Star Trek: The Animated Series: Yesteryear   Rewatch 
April 21, 2020 11:10 PM - Season 1, Episode 2 - Subscribe

Spock travels back in time to prevent his own demise during his youth on Vulcan.

As usual, Memory Alpha is full of information about this episode.

Poster's Log:

In first seeing this as a child, I was kind of disturbed at the idea that a character that I 'knew' as an adult could have been a child. Spock was only ever supposed to be an adult who knew everything, and seeing Young Spock struggling with his emotional reaction to bullying was a surprisingly powerful moment.

Aleek-Om, the avian historian who is present when Kirk and Spock return from Orion's history, is an Aurelian. That character design will be re-used in a later TAS episode to portray an avian of the Skorr race.

I do remember wondering how Spock could have forgotten the difference between the actual Kahs-Wan ordeal and his own impulsive attempt to test himself months earlier. Now that I'm much older, I have a much better understanding of how easy it is to muddle those memories together in our heads.

D.C. Fontana has a long and storied history with Star Trek and this, her one TAS script, stands among the best this series offered. It's apparent that she knows and loves Spock and Vulcan in a way that a lot of the other series writers never reached.
posted by hanov3r (18 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
May I make a suggestion? You might be a bit more selective in what you copy and paste from Memory Alpha; it would probably take almost as long to read and absorb the above as it did to watch the episode.

This is indeed a great episode, and would have been good stretched out to a full-length TOS episode. I didn't really notice the apparent gap in Spock's memory; it wouldn't surprise me if he'd managed to block out part of the memory of the event along with the emotions stirred up in himself. What I can't figure out is the apparent predestination paradox; if Spock went back in time to save himself because of a change in history... how did he remember his "cousin" doing the same for him, if the necessity of doing so was due to the change in history? Time travel is weird.
posted by Halloween Jack at 11:44 PM on April 21, 2020 [1 favorite]

So this is the best of TAS- and really shows what you can do even with bad animation, but woof this is a long post on mobile.

On preview- what Halloween Jack said.
posted by Homo neanderthalensis at 11:44 PM on April 21, 2020

Mod note: I've deleted the long copy/paste from Memory Alpha. Nice info there, thanks — but the link itself is fine for anyone wanting to delve into the details, and that much copying is excessive in terms of rights/usage, plus such a long excerpt makes the post nearly impossible to navigate on mobile devices.
posted by taz (staff) at 12:02 AM on April 22, 2020 [2 favorites]

This episode is so good that I'm kind of mad I never managed to see it before this year.

My fellow Vulcan enthusiasts — Vulcanians? 8o — should pick up this Hidden Universe travel guide to the planet Vulcan. It looks fluffy, and it is, but it's also got some substance and demonstrates careful research; the author has done lots of Trek novels. GMs of a Trek RPG should also have it.

One key MA tidbit:
- Although Michael and Denise Okuda originally decided that the animated series would not be canonical, they also stipulated that this episode is the only exception, stating their reasoning as "partly because it is reinforced by material in 'Unification, Part I' [sic] and 'Journey to Babel', but also because of Fontana's pivotal role in developing the background for the Spock character in the original Star Trek series." It is not only the Okudas who accept the events of this episode to be canonical; many other production staffers also do. Even Gene Roddenberry reportedly regarded the episode as canon.
posted by CheesesOfBrazil at 2:37 AM on April 22, 2020 [1 favorite]

Meta continuity error! This post doesn't connect to the post on the first episode in the "previous episode/next episode" links at the bottom of the post.
posted by under_petticoat_rule at 3:28 AM on April 22, 2020

I have been having the same issue on my TNG posts. It’s an option set by the OP when the post is created. Per cortex and CheesesOfBrazil:

For future reference, you set it at post time from the "Discussion type" drop down on the new post page

For me, it appears after I click the "Add Special Spoiler Considerations" text, which enables a "Rewatch" radio button.

