Second Union

Second Union

STAR TREK REWIND: “The Infinite Vulcan”

“Sulu, you’re the most scrutable man I know.”

Though Star Trek: The Animated Series was considered by its writers and producers to be the official fourth year of the Enterprise’s original mission, Walter Koenig was not brought on to voice Ensign Pavel Chekov. He was, however, given an opportunity to write for the series. “The Infinite Vulcan” is Koenig’s contribution. On a planetary survey of Phylos, Sulu is poisoned by the local plant life. The landing party is beset by yet another slew of plant monsters. Their leader, Agmar (voiced by James Doohan), offers a cure for Sulu. Because the beings register as plants, they’ve remained safely hidden from strangers who visit their world. So … sentient plants.

Flying monsters that sound like monster movie pterodactyls swoop down and abduct Spock. Apparently these plant monsters require Spock to serve their “master.” Their master is Dr. Stavos Keniclius 5, a giant humanoid being who tells Kirk he’s out of luck and to leave Phylos. I don’t know why but Keniclius (with his broad, bare chest) reminds me of Apache Chief from the Superfriends show. McCoy starts working on some kind of a weed-killer to subdue Agmar and his plant menagerie. With the help of the ship’s computer, Kirk gets the back-story on Keniclius 5. He is a fifth-generation clone of the original Keniclius, hence the “5” at the end of his name. Kirk and company beam down with their new weapon.

The plant creatures are preparing for a mass migration. Agmar reveals that the abduction of Spock was premeditated. Spock’s particular brand of logic and wisdom is required for the creatures in their exodus. Keniclius has created a giant clone of Spock, but at the cost of Spock’s life. I’m having “Spock’s Brain” flashbacks watching this episode. It certainly has that campy feel. The “swoopers” attack again, and the landing party starts fumigating. Kirk demands the giant Spock clone yield to the logic of their situation. Why do these clones have to be giants? Kirk tries to convince Keniclius that his grand plan to save the universe by means of creating a “super-race” is unnecessary. Big-Spock performs a mind-meld on little-Spock to repair his brain damage in the nick of time.

This is an incredibly silly episode. I chuckle every time I see one of those plant monsters try to attack the landing party. Didn’t anybody bring pruning shears? Keniclius apologizes for his actions, and Kirk and company part amicably, but wait a minute! We still have a big-Spock alive and well by show’s end. Since Paramount now considers Star Trek: The Animated Series canon, I’m a little confused.

Twice a week, Star Trek Rewind explores the Star Trek universe. From Archer to Janeway, Kirk to Picard, and Georgiou to Sisko — boldly read what no one has read before!

For more insane Star Trek babble, check out my podcast (with co-host David B. Anderson), Ship to Ship: A Star Trek Podcast.

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