Amok Time

Pulling a “The Cage/The Menagerie” play, John and Ken cut the first episode they ever recorded into the 30th episode of Mission Log. Spock’s gotta have it, though what it is he will not say. But he’s gotta get to Vulcan as soon as he can in “Amok Time.”

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  1. Will Wright says:

    Find this and a whole host of behind the scenes photos here :


  2. ksol1460 says:

    How about “My Big Fat Vulcan Wedding”?
    Bluejay Young

  3. Clive Blanston says:

    Don’t get the confusion about Spock facing the Death Penalty. Between “Court Martial” and the last TOS episode, “Turnabout Intruder”, the death penalty was forbidden unless one went to the Thellosian planet; “General Order 4” if memory serves.

    • The Spock Unit says:

      I get that Spock would face legal consequences for his actions on board of the Enterprise, but Kirk willingly participates in the Vulcan ritual after he decides to not correct his second-in-command’s course change. From that point onwards the responsibility for everything that happens on Vulcan lies with him. He even ignores Spock’s pleas.

      Kirk’s “death” on Vulcan is perfectly legal under Vulcan law and he’s Spock’s superior in Star Fleet’s chain of command. He’s in charge and responsible the entire time.

  4. jayoungr . says:

    I’m surprised no one mentioned how un-progressive Vulcan apparently is in their gender politics. Battling for possession (their word) of T’Pring?

    • Thought we mentioned it on the show, but it’s been a while since that one. In any case – yeah, not so progressive for the Vulcan. No argument there.

      • jayoungr . says:

        I suppose they wanted to get across the idea of Vulcan society as steeped in ancient tradition (that goes with the whole “been in my family for 2,000 years” bit as well). And at least T’Pring had the right to call for the combat herself. But the word “possession” does leap out today.

  5. Paul says:

    Did the episode say Ponfar is every seven years or does that come from somewhere else? I thought Ponfar was just about sex. Ponfar in this episode seems more about fulfilling an arranged marriage.

    • August says:

      Pon farr is the seven year sexual drive mentioned in this episode. The 1st pon farr a Vulcan experiences traditionally is also the impetus for consummating the arranged marriage.

  6. The Spock Unit says:

    It’s strange that I’ve never thought about this before but this episode made me think “how and why does Spock exist”?

    Spock is a hybrid of two species from different planets. How is that possible? Star Trek constantly hits us over the head with how different from his human shipmates he is. Poisons that kill humans don’t affect him and vice versa, environmental factors that humans can’t function under are no big deal for him and vice versa, his blood is green and copper-based, his inner organs are different, his metabolism is different, he ages differently, on and on… From what I’ve read about mammal hybrids like mules, camas, ligers, zonkeys and especially Motty (the one and only African / Asian elephant hybrid ever) or hypothetical hybrids like humanzees and koolakambas, I find it completely impossible that humans and Vulcans are genetically similar enough to ever produce offspring at all, let alone healthy ones. After all, we’re looking at two species that developed completely separately and independently with no contact.

    That’s the problem with science fiction, whenever one starts to look at
    the “science” part, it all falls apart almost immediately. As much as I love the genre, it’s a constant source of frustration for me, too. Spock simply couldn’t exist in reality. Bummer!

    Also, just as an aside, humans and Vulcans have completely different mating behaviours. Humans have sexual urges all year round while Vulcans are only “interested” once every seven years and show a very different and aggressive behaviour that has nothing to with the way they act most of the time. Which human female would put up with a partner who turns into a sexual werewolf every seven years (I’m using hyperbole) and ignores her needs the rest of the time or lectures her that it’s not logical to have sex outside of his “mating season”? In my social circle, the answer would be… nobody!

    • Janet Lee says:

      The show never said Vulcans ONLY have sexual urges during ponn far. After all, T’Pol is not in pon farr when she has sex with Trip in ENT. Then there’s the mating bond, which tells you if your partner/spouse is in the mood. Do I think Vulcans have sex as often as humans? No. But I doubt they only get the slightest urges every 7 years.

    • August says:

      True, Vulcans and Humans could not naturally reproduce. One of the books went into some detail about when Sarek and Amanda decided to have a child — it was a somewhat complicated genetic medical procedure that required precise deliberation.

      As for human female’s sexual urges, I know several who have very minimal sexual urges who find personal interaction far more satisfying. They say they might even forget about having a sexual relationship if the man didn’t initiate it.

  7. John H Reiher Jr says:

    The episode demonstrates how they were making it up as they went along. Everything we discover about Spock would have been in his service record. Dr M’Benga interned on Vulcan and would have been intimately familiar with Vulcan reproduction methods.

    TOS was an anthology show with almost no continuity across episodes. When viewed through that lens, it makes more sense.

    • August says:

      You make a lot of presumption of what service records of the future would hold, especially about the cross-cultural taboos of one of the most powerful members of the Federation. Spock informs us that it is a thing no outworlder may know, that Vulcans do not speak of it even among themselves. M’Benga may know all about the biology of reproduction, but there really wouldn’t be a reason for him to know the personal practices involved in it.

      • John H Reiher Jr says:

        The fact that he was the son of the Vulcan ambassador would have been in his records. The fact that he was “betrothed/married” would have been in his records. Many non-personal facts would have been in his service jacket. Humans and Vulcans have been friends for a century and a half, so it’s very likely all of their “dark secrets” would be known.

        No, this is a prime example of “Making up as we go along”. None of this was planned, especially Spock’s background.

        • August says:

          I’ve known Humans who have known each other for entire lifetimes and still did not know all of their dark secrets, and I’m supposed to believe that we know everything about a completely alien culture which doesn’t even discuss taboo subjects with themselves?

          Certainly if you had conceived of and written the Star Trek universe it would have conformed to your imagination and everything would then work only in ways in which you personally understand and expect. Fortunately, it is broader than this.

  8. August says:

    I have been loving every Mission Log Podcast as I work my way through Star Trek once again. The anticipation of hearing what you guys had to say about Amok Time has been building throughout season 1. So I’m sorry to say that your test run recording was a huge letdown. The whole show just felt like you saw Star Trek as a big joke. Hope you guys consider re-recording it with your usual intriguing level of consideration and appreciation.