The Great Star Trek TAS Rewatch: The Infinite Vulcan

The away team encounter giant Spock

 

On an away mission, Kirk and his landing party encounter a race of sentient, mobile plant-based life. Although they claim to be peaceful, events take a drastic turn when their “Master” – a human giant – orders the abduction of Mr Spock.

It’s my firm belief that I have watched all of TAS before, but I have zero recollection of previously seeing this most ridiculous of episodes. Penned by none other than Walter Koenig himself, this episode feels like a massive “hold my beer” response to the ridiculousness of Spock’s Brain.

The Phylosian cityInside the Phylosian facility

For a twenty-two minute episode, there’s a lot packed in. First off, we have the Phylosians, a race of sentient plants that precede the Delvians of Farscape by a few decades. Apparently, they weren’t even part of Koenig’s original story – instead Roddenberry insisted on their inclusion. Ultimately, the fact that they are plants is just a nice touch to add variety to the galaxy – it doesn’t have much bearing on the main plot.

The Phylosians

Despite their race having been nearly annihilated by an infection spread by a previous human visitor, the Phylosians seem incredibly friendly and welcoming- at least until they summon some tentacled dragons to attack Kirk’s landing party. On the orders of their “master”, a giant human named Stavos Keniclius 5, the tentacle monsters abduct Spock. But why, you ask? Well, strap in, because this is about to get wild.

Tentacle dragon

Kirk seized by tentacles

McCoy and Sulu seized by tentacles

The original Stavos Keniclius was a survivor of the Eugenics Wars, who has spent centuries wandering the galaxy in search of a “perfect specimen”. How has he survived this long? Well, every so often he clones a new body for himself, and then transfers his consciousness to the fresh body. For reasons that remain unclear, his clone body is gigantic, which must surely hinder rather than help his delicate scientific research.

Keniclius is on Phylos because they share his goals of using this “perfect specimen” to create a galactic peacekeeping force. For some reason, he decides that Spock is just such a specimen, and that making giant Spock clones is the way forward. By the time Kirk, McCoy and Sulu return to rescue Spock, a giant Spock has been created, and original Spock’s consciousness has been transferred.

Dildo-shaped Phylosian starships

Now, let’s step back for a moment here. Keniclius says he can only clone bodies, not minds, which means that at most one giant Spock will have Spock’s mind. If he does make other clones, they will presumably all be mindless drones. What makes them more special than any other army of giant clones?

At the same time, Keniclius is hoping that the first giant Spock will help him in his research – perhaps to iron out these problems. But why does this need Spock to be a giant? And if he’s relying on the consciousness of the original Spock to help out, surely Spock’s innate logic, pacifism and morality will get in the way of that work? It does’nae make any sense, Cap’n!

Giant Spock and Keniclius confront Kirk, Sulu and McCoy

Fortunately, Kirk is on hand to deliver a stirring speech that convinces Keniclius and the giant Spock that a galactic peackeeping force is no longer needed, because the Federation at least is a peaceful place. Giant Spock uses a mind meld to transfer his consciousness back into the original’s body, but somehow retains enough life and consciousness to remain alive and aware. The Enterprise is ready to go on its way, but Giant Spock and Keniclius remain on Phylos to help the Phylosians recover from the plague that once decimated them. So, if we were to consider TAS canon, that means that somewhere out there, there’s a giant Spock still in existence, dedicatedly researching a cure for a plant plague.

Giant Spock mind melds with Spock.

Other notes

Note the continuity issues here. This bridge scene occurs after Spock has been abducted. In this shot of the bridge, Spock appears to be at the science station. We could be generous and assume that it’s another officer from the science division who just happens to resemble Spock.

Far shot of the bridge with "Spock" at the science station

However, in the close-up, a red shirt is now at the science station.

Bridge close-up with red shirt at science station

Moments later, “Spock” is back at the science station.

"Spock" back at the science station.

  • McCoy, Sulu and Kirk all spray their weedkiller at the same time, and then complain when it runs out after a few seconds.

Summary – The Infinite Vulcan: Giant Spock!

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