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Spock's Brain (1968) Star Trek episode - My Rating: {>>>>} (Brain Candy!!!) {{ Previous - Next}}

Please note that this review is laden with spoilers.

Spock's Brain is widely regarded as the worst Star Trek episode. I have to disagree with that assessment. The episode is so terribly flawed that it goes deeply into Mystery Science Theatre 3000 territory and becomes quite funny. If you like Star Trek for the bad things about Star Trek then you will absolutely love this one. All the actors are trying so hard to seriously play this episode, but the script seems like something one might write for a fifth grade fiction project.

Body count: Zero. No one dies in this episode at all, not even a single red shirted ensign. However Spock loses his brain, and the entire ship is briefly incapacitated.

Plot Outline: A hot space babe wearing skimpy clothing suddenly appears on board the Enterprise. She has a wrist mounted device that makes the "b,r,r,r,eerng" sound that usually accompanies high tech transmutation devices in the Star Trek universe. She uses this device to incapacitate the entire crew. When the crew comes back around they discover that Mr. Spock's brain has been cleanly removed, and only his Vulcan physiology is keeping his body alive.

The plot has already started resembling that of a very bad black & white era b-movie, but it gets worse from there. Captain Kirk and Doctor McCoy have a brief arguement about what to do about Spock's brain. This short couple minutes is the single point in the entire series where the worst writing possible manages to team up with DeForest Kelley's acting style in a way that is more comical than ten Adam Sandler movies watched back to back.

After the arguement the ship takes off following the ion trail of the woman's ship. It leads them to Sigma Draconis. They end up on a primitive planet with big tall neanderthalish humans. They soon discover that the men all live aboveground with stone age levels of technology, while the women all live underground in a technological paradise. Unfortunately the women have totally regressed and possess a childlike intellect. They do not even begin to understand the ancient technology that they use.

The landing crew manages to find the woman who performed the operation and stole the brain, but unfortunately she also has all the wits of a seven year old. So Captain Kirk and Doctor McCoy wander around looking for Spock's brain. Spock's body is also with them, being operated by remote control (Quark, Nog, and Rom later do the same thing on Deep Space Nine).

So at this point we have our heroes operating a remote control Spock in an underground paradise inhabited by the dumbest beautiful women who ever lived. They eventually discover that they are able to talk to Spock's brain using the communicator. Apparently his brain is being used as the operating computer for the complex.

Doctor McCoy manages to restore Spock's brain by using some of that advanced technology that was just lying around. Kirk realizes that he has not yet violated the prime directive in this episode, so he does so on the way out, and the episode is brought to a close.

My Opinion: Spock's Brain was easily saddled with the single worst script of any Star Trek episode, but the actors make up for it by trying so hard. Even with the worst script it still ends up being easier to follow than The Savage Curtain. Almost everyone in this episode is acting on William Shatner's level for the entire episode. That alone makes it funnier than some of the comedy episodes.

Fun Quotes!
  • "Brain and Brain. What is Brain?" - Kara
  • "I never should have reconnected his mouth." - McCoy
  • "It‘s OK. I like having blue balls!" - Adlai Smith
  • "Where are you going to look for it? Where in this entire universe are you going to find Spock's brain?" - McCoy

Cast and Guest Stars

Directed by: Mark Daniels

Writing credits: Gene L. Coon wrote this script as a joke that just went way too far.

Sources: Star Trek.com, my head, and watching the sucker multiple times. A big thanks to weasello for the format used.

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