‘Star Trek: The Unique Collection’ Revisited: “Amok Time”

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the unique star trek sequence consists completely of standalone episodes; there are not any plot arcs. However that does not imply there is no growth.

Quite the opposite, the primary episode of the second season, “Amok Time” demonstrates that the present’s creators realized quite a bit over the course of the primary season, and are decided to construct on it.

Primarily, they realized that all the pieces is Spock, Spock, and extra Spock. Nice SF author Theodore Sturgeon and director Joseph Pevney lean up to now into Leonard Nimoy love, they simply about fall into the Vulcan soup, after which they lean in much more. Then they seize maintain of threads of characterization from previous episodes—Nurse Chapel’s attraction to Spock, Spock’s occasional use of Captain Kirk’s first identify, the sequence’ insularly obsessive celebration of masculine relationships—and tie all of them into lovely bows of emotional payoff.

And there is extra! The introduction of Navigator Chekhov (Walter Koenig), the final member of the core bridge crew. A wildly over-the-top rating by Gerald Fried. Nice visitor stars. And a number of the sequence’ most breathtaking cinematography. Put all of it collectively and you’ve got one of many all-time, all-time Treks.

Weep for Salmon Spock

The present begins as Dr. McCoy (DeForest Kelley) tells Captain James T. Kirk (William Shatner) that first officer Spock (Leonard Nimoy) is having oddly. He is been irritable and even violent. He hasn’t been consuming. And as they watch, he yells at Nurse Chapel (Majel Barrett), and throws the soup she’s made him on the wall. Then he calls for shore go away on his house planet of Vulcan from Kirk, and will get tremendous testy when Kirk asks him why.

In different phrases, the entire episode setup is predicated in your information of Spock from season 1. He is purported to be the impassive, devoted, self-sacrificing, and good lynchpin of the present. Besides when he is zapped by hippie flowers or Stung by mind-controlling big gloppy cells, he’s completely dependable. What could possibly be fallacious?!

It seems that what’s fallacious is that male Vulcans primarily go into warmth, stripping them of their logic and rationality. Spock desperately must get again to Vulcan to his spouse T’Pring (Ariene Martel) or else in accordance with Dr. McCoy, the emotional and bodily stresses will tear him aside.

Did we point out Spock has a spouse? Provides that complete dalliance with the hippie flowers one other stage.


There is a additional complication in that the Enterprise has been ordered to Altair IV to offer a powerful diplomatic presence at a key management change. The Admiral orders Kirk to go to Altair IV, Spock’s mating wants be damned.

There’s a good little bit of forwards and backwards (a lot to the grumbling of adorably cranky navigator Chekhov). However ultimately, Kirk decides to defy Starfleet and save the lifetime of his first officer and, as he says, of his “pal.” (aww.)

Spock, upon studying they are surely going to Vulcan, calms down, and has a young second with Nurse Chapel, brushing a tear away from her face and telling her he is dreamed of her, which can have one thing to do with the mating frenzy factor, however we cannot look too intently into that. He asks her to deliver him soup. (Awww.)

For the wedding ritual, Spock is allowed to deliver some mates, so he asks Kirk and McCoy to go together with him. They agree and get to stroll throughout a dramatic land bridge to the staging space, in one of the dramatic pictures within the sequence up to now. After they get to the ominous ritual circle, they uncover that the marriage is being presided over by T’Pau (Celia Lovsky), one of the vital officers on Vulcan or within the Federation.

Spock figures he’ll simply bang a gong after which he and T’Pring will get it on, as Marc Bolan says. Nevertheless, T’Pring stops the gong, and calls for he struggle a challenger for her. Everybody thinks she’s going to decide on clearly keen suitor Stonn (Lawrence Montaigne), who, it is vital to notice, has a number of the worst hair of all the sequence. However as a substitute, T’Pring chooses Kirk as her champion.

What’s it due to the hair? We are able to solely guess.

In any case, Kirk is considerably confused, however he is nervous that Spock together with his blood-burning will not be a match for Stonn or his hair. So he says sure. Then he learns that it is a struggle to the dying. That is why it is vital to determine the principles of armed fight earlier than you begin, Captain.

Spock is actually berserk and actually tries to kill Kirk. McCoy asks to offer Kirk a shot to assist him compensate for the low oxygen air on Vulcan. T’Pau agrees, however regardless of the assistance, Spock manages, with assistance from the extraordinarily dramatic music, to kill his Captain.

