Robert Bloch’s “Wolf in the Fold” is typical both of the horror writer’s contributions to the series (he also wrote “What Are Little Girls Made Of? and “Catspaw”) and of the show’s second season, in that in year two Trek often presented some fairly dark and outlandish plotlines but shook them up with humor. The story centers around Scott, who’s accused of murder while on shore leave on the hedonistic world of Argelius. Scott’s under suspicion because a head injury has apparently created a temporary feeling of paranoia and distrust of women, but as the female bodies start piling up and the investigation continues the culprit is revealed to be the ancient spirit of Jack the Ripper, in actuality a formless alien entity which thrives on fear.
All of Bloch’s Star Trek scripts threw classic horror tropes into the unfamiliar territory of science fiction in clever ways—he references “the Old Ones” a la H.P. Lovecraft in the android dehumanization tale “What Are Little Girls Made Of?” and the traditions of ghost stories and Halloween in “Catspaw.” “Wolf in the Fold” adapts Bloch’s own story “Yours Truly, Jack the Ripper,” and all three benefit from the creepy frisson of classic horror themes thrust into Trek’s sci fi setting.
If you’re planning on introducing your feminist girlfriend to Star Trek, “Wolf in the Fold” might not be the best starter episode—it’s equivalent to a slasher film in the way women are presented almost exclusively as victims for a marauding monster because, as Spock helpfully points out, “Women are more easily and deeply terrified” than the male of the species. That’s compounded by the episode’s jocular wrap-up in which the Enterprise’s command crew of hound dogs are eager to put the brutal murders of a few female citizens and crewmembers behind them by getting back down to Argelius for more presumed booty calls. It’s offensive in retrospect but “Wolf in the Fold” to my mind makes up for a multitude of sins when it veers off into black comedy territory late in the episode after Argelian official Hengist (John Fiedler) is revealed to be the villain. Again Joe D’Agosta’s great casting provides the episode with a variety of physical types including blunt-nosed Charles Dierkop and the tall Charles McCauley who played Landru in “Return of the Archons” and later Dracula himself alongside William Marshall’s Blackula. The real prize, however, is John Fiedler, the voice of Piglet in Disney’s Winnie the Pooh cartoons and later a riot as the nebbishy Mr. Peterson on the Seventies Bob Newhart Show. Hengist is a superb foil during the initial proceedings, completely unimpressed by the presence of Kirk and his crew and registering enough skepticism over the “fairy tales” suggested by the direction of the murder investigation to keep the final revelation of his guilt a genuine surprise. The offbeat idea of drugging the entire crew to keep the Redjack entity harmless really moves the story in an unexpected direction and conjures up what to my mind has always been the funniest line ever uttered on the original Star Trek: which comes when Kirk asks McCoy what the entity would do if it entered a tranquilized body, to which McCoy replies “Well, it might take up knitting, but nothing more harmful than that.” At least once a year I think of that line and think of a malevolent, murderous being numbly trying to work out its aggression on some yarn with a pair of knitting needles and I always wind up chuckling to myself. And Fiedler provides even more dark laughs as he is finally subdued by the drug and lies giggling in the arms of the Enterprise officers muttering “…die, die, everybody die…”
Star Trek…in COLOR
As a platform for CBS Digital’s effects replacements, “Wolf in the Fold” doesn’t offer much—there are only a couple orbital shots of the Enterprise and little if any visual enhancements elsewhere as all of the episode takes place indoors or in fog-ridden alleyways and the closest thing to a visual representation of Redjack is a computer screen filled with multicolored clouds of ink. CBSD does add at least one innovation by showing (as has been previously mentioned on this board) city lights visible on the night side of the planet, an appropriate touch since the scenes on Argelius’ surface all take place at night. Elsewhere the episode is a showcase for the restoration team demonstrating vibrant colors both in costumes and in the simple but effective and always beautifully lit sets that were Star Trek’s stock-in-trade. Years of watching reruns of the show in mediocre to poor prints has caused most of us to tune out a lot of the beautiful low budget design elements of Trek but these new transfers have caused me to look over every nook and cranny of the show’s shots with a fresh eye and it’s a thrill to watch the eye-blazing color and artistry at work here even if the near-high-def quality transfers now show up every seam and blemish. For me this is a big question about the J.J. Abrams movie—can it reimagine this environment while retaining some of the pulpy feeling about this universe that I love? Star Trek – TMP and Enterprise tried to adjust to contemporary tastes by draining the color out of the Star Trek palette, and that’s legitimate to a point because the intense hues of the original show were done to advertise the capabilities of new color TV sets of the period. But those vibrant colors will always be a part of the original show’s feel and Abrams’ gold and blue teaser poster design reflects that—and makes me hopeful that he’s not going to reinvent the franchise in the mold of some depressing monochrome universe like The Matrix treated us to…
Great review. Personally I hope JJ sticks to the brighter colors, it always made trek seem larger than life. I simply loved the uniforms from II – VII and i hope a more martial look can make it into the new movie ALA “Yesterday’s Enterprise” but obviously original series skewed.
