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It's "Spock's Brain" On This Weekend's STAR TREK Remastered!! See A Way Cool Shot For A Mighty Uncool Episode!!

Published at: June 8, 2007, 9:58 a.m. CST

Merrick here...
...with a look at this weekend's STAR TREK Remastered. It's "Spock's Brain." That's right..."Spock's Brain." Generally considered the lamest episode of The Original Series, this one's about what happens when hot, dingy chicks in miniskirts extract Spock's brain & take it home with them to run their world. To me, this is an allegory for high maintenance women sucking the souls out of quiet, well-intentioned dudes. As misguided as the episode is, it is notable for a subtle technical quality: it's one of the very few episodes in which the main viewer on the Enterprise bridge is presented as a practical (projected) effect for a few brief shots - allowing actors to pass in front of it freely, a wider range of camera angles/movement, etc.

Original


First up: a before & after look at the Ion Ship, whose occupants come to the Enterprise and steal Spock's Brain. I am, and forever shall be, 100% smitten with the original series, but...man...that image of the (original) vessel design is pretty tragic.

Original

Remastered


With the Remastered enhancements, the landing party from the Enterprise can now beam down to a world that actually looks cold and glacial (referenced in the original version, but not visualized fully). I really like the remastered shot a lot -- I hope they rework more shots like this in the future. Exactly the kind of scale many TOS episodes need.

Original

Remastered


HERE's a list of airdates and stations showing the Remastered TREK. If you can't find a station near you, they can also be downloaded via iTunes and XBOX Live (where an increasing number of episodes are available in High Definition - the series is not shown in HD by many broadcasters). "Original" images from TrekCore
[[[e-mail Merrick]]]

Readers Talkback

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  • June 7, 2007, 10:44 a.m. CST

    Spock has chosen HD-DVD.., and here's why:

    by Pound Sand

    It's logical.

  • June 7, 2007, 10:45 a.m. CST

    spock's brain

    by joe_buck

    is the title of a Phish song too

  • June 7, 2007, 10:48 a.m. CST

    And the subject of a mighty fine Wonder Years parody

    by lizardo99

    That is all. Oh yeah, and Jericho lives!! Best $5.00 I ever spent sending those peanuts to CBS.

  • June 7, 2007, 10:50 a.m. CST

    Brain and brain and brain.

    by iGore

    I like this episode. It's kinda fun.

  • June 7, 2007, 10:50 a.m. CST

    Spocks Brain Gotta Eat!!

    by LargoJr

    I hear it has a fruit chewy center wrapped in nuggat with chocolate! Hmmm.. no TV and no beer make Homer go something something.....

  • June 7, 2007, 10:57 a.m. CST

    Merrick - Any Idea When The TOS Remastered Hits DVD?

    by Read and Shut Up

    I'm squirling away my silver to buy the entire run. Any idea when these'll be ready for purchase?

  • June 7, 2007, 11:12 a.m. CST

    Khan has chosen Blu-Ray and here's why:

    by Yack Backer

    Because it hurts Bill Gates. And he wishes to go on... HURTING Gates!

  • June 7, 2007, 11:18 a.m. CST

    BRAAAAAAAAAAINS.

    by Yeti

    sorry I couldn't resist.

  • June 7, 2007, 11:18 a.m. CST

    Even De Kelly was bad in this one

    by tylermo

    Even DeForest Kelly was bad in Spock's Brain. Not to say that Nimoy was ever bad per se. Everything was so incredibly wrong with this episode. The one with the space hippies might have been better. That's like comparing Schaefer beer and Budweiser beer. Both taste like sh*t, however one is sh*ttier than the other.

  • June 7, 2007, 11:22 a.m. CST

    We worked so hard for this?!?

    by taser88

    The funniest thing (to me) about Spock's Brain is that it was the first episode of Season 3. NBC cancelled the show after season 2 but the fans campaigned so hard that the network brought it back for a third season. Can you imagine being one of those fans who had worked so hard to bring the show back - only to be rewarded by Spock's Brain? Argh!

