Star Trek

Season 3 Episode 1

Spock's Brain

Aired Unknown Sep 20, 1968 on NBC



  • Trivia

    • Kara says the knowledge lasts two or three hours, and McCoy says that's just enough time to do the operation. So... how did Kara earlier get the knowledge, go on an open-ended trip hoping to find a suitable brain, do the surgery on the Enterprise, and get back using the knowledge to pilot the ship?

    • When Kara activates the belt-torture devices, it only affects the landing party even though the Morg slaves are wearing the same belts. She only has three buttons, so how does she get such precise control?

    • Is Spock really so impressive that Kara stops with him and leaves with his brain? Maybe there's someone else on the next deck with an even better brain.

    • While performing surgery on Spock, McCoy seems to be standing with his hands at a noticeable distance from where the top of Spock's head is.

    • An entire scene is devoted to discussing which of three planets to send the landing party to search for Spock's brain. But there are hundreds of people aboard the Enterprise. Kirk could conceivably send a hundred searchers to each planet and still have more than enough personnel for a skeleton crew to run the ship.

    • As McCoy tries to reconnect Spock's vocal chords, Spock himself tells the doctor to "finish reconnecting my speech center" so he can help out. But given that he just manages to say that, there doesn't seem to be much, if anything, left in that area to reconnect.

    • Chekov heats a rock with his phaser without melting the snow right next to it.

    • Kirk orders phasers on stun when they enter the caves because he wants them conscious. However, "stun" doesn't typically leave its victims conscious.

    • Despite the reference to suit temperature controls which were used just after Kirk and the landing party beamed down to the planet, Chekov then has to heat a rock with his phaser to keep him and his guards warm. Why couldn't they just turn their temperature controls up some more?

    • Before beaming down to the planet, Kirk mistakenly says the stardate is 4351.5 instead of 5431.5.

    • After deciding to go to the Sigma Draconis system, Kirk orders Sulu to take them there at "maximum speed". Sulu acknowledges the order with "Warp Six", but the Enterprise's maximum speed is Warp Eight on the 2260s scale.

    • While discussing Spock's missing brain in sickbay, McCoy says he doesn't know how long Spock can survive without his brain, but only a few seconds later, he randomly puts a 24-hour time limit on restoring the brain to Spock's body. Does he know how long Spock has or not?

    • When Kara tells them the knowledge implanted by the teaching device last for three hours, McCoy comments that that would be just enough time to restore Spock's brain. Um, how does he know how long this surgery -- thousands of years beyond his ability -- will take? Even if he were using the removal as a reference point, putting the brain back in is bound to me a very different matter than taking it out.

    • When Kirk and the crew reach the underground city, he stuns Kara and removes the bracelet from her arm. After he removes it, the unconcious Kara quite deliberately lays her hand flat on the ground.

    • The remote control that enables Scotty to control the brainless Spock only has a handful of buttons on it, yet Kirk is able to use the controller do make Spock perform some pretty inctricate movements with his arms and fingers. This seems a little odd.

    • When they arrived in the system they said they were heading for the sixth planet in the system of Sigma Draconis, but in his captain's log about halfway through the episode, Kirk calls it Sigma Draconis VII.

    • The rocks that the male locals initially throw at the landing party float like the styrofoam they really are.

    • Spock has cranial surgery, twice, and has perfect hair both times afterward. That's pretty advanced technology!

    • Why doesn't someone else (Scotty or Kirk, or beam down someone from the ship) get their brain enhanced to do the surgical operation on Spock after McCoy loses it?

    • Kara gets her intelligence boosted and then pulls out a phaser from her clothing already set on Kill. How did she know how to set it to "Kill" before she got her brain enhanced?

    • Kirk, McCoy, and Scotty manage to sit upright in those teeny little low-backed chairs despite the fact they're unconscious.

  • Quotes

    • McCoy: I'll never live this down--this Vulcan telling me how to operate.

    • Spock: While I might trust the doctor to remove a splinter or lance a boil, I do not believe he has the knowledge to restore a brain.
      McCoy: Thank you.

    • Kirk: Readout, Mr. Chekov.
      Chekov: No structures, Captain. No mechanized objects that I can read. No surface consumption, no generation of energy. Atmosphere is perfectly all right, of course. Temperature, a high maximum of 40. Livable.
      Kirk: You have a thick skin.

    • (after McCoy's successful surgery restoring Spock's brain)
      Kirk: How do you feel, Spock?
      Spock: On the whole Captain, I believe I'm quite fit. It's fascinating! A remarkable example of a retrograde civilization at the peak, advanced beyond any of our capabilities and now operating at this primitive level which you saw. And it all began thousands of years ago when a glacial age reoccurred. You see, this underground complex was developed for the women. Men remained above. And male/female schism took place. A fascinating cultural development of a kind...
      McCoy: I knew it was wrong, I shouldn't have done it!
      Kirk: What's that?
      McCoy: I should have never reconnected his mouth!
      Kirk: Well, we took the risk, Doctor.

    • Kirk: No one may kill a man. Not for any purpose. It cannot be condoned.

    • Kara: You are not Morg. You are not Eymorg.

    • Kara: How will we live?
      Spock: You'll learn to build houses to keep warm. You'll work. ... Humans have survived under worse conditions. It's a matter of evolution. Give it time.

    • Kara: Brain and brain! What is brain?

    • (Engines start)
      McCoy: Call Chekov and tell him to send my stomach down.

  • Notes

    • In the 2007 remastered version of the episode, the ship that Kara arrives in is changed from a 1960s missile/rocket design to a more modern advanced ship that looks nothing like the original. The ice planet also receives a makeover, showing ice and snow in the longer matte shots.

    • For the first time, the main viewscreen image is rear-projected live during filming in order to allow the actors to interact with the display. Previous viewscreen images were superimposed after the scene had been filmed.

    • The opening theme music now features a mix of a female soprano and a Theremin.

    • In this season, the opening credits are in blue instead of gold.

    • This episode was written by Gene L. Coon under the pseudonym Lee Cronin.

    • Starting with this episode, the third season saw Star Trek moved to a death timeslot: Friday nights @ 10:00!

  • Allusions

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