Star Trek

Star Trek

Monday, July 21, 2014

Season 2, Episode 48 "The Immunity Syndrome"

"The Immunity Syndrome"
Production Number: 48
Air Order: 47
Stardate: 4307.1
Original Air Date: January 19, 1968

And now, a conversation between myself and the Reading Public:

RP: Hey Lady Archon, what happened to last weeks' post?
Me: This is it, here. I was unable to complete it in time because my effing laptop screen cracked, and not one piece of technology in my life can accomplish the task in it's entirety. My television and Blu-Ray player have Netflix and can play the episode through both that and the DVD set, but neither takes screencaptures. My computer at work is too slow to play the cbs.com episodes, and does not have the capability to play the discs. So I must return to my all-day endeavor of taking notes with a pen and notebook, then trekking down to my local library with my disc to get my screencaptures. Or, at least until my laptop is fixed.
RP: Didn't you just get that laptop, like 6 weeks ago?
Me: (through gritted teeth) YES.
RP: Sounds like you have bad luck with technology.
Me: It has always been so.
RP: You should appeal to the technology gods. Build an altar made of old Commodore computers, sacrifice some Angry Birds, then dance naked around it, chanting in DOS.
Me: ...yeah... I'll get right on that.



*******



Kirk's Log 4307.1: "Just finished a super-shitty mission, and now headed off for shore leave."

Kirk, on the bridge, tells Bones that he's looking forward to some rest on a beautiful planet, but in the long, Shatnery pause between "beautiful" and "planet", he lecherously scopes a blonde yeoman. What he means is that he'd like to find himself orbiting some green Orion strange.
Uhura interrupts his spank bank fantasies to tell him that she's getting a garbled message from Starbase 6 about a Vulcan ship called the Intrepid, and sector Gamma 7A.
Suddenly, Spock looks up with a shocked look on his face and declares that the Intrepid and it's crew of 400 are dead.



Kirk sends Spock to sick bay, and Uhura puts the now-clear audio on speaker. Starbase 6 wants the E to find the Intrepid, with which they have lost contact. Kirk attempts to pawn it off on someone else, but the E is the only ship available, so he acquiesces.
Chekov, who has moved to the science station, does a long-range scan on Gamma 7A, and reports it dead. Kirk angrily replies that that can't be true, as that sector contains billions of people, but a look in the science station reveals the truth: it's dead, Jim.



In sick bay, Spock assures Bones that he's fine, but that he's certain that the Intrepid is dead because he felt the death screams of 400 Vulcans, and that not even the Intrepid's computers knew what was killing them.
Spock returns to the bridge and the science station. The e is flying toward Gamma 7A when they encounter a hole or something in space. Kirk asks what it is.
"Fucked if I know," replies Spock. "Nothing in the computer matches that."



They launch a probe into the hole, and there's a loud, high-pitched whine that bothers everyone but Spock, which is interesting, as he has hyper-sensitive hearing. Uhura almost faints. Bones calls to tell Kirk that almost half of the people on the ship suddenly passed out. He's giving them stimulants.
A cranky, tired Kirk tells Spock that it's not cool that there's no info, as the science officer is supposed to have all of the answers.
"I can't give you answers if there are none," says Spock. "Why are you being such a dick? Do you need a nap or something?"
"No," grouches Kirk, even though he totally does. "Okay, what is it not?"
"Gas or solid or liquid," replies Spock. "It's like, energy."
Kirk instructs Uhura to tell "the Starfleet" (no, seriously, he added "the") that they're going to check out the space hole (why does that sound dirty?). 
Shatner is laying it on thick with the dramatic pauses in this episode. Very distracting.



They inch the ship forward.
"Penetration of the dark zone in one minute, seven seconds," sounds Chekov, and I seriously did not make that up. That's the line as it was spoken.
That nasty whine comes up again, and everyone feels crappy after it passes. Kirk comms Bones to the bridge, and Bones shows up with Nurse Not-Christine. They walk around and hypo everyone with stimulants.
Kirk calls Scotty. "Why are we losing power?"
"Dennae," says Scotty. "Can't stop it, either."
"Well, figure it out!" barks Kirk.
So far, he's asked Spock for info that he doesn't have, and Scotty to keep the ship from leaking energy. I see - it's Do the Impossible Day! Hooray! In the next scene, Chekov will pronounce the letter V, and Kirk will make it through one damn line reading without awkwardly pausing four times.
"WTF was that noise we heard earlier?" demands Kirk.
"We passed through some kind of barrier into a zone of negative energy that isn't compatible with us," Spock answers. The further in we go, the more energy it sucks from us, and the weaker we get, the stronger it gets."



