Written by: DC Fontana
Directed By: Hal Sutherland
Air-date: September 15, 1973
Mark Lenard as Sarek
“Doctor McCoy you do not know your good fortune, if the times were different you would have to re-calibrate for an Andorian. “
“What’s that supposed to mean? If that is supposed to be a joke, Spock I have to remind you that Vulcans don’t tell jokes”
“Times change, Doctor. Times… change.” – Spock and McCoy
The Enterprise along with a Historical team returns to the Planet where “The Guardian of Forever” is to research the planet Orion and the History of the planet Vulcan. As Kirk and a crewman return from Orion’s past, Kirk talks to McCoy about the trip, to Kirk’s astonishment McCoy then asks “Who’s he Jim?”, Kirk replies “What do you mean who’s he? You know Mr. Spock!”
As the party beams back to the Enterprise, the bizarre instances of not reconginzing Mr. Spock continue as another First Officer appears in the Transporter Room, Commander Thelin, an Andorian. During a briefing we learn in this timeline Spock dies at age 7, among of things that are wrong
Kirk, Spock and Thelin return to The Guardian’s planet, to talk to the Historical team… They confirm what Kirk already has suspected, because Spock was back in time with him Spock was not available to save his younger self. Before heading back into time Spock and Thelin have a heart to heart:
“This change in the timeline would put you in my place, yet I am not aggrived”
“Andorians are not known for their charity”
“True, a warrior race has few sympathies. But, one we process is for family. In your time-plane, you will live and so will your mother, that is valueable. Live Long and Prosper in your world Commander Spock.”
“And you in yours Commander Thelin”
With that Spock goes back home to the city Shikahr, and is witness to the familiar teasing by the Vulcan children on his being a Human/Vulcan hybrid, and Sarek bringing shame to Vulcan by marrying a human. Young Spock displays his rage and attempts to fight the group of children, and he loses. While watching over young Spock, Spock is greeted by Sarek of Vulcan, Spock introduces himself as Selek, decentant of T’Pel and Sassak.
Young Spock and Sarek talk about the life choice that Spock is about to make the Kahs-wan ordeal, Selek (Spock) and Amanda also discuss this, and Selek is astonished that he was mistaken that it is not tomorrow. Later on that night Young Spock and the Sehlat head to the L-langon Mountions, and are stopped by a La-matya. Spock, realizes that it was not the actual Kahs-wan ordeal, and appears in time to disable the La-Matya, and council young Spock, as I-Chaya is dying form the poison claws from the La-Matya he fought.
Young Spock then gets a healer, making the desert crossing “Most Efficiently”, young Spock now has to decide the fate of his own pet, Something that Spock did not have to do in the original timeline. Young Spock releases I-Chaya from life, and they make their way back to Sarek and Amanda, where young Spock informs them of his life choice, and Spock makes his farewells.
As Spock returns to the present, and everything seems normal. As Kirk and Spock beam up… everything is back to normal including a quip from Dr. McCoy.
One of my favorite episodes in Star Trek is “City on the Edge of Forever”, so a return to the Guardian’s planet was interesting. We also get to see Spock as a young child struggling with his Human half and Vulcan Half, not to mention Sarek’s expectations. It really brought something to the episode that Mark Lenard could reprise his role as Sarek, and DC Fontana wrote an amazing story, one that I wish could have been fleshed out in a full episode. This episode is one of the better episodes of the Animated Series, and definitively in my top 10 of Star Trek episodes in general.
1) James Doohan who you all know as Scotty did several other voices in the episode: Guardian of Forever, Thelin, Erickson, Bates, Aleek-Om and the Vulcan Healer. Until Mark Lenard agreed to reprise his role of Sarek, Doohan was set to voice Sarek.
2) DC Fontana was responsible for the Vulcan culture we see in TOS and TAS, along with Leonard Nimoy, but here is the first reference to Spock’s home city, Amanda’s last name (Grayson), the first appearance of a Sehlat (the first live action appearence is ENT: “The Forge”) and the only appearance of a Le-Matya.
3) The Le-Matya sound effect some of you will recognize as Godzilla
4) The scene where Spock is bullied as a child, by three older Vulcan boys was done in live action in the 2009 film Star Trek.
5) This episode along with “Beyond The Farthest Star”and “More Tribbles, More Troubles” were recorded by the main cast of Star Trek, in June of 1973 at Filmation’s studios in Reseda, California. It was the first time the cast was reunited after the last frame of Star Trek were shot in 1969.
If you like a Spock story, or just a fun coming of age story… Yesteryear is a great episode for you to enjoy not only by yourself but with family members. On a personal note, I know I can’t help but think of my dog I had for a long time, when watching the scene with Spock and I-Chaya without younger Spock.