Star Trek: The Next Generation: Season 3, Episode 23

Sarek (12 May 1990)

TV Episode  -   -  Action | Adventure | Sci-Fi
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Legendary Federation ambassador Sarek visits the Enterprise to conclude peace talks with a race called the Legarans. His arrival is accompanied with a rash of unusual emotional outbursts among the crew.



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Title: Sarek (12 May 1990)

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Episode credited cast:
William Denis ...
Ki Aloysius Mendrossen
Science Crewman
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Science Officer / Cellist


Spock's father Sarek, the legendary Vulcan ambassador, now remarried to another earth-woman, Perrin, boards the Enterprise to crown his career -before retiring- by finalizing painstakingly prepared peace negotiations with the Legarans. His chief of staff and personal assistant asked Sarek to be given maximal rest in view of his weak health, but he insists to attend the ship's Mozart concert starring Data as violin soloist in his honor, and is seen there to cry, unseen for a Vulcan. The next days ever more crew members display unprovoked aggression, even towards friends and relatives. Data gets an entourage member to confirm a medical theory: Sarek is affected by the rare 'bendai syndrome', which causes old Vulcans to loose their most-prized emotional self-control, and telepathically spreads the epidemic. Picard must think of the negotiations with the probably susceptible Legarians, which cannot be delayed, while Sarek denies his condition, alas tellingly emotionally; once he admits it... Written by KGF Vissers

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




Release Date:

12 May 1990 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


The script originally involved another ambassador, but the writers decided to use Sarek to "bring home the idea that even the greatest of men is subject to mental illness." See more »


The crew are entertained by a recital that starts with a Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart string quartet, as promised. This needs four players: two violins, viola and cello. The piece that causes Sarek's tear is in fact Johannes Brahms' Sextet #1 - which would require six players, i.e. an additional viola and cello. See more »


Captain Jean-Luc Picard: Sarek of Vulcan would never be afraid of looking straight at something he did not want to see.
Ambassador Sarek: I warn you! Your efforts to discredit me will not succeed!
Captain Jean-Luc Picard: Sarek of Vulcan never confused what he wanted with the truth.
Ambassador Sarek: [indignantly] I will not be spoken to in this manner!
Captain Jean-Luc Picard: Do I hear anger in your voice?
Ambassador Sarek: [enraged] It would be illogical for a Vulcan to show anger! It'd be illogical! illogical! illogical! illogic...!
See more »


References Star Trek: Journey to Babel (1967) See more »


String Sextet No.1 in B flat, Op.18 - 1. Allegro ma non troppo
Written by Johannes Brahms
See more »

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User Reviews

2 June 2012 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

"Peace and long life."

"Live Long and Prosper."

"It's ironic, isn't it? All this magnificent technology, we still find ourselves susceptible to the ravages of old age. Loss of dignity. The slow betrayal of our bodies by forces we cannot master."

While I think the first two seasons of Star Trek: The Next Generation have some terrific episodes, the third season, in my opinion, shows the series hitting its stride. I'm a sentimentalist when it comes to Trek because of my overwhelming fondness for the Classic Star Trek show, so when a member of that series is on the The Next Generation, I find myself giddy and extra emotionally involved. Those who are moved by Picard's big emotional scene where he has mind-melded with Sarek, in turn taking upon himself all of the repressed emotions and effects of the Bendii Syndrome effecting the 200 year old Vulcan, I think a lot of this comes from the affinity for the 60s Star Trek show. We know that Vulcans have mastered the ability to repress emotion, logic the means behind their salvation from extinction, but when Picard communicates the assault of buried emotions regarding his love for Spock and wife Perrin, it has profoundness to it. We have seen the meetings between father and son, what they conceal from each other due to their way of life, yet ultimately both do know how they truly feel…it is repressed but there, just so deeply held in place and shielded. Truly, I think this exemplary episode functions as a sympathetic look at mental deterioration (Althzheimer's perhaps the greatest inspiration drawn from) and how such old age breakdown can affect those around him/her. Sarek, in this case, causes officers on board the Enterprise to angrily accuse, even violently respond, to each other in hostile ways due to Vulcan telepathy. A Vulcan aide has been able somewhat to keep Sarek's condition under control, but the strain of the process of beginning negotiations with an alien race known as Legarians (that has taken decades to prepare for) has made this increasingly difficult. Picard notices this and wants to help Sarek…it will take a mind-meld in order to do so. Hours of intense, agonizing emotional pain is what Picard must endure while he gives Sarek the calm, assured part needed for the delicate negotiating process. "My mind to your mind. Your thoughts to my thoughts." I'm sure Trek die-hards will find much to enjoy with this episode and seeing Mark Leonard return in the role of Sarek was most welcome.

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