  • June 7, 2007, 11:22 a.m. CST

    DVD/etc.

    by ByTor

    Probably not going to happen until they've finished the entire run, which is still well over a year away.<P>And Merrick, I don't believe ANY stations are airing this in HD, as the distribution network for the syndication won't handle it. And in any case, the broadcast versions are edited for time (down to about 44 minutes apiece).

  • June 7, 2007, 11:37 a.m. CST

    Number of friends on Spocks MySpace = >7000

    by NachoNegro

    Harry is not pleased.

  • June 7, 2007, 11:44 a.m. CST

    Lame? Sure. But still entertaining.

    by Yotz Von Frelnik

    First I gotta say, Awesome mountains, dude! Secondly, I always liked this episode because of it's oddness. But what I appreciated about it was Spock's cool in the face of what was a real nightmare situation. Right, sure, he's an emotionally-controlled Vulcan, but after a half hour of his crew mates digesting the sheer horror of their companion's friggin' brain being removed and the further helplessness of how the hell they're going to put it back even if they COULD find it, Spock's voice is almost emotive as he doesn't stress over his fate, but embraces it as an amazing new experience. You could tell he'd be alright hanging out in the void for a while and testing the bounds of his environment. Most of us would be in that box crying for our mommies and wishing we still had bladders with which to wet ourselves 100 times over! But instead he just rolls with it. Really took the edge off of a "What the F are we going to do?" situation. For me the lamest part was the throw-back-our-heads-and-laugh style ending.

  • June 7, 2007, 11:45 a.m. CST

    Viewscreen shot

    by Don Lockwood

    Why have an original shot up if you're not going to also provide the remastered? Or did they not redo the tactical display and you were just making a point?

  • June 7, 2007, 11:48 a.m. CST

    Sylar's Brain

    by picardsucks

    Spock's Brain.... Zachary Quinto wants to play Spock in the new film.....Sylar likes to eats brains..... Hmmmm coincidence I think not!!!

  • June 7, 2007, 11:53 a.m. CST

    Merrick

    by Phimseto

    "To me, this is an allegory for high maintenance women...and how they suck the souls out of quiet, well-intentioned dudes" is easily the best thing you've written on this site.

  • June 7, 2007, 12:07 p.m. CST

    Didn't Spock's Brain

    by veritasses

    sort of open the door for crazy ideas like making money by freezing Disney's head?

  • June 7, 2007, 12:27 p.m. CST

    Flashbacks

    by arctic monkey

    I had a philosophy professor who showed this episode during class one night. We then had to analyze it using various philosophical theories. Weird flashback.

  • June 7, 2007, 12:28 p.m. CST

    NBC Los Angeles airs this in HD

    by MC Vamp

    But I think it's only at like 4 in the morning on Thursdays or something. I'm too lazy to Google up a TV listing, besides I'm at work and I only have time to do so much during my important task of keeping the world safe from the gum disease known as GINGIVITIS!!! And would you like fries with that?

  • June 7, 2007, 12:38 p.m. CST

    This episode is strangely compelling!

    by Spikes Brain

    I'm obviously fond of it... Go-go boots and McCoy's savant surgery scene... And, it's not like the show's portrayal of women was that great in general anyway...

  • June 7, 2007, 12:49 p.m. CST

    I can't believe I'm doing this

    by Don Lockwood

    But you've got two episodes mixed up, cookylamoo. The hippie episode is The Way to Eden. The one where Kirk is forced to kiss Uhura is Plato's Stepchildren.

  • June 7, 2007, 12:50 p.m. CST

    cookylamoo, wrong ep

    by iGore

    That is not the ep where Kirk kisses Uhura. Mmmmmm... Uhura.

