I am sure all of my readers have already seen this commercial, but it would be a crime not to embed such a hilarious video of the two adorable Spocks on my blog. I love how casual the video is. The best part is when Leonard Nimoy lets out his frustration at not being able to fit his golf clubs in his trunk. I would be very much in favor of an internet video series about the mundane adventures of Spock & Spock.
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And this (Horta meatloaf):
Premise: The Enterprise stops off at mining planet where miners are being mysteriously killed (essentially incinerated) by an unknown entity – later discovered to be a silicon-based alien life form called the Horta. The creature steals a critical piece of a reactor core, putting the colony’s life support systems in jeopardy. Kirk is reluctant to simply evacuate the colonists and depart, because the planet is a source of the vital element pergium. Kirk and Spock lead a dangerous hunt through the mining tunnels to track down and kill the creature – but all is not what it seems…
Let me just say….that this episode is one of the GREATEST things I have ever seen in my whole TV-watching life. 🙂 “Devil in the Dark” has instantly become my favorite TOS episode thus far – I was giddy with happiness while watching it. Absolutely bizarre/suspenseful/creative/campy/hilarious!! It’s difficult for me to write a post on it, because I want to highlight about 30 different moments. I might as well just post the entire script with a screen shot for every line. If you haven’t seen this episode, GO WATCH IT. If you’ve seen it, but not for years, GO RE-WATCH IT. It’s the epitome of what I like about Star Trek!
Ok, that being said, I’ll pick out a few of my very favorite moments.
11:45 – I’m loving this science-y conversation between Spock, Kirk, and Bones. Of course, Spock’s speculation is entirely correct. It’s pretty impressive that he guessed the nature of the creature right off the bat. 🙂
Spock: “Life as we know it is universally based on some combination of carbon compounds. But what if life exists based on anther element? For instance – silicon?”
[Exaggerated, incredulous reactions from Kirk and McCoy.]
McCoy: “You’re creating fantasies, Mr. Spock.”
Kirk: “Unnecessary, Bones, I’ve heard of the theoretical possibility of life based on silicon. But silicon-based life would be of an entirely different order.”
McCoy: “Silicone-based life is physiologically impossible. Especially in an oxygen-based atmosphere.”
Spock: “It may be, Doctor, that the creature can exist for brief periods in such an atmosphere before returning to its own environment.”
Spock is inordinately fascinated by a silicon nodule (a spray-painted dodge ball?).
18:25 – We get our first glimpse of the Horta – oh my god oh my god it’s so ridiculous!! It looks like an area rug topped with a giant, moldy pizza! I love the grumbling sound effects that accompany the Horta’s motions.
23:11 – After giving instructions to the search parties, Kirk pulls Spock aside. He chides Spock for wanting to capture rather than kill the creature. Then, we get this delightful exchange:
Kirk: “Mr. Spock…I want you to assist Scotty in maintaining that makeshift circulating pump.
Spock: [As surprised as Spock gets] “I – I beg your pardon, Sir.”
Kirk: “You heard me. It’s vital that we keep that reactor in operation. Your scientific knowledge-”
Spock: “-is not needed there, Sir. Mr. Scott has far more knowledge of nuclear reactors than I do. You’re aware of that.”
Kirk: “Mr. Spock, you are second in command. This will be a dangerous hunt. Either one of us, by himself, is expendable. Both of us are not.”
Spock: “Captain, there are approximately 100 of us engaged in this search, against one creature. The odds against you and I both being killed are 2,228.7 to one.”
[Playful music in the background.]
Kirk: “2228.7 to one? Those are pretty good odds, Mr. Spock.”
Spock: “And they are, of course, accurate, Captain.”
Kirk: “Of course. Well, I hate to use the word, but, logically, with those kind of odds…you might as well stay. [Smile] But please stay out of trouble, Mr. Spock.”
Spock: [Earnestly] “That is always my intention, Captain.
There is so much to love about this exchange. Kirk tries to protect Spock, Spock wants to stay with Kirk, Spock does a mental calculation that makes no sense whatsoever (since the two remain together on the search), Kirk uses the word “logically” and tells Spock to stay out of trouble….a perfect K/S moment!
