Sunday, 3 May 2020

the infinite vulcan

Via Super Punch, we are reminded of another absolutely gem from the franchise in the form of the titular episode, the first out of any instalment and format to be written by a member of the cast, Walter Koenig, beginning a standing tradition in later series—also notably the only character written out of Star Trek: The Animated Series because the show could not afford to retain him as voice actor to reprise his role of Pavel Chekov.  The crew explore a planet called Phylos for possible colonisation only to find it is already populated by an indigenousness race of sentient, non-sessile plants.

The away-mission, after some dicey encounters, further ascertain that the Phylosians were decimated by the introduction of a blight from Earth, inadvertently brought there by a refugee from the Eugenics War. A giant clone of the original scientist who fled from Earth, convinced that the galaxy is as wholly immersed in destruction as his home world was when his progenitor left it, kidnaps Spock with a plan to together restore peace and order with the help of a giant clone he creates from our Vulcan science officer, at the expense of the life of the original. Giant Spock mind melds with the body of himself in order to save his consciousness and convince the scientist giant that his plans were misguided and that the Federation has been a civilisation force, brining peace and harmony to the galaxy. The two giant clones commit themselves to restoring Phylos and making the ecosystem again viable for the native population and the Enterprise departs. We rather like the idea that there’s a giant Mister Spock somewhere out in the Alpha Quadrant with another giant gardening companion. Koenig unfortunately did not take up producer Gene Roddenberry’s offer to write more episodes.