Great review, and you crack me up…Mr. Bond. I always liked McCoy’s line, but now I’ll laugh even harder every time I hear it. The vision you put in my head shows that your review hit this reader in a very positive way! Hilarious!!!
Thanks for the review Jeff! And ditto on the color and pulp feel of the show needing to be translated to Trek XI.
I always liked the suede-looking things worn by the landing party in “The Cage” — which made a quasi-reappearance in ST:TMP in the last Vger scene. Maybe a cross between those and the WOK-era uniforms, but more in keeping with the original color schemes. One can hope anyway…
I looked for the “by” line for this review first thing like I always do. We have a number of great reviewers here – – but when Jeff Bond’s name appears I know the column will be concise and revealing. So there is no surprise – – this is a superb review.
““Well, it might take up knitting, but nothing more harmful than that.” At least once a year I think of that line and think of a malevolent, murderous being numbly trying to work out its aggression on some yarn with a pair of knitting needles and I always wind up chuckling to myself” – – ditto!
Agreed on the need for color. With all the tinkering of color these days…the muted war movies, the painted look of 300, maybe JJ can get away with giving us those bold enjoyable colors that made watching TOS a joy. I sure hope he doesn’t feel the need to mute things and be more “real”. This is entertainment…and in the right hands…an artistic feast for the eyes. That color is a very important part of the style of TOS and I really hope they realize it and use it to their advantage. Hell, I’d be happy if he took a chance and went back to old 3 strip eye popping technicolor for the film, if that is even a possibility. These kids wouldn’t know what hit em!
A good review. But in terms of the color, I hope the new movie doesn’t go for the glaring color saturation of the original series. As the screenwriters stated in the now famous “reimagining” interview, this movie has to appeal to a broad audience, and today’s audience has a more sophisticated visual sense than back in the Sixties.
Bright, primary colors bring to mind toys for toddlers and by association, simple plots and characters that the Barney crowd can comprehend, clap and coo over.
Me, I want to see a rich, nuanced Star Trek universe, not Star Trek: Adventures in Playland.
Very funny stuff, Jeff. Great work.
As for the pulpy feel of TOS, you’re 100% on the money. And I (sadly) predict Abrams will go the “sleek, cold” route because he wants this Trek to be taken very seriously. He’ll probably have over 100 million reasons telling him that he *must* take this movie seriously. Sometimes a big budget can actually make a movie less creative- the risks involved can stifle creativity.
Good Review. Though I’m not sure that this would be a good introductory Star Trek episode for anyone, let alone “your feminist girlfriend”. It has a few plot holes you could fly a starship through which doesn’t help the fact all the women in this episode are treated as objects.
As for the uniform colors, perhaps JJ can treat us to some grins as the crew bemoans that some color blind hedonist relative of a bureaucrat must have designed the newly issued (aka, TOS colors) uniforms. The movie theaters will have to hand out sunglasses if the TOS colors are used, or face lawsuits for causing people to go blind from the intense colors. ST XI IMAX could be fatal! (maybe SPF 75 could help) :-)
I like the BRIGHT COLORS and the GOOSENECKS™!!!! And I’ll be damned if I going to pay good money to see a movie without them!
You can have your monotone, Gooseneckless universe!
Personally, for hates sake — I spit my last breath at it!
Go for the colors! The “dark is good” mantra crossed the line into cliche about fifteen years ago. Dim lighting + black clothes + tough talk + fights = modern and edgy. Not always. Rescue us from sci-fi dystopias. Trek already went gray (STTMP) and some folks complained. I wasn’t one of them, and TMP design was superb and though not vivid like TOS, far from the modern aesthetic. Check the most successful films ever; lots of color and flash there. The poster for ST11 shows the right idea. Spiderman keeps a fairly bright scheme and has been very successful.