"Let's GTFO," Bones suggests.
In response to Bones, Kirk gets on the PA to give a pep talk to the crew. Unfortunately, it doesn't come off that way.
"So we're sick and getting sicker, and it's totally my fault because I ordered Chekov to penetrate the space hole, but quit your bitchin' and get back to work." This inspiring speech is overlaid with shots of people in sick bay beds. You're a dick, Kirk.
Bones calls from sick bay. "Nice talk, asshole. According to science, we're all dying."
Kirk facepalms, telling himself that he really needs to stop chasing waterfalls space holes.



Kirk's Log 4308.8: "Damn, I screwed us over again. Hope nobody finds out."

Kirk goes to engineering. They've turned off the engines, but the power is still draining. Suddenly, they lurch forward. Spock calls from the bridge to say that the space hole is sucking them in. Kirk asks Scotty for forward thrust, because everything seems to work backward in the space hole, and this action slows them down.
There are some short cut-away scenes where Christine delivers some lines about life signs being stable and unstable, but these are unimportant, as Bones describes them a few minutes later in another scene. What a waste of a perfectly awesome actor.

This Red creepily stared at Christine throughout this whole
scene.


In the briefing room, bones iterates that they're dying; Scotty says that everything in engineering is running back-asswards, but that power is still draining; and Spock surmises that whatever is in the space hole is what drained the energy from the Intrepid and Gamma 7A. Scotty agrees to channel all of their power into the engines to give them one massive thrust forward.
Spock and Kirk talk a bit later about how the Vulcans were unaware of what killed them, and how astonished they were to be defeated, because Vulcan has never been conquered.



Back on the bridge, Kirk warns the crew that they're going to be doing some thrusting in the space hole, and then everyone falls to the floor when it happens. Scotty calls from engineering to say that the thrusting didn't work, and that their power is still being drained.
"Looks like the mysterious thing found us," says Spock, and everyone looks at the viewscreen.



They launch a probe - because that worked so well before - and Spock reads out the info. Apparently, the thing is squishy on the outside, and gets progressively squishier the further one goes in. Also, it's alive.
Down in sick bay, the trio talk about amoebas. They think the squishy thing is one.
"Probes didn't work," says Bones. "I'm gonna volunteer to get into the shuttle and penetrate the amoeba to find out how to kill it."
"The hell you are," says Spock. "I can take more shit than you, physically. I volunteer as tribute."
"Fuck you both," says Kirk. "I'm the best pilot." (Ed. note: Fuck you, Kirk. The best pilot is Sulu.)
"You don't science," the boys protest.
"I'll think about it and decide," Kirk answers.



Jim's Log 4309.2: "Recap and shit. Who do I choose to fly into a giant amoeba? Of course there isn't time for them to fly in, find out how to kill it, and fly back. It all falls under Rule 47, section 10, subsection 3 of the Disable the Ship plotline. So the dude I choose will be flying to his death."

Scotty calls to tell Kirk that ppower is down 50% and they only have about an hours' worth left. the boys in blue arrive and Kirk tells them that he's picked Spock to go.
Spock and Bones walk down to the shuttle, which Bones has outfitted with science. they bitch at each other in the corridor, Bones being butthurt and Spock being all Vulcan-smug.
"Wish me luck," says Spock, and he heads out onto the flight deck to the Zombie Galileo.



So Spock talks to the bridge through the comm, preparing to enter the amoeba. He actually fucking says "The area of penetration will no doubt be sensitive." You make this too easy, Star Trek.
He flies in and falls out of his chair because of the tough ride, then gets up and re-establishes contact.
"That was rough. Bones would not have survived that," he adds. "Also, haha, I'm doing science and you're not."
"Dude, fuck you," says Bones over the comm.
Spock does science and sends back the info. Of course the amoeba is in the process of reproducing. There's so much innuendo in this episode that someone must be rendered pregnant.



They briefly lose contact, but then the ship rocks again and Kirk says that spock must have agitated the thing to let them know that he's still alive. Spock calls back to tell them how to kill the thing before it goes forth and multiplies, destroying the universe. But he's gonna die before he can get back to the E.
"Bitch, you should have wished me luck," he croaks at Bones.

Kirk's Log 4309.4: "We can kill it, but we need to do it from the inside. Spock knows how, but we lost contact again before he could let us know what to do."

"This thing is weird," Kirk says to Bones.
"It's like a germ, invading the body of our galaxy," Bones muses.
"Yeah, and it will make millions more, and then we'll be the germ," Kirk frowns "Hey, I have an idea!"

Gentle caress of a lover, or bitchslap? You decide.


They go up to the bridge, and Kirk tells Scotty to divert the engine power over to the shields. He does, and the E gets sucked into the amoeba like loose Jell-o shots through a straw.
"We can't shoot it with phasers," complains Scotty. "It eats power."
"Naw," says Kirk. "Everything works backward here, so we'll blast it with anti-matter."
"Cool!" says Scotty, and he runs off to make an anti-matter bomb.
Kirk intends to load the thing onto a probe, drop it onto the nucleus, then run like hell as they detonate it.



