitions.



The USS Enterprise orbits the planet Psi 2000, a world that was much like Earth in its distant past, tasked to observe the planet's impending disintegration. Lieutenant Commander Spock and Lieutenant junior grade Joe Tormolen beam down in environmental suits to a frozen surface laboratory and investigate the horrific deaths of the lab's scientists. Carelessly, Tormolen removes a glove of his suit to better scratch his nose, unknowingly exposing himself to a red, blood-like liquid substance leaping to his exposed hand from a frozen wall. Spock contacts the Enterprise and informs Captain Kirk that all of the station's personnel are dead. Kirk asks what caused it and Spock replies, "Unknown, Captain. It's like nothing we've dealt with before."

Act One[]

The landing party returns to decontamination on the transporter pad, and undergo further examination and clearance by Doctor McCoy. Tormolen's sudden anguish over the surface deaths, something that didn't faze him previously, is brushed off with an order by Captain Kirk for him to rest.

Enterprise enters orbit around Psi 2000 (remastered)

In orbit of Psi 2000

Captain Kirk and his senior officers discuss the possible causes of the madness displayed on the surface in the briefing room. Concerned about the planet's break-up and the crew efficiency needed to maintain a tricky orbit for their observations, Kirk asks if the surface tragedy could happen aboard the Enterprise. Spock admits to limitations in their scanning technology as space still contains infinite unknowns, but Scott is confident in his engines, as long as the bridge crew stays sane. Early stages of the planet's destruction begin.

Tormolen, aggravated by his hand and sweating, sits in the Enterprise's recreation room, getting something to eat from the food synthesizer. Entering in a jovial mood, Lieutenant Sulu tries to sell Lieutenant Kevin Riley on the virtues of fencing after previously trying to interest the Enterprise's navigator on botany. An effort to bring Tormolen into the conversation triggers a hysterical response. Tormolen brandishes his table knife and rants about the futility of life in space. He says "what are we doing out here in space? Good? What good?! We're polluting it, destroying it!" His mood quickly turns to despair and he turns the knife on himself. Sulu and Riley try to wrestle it away unsuccessfully, as Tormolen falls and impales himself. Riley runs over to the room's intercom calling for medical assistance and he begins to sweat on his hands profusely.

Act Two[]

Sulu Fencing

Sulu stalks the decks with a foil.

McCoy and Nurse Chapel fail to save Tormolen's life, despite the fact that "his wounds were not that severe", leading a confounded McCoy to speculate his patient had simply lost his will to live.

Psi 2000's breakup accelerates, and the crew follows. Sulu and Riley, now at their helm and navigation consoles and showing signs of infection, are slow in making a necessary orbital correction. Sulu abandons the helm in favor of some exercise to "take the edge off," encouraging Riley to join him. Riley remains, but soon becomes flamboyantly insubordinate to Spock, sporting an exaggerated Irish brogue. Reporting briefly to sickbay as ordered, Riley learns of the death of Tormolen from Nurse Chapel, and attributes his friend's bad luck to the fact that he wasn't born an Irishman. Riley then proceeds to flirt with Nurse Chapel, touching her face and infecting her. Sulu, now fantasizing himself a musketeer, has shed his uniform shirt and stalks the corridors with a foil, frightening off two crewmen. Deeper in delusion, he returns to the bridge and takes Uhura, declaring her a "fair maiden" (despite her protest that she was neither), under his "protection" before Kirk jumps him from behind and Spock subdues him with a Vulcan nerve pinch.

Kevin Riley singing Kathleen

Self-proclaimed "Captain" Riley sings.

The planet convulses, but the helm is unable to respond. A call to engineering is answered by "Captain" Kevin Thomas Riley, who has expelled Scott and crew and begun the ship-wide broadcast of a one-man musical/comedy show, including a very off-key version of "I'll Take You Home Again, Kathleen", to the great annoyance of Kirk and Uhura (who are unable to turn off the broadcast). Without power, the Enterprise is twenty minutes from destruction, and the affliction continues to spread throughout the crew.

