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Scott is suspected of killing several women while on shore leave on Argelius II. However, a more sinister force may provide a connection between this murder and many previous around the galaxy, including a rampage on ancient Earth.



Montgomery Scott is on medical leave on Argelius II, accompanied by Captain Kirk and Doctor McCoy, following a serious head injury caused by a female crewmember's error. McCoy believes that the sexually permissive Argelian culture will cure Scott's "total resentment towards women." On the planet, where the lifestyle and clothing of the Argelians, along with the architecture of their buildings, is akin to that of Middle Eastern countries on Earth, Kirk, McCoy and Scott are gathered together in a cafe, watching the seductive dance of an Argelian woman, resembling a Middle Eastern belly dance. McCoy states that this is a completely hedonistic society. Scott especially is intrigued by the dancer. After she is done with her performance, she sits down with them at their table. Scott suggests they go for a walk in the fog and she joyfully agrees. Kirk and McCoy are glad they were able to help Scott recuperate in this manner. Having set Scott up properly, Kirk suggests they go to another place across town where the women are apparently equally permissive. McCoy enthusiastically agrees. When Kirk and McCoy enter the densely fogged alley, they hear a woman's scream and soon find out that it is the female dancer who left with Scott. She has been stabbed a dozen times and is dead. Nearby, they find Scott leaning against the wall, moaning in agony, holding a knife covered in blood.

Act One[]

"Captain's log, stardate 3614.9. Planet Argelius II. While on therapeutic shore leave, Mr. Scott has fallen under suspicion of having brutally murdered an Argelian woman. The chief city administrator, a Mr. Hengist, has taken charge of the investigation, but has learned little of value."

Hengist, who is not a native Argelian, but from Rigel IV, confesses himself "speechless" about the incident, because Argelius is the last place in the galaxy that one would associate with violent crime.

Hengist begins interrogating Scott, who doesn't seem to recall at all what has happened to him or the woman. All he remembers is that they were walking in the fog, that he was up ahead, trying to lead the way and then suddenly heard her scream and recalls nothing after that. Kirk presses the issue, insisting that Scott remember what happened, but McCoy holds him back, asking him to be a little more considerate, especially because of the recent trauma Scott suffered. Kirk, however, states that he is facing a dilemma as a diplomat. This crime happened under Argelian jurisdiction and if the Argelians want to arrest Scott, try him, and even convict and sentence him, Kirk must go along with it.

Hengist points out that Scott's fingerprints are all over the murder weapon. Kirk replies that there were other people in the cafe and that several of them left just before Scott and the girl did. Hengist says that they are actually looking for those people and trying to question them. Kirk asks what the law in this case is, and the Prefect Jaris, who just entered the room with his wife Sybo, states that the law of Argelius is love.

Jaris says that they are capable of learning the truth in such matters through the Argelian empathic contact, a sort of psychic seance. He invites Kirk and his men to his home where, with the aid of his wife who can initiate such an empathic bond, they can learn the truth. Despite the objections of Hengist, they decide to proceed as proposed by the Prefect. In the meantime, the USS Enterprise beams down Lieutenant Karen Tracy, who is asked to perform a 24-hour memory check of Scott with a psycho-tricorder.

McCoy and Kirk discuss the situation. McCoy says that under normal circumstances Scott wouldn't have done such a thing and suspects that maybe it was some form of hysterical amnesia; repressed memory of an event too terrible to recall.

The Prefect's wife, after having prepared herself for the ceremony, returns. She asks for the murder weapon, as she can get psychic impressions from inanimate objects. At this point, they discover the knife is missing, and they hear a loud scream from the other room. Kirk and McCoy find Lieutenant Tracy lying dead, having been stabbed over and over again, while, once again, Scott lies unconscious with the bloody knife in his hands.

Act Two[]

When Scott regains consciousness, he is again disoriented and doesn't remember what happened. Kirk explains that Lieutenant Tracy is dead. Scott says that all he remembers is her taking the readings and then nothing else after that. He cries that he really cannot remember anything. Hengist returns with two men who were at the cafe at the night of the first murder. Tark, a musician who played for Kara's dance at the cafe, was her father; they'd put on shows together since Kara was a child. The second, Morla, was her fiancé. The father accuses Morla of behaving disgracefully and says he was extremely jealous. Morla reluctantly admits it. When he saw her going to the spacemen's table he couldn't stand to watch it, so he angrily left and went home. Kirk points out that jealousy has often been a motive for murder. The Prefect agrees, stating that this is why the emotion is so strongly disapproved of on Argelius. Morla protests that he did not kill anyone. Kirk is agitated and impatient, pressing the issue more and more, trying to prove Scott's innocence, but Hengist reminds him that in both cases, it was Scott who was found over the bodies with the murder weapon.

