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Star Trek - The Original Series, Vol. 17, Episodes 33 & 34: Who Mourns For Adonais/Amok Time
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A nifty idea: the Greek god Apollo turns out to be quite real, a powerful extraterrestrial (Michael Forest) waiting some 5,000 years for the human race to develop enough to meet him out in the cosmos. Catching sight of the Enterprise, he immobilizes the ship and demands that the members of a landing party--Captain Kirk (William Shatner), Dr. McCoy (DeForest Kelley), Chief Engineer Scott (James Doohan), Chekov (Walter Koenig), and antiquities specialist Lieutenant Carolyn Palamas (Leslie Parrish)--bow before him and prepare to spend the rest of their lives being cherished through his insistent love. A doubting Kirk recruits his people to secretly find the mechanical source of Apollo's power to throw lightning bolts, become a giant, and punish his naughty Enterprise children by tossing them around like rag dolls. The stern god gives Kirk a sword, so to speak, by falling for Lt. Palamas, setting the stage for some stormy drama late in the game. Written by television veteran and Greek myth aficionado Gilbert Ralston (with a polish by producer Gene L. Coon that enhanced the story's relationships), and directed by Marc Daniels, "Who Mourns for Adonais?" is one of those classic Trek episodes that lingers in the memory for the creative incongruity of its story line (starships and Olympians) and principal set (an Athenian temple with a few trees, shrubs, and confused Starfleet personnel). Wonderful stuff. A subplot involving Scotty's big-time crush on Palamas provides a rare glimpse into the emotional life of one of the supporting players--even if his gallant efforts to save her from Apollo's wooing result in a concussion or two. --Tom Keogh
Easily one of the best episodes from the original Star Trek series, "Amok Time" was written by the novelist Theodore Sturgeon, who came up with a story about a Vulcan mating cycle that occurs every seven years and drives the normally stolid, logical, pointy-eared humanoids wild. When Spock (Leonard Nimoy) is suddenly caught in the grip of pon farr, a crazy-making urge to mate, he sets a course for his home planet despite orders to the contrary from Captain Kirk (William Shatner). Kirk comes around, however, and accompanies Spock and Dr. McCoy (DeForest Kelley) to Vulcan, where Spock is to wed T'Pring (Arlene Martel) in an arranged marriage. But T'Pring formally rejects Spock, forcing a duel in which the captain must participate or let Spock die. There's high drama galore in this one, beginning with Spock's feverish savagery and extending to the fascinating complexity of Vulcan rituals, set against the eerie emptiness of the planet's landscape. For good measure, there's also the startling sight of Kirk and Spock fighting it out to the death. Supporting performances are terrific, including that of Celia Lovsky (the real-life wife of Peter Lorre) as the matriarch T'Pau. This is also the episode that gave birth to the split-fingered Vulcan salute (inspired by Nimoy's memories of the kohanin blessing at Jewish temples) and the phrase "live long and prosper." One of Trek's more highly charged episodes, you can feel a certain spontaneous energy here--indeed, some of the more inspired actors even made up their own lines. --Tom Keogh
Top Customer Reviews
_Adonais_ faces off Kirk and the Greek God Apollo, part of a race of powerful extraterrestrials who once visited Earth. Throw in some (rare) romance for Scottie, some good lines for Chekov, Spock showing off his command style, and Kirk at his commanding best, and you've got an episode I'd consider for any Top Ten list.
_Amok Time_ is almost too famous, being the basis for so much of what we know (and fan-fic) about Spock. Still, even with the overexposure, it features some solid acting by both Nimoy and Shatner, and some of the best Nurse Chapel scenes on film.
While this DVD series suffers from some awful combinations, I'd say this volume is one to definitely include.
As for the other episode on this DVD, it's not one of my all time favorites. It's possible that when seen beside Amok Time, it pales a bit. There are certainly some intersting and memorable scenes here--including Apollo's hand reaching out to grab the Enterprise. Also, seeing Kirk go up against a Greek god is nicely done. There are stories about Lt. Pallama's dress and practical jokes on the set with it (apparently it was weighted in the back and the cast used to regularily flip it up and expose her as it were).Read more ›
Who Mourns for Adonais? makes use of the false-god plotline seen elsewhere in the series. In this case, the deity is not a computer but rather an alien with psychokinetic powers. Michael Forest makes a memorable appearance as Apollo--he both looks and acts the part.
On every level, Amok Time is one of Star Trek's very finest episodes. Tackling head-on the subjects of sex, friendship, and loyalty, Theodore Sturgeon's story is filled with compelling situations and memorable dialogue. The scene where Spock confesses the nature of his problems to Captain Kirk, brilliantly conveyed by Nimoy and Shatner, is one of the most awkward "father/son" chats ever filmed. Gerald Fried's score (taking its neo-primitivistic inspiration from Stavinsky's Le Sacre du Printemps) coveys both the painfulness of Spock's situation, and the ceremonial brutality of the Vulcan sequences with stunning impact. How was it, with their limited budget, the producers could afford such lavish scoring?
Fortunately, the sound restoration emphasizes the remarkable scoring, while tastefully enhancing the sound effects and clarifying the dialogue. The picture has never looked better.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
My boss told me that Amok Time was his favorite episode so I got it for him and he loved it!!!!Published 13 months ago by Ashleigh
I like all of the original Star Trek . There is something about "old" that new material can't match. Thank youPublished on October 20, 2013 by Analog
Two very intriguing and exciting episodes:"Who Mourns for Adonais?" and "Amok Time"; co-starring Michael Forrest and Arlene Martel, both of whom had been in the... Read morePublished on October 4, 2013 by Gery H. Bedard
I purchased this DVD as a replacement. The first episode of Who Mourns For Adonais? is one of the finest Star Trek episodes
of the second season.
I Loved these 2 episodes, color and definition Great!!! I can't wait to order more Star Trek:Original Series DVDs!!
LIVE LONG AND PROSPER!!!!
This by far the best Star Trek episode.Celia Lovsky was the right actress to play T'Pau.As an aspiring sci-fi writer I wished I had written this episode.Published on September 7, 2007 by Willie Montgomery
If you are picking and choosing which volumes to keep this is definitely one of them. There's no denying that the second season of Classic Trek is the best one with many seminal... Read morePublished on October 15, 2006 by Frederick Baptist