Act Three[]

Chapel loves Spock

Nurse Chapel professes her love for Spock.

Spock tours the ship, urging Scott to hurry in re-taking engineering, observing the madness of crewmen, and checking on McCoy's progress. Chapel is emboldened, confessing her love for Spock and infecting him with the touch of her hand, affecting him quickly. He insistently blurts "I am in control of my emotions." Ignoring repeated hails from Uhura, Spock begins losing composure in the corridors (a crewman writes "love mankind" in red paint on a door, not helping him at all) and secludes himself in the briefing room trying to regain control by stating his duty and counting by twos before he suffers a complete loss of his emotional control.

Graffiti Love Mankind

Spock finds emotionally disturbing graffiti.

Kirk, Scott, and two security officers recapture engineering and Riley is taken away by security, but Scott discovers Riley has shut the engines down completely; a normal restart requires at least thirty minutes. The Enterprise, now skimming Psi 2000's upper atmosphere, only has eight to spare. "I can't change the laws of physics; I've got to have thirty minutes!", Scott declares to Kirk.

Act Four[]

A cold-restart with a controlled matter-antimatter implosion in balanced engines is possible, but requires Spock's attention. Meanwhile, McCoy has discovered a cure for the affliction, after administering it to Sulu.

Kirk finds his first officer in anguished reflection, regretting his inability to express love even for his mother. Kirk slaps him in the face hard, and Spock admits to feeling shame over his friendship with the captain. Struck again, he responds in kind, sending Kirk backwards over a table, infecting him.

McCoy administering antidote to Kirk

McCoy rips Kirk's uniform shirt to cure him.

Kirk haltingly advises Spock that he's better off without love, and rhapsodizes over his great affair, the Enterprise, and the price she exacts. Kirk suddenly shouts out and admits "I have a beautiful yeoman!". Self-awareness returns to Spock, who proceeds to help Scott with the restart. Kirk finds the strength to return to the bridge with quiet words to his ship, "Never lose you… never." Entering a turbolift and heading to the bridge, Kirk sees "SINNER REPENT" painted on the inner door. Seeing this, he wipes away blood from the corner of his mouth.

Hands off Rand

Kirk longs for his "Beautiful Yeoman".

Entering the bridge, Kirk's uniform shirt is ripped by McCoy, who administers the antidote to the captain. Taking the command chair, Kirk's orders are muddled, but a cured Sulu is able to plot the escape from orbit. With a hesitating reach, Kirk longs for his beautiful Yeoman Rand, standing next to him, whom he can't touch but for duty. Spock and Scott finish preparations, and the restart is engaged. The implosion is successful with an unexpected result, sending the Enterprise three days back in time. Perhaps deciding not to return to Psi 2000, Kirk orders a course ahead, warp factor 1.

Log entries[]

Memorable quotes[]

"Your blood pressure is practically nonexistent, assuming you call that green stuff in your veins blood."
"The readings are perfectly normal for me, Doctor, thank you. And as for my anatomy being different from yours – I am delighted."

- McCoy and Spock, during Spock's medical exam

"Space still contains infinite unknowns."

- Spock, to Kirk

"A foil: it's a rapier, a thin sword."
"All right. So whatdya do with it?"
"Whatdya mean 'Whatdya do with it?"
"Self-defense? Mayhem? Shish-kebab?"
"You practice!"

- Sulu and Riley, discussing fencing

"Get off me! You don't rank me and you don't have pointed ears! So just get off my neck!"

- Tormolen, to Sulu

"And now, crew, I will render Kathleen… ONE MORE TIME!"
"Please, not again."

-Riley over the intercoms, and Kirk’s exasperated response.

"Well, we're doing everything that's possible."
"Bones, I want the impossible checked out, too."

- McCoy and Kirk

"Have no fear, O'Riley's here. And one Irishman is worth ten THOUSAND of you--"
"You're relieved, Mr. Riley! Lt. Uhura, take over his station."
"Yes sir."
"Now that's what I like. Let the women work too! Universal suffrage!"

