Star Trek - The Original Series, Vol. 24, Episodes 47 & 48: Obsession/ The Immunity Syndrome
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Obsession owes its success to the Moby Dick formula, although in this case Captain Kirk is motivated by concern for the Federation, not vengeance. Essentially a character study, this episode reveals how hard Kirk drives himself, and how unremittingly self-critical he is. In Ensign Garrovick (Stephen Brooks), Kirk sees a younger version of himself, and when he disciplines Garrovick, he is in essence punishing his younger self. We also see hints of the unshakable foundation upon which Spock & McCoy's often bickersome friendship is based.
Watching The Immunity Syndrome for the first time in many years, I was struck how well the episode holds up, not only scientifically, but also in the visual effects department. Dr. McCoy's use of DNA and other terminology was written thirty years ahead of its time, and the swirling colors of the giant Amoeba are all the more impressive for being created well before the advent of CGI. This tightly plotted, and skillfully executed episode is the perfect answer for those who condemn Classic Trek for being "boring" or looking "cheesy."
Both episodes on this DVD make excellent use of Sol Kaplan's score for The Doomsday Machine (Volume 18), which is appropriate, given the similarity in plot structure. The picture is vastly improved over previous issues, which clearly enhances the visuals in The Immunity Syndrome. The sound has been tastefully enhanced for multi-channel systems.
In "Obsession" Kirk pursues a mysterious, if clearly deadly life-form - a cloudlike being that sucks the life out of men. As Ahab encountered "Moby Dick", Kirk has had a fatefeul run-in with the cloud-beast, years earlier. Men died and Kirk was too slow to pull out his phaser and despatch the beast. Unsure whether the mysterious beast would have even succumbed to phaser fire, Kirk is left only with his doubts, guilts and an obsession - something he had practically forgotten....until the good captain re-econcounters the evil cloud.
"Obsession" excels because the guilt and fear are convincingly etched on Kirk's face, but also for another reason hard to forget: the beast has its own scent, something like honey, and its effect on Kirk surpasses the cheesy effects of the show.
"Immunity Syndrome" is also an excellent epsiode - the Enterprise seeks the story behind the mysterious dissappearqance of a Vulcan starship, and discovers a huge space-born amoeba. The life form surrounds itself with a dark zone that nothing can escape from. Rather than make the nature of the creature and the ship's predicament (once the Enterprise enters the zone, it's trapped) immeidately obvious, the story builds gradually. Once inside, the beast sucks the ship and its crew of their energy - rapidly diminishing the crew's ability to deal with the problem. I remember this episode especially for the desperation clearly etched on the crew - when Kirk decides that somebody has to fly a shuttlecraft into the mysterious creature, You just knew that it was a one-way trip.Read more ›
OBSESSION deals with Kirk's past and one of his greatest fears that has somewhat haunted him over the last 11 years. A mysterious vampire cloud, that feeds off the red bloods cell of humans, attacks the Enterprise crew. With it's distinct sickly sweet smell Kirk realizes it is the same monster that attack and killed his crew mates years ago when he was a Lieutendant. Upon realizing that this monster is alive Kirk drives himself into obession (hence the title) in an attempt to destroy this creature. He even disregards his orders to deliver greatly needed drugs to another planet. Kirk also punishes Ensign Garrovick (played by Stephen Brooks) (which Kirk sees a younger version of himslef in him) after the Ensign attempts and fails to kill the monster when disobeying Kirk. This episode really developes Kirk character and how (at times) he can be so self critical. OBSESSION is a slightly above average episode of Star Trek but barely. Without the nice dramatic moments between Kirk and Garrovick, plus Spock and McCoy's confronting of Kirk's actions, this episode wouldn't be so special.
THE IMMUNITY SYNDROME has stood up suprisingly well over the last thirty years. The story was very well written and scientifically accurate. The concept of The Enterprise discovering a single celled organism of massive size in the body of space is a really creative idea. To think that space is a body, that single cell is a virus and humans are mere antibodies in the whole thing is such a diverse concept.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This DVD came shrink wrapped and was delivered within a matter of few days. The episodes, Obsession and The Immunity Syndrome are two of the best second season Star Trek episodes... Read morePublished on June 9, 2013 by F-14TommyToro
STAR TREK(ORIGINAL CLASSIC)HAS BECOME A LEGEND IN T.V. FOR ITS APPROACH TO SCI~FI,ESPECIALLY THE FIRST 2 SEASONS. Read morePublished on August 13, 2012 by Prince Everlove
If you are picking and choosing which volumes to keep, this falls into the "give this a miss" category but only just as the first episode, "Obsession" is actually not too bad but... Read morePublished on November 27, 2006 by Frederick Baptist
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