"Mirror, Mirror," one of Star Trek: The Original Series' most-memorable, most-influential episodes, first aired on October 6, 1967, or 49 years ago today. The 10th episode of the second season, it was directed by Marc Daniels based on a script by Jerome Bixby. In the hour, a transporter malfunction results in evil versions of our beloved Enterprise characters.
Some fascinating facts, figures and anecdotes about "Mirror, Mirror"...
Writer Jerome Bixby based "Mirror, Mirror" on "One Way Street," a short story he'd published in the December 1953/January 1954 issue of Amazing Stories.
One of our favorite snippets of dialogue: "I'm a doctor, not an engineer," Dr. McCoy protests to Scotty as they work together, prompting Scotty to reply, "Now you're an engineer."
Speaking of Scotty. Here, for the first time, he calls Kirk... Jim.
This episode inspired all forms of tribute over the years. One prime example? The progressive rock band Spock's Beard. StarTrek.com spoke to Spock's Beard co-founder and guitarist Alan Morse last year, and he explained how and why Spock's Beard took its name from the episode. "Naming a band is so much harder than you'd think," Morse told us. "It's challenging because it's hard to find something that's different and stands out and that you won't get sick of in a week. So we had to come up with a new name and we couldn't settle on anything, so we came up with a long list, a bunch of different names I'd been collecting over a period of time. Spock's Beard was sort of a phrase that we'd say to each other -- my brother and I -- when something weird would happen. We'd say, 'Wow, that's like "Spock's Beard,"' meaning, 'that only happens in a parallel universe, right?' Anyway, Spock only has that beard in the one episode, and it's when he's in the parallel universe in 'Mirror, Mirror.' So, that was just something we'd say to each other as an inside joke. I put Spock's Beard on the list sort of as a joke. Everybody seemed to like it the best, and so we picked that one, and here we are 20-however-many-years later."
The agony booth... enough said.
Another great line, from Mirror Spock: "I do not threaten, Captain," Spock intones. "I merely state facts."
According to Memory Alpha, "The captain's chair created for this episode was later reused as Robert Wesley's command chair aboard the USS Lexington in 'The Ultimate Computer.'"
And then there's this telling comment: "Jim," McCoy noted, "I think I liked him (Spock) with a beard better. It gave him character. Of course, almost any change would be a distinct improvement."
"Mirror, Mirror," when it aired in other nations around the world, was given foreign-language titles. They included "Mirror, Little Mirror" in Spain, "Terror of the Ion Turbulence" in Japan and "A Parallel Universe" in Germany.
"So you die, Captain," Chekov spits. "And we all move up in rank. No one will question the assassination of a captain who has disobeyed Prime Orders of the Empire."
Did you notice that BarBara Luna as Marlena Moreau looks a bit different in her kissing scene with William Shatner's Kirk than she does in the rest of the episode. Here's why:
"I woke up with a strep throat and a very high fever after filming for four days," Luna told StarTrek.com in 2014. "And, of course, I couldn’t call the studio and say, 'I’m sick. I’m not coming in.' So I, of course, got into my car and drove to work. They took one look at me and sent me to the medic and he said, 'Oh my God, she’s so contagious.' Of course, the scene we had left was the scene in the cabin, the kissing scene with Shatner. I barely had a voice. The decision was to send me home and go on to the next scene, which is what they did. I went back about a month later and completed the show. However, I guess while I was recuperating, I lost several pounds. So when I arrived on set in the costume that was made for that scene, Roddenberry said, 'Oh, my gosh, that’s awful. No.' Bill Theiss, the costumer, came out, and genius that he was, he put me in a bikini and wrapped this material around me. And what you see is that beautiful caftan in the cabin scene."
Kirk, in Bixby's original outline for the episode, was married.
"A modified brig makes its debut here," Memory Alpha notes. "Its location on the set was in the short hallway leading to the Engineering set. The brig seen in 'Charlie X' was in the main hallway, but featured many of the same set pieces. However, the force field projectors did not move when someone attempted to get out of the new version."
The role of Chekov's guard #2 was played by Bobby Clark, better known to Star Trek fans as the man inside the Gorn costume in "Arena."
"Mirror, Mirror" was nominated for a Hugo Award in 1968 as Best Dramatic Presentation.
Marc Daniels directed a total of 14 TOS episodes, match the number helmed by Joe Pevney, and he wrote the The Animated Series installment "One of Our Planets Is Missing." He passed away in 1989 at the age of 77.