- Riley, as Spock relieves him from duty, and replaces him with Uhura

"You know what Joe's mistake was? He wasn't born an Irishman."

- Riley to Chapel, on Tormolen's death

"I'll protect you, fair maiden."
"Sorry, neither."

- Sulu and Uhura, after Sulu enters the bridge with a sword

"I'd like you to teach me that sometime."
"Take D'Artagnan here to sickbay."

- Kirk and Spock, after Spock applies the Vulcan nerve pinch on Sulu

"Who's this?"
"This is Captain Kevin Thomas Riley of the starship Enterprise."

- Kirk and Riley, as Riley takes over engineering

"I'm in love with you, Mister Spock. You, the Human Mister Spock, the Vulcan Mister Spock."

- Chapel, holding Spock's hand

"I canna' change the laws of physics. I've got to have thirty minutes."

- Scott to Kirk, on restarting the engines

"My mother… I could never tell her I loved her."

- Spock, to Kirk

"This vessel. I give, she takes. She won't permit me my life. I've got to live hers."

- Kirk, to Spock

"I have a beautiful yeoman! Ever noticed her, Mr. Spock? You're allowed to notice her! The captain's not permitted!"

- Kirk to Spock, on Rand

"Never lose you. Never."

- Kirk, to the Enterprise

"Since the formula worked, we can go back in time, to any planet, any era."
"We may risk it someday, Mister Spock."

- Spock and Kirk, on time travel

Background information[]

Production timeline[]

Story and script[]

  • The first draft of this episode's script was completed on 23 June 1966. The final draft was completed on 28 June, with revised pages dated 1 July and 5 July. The actual episode was filmed during early July. According to at least one source, this episode was to have been the first part of a two-part story that would have concluded with "Tomorrow is Yesterday". [1]
  • A late script revision came on 11 August, during post-production, as the episode needed some additional captain's log entries. (These Are the Voyages: TOS Season One [page number?edit])
  • According to Robert H. Justman in his book Inside Star Trek: The Real Story (p. 139), author John D.F. Black was so focused on writing this episode that his duties as the series' story editor suffered. Black was later outraged when he discovered that Roddenberry rewrote his script without consulting him or even telling him about it.
  • Director Marc Daniels visited Takei in his trailer, and asked him to take off his shirt. After observing his bare chest, Daniels announced that they would do the fencing scenes "shirtless". Unknown to him and the rest of the cast and crew, Takei spent all his free time in the next three days doing pushups. (Star Trek: The Original Series 365 [page number?edit]) John D.F. Black came up with Sulu's "berserk" scenes without specifying the weapon to be used. Unable to decide between a samurai sword or a fencing foil, he left the choice to George Takei. Takei picked the latter. He reasoned that by the 23rd century, Humans would have developed to a point where they would choose their cultural artifacts based on personal preference rather than ethnic background. [2] George Takei had great fun acting in this episode, and took his fencing very seriously, avidly practicing his technique on the set and working out to define his chest muscles for his memorable scene in the corridor. (Captains' Logs: The Unauthorized Complete Trek Voyages [page number?edit])
  • According to Nimoy's autobiography, I Am Spock (pp.54-56), the scene where Spock breaks down in tears was originally supposed to have been a simple sight gag of a crewman painting a mustache on Spock. Nimoy wanted a deeper scene for Spock and one that preserved his dignity, so he talked to writer John D. F. Black about it. Black was already working on the next script and brushed Nimoy off, so Nimoy went to Gene Roddenberry. Roddenberry agreed with Nimoy, so Black grudgingly asked Nimoy what he had in mind. According to Nimoy's autobiography, he said to Black, "It's about emotion versus logic, love versus mathematics, grief versus pi-r-squared." Nimoy goes on to say in I Am Spock, "Based on that bit of information, John went back and wrote the marvelous scene for Spock that now appears in "The Naked Time"." As the production day was winding down, there was time for only a single take, but Nimoy nailed it on the first take. Nimoy described the production of the scene at length in Star Trek Lives! (pp. 155-159).
  • This episode is considered a bottle show, as it contains no villain and only characters who would be there every week, and it takes place almost entirely aboard the Enterprise. According to Black, at the time both Riley and Tormolen were under consideration to be on the show more regularly. [3](X)

