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Go Back   The Trek BBS > Star Trek TV Series > Star Trek - Original Series

Star Trek - Original Series The one that started it all...

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Old July 17 2013, 05:51 PM   #46
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Re: Spocks Brain..... Is It That Bad ????

Not exactly a Trek shining moment, but I will always have a soft spot for this episode, it was the first one I ever saw. I think I was 5 or 6 at the time, and I've loved Trek ever since.
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Old July 17 2013, 06:06 PM   #47
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Re: Spocks Brain..... Is It That Bad ????

Kinokima wrote: View Post
Honestly I can get through most of the stupidity of the episode until the end when Spock is instructing McCoy how to perform brain surgery on him.
And when it's all over, Spock rises from the operating table without so much as a bandaid, and not a hair out of place. On top of being a great chief medical officer, McCoy is one hell of a plastic surgeon and a primo hair stylist as well.
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Old July 22 2013, 12:38 AM   #48
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Re: Spocks Brain..... Is It That Bad ????

This episode does have a few things in it that make it less awful than Plato or And the Children Shall Lead:

1) I believe this is one of the first mentions of ion power in a popular sci-fi setting

2) An interesting free exchange among most of the bridge crew when deciding which planet to beam down to, more reminiscent of one of Picards endless staff meetings than the usual Kirk deciding everything.

3) When they beam down Kirks first order is to "set suit temperature to 72" and all the crew reach around to adjust some hidden control and then all the actors stop shivering. This is the only episode that provides any reason for why Starfleet landing parties never beam down with so much as a jacket or box of matches. They don't have to. Disparage Brain all you want, no other episode until the animated series touches on this.

4) Describing women as givers of "pain and delight" and the nodding assent of all the male actors is funny and an accurate description of them whether its the 1960s or 23rd century.

5) There is a bit of Kirk-Fu fighting when they try to get their communicators back, that's always welcome. Interestingly James Blish's adaption of Brain describes a bit of the "scientific style" of fighting that Kirk uses, in the screenplay this is only hinted at with Kirks line to Mccoy that "science holds the key to getting their property back".

The worst part of the episode is Nimoys obvious distaste for it. As an actor all he could do was maybe put some varied inflection in his voiceover scenes as the Controller. Otherwise he was a robot for the full hour and you could see the boredom.

Is it lazy writing that the Great Teacher has all the needed skills to put the brain back? Sure, but its in great company along with the Fabrini having just the cure for Mccoy, the Mugato root for Kirk, Pulaski's hair brush DNA sample, or Crusher being able to reverse DNA changes in evolution in the time it takes Picard to record a log entry.
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Old July 23 2013, 04:13 AM   #49
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Re: Spocks Brain..... Is It That Bad ????

I think this is a really good story that was just poorly executed. I have always wondered if the plot wouldn't have been driven better if the revelation that Spock's brain has been stolen had only been revealed about mid-way through the episode,
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Old July 23 2013, 05:51 AM   #50
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Re: Spocks Brain..... Is It That Bad ????

JT Perfecthair wrote: View Post
This episode does have a few things in it that make it less awful than Plato or And the Children Shall Lead:

1) I believe this is one of the first mentions of ion power in a popular sci-fi setting

2) An interesting free exchange among most of the bridge crew when deciding which planet to beam down to, more reminiscent of one of Picards endless staff meetings than the usual Kirk deciding everything.

3) When they beam down Kirks first order is to "set suit temperature to 72" and all the crew reach around to adjust some hidden control and then all the actors stop shivering. This is the only episode that provides any reason for why Starfleet landing parties never beam down with so much as a jacket or box of matches. They don't have to. Disparage Brain all you want, no other episode until the animated series touches on this.

4) Describing women as givers of "pain and delight" and the nodding assent of all the male actors is funny and an accurate description of them whether its the 1960s or 23rd century.

5) There is a bit of Kirk-Fu fighting when they try to get their communicators back, that's always welcome. Interestingly James Blish's adaption of Brain describes a bit of the "scientific style" of fighting that Kirk uses, in the screenplay this is only hinted at with Kirks line to Mccoy that "science holds the key to getting their property back".

The worst part of the episode is Nimoys obvious distaste for it. As an actor all he could do was maybe put some varied inflection in his voiceover scenes as the Controller. Otherwise he was a robot for the full hour and you could see the boredom.

Is it lazy writing that the Great Teacher has all the needed skills to put the brain back? Sure, but its in great company along with the Fabrini having just the cure for Mccoy, the Mugato root for Kirk, Pulaski's hair brush DNA sample, or Crusher being able to reverse DNA changes in evolution in the time it takes Picard to record a log entry.
I agree with your 1-5, but you can't excuse the bad stuff on the basis of mentioning other bad episodes.

