Published Aug 20, 2021
Below Deck with Lower Decks: Spock Two
Lower Decks pays homage to the first animated Star Trek in this episode!
By Dayton Ward
The latest episode of Star Trek: Lower Decks gave us a little more time with Ensign Boimler, showing us how he’s split between pursuing more adventurous missions with Captain Riker and the U.S.S. Titan and missing his friends on the Cerritos. Meanwhile, Ensigns Mariner, Tendi, and Rutherford along with Ensign Jet Manhaver and Lieutenant Kayshon, the Tamarian security officer who’s replaced the dearly departed Shaxs, see to the cataloging the possessions of a famous collector who’s recently passed away. His spaceship is stuffed to the rafters with all manner of rare, unique, and just plain odd or even creepy items, including several objects believed to be hazardous and requiring careful handling by trained Starfleet professionals.
What could possibly go wrong?
To say the ship is also overflowing with more Star Trek visual gags and other Easter eggs than can easily be counted is like saying, “Yes, tribbles are known to reproduce every so often.” Seriously, you may well need to watch this episode several times to catch them all. References to multiple Star Trek series abound, including Lower Decks doing its part to shine its very special spotlight on the original animated adventures of Captain Kirk and the Starship Enterprise.
Several of these visuals are of the “blink and you might miss it” variety, but one stands literally head and shoulders (and waist, and knees) above all the others — a giant skeleton wearing a 23rd Century Starfleet commander’s uniform. Yes, the skeleton does indeed appear to be all that remains of “Spock Two,” the giant clone of Mr. Spock created by Stavos Keniclius Five, himself the fourth clone of human geneticist Stavos Keniclius and introduced in the animated Star Trek series episode “The Infinite Vulcan.”
The original Doctor Keniclius was a genetic scientist on Earth during the time of the Eugenics Wars. Driven to create a “master race” to serve him as a galactic peacekeeping force, Keniclius left Earth and eventually made his way to the planet Phylos while unknowingly carrying with him a bacteria harmful to that world’s inhabitants. His arrival triggered a plague which nearly destroyed Phylosian civilization, and Keniclius labored to find a cure. Those who survived were sterile, dooming the Phylosian race to eventual extinction.
Centuries later, the Enterprise crew encounters his descendant clone, one of several Keniclius created to carry on his work following his own death. Stavos Five sees in Spock the perfect specimen to act as the foundation of the peacemaking army the original Keniclius envisioned. The cloning process endangers the original Spock’s life until “Spock Two” intercedes with a Vulcan mind meld before deciding to stay on Phylos with Stavos Five. Together, they’ll continue working to save the Phylosians, and they promise Captain Kirk there will be no additional Spock clones.
While we don’t know what happened to Stavos Five or any other Keniclius clones, it appears we have a pretty good idea what ultimately became of Spock Two.
Make no bones about it; that collector dude was one serious hoarder.