  • June 7, 2007, 12:52 p.m. CST

    Yack Backer - Good one!

    by L.H.Puttgrass

    Bill Gates must be hurt. I've been waiting for the PC version of Halo 2 for quite a while. It finally came out, but Uncle Bill made it for Windows Vista only! My computer has everything needed to run the game except for that stupid new OS! Yo! Billy-Boy! How many people do think run XP compared to Vista? Get a clue dumbass! Oops. Off subject. Uh, yeah, Spock's Brain. Bad EP. Yeah. Really bad.

  • June 7, 2007, 12:53 p.m. CST

    really sucks

    by NudeandAroused

    Truly an extremely uncool episode. But, the looks are cool.

  • June 7, 2007, 1:04 p.m. CST

    I dunno, space hippies is really bad...

    by Billyeveryteen

    This at least tries(poorly) for some kind of sci-fi horror. A stolen brain is kind of freaky.<p>Way better than "Damn you space kids! Get of my space lawn!"

  • June 7, 2007, 1:09 p.m. CST

    HD-DVD IS ILLOGICAL HARRY

    by greigy just wanted to say

    Spock's Brain...!!! Are they fucking kidding..!! Why not Morph Picard in there and really fuck it up...

  • June 7, 2007, 1:21 p.m. CST

    New Joss Whedon show BOOK on the way!

    by Man_of_Stool

    You heard it here first. You can`t stop the signal.

  • June 7, 2007, 1:28 p.m. CST

    I can't believe I am this ANAL about it, but...

    by renderboy

    ...the scale in the bottom image is totally wrong. Like, 100% wrong. It would have looked really cool if the scale was correct.

  • June 7, 2007, 1:51 p.m. CST

    What no re-mastered stills of...

    by Kid Z

    ... Hot, dingy chicks in miniskirts? Believe me, that was the ONLY reson I clicked on this link! You disappoint us, Merrick.

  • June 7, 2007, 1:53 p.m. CST

    What Happens?

    by Bash_Branigan

    Well, Hot brain-on-girl action, if he's as logical as he claims to be. "Now nubile lifeforms, perform for me! My ID is just a little to the left... ooh, that's it."

  • June 7, 2007, 1:59 p.m. CST

    Bones picks HD-DVD because it is ilogical

    by DarfurOnTheRocks

    You green-blooded son of a...

  • June 7, 2007, 2:32 p.m. CST

    The Gangster episode was the worst.

    by bswise

    "Spock's Brain and the Space Hippies," sounds like a great band, but for pure lameness, the one where they go to the 1930s gangster planet has to be the all-time worst episode. It's essentially the same plot as the Nazi Planet episode, but with lot's of ridiculous accents and bad Edgar G. Robinson impressions ("Lissen here, this is Koik talkin', see?" Amazing that TNG took the same premise (an earth book left on a planet affects entire alien culture) and made something watchable out of it.

  • June 7, 2007, 2:42 p.m. CST

    iTunes

    by TenaciousDoc

    Does anybody know what happend to the remastered episodes on iTunes. There hasn't been a new episode in months.

  • June 7, 2007, 2:46 p.m. CST

    Remember

    by kwisatzhaderach

    when even shit TV was great? Step forward Spock's Brain.

  • June 7, 2007, 3:10 p.m. CST

    bswise

    by zacdilone

    Are you talking about "The Royale," or is there another TNG episode with that basic plot?

  • June 7, 2007, 3:52 p.m. CST

    A Piece Of The Action?

    by LargoJr

    Wasn't that the name of the gangster episode where McCoy left his Tricorder behind? I LOVED that episode!!

  • June 7, 2007, 4:10 p.m. CST

    The episode that killed Star Trek TOS...

    by Zardoz

    Seriously, this episode is so bad I almost stopped watching Star Trek. No digital SFX is gonna fix a lame story like this one...

  • June 7, 2007, 4:17 p.m. CST

    Can't

    by RenoNevada2000

    Can't polish a turd

  • June 7, 2007, 5:19 p.m. CST

    You All Keep Talking About "Brain"...

    by ericinwisconsin

    And I just GOTTA say: Brain and brain! What is brain?!

