Star Trek: Season 2, Episode 10

Journey to Babel (17 Nov. 1967)

TV Episode  |   |  Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi
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Ratings: 8.6/10 from 1,061 users  
Reviews: 11 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

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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?


In the first episode ever to feature Spock's parents, actors Mark Lenard and Jane Wyatt asked Leonard Nimoy for advice on how the two of them could display their affection for one another in a subtle way since the Vulcans are without emotion and since it was Nimoy who had created the Vulcan Neck Pinch and the Vulcan Salute. Nimoy suggested that they touch and stroke each others hands by the index and middle finger. See more »


In some shots during Kirk and Thelev's fight, Thelev's hands are Caucasian-colored rather than blue, and as his costume shifts around during the fight, Caucasian skin is also visible in the lower neck and shoulder areas. 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.
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User Reviews

Vulcan familial relationships and butt-fu
25 July 2006 | by (New York City) – See all my reviews

We get an interesting double plot in this episode. We get a good action story as the Enterprise is shuttling a number of ambassadors to a Federation meeting which will determine whether the planet Coridan will be admitted into the Federation, and more importantly for the overall Star Trek mythos, we finally get to meet Spock's parents, Sarek and Amanda.

The presence of Spock's parents allows writers D.C. Fontana and Gene Roddenberry to further their character development of Spock as a man half-Vulcan and half-human. There are a number of wryly humorous moments between Spock and his father, who we learn not only have the normal Vulcan unemotional relationship, but who have some bad feelings towards each other. Maybe because they're feelings, they don't talk about it, and just ignore the situation as best as they can. Amanda, played by an elegantly attractive Jane Wyatt, proves to be a surprising fulcrum balancing the two. Surprising because despite being married to Sarek for so many years, her spunky emotionalism still shines through, and her being married to Sarek seems contradictory to the "pure Vulcan" way of looking at things. This suggests that the cracks that we occasionally see in Spock's unemotional public veneer aren't just there because he's half human--it seems to be almost as much a Vulcan trait.

The action side of the episode is a lot of fun, and the menagerie of less human aliens on their way to the Federation meeting would have been a blast to explore more. Perhaps if there's a flaw to this episode, it's that it should have been two separate episodes, instead. But then of course we'd miss out on one way of showing the non-emotional Vulcan sense of duty and its ethical priorities.

There's a great William Shatner fight with an alien in this one. I always get a kick out of his fight scenes, and this one is particularly notable because of the weird "butt-fu" move that he performs just before he gets injured. It's a hoot.

DeForest Kelley also gets some choice lines here, especially right before the credits roll.

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