I got kicked in the universicles.
I really enjoyed this episode. It’s been really rare this whole season for an episode to revolve around the three main characters (Kirk, Spock and Bones), but this is one of them, so I really appreciated it for that. Bones comes off really curmudgeonly in this episode. “We’ve been over it and over it Jim, there’s just nothing we can do”.
Most of these episodes that we’ve seen this season feel like I’m watching them all for the first time, with a handful of exceptions, and this is one of the exceptions. There’s just something about these little creatures, it’s very memorable. I didn’t remember the details of the episode, but I did remember the creatures. The little courtyard they created with all the creatures under and on the other side of a wall is a very nice set, because it emphasizes how hard it would be to avoid these creatures in certain situations. The set is very claustrophobic despite being an “outdoor” area. So big props to whoever came up with that set.
I agree that the ending was kind of anticlimatic with Spock having another “inner eyelid” out of nowhere. But still, I don’t think I wanted the rest of the series to have a blind Spock either.
Overall, I think this was a good show to end the season on, what with the core group of Spock, Bones and Kirk featured on here. We got to meet Kirk’s family for the first time. His brother is now dead. We saw his sister-in-law die, and we got to meet his nephew, who presumably survived once they came up with the solution on how to beat these creatures. Strangely, we never got to see his nephew conscious though. I guess the audience does care more about Spock than the nephew we never knew about until this episode, but still, come on, we watched his mom die, there should have been some kind of scene where Kirk consoles him maybe. Or where Kirk tells him his parents are dead and he will now live on the Enterprise.
“Live long and prosper, Spock.”
“I shall do neither, T’Pring. I have killed my captain, and my friend.”
All right folks, let’s roll right on into season two! We begin with episode one, “Amok Time”, in which Spock becomes a teenager for a little while. It gives us additional insight into how weird Vulcan society and physiology really is, and it introduces us to a new crew member: Chekov!
I’ll start off by saying that this episode stands up better than I expected it to. I won’t lie, I always found the concept of pon farr to be a little, well silly I guess? The fact that this highly buttoned up society will occasionally bust loose (if I recall correctly, it’s established elsewhere - maybe The Search for Spock? - that the pon farr afflicts Vulcans every seven years) and get very irritable, jumpy and horny, not necessarily in that order. But if you can roll with that and just accept that it’s how things are, this episode has a lot to offer. It had a lot of little things that amused me, with the awkward ‘birds and bees’ discussion between Kirk and Spock, and the interplay between Sulu and Chekov as the Enterprise keeps diverting course between Vulcan and Altair.
Amok Time was written by Theodore Sturgeon, another legend in the field of science fiction, and I really like that the credits showing the writer’s name are at the front of the episode now rather than the end, as in season one. We also have new theme music, with the addition of the warbly female voice over the existing tune, which I guess is what I’ve always thought of as “the” Star Trek theme.
Well @sharpe, you mentioned this was one of your all-time favorite episodes, so hopefully you and some other folk have plenty of comments about the episode, so let’s go!
One other thing I wanted to point out - if there’s a show I love probably as much as Star Trek, it’s got to be Futurama. That show takes influence from just about every science fiction out there and makes a gumbo out of it, but one episode in particular draws on “Amok Time” directly and fully, and that’s “Why Must I Be a Crustacean in Love?” If you enjoyed Amok Time and haven’t seen much Futurama, this is worth checking out. Heck, if you’ve already seen it go watch it again. It’s one of my favorite episodes - yes, very hard to pick favorites on this show, but it’s got to be in my top ten.
Amok Time is the episode of Star Trek I watched most recently before we started doing the re-watch. @ChristienMurawski told me to show the episode to my wife before taking her to see Star Trek Beyond. Looking over that thread now was amusing. Apparently it backfired and made her not want to see anything Star Trek related.
I also pointed out in the Star Trek Beyond thread that in the other timeline, where Vulcan is destroyed, where do Vulcans feel the biological need to return to do Ponfar? @ChristienMurawski thought it would transfer over to New Vulcan, the planet they are settling. In which case, the biological need is just to mate, not actually to go back to Vulcan necessarily. I guess when rewatch this episode tonight I’ll keep an eye out for that detail.
I’ve never heard of this. What is it?
It’s an alternative timeline thing, no need to worry about it. But you could think of it as just a hypothetical what-if. What if Vulcan was destroyed? Would Vulcans still feel the need to go there during Ponfar?
Yes, it’s a biological imperative. Spock’s own comparisons in Amok Time tell of species that have been destroyed due to lack of the ability to fulfill a location-based mating imperative. The race would probably be destroyed. I’m sure glad a passel of idiots never wrote that plot-line into the Star Trek Universe. I mean, Hollywood would have to be absolutely bankrupt intellectually and artistically if all they did was remake old stuff, right? Thank god all we’ve seen is new Star Trek after TOS.
This was a minor note that amused me about this episode - once Spock had “killed” Kirk, he found he no longer desired T’Pring. So I guess the biological imperative is either fuck something or kill something. I guess men are going to be men no matter what planet they’re from.
Wasn’t McCoy’s character just sparkling in this one? Really well written twist. Kelley was his usual brilliant self.
Yeah, I was happy that it got to be McCoy that saved the day. I also really liked the moment when Spock chose McCoy as well as Kirk to be his support during the pon farr. You could tell that they were touched by the gesture.
The new Season 2 opening theme is hilarious. Overall the show seems … different. For one, the bridge seems to have gotten an upgrade. The light panel behind Uhura is different somehow. The area near Spock has more lights.
After watching all of Season 1, I’ve grown familiar with all the musical cues used on the show. And when Spock reluctantly finally tells the Captain why he needs to return to Vulcan, the musical accompaniment in the scene is a new one that I’ve never heard before.
Kirk’s hair is different. It’s like he discovered conditioner between seasons.
A few other random observations.
The episode felt like it was better constructed than most Season 1 episodes. Each scene had a purpose and was well filmed. They still rely a lot on the shot where they frame the character in the center and light him/her up with a bright light and get a reaction or dialog out of him/her. And the actors really do a good job in these in this episode. I don’t know who shares the credit here, the director or solely the actors, but even just two second reaction shots are perfectly done in this episode. The reactions where McCoy or Kirk are trying to be serious but you can tell they’re trying not to burst out with a smile; that’s a subtle level of acting that’s just perfectly done in these two second shots.
Checkov made a good first impression on me. He’s got a Beatles-like moptop hairstyle.
He was hired to project that image. And to play to the Cold War, of course.
Wasn’t a Davy Jones-resemblance mentioned in his casting, IIRC?
It was a good call pairing Chekhov against Sulu, making him feel like an old hand on the bridge even though he’s a new addition.
Please pardon me for the intrusion. I was wondering if it was possible to make a thread like this one, only for old Outer Limits episodes? Would anyone be interested?
It wouldn’t be in order. More like episodes that I particularly remember or like. As well anyone that has an idea for an episode that they like or remember could suggest one.
Just to clarify, you mean the old black and white Outer Limits, not the (relatively) new episodes right? Because I’d be down for sure. I’d find it challenging to do while I’m doing Star Trek, to be honest, but I like the idea.
You know, I’m intrigued. I’ve seen a few, and enjoyed them, but never really just sat down and got into them the way I did with the Twilight Zone and Alfred Hitchcock Presents a few years ago. I couldn’t tell you why, either. They’re certainly up my alley.