Sets and props[]

Spocks Jeppesen Brand E6B CSG-1P

A 20th century E6B flight computer on the bridge

  • The environmental suits Spock and Tormolen wore down on the planet's surface were made of shower curtains.
  • The sensor device Spock carries was seen previously in "The Enemy Within" as Scotty checked out the ore on Fisher's uniform. It is actually a repainted and slightly modified Nuclear-Chicago Model 2586 "Cutie Pie" Radiation Survey Meter from the late 1950s. In "Obsession", it can be seen being held by a crewman as he prepares to scan Garrovick's quarters following the infiltration of the cloud creature. It is also taken aboard the USS Constellation by the damage control party in "The Doomsday Machine". A photograph of a similar meter can be found here.
  • The hand-held device used by Spock to figure the time before impact is actually an E6B flight computer, which pilots still use today. The particular brand of E6B used is a Jeppesen CSG-1P Slide Graphic Computer. The same CSG-1P can be seen in "The Corbomite Maneuver", "Mudd's Women", and "Wolf in the Fold".
  • The dead woman's body on Psi 2000 was a mannequin. Her torso was permanently damaged by the "ice" put on it, and after the shooting, "she" was taken by Robert H. Justman to his office, and was displayed there along with the M-113 creature from "The Man Trap" and later the two Gorn costumes from "Arena". Justman placed the naked mannequin under a shower, to scare unsuspecting visitors in the restroom. (Inside Star Trek: The Real Story, p. 272)
  • This is the first appearance of the recreation room in the regular series (after its very different depiction in the second pilot, "Where No Man Has Gone Before"), which is actually a redress of the briefing room set. The three-dimensional tic-tac-toe game seen alongside the chess prop, can be seen in many later episodes in the same set.
  • In this episode and "Charlie X", the Jefferies tube is located in a spur hallway. In the second season, the set piece had been moved to a main corridor.


  • The lighted panels in sickbay and engineering did not contain lights that moved in patterns; rather, stage hands manipulated objects behind the panels to make it look as if the lights were shifting about. In "The Naked Time" and other episodes, you can see this money-saving trick in action, especially in close-ups or in rooms on the sets that are well-lit. (Inside Star Trek: The Real Story, p 116)
  • This is the only episode in which the appearance of a meal from a food synthesizer is accompanied by a puff of steam.
  • A reaction shot of Spock on the bridge from this episode is reused in both "The Enemy Within" and "The City on the Edge of Forever".
  • The close-up of Kirk in his chair at the beginning of Act One is a recycled shot from the last scene of "The Man Trap" (it can also be seen in "Mudd's Women").

Cast and characters[]

  • In the original script, it was Lieutenant John Farrell (Jim Goodwin) who sabotaged main engineering, but in later rewrites, the character was replaced by Kevin Riley (played by Bruce Hyde). (These Are the Voyages: TOS Season One [page number?edit])
  • This is the first episode in which Eddie Paskey has dialogue. Originally, his character was to have said more lines. Not having any other acting job than being an extra, he was so nervous that a few of his lines had to be said by Spock instead. [4]
  • This is also the only episode in which Frank da Vinci (Brent) has on-screen dialogue (four words). Despite this, he was uncredited.
  • This episode was Majel Barrett's debut in the regular series (as Chapel), and establishes her love for Spock. Before being cast in this episode, Barrett, convinced she could play the part of Chapel convincingly, bleached her hair and went into the Star Trek offices, momentarily getting by Gene Roddenberry before he recognized her. Barrett was convinced if she could fool Roddenberry, she could fool NBC. According to Herb Solow, when NBC got their first look at the footage of Chapel, Jerry Stanley, an NBC executive, remarked "Well, well, well, look who's back!" (citation needededit)
  • This is the only TOS episode in which the three primary female crew members – Uhura, Chapel, and Rand – appeared together. The characters did not appear together again until Star Trek: The Motion Picture.


