Voyаɡer Took Stаr Trek: TOS’s Good & Evil Kirk To Anotһer Level

“The Enemy Within” is a classic Star Trek: TOS episode, but Voyager took its main concept to another level, exploring it in a more nuanced way.

Evil Kirk from TOS and the Star Trek: Voyager cast.


  • Star Trek: Voyager’s “Faces” borrowed from TOS, exploring the concept of split personalities and showcasing B’Elanna’s struggle with her mixed heritage.
  • Unlike TOS, “Faces” didn’t portray B’Elanna’s Klingon side as evil, instead presenting her internal conflict as she confronted her identity.
  • Both episodes concluded that the split selves needed each other to survive, but only B’Elanna had gained a deeper understanding of herself after reintegration.

Star Trek: Voyager episode took Star Trek: The Original Series‘ good vs. evil Captain Kirk (William Shatner) to the next level. Voyager borrowed from TOS more than once in its first season, reworking concepts or exploring themes that TOS had first introduced but with a twist that always made them more interesting. One example of this was Voyager season 1, episode 14, “Faces,” which dealt with the idea of a character being split into two separate beings, something that TOS had done in season 1, episode 4, “The Enemy Within.”

During the TOS episode, as a result of a transporter accident, Captain Kirk was split into two different versions of himself. The “evil” version of Kirk began running rampant on the USS Enterprise, terrorizing the crew and attempting to take control of the ship. As the crew attempted to capture Kirk’s evil doppelgänger, it soon became clear that the “good” Kirk’s decision-making was impaired as a result of the accident, and that both Kirks’ mental states were deteriorating rapidly without the opposite side of their personality backing the other up. Ultimately, the accident was reversed, and both Kirks were merged into one being again.

Voyager Made TOS’s “The Enemy Within” Storyline More Complicated

B'Elanna split into her Human and Klingon halves in the Star Trek: Voyager episode

Although “The Enemy Within” was already based around an interesting concept, Voyager took the idea and made it more nuanced by exploring the split sides of B’Elanna Torres’s (Roxann Dawson) human and Klingon personality. “Faces” revolved around B’Elanna being split in half due to experiments by the Vidiians, but the episode did away with the good vs. evil concept in regard to B’Elanna’s two sides. The Klingon version of B’Elanna was not evil like Kirk’s counterpart and was even shown to be heroic throughout the course of the episode. In fact, she was instrumental in helping rescue her crewmates and the human version of herself from the Vidiians.

Rather than a straightforward good vs. evil fight, “Faces” instead chose to explore B’Elanna’s struggle with her mixed heritage, something that went on to become a focal point of her character throughout Voyager‘s run. Although B’Elanna’s Klingon half wasn’t evil, she was an aspect that B’Elanna fought against her whole life. Confronting the Klingon side of herself face-to-face forced B’Elanna to reckon with why she hated being partially Klingon but also what she admired and even loved about her Klingon half. In contrast, Kirk never acknowledged the deeper questions raised by confronting the darker side of his personality in “The Enemy Within.”

How B’Elanna’s Split Selves In “Faces” Still Mirror Kirk’s On TOS

The two Kirks in

Although Star Trek: Voyager‘s character exploration was more nuanced than TOS‘s, both episodes ultimately came to the same conclusion about B’Elanna and Kirk’s two selves: they both needed each other to survive. Human B’Elanna and “good” Kirk suffered from confidence and decision-making issues without their counterparts, and both episodes made it clear that, from a medical standpoint, neither of the split halves could continue to survive on their own without being reintegrated. However, although reintegration was successful for both characters, only B’Elanna gained a truly greater understanding of herself as part of the experience.

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