Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Star Trek -- Season 2 Episode 18 (The Immunity Syndrome)

Thinking of movies and television of today, I’m sure there are certain things future generations will look back on and will think were strange.  People fly back when being hit by a bullet.  Explosions in space are still somehow fireballs.  But looking back at some of the original Star Trek episodes, I’m forced to wonder who, exactly, was approving the scripts.

Suppose I told you that one episode was about the Enterprise encountering a miles-long amoeba in space.  Oh, and it’s in this area of void space that they can’t see past or get out of right away.  Plus, something about the amoeba and/or the space is draining the ship’s systems and causing the ship to work in reverse.  (Forward thrust makes the ship go backwards, for instance.)  To make matters more confusing, the episode is called The Immunity Syndrome.  I’m not sure where it comes from or what it means, either, but that describes the entire episode for me.

There does seem to be more of a fantasy angle in many of the episodes of The Original Series.  I’m not sure if that was intended or if that’s just what audiences expected.  The entire plot seems to be one where it puts the ship in a dangerous situation.  What makes it suspenseful is that much of it is new and unknown.  Everything is backwards and not as it should be, requiring the crew to think outside the box.

It’s difficult to imagine the crew being in any real danger.  Spock, who goes out in a shuttlecraft, might have to make a sacrifice.  It’s conceivable that one crewmember would be lost.  However, the crew is being affected, as well.  The show can’t maintain the situation forever.

What gets me, mostly, is that The Giant Space Amoeba is dividing.  This means that there are probably more of them out there.  It’s not clear if any more are ever encountered.  If they’re not, it would mean that they might one day fill up the galaxy.  (It’s not clear how long the reproductive cycle is.  They could divide once every few millennia, for all I know.)  Still, I would think that someone, somewhere, would have seen one and gotten away.

To an extent, I could almost see space being the exact opposite of what I’d expect.  There’s no reason to think that space would be within the realm of what I (or anyone else) could imagine.  I’m sure there are all sorts of wild and crazy things out there that no one would be able to explain.

The amoeba is simple and threatening.  It’s fairly clear what has to be done.  It’s a biological invasion on a galactic scale.  The amoeba is big, so you’d think it would be difficult to miss.  It’s possible that the amoebas have eaten every ship it came in contact with.  To that end, you’d think there would be some mention in one of the subsequent series.

Many of the episodes in the original series were one off, meaning you could watch them out of order or skip them entirely.  I’m kind of in the middle on this one.  It is one of the odder episodes from the franchise.  It might be interesting for newcomers to watch just to see how odd it is.  Then again, I wouldn’t recommend making this the first episode you watch.  It might prove too much for a first-time viewer.


IMDb page


No comments :