The ‘Strange New Worlds’ Episode ‘Spock Amok’ Makes ‘Star Trek III’ Look Silly

Dr. M’Benga and the Vulcan High Priestess

Paramount Dr. M’Benga and the Vulcan High Priestess

After the ending of “Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan,” viewers saw a lone casket in the jungle. Actually, that “casket” was supposed to be a photon torpedo, which contained the irradiated body of Mr. Spock (Leonard Nimoy). The Genesis Planet was supposed to be Spock’s final resting place, but instead, it was to be a way to bring the beloved character back.

As many fans have complained, “Star Trek III: The Search for Spock” was a missed opportunity. The voices behind the Inglorious Treksperts podcast, Mark A. Altman and Daren Dochterman, tweeted their opinion of the film on June 1, 2022. 

“Happy Star Trek Birthday to the thoroughly mediocre The Search For Spock,” tweeted the Treksperts


The Casket Scene from ‘Star Trek II’


Spock's Funeral – Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan (7/8) Movie CLIP (1982) HDStar Trek: The Wrath of Khan movie clips: j.mp/1L74E6N BUY THE MOVIE: amzn.to/sRa1qV Don't miss the HOTTEST NEW TRAILERS: bit.ly/1u2y6pr CLIP DESCRIPTION: Captain Kirk (William Shatner) delivers an emotional eulogy for his friend Spock. FILM DESCRIPTION: Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan is fondly regarded as being the closest in spirit to the 1966-69…2011-10-27T20:34:21Z

As Heavy reported in 2021, Spock was supposed to stay dead at the end of “The Wrath of Khan,” but the outrage by test audiences who saw an early edit of the film changed everything. Paramount quickly created the casket scene, so fans still hoped Spock could return. Nimoy also suffered a change of heart during the filming process and agreed to return if he could direct the sequel. 

Aside from the famous casket scene, Nimoy and producer Harve Bennett came up with the way for Spock’s soul to live while his body died. Spock passed his Katra to Dr. Leonard McCoy (DeForest Kelley) for safe keeping. This allowed Spock to submit his body to a lethal radiation dose as he saved the Enterprise from destruction.

Admiral Kirk (William Shatner) could only watch as his best friend died from the warp core’s energies. After “Khan,” McCoy acted as if he were losing his mind. On the way back to Earth, McCoy broke into Spock’s quarters and started speaking as if he were Spock. No one knew what to do for McCoy — not even the doctor himself.

ATTENTION READER: THE FOLLOWING ARTICLE CONTAINS SPOILERS AND INFORMATION ABOUT “STAR TREK: STRANGE NEW WORLDS” SEASON 1: EPISODE 5, “SPOCK AMOK.”

Too bad Dr. M’Benga was not stationed aboard the Enterprise at the time. As “Star Trek” fans are now coming to understand, Dr. M’Benga (Babs Olusanmokun) has significant knowledge about Vulcans. McCoy also said this back during the TOS episode, “A Private Little War.” Had Dr. M’Benga been aboard the Enterprise, the trip to Mount Seleya on Vulcan might not have been necessary.

During the fifth episode of “Star Trek: Strange New Worlds,” fans saw Spock (Ethan Peck) and T’Pring (Gia Sandhu) struggle with their long-distance relationship. In the first episode of “Strange New Worlds,” Spock left Vulcan and T’Pring behind to join Captain Pike (Anson Mount) and Una (Rebecca Romijn) on a new mission aboard the Enterprise. 


Dr. M’Benga


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Spock told T’Pring that duty called as he left, but they would reunite soon. They got back together in Episode 5, and T’Pring was not exactly happy to have been left waiting. Even as she was aboard the Enterprise, Spock put duty ahead of her, and they had a disagreement. 

When they agreed to reconcile, Spock and T’Pring entered into an ancient Vulcan meditation and switched their Katras. Yes, this episode became the “Star Trek” version of the classic Disney movie, “Freaky Friday.” 

While Spock was in T’Pring’s body and she in his, they both found a new appreciation for what the other went through in their jobs. T’Pring was charged with returning a rogue Vulcan into custody while Spock was assisting Pike and Admiral Robert April (Adrian Holmes) in a negotiation with a new species — the R’ongovians. 

The pair muddled through their assignments, but eventually, they fessed up to Pike. Soon, Nurse Christine Chapel (Jess Bush) assisted Dr. M’Benga in a Katra transfer operation. He spread a ”ground sea urchin” paste across the foreheads of both the Vulcans and attached a cortical stimulator-type of device. Dr. M’Benga commented that this procedure was rare but seemed confident that it would work.

After some screaming, Spock and T’Pring found the consciousness had been restored to its rightful place. And by the end of the episode, the couple made up. 


The Katra Ritual


I choose the dangerMcCoy chooses the danger. Helluva time to ask.2017-08-20T04:23:52Z

So, had Dr. M’Benga been with Kirk, Spock, and McCoy during the events of “Star Trek III,” it’s possible that they could have avoided all the hassle of fighting Kruge (Christopher Lloyd), the death of David Marcus (Merritt Butrick), and the destruction of the refit U.S.S. Enterprise. 

Kirk could have retrieved the soulless body of Spock, and Dr. M’Benga could have used his “Nivallan sea urchin” paste and cortical stimulators to transfer the Katra from McCoy back into Spock. Or, Dr. M’Benga might have fried both of their brains because McCoy’s head was filled with two souls, while young Spock’s appeared barren.

However, it might be best to leave alien mysticism to experts, like the Vulcan High Priestess (Dame Judith Anderson) and her group of bald bathrobe-wearing Vulcans on Mount Seleya. 

READ NEXT: How Long Will ‘Star Trek’ Have Anson Mount?

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