Episode 30 – TOS 2×01: “Amok Time”

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In the season 2 premiere, we travel to sunny Vulcan for the most extended, uh, completion metaphor in 1960s television.

Or, you know, Spock is undergoing a Special Change and really, really doesn’t want to talk about it.

If the above two sentences haven’t already given it away, yes, this is that episode; the 50 minutes that launched a million Aliens-made-them-do-it/f*ck-or-die fics, and at once, some of the most thoughtful and interesting insights into Vulcan culture in the Original Series. Spock unexpectedly finds himself undergoing Pon Farr, a beautiful and natural process that uh, drives young Vulcans to mate, or expire. Spock needs to go home to rejoin his betrothed, and in the meantime, he’s undergoing some personality changes that make life aboard a cramped spaceship a little awkward, to say the least.

Bones and Kirk talking about Spock
“Is it just me, or is Spock acting a little…” “Kind of like a dick?” “Yeah.”










Of course, duty intervenes: the Enterprise has been called to some fancy diplomatic Thing, and can’t make the course correction to drop Spock off at home. Not to mention: Kirk’s not really wild about the idea of losing his bff the finest first officer in the fleet to an arranged marriage. But to Vulcan they go, against orders, and it turns out that things are even more complicated than Spock said they were, because his intended bride has found someone else she’d rather Pon the Farr with. And if Spock really wants her, he’s going to have to engage in a battle to the death.

Spock and T'Pring










Said betrothed, T’Pring, though, has this all under control. Instead of letting her new fiancee battle and probably kill Spock, she chooses a new champion… and the champion she picks is Kirk.

Let’s all say it together now: awwwwwwk-waaaarrd.

This episode has some great lady guest stars in the form of Spock’s intended, T’Pring (portrayed by Arlene Martel), and most notably, famous Vulcan diplomat, judge, philosopher, and matriarch T’Pau (portrayed by Celia Lovsky).










This episode also contains the first on-screen instance of the Vulcan salute, which has continued to appear in Star Trek franchises for nearly 50 years now.


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