22002 "The Infinite Vulcan"

(airdate: October 20, 1973)

Writer: Walter Koenig
Director: Hal Sutherland

Agmar: James Doohan

Stavos Keniclius 5: James Doohan

Stardate: 5554.4

Captain's Log: The Enterprise is exploring a newly-discovered planet, Phylos, when they come across the indigenous life, an intelligent plant. These plant people take the landing party in, but they kidnap Spock: their leader, a gigantic human named Stavos Keniclius 5, believes Spock is the perfect specimen to use as the basis for a master race of peacekeepers. Keniclius clones Spock as a giant version and transfers his mind from the original to the clone: the first of his peacekeepers. Kirk manages to convince Keniclius that the Federation is already at peace, and thus has no need to have peace imposed upon it. The giant Spock restores the original Spock's mind, and Keniclius decides to stay behind with the giant Spock to help the Phylosians rebuild their society.

Whoops!: Animation oddities: Kirk and McCoy are wearing life support belts when they beam back down with Sulu. But once they're on the planet, the belts disappear. This would likely simply be an animation reuse, except that later on Sulu calls out, "Use the belt lights!" So were Kirk and McCoy meant to be wearing life support belts this entire time? Similarly, Kirk picks up the comatose Spock and is seen carrying him around, but when Keniclius 5 smashes the transfer apparatus Spock is still inside, leading Kirk to cry, "Murderer! You've killed Spock!" [This one is probably meant to convey that there's no way to put Spock's mind back into his body now that the apparatus is broken, but that's not really how it comes across on screen.]
     The cast can't seem to decide whether it's pronounced "Keniclius" or "Keniculus".
     Why are Keniclius 5 and Spock 2 giants? There doesn't seem to be any reason for them to be; it's not a necessary component of their plan, and being huge doesn't appear to give them any actual advantage, so why bother? Was there a reason cut out of the script? Or did someone decide giant people would be cool and easy to do on an animated show? [Best guess: the old Phylosians we see are also gigantic, so if Keniclius wants to use their spaceships he has to create giant people in order to successfully operate them. Except the doors appear to be human-sized and the ships don't seem that big. Hmm.]
     The episode literally ends with Sulu winking at the camera.

Classic Lines: Kirk: "By the way, Mr. Sulu, any chance of teaching me that body throw? Could come in handy some time." Sulu: "I don't know, sir. It isn't just physical, you know. You have to be... inscrutable." Kirk: "Inscrutable? Sulu, you're the most scrutable man I know."

