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"Star Trek: The Next Generation" Sarek (1990)

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28 out of 29 people found the following review useful:

A bridge to the Original Series - not yet forgotten.

Author: russem31 from United States
20 April 2006

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

ST:TNG:71 - "Sarek" (Stardate: 43917.4) - this is the 23rd episode of the 3rd season of Star Trek: The Next Generation.

As this episode's title suggests, we again see Mark Lenard as Ambassador Sarek (Spock's father) in his first TNG appearance. This time, he has a new wife named Perrin (since Amanda who was Spock's mother, has already died long ago). When Sarek boards the Enterprise, the famed Vulcan ambassador begins to emit emotions, being moved to tears by a performance in which Data is a participant on the violin. As the episode progresses, we see that Sarek's mind isn't what it used to be as violence and emotional outbursts escalate by various crew on the Enterprise (including an Original Series inspired Ten Forward barfight).

Special note: GREAT and TOUCHING performance by Patrick Stewart as Picard.

Trivia note: Data played on the violin in an earlier 3rd season episode "The Ensigns of Command". We also see the planet Vulcan in this episode. And, Picard met Sarek years ago at his son's wedding (we assume he meant Spock).

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7 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

Sarek

10/10
Author: Scarecrow-88 from United States
2 June 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

"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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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

*Spoilers* Patrick Stewart steals the show

10/10
Author: bdhancock8 from United States
30 August 2016

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

One of the wonderful qualities of Patrick Stewart is that he can either steal the show or step back and allow another actor to take the focus and shine. It is by far one of his greatest strengths.

In this episode, when Patrick Stewart has Sarek's emotions, his acting is top notch. The emotions he transitions between move along seamlessly. You feel a great deal of empathy for him and, moreover, for Sarek, even though Sarek isn't in that scene. Picard is actually acting two roles at the same time and he's phenomenal. I am blown away every time I watch this episode. The depth of acting talent and a lifetime of work go into this one scene. This episode easily stands as one of the top 10 TNG episodes.

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Even Vulcans get the blues

9/10
Author: Mr-Fusion from United States
11 November 2016

I think it's impressive enough that a respected character was borough onto TNG as a bridge to the Original Series, but the execution thereof just raises it to a whole different level. Sarek is losing control of his emotions on the eve of his crowning diplomatic achievement - which is shattering to a Vulcan and an interesting way to see the effects of dementia. Picard says it best: "It's ironic, isn't it? All this magnificent technology, and we still find ourselves susceptible to the ravages of old age" But it's also Picard who ends up coming through in the end, and the scenes with Stewart and Lenard are both powerful and heartbreaking.

Honestly, before watching this, I'd just expected to see Sarek show up as little more than a nod, like DeForest Kelley in 'Encounter at Farpoint'.

But this was a surprisingly considerate story.

9/10

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Even Vulcans Get Old

9/10
Author: Hitchcoc from United States
18 August 2014

A major treaty is about to be forged and it will be the crowning achievement of Sarek, the father of Spock. When he arrives on the Enterprise, it is obvious that his entourage is being incredibly protective of him. His second wife, once again an Earth woman, is privy to a situation that is changing the great man for the worse. He has a condition that often comes to Vulcan men when they reach their 200th birthday and beyond. He has begun to lose some of his basic faculties and she is aware of this. He is determined to put this negotiating feather in his cap, however. Unfortunately, because he has powers of telepathy, the disease is causing disarray on the Enterprise. Crew members get into fights. They are edgy and angry. There's even near fisticuffs with Geordi and Wesley, pushing and shoving until Riker breaks it up. It's obvious that Sarek is in no condition to carry on with this effort because he, himself, is also showing a violent streak. What will they do? This is a very good episode during a really impressive season.

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3 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Sarek...the emotional menace!

8/10
Author: planktonrules from Bradenton, Florida
17 November 2014

"Sarek" marks the second to last appearance by Mark Lenard as this Vulcan character. A year later he'd reprise the role in "Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country" and Lenard would die a few years later. Interestingly, later the character would reappear--with Ben Cross playing him in the reboot of the series, "Star Trek" (2009).

When the ancient ambassador arrives on the Enterprise for some important negotiations, the Captain is surprised at Sarek's handlers. Despite his looking amazingly good for a being over 200, his wife and assistant treat him as if he's very frail and are protecting him from others. Why? At the same time, strange things begin happening on the ship. Crew members start acting VERY emotional towards each other-- with angry outbursts, near fights and worse. Could it be that Sarek is somehow responsible for this? And, if so, how?! And, how can they hold an important conference is Sarek makes those around him enraged?!

All in all, a very sad episode of the series, as you see a beloved character succumbing to the sad effects of aging. Now I am NOT complaining about this--it is good to talk about dementias and other types of geriatric illnesses. But it is still quite sad. Well worth seeing.

By the way, Picard makes a brief comment that made me take notice. He indicated that he'd briefly met Sarek before...at his (Sarek's) son's wedding! Did this mean that Spock marries or that he has a sibling who married? I am sure the real die-hard Trekkies could answer this one.

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