“The Enemy Within” by Sol Kaplan
As much as I enjoy the scoring of 90s Trek and the modern shows being produced today, there’s something that I find incredibly compelling about the scores of TOS and of 60s TV in general. There’s something about the intense thematic writing and the occasionally bizarre orchestrations, especially when compared to today’s efforts1With some notable exceptions. Nami Melumad has done a great job of including the entire orchestra and even channeled 60s Trek when appropriately See also: McCreary, Bear.
Whether it was the title of the prompt or the subject matter of the episode, “The Enemy Within” came to mind immediately. Scoring one of the earliest episodes of TOS, Sol Kaplan produced music that is highly effective in showing the two halves of Captain Kirk’s persona2Credit too should be given to William Shatner. His performance here is often lampooned, but I honestly love it. Fitting this, I’m cheating a bit and listing two separate cues for today.
“The Tired Captain”
Representing the “Good” Kirk, this cue features high-register cello playing the Alexander Courage theme before turning to an impressionism-styled passage featuring woodwinds, particular flute, and high strings. Kaplan uses a light touch here, portraying a vulnerability with the character that Shatner also does a good job of showing on screen.
In stark contrast, Kaplan’s music for “Evil” Kirk is anything but delicate. Featuring rumbling piano and percussion and low-register clarinet and woodwind writing that would make Bernard Herrmann proud, these cues contain material that would become some of TOS’s most iconic, re-appearing in multiple episodes throughout the show’s run. The “confrontation” indicated in the cue shows hints of Kaplan’s approach to both Kirks as they play a cat-and-mouse game in engineering (with the “Evil” motifs naturally dominating.