Thursday, 26 June 2008

Star Trek: TOS 2.15 - Journey to Babel

Review 43 - Episode 44

The One with Spocks Dad

We get some more of Spocks background here which is always interesting to me and a D.C. Fontana script so good dialogue is guaranteed. I've got a couple of issues with it, but it's still a good episode.

The Enterprise is escorting over 100 ambassadors to Babel for an important conference, but people start being murdered and Sarek is dying.

This was the first time I'd seen Sarek in TOS and I can only imagine what the reaction must have been seeing Spocks parents when it aired in the 60's. I'll forgive the episode the unlikely fact that Kirk wouldn't know that these are Spocks parents for shock effect, but the estrangement between father and son is fascinating to watch. The main scene is obviously Spock choosing not to save his father but following his duty. It makes more sense why Kirk was stabbed now to me, as it seemed to come out the blue, but it was to give Spocks decision more weight. It doesn't quite ring true and Scotty has proven he's a more than capable commander, but the episode stayed true to Spock choice and Kirk has to trick Spock into going. He's suspicious, but doesn't put up to much of a fight, so he was probably thankful for the decision to be taken out his hands. Kirk suddenly getting super strength as well and being able to command the ship with a punctured lung is pushing it a bit and I'm not sure Shatners acting is quite good enough to pull it off. I wonder if Elizabeth knows that Spock was tricked into going and would have let his father die out of Vulcan principle?

The B plot, of the Orion ship and agent on the Enterprise is all left rather vague and with hindsight is just another reason to force Spock to stay on the bridge, but I like that they realise this is a big deal in Spock letting his Father die and being true to his Vulcan heritage, but also making it almost a sensible decision to stay on the bridge. It's really all about Spock and Sarek with the ambassadors on board giving the story a fresh look, but it's good stuff.


Overall Star Trek Franchise Rating so far: 130/215

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