Star Trek: Amok Time   Rewatch 
February 14, 2015 11:46 AM - Season 2, Episode 1 - Subscribe

In the throes of his Pon Farr mating period, Spock must return to Vulcan to meet his intended future wife, betrothed from childhood.

"Amok Time" is episode #30, production #34, first broadcast on September 15, 1967, in the series' new time slot of 8:30 pm on Friday night, and repeated April 26, 1968. This was the first episode to feature regular cast member Walter Koenig, as the ship's navigator, Ensign Pavel Chekov, and also the first one to list DeForest Kelley as Dr. McCoy in the opening credits. It was written by science fiction author Theodore Sturgeon, scored by Gerald Fried, and directed by Joseph Pevney.

The episode features First Officer Spock returning to his homeworld for a brutal Vulcan mating ritual. It is the only episode of the series to depict scenes on the planet Vulcan.


Memory Alpha Link


TvTropes

The episode can be viewed on Netflix, Hulu, and YouTube.
posted by Benway (17 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
It's kind of a wonderful coincidence that posting this episode lined up perfectly with Valentines day.

I agree with the TvTropes link in that there were some fairly large plot holes...for example: how did Starfleet not know of the Vulcan mating ritual? I guess it can be explained that they did not share cultural information with humans. This sort of lines up with how Vulcans are portrayed in the later Enterprise series.
posted by Benway at 11:54 AM on February 14, 2015


Spock himself found it really embarassing to talk about, even with people he knew well and trusted with his life.
posted by Mogur at 12:26 PM on February 14, 2015


Addendum: also, we only ever see the first little bit of the mating ritual. Maybe there's stuff later on that is waaayyyyyy more embarassing...
posted by Mogur at 12:32 PM on February 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


But yet, in The Cloud Minders, he's all bewitched by Droxine and blabbing his fool head off about it.

Also, he's in his thirties, yet he's never experienced it before? THAT seems improbable.

But its a fun episode and the fight music is enduring.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 12:51 PM on February 14, 2015


It always perplexed me how someone without emotions would feel embarrassment, just not logical.
posted by sammyo at 12:52 PM on February 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


A common misconception. All Vulcans feel emotion. They just don't let them make their decisions for them.
posted by Mogur at 2:07 PM on February 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


Yes, the Vulcans embraced logic because they were too emotional, and they realized their emotions were apt to destroy them. So it's not that Vulcans don't feel (a thing explored at great depth in post-TOS Trek) but that cultural survival required them to suppress their emotions on a scale that makes the Puritans look like Sadean egoists.
posted by localroger at 3:32 PM on February 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


Yes, the Vulcans embraced logic because they were too emotional, and they realized their emotions were apt to destroy them.

Yeah, this. Amok Time is one of the first places that ever really comes out, or maybe *the* place?

Of course - and this is something I literally never thought of until I started posting here just now... Surak was totally wrong. The Romulans are Vulcans who simply left during some big schism centuries ago, before the whole 'logic is the best' thing got going, and they're... just fine. I mean, they're mostly jerks onscreen since they're primarily an antagonist from a Trek POV, but they don't come across as irrational at all.

.... huh.
posted by mordax at 6:32 PM on February 14, 2015


It's possible that Romulans have developed different coping strategies, such as being huge dicks.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 8:18 PM on February 14, 2015 [7 favorites]


Also, he's in his thirties, yet he's never experienced it before? THAT seems improbable.

Given the difference in lifespans (Vulcans can live for 200 years or so), it's not that surprising that it takes longer to hit the equivalent of puberty, I think.
posted by thomas j wise at 9:01 PM on February 14, 2015


It's possible that Romulans have developed different coping strategies, such as being huge dicks.

That's exactly my point, though - the Vulcans make it sound like they're too moody to survive as a species without being super repressed. The Romulans are living proof that wasn't true. (The Vulcans are, by and large, just as dickish as the Romulans, they're just not warlike. See: all of Spock's childhood in various media.)
posted by mordax at 9:17 PM on February 14, 2015


Also, he's in his thirties, yet he's never experienced it before? THAT seems improbable.

I remember in the old Trek fanzine, Ponn Farr to a lot of speculation. That was brought up, as well as the whole "mate or die" bit.

I think the best conclusion was that yeah, they happen every seven years, and usually it isn't fatal, unless like Spock, you dodge three or four times. Which incidentally, could also explain why T'pring was looking elsewhere...
posted by happyroach at 10:21 PM on February 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


Every seven years . . .

"Year" and "year", what is "year"?
 
posted by Herodios at 6:24 AM on February 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


Given the difference in lifespans (Vulcans can live for 200 years or so), it's not that surprising that it takes longer to hit the equivalent of puberty, I think.

Except in The Search for Spock, we see him deal with Pon Farr relatively "early." So either he's been mentally suppressing it or...something, that wasn't available to him when he was rapidly aging on Ceti Alpha V. Either way.

But we're picking nits. It's fun to see Spock all savage isn't it?
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 7:43 AM on February 15, 2015


On Vulcan, the kids all get this Special Drink....
posted by Mogur at 4:01 AM on February 16, 2015


That wig of Chekov's is just so wonderfully awful. And this may be the best it ever looks, per the Memory Alpha link this was the last episode they shot with it -- I seem to remember it being at it's most "what is that dead creature on his head?" in Catspaw.
posted by oh yeah! at 11:33 AM on February 16, 2015


My takeaway: Kirk has a crush on T'pau.
posted by vibratory manner of working at 1:56 PM on October 1, 2015


« Older Constantine: Waiting For The M...   |  Shameless (US): A Bottle of Je... Newer »

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