28:30 – Here comes the Horta, burrowing through the wall! ❤ I wish special effects still looked like this. Puppets are way more fun than CG add-ins.
Spock. Mind. Melds. With. The. Horta. This has got to be one of the most memorable/iconic moments of the series. It’s so impressive that the Vulcan mind meld works on all creatures, not just humanoids. Spock shouts all sorts of bizarre phrases during the mind meld, speaking for the Horta: Pain! Devils! Eternity Ends! Altar of tomorrow! Murderers! Stop them! Kill! Strike back!
34:25 – This moment made me laugh so hard I got teary-eyed. The Horta, fearing for its life, shimmies on top of a rocky ledge and releases some sort of corrosive acid to spell out the phrase NO KILL I.
Hahaha. Nice job, writing team – the Horta can speak English, but only with really poor grammar!
Well, the Horta doesn’t get killed – turns out she’s a mom and was just protecting her eggs. Spock and the Horta form a special bond. At the end of the episode, Spock remarks that the Horta found his pointy ears to be the most attractive human characteristic – and he didn’t have the heart to tell her that only Vulcans have pointy ears. Ha. The final scene on the bridge is great. You are highly encouraged to pop on this episode for many more hilarious and charming Star Trek moments!
Premise: The Enterprise arrives at a planet called Omicron Ceti III, where an agricultural colony had been established three years earlier. The Enterprise crew assume that all of the colonists are dead due to exposure to Berthold rays, which disintegrate human tissue. Kirk, Spock, McCoy, and Sulu beam down and are surprised to discover that the colonists are alive, healthy, and somehow cured of all previous diseases. They are also abnormally happy, peaceful, and worry-free. One of the colonists, Leila Kalomi, is a scientist who fell in love with Spock six years earlier back on Earth. Leila hopes to keep Spock with the colony, and takes him to a field where he is suddenly sprayed with spores from a native plant. Spock instantly falls under the influence of the spores, becoming carefree and peaceful (and amorous) like the colonists. Soon everyone on the Enterprise is affected by the spores, except Kirk. On the verge of losing his crew to this “harmonious” lifestyle, Kirk figures out a way to break the trance of the spores – by bringing about strong, angry emotions in Spock and the rest of the crew.
15:15 – Spock gets sprayed by the plant spores (i.e. confetti)! He grabs his head in anguish and collapses to the ground, muttering, “No, no, no I can’t, please dont…”
….And then suddenly, he is transformed. The very first thing he says under the influence of the spores is, to Leila, “I love you…I can love you.” (!!!!!!!) Are we supposed to believe that Spock has always had feelings for Leila, that are suddenly being released? Or did the spores make him fall in love with her? I’m going to assume the latter.
Here are some shots of Spock under the influence of the plant spores, being all lovey-dovey with Leila:
The best part of this episode is the fight between Kirk and Spock at the end. Kirk discovers that anger and violence can break the hold of the spores. In order to bring Spock back to normal, Kirk begins to insult him:
Kirk: “All right you mutinous, disloyal, computerized half-breed, we’ll see about you deserting my ship.”
Spock: “The term half-breed is somewhat applicable, but computerized is inaccurate. A machine can be computerized – not a man.”
Kirk: “What makes you think you’re a man? You’re an overgrown jackrabbit, and elf with a hyperactive thyroid.”
Spock: [Confused chuckle] “Jim, I don’t understand -”
Kirk: “Of course you don’t understand, you don’t have the brains to understand, all you have is printed circuits.”
Spock: “Captain, if you’ll excuse me -”
Kirk: “What can you expect from a simpering, devil-eared freak, whose father was a computer and mother was an encyclopedia?”
Spock: “My mother was a teacher. My father, an ambassador.”
Kirk: “Your father was a computer, like his son. An ambassador from a planet of traitors. A Vulcan never lived who had an ounce of integrity.”
Spock: “Captain, please don’t.”
Kirk: “You’re a traitor from a race of traitors. Disloyal to the core. Rotten, like the rest of your sub-human race, and you’ve got the gall to make love to that girl.”
Spock: “That’s enough.”