The shock brings Spock again to himself. He asks T’Pring what the hell.

She explains that she was sick of being married to a legend and likes Stonn. She figured that if Spock received he’d be mad at her and if Kirk received he would not need her. She’d win both manner. Spock compliments her on her logic, after which tells Stonn, “She is yours. After a time, it’s possible you’ll discover that having will not be so pleasing a factor in any case as wanting. It’s not logical, however it’s typically true.”

Stonn seems to be like he is swallowed a Vulcan guppie, which is what you seem like when Spock curses your marriage.

Spock provides the Vulcan “Reside Lengthy and Prosper” (IDIC) salutation for the primary time. T’Pau responds “Lengthy Reside and Prosper,” to which Spock says, “I shall do neither. I’ve killed my Captain and my pal.”

Theodore Sturgeon may write some rattling dialogue is the lesson right here. (Have I had that line memorized for the higher a part of 40 years? Allow us to not converse of it.)

Spock beams as much as the Enterprise to stay a brief lifetime of distress and switch himself over to the authorities.


It seems that Kirk is alive. McCoy gave him the fallacious shot, and put him right into a deathlock trance. Spock is so pleased on the revelation he shouts “Jim!” and smiles, in a second that launched a billion steamy Kirk/Spock fanfics. You’ll be able to’t actually blame the fanfic writers; it truly is a fabulous second of tv.

They be taught that T’Pau has smoothed over issues with Starfleet, so Kirk will not lose his profession. Then Spock gamely tries to elucidate that getting an enormous smile and shouting “Jim” was all completely logical, to McCoy’s open skepticism.

Kirk/Spock and Everybody Else

Kirk is not brazenly skeptical. He is patiently amused. That is the tenor of his efficiency all through. Nimoy’s Spock quivers with barely repressed ardour, nervousness and embarrassment, terrified to say the three-letter-word beginning with s, ending with x, and with the e within the center. Kirk, in distinction, is all raised eyebrows and delicate amusement.

It is brilliantly carried out by itself deserves. However it’s additionally an exquisite reversal of their normal dynamic, the place Kirk is the boisterous one and Spock’s the quiet sidekick.

The intimate, caring male/male relationship stands in stark distinction to Spock’s interactions together with his (beautiful) spouse. T’Pring is all icy magnificence; a logical Vulcan femme fatale. Spock barely is aware of her; their formal declaration of everlasting devotion sounds prefer it’s being delivered by mannikin robots.

This inflexible division of the sexes is meant to be a attribute of the (clearly Orientalist) Vulcan tradition, with its mating rituals draped in custom and barbaric violence. However that is clearly projection. It is star trek itself that’s uncomfortable with ladies, who relegates it voluntarily to secondary roles (like Nurse Chapel) or to walk-on (mini-skirted) elements as quasi-romance of the week.

“Amok Time” is a form of justification, and perpetuation of, star trek‘s personal gender obsessions. The central relationship of the sequence, it is turning into more and more clear, is that between Kirk and Spock. An actual feminine love curiosity, like a spouse, creates not possible rigidity on this lovely space-bound bachelor idyll.

Watson’s marriage is a risk to the very construction of the Holmes detective tales, with their comforting male aura of pipe smoke and comradely ratiocination. Simply so “Amok Time” is amok as a result of it is a time for girls to take middle stage.

T’Pring fairly understandably desires no a part of a man who is consistently off-world and in addition clearly emotionally obsessive about that Kirk fellow. She’s purported to be the villain of the piece, however her actions are actually logical.

Greater than that, her actions are designed to avoid wasting the sequence. Kirk/Spock is a necessity. So T’Pring swoops in, a Deus ex Femme, and makes certain the 2 of them won’t ever be sundered. McCoy will get some credit score, for his magic injection. However it’s actually the lady right here who makes the universe secure for that slash. Because of her, each she and the sequence and Kirk and Spock can stay lengthy and prosper—with a smile.

Score: 10/10 SPECS

star trek: The Unique Collection is streaming on Paramount+.

This text was produced and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks.

Noah Berlatsky is a contract author primarily based in Chicago. His ebook, Surprise Lady: Bondage and Feminism within the Marston/Peter Comics was revealed by Rutgers College Press. He thinks the Adam West Batman is the very best Batman, darn it.


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