When Sybo signals that she is ready, they begin the ceremony. Kirk wants Jaris to have the room sealed so that no one can leave or enter. Scott is not happy about this, asking if his neck is going to have to depend on "some spooky mumbo jumbo". Kirk receives a message from Spock through his communicator who informs him that while interesting, the technique of the Argelian empathic contact is truly not sound enough to risk a man's life. He suggests beaming Scott back to the ship and use computers to find out the truth. Kirk says that these people have their own customs and laws and that while they are there, they are subject to them. He emphasizes that importance of resolving this matter according to Argelian law.

They gather around the ceremonial altar of truth with a flame burning at its center. Sybo closes her eyes, saying that there is something terrible there, filled with anger, hatred, and fear. She moans that there is monstrous, terrible evil there, hater of all that lives, hater of women, a hunger that is strong and never dies. It has been called Beratis, Kesla, Redjac. While she keeps chanting and repeating these words, the lights suddenly go off and another terrible scream is heard.

When the lights come back again, Scott is standing behind Sybo, who falls over, revealing a knife sticking out of her back. Scott's hands are bloody and he looks petrified. He cannot answer questions; his mind is completely blank. McCoy doesn't care what the circumstances indicate, he knows that Scott is not the killer. Kirk reminds him that Scott recently had a head injury (caused by a woman) just before their arrival to Argelius, and wonders if that could be a factor. Scott insists he did not kill the women; Hengist points out that by his own admission, Scott doesn't remember what he did. Kirk says that on the Enterprise they have a reliable method for recording Scott's conscious and subconscious mind. Jaris agrees to go to the ship, stating that whoever is guilty will face the ancient penalty for murder, which was death by slow torture.

Act Three[]

"Captain's log, stardate 3615.4. With Mr. Scott in a technical state of arrest, we have beamed aboard the Enterprise to continue the investigation."

On the Enterprise, Kirk explains the procedure and they begin. Scott is asked a series of test and identifying questions. The computer confirms the accuracy of Scott's testimony about not remembering what happened. Scott points out that he didn't black out when Sybo was killed: they were holding hands and when the lights went off, the circle was broken and he heard the lady scream. He went towards her but remembers that something was in his way – something cold emitting a "stinking draft", according to Scott. The computer again confirms the veracity of Scott's testimony. Hengist keeps pointing out to the fact that Scott was standing behind Sybo, with bloody hands. Kirk asks Scott to lie about his age to which Scott does. The computer quickly states that Scott's answer is "inaccurate". Kirk proceeds to ask Scott about having killed Kara and Tracy, and in both cases Scott says that he doesn't remember. Again, the computer confirms the veracity in Scott's testimony. Hengist is still not convinced, so Kirk suggests that after they are done taking the testimony here, they will run a psychotricorder analysis of Scott's memory to have a complete record. Hengist is still not satisfied with this answer, but Jaris decides to give this a fair chance.

After the computer also verifies Morla's innocence and the accuracy of his statements, Kirk wonders to Spock if they are going about this the wrong way. Sybo, after all, did sense something evil down there. They go through her words again, trying to remember what exactly she said. They run the names and words Sybo mentioned through the computer which identifies Redjac as Red Jack – "Jack the Ripper" – mass murderer of women on Earth. Everyone is taken aback because Jack the Ripper lived hundreds of years ago and couldn't possibly have survived all these centuries. They conclude that if it is impossible for it to be Human, it has to be something else. Bones points out that this entity, whatever it is, not only feeds on death, but also fear. Spock notes that deriving sustenance from emotion is not unknown in the galaxy, such as the Drella of Alpha Carinae V – and fear is one of the strongest and most potent of the emotions. Perhaps, he says, there are more women victims than men because "women are more easily and more deeply terrified, generating more sheer horror than the male of the species."

Hengist loses patience, stating that all this has gone far enough, unwilling to let the prime suspect get away so they can chase ghosts. Spock asks the computer if an entity with such discussed limits could exist within this Galaxy. The computer says that such an entity could in fact exist in both corporeal and incorporeal form. Spock points out that "Jack the Ripper" was never identified on Earth. He suggests the possibility of a hypnotic screen which blinds all but the victim to the presence of the killer.