Kirk: “Does she know what she’s getting, Spock? A carcass full of memory banks who should be squatting on a mushroom? Instead of passing himself off as a man? You belong in the circus, Spock. Not a starship. Right next to the dog-faced boy.”
[Spock snaps and beats up Kirk.]
Kirk: “Had enough? I didn’t realize what it took to get under that thick hide of yours. Anyhow, I don’t know you’re so mad about – it isn’t every first officer who gets to belt his Captain….several times.”
Spock: “You did that to me deliberately.”
Kirk: “Believe me, Mr. Spock. It was painful. In more ways than one.”
Kirk took a jab at every one of Spock’s insecurities. It’s humorous fun to see Kirk deliberately trying to get under Spock’s “thick hide.” The best insult is “an elf with a hyperactive thyroid” – ha!!
42:48 – Leila teies to convince Spock to come back to the planet with her, but Spock solemnly tells her why he can’t return:
Spock: “I have a responsibility. To this ship. And to that man on the bridge.”
So sweet. We all know that it’s a little bit more than just a “responsibility” to the man on the bridge. 🙂
Leila also asks whether Spock has another name (I’m not sure whether she means a first name or a last name). Spock says, “You couldn’t pronounce it.” So Spock is known by more than just “Spock” among other Vulcans.
I am not sure how I feel about this episode. I’ll admit, I don’t really like to see Spock cutting loose and kissing a woman – it just doesn’t feel right! I prefer Spock in his stern Vulcan state. However, it’s quite amusing to see Spock disobeying Kirk’s orders and Kirk getting all irked/confused. I also appreciate Spock’s guilt and concern at the end for Leila’s feelings. He’s so uncomfortable and out of his element, and it’s rather endearing. It’s interesting to hear him describe his emotion-free existence as a “man-made purgatory.” At the end of the episode, he sates, “For the first time in my life, I was happy.” Isn’t it possible for Spock to be happy, in his own, Vulcan way?
One of the many plot holes in this episode: If the spores produce perfect health in anyone who inhales them, why not collect tons of them for research??? Miracle cure! Too risky?
Premise: Under the orders of an Ambassador who wants to establish a “treaty port” in the region, The Enterprise visits a planet called Eminiar VII, despite broadcast warnings to stay away. They discover a civilization that has been at war with a neighboring planet for 500 years – but instead of using traditional weapons, the two entities do battle via computer. Citizens who are labeled virtual casualties must report to disintegration machines to be killed. The justification for this method of war is that it prevents the wide-scale destruction that would otherwise end the civilization. A virtual attack ensues and the orbiting Enterprise is classified as destroyed, meaning that all crew must report for suicide by disintegration. Can Kirk and Spock save the crew and help the planet?
12:05 – Council leader Anan 7 has just revealed his planet’s method of war. Kirk is baffled, but Spock is able to understand the logic behind it:
Kirk: “Do you mean to tell me your people just walk into a disintegration machine when they’re told to?”
Anan 7: “We have a high consciousness of duty, Captain.”
Spock: “There is a certain scientific logic about it.”
Anan 7: “I’m glad you approve.”
Spock: “I do not approve. I understand.”
I think the world would be a much better place if more people sought to understand, like Spock does.
I always enjoy seeing how the guards of various civilizations are dressed – they seem to get the most oddball costumes. Check out those hats!
17:18 – A really fascinating moment here. The landing party (Kirk, Spock, and three red shirts) are being held captive in a locked room, and a guard is standing right outside the door. We hear this interchange between Kirk and Spock:
Kirk: “Are you sure you can do it, Mr. Spock?”
Spock: “Telepathic abilities are inherent in Vulcanians, Captain. It may work, it may not.”
Kirk: “Do your best.”
Spock proceeds to walk over to the door and run his fingers delicately along it, sensing the location of the guard:
Kirk watches with a look of wonder & admiration:
Spock somehow gets telepathically inside the guard’s head, causing him to open the door, and Kirk is ready to take him out with a neck chop. Very cool, I had no idea Vulcans had the ability to manipulate people without physical contact! This Spock guy is magical. ❤
20:45 – Yet another Vulcan nerve pinch. I love the way Spock sets this one up – he walks right up to the the guard and says: “Sir, there’s a multi-legged creature crawling on your shoulder.” When the guard looks down at his own shoulder, Spock swoops in with the pinch. An incredibly calm and deft maneuver.
