61 "Spock's Brain"

(airdate: September 20, 1968)

Writer: Lee Cronin [pseudonym for Gene L. Coon]
Director: Marc Daniels

Kara: Marj Dusay

Luma: Sheila Leighton

Morg: James Daris

Stardate: 5431.4

Captain's Log: The Enterprise is boarded by a strange woman who steals Spock's brain. Spock only has 24 hours before his body dies, so Kirk sets off after the thief. The Enterprise tracks her to a glacial planet in the Sigma Draconis system. Beaming down, Kirk learns that the males and the females have been separated: the males, or Morg, live on the surface, while the women, or Eymorg, live underground. He discovers that the women need Spock's brain to run their civilization: it regulates temperature, water, atmosphere, and so forth. Strangely, none of the Eymorg seem to possess more than the knowledge of a child, and yet somehow they removed Spock's brain. The Enterprise crew discover a teaching instrument that can implant knowledge directly into the brain; this is what the Eymorg leader, Kara, used to take Spock's brain. Using this Teacher, McCoy manages to successfully reconnect Spock's brain, and Kirk convinces the Eymorg to move back to the surface and rejoin the Morg.

Whoops!: The Morg have awfully nice clean hair for a race of primitives. Luma does a silly mime for the other Eymorg illustrating how she was stunned. Kirk, Scott, and McCoy are imprisoned in the same room as their equipment, with only two guards preventing them from retrieving it.
     The dialogue on the bridge (and the diagram on the viewscreen) refers to the glacial planet as Sigma Draconis VI, but in every voiceover thereafter, the planet is called Sigma Draconis VII.

Cringe Lines: "In search of his brain, Doctor!"
     Kara, possibly describing the episode: "Brain and brain! What is brain?!"
     Kirk explains the situation to Spock, who is operating as the Eymorg Controller: "We came to put you back. Where are you?" Spock: "Back where?" Kirk: "Back into your body...we brought it along with us."
     McCoy: "Like trying to thread a needle with a sledgehammer!"
     Pretty much any line with the phrase "Spock's brain".

Technobabble: The teaching device uses feeding circuits that lead into the mind of the operator.

Library Computer: Vulcans are much more dependent [than humans] on their brain for life-support, and although they can survive longer without their brain, they can only live for 24 hours before they die. The Federation doesn't have the technology to restore a brain to its body, although they can keep a human alive without a brain indefinitely.
     Ion propulsion has not been developed by the Federation. Nevertheless, a starship can easily detect the distinctive trail left by an ion-propelled ship.
     The Sigma Draconis system contains nine planets, three of which are class M. The sixth planet was once home to a very advanced civilization. At its height, it had developed beyond the current level of the Federation, with refined surgical techniques, advanced ion propulsion for their interstellar ships, and a vast storehouse of knowledge. However, a glacial period began, and the Eymorg were sent to live in an underground complex while the Morg remained on the surface. This led to a cultural schism between the Morg and Eymorg. [Knowing that the information they had would be otherwise forgotten,] the Builders created a teaching device that could be used to access the knowledge storehouse as required. Over time, the brains of the Eymorg atrophied through lack of use, until they only possessed knowledge akin to that of a child. They could use the teaching device to temporarily augment their knowledge, but the effect would soon wear off, leaving them as they were before.
     Sigma Draconis III is home to a civilization that is a level B on an industrial scale - roughly that of Earth circa 1485. Sigma Draconis IV is home to a level G civilization, equivalent to Earth around 2003.

Final Analysis: "What have you done with Spock's brain?!" So bad it's good. The plot's so ridiculously outlandish it almost defies belief, and the acting is rather poor all around - even Nimoy seems to have dropped the ball on this one. It plays like a bad sci-fi cliché, and all you can really do is sit back and try not to take it seriously. Still, at least it manages to stay entertaining throughout, which is more than can be said for other third season episodes. Zombie Spock is unintentionally hilarious.

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Page last updated: January 28, 2018

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