I have flagged this comment with a request to the mods to invert the dataparticle polarity as indicated by engineering scans.
posted by mwhybark at 7:13 AM on April 22, 2020 [1 favorite]

Mod note: Ok I think that's got it, let me know if not!
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 7:17 AM on April 22, 2020 [1 favorite]

And nthing the praise for this episode. One of the things that amazes me about this is how dense this story is and how spare the format. 22 minutes of screen time. Less dialog than a comic book. I mean, these episodes make the Short Treks look sprawling.

I guess, in a way, it makes sense that ChurchHatesTucker would find TAS so perfectly suited to recutting for use as the visuals to No Kill I’s compressed, lofi punk rock.
posted by mwhybark at 7:19 AM on April 22, 2020

The first of an unexpectedly large number of appearances by Young Spock, who has been portrayed by many more actors than the adult one by my reckoning.

I believe I first experienced this story via the Viewmaster slides.

I love how efficiently the alternate timeline is suggested by the presence of Commander Thelin.
posted by StarkRoads at 10:09 PM on April 22, 2020 [2 favorites]

I believe I first experienced this story via the Viewmaster slides.

The animation practically is Viewmaster slides.

Ah, but I kid the animated series. For as long as it was on streaming, my young daughter and I would watch episodes over lunch and she really dug it.
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI at 7:39 AM on April 23, 2020

Even though I was aware of Star Trek previously, it was TAS (and the Alan Dean Foster novelizations) that turned me into a Trekker when I was 10-11 years old. This is absolutely the best episode of the entire animated series, tying together so many things from the original series. I think it's too bad that TAS is officially non-canon. Even the not-great episodes are no worse than some of the not-great TOS episodes, and it has felt somewhat arbitrary on the part of the Okudas to let this one episode in, but not others, even given the superior story.
posted by briank at 8:53 AM on April 23, 2020 [1 favorite]

briank, the canonicity of TAS is in flux. Writers for Disco and Picard have incorporated bits from it into their shows, and I think possibly that started shifting as early as Enterprise.

Granted, we’re unlikely to meet a hundred-foot Spock clone in Disco - but one can hope! Ah, for a return to Megas-tu!
posted by mwhybark at 12:08 PM on April 23, 2020 [2 favorites]

Here’s a leaning-against analysis from Ex Astris Scientia which long precedes the current crop of shows. He also links to a piece excerpting some remarks by D. C. Fontana on the subject, and also links to the oldest TAS resource on the web, the Guide to Animated Star Trek by Curt Danhauser.
posted by mwhybark at 12:17 PM on April 23, 2020 [4 favorites]

(P. S.: Danhauser assembled some Fan Trek episodes from TAS clips, which is precisely the sort of thing I love like crazy, even if the end product is seriously weird and unpolished. Maybe I like it even better when it’s like that.)
posted by mwhybark at 12:19 PM on April 23, 2020 [1 favorite]

Click on mwhybark's last link, and you will find some fan created PSA's on Logical Thinking hosted by Mr. Spock that are fantastic!
posted by wittgenstein at 11:04 AM on April 24, 2020 [1 favorite]

Sure, lets go back and do some random historical research with the Guardian of Forever for the sake of scholarly curiosity. I mean nothing bad ever happened from dicking around with that thing, did it?
posted by Naberius at 8:29 PM on April 29, 2020 [2 favorites]

Well, nothing that anybody can remember or that the Federation has records of. Say, how did the people that built that thing lose their civilization, anyway?
posted by mwhybark at 10:12 PM on April 29, 2020 [3 favorites]

A really great episode, as everyone else is noting. I'm not surprised to hear this is the high point of the whole show. It's certainly made me more optimistic about what's to come than the first episode did.
posted by vibratory manner of working at 8:52 AM on September 1, 2020

« Older The X-Files: 2Shy...   |  Some Good News: Episodes 1-4... Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments