It’s Enterprise vs the Space Amoeba in the episode that originally aired on January 19, 1968.   This is The Immunity Syndrome

The Episode:

Captain’s Log Stardate 43070.1

After the loss of the USS Intrepid and the entire Gamma 7A system to an unknown threat, the Enterprise investigates only to discover a strange ‘dark zone’ that begins to pull the ship toward it.  Unable to pull away, Kirk orders the ship to breach the ‘dark zone’ and discover what is inside.  

Inside the thing, they discover that it is in fact a space dwelling single celled organism that is devouring life in the area.  To avoid the same fate as the Vulcan Manned USS Intrepid, Spock attempts to study the creature hoping to understand it even though he ‘felt’ the deaths of the entire Vulcan crew when it killed them.  From his shuttlecraft, Spock tries to communicate his findings but is only able to inform the crew.  Aboard the Enterprise, Kirk orders the ship to go toward the nucleus of this creature as it is the most logical place that could stop it from continuing it’s threat.

Fearing that Spock has been lost, Kirk and McCoy determine that they must act as antibodies to this invasive creature.  Placing an antimatter charge at it’s nucleus, Enterprise reverses course and escapes just before detonation while also discovering that Spock’s shuttle has escaped as well. After destroying the creature and recovering Spock the crew continue on to their much needed shore-leave.

Is this a ‘Good’ Episode:

This is a pretty fun ‘creature of the week’ episode that introduces some rather interesting, and later ignored, facts about Spock and Vulcans in general.   From the start this episode indicates that Vulcans, specifically Spock, have some sort of psychic connection to one another. In fact, Spock ‘feels’ the deaths of every single Vulcan aboard the Intrepid much like Obi Wan Kenobi would when Alderaan was destroyed in Star Wars.  While this is an interesting addition to the Vulcan mythos, it is pretty much ignored from this point on and is only refered to with the idea that Vulcans were once a telepathic race and still had some remnants of this ability that emerges from time to time.  Sure, some of this could be explained by the single celled giant space amoeba, but even this is rather unsubstantiated. 

Ignoring the giant plot hole created by this strange event, the episode is actually pretty neat.  It is pretty reasonable to consider that there could be giant space dwelling entities floating around space and, while it seems strange that they would resemble giant single celled creatures, it is not an improbability.   What I do love about this episode is that, while we never discover the origin of this giant viral creature, this episode was probably the inspiration for later episodes in the franchise depicting similar events and creatures. This is especially noticeable in Voyager with the episode The Cloud where Voyager enters a giant space alien by mistake only to have to save it.  I have to wonder if these species were related in some way. 

Overall, this is a fun ‘creature of the week’ episode that doesn’t really do anything to further the narrative or provide any real substantial character development to note.  With the exception of Spock’s rather odd ‘connection’ with the dying Vulcan ship and his mention that Vulcan had not been invaded in the memory of the Vulcan people, this episode serves as nothing more than a fun filler and for that, it’s not bad.

Gleanings and Cool Bits:

  • We never discover what this space amoeba is or was leaving it’s existence a complete mystery.

Thanks for reading the Retro TV Review,  I look forward to discussing the rest of the series with you, one episode at a time every Monday, Wednesday and Friday!  Next Review: A Piece of the Action

For more reviews I have a weekly series called Key Movies Of My Life that comes out every Thursday and for more retro TV goodness check out the rest of the Retro TV Reviews here.

As always, please feel free to comment below and share your experiences with these episodes as well. If you just happened by, tell me what you think! Don’t Forget To Follow me if you like the blog!

Late To The Game 3/21/2022

‘Spock, are you getting the sense of thousands of voices calling out in agony?’ ‘no, just a headache.’

Special Thanks to Memory Alpha as they are one of the best sources for details on Star Trek information available.  Although I have a pretty deep knowledge on the subject, they have proven invaluable as a regular resource.

Star Trek and all related marks, logos and characters are solely owned by CBS Studios Inc. This fan production is not endorsed by, sponsored by, nor affiliated with CBS, Paramount Pictures, or any other Star Trek franchise, and is a non-commercial fan-made production intended for recreational use.  No commercial exhibition or distribution is permitted. No alleged independent rights will be asserted against CBS or Paramount Pictures.”

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