Mirror, Mirror (Star Trek)

Mirror, Mirror (Star Trek)

Infobox Star Trek episode
name = Mirror, Mirror

Kirk with Spock's "mirror" counterpart
series = TOS
ep_num = 33
prod_num = 039
remas._num = 10
date = October 6, 1967
writer = Jerome Bixby
director = Marc Daniels
guest = Barbara Luna
John Winston (actor) Vic Perrin Eddie Paskey William Blackburn (actor) Meade Martin Roger Holloway Frank da Vinci Pete Kellett Garth Pillsbury Paul Prokop Bob Bass (actor) Bobby Clark Johnny Mandell
stardate = unknown
year = 2267
prev = The Changeling
next = The Apple

"Mirror, Mirror" is an episode of "". It is a second season episode, #33, production #39, and was broadcast for the first time on October 6, 1967. It was repeated on April 12, 1968. It was written by Jerome Bixby and directed by Marc Daniels.

The episode introduces the alternate reality "Mirror Universe" concept in Star Trek for the first time. The episode has a transporter mishap swapping Captain Kirk and his companions with their evil counterparts in a parallel universe. In the so-called Mirror Universe, the "Enterprise" is a ship of the Empire rather than the Federation, promotions are earned by assassination, and Mr. Spock has a beard.


After failing to persuade the Halkan Council to allow the Federation to mine dilithium crystals on their planet, Captain James T. Kirk, along with Dr. McCoy, Scotty, and Lt. Uhura, return to the "Enterprise". An unexpected ion storm causes a transporter malfunction, and the landing team beams aboard an unfamiliar "Enterprise".

The group realizes something is amiss as they arrive on the transporter pad: a goateed Mr. Spock viciously tortures the transporter operator, Lt. Kyle, for carelessness in nearly losing the ship's captain. (Low ranking crew members carry "agonizers", which superior officers use to punish them for dereliction of duty.) Kirk deduces that they must have switched places with their mirror-universe counterparts, and the landing party from this universe must now be aboard his "Enterprise", and that his landing party must impersonate their counterparts until they can find a way home. In this alternate universe, the USS "Enterprise" is called an "Imperial Starship" or ISS "Enterprise", and a brutal Terran Empire has replaced the Federation. Officers rise in rank by sabotaging or assassinating their superiors, and as a result all high ranking officers must hire a personal bodyguard. Uniforms in this alternate universe are very different; sidearms and daggers are standard issue, while the clothing itself is much more revealing. Torturing subordinates is an acceptable form of discipline in this alternate universe.

On board on the USS "Enterprise" Mr. Spock notices the changed personalities of the landing party and orders security to take them to a holding cell. The mirror Kirk tries to bribe Spock with rewards of "a command of (his) own" if he's freed but Spock simply replies "fascinating" and continues investigating. Spock comes to the same conclusion as Kirk: the ion storm must have opened a barrier between parallel universes and the two landing parties have switched places.

Back on the ISS "Enterprise", Kirk goes to the captain's quarters on this ship, which are quite different from his own. He discovers that the mirror-Kirk has been ordered to annihilate the Halkans if they refuse the Empire's "request" to mine dilithium, and horrified, Kirk studies his counterpart's records further, In this universe, "Kirk" gained command of the ISS "Enterprise" by assassinating Captain Christopher Pike and was responsible for massacring 5,000 colonists on Vega IX, among many other atrocities.

Mirror-Spock informs Kirk that the ship is ready to attack the Halkans. Desperately, Kirk orders a delay in the attack for 12 hours. This piques mirror-Spock's curiosity, but he obeys the order; he does report the suspicious activity of his Captain to the Imperial Command, and receives orders to kill Captain Kirk if he does not carry out the order to destroy the uncooperative Halkans.

Having failed to sabotage the weapons systems, Scotty and McCoy work secretly to figure out what happened with the transporter. While Scotty is finding a way to return them to the correct universe, Kirk meets the beautiful Lieutenant Marlena Moreau, who refers to herself as the "Captain's Woman". Back in Kirk's quarters, Marlena shows Kirk the Tantalus Field, a device in the captain's quarters which can secretly monitor anyone on the ship and "eliminate" them. When he prevents her from eliminating the mirror-Spock, she realizes something is wrong--her Kirk would not have hesitated.

Kirk stalls the mirror-Spock while his crew search for a way home, but Spock is suspicious. Spock, not wanting command of the ISS "Enterprise" as it would make him an instant target of assassination, decides instead to study the Captain as long as he can. Marlena wants her Kirk back as well and helps the team return as much as she can.

Scotty reports to Kirk that there may be a way to return to their universe, but someone must manually operate the transporter system; it cannot be pre-set. The mirror-Spock confronts them, and in the ensuing fight, Kirk knocks the Vulcan and the mirror-Sulu unconscious. (Marlena has "eliminated" Sulu's thugs with the Tantalus Field.) Uhura, Kirk, and Scotty head for the transporter room while McCoy stays behind to make sure that mirror-Spock is all right. Mirror-Spock suddenly comes to and quickly mind melds with McCoy in order to read his mind. He discovers the switch, and offers to operate the transporter so that the entire landing party may return to their own universe. This convinces Kirk that this universe's Mr. Spock is still an ethical Vulcan guided by logic. He suggests to mirror-Spock that a Federation-like system is more logical than the ruthless totalitarian Empire. Mirror-Spock agrees to consider the idea.