After much debate, investigation and speculation, they conclude the true murderer to be a malicious incorporeal entity that feeds on fear. It once took the form of "Jack the Ripper" on 19th century Earth and then traveled from planet to planet, assuming humanoid bodies to murder women and to feed on their fear. None of those murders were ever solved. The other two names Sybo mentioned before she died are identified as Kesla, a mass murderer on Deneb II who was never caught, and Beratis of Rigel IV – the murders on Rigel IV having occurred just a solar year ago. Finally, the reason for Hengist's opposition to this line of inquiry is revealed – he is the current host of the murdering entity. According to Spock, an entity which feeds on fear and terror would find a perfect hunting ground on Argelius – a planet without violence, where the inhabitants are as peaceful as sheep and the entity a hungry wolf in that fold.

The entity, Redjac, is forced out of Hengist's body, who collapses and dies, but it moves into the Enterprise's computer systems and threatens to slowly murder the crew and disable vital systems.

Act Four[]

Knowing that Redjac feeds on fear and terror, Kirk asks the crew through the ship's intercom to remain calm. Dr. McCoy gives everyone (except Kirk and Spock, who "will take their chances") a tranquilizer to deprive the entity of the fear on which it feeds. Spock forces Redjac out of the computer by ordering it to compute, at top priority, pi to the last digit – a task it can never complete. They succeed in getting Redjac out of the computer, but it then briefly possesses Jaris before managing to reanimate Hengist's body and threatening to kill Yeoman Tankris. The attempt fails, as the tranquilized yeoman finds the situation more amusing than terrifying, and Kirk manages to save her from Hengist before Spock gives him a dose of tranquilizer. Kirk picks up Hengist and carries him over his shoulder, in the same way a firefighter on Earth would carry a rescued person, to the transporter room. There, Kirk orders Hengist, and with him Redjac, beamed into space "at maximum dispersion", spreading it into billions of harmless atoms floating forever in open space.

Relieved they have vanquished Redjac, Kirk then amusingly looks at the rest of his crew, who are still happy from the tranquilizer; and comments to Spock how, for five to six hours, they'll have the "happiest crew" in space.

Log entries[]

Memorable quotes[]

"Now, no one has to tell an old Aberdeen pub crawler how to applaud, Captain!"

- Scott, after Kirk tells him that the Argelians use the table lights to applaud

"Captain, you mean my neck's gonna have to depend on some spooky mumbo-jumbo?"

- Scott, before Sybo's ceremony

"In the strict scientific sense, Doctor, we all feed on death. Even vegetarians."

- Spock, as McCoy mentions that Redjac feeds on death

"She's dead, Jim – just like the other one."
"Stabbed over and over again."

- McCoy and Kirk, finding Lieutenant Karen Tracy's body near Scott

"The entity would be as a hungry wolf in that fold."

- Spock, comparing the peaceful Argelians to a flock of sheep and Hengist to a wolf

"I've got some stuff that would tranquilize an active volcano."

- McCoy, describing to Kirk what sedatives he has

"This is the first time I've heard a malfunction threaten us."

- Sulu, as Redjac takes over the Enterprise computer systems

"Whoever he is, he sure talks gloomy!"

- Sulu, after receiving the sedative

"Above all: don't be afraid."
"With an armful of this stuff… I wouldn't be afraid of a supernova!"

- Kirk and a sedated Sulu

"Computer, this is a class A compulsory directive. Compute to the last digit, the value of pi."

- Spock, as he outsmarts Redjac

"You didn't have to shove me, Mr. Spock. I'd have gotten round to it."

- Transporter Chief Kyle, after Spock transported Redjac into space

"You seem very…happy about the whole thing…"
"Well, why not? For a while there, I didn't know whether I was innocent or guilty!"

- Kirk and Scott - still high off the tranquilizer - after Redjac is defeated

"Well Mr. Spock, for the next five or six hours, we're going to have the happiest crew in space. Of course, we won't get much work done."

- Kirk, commenting on the impact of the sedative

Background information[]

Story and production[]

