A Tough Episode In Star Trek: The Original Series Left Grace Lee Whitney ‘Black And Blue’

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Written By Sedoso Feb

In “The Enemy Within,” a transporter malfunction bifurcates Kirk, splitting him into a gentle, kindly half, and an aggressive, cruel half. As one might predict, the Evil Kirk drinks, carouses, and assaults his underlings, Yeoman Rand in particular. Evil Kirk encounters Rand and immediately moves in to hurt her. Whitney didn’t like the content of the scene, and filming it wasn’t fun. Rand was knocked to the floor. Weirdly, she was only directed to make the violent scene look as photogenic as possible, a strange mandate, given the content. When asked about the scene, Whitney said: 

“It was very difficult. [‘Star Trek’ creator Gene] Roddenberry was there and he wanted it to be real but glamorous. And I thought ‘how can you do that?’ I was very black and blue for a while. Shatner threw me around for a while and I did all my stunts. We did many takes. Then to make it even harder, afterwards I had to do just the opposite scene when I go cry to Spock. But I was very happy with the work.” 

Whitney’s performance is impressive, but one can see the difficulty she experienced on camera. 

Rand’s assault was, quite tragically, mirrored by a real-life assault that Whitney experienced behind the scenes. The actress never revealed the name of her attacker (he is only ever referred to in her autobiography as “the executive”), but she did reveal that one of the “Star Trek” producers, in August of 1966, lured her to a private room on the studio lot and victimized her. Whitney credits the attack and her subsequent sudden firing — her being let go was a budgetary issue and not connected to her attack — to some substance abuse problems she developed shortly thereafter. 

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