Color is very important to STAR TREK. I would hate to see a bland bridge like we saw on TMP, Voyager and ENT.
I would love to see uniforms like in Star Trek II-IV, but with the tv show colors of Gold (command), blue (sciences), and red (tech/security), with black turtle necks. That would work well with the previous movies. Best way to do this is set the movie up in Season 4 of the original series. There is nothing saying the TOS crew wore the same uniforms until TMP.
Then again, canonistas, “The Cage” bridge was gray & black & silver, recall? A “young Kirk”-era ship would be closer to that palette than the “red railing” era, not?
Colourful stories, colourful characters, COLOURFUL SETS….get the idea?
Jeff, as always good review.
I’m with you all about the knitting comment, it was always a bit amusing, but the new mental image Jeff provides makes it downright funny.
Okay, back to funny lines from this episode.
McCoy’s knitting line is a classic, but my favorite quote comes from Scotty at the very end, just after they beam Hengist’s body into space. Spock suggests that Kirk finish his shore leave and Kirk mentions a “cafe where the women are so…”
“I know the place, Jim,” McCoys chirps in. Then the kicker…
“LET”S GO SEE!” Scotty blurts out, high as a kite and giddy as a schoolboy. He sounds like a college freshman who’s just been invited to go to a nudie bar for the first time. The line is hilarious, as is Doohan’s facial expression. The funniest moment in the episode, period.
I agree, Larry! Let’s hope they stick to that look and pallette!
Great to have you here, Larry….I love your books…they are in the book case right behind me as I type this…;-)
All I know is, I want to see mechanically prehensile Gooseneck™ Viewers….CG animated! If not, I swear I will go medieval at the box office demanding my money back!
I have this costume I am going to wear to the premiere that is a Starfleet Uniform (WNMHGB era) with a big Gooseneck™ Viewer that mounts on my shoulder.
It’s really cool.
I am thinking about having two Gooseneck™ Viewers — one with an image of an angel on it and the other with an image of a devil on it…and have one on each shoulder.
Wouldn’t that be a hoot??!!! HAHAHAHHAHAHAHHA!!!!
bring back the bright colors.
#6 Sleeper…. are you implying TOS was adventures in playland for having a bright palette?
I liked the TMP uniforms, but this is back to the beginning. And the beginning was bright. It’s time to begin again…
Goosenecker… an occaisional joke is enough…is there a contribution beyond the poor humour?
Excellent review, Mr. Bond. Thank you.
My most pressing concern is I worry about the safety of small children if ST XI ends up not having gooseneck viewers. Perhaps Mr. Gooseneck will become so angry if the movie does not have them that he will make Jack the Ripper’s actions look like a “folk dance.”
Please, we must have gooseneck viewers for the sake of the children.
#21 Here, here!!! Spoken like a true Gooseneck™ fan!
#20 You can actually stand before me and tell me you didn’t enjoy my story about my costume????!!! Why….yoouuuu…..worthless platter of ruin you! You…you…ARRRRRGGGGH!!!!!
You sir, are an offense to my Gooseneck™.
Another excellent review by Jeff Bond.
Don’t forget, ’80s kids, that Jimmy’s “Let’s go see!” was sampled by Information Society. I believe the song was “Walking Away”.
Give me gold, blue, and red tunics with black neck lines. Gooseneck viewers are optional. Just don’t give me Matt Damon as Kirk. Get Shatner and CGI his double chin.
Shatner is too wide for widescreen. Maybe that kid from Eragon?
I’m leaning for Goosenecks(tm) but not so bland a universe as The Cage portrays.
#11 DEMODE — I agree about the TOS colors and the TWOK-TUC uniforms being an interesting combination, although I don’t think I want to see that for the new film. The II-VI uniforms looked interesting, but way too busy and overcomplicated for daily wear to me, but that’s a nitpick. But with all of the redesigning of everything in the films, I wish they’d kept continuity with the colors. A while back I did some quick photoshop manips of the movie uniforms with the TOS colors, and I thought they actually looked really good. Spock in classic blue was particularly good. Anyway, that’s neither here nor there (and I’m no doubt rambling due to sleeplessness).
