Star Trek: The Original Series (1967) – Journey to Babel and Friday’s Child

Captain’s log: stardate 3842.3

Journey to Babel, written by D.C. Fontana and airing on 17 November, 1967 is an incredibly important episode. It features some diplomacy in the 23rd century as well as introducing us to Sarek (Mark Lenard) and Amanda (Jane Wyatt) Spock’s (Leonard Nimoy) parents.

His father serves as the Vulcan ambassador and he becomes one of the prime suspects when one of the fellow delegates aboard is murdered.

We see that there is a strain between Sarek and Spock, that only by the end of the episode shows a glimmer of improving. This simply added more depth to the character of Spock, by being half-Vulcan and half-human he was an outsider in both worlds, and we see, through his interaction with Sarek, that he was an outsider in his own family. With how many people did that thought reverberate? How many people identified with that?

The banter between Spock, Kirk (William Shatner) and McCoy (DeForest Kelley) is in fine form, and McCoy’s delight at getting some information about his comrade’s youth.

Even as Sarek is accused of murder, he falls victim to an illness that leaves Spock as the only one who can save his life, but when Kirk is injured, the half-Vulcan has to take command during the crisis, leaving his father dangling on the precipice of death.

Kirk returns to the bridge feigning good health so that Spock can be operated on, but Kirk begins to fade, even as an the Enterprise is attacked!

This one is brilliantly written, hugely entertaining, and a fine example of Trek at its best!

The episode brings a couple of more alien species into the fold, the Tellarites and Andorians, are mentioned by name, and we get glimpses of a couple more alien forms.

The story does a lot of things, it brings a new adventure to the show, it fills out the Vulcan culture and allows our heroes to play detective. Even screening this episode for the first time when I was a kid, I knew this one was something special. This is an episode that works on every level, showing the kinship between our triumvirate, entertaining with a riveting tale, and continuing to add depth to the universe that had been created.

There is humour, tension, and great characters. I love this episode!! And the last scene is priceless.

star-trek-journey-to-babel-hidefninja

Captain’s log: stardate 3497.2

Friday’s Child was penned by D.C. Fontana and aired on 1 December, 1967. And for some reason, every time I watch this one, it just doesn’t hold my interest. That’s strange, because McCoy is central to the entire story, and he, over the years has become one of my favourite characters.

The Enterprise has arrived on Capella IV, a place where McCoy has spent some time, studying the inhabitants. On their arrival, they discover that the Klingons are on the surface trying to secure mining rights from the planet’s inhabitants.

In orbit, Scotty (James Doohan) is in command as Sulu (George Takei), Uhura (Nichelle Nichols) and Chekov (Walter Koenig) play cat and mouse with a Klingon warship.

When there is a sudden coup in the camp, McCoy, Kirk and Spock must flee, with a now dead leader’s pregnant wife, Eleen (Julie Newmar).

While the Enterprise deals with things in orbit, our trio must keep Eleen safe, as well as her unborn child. Eleen tries McCoy’s patience in a lot of fun ways, and he gets to have some great character moments, and yet…

I just can’t get into the episode anytime I watch it. Just odd. I mean, I like all the stuff with Scotty on the Enterprise, and our trio together is wonderful as always, I just can’t get into the episode for some reason.

Kirk and Spock get to wage guerrilla warfare on the Klingons who are aiding the inhabitants, McCoy gets to practice his craft – there’s a lot to like in the episode, including some fun moments between Spock and McCoy, and some wonderful location shooting, but there it is.

I know I’ve seen this episode a number of times, but its one of those ones that after I’ve watched it, it fades away, and doesn’t stay with me.

But not all the episodes will be winners, and I’m not going to love every single one of them that comes down the pipe, not only from this series, but from all the series. Have no doubt, there are moments I enjoy in this episode, but if you ask me in a few day’s time what this one is about I may not remember until I watch it again.

Until then, the Human Adventure continues…

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