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The Immunity Syndrome - episode #48

 
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Bogmeister
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 09, 2019 7:55 pm    Post subject: The Immunity Syndrome - episode #48 Reply with quote

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A cosmic threat to the galaxy is faced down by our intrepid Enterprise crew in this episode.

This features an unusual invader to say the least (see the episode Operation — Annihilate! from the first season for another far-out invader).

Speaking of "intrepid", that's another Constellation-class starship which is manned only by Vulcans. We don't see it here, but it was mentioned in a previous episode, Court Martial.

As the story begins, it's too late to save the Vulcan ship and a solar system, both of which have fallen victim to the invader — a one-celled organism which fluctuates in size between 11,000 miles wide and 18,000 miles long, surrounded by a black nega-field.

Yes, it's big — about the size of a planet such as Earth. And . . . it's alive. (Yikes!) Most fans familiar with this episode refer to the menace as the 'space amoeba.'


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_____ TOS 2x18 'The Immunity Syndrome' Trailer


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Episodes like this cause me to think that the crew should be drawing hazard pay or serious bonuses at certain times. Of course, this is all about duty and heroism, 23rd-century style.

And this episode gains some points with me and others for the almost mind-blowing observation (voiced by Kirk & McCoy) that mankind's sole destiny may be in repelling such invaders of our galaxy. Our species may (in this theory) act like antibodies of the galaxy-body, fending off invading cosmic viruses.

On a less metaphysical, less philosophical level, the Enterprise and crew seem to be the only ones between this gigantic invader — this huge cosmic germ — and the rest of the galaxy's inhabitants!

Conceivably, were this creature to reproduce (as the crew discovers it is about to do) it would eventually fill the entire galaxy?

That's pretty wild!



Much of the tension in the story stems from the rather strange competition developing between Spock and McCoy. Both seem a little too eager to be the one to pilot a shuttle craft into the gelatinous mass of the creature and conduct an analysis, even though this little mission is regarded as a one-way trip, a suicide missio!

Kirk has to pick one of them for the trip.

Spock accuses McCoy of having a martyr complex . . . but they both hint to Kirk, 'Pick me! pick me to die!'

This episode takes the often-volatile Spock-McCoy relationship to another level, binding them together in an odd death wish syndrome. Whether they're attempting to discover new scientific concepts or have other motives, their efforts to outdo each other is taken to ludicrous levels here, and it boils down to: which one wants to die more?



I also got the uneasy impression that certain men join a service such as Starfleet to escape normal life, with the goal of giving up their own lives in a glorious pursuit of the fantastical — such as walking barefoot into a live volcano for the chance to learn something no one else knows.

It would seem that Spock & McCoy have more similarities psychologically than it would first appear.



My lengthy amateur psycho-analysis is probably a by-product of what I perceive as some weak and clumsy motivations for the main characters in this episode. A few things just seem a bit off and not quite right concerning key crew members, as if the intention is to artificially add some edginess (which also makes this similar to Operation — Annihilate!).

Also, the pace is a bit slow in this episode, sort of reflecting the lethargy the crew becomes afflicted with — the space creature drains energy, including the life functions of human beings. Some fans think this episode is similar to the first season episodes, but I think its weaknesses are similar to some 3rd season episodes.

I found this one to be very dull when I was a kid. These days, it's passable.

BoG's Score: 7 out of 10



Extra Trek Trivia:

~ That can't be the same Galileo shuttlecraft here as seen in the older episode, The Galileo Seven, since the craft was destroyed in that first season episode. Rather than an error, let's chalk it up to a replacement craft from Starfleet.

~ The black nega-field or black space first encountered in the first act has some similarity to how the TNG crew encountered black space in the much later TNG episode Where Silence Has Lease, though the nature of the black space in the TNG episode was very different.


____________ Galileo Restored Beauty Shots


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BoG
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Bud Brewster
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 09, 2019 8:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

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Despite Bogmeister's interesting comments about this episode, I think this is clear case of a smart person over-thinking a fine story.

What this episode is all about is simply this: a starship filled with dedicated and unselfish people encounter a threat to the entire galaxy, and they're all willing to die to prevent this tragedy.

Hey, like the old songs says, "call me irresponsible, call me unreliable, throw in undependable, too" — but all Bogmeister's odd comments about these brave men competing to be the one who saves the galaxy sounds disturbingly cynical and pessimistic! Rolling Eyes

I think Spock and McCoy were sincere in there belief that they themselves were the one most qualified to destroy this threat to galaxy.

Maybe I'm just naive. (Okay, so add that the list above . . . )

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Last edited by Bud Brewster on Thu Jul 04, 2019 2:45 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Pow
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 04, 2019 2:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Trivia for "The Immunity Syndrome" } In writer Robert Sabaroff's draft it is Dr. Loretta Meyers who competes with Mr.Spock to pilot the shuttlecraft into the space amoeba.

This was the first Star Trek episode with Paramount now in control of the show.

The large computer Spock has loaded into the shuttlecraft were recycled from previous episodes. It was seen as part of the computer center on the Federation Star base Spock hacks on "The Menagerie." It was also seen as one of the war computers on Eminiar in "A Taste of Armageddon."

The visual effect for the amoeba is stunning, especially when you consider the technology available for FX in the 60s. As well as the show's reduced budget for its second season.

A very enjoyable episode from the second season was a mixed bag of splendid episodes and some real clunkers.
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Maurice
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 10, 2019 11:53 pm    Post subject: Re: The Immunity Syndrome - episode #48 Reply with quote

Bogmeister wrote:

Speaking of "intrepid", that's another Constellation-class starship which is manned only by Vulcans. We don't see it here, but it was mentioned in a previous episode, Court Martial

"Constellation" class was in TNG (Picard's old ship). People refer to the TOS ship as "Constitution" class, but the plaque on the bridge just says "Starship Class".
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