Lower Decks Revives A Classic Original Series Premise

“The Enemy Within” is one of the most memorable episodes of “Star Trek: The Original Series,” in part because when Captain Kirk ends up split into two halves, one villainous and one heroic, William Shatner goes even more all in than usual on the performance. The episode comes early in the series’ first season, showing would-be fans that the series was capable of being a lot zanier than expected. Personally, I also love “The Enemy Within” because it sets an early precedent for some truly shaky (but very fun) science. “Star Trek” predicted and inspired major technological changes, sure, but it also featured an episode where a transporter split someone up not anatomically or on a molecular level, but according to the makeup of their soul. It’s classic “Star Trek” through and through.

“Star Trek: Lower Decks” takes that premise to the next level, as Badgey splits into not two but three selves. First, a hug and apology from Rutherford (Eugene Cordero) inspires the rogue AI to briefly “turn good” before, as Rutherford puts it, “Badgey took all the goodness in his code and split it off into Goodgey.” Goodgey is sweet and silver and, though the contrast in McBrayer’s performance isn’t as drastic as Shatner’s, it’s still easy to tell which badge is which since only one wants to take a root beer float break.

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