On board the USS "Enterprise", Spock decides to attempt the beaming sequence at the same time the ISS "Enterprise" attempts theirs. The switch is successful. As the episode ends, Kirk meets his own universe's Lieutenant Marlena Moreau, who is quite a different girl from what he experienced her to be in the other universe. Kirk tells Spock that Moreau "seems like a nice, likable girl" and that he thinks they "could be friends". The real Spock also comments that the ruthless attitude of the Mirror Kirk, Dr. McCoy, Scotty, and Uhura were refreshing, and "the very flower of humanity".

40th Anniversary remastering

This episode was remastered in 2006 and first aired November 11, 2006 as part of the remastered "Original Series". It was preceded a week earlier by "The Trouble With Tribbles" and followed a week later by "Space Seed". Aside from remastered video and audio, and the all-CGI animation of the USS "Enterprise" that is standard among the revisions, specific changes to this episode also include:
* The Halkan homeworld has been updated to look more realistic.
* The transition effect between the mirror universes has been smoothed and reworked with a zooming video effect.
* The ISS "Enterprise" was changed and now more closely resembles the second pilot USS "Enterprise". The Bussard collectors in front of the warp nacelles lack the swirling light effects of the USS "Enterprise" and include antennas. The ends of the nacelles have the earlier version series of exhaust ports instead of a dome. The bridge is taller, and the larger deflector dish is present. The hull is gun-metal gray, the name "ISS ENTERPRISE" is shown on the saucer.
* The agonizer Spock uses on Mr. Kyle glows and sparks with red energy when activated.
* The agony booth that Mr. Chekov is placed in now glows with red energy and includes an image warping effect.
* The Tantalus Field effects have been enhanced.


*"Star Trek: Enterprise" references this universe in the episodes "In a Mirror, Darkly" (parts I and II). [http://www.startrek.com/startrek/view/series/ENT/episode/9440.html]
*This episode is the first and possibly only time Scotty calls Captain Kirk "Jim".
*This episode was inspired by the writings of esoteric author Helena Blavatsky, which was brought to the attention of a young Gene Roddenberry, when he was an L.A. policeman in the 1950s by his partner, who was a student of Manly Palmer Hall. See "Master of the Mysteries" by Louis Sahagun (p. 148), published in 2008.
*The mirror universe is featured in "TNG" novel "Dark Mirror", by Diane Duane, which features a Galaxy-class ISS "Enterprise", ICC-1701-D.
*In the computer game , the Hazard Team enters a part of the conjoined Scavenger Ship that resembles the ISS Enterprise, manned with people similar to those in this episode.
*William Shatner and Judith and Garfield Reeves-Steven's Star Trek novels have featured the Mirror Universe established in "DS9" continuity (Spectre, Dark Victory and Preserver), including the return of the Mirror Kirk, calling himself "Emperor Tiberius".
*The scene at the end of the episode where Captain Kirk met the Lt. Moreau of his own universe was edited into the DS9 episode "Trials and Tribble-ations" with the character of Benjamin Sisko inserted in place of Moreau.
*The episode was referenced in the two part "Megas XLR" series finale "Rearview Mirror, Mirror", which features many references to the original "Star Trek" episode and Universal Century "Gundam". The basic plot of the episodes, which center on an alternate universe where Coop and Kiva have gone evil and a battle-hardened Jamie opposes them, is taken from the "Trek" episode, as the title references.
*The episode was spoofed in "Mystery Science Theater 3000" episode 611 ("Last of the Wild Horses"), where Gypsy and Tom Servo swapped universes with their evil alternate selves. In the alternate universe, Mike Nelson was now in Deep 13, sporting a goatee and wearing a costume similar to Kirk's while evading assassination attempts by Crow, and forcing his universe's version of Dr. Forrester and TV's Frank to watch bad movies on the "Satellite of Love" (Forrester and Frank even appear in the theater for a brief movie segment). The episode ends with the "normal" Forrester and Frank discovering the joys of the agony booth.
*The episode was referenced in episodes of "Futurama", "Venture Bros.", "KND", "South Park", "Robson Arms", "Robot Chicken", "Stargate Atlantis", and "The Middleman" as well as an issue of "A-Next" and the "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" video game.
*The progressive rock band Spock's Beard likely took their name from this episode.
*At the Transformers Convention Botcon, there was a theme of a mirrorverse with the Autobots being portrayed as evil and Decepticons being portrayed as heroic. Also, the mirrorverse version of character Rodimus had a goatee.
* The song "Spock with a beard" by Palmskin Productions, on the Rebirth of Cool Volume 2 compilation album, samples a line of Captain Kirk's dialogue from this episode.

External links

* [http://trekmovie.com/2006/11/13/mirror-mirror-screenshots-and-video/ The 2006 remastered Mirror, Mirror side-by-side comparisons]
* [http://www.startrek.com/startrek/view/series/TOS/episode/68738.html "Mirror, Mirror"] at StarTrek.com
* [http://www.fastcopyinc.com/orionpress/articles/mirror.htm "Mirror, Mirror"] original script analysis
* [http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0708438/ Mirror, Mirror] at IMDB

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