Spock's Brain

__NOTOC__Infobox Star Trek episode
name = Spock's Brain


Spock's "brainless" body wearing the headgear control unit devised by Dr. McCoy.
series = TOS
ep_num = 56
prod_num = 061
remas._num = 34
date = September 20, 1968
writer = Gene L. Coon as Lee Cronin
director = Marc Daniels
guest = Marj Dusay
James Daris
Sheila Leighton
Pete Kellett
Eddie Paskey
William Blackburn
Frank da Vinci
Roger Holloway
stardate = 5431.4
year = 2268
prev =
next = The Enterprise Incident

"Spock's Brain" is a third season episode of "", first broadcast September 20 1968. It was the first episode of the third season and the first to air after NBC moved the show from 8:30 P.M. to 10 P.M. on Friday nights. It was repeated July 8, 1969. It is episode #56, production #61, written by Gene L. Coon (under the pseudonym "Lee Cronin") and directed by Marc Daniels.

Plot

On stardate 5431.4, the USS "Enterprise", under the command of Captain James T. Kirk, encounters a curious ship of unusual design. Upon contact, the ship emits a transport beam and a mysterious woman appears to the "Enterprise" bridge. She stuns the entire crew using a bracelet-like device, then examines each of them, taking particular interest in Mr. Spock. She then somehow removes his brain and disappears. When the crew awakens, Dr. McCoy finds Spock lying on a bed in sickbay and discovers what has happened to him. Thankfully, owing to the unusual physiology of Vulcans, Spock's body can survive in this "brainless" state mechanically, giving Captain Kirk about 24 hours to find his stolen brain.

Sensors detect the ship's ion trail and Kirk follows it to the Sigma Draconis system. The system contains three planets that are reported to be inhabited: Sigma Draconis III, IV and VI, however the recorded technological levels of each world are determined to be incapable of producing the kind of spacecraft that the "Enterprise" followed here. The sixth planet however, which shows no sign of industrial advancement at all, radiates energy transmissions that Lt. Uhura states as contradictory to its technological scale. Playing on the hunch that the planet may be deceiving, Kirk beams a landing party to the surface.

Sigma Draconis VI is revealed to be a harsh world in the middle of an Ice Age, but the landing party has no trouble locating the local inhabitants, who attack them on sight, believing them to be "The Others". Kirk captures one of the attackers and questions him. The man reveals himself as a Morg and warns Kirk about the "givers of pain and delight". Kirk asks the Morg about the females of his kind, since there were none around, but is only met with the man's bewilderment. Kirk asks the Morg to help him find "the others", but he refuses and runs away.

The landing party soon comes upon the ruins of a buried city here they find an elevator that leads underground. Kirk calls Dr. McCoy down from the "Enterprise", who has fashioned a device to remotely operate Spock's brainless body and has the mechanically controlled Spock accompany him. The team heads down and they encounter a woman named Luma who tries to activate her bracelet, but Kirk stuns her with a phaser. When questioned, Luma shows she only has the mentality of a child.

Spock makes contact with the landing party through a communicator, but before anything can be done, Kirk and his party are apprehended by Kara, the same woman who appeared on the "Enterprise" bridge. She identifies herself as the leader of the Eymorgs, the apparent females of the Morg. The Eymorg captors place belts on the landing party that they can't remove and that inflict intense pain upon them. Kirk demands to know what the Eymorgs have done with Spock's brain, but Kara responds with the deep philosophical statement, "Brain and brain, what is "brain"?"

McCoy informs Kirk that if all the Eymorgs have such a low intelligence that they couldn't possibly be capable of removing a brain the way Spock's was removed. Someone, or something else must be behind all this.

The landing party manages to overpower their guard and follow Spock's instruction to the central "controller" which is actually his brain kept alive in a black box that is tied to a control panel. Here, they also find Kara, who immediately immobilizes the team using the pain belts. Kirk uses the remote that controls the mechanically operated Spock and makes him grab Kara's wrist and press the release button on her bracelet. Once free of the pain, Kirk listens to Spock's brain via communicator.

They realize that Spock is now the "Controller" — a living computer that the Eymorgs hope will last 10,000 years. Spock says he operates the power systems of the planet, recirculating the air, running heating plants and pumping water — all the functions that requires a supreme intelligence for the regulation of a planet-wide life support system. He also informs that the Eymorgs can gain temporary understanding of ancient knowledge from a machine called "the Great Teacher" which Kara leads them to.