*** MESSAGE TO J.J. – COLOUR IS GOOD!!! ***
As someone who was sorely disappointed with the bland, pastels of the first Star Trek Movie’s sets and costumes, because they were TOO far removed from the Original Series colour ethic that I loved, I absolutely hope that given the opportunity of a near ST:TOS era storyline this time, J.J. and his production crew finally give us a VIBRANT, COLOURFUL epic, which utilises the iconic GOLD, BLUE, and RED uniforms.
Give us up-to-date fabrics by all means, but don’t MUTE the hues too much… And please don’ t ruin the fabulous actual costume design either. KEEP the black, pocketless, SHORTENED trousers look with high black boots for the male crew, with the “belts” for attachments like communicators and handphasers, and again give us the female crew in flatteringly sexy looking “MINI” tunics, black tights, and short boots, which the actressess will love I’m sure. And don’t “minis” come around in fashion again and again anyway?
As for the Enterprise Bridge, corridors, and other sets, PLEASE give us some kind of Original Series design ethic and COLOUR palette, and most importantly I think, please LIGHT everything in a somewhat similar way from ABOVE! The ceiling of the Bridge and other sets were ABLAZE with different COLOURS shining upon the actors. RED pools of light highlighting the actors in close-ups, are especially evocative of the lighting ethic of the Original episodes, and make them VISUALLY wonderful to watch. In fact, the original Star Trek is probably STILL the most consistantly COLOURFUL show in history. Thankyou.
Oh, and as it’s finally been CONFIRMED by the scriptwriters that the Movie’s title IS simply to be “STAR TREK” (YAAAAYYYYYY!), can I please get a very SATURATED yellow like the originals had, not some pale, washed out looking inferior. Thanks again J.J.
I’ve always loved this episode because we get to see a whole new side to Scotty. This episode also showed the strength of the character’s friendships as well.
Here’s something a little different, not sure if you all had seen this before. It’s an interesting take on bringing Kirk back from the dead. Take a look.. it’s worth a peek.
One change I was hoping to see in this episode and others was an update of the “guts” behind the bridge stations, shown when someone laid on their stomach and fiddled with whatever was behind the access panels below the bridge consoles. With the wads of wire and the little circuit panels, these really look as badly dated as Norman the Android’s bellybutton circuitry. I would have hoped that, given the very rectangular shape of those panels and the general lack of camera movement in those shots, that there would be a minimum of rotoscoping necessary to replace those with something a little less like something thrown together from the studio junk drawer. I dunno if the CBS folks didn’t think of it, didn’t have time in their schedule for it, or consider it outside their “mandate”, but it would have been a good change IMO.
“with an armfull of this stuff, I wouldn’t be afraid of a super nova.”
Intereting kirk would let the drugged up bridge crew stay on duty. Good thing sulu didn’t start firing phasers at argelius or go to warp 12!
Re Colors, Flared Trousers & Boots
Last summer the subject of colored tunics came up. For those who do not know, the idea comes from the US Navy and its use of vibrant color to identify a deck hand’s job at a glance. This is especially so on the flight deck of an aircraft carrier.
Roddenberry was of course familiar with this practice and since Star Fleet and the Enterprise were Navy, he added it as a matter of course.
The flared trouser legs are also of naval origin. “Bell Bottom Trousers” (the name of a famous sea-ditty about an amourous sailor on leave) were made such that the cuff could be folded back over the leg, protecting it from soiling when swabbing the decks or other wet duty.
Trek’s boots were, of course, originally black cowboy boots, not so useful on ship, but no doubt a nod to Roddenberry’s “Wagon Train to the Stars” idea and, perhaps, the iconic US Cavalry troopers.
I hope this will fill in some of the knowledge blanks and give an even greater appreciation to the naval and military design esthetic of Star Trek.
HA! Watching this weekend it occurred to me that leaving the drugged Mr. Kyle in charge of the transporter might not be the smartest thing.
Did not like the movie uniforms for II-VI.
The fake James F. Kirk and Spock must wear series style and color uniforms in the fake movie. Bright colors will make the movie seem less fake.
Dark colors and dim lighting=bad.
Bright colors and good lighting=good.
Non-Shatner Kirk and Non-Nimoy Spock=fake.
And Wolf in the Fold is great and so is the above review.
“with an armfull of this stuff, I wouldn’t be afraid of a super nova.”
Was it just me, or did Takei read that line like he was doing a Paul Lynde impression? All he needed was to tack a “Sammie” onto the end of the line and it could have been an episode of “Bewitched”.
