Spock's Brain  

From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia

Jump to: navigation, search

Related e

Wiki Commons

Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

"Spock's Brain" is the first episode of the third season of the original science fiction television series Star Trek, first broadcast September 20, 1968. It was the first episode 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.

In this episode, an alien female beams aboard the ship and, after incapacitating the rest of the crew, surgically removes Spock's brain. Kirk and the crew have just hours to locate and replace it before Spock's body dies.


On stardate 5431.4, the Federation starship 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 on the Enterprise bridge. She stuns the entire crew using a bracelet-like device, then examines each of them, taking particular interest in the Vulcan First Officer Spock. When the crew awakens, Chief Medical Officer Dr. McCoy finds Spock lying on a bed in Sickbay with his brain surgically removed. Thankfully, owing to his unusual Vulcan physiology, 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 Communications Officer 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 identifies 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 quickly 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 Eymorgs place belts on the Enterprise 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 the frustrated Kara responds with, "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 functions that require a supreme intelligence for the regulation of a planet-wide life support system. He also informs them that the Eymorgs can gain temporary understanding of ancient knowledge from a machine called "the Great Teacher" to which Kara leads them. Kirk forces Kara to use the Teacher, hoping it will teach her the techniques necessary to replace Spock's brain. After using the machine to boost her intelligence, Kara instead uses a phaser to threaten Kirk. Chief Engineer Scott pretends to faint and Kirk uses the distraction to grab Kara's phaser.

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. However, the knowledge leaves McCoy before the operation is complete. Mr. Spock provides some assistance himself after McCoy reestablishes Spock's 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.

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Spock's Brain" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

Personal tools