Kirk forces Kara to put the Teacher on hoping she will gain knowledge to undo the surgery on Spock, but she uses her new found knowledge to level a phaser at him instead. Mr. Scott pretends to faint and Kirk uses the distraction to grab the phaser away from Kara.

McCoy then tries the Teacher on and discovers how to perform a "reverse brain transplant" on Spock. McCoy conducts the surgery and nearly manages to do so within the three-hour time limit that the implanted knowledge lasts. Mr. Spock provides some assistance himself after McCoy reestablishes his capacity to speak verbally.

Without their Controller, the Eymorgs fear for their existence. Kirk then informs Kara that the Eymorgs will have to take their chances on the surface and live as the Morgs do. He suggests the two societies can share "the Teacher" device and learn together. Kara is not overly enthusiastic about the prospect, but Kirk at least offers some assistance.

40th Anniversary remastering

This episode was re-mastered in 2006 and was first aired June 9, 2007 as part of the remastered 40th Anniversary original series. It was preceded a week earlier by the remastered version of "Bread and Circuses" and followed a week later by the remastered version of "Plato's Stepchildren". Aside from remastered video and audio, and the all-CGI animation of the "Enterprise" that is standard among the revisions, specific changes to this episode also include:

*The ion-propelled ship that flew to meet the "Enterprise" was redesigned in 3D to reflect current-day (21st Century) ion propulsion prototype concepts.
*The planet Sigma Draconis VI was given a more realistic appearance with most of the world shown covered in ice.
*The "beam in" shot of the landing team was enhanced with a new digital matte backdrop showing mountains covered with glaciers.

Notes

*Though produced after "The Enterprise Incident," "Spock's Brain" aired first, thus opening the third season.
*McCoy (DeForest Kelley) utters another famous quote alongside his famous, "He's dead Jim...", or "I'm a doctor, not a ...". Here McCoy utters "His brain is gone!"
*In his memoir "Star Trek: Memories", William Shatner called this one of the series' worst episodes. Leonard Nimoy, in his 1995 book "I am Spock", writes that "frankly during the entire shooting of that [ie. Spock's Brain] episode, I was embarrassed--a feeling that overcame me many times during the final season of Star Trek." (p.115)
* Star Trek co-producer Robert H. Justman ruefully states that he was the person who suggested that Spock's Brain, after being rescued by the Enterprise crew, actually "takes over during surgery and instructs Dr. McCoy exactly how to go back reinserting it back where it came from--inside Spock's skull." (Herbert Solow & Robert Justman, Inside Star trek: The Real Story, Pocket Books, 1996, p.402)
*In the TV show "The Wonder Years", one episode features Kevin Arnold, his current girlfriend, Paul, and Paul's current girlfriend all in Kevin's basement watching this episode. Later on, when Kevin is knocked unconscious, he fantasizes that his girlfriend, Winnie Cooper, and Paul's girlfriend are all the women who have taken Spock's brain. Further, Kevin fantasized himself as Kirk, Paul as Spock, and Winnie's current boyfriend as McCoy. When Kevin implies "We're Men!", the girls activate their wristbands, causing the boys to double over in pain, just like in the episode.
*After identifying the planet as Sigma Draconis VI, Kirk and Sulu refer to it as Sigma Draconis VII.
* This episode is watched by cadets in the movie "Taps".
* Rock band Phish wrote and performed a song called 'Spock's Brain.' The title was chosen by fan consensus from a number of suggestions by the band, during a concert and has no bearing on the song's lyrics.
* Alternative rock band Semisonic included a reference to this episode in the song "Never You Mind", off the album Feeling Strangely Fine. The verse is as such::: Switch on the box, Mr. Spock is on the table,:: Dr. McCoy is unable to connect his brain,:: Sweating and straining,:: Well, it seemed so simple at the time.

See also

*Brain in a vat

External links

* [http://trekmovie.com/2007/06/09/spocks-brain-screenshots/#more-717 Side-by-side comparisons of the remastered "Spock's Brain" at Trekmovie.com]
* [http://www.startrek.com/startrek/view/series/TOS/episode/68782.html Official site episode entry]


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