  • June 7, 2007, 6 p.m. CST

    You are not Morg. You are not I-Morg....

    by Spenworld

    Probably the first quote I ever qouted. And the episode where Kirk and Spock team up with Abraham Lincoln to fight Genghis Kahn was pretty comically bad...

  • June 7, 2007, 6:07 p.m. CST

    he's an animal...

    by BillyPilgrim

    ...a thoughtless, brutal animal. It will be painless and quick, Aaaggghhhhhh!!

  • June 7, 2007, 6:12 p.m. CST

    Actually,

    by BillyPilgrim

    Khan chose Blu-Ray because his is the superior intellect.

  • June 7, 2007, 6:19 p.m. CST

    hmmm

    by BillyPilgrim

    Is that Caradhras and Celebdil behind Kirk and co.? If so they are near the gates of Moria. Odd, really odd....

  • June 7, 2007, 6:19 p.m. CST

    Plato, iTunes and The Royale (sans cheese)

    by Don Lockwood

    Plato's Stepchildren did not have hippies. They were stuck-up Roman or Greek wannabes. They made fun of Miguelito Lovelace and forced Kirk to kiss Uhuru with the power of their minds. The space hippies in The Way To Eden just took over the ship with brute force and then burned their feet on the acid grass. <p> The episodes on iTunes are gone and probably won't be back because XBox Marketplace now has exclusive rights to distribute the episodes electronically. <p> The original series gangster episode is A Piece of the Action with Vic Tayback (Mel from Alice). I don't think there are any gangsters in the TNG episode The Royale. It's more akin to Shore Leave than anything else in the original series. <p> Yes, I am a huge geek.

  • June 7, 2007, 6:36 p.m. CST

    Have you seen "A Piece of the Action" recently?

    by bswise

    It is funny, but *whew* it's, like, Voyager bad. (Yes, zacdilone, I was referring to "TNG's "The Royale" as the superior-in-concept remake.) Then again, Way to Eden might still be the biggest turd of TOS, just for that awful song Spock be jammin' to. Now, here are some "original" ideas for JJ's "re-boot:" (1) Young Kirk, Spock and Bones encounter a posse of space gangstas on their way to "Eden," which is a strip club in Romulan territory where Kirk spends hours and hours. (2) Young KB&S discover a planet where GMO food has run amuck, and they are attacked by flying fried eggs, a giant sausage pizza, and a planet-eating blue doomesday carrot. (3) Young KB&S are visited by a holographic doctor from the future, but a warp in the space-time continuum traps the crew Five Minutes from Gay. (4) Young KB&S discover GW Bush floating in outer space and must team up with him, Ann Coulter, Paris Hilton, and Danny Bonaducci in a final confrontation between clever and stoopid.

  • June 7, 2007, 6:47 p.m. CST

    " Brain, brain, what is brain? "

    by Real Deal

    A really bad albeit entertaining episode. My friend and I always have fun with this one. I'm thinking we'll have to wait for next season for more good remastered episodes. However they all look bettere this way!

  • June 7, 2007, 8:21 p.m. CST

    It's so bad it's good

    by GornPirate

    It may be the worst episode but it is so bad it is fun to watch.

  • June 7, 2007, 9:59 p.m. CST

    cant wait

    by LeviDTinker

    i cant wait to own these on HDDVD, iam so glad i held of spending money on the standard dvds.

  • June 7, 2007, 10:34 p.m. CST

    Spock's Brain = Hostel

    by Bronx Cheer

    Shiteburgers, both of them.

  • June 7, 2007, 11:21 p.m. CST

    Let's see...

    by Cheif Brody

    3 ORIGINAL stills...and 2 RE-MASTERED stills. What gives, Merrick? We're looking to compare and contrast!! We KNOW what the shitty original SFX look like!!

  • June 8, 2007, 1 a.m. CST

    At the very least they should

    by manicmidwife

    Put a bandage on Spock's head on the end. There wasn't even a stitch line!

