Star Trek TOS: Spock’s Brain Gets Swiped
Star Trek: The Original Series
Season 3, Episode 1
The final season of Star Trek: The Original Series began with alarms sounding on Enterprise, so naturally some form of pandemonium was ensuing — not uncommon for the start of an episode. A strange ship was in the crew’s vicinity, creating uncertainty for everyone on the bridge.
Then, an attractive woman beamed onto Enterprise, but her beauty was only appreciated for a moment. She pressed a button on her bracelet, knocking everyone unconscious. Indeed, the scantily-clad woman leveled everyone and proceeded to pet Spock’s head. Wouldn’t you do that if you met Spock?
Everyone eventually woke up, but Spock was missing. McCoy, in a state of panic, summoned Kirk to sickbay. Spock was on life support. His brain was thieved — surgically. Somehow, he survived on life support.
The mission was now to recover the Vulcan’s brain somewhere in the galaxy. And per McCoy, he had a 24-hour deadline. Otherwise, the undertaking was medically useless. Whether diplomacy, trickery, or outright conflagration was used, Kirk was determined to find the brain.
Uhura asked why Spock’s brain was in high demand, and that sparked a hunch in Kirk’s brain. Kirk was headed to the pre-industrial planet, Sigma Draconis VI. There, primitive humanoid barbarians awaited. They had no interest in peaceful discourse, hurling stone and pieces of wood at Kirk’s crew.
After a brief scuffle with the barbarians, Spock beamed down in a vegetative state — but he still walked. Wearing a brain brace, he walked like a stick-man into a cave at Kirk’s request.
The buxom rapscallion woman who presumably snatched Spock’s brain appeared, and Kirk blasted her with the phaser, temporarily stunning her. Kirk demanded a meeting with Sigma’s brass. Spock started talking to Kirk via the communicator, so things were getting a bit weird. Vegetable Spock was still walking around like a Vulcan Frankenstein creature.
Held captive, Kirk’s crew was greeted by more attractive women. Immediately, Kirk demanded the whereabouts of Spock’s brain, but the women claimed to be clueless. To be sure, the women seemed truly oblivious to Kirk’s pseudo-interrogation.
Spock’s continued to communicate with Kirk and McCoy through the communicator, but his “disembodied brain” perplexed everyone. Kirk hypothesized Spock’s brain was being used to control industrial operations on Sigma Draconis VI. It is unclear how that schematically all worked.
The group determined McCoy could put on a “teacher” apparatus hat that would enhance his knowledge of complex surgery needed to replace Spock’s brain. On the communicator, Spock explained the risk of the task — but all of Star Trek is founded upon risk. McCoy took the plunge — and boom — he acquired advanced surgical acumen. Eventually, Spock was returned to tip-top shape.
The brain thief, Kara, sought Spock’s brain as the controller of their planet. Without a controller, she feared for women’s existence. But Kirk provided insight that men and women could coexist above ground because all previous dealings were conducted below the surface of the planet. So, that was evidently the resolution to it all.
This installment of Star Trek’s was merely a vehicle for entertainment on the pursuit of Spock’s fantastic brain. Aside from Kirk’s rather obvious assertion that men and women aren’t destined for conflict, there was no true parable in Spock’s Brain.
This episode was quite preposterous.
Themes: Friendship, Equality for Women
Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. His odyssey with Star Trek starts from beginning to finish, watching ‘The Original Series,’ all the way to the present day. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ and The Doors (the band).