True. I guess the question is, if there are finite resources, and time, do you ‘go to town’ with eps like DDM, Tribbles, Tholian Web, and (please, please, please) Tomorrow is Yesterday, and leave others (that already have limited FX shots) pretty much the way that they are — with some (really cool) added city lights visible from orbit, or revised background (Catspaw), or, invest the ‘same’ amount of work and resources in each ep — and sacrifice the FX-laden/fan favorites for “Spock’s Brain” or “Turnabout Intruder” ?
Everyone will have their own preference. Mine simply would be “Save the money for the already-FX-laden eps, and try to do a spectacular job: planetary debris breaking against the hull of the Constellation (or, the USS Consolation..as the case may be… ;) ), for example, on them”
I want it all
I want it all
I want it all
And I want it now
*cue guitar solo*
I do want some color homages, but dont think TOS would work on screen. but dont want TMP brightness or matrix darkness either
the results or our recent ‘favorite TOS production design’ poll are as follows
TOS series 29%
i am with the majority
regarding matching and canon…the fact that the show and movies demonstrated that Starfleet totally redesigned their interiors and uniforms every few years gives you enough to describe away pretty much any level of redesign unless the film takes place during the 5 year mission itself. And even if it does…who cares if it looks different…just make it look good and have some kind of trek connection
#35 — haha so true, I saw it this weekend and couldn’t place why Takei’s delivery sounded familiar to me. He’s channeling Paul Lynde.
What was, apparently, cut out from the production were the scenes of crewmen/women running down to the food synthesizers to deal with their serious cases of “the munchies” — and then to the Astrometrics labs to try to determine if, the Universe were in fact, just a little atom in a much bigger Universe.
“So one cell in my fingernail is…”
“One, little, tiny universe.”
Quote fom “animal house”
That would have involved them running down to sickbay — and was cut out during the writing of the script. Too many pages.
(remembering Animal House…funny, funny movie — particularly if you were in college at the time, and had friends who reminded you of those characters!)
Star Trek IS about the look of the series. Kirk looks like William Shatner in a goldish shirt or greenish tunic. Spock looks like Leonard Nimoy in a blue shirt. The Enterprise looks like the TV series Enterprise. Fake Star Trek looks fake.
PS-Gooseneck viewers look like viewers on goosenecks. ;)
#43 I like your message, but if you keep it up, Stanky need a spanky! Or, put another way, McFibberich can be such a….no, I won’t go there!
Has anyone brought up the inconsistency in the look of different scenes in these new CBSD airings? Some scenes look just beautiful – obviously remastered. Other scenes look muddled and muted, as if they didn’t have time to work on those. This is all within the same episode! Any guesses as to why this would be the case? Hopefully the eventual DVD/HD re-releases don’t have this problem.
I think this is the best opportunity to see the original series on the big screen. This may be the best chance we get to see something similar to the color and design.
You have to have full color, look how bad Superman Returns was because the didn’t use a full color pallette and RED.
Don’t give us muted use the three primary colors at least, if the poster is anything to go by hopefully the GOLD and BLUE and maybe RED will be there.
Stanky McFibberich is wise. The Stank-Man has climbed the steps of Mt. Selaya.
His are high worship words. Much like “eeb-pleb-neesta.”
Please don’t give us a fake Kirk, i.e., Matt Damon. I’d rather see the adventures of Captain Tracy and his phaser pack.
I, for one, liked the Pike-era production design. All steel greys and serious business. Probably why I liked the TMP bridge as well, and especially the way it looked at the end of IV- white, silver, with blue and green readouts. Too bad they tore it apart to make the TNG battle bridge.
Given the time frame, I expect more of a Pike-era feel, and hopefully not the alt-Trek universe style of Enterprise.
Star Trek: The Motion Picture (circa 2271-2272, two-and-a-half years after the end of the series)
Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (circa 2285)
You know, if the powers that be wanted too (I doubt they would, but hey… I can dream) they could set these new films after the events of TMP. Between TMP and WOK is a 13 year gap. Quite a large space to fill. If they wanted to have costumes similar to the red movie costumes, but done in the TOS colours, that would be a logical way of doing it, as it would be a clear evolution in style.
Also, as much as I love the TOS Enterprise, I do feel the movie version of 1701 would look better on screen.
In 13 years on early we went from poodle skirts to mini skirts – anything is possible.