Even as a ten year old kid I was like---they can control Spock's fingers with a gizmo that has 3 buttons--while undergoing torture? Awful--if anybody had cared about the episode they would have changed it simply to they have Spock walk into the girl and she drops the pain-giving device, but as soon as the episode goes down to 'down below' it is pure trash.
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Old July 23 2013, 08:18 AM   #51
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Re: Spocks Brain..... Is It That Bad ????

JT Perfecthair wrote: View Post
. . . Is it lazy writing that the Great Teacher has all the needed skills to put the brain back? Sure, but its in great company along with the Fabrini having just the cure for McCoy, the Mugato root for Kirk, Pulaski's hair brush DNA sample, or Crusher being able to reverse DNA changes in evolution in the time it takes Picard to record a log entry.
The magical root in "A Private Little War" was a makho root. The Mugato was this silly-looking beast.

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Old July 23 2013, 01:09 PM   #52
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Re: Spocks Brain..... Is It That Bad ????

Spock's Brain is a bit like TMP (remove about 60% of it and its pretty good).

You know the zombie Spock bit and the doctor Spock bit.
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Old July 23 2013, 01:48 PM   #53
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Re: Spocks Brain..... Is It That Bad ????

Grant wrote: View Post
they can control Spock's fingers with a gizmo that has 3 buttons--while undergoing torture?
Complex motion with a limited set of buttons might be credible to anyone who grew up with hand-to-hand combat videogames. Which game gestures did McCoy program into Spock's crown? Street Fighter? Oni?

Why bother with the torture belts at all? When Kirk and company invade the underground complex -- with "hostage" -- they are all knocked flat with the press of a single button, without touching the hostage. The women obviously have an effective weapon that does not require those LOST IN SPACE prop belts.
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Old July 23 2013, 06:36 PM   #54
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Re: Spocks Brain..... Is It That Bad ????

It's not silly that they cured Krik with the Mako root---the very reason they were on the planet was to collect samples of the plants that had medicinal value and you can't compare the stupidity of the 2nd half of Spock's brain to Private Little War because in 1967 they were forced to use an actor in a suit to portray a biped creature.

Act 3 and 4 of Spock's Brain are embarrassing crap.
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Old July 25 2013, 12:24 AM   #55
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Re: Spocks Brain..... Is It That Bad ????

One of the interesting tidbits about "Spock's Brain" is when McCoy uses the "teacher" device.

Seems to me this is a direct shout-out (rip-off?) of "Forbidden Planet." They had the same kind of teacher machine on Altair IV.

Basically and inverted spaghetti colander with wires coming out of it, I'll have to try it sometime.


Also, if it's considered silly to have an episode about a brain, then what about "Gamesters of Triskelion?" That has THREE brains, under glass.
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Old July 25 2013, 12:33 AM   #56
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Re: Spocks Brain..... Is It That Bad ????

Melakon wrote: View Post
DeForest Kelley should have won an Emmy Award for being forced to say "His brain is gone!"
He should have slipped a Freiberger reference into that line.
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Old July 25 2013, 03:28 AM   #57
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Re: Spocks Brain..... Is It That Bad ????

Mr. Hengist wrote: View Post
One of the interesting tidbits about "Spock's Brain" is when McCoy uses the "teacher" device.

Seems to me this is a direct shout-out (rip-off?) of "Forbidden Planet." They had the same kind of teacher machine on Altair IV.

Basically and inverted spaghetti colander with wires coming out of it, I'll have to try it sometime.


Also, if it's considered silly to have an episode about a brain, then what about "Gamesters of Triskelion?" That has THREE brains, under glass.
Haha..or "Return to Tomorrow", which featured three talking beach balls.
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Old July 25 2013, 08:01 PM   #58
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Re: Spocks Brain..... Is It That Bad ????

Also, just thought of another connection between Star Trek and Forbidden Planet--Warren Stevens is the same actor who uses the teacher machine in Forbidden Planet (Doc Ostrow) and is the head of the Kelvans (Rojan) in "By Any Other Name" (the one where they turn crewmembers of the Enterprise into boullion cubes. Or dodecahedrons.)
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Old July 25 2013, 09:51 PM   #59
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Re: Spocks Brain..... Is It That Bad ????

I like Spocks Brain. I liked it alot. It's entertaining. Also it's got the name Spock in the title. That in itself makes it awesome.

On a more serious note. I like it because it's entertaining. I don't watch ST to learn about science or space. Also Spocks babbling and Kirk's laugh in the end is sweet.
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Old July 26 2013, 09:24 AM   #60
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Re: Spocks Brain..... Is It That Bad ????

Big Daddy wrote: View Post
I think this is a really good story that was just poorly executed. I have always wondered if the plot wouldn't have been driven better if the revelation that Spock's brain has been stolen had only been revealed about mid-way through the episode,
If Spock's consciousness had been removed (stolen) instead of his actual brain, it would have made the story a little less absurd, but also a lot less fun to watch.
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