  • June 8, 2007, 4 a.m. CST

    Does anybody really care?

    by Redfive!

    Or give a shit about this anymore.I mean seriously,I cant see anybody but the die hard trekkies giving a crap.

  • June 8, 2007, 7:39 a.m. CST

    Must have been deliberate.

    by SpikeTBB

    At one point, a space girl in go go boots stomps her feet and says "Brain and brain! WHAT is brain?" They HAD to see the irony of that. I would love to see what the MST3k guys could do with this episode.

  • June 8, 2007, 7:52 a.m. CST

    I hate all those "Planet That's Just...

    by Kid Z

    ..Like Earth, Except For..." episodes. Nazi Planet, Roaring Twenties World, Planet Native American, Earth Roman, Ancient Greek Assholes World, Fake Cowboy Town Planet, Earth Nuked But It's Cool 'Cause Everyone's Immortal, Holy Shit It's Apollo's Planet, Dead Guys From History World, Earth Na-na-NA-na-nah (The one where all the adults died off). Damn, those were some lame episodes.

  • June 8, 2007, 10:08 a.m. CST

    Don't forget the ST mantra...

    by Damned if I can login

    Even when it's bad it's good.

  • June 8, 2007, 10:10 a.m. CST

    Oops

    by Damned if I can login

    The mantra only applies to TOS.<p>Some of the bad eps in the spinoff series bear that out.

  • June 8, 2007, 10:38 a.m. CST

    Kid Z

    by Pandas

    Which was the one where the Earth is nuked but it's cool cos everyone's immortal? Is that the one with the Red Hour and Landru and "He is not of the body!!" and all that stuff? I know what you mean about that kind of episode, although I do have a soft spot for that one with the telekinetic Romans/Greeks for some reason.

  • June 8, 2007, 10:39 a.m. CST

    Those dudes are taller than the trees!

    by Abominable Snowcone

    I'll bet their scrote-bags shrunk up because it's cold there.

  • June 8, 2007, 10:52 a.m. CST

    Hell, I forgot the one with Landru...

    by Kid Z

    ... where the planet was incredibly advanced at one point, but everyone decided it was better to live and dress like they were on 19th Century Earth (maybe this one should be called M Night Village World). But no... the one where Earth was nuked but it's cool 'cause everyone's immortal (hey! wasn't that a Friends episode???) was the one with the village full of Mongolian warriors called Coms who were being constantly attacked by Anglo-looking barbarians called Yang. Get it? Coms=communists, Yangs=Yankees.

  • June 8, 2007, 11:01 a.m. CST

    Ohhhh yeaaah!

    by Pandas

    I forgot about that Yangs and Coms one. Inspired!

  • June 8, 2007, 11:36 a.m. CST

    Off topic, sorta...

    by Kid Z

    ... But I alway wanted, as a kid, for the Star Trek crew to have to fight a whole army of Mugatus. Not just Mugatus, but Mugatus using those pink pomeranians with bug antennae as attack dogs. Yep, a whole freaking army of dudes in white gorrilla suits with glued-on horns holding back rabid antennaed pink pomeranians versus Kirk and crew... or better yet, the Mugatu/antennaed pink pomeranians versus an army of Gorns! Hey! It woulda been cooler than anything they ever did on ST:TNG... or DS9... or Voyager... or especially... Enterprise!

  • June 8, 2007, 12:07 p.m. CST

    Hey Redfive go suck off your jarjar doll

    by picardsucks

    Seems real Star Trek (with Kirk and Spock) is more relavant than ever. Sorry to disturb you between your forcefx make believe lightsabre sparring with some fat douche stuffed into a Darth Maul costume but This whole geekdom thing started with Star Trek not in 1977 as much as you'd like to believe. And as much as I love A New Hope and Empire you beloved franchise has sucked balls since 1983. Now use the force to put down the twinkie and go back to playing with you make believe laser sword

  • June 8, 2007, 12:31 p.m. CST

    Redfive

    by ManosTHOF

    Sure, people care. Not only did the show change SF forever, it has its place in TV history. The characters were so important, not just props like on the latest Trek incarnations. Your comment is like complaining about a MASH DVD release on a TV talkback while knowing (hopefully) full well its deserved place in TV history. The Trek fans aren't as vocal, but they certainly still care. Speaking of this ep, I would love to hear a Rifftrax of it, and "Way To Eden" as a double bill.

