Star Trek (Remastered): “Wolf In The Fold”
Remastered Episode #23 (3/10/2007)
Original Episode #36 (12/22/1967)
“Wolf In The Fold” offers up a second-season murder mystery from writer Robert Bloch. Bloch is best known, perhaps, for writing a little novel called Psycho. It was later adapted into the screenplay of the Alfred Hitchcock film. Bloch also wrote the Trek episodes “Catspaw” and “What Are Little Girls Made Of?”
After suffering a blow to his skull due to an explosion caused by a woman, Scotty is brought to a night club on a pleasure planet by prescription of Dr. McCoy.
You see, there’s a concern that Scotty might subconsciously harbor resentment towards women due to the accident. McCoy’s thinking is that watching women dance seductively would ease any such resentment from Scotty’s mind. Taking one for the team, Kirk accompanies the two.
Though not an Orion slavegirl, the dancer Kara certainly evokes the style of one. You can almost imagine the shadow of Gene Roddenberry as he watches off-camera.
Scotty sweet-talks Kara and she leaves with him. Unfortunately for the chief engineer, the dancer soon turns up dead – a victim of multiple stabbings. Scott is found holding the weapon. The rest of the episode is spent trying to explain how Scotty could not have committed this murder or two subsequent ones in which he manages to implicate himself.
“Wolf In The Fold” offers the Star Trek: Remastered team a bit of a breather, as it contains nearly no effects beyond standard Enterprise in orbit shots. The computer-generated Enterprise continues to look beautiful. She looks real.
Forget the effects, though, what really needs replacing in “Wolf In The Fold” is James Doohan’s fake Scottish accent. As a featured background player, Scotty is usually acceptable. In the forefront, as he is in this episode, he often becomes annoying. Scotty is just too much of a caricature to bear the spotlight for long.
Speaking of characters more suited to the background, Doohan looks like an acting genius compared to George Takei in a thankfully brief appearance near the episode’s end. He stinks up the place as a tranquilized/drunk Lieutenant Sulu.
This episode marks the first (and, as far as I know, only) appearance of the “psycho-tricorder,” probably a nod to Bloch’s novel. The psycho-tricorder looks amazingly like a standard tricorder, the major difference being that it is held by the exquisite Lieutenant Karen Tracy rather than somebody boring like Spock. Tracy is left alone with Scotty, though, so her Trek career is short-lived.
All-in-all an okay episode, but not one of the great ones. The nice thing about the original Star Trek is that it could feature a murder mystery without having an android play dress-up as Sherlock Holmes.
A couple of good companion movies to “Wolf In The Fold” would be Time After Time (written and directed by a pre-Star Trek Nicholas Meyer and starring a pre-Star Trek Malcolm McDowell and a pre-Star Trek David Warner) and Fallen (starring a pre-Star Trek Denzel Washington – who is technically still pre-Star Trek and, thus, still has a career).
Dramatic Content: 7 (out of 10)
Effects Upgrades: 7
Overall Experience: 7