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Home Blog Features 7 possible reasons why Alice Eve takes her clothes off in Star Trek Into Darkness
7 possible reasons why Alice Eve takes her clothes off in Star Trek Into Darkness Print E-mail
Written by Ivan Radford   
Thursday, 09 May 2013 09:08

Star Trek Into Darkness is out in UK cinemas today and the Internet is already full of reviews desperate to avoid spoilers, lest they reveal a big plot hole or spoil one of the film's many references to older entries in the series. Likewise, there are no doubt countless sites where these same things are being debated and rationalised.

But one major plot point that hasn't been explained is Alice Eve's Dr. Carol, who in one scene strips down to her underwear. It's a moment that stuck out like a sore thumb in the trailer, which the marketing company tried to turn around by making it a source of a viral campaign. Now that's no longer the case, let's play a quick game of spot the unnecessary shot:

Alice Eve, Star Trek Into Darkness

Why does this trained scientist suddenly have the urge to divest herself of all vestments? Here are seven possible reasons for Alice Eve taking her clothes off in Star Trek Into Darkness:


1. She's allergic to not being naked


Just before the start of Star Trek Into Darkness, the USS Enterprise hires a new Chief Laundry Officer, who stocks the ship with a different type of detergent than the crew is used to. Luckily, everyone fails to be affected by this cloakroom cock-up. Everyone apart from Dr. Carol, who is sadly allergic to the new chemical. Halfway through the film, the itching becomes too much and she removes all of her clothes - except for her bra and pants, which she hand-washes secretly at night in the sickbay. After five seconds of blissful liberation for her skin, her skin miraculously recovers and she puts her clothes back on.


2. It's a bet


Bored while travelling back to earth, Carol and Leonard "Bones" McCoy bet on how long it will take to repair the ship's warp drive. The forfeit? Having to take their clothes off in front of Captain James Kirk, the perviest man in the universe. (She loses.)


3. She spotted Benedict Cumberbatch


You see Benedict Cumberbatch. You take your clothes off. Them's the rules. So who can blame Dr. Carol for stripping the moment he appears on screen? Many men would do the same. You know, except for the fact that none of them do. Least of all, Bumberbatch, who, despite his status as a newly sexualised object within society, is clothed at all times. Even when he does interviews with magazines.


4. Space lice


Everyone's so distracted by the arrival of Bumberbatch, that no one's looking for the real danger in the galaxy: space lice. Nasty space lice that munch on women's clothes with razor-sharp teeth. Dr. Carol, unfortunately, finds herself caught in the middle of a particularly deadly swarm. So she does the only logical thing: jumps out of them, even though Captain Kirk is in the room.


5.That's what doctors do


Ask any doctor. Whatever area you specialise in, part of your training involves taking your clothes off. Of course Carol does it - because dammit, man, she's a doctor not a model. Needless to say, Bones doesn't follow the training. The loveable rogue.


6. SEO


Dr. Carol is a smart woman. She knows that if she takes her clothes off on screen, weeks later I can write about Alice Eve's underwear and get loads of hits from people searching for exactly that.


7. It develops character


Dr. Carol taking her clothes off is actually a clever way for the script to develop character. Not Dr. Carol's you understand, but that of Captain James Kirk. A lascivious young man, his rambunctious attitude is part of what makes him so undeniably charismatic - and also a tiny bit of a dick. Carol asks him to turn around when she changes outfits so by not listening to her, the scene humanises the legendary starship captain and makes him even more likeable/incorrigible. And obviously, the only way to do that is to use the camera to look at Dr. Carol too: we couldn't possibly identify with Kirk's cheeky male gaze by simply looking at him the whole time. No, sir. Not at all.

Alternatively, of course, there's always the possibility that the shot has no narrative function whatsoever - that it's put there simply to cater to the largely male fanbase of a series that, let's not forget, has a history of not shying away from the scantily-clad ladies. Whether a conscious decision from the male writing/directing team or not, it's a sad insight into the prevailing attitudes of a largely male industry. Even in the rebooted, resuited Star Trek, with independent characters such as Lieutenant Uhura boldly going where no one has gone before, there's still a female boldly going back down to her underwear. It's modern Hollywood, Jim, exactly as we've always known it.

My money's on the lice.