  • June 8, 2007, 1:36 p.m. CST

    I am not Herbert

    by Kentucky Colonel

    Do you reach that, Brother?

  • June 8, 2007, 1:39 p.m. CST

    The best episode ever

    by Kentucky Colonel

    Is the one where Buck is hanging in his apartment and Twiki comes in. There is some music playing in the background (Three Dog Night's "Shambala") and Dr. Theopolis asks "Buck, what's that noise" and Buck replies "That's Rock and ROLL!". Ooops, wrong talkback! Personally, my favorite episodes were the space hippies, space Nazis, space Romans, space Seeds, etc. I Grok Spock!!!

  • June 8, 2007, 1:55 p.m. CST

    For sheer surreal trippiness...

    by Kid Z

    ... ya gotta go with the space hippies episode. But the episode with the Mugatu (guy in white gorilla suit with glued-on horns), the deadly poisonous Mugatu, mind you, is on a level all it's own. You've got the Anglo tribesmen with blonde, James Brown-style teased hair, the funky unworkable tribal weapons, the location shooting on some tiny back lot somewhere in LA where all the buildings look like exteriors left over from Gunsmoke, the cheesy fake-looking cave set, the psycho witch doctor woman with a black wig, too much 1960's eye makeup and a faux fur crop top and leather hip-huggers who cures Kirk's Mugatu bite with a magic root that looks EXACTLY like a dog turd! I'm quietly laughing right now just reminiscing about this episode!

  • June 8, 2007, 3:24 p.m. CST

    Cooky... Kirby was fed up with Stan Lee by then...

    by Kid Z

    ... and was basically just phoning it in until his new contract with DC was finalized (don't get me wrong, the King is the King and even that lame story was head and shoulders above most of the comics dreck produced today). Original Trek had this goofy "parallel evolution of distant planets theory" that seemed kind of silly by the time they were doing the other series (serieses?). I used to have this "official guidebook to the Federation and Starfleet" sort of book (don't remember the title, it was like a collection of blueprints and technical data, etc.) that actually gave a similar explanation for at least one of the "just like Earth, but..." worlds. The planet was the one where the adults were all dead and no one was left but kids. The explanation was that our own earth had passed through an unstable region of space at some point and was replicated on a quantum level as well as displaced in spacetime some distance away from our standard Earth. This was the only one they explained, so I've no clue about Earth Roman, Earth Nuked, etc. Take it with a boulder of salt because this book also said Zefram Cochrane was a native of Alpha Centauri and the Centauri system was settled by Ancient Greeks who were transplanted there by an alien race thousands of years ago. So I doubt anything in that book is considered "canon"... if that sort of thing is important to anybody anymore, that is.

  • June 8, 2007, 6:35 p.m. CST

    next best Shatner shout after "Khaaan"!

    by BillyPilgrim

    I AM KIROK!!!!!

  • June 9, 2007, 2:26 a.m. CST

    "Parallelevolution of distantplanets theory"/timetravel

    by half vader

    or "You don't have a budget guys, so just write up a story and go down to the backlot and start shooting. I know we've done it a million times. You'll think of something". <p> Theory? No, boring old fiscal reality. That 'explanation' is about as good (and ballsy) as you're gonna get though Kid!

  • June 10, 2007, 8:59 a.m. CST

    Redfive

    by Real Deal

    What you should be asking is " When somebody makes one of these dumb posts in a forum of people who obviously care does anyone care? "