Star Trek: Season 2, Episode 10

Journey to Babel (17 Nov. 1967)

TV Episode  |   |  Action, Adventure, Mystery
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Ratings: 8.6/10 from 1,092 users  
Reviews: 12 user | 8 critic

The Enterprise hosts a number of quarrelling diplomats, including Spock's father, but someone on board has murder in mind.



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Title: Journey to Babel (17 Nov 1967)

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Episode complete credited cast:
Amanda (as Miss Jane Wyatt)
William O'Connell ...
John Wheeler ...
James X. Mitchell ...
Lt. Josephs
Reggie Nalder ...


The Enterprise is transporting several diplomatic delegations to a conference on Babel regarding the future of the mineral-rich planet Coridan. Among the passengers are Spock's parents, Ambassador Sarek and Amanda. There is obviously a chill between father and son owing to Spock's choice of pursuing a career in Starfleet. Unknown to Spock or his mother is the fact that Sarek is seriously ill. There is also much tension among the delegations and a spy on board is transmitting coded messages to a ship that attacks the Enterprise. With Captain Kirk wounded in an earlier knife attack, Spock is in temporary command just as his father needs a transfusion that only he can provide. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


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Release Date:

17 November 1967 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Gene Roddenberry wrote the scene in which Amanda tells Kirk of the rift between Spock and Sarek. Writer D.C. Fontana felt that it would be inappropriate for her to discuss this with someone she had just met. But Roddenberry wanted Kirk to be more involved with the story. See more »


When Amanda is telling McCoy about Spock's childhood pet, she calls it a sehlat, which she pronounces "say-lot." McCoy immediately after repeats the name but pronounces it "sell-it," indicating the two scenes were shot separately without each hearing how the other said it. See more »


[first lines]
McCoy: [Captain Kirk is adjusting uniform in mirror, Dr. McCoy pacing behind him, tugging at tight collar] Dress uniforms - spit and polish. I don't know how much longer I'm gonna be able to stand this. I feel like my neck's in a sling.
See more »


Referenced in Star Trek: The Animated Series: The Pirates of Orion (1974) See more »

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User Reviews

Journey Through the Trek Universe
17 September 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

We've got aliens galore in this episode - there's about a hundred ambassadors aboard the Enterprise - and some we see for the first time: Andorians, Tellarites; others we'll never see again. We also see other Vulcans, but not just any Vulcans: Spock's father, Sarek, makes his first appearance, as well as Spock's human mom (both superbly played by Lenard and Wyatt). Before you can say 'Tal-shaya,' Kirk almost gets whacked, Spock gets slapped and McCoy goes on a little power trip in his sickbay. This might denote another comedy from Trek, such as "The Trouble With Tribbles," but though there are some humorous moments, it's mostly an episode driven by intrigue, suspense and interesting drama on the Vulcan side, where even more backstory is revealed on Spock, as sort of a follow-up to "Amok Time."

I think it's this episode, more than any other, in which Spock's lonely place in the Trek universe is spelled out. We, as the audience, had already gathered as much during the past forty or so episodes, but here, Spock's mother, the ideal choice to voice such concerns out loud, makes apparent the pain Spock has endured during his life - in terms we had only guessed at earlier. She had known since he was a little boy that he belongs in neither the human nor the Vulcan worlds and, as a mother, she had no choice but to feel his pain, that ultimate form of alienation - but, as a human, her feelings are much more obvious to us. Nimoy gives another subtly excellent performance; his demeanor is slightly different when speaking with his mother about 'the situation' between himself and his father. Despite the Vulcan reserve, you sense his discomfort and sadness.

The great thing about a Trek episode such as this is it propels us full throttle into this universe of the Federation, its allies, its enemies (Orion pirates - who would've thought?), its politics and even its social customs. We learn about a Vulcan method of the quick kill, as another sample, and it's 'interesting' to hear Spock speak of his father's killing capability in that unemotional tone. It's almost like a handbook on the 23rd century done up in episodic video style. The drama is balanced out by some nice action scenes and thrills. Kirk does pull an odd move in his fight with the assassin, but there was no stuntman involved, to Shatner's credit (uh, maybe that's why they did use stuntmen usually). Mention should also be made of actor Nalder as the lead Andorian; as in a couple of other episodes, an actor's accent and appearance made him the ideal choice to play the alien.

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