REVIEW: “The Immunity Syndrome” (“Star Trek: Remastered” edition)

Star Trek (Remastered): “The Immunity Syndrome”
Remastered Episode #25 (4/7/2007)
Original Episode #48 (1/19/1968)

“The Immunity Syndrome” is a terrific but often overlooked episode of the original Star Trek. It first aired during the second season, just three months after the similarly-themed “The Doomsday Machine.”

While “The Doomsday Machine” featured a planet killer constructed by a warring civilization, “The Immunity Syndrome” features a naturally-occurring living organism that presents as much, if not more, of a threat. The gigantic “space amoeba” of this episode can reproduce, resulting in enough offspring to destroy the entire galaxy.

When the USS Intrepid goes missing, the Enterprise is diverted from shore leave to find out what happened. The Intrepid is manned by a crew of over 400 Vulcans, and Spock instinctively knows they are all dead. Since the Enterprise is populated by over 400 humans with a lone Vulcan science officer, I’ve always wondered if the Vulcan-heavy Intrepid had a lone human aboard. Doubtful as a science officer, but maybe as a janitor or something.

Fearful of facing the same fate as the doomed Intrepid, some suggest fleeing the area. “Our orders do not say ‘stay alive’ or ‘retreat.’ Our mission is to investigate,” Kirk admonishes them.

En route, the Enterprise is drawn into a “negative energy field.” The area is completely devoid of stars. CBS Digital comes through in full force with the effects upgrades here with wonderful scenes of a darkened Enterprise lit only with internal sources rather than the normal, starlit version.

They soon discover they are being drawn towards the space amoeba. McCoy, Spock, and Kirk argue over which of them gets to take on the suicide mission of investigating further with a shuttlecraft. The Remastered team took the right approach on the look of the amoeba itself. It stays true to the original, which was actually a pretty good effect in its own right.

The episode includes some classic McCoy vs. Spock moments, and the Vulcan seems quite pleased when Kirk picks him over McCoy for the mission. Spock points out that it is not the first time that superior capability has won out over higher credentials.

After another nice shuttle launch scene, Spock flies into the amoeba. It is a bumpy ride, and Spock notes, “Oh, and Dr. McCoy, you would not have survived it.”

“Wanna bet?” Bones answers.

There are some mostly beautiful shots of the Enterprise approaching the amoeba. A few seconds appear rushed or of lesser quality compared to the others, leaving me to wonder if they were perhaps under a more severe time crunch than normal on this effects-heavy episode.

The Enterprise punching through the wall of the amoeba is extremely well executed. Some of the best Remastered work so far.

When the Enterprise takes the shuttle in a tractor beam (against Scott’s wishes, I might add, for the chief engineer appeared perfectly content to leave Spock behind), Spock complains that they should release the shuttlecraft rather than risk the starship to save him. “Shut up, Spock, we’re rescuing you,” McCoy tells him.

Sounding almost amused, Spock actually gives in, “Why thank you, Captain McCoy.”

The Remastered team may have restricted themselves a bit too much at times, though. It would have been nice if they cut away from the bridge action for a second or two to show the Enterprise firing a probe into the amoeba or the Enterprise towing the shuttlecraft.

But that’s just the Trekkie in me, always wanting more. This episode is one of the finest presented on Star Trek: Remastered so far, right up there with “The Doomsday Machine.” It is a lot of fun seeing modern effects applied to my favorite Star Trek series.

Dramatic Content: 9 (out of 10)
Effects Upgrades: 9
Overall Experience: 9