Sunday, June 28, 2009

Stuff I Saw On YouTube: Spock's Brain

Regardless of whatever merit Past Interference might have for the few worthies reading it, PI admits it has not posted nearly enough original content to even warrant its pathetically tiny readership. To hopefully help in improving the frequency of posting until football season starts, PI hereby inaugurates a new non-football related feature: Stuff I Saw On YouTube. Let’s kick things off with a little Star Trek related material. The original series remains my favorite show of all time. But even the great TV series have their share of bad episodes and if you want to argue “Spock’s Brain” was the worst of them all you won’t get any argument from me.

A quick synopsis: A hot but childlike woman steals Spock’s brain and bring it back to her world so that the brain can power the supercomputer that runs her civilization (consisting of a lot of hot childlike women). Kirk figures out where her planet is, gets Spock’s brain back, has Dr. McCoy reattach it, and teaches the hot childlike women how to run their own society without a controlling brain. Yes, a terrible episode. But what makes it a legendarily terrible episode are two additional plot developments. First, McCoy and Scotty rig up some sort of preposterous device that McCoy uses to make Spock’s brainless body walk and move. Second, from the planet’s supercomputer McCoy gains the knowledge to enable him to reattach Spock’s brain. However, McCoy begins to forget that knowledge as the operation drags on. Solution? Why he reattaches the speech center of Spock’s brain so Spock, while still on the operating table, can instruct McCoy on how to finish it up! Now I have no idea if the writer of the episode intended it all to be treated as camp (the camp craze sparked by the Batman TV show was still going strong), but clearly doing so is the only way to wring any enjoyment out of it.

Until recently.

Almost 40 years later somebody figured out a way to turn this episode into a masterpiece of entertainment. A guy named Mike Carano turned the episode into a play he produced for the stage and by simply recreating the episode ridiculous word-for-ridiculous word with actors perfectly impersonating the original cast, “Spock’s Brain” becomes a masterpiece of comedy. I’d pay good money to see this.

News story on the show plus clips
First scene

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