A nice exchange at the end of the episode, when the crew is safely back on the bridge:
Kirk: “Actual war is a messy business. A very, very messy business. I had a feeling that they would do anything to avoid it, even talk peace.”
Spock: “A feeling is not much to go on.”
Kirk: “Sometimes a feeling, Mr. Spock, is all we humans have to go on.”
Spock: “Captain…you almost make me believe in luck.”
Kirk: “Why, Mr. Spock…you almost make me believe in miracles.”
I just love the quizzical expressions on Spock’s face!
This is a fascinating episode – one of the best of the first season, I think. It raises interesting questions about war, diplomacy, human nature, and self-sacrifice for the greater good. Was Kirk right to impose his culture’s values on the people of Eminiar? Is mass destruction a necessary component of war? What happens when war becomes a societal safety blanket, a way of life? I think this episode would translate well to a full-length film. It’s also a good Scotty episode, for fans of the Enterprise’s Chief Engineer.
“Death, destruction, disease, horror – that’s what war is all about. That’s what makes it a thing to be avoided. You’ve made it neat and painless – so neat and painless you’ve had no reason to stop it.” – Captain Kirk
There are several important scenes near the end of Space Seed, so I needed to append an additional post to cover them! Space Seed is one of those episodes that could be fodder for an entire thesis paper. If you know of anyone who has written a paper on the character of Khan, or on how this episode represents the thinking of the mid-1960s, please let me know!
37:02 – Khan has cut off oxygen to the bridge. Spock and Kirk are still barely hanging on, but everyone else is unconscious. Kirk records what he must believe is his last entry into the Captain’s Log:
Kirk: “Stardate 31.42.8. They have my ship. Discarding their own worthless vessel. Only moments of air left on the bridge, now. Commendations recommended for…Lt. Uhura…Technicians First Class Tooley…and Harrison…..Lt. Spinelli…….and of course Mr. Spock. I take full responsibility for…I take full-” [Keels forward and falls to the ground.]
I think I’ll use this as a monologue if I ever audition for a play. It’s so sad, seeing our brave Captain slowly dying, and knowing what final thoughts are running through his head. In his last conscious moments, he notes commendations for crew members, including Mr. Spock. “OF COURSE Mr. Spock.” 🙂 🙂
37:57 – Khan has overtaken the Enterprise, captured the senior crew, and placed Captain Kirk in a decompression chamber to be slowly suffocated. He holds Spock, Scotty, Bones, and Uhura hostage. He says to Spock, “If you join me, Mr. Spock, I will save his life.” He then extends the offer to the others – if any one of them joins him, he will let Kirk live. But everyone stays silent and stoic! I’m sure generations of Trek fans have shouted at Spock, “Just tell Khan you’ll join him and then betray him later!!!” But alas, Vulcans cannot lie. As Kirk slowly suffocates, Spock displays no emotion.
42:40 – Lt. McGivers has released Kirk from the decompression chamber. A guard is bringing Spock in to be the next one killed. Even though Spock thinks Kirk is dead, and Kirk has no idea who’s coming his way, the two manage to perform an excellent tag-team maneuver to disarm the guard (complete with a Vulcan nerve pinch).
One the guard is disabled, we get this little exchange of words:
Spock: “Surprised to see you, Captain, though pleased.”
Kirk: [gasping] “I’m a little pleased myself.”
I guess I’m a little disappointed that Kirk’s apparent death (and his survival) didn’t elicit more of a reaction from Spock, but this is still fairly early in the series, and the writers had to cement Spock as a man completely in control of his emotions. Or maybe Spock knew that it just wasn’t logical for Lt. McGivers to let the Captain die, and surmised that she was going to save him.
This episode holds so much weight and significance, but the ending feels rushed. I guess that’s why they brought Khan back for more!!
Premise: The Enterprise discovers an ancient sleeper ship, the SS Botany Bay, which escaped from Earth’s Eugenics Wars in the late 20th century. All of the passengers are somehow preserved in a coma-like state, preventing them from aging, and allowing them to survive for over 200 years. When the Enterprise crew boards the ship, the leader is awakened, and discovered to be war criminal Khan Noonien Singh. The Enterprise’s historian (Lt. McGivers) becomes infatuated with Khan and helps him reanimate his crew and seize control of the Enterprise.