Library Computer: Phylos is a newly-discovered green planet on the periphery of the galaxy. It's lush, with lots of greenery and creatures that had evolved from plants - including a small purple bush with a poisonous stinger that could walk around on its roots, called a retlaw plant; and a larger flying purple dragon-like creatures with long tendrils instead of legs, called swoopers. The sting of a retlaw is poisonous if left unattended, but the Phylosians had developed an antidote that counteracted the poison. The swoopers, meanwhile, could be trained, but they were primarily mindless and only attacked as a reflex. The dominant species on Phylos are tall green upright walking plants called Phylosians, with heads that look like the tops of asparagus stalks, except with two yellow stalks emerging from the front middle of the head; a fringe of long tendrils at roughly chest height; and four stalks that act as legs. All these species are susceptible to Dr. McCoy's weed killer recipe. The lead Phylosian seen here is named Agmar, who described his race as a peaceful one, albeit one fearful of aliens. Because the Phylosians were botanical in nature, tricorders initially had a difficult time registering them. They wear an hexagonal medallion around their necks called a voder, which acts as a translator. The Phylosians work for a giant human named Stavos Keniclius 5, who they refer to as "the Master".
     The Phylosians had advanced technology, including very fast-acting antitoxins and a fleet of space ships, and they themselves were huge in size, with exceptionally high mass density of nerve tissue, indicating they used 70% of their brains. They constructed a city full of advanced buildings, surrounded by a forcefield and a weapons deactivator (which was capable of neutralizing the Enterprise's phaser beam at a distance of 1000 meters above the targeted area). They also had a large complex beneath the surface, accessible via an outdoor elevator, with walls 600 times denser than lead; this meant that sensors and communications couldn't penetrate inside the complex. They planned on imposing peace upon the galaxy, traveling in their ships as a peace-keeping master race. However, when the human Dr. Stavos Keniclius arrived, he brought with him a strain of Staphylococcus bacteria that was unknown to the Phlyosians; as a result, it swept through the populace like a plague. When Keniclius saw what was happening, he tried to help stop the disease, but was largely unsuccessful; the Phylosians seen here are a dying breed, with no more spore cells to further their species. Since Keniclius's goals were the same as the Phylosians' and he saved what remained of their species, they decided to work under Keniclius.
     Dr. Stavos Keniclius was a scientist from Earth working during the Eugenics Wars. He planned to clone the prototype of a perfect specimen in order to create a master race, to be used as a peacekeeping force. This was considered anti-humanistic, so Keniclius was banned from his community and disappeared. He apparently chose to head into the galaxy, looking for his perfect specimen, which may have led to legends of a modern-day Diogenes. [It's not at all clear how Keniclius was able to head into the galaxy, given that contemporaries like Khan Noonien Singh ("Space Seed") had to use interplanetary ships like the DY-100 class as "sleeper ships" to get anywhere - unless Keniclius did something similar and got lucky, encountering a friendly species much sooner than Khan did.] Keniclius eventually arrived on Phylos, where he worked to combat the aforementioned disease he brought to the Phylosians. He then decided to stay, using their machinery to clone himself, so that he could continue his work. He also took the opportunity to create a gigantic clone of himself. The version the Enterprise encounters is the fourth clone, Keniclius 5. [Keniclius refers to his original as "Keniclius 1" and the cloned version of Spock as "Spock 2".] He has been searching the galaxy for that perfect specimen, which he believes he has found in Spock, as his Vulcan/human blend of wisdom, order, durability, and strength is the finest he has encountered.
     Keniclius himself was a white man with long brown hair swept back and a very high forehead, with a prominent widow's peak. [He's allegedly meant to look like Walter Koenig, although it's difficult to see any real resemblance.] His clone, Keniclius 5, is dressed in a short white skirt, with a bare chest and lace-up sandals. [The effect is rather like an ancient Roman.] Had the original Keniclius lived to today, he'd be over 250 years old. [Yet again, see "Where No Man Has Gone Before" for more on when Star Trek is set. It's likely, though, that this date derives from the "two centuries" comment in "Space Seed" than from something independent.] Keniclius 5 knows of galactic wars after the Eugenics Wars, as well as the Klingons, Romulans, and the Kzinti [from the upcoming TAS episode "The Slaver Weapon"]; however, he is unaware that the Federation has brought peace to the galaxy for over a hundred years. Once confronted with this knowledge, Keniclius 5 decides to put aside his goal of a galactic peacekeeping force, choosing instead to remain on Phylos, working with Spock 2 in an effort to save the Phylosians.
     The Phylosians [or possibly Keniclius] developed a transfer apparatus resembling a bed surrounded by complex machinery. The subject lays down in the bed, allowing their mind to be transferred into the machine; from there it can be transferred into a clone's body. This is lethal to the original, however, who can't survive without their mind; the electrical activity in the brain decreases until the original is dead. Spock 2, the giant clone of Spock, is able to restore the original thanks to a Vulcan mind touch.
     According to Dr. McCoy, his great-great-grandfather had the finest garden in the [American] South. He had a special recipe for weed killer that McCoy was able to recreate aboard the Enterprise (albeit with some slight difficulty). This weed killer was disseminated via a blue gun-like device with three nozzles on the end. The Enterprise landing party wore blue gas masks around the nose and mouth while using the sprayers.
     The venom of the Retlaw plant doesn't correlate with any known poison. McCoy tried using dylovene, but realized it would take too long to work even if it did work. He was impressed by the Phylosians' antidote, remarking that "our science doesn't have anything that works that fast".
     The Enterprise phaser banks can be set to a wide stun setting. They were able to send a tight beam transmission to Kirk through the Phylosians' forcefield into their underground complex, but it nearly drained the dilithium crystals completely.
     Vulcans do not condone the meaningless death of any being. Their concept of Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations ("Is There In Truth No Beauty?") prevents them from imposing peace and Phylosian philosophy upon the galaxy.
     Sulu can easily perform a body throw against an attacking Phylosian.

Final Analysis: "The Master has searched many years to find a specimen like Spock. And now, all the worlds of the galaxy will share in the beauty of peace and harmony." Walter Koenig's only contribution to the Animated Series has an interesting idea at its core (cloned supermen acting as peacekeepers), but it's rather lost amidst all the giants, plants, and general running around. While the plant people are a successful use of animation, the giant humans are rather pointless, and it doesn't help that the script ends so perfunctorily, with Keniclius and the Phylosians suddenly deciding to change their ways. "The Infinite Vulcan" is an episode that probably would have benefited from being a full 50 minutes, like the original series was, to develop the conclusion more; this truncated 25-minute version just leaves one unsatisfied.

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