Star Trek

Season 2 Episode 18

The Immunity Syndrome

Aired Unknown Jan 19, 1968 on NBC

Episode Fan Reviews (6)

out of 10
157 votes
  • When Giant Amoebas Attack!

    Sorry guys I just can't agree on this one. Perhaps the worst of the star trek clunker episodes ever done. The story was hoaky. The effects terrible and the science non existent. If not for the great chemistry between DeForest Kelly and Leonard Nimoy this episode would be completely sunk.
  • The Enterprise encounters a space amoeba cutting a destructive swath through the universe.

    This is an unusual Star Trek episode, because there's no planet of the week and no guest stars. The action happens aboard the Enterprise and its shuttlecraft and the drama centers around Kirk, Spock, and McCoy. (In fact, this is one of the defining episodes in the Kirk/Spock/McCoy relationship.) What makes the show great is a magnificent script, along with incredible performances by Leonard Nimoy and DeForest Kelly and their chemistry together. On the down side, the episode is basically a rehash of "The Doomsday Machine" from earlier in the season. (In fact, much of the music here comes from that episode.) Still, for a budget saving episode, it's quite fun.
  • Attack of the Giant Germ!

    Attack of the Giant Germ sounds like the title of a Powerpuff Girls short subject but it's the plot synopsis of Immunity Syndrome, an episode of the original Star Trek TV series. This slightly ludicrous premise actually turns out better than one might reasonably expect.

    The story: a protozoan of planetary size and capable of interstellar flight destroys wherever it goes, its negative energy field draining the power of both machines and things living. Kirk's orders from Starfleet Command: Destroy it!

    It's a weary crew aboard USS Enterprise and this motive seems to be projected a bit too effectively, exhausting the viewer as well. Just as well, then you won't worry how the ship and shuttlecraft manage to manoeuvre in a colloidal mass. Or why the ship doesn't turn about while on the retreat. A few maudlin scenes in Act II, culminating in the plan, daringly executed as always, to strike the nucleus with a ballistic missile with an anti-matter warhead. A fair conclusion, I suppose, but I would have enjoyed it more if Bones had quickly synthesized a super-antibiotic and Spock flew a shuttlecraft with a huge needle attached to the bow into the nucleus.

    No new sets, no guest stars, no new wardrobe, no new miniature shots, incidental music largely recycled from The Doomsday Machine are factors likely to have been critical in the selection of this script as it helped Desilu Studios recoup budget overages on certain previous episodes.

    Of the original 79 episodes, I would rank Immunity Syndrome around number 40.

  • The Starship Enterprise is threatened by an enormous, energy-draining space amoeba when it becomes trapped in a 'void of nothing'. A surprisingly good episode…

    I wasn't expecting much from this episode, but it turned out to be a very good instalment.

    In many respects, this story is rather like the first season's "The Corbomite Maneuver", and "The Doomsday Machine" earlier this season, in that instead of a new planet to beam down to, and / or a new space creature to tackle, instead the Enterprise is threatened by a giant space entity.

    The episode is captivating as the amoeba just seems too vast and too powerful for the Enterprise to escape. Of course, we all know they'll survive in the end, but HOW...?

    Kirk being forced to choose between McCoy or Spock going on the shuttlecraft mission into the amoeba is great, and one of the best sequences of the second season in my opinion. Both the writing and acting of it are of a very high quality.

    The moments when Spock is assumed to be dead as a result of his exploration are also of a high standard, and play out excellently.

    Then there is one of my favourite pieces of dialogue – McCoy "Shut up Spock! We're rescuing you!", to which Spock replies "Why thank you, CAPTAIN McCoy".

    On hindsight, this may actually be one of the best episodes of the second season. It's certainly amongst the best down the latter end of the season.
  • Kirk gets hooked on uppers and can’t pronounce Lt. Kyle’s name

    Top ten episode, folks. Fantastic piece of writing. The intensity of this episode is one of the best in the whole series right up there with "The Doomsday Machine". The remarkable thing is that there is no planet to beam down to or special guest alien or crew member to bring a refreshing element to the script. It's all done with the regular crew. I get all choked up when Kirk agonizes over who to send into the giant amoeba via the shuttlecraft, McCoy or Spock.
  • Of pseudopods and nucleii

    The reason I rate "The Immunity Syndrome" quite highly is that it doesn't follow one of the stock STTOS plot scenarios. This one actually has an original idea at its core, one which is developed well and gives Mr Spock a chance to sacrifice himself as he is "the only logical choice."

    The concept of a huge single-celled organism that absorbs all energy probably isn't a new sf concept, but neither was it a cliche when this episode of ST originally aired. There's no flab in the script. The Enterprise crew gets right to determining what the problem is, then takes the necessary bold steps to set the galaxy to rights.

    The character development isn't neglected, either. McCoy is irracible, Kirk is off his face on stimulants and Spock gets to try some sarcasm - "Why, thank you, Captain McCoy!". How can you go wrong?

    Overall, one of the better TREKs and worth catching next time it's on Sci-Fi Channel.
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