This is obviously a must-see episode. Khan is quite the villain – I can understand why Roddenberry decided to bring him back.
0:41 – On the bridge, the crew is receiving readings from a nearby ship. Spock states that the origin is unknown and that it “could hardly be an Earth ship, there have been no flights into this sector for years.” However, Uhura picks up a Morse Code signal that indicates it IS an Earth ship after all. Kirk calls Spock out on his assumption:
Kirk: “I thought you said it couldn’t possibly be an Earth vessel.”
Spock: “I don’t understand why it always gives you pleasure to see me proven wrong.”
Kirk: [Smile/smirk] “An emotional, Earth weakness of mine.”
Spock got a bit defensive there! 😉 I always love the quippy rapport between the two.
The description of what was happening on Earth in the mid-1990s is really interesting. My mid-90s teenage years would have been pretty awful if this stuff were true:
- “A lot of unanswered questions about those years.”
- “A strange & violent period in Earth’s history.”
- “The era of your last so-called World War.”
- “On the verge of a Dark Ages. Whole populations were being bombed out of existence.”
- “A group of these young supermen did seize power simultaneously in over 40 nations.”
- “Dozens of petty dictatorships.”
Although this one’s not so bad:
- “Men were more adventuresome then. Bolder. More colorful.” 😉
14:50 – Unsurprisingly, when you’ve been in a coma for ~300 years, you REALLY need to stretch and flex when you first wake up. Here are some shots of Khan’s hilarious stretches:
16:00 – Bones is a Badass. Who knew? Shortly after Khan awakens, Doc McCoy comes in to check on him. Khan pretends to be asleep, and then grabs McCoy by the neck and holds a scalpel to his throat. Bones holds steady in the face of Khan’s threats and simply instructs Khan on the best way to kill him: “It would be most effective if you cut the carotid.” His display of bravery disarms the mighty Khan.
31:15 – Kirk, Spock, Bones, and Scotty are sitting around a table discussing Khan and his past rule on Earth. Spock is surprised that the other three are describing Khan with an air of admiration. I enjoyed this dialogue between the characters – Spock is the odd-Vulcan-out in terms of his sentiments on Khan and the others tease him a little bit:
Kirk: “He was the best of the tyrants, and the most dangerous. They were Supermen, in a sense – stronger, braver, certainly more ambitious, more daring.
Spock: [Confused & concerned] “This romanticism about a ruthless dictator is -”
Kirk: “Spock, we humans have a streak of barbarism in us. Appalling, but there, nevertheless.
Scotty: “There were no massacres under his rule.”
Spock: “And little freedom.”
McCoy: “No wars, until he was attacked.”
Spock: [Baffled] “Gentlemen…”
[Kirk, McCoy, and Scotty all break into laughter.]
Kirk: “Mr. Spock, you misunderstand us. We can be against him and admire him, all at the same time.”
Spock: [Pause] “Illogical.”
40:00 – Oh God, Kirk is stuck in a washing machine! Get him out!!
Some comments on the Khans
It was strange and interesting to watch this episode for the first time right after seeing Star Trek: Into Darkness. Of course I had heard of Khan, but I had not seen Space Seed or Wrath of Khan. Thus, Benedict Cumberbatch was my first introduction to the character. Although Cumberbatch was incredible, I can see why lots of fans were dismayed that a white actor was chosen. After watching Space Seed, the two don’t really feel like the same entity, although not just because of race. The TOS version of Khan (played by Ricardo Montalban, a Mexican actor) is more suave, more complex, more human, whereas Cumberbatch’s Khan is cold to the point of seeming robotic. They are both equally evil and creepy, though. I can’t really imagine Cumberbatch’s Khan being a dictator in the 1990s – he seems more keen on infiltrating and destroying than conquering and ruling. I still have a lot to learn about Khan from Star Trek II, so I’ll provide more comments when I get there!
TO BE CONTINUED….I will write more in a second post on Space Seed!