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Star Trek Re-Watch: “Spock’s Brain”

Spock’s Brain
Written by Lee Cronin
Directed by Marc Daniels

Season 3, Episode 1
Production episode: 3×06
Original air date: September 20, 1968
Star date: 5431.4


Mission summary

Enterprise is at red alert, everyone watching the viewscreen as a silver rocket approaches. No one answers their hails, and the technology and design is wholly alien. Engineer Scott is excited though: “I’ve never seen anything like her. And ion propulsion at that. They could teach us a thing or two.” But Captain Kirk is more interested in the woman beaming directly onto the Bridge, who seems to have left most of her outfit behind.

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Star Trek Re-Watch: Season 2 Wrap-Up

Before we embark on the third and final season of Star Trek, we thought it would be a good time to look back and reflect on the past year of the re-watch and talk about some of the things we have to look forward to (for better or worse…) in the months to come.

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Star Trek Re-Watch: “Assignment: Earth”

“Assignment: Earth”
Written by Art Wallace (story by Gene Roddenberry and Art Wallace)
Directed by Marc Daniels

Season 2, Episode 26
Production episode: 2×26
Original air date: March 29, 1968
Star date: 1968

Mission summary

While on a frivolous time travel mission to research Earth’s history, circa 1968, Enterprise accidentally intercepts a transporter signal from an unknown source over a thousand light years away. A well-dressed man holding a black cat beams onto their transporter pad and looks at them dramatically.

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Star Trek Re-Watch: “Bread and Circuses”

“Bread and Circuses”
Written by Gene Roddenberry & Gene L. Coon
Directed by Ralph Senensky

Season 2, Episode 25
Production episode: 2×14
Original air date: March 15, 1968
Star date: 4040.7

Mission Summary:

Enterprise finds the debris of the S.S. Beagle, a merchant ship, but no human remains. A nearby planet might have survivors, and the Enterprise intercepts a broadcast “once called video” (even though they’ve seen video before as recently as in “Patterns of Force,” but nevermind…). It’s a news program:

VOICEOVER: Today police rounded up still another group of dissidents. Authorities are as yet unable to explain these fresh outbreaks of treasonable disobedience by well-treated, well-protected, intelligent slaves. Now turning to the world of sports and bringing you the taped results of the arena games last night.

They watch a gladiator fight before the transmission cuts out. Spock identifies one of the gladiators as a flight officer aboard the Beagle.

KIRK: Slaves and gladiators. What are we seeing, a twentieth-century Rome?

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Star Trek Re-Watch: “The Ultimate Computer”

“The Ultimate Computer”
Written by D.C. Fontana
Story by Laurence N. Wolfe
Directed by John Meredyth Lucas

Season 2, Episode 24
Production episode: 2×24
Original air date: March 8, 1968
Star date: 4729.4

Mission summary
Enterprise receives puzzling instructions from Starfleet to report to a space station and offload all but a skeletal crew. When they arrive, Commodore Robert Wesley beams aboard and explains that the ship will be participating in war game exercises to test a new multitronic computer, the M-5, which was designed to assume control of all a starship’s systems. Kirk wonders what his role will be during this automated test, and Wesley replies, “You’ve got a great job, Jim. All you have to do is sit back and let the machine do the work.”

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Star Trek Re-Watch: “The Omega Glory”

“The Omega Glory”
Written by Gene Roddenberry
Directed by Vincent McEveety

Season 2, Episode 23
Production episode: 2×25
Original air date: March 1, 1968
Star date: Unknown

Mission Summary:

As the Enterprise approaches the planet Omega IV, they notice another vessel in orbit. It appears to be a Constitution-class starship, the USS Exeter, but it won’t respond to any hails. Kirk, Spock, McCoy, and Lt. Galloway (start your redshirt timer…) beam over to the ship. They discover… nothing. The ship is empty. All they see are uniforms lying around, filled with some kind of white crystals.

MCCOY: These white crystals. That’s what’s left of the human body when you take the water away, which makes up ninety-six percent of our bodies. Without water, we’re all just three or four pounds of chemicals.