Spock makes a personal log on the shuttle, only I can't differentiate it by using his first name, because dude only has one name.
Spock's Log: "Totes dying. If someone finds this, my ship and my crewmates are the bomb-diggity."



Then Kirk makes a log: "My ship and crew are the bomb-diggity. Commendations to the bridge crew."

They have seven minutes left of impulse power, so they set the bomb thing for seven minutes also. Chekov drops the package on the nucleus and they back away.
But look! It's the Zombie Galileo! Kirk sets a tractor beam on the shuttle, and Spock's voice comes over the comm.
"No, don't. You don't have the energy."
"Shut up, Spock!" barks Bones. "We're rescuing you!"
"Why, thank you, Captain McCoy."
Then Bones and Kirk make "fuck you, it's for your own good" faces in the general direction of Wherever Spock Is, and they grab him.

Seriously, this is Kirk's Fuck You, Spock face.


But, aw crap, their power dies just before they exit through the membrane. The amoeba explodes, and everyone rocks dramatically in their chairs.

NOW IN 3-D!


Chekov reports that they were thrown clear from the amoeba, and the viewscreen shows stars again. The tractor beam held, for no reason that anyone on board can explain, and they comm Spock so he and Bones can end the episode like always, bickering like an old married couple.
The shuttle docks, and there's some cool miniature work here.



The episode closes with the same line that it opened with: "I can't wait to get some rest and relaxation on some lovely..." (pause to scope the ass of some Blue with a clipboard) "...planet." And they laugh, fully enabling Kirk's problem of leering at crewmembers.





Death Toll:
Red deaths this episode: 0
Red deaths this season: 17
Gold deaths this episode: 0
Gold deaths this season: 6
Blue deaths this episode: 0
Blue deaths this season: 1
Total crew deaths this season: 24
Total crew deaths thus far: 41

A red fainted on the bridge, but that doesn't count.

So, this episode doesn't suck. Not at all, in fact. Someone knows their biology, or at least a little bit about single-celled creatures. I dunno how much I buy that reverse-energy thing, but it wasn't a big deal. No crappy science here. No weird costume choices. Shatner paused a lot, but whatever.
The thing that caught my attention this week was totally by accident. For whatever reason, I opted to watch this episode on Netflix rather than using the discs, and this episode featured bigger differences than the episodes that I had Netflixed previously. Netflix uses the remastered editions from the 40th Anniversary set, while the disc set that I use does not. The remastered editions have subtle changes made to them in the special effects department. Anything that had previously been done with models had been refilmed, shot for shot, using CGI. Was the CGI terrible? No. Did it seem unnecessary? Yeah, it kind of did.


Original

Remastered


I know I bitch a lot about the cheesy effects on this show, and I do try to be fair sometimes about it, considering the tiny budget that they had to work with. I'm quick to praise budget creativity when they pull it off. But with the remastering... well, it felt a bit like when you watch the director's cut of Star Wars, and shit was digitally added in the background to make the shot more... populated? Exotic? More like what the original creator had in mind when his imagination was bigger than his wallet? People complained heavily about those additions. So too did they complain when remastered shots of ET replaced shotguns with Walkie-Talkies.

"Look out! He's got a communications device!"


I'm gonna complain a bit here about the remastered Star Trek effects. Some of the effects used in TOS were state of the art for their time. A lot of it was miniatures or hand-drawn animation. Goofy as it looks in our eyes, somebody put time and effort into those things to enhance the show, and I feel like their hard work gets erased by these new effects. The new effects are also a bit too polished-looking. It fits right in with anything you might see in movies or on tv today, but when spliced together with the original footage, it looks too perfect, too plastic. And out of sync with the style of the show. Sure, it looks cool, but also kind of strange, and less cheesy.
Given the choice, I'm going with cheese.

*******

Teacup and I had dinner at Red Robin the other night, and the waitress offered me a drink. Among the choices listed were "flavored teas." Though peach sounded good, I opted for pomegranate. Pomegranate is a weird fruit, both in reality, and as a flavor. Just like gardenia scent, no one ever seems to get it right. It's always vaguely fruity, vaguely tropical, and kind of nothing like pomegranate. I think Red Robin makes their flavor tea with syrups (like Torani?). My first sip through the straw heralded a mouthful of flavor with less tea, and the balance shifted more toward tea as I finished the glass. I ended up with the overall feeling that it tasted like a berry-flavored Arnold Palmer (tea + lemonade). It wasn't bad, it just didn't taste like pomegranate to me. I'll go ahead and recommend it on the grounds that it was good, but if you're looking for actual pomegranate flavor, you might want to try just cracking open the fruit.




Cubby the troublemaker

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