The Rewatch 27: Amok Time

Series: Star Trek (The Original Series)
Episode: 2.01 Amok Time  (9-15-67)
Rating: 3/5
Redshirt Status: 0/0/23 (Episode/Season/Series)

Notable Guest Stars:
Celia Lovsky – T’Pau. She had many appearances on television, including Twilight Zone
Arlene Martel – T’Pring She often played roles on Television, and later would appear on the non-official Star Trek film Of Gods and Men
Lawrence Montaigne – Stonn. He previously played a Romulan in Balance of Power

Review:

 This episode is usually considered a classic by Trek fans, but its not one of my favorites. The story uses the trope of sex or die. The idea that a species as logic based as Vulcans having issues with changing traditions when logic dictate that it shouldn’t take place makes no sense.  T’Pau is less of a rebel then she was in her youth (See ENT) although she does give Kirk a chance to say no to being T’Pring’s champion.

See, if Vulcan could change their divorce laws, they wouldn’t have had this problem.  T’Pring could bond with Stonn and perhaps Spock could have gotten a wife who didn’t mind his humanity.

Also, just how many times does Kirk have to suffocate/nearly die before the brain damage sets in?

So I suppose on a lore level this episode is pretty important.  There are several episodes over the years that deal with Pon Farr and Vulcan loss of emotional control.  As a general episode however, I don’t really care for it.

Also I can’t imagine that Starfleet wouldn’t have at least allowed them to drop Spock off closer to Vulcan and take a shuttle craft down to the planet.  Of course, perhaps Kirk didn’t tell them it was a medical issue considering how private Vulcans are.

Thank goodness McCoy makes a note of this whole thing in his logs, because otherwise Vorik and B’Elanna on Voyager would have been out of luck when the EMH didn’t know what to do.

Interesting Notes:

  • Directed by Joseph Pevney
  • Written by Theodore Sturgeon
  • First episode to visit Vulcan, show the Vulcan salute, and feature a opening credit for DeForest Kelly.
  • CHEKOV HATH ARRIVED!  Chekov is probably my favorite TOS character.  You have to wonder if this was his first days on Enterprise and the ship is going a little nutty because Spock needs to see his wife.

Pros:

  • Kirk/McCoy/Spock friendship
  • T’Pau!  (She will return in Enterprise)
  • Chekov’s first episode.
  • Vulcan backstory/details

Cons:

  • The whole concept of Pon Farr makes no sense to me.  I almost get the idea that a biological function was developed when the Vulcans choose logic over emotionalism. Adaptation makes sense.  But making it violent?  Having people fight to the death over mates?  None of that makes much logical sense.  Not to mention they are sometimes inconsistent with how old a Vulcan must be to go into Pon Farr.  Is it just males?  ENT suggests that women go through it too.  Perhaps the bond helps equal out the hormones so that they both go through it together rather than at separate times.
  • I’m expected to believe that as soon as it is determined that Kirk is dead, the hormones and other endocrine system responses simply revert to normal.  There is no slow down period?  Transition?
  • Vulcans have been hanging out with humans and doing missions together for at least two hundred years at this point.  You would think they would at least put this in medical texts so their people can see adequate care and transportation to Vulcan in times of need.  Its even worse that in another 100 years its STILL a species secret.

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