  • McCoy tears the sleeve on Kirk's uniform to inject him with the hypo, but this seems to have been done for dramatic effect only as, in subsequent episodes, a hypo shot is delivered through clothing.
  • Events from this episode were referred to in the Star Trek: The Next Generation episodes "The Naked Now" and "Relics".
  • The scene in which a shirtless Sulu threatens crew members with his rapier is reprised in the Star Trek: Short Treks episode "Ephraim and Dot".


  • The preview contains a variant of the logs from the finished episode: "Captain's log, stardate 1704.2. Planet Psi 2000. The science party we were to have picked up has been found dead."


  • This episode was nominated for a Hugo Award in 1967 for "Best Dramatic Presentation".
  • In his autobiography To the Stars (p. 558), George Takei says this was his favorite episode.
  • In a 2001 interview, writer John D.F. Black also nominated this episode as his favorite. [5](X)
  • The book Star Trek 101 (p. 17), by Terry J. Erdmann and Paula M. Block, lists this episode as one of "Ten Essential Episodes" from the original Star Trek series.
  • On the special Leonard Nimoy: Star Trek Memories, Nimoy mentions that after the airing of this episode, his fan mail jumped up from dozens of pieces per week to thousands.
  • Gene Roddenberry picked this as one of his ten favorite episodes for the franchise's 25th anniversary. (TV Guide August 31, 1991 [page number?edit])
  • Hank "Beast" McCoy is watching this episode in the film X-Men: Days of Future Past.

Syndication cuts[]

During the syndication run of Star Trek, the following scenes were typically cut from broadcast

  • An opening shot of the rec room showing crew members playing three dimensional chess.
  • Conversations on the bridge about the planet's break-up, later followed by a slightly longer exchange between Kirk and Uhura as to communication status
  • A longer scene of Tormolen's operation
  • An extended scene of Riley moving through the ship's corridors and blowing on the sickbay doors to have them open
  • Sulu pricking his thumb on the edge of his foil.
  • Extended shots of Scott working in the Jefferies tube.
  • Longer establishing shots of sickbay, including McCoy sitting and Spock entering to speak to Chapel.
  • A scene where Kirk walks from the bridge down to engineering to check on Scott's status. In the syndicated version, the scene cuts directly to Kirk already at the door to engineering.
  • Spock walking towards the briefing room, about to have his emotional breakdown.

Remastered information[]

  • "The Naked Time" was the fourth episode of the remastered version of The Original Series to air. It premiered in syndication on the weekend of 30 September 2006 and most notably featured new effects shots of the planet from space as well as a shot of the science station on the surface. New computer-generated shots of the hyper-velocity time warp and Sulu's chronometer (now featuring a stardate clock and military time) were also added. Cited by Michael Okuda as an example of the mistakes to be corrected by the remastered episodes, Scott's missing phaser beam was finally inserted into the episode.


Literature and collectibles[]

Hallmark 2018 The Naked Time

Kirk ducks Sulu's rapier.

Video and DVD releases[]

Links and references[]


Also starring[]





Uncredited co-stars[]



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Unreferenced material[]

anti-matter tanks; Ducheaux, Christine; inter-mix chamber; pay grade; perfume; pint; ship's stores

External links[]

Previous episode produced:
"The Man Trap"
Star Trek: The Original Series
Season 1
Next episode produced:
"Charlie X"
Previous episode aired:
"Where No Man Has Gone Before"
Next episode aired:
"The Enemy Within"
Previous remastered episode aired:
"The Devil in the Dark"
TOS Remastered Next remastered episode aired:
"The City on the Edge of Forever"