The first part of the episode shows that something is clearly wrong with Spock. We see him angry, forgetful, and out of control. He rejects some Vulcan soup that Nurse Chapel made for him and then later we see him in his quarters looking a pictures of a little girl.
Spock requests to have shore leave on Vulcan, but the Enterprise can't make it as they have to be at diplomatic function on Altair instead.
Sulu: "How do you figure it, Chekov? First we're going to Vulcan, then we're going to Altair. Then we're headed to Vulcan again, and now we're headed back to Altair."
Checkov: "I think I'm going to get space sick."
When pressed, Spock finally explains to Kirk what it is all about.
|"Well, there's no need to be embarrassed about it, Mister Spock. |
It happens to the birds and the bees."
"I'd hoped I would be spared this, but the ancient drives are too strong. Eventually, they catch up with us, and we are driven by forces we cannot control to return home and take a wife. Or die."Kirk decides to violate orders and get Spock to Vulcan. We learn that he is to marry T'Pring. Spock explains that there is a brief ceremony and invites Kirk and McCoy to attend.
Celia Lovsky played T'Pau with grace, gravitas and a cool foreign accent.
Composer Gerald Fried scored Amok Time creating a musical theme for Spock that would get a lot of traction in future episodes, but his music for the fight between Kirk and Spock is perhaps the most iconic of the entire series. It has shown up in YouTube videos of cats fighting. Jim Carrey mimics it in The Cable Guy. Composer Michael Giacchino even quoted the theme for his score for Star Trek Into Darkness.
You'll find all of Fried's Amok Time score on the wonderful LA-LA Land Records boxed set release of all the music for the original Star Trek.
"You have become much known among our people, Spock. Almost a legend. And as the years went by, I came to know that I did not want to be the consort of a legend. But by the laws of our people, I could only divorce you by the kal-if-fee. There was also Stonn, who wanted very much to be my consort, and I wanted him. If your Captain were victor, he would not want me, and so I would have Stonn. If you were victor you would free me because I had dared to challenge, and again I would have Stonn. But if you did not free me, it would be the same. For you would be gone, and I would have your name and your property, and Stonn would still be there."Spock tells Stonn: "She is yours. After a time, you may find that having is not so pleasing a thing after all as wanting. It is not logical, but it is often true." Indeed it is.
In spite of the convenient wrap up, it is a good episode and well worth watching or re-watching. For some reason the episode is no longer posted online at Star Trek.com, but most of the other episodes are here.
Next up is one of my favorites, The Doomsday Machine.