Filming wolf in the fold

Director Joseph Pevney instructing the actors

  • Robert Bloch, the writer of this teleplay, originally envisioned the Enterprise crew sipping drinks which had several differently colored layers, much like a pousse-café. The imbiber's mood would change as he drank each layer. This was dropped as being too complicated and costly to realize just for a throwaway moment of humor. According to David Gerrold in his book about the making of "The Trouble with Tribbles", network censors were concerned that it would appear that the crew was engaged in drug use. Producer Gene Coon told the censors that they were "full of horseshit" but the drinks were excised anyway. (The Trouble With Tribbles, 1973 ed., p. 159)
  • The seance scene which ends in darkness and a murder is very similar to a scene in writer Robert Bloch's classic short story Yours Truly, Jack The Ripper. Before serving as a basis for this Trek episode, Bloch's short story was adapted into an episode of Thriller in 1961, also called Yours Truly, Jack The Ripper. (Star Trek: The Original Series 365, p.182)
  • The 1999 episode of The Outer Limits titled "Ripper" (co-starring David Warner and France Nuyen) featured a similar story, with the difference that the alien energy creature inhabited the body of the victims instead of the killer. A 2010 episode of Sanctuary called "Haunted" also used the same plot as the Trek episode, only the murderous energy being which had formerly inhabited the body of Jack the Ripper later took possession of a building rather than a ship. A 1972 episode of The Sixth Sense called "With Affection, Jack the Ripper" (with Robert Foxworth and Percy Rodrigues) used a similar plot.
  • According to Tania Lemani, the makeup for Kara was initially much more elaborate. Lemani recalled, "They sent me to the makeup department because they wanted to do something extravagant with my look. The first day, they put feathers of different colors all over my face – on my eyelashes, my eyelids, my nose. Then they took me to the director, Joe Pevney, and he said, 'No. No. Less!' The makeup people kept trying to match his vision for four days, with less and less feathers and fewer colors each time, but Joe kept saying, 'No.' Finally, on the fifth day, I came in with no makeup and he said, 'That's it. That's what I want to see – her face." Lemani did her own choreography for the scene, but due to censorship concerns, had to cover her navel with a jeweled flower. (Star Trek: The Original Series 365, p.183)
  • A large number of costumes are reused from previous episodes in the Argelius bar scene. Some of the extras in the bar are wearing turtleneck uniforms from "The Cage" and "Where No Man Has Gone Before". Two extras in the bar (one of them is later seen on the foggy street), are wearing the silver cadet uniforms made for Bruce Mars (Finnegan) and his stunt double (Vince Deadrick) in "Shore Leave". Also, one bar patron is wearing Commissioner Ferris' costume from "The Galileo Seven", and another is wearing a colonist jumpsuit recycled from "The Devil in the Dark".




  • Clocking in at approximately 15 minutes and 30 seconds, the courtroom hearing that constitutes virtually the third act of the episode appears to be the longest uninterrupted scene, confined to a single setting, in the original series.
  • In the late 1980s, the pop band Information Society sampled Scott's line "Let's go see" in their song "Walking Away."
  • On the 1993 album "Zoo Rave, Vol 2," the house/techno/rave artist John Greczula (aka Texas Audio) sampled Kirk's lines, "You were a musician at the cafe. You played for the murdered girl," and Tark's response, "Since she was a little girl she danced for me," and "The man who did it must be found," in his rave song, "Mystery Cafe."
  • Scott later referred to the events of this episode in TNG: "Relics". On that occasion, he described his being implicated in the brutal murders of three women on Argelius II as "a wee bit of trouble."
  • During the scene on the Enterprise when before Scotty sits down to be questioned he inserts a microtape into the computer which can be seen during the wide shots but is missing in close up shots of the computer.


  • James Blish's adaptation of this episode in Star Trek 8 features a paragraph-length description of the grotesque images that are seen only fleetingly as swirling blobs of color on the viewer screen in the briefing room after the entity takes over the Enterprise computer. Blish wrote,

"The viewer was a riot of changing colors. Figures began to emerge from them. Serpents writhed through pentagons. Naked women, hair streaming behind them, rode astride the shaggy backs of goats. Horned beasts pranced with toads. Rivers boiled, steaming. Above them, embraced bodies drifted down fiery winds. Human shoulders, pinioned under rocks, lifted pleading arms. Then the red glow, shedding its bloody mist over the screen, gave way to the deathly whiteness of a cold, unending snow. Up from the glacial landscape rose a towering three-headed shape, its mouth agape with gusts of silent laughter. A cross, upturned, appeared beside it. The shape crawled up it, suspending itself upon it in an unspeakable travesty of the crucifixion. Its vast, leathery wings unfolded…"

When Yeoman Tankris fearfully asks, "What could it be?" Kirk replies, "A vision of hell." The novelization also explained that the entire reason the Redjac entity framed Scott in the first place was that he wanted (in his guise as Hengist) to interrogate him under torture and elicit fear through the infliction of pain.

Production timeline[]

Remastered information[]

The remastered version of "Wolf in the Fold" aired in many North American markets during the weekend of 10 March 2007. Few adjustments were made to the episode except for all-new shots of the Enterprise in orbit of Argelius II, itself now bearing visible city lights of the surface. The visual of Redjac on the triscreen was left intact. [1]

Video and DVD releases[]

Links and references[]


Also starring[]


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