Uh, no one tell his high school science teacher, OK? (We’re about 70% water.) They play the final log tape, the “Surgeon’s Log.” They see a haggard and visibly suffering ship’s surgeon on the viewscreen explain that they’ve all been infected with some kind of virus. That virus will have also infected Kirk and anyone else onboard the ship. Their only hope is to beam to the surface. He then collapses dramatically.

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Star Trek Re-Watch: “By Any Other Name”

“By Any Other Name”
Story by Jerome Bixby
Teleplay by D.C. Fontana and Jerome Bixby
Directed by Marc Daniels

Season 2, Episode 21
Production episode: 2×21
Original air date: February 23, 1968
Star date: 4657.5

Mission summary

Enterprise follows a distress signal to a planet, but when Captain Kirk, Mr. Spock, Dr. McCoy, Lt. Shea, and Yeoman Thompson beam down to investigate the source, they can’t find any life signs or evidence of a ship, only readings on some “small metallic objects.” Soon they do pick up two life signs, and a man and a woman enter the clearing. The man demands control of Kirk’s ship and presses a button on a box affixed to his belt, freezing the members of the landing party where they stand. He introduces himself:

I am Rojan of Kelva. I am your commander from this moment on. Any efforts to resist us or to escape will be severely punished.

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Star Trek Re-Watch: “Patterns of Force”

“Patterns of Force”
Written by John Meredyth Lucas
Directed by Vincent McEveety

Season 2, Episode 21
Production episode: 2×23
Original air date: February 16, 1968
Star date: Unknown

Mission Summary

The Enterprise is on a mission to the planet Ekos, home to “primitive, warlike people in a state of anarchy” and where Starfleet Academy history instructor John Gill has been on assignment as a cultural observer. Starfleet hasn’t heard from him in six months and worries he might be dead, so Enterprise has been sent to find out what happened. As they approach the inner planet, a rocket with a nuclear warhead targets them from Ekos’ surface. Kirk is confused—the Ekosians never had space travel, and though the Zeons, a neighboring planet, did, they’re a peaceful race. Kirk and Spock decide to beam down to the planet, and the captain instructs McCoy to “prepare a subcutaneous transponder in the event we can’t use our communicators.” Good idea. Too bad they never use it again.

They beam down to the planet in some kind of farmer/peasant get-up and immediately run into a man named Isak, who looks terrified and hurt and tells them to run. Kirk and Spock obey, hiding around a corner. Isak is quickly captured by two men in Nazi uniforms, complete with swastika armbands, who call Isak a “Zeon pig” and kick him. Kirk tries to stop them but Spock warns him about the non-interference directive. The SS officers drag Isak away. Kirk and Spock quietly emerge from their hiding space just in time to catch a propaganda video about the Fuhrer: John Gill!

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How To Make A Tribble

In lieu of a Re-Watch post today, I present you with a guide for how to make your own non-copyright-infringing version of a tribble.

The Basics:

The tribble is essentially a furry softball. It is made using two figure-8-shaped pieces of cloth, sewn together perpendicularly. It is the simplest way to sew a ball—unlike the much more complicated hacky-sack method, it only requires two pieces of cloth.

This does not require a sewing machine or really much sewing skill at all. Anyone can try it!

You can click on any image to see a big version. I also digitally enhanced the tracing lines for maximum visibility.

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Star Trek Re-Watch: “Return to Tomorrow”

“Return to Tomorrow”
Written by John Kingsbridge
Directed by Ralph Senensky

Season 2, Episode 19
Production episode: 2×22
Original air date: February 9, 1968
Star date: 4768.3

Mission summary

Enterprise is drawn to an unexplored star system by a strange distress signal…or is it? The signal doesn’t seem to exist, yet it’s affecting Uhura’s channels—but there’s definitely something, maybe, trying to get their attention and… Oh look! There’s a planet up ahead. It’s a formerly-Class M planet now with a dead atmosphere, and completely lifeless. Or is it? A voice speaks to the crew using only the power of his mind; he identifies himself as Sargon, and directs them to kindly park their ship in orbit. Kirk’s understandably hesitant since the planet’s dead and all, but Sargon’s invitation is ominous, if not compelling: “And I am as dead as my planet. Does that frighten you, James Kirk? For if it does, if you let what is left of me perish, then all of you, my children, all of mankind must perish, too.”

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