May 22, 2024

Gabbing Geek

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Weekend Trek “The Infinite Vulcan”

Walter Koenig gave us a giant Spock.

Walter Koenig was the lone original Star Trek cast member to be excluded from The Animated Series, most likely due to the general cheapness of Filmation.  That doesn’t mean he had nothing to do with the show.  He wrote exactly one episode.  That would be “The Infinite Vulcan”.

It has a giant Spock.

Now, Koenig didn’t work alone on this.  Apparently, Gene Roddenberry insisted on something like ten drafts, and Roddenberry personally insisted on some talking vegetable characters.  Those were pretty silly, but we still got a giant Spock, so I won’t be one to complain too much.  Koenig apparently did audition for the show, but he didn’t get cast in an episode where he wrote the dang script.  All the extra characters seem to have been voiced by James Doohan, a man with a lot more talent than we might normally expect.

All of this has nothing to do with Giant Spock, so let’s get to him.

On a routine investigation of a planet, a walking plant bites Sulu, causing the man to almost die from the plant’s venom, but he’s saved by some plant people.  But the plant people aren’t that helpful because they sic some plant monsters on the four members of the crew on behalf of a giant named Dr. Keniclius Five.  He claims to be the original Keniclius, sort of, and that guy should have died two centuries ago during the Eugenics War.  That would be the same conflict that gave us Khan.  Keniclius was something of a rogue who got himself banished for wanting peace or something.  Then he went into space and disappeared.

Oh, and he decided he wants Spock for reasons initially unstated.  But since the plant people have devices that can nullify phasers and the like, there isn’t much Kirk can do about it.  He, McCoy, and Sulu leave, finding even shooting the planet with the ship’s phasers set to stun don’t really do anything.

Now, granted, Kirk doesn’t sit still for leaving Spock down there, so he returns with McCoy and Sulu.  McCoy had a plan for a planet full of moving plants that came from one of his great-granddaddies.  If you guessed it’s a formula for weed-killer, congratulations.  You be a smartie.

Of course, by then, Keniclius cloned a giant Spock, called Spock Two, for a plan to make lots of Spocks and use an army of giant Spocks to tame the universe and make it peaceful.  Turns out the plant people were thinking of doing the same thing when the original Keniclius showed up.  Apprently, cloning someone produces giants.

Now, there are two obvious problems with this plan, and Kirk exploits both of them.  The first is the fact the universe is already pretty peaceful where the Federation runs things, so there’s no need for an army of Giant Spock Peacekeepers.

The second is, well, even if the original Spock is dying, Spock Two is still basically Spock.  And Spock doesn’t go for that sort of thing.  Kirk just has to reason with the larger version of his longtime friend, and that Spock will not only use the Vulcan Mind Meld to return memories to the original Spock, restoring Spock Prime to perfect health, but he can also refuse to participate in Keniclius’s asinine plan to go all peacekeeper on everybody.

And, since Keniclius at least had good intentions and the plant people aren’t too far off, he and Spock Two opt to stay there and rebuild the plant people’s civilization, starting with curing the plague that almost wiped the plant people out entirely to begin with.

Man, that was something of an odd episode.  Perhaps oddest of all was the ending.  Normally we get some light banter and comedy between Spock, Kirk, and McCoy.  This time, the joke comes from a chat with Sulu.

Sulu got the last line?  No wonder George Takei had Koenig as the best man at his wedding…