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Star Trek - The Original Series, Vol. 17, Episodes 33 & 34: Who Mourns For Adonais/Amok Time

4.9 out of 5 stars 20 customer reviews

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(Oct 24, 2000)
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

"Who Mourns for Adonis," Ep. 33 - The U.S.S. Enterprise crew encounter a giant hand in space and come under the domination of an alien who claims to be the Greek god Apollo. "Amok Time," Ep. 34 - Spock becomes irrational when he is possessed by an overwhelming mating urge, and Kirk must fight him to the death on the planet Vulcan.


"Who Mourns for Adonais?"
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

"Amok Time"
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

Special Features


Product Details

  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Paramount
  • DVD Release Date: October 24, 2000
  • Run Time: 100 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00004Y62Z
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #123,940 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

To my mind, these are two of the best of the Original Series.
_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.
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This is the best episode. Not only does it show insite into Spock and Vulcan but it also is acted and writtin in a way that sets it apart from the others in the original series. There are always a few episodes in each of the Star Treks that jumps much farther ahead and sets a new standard for space drama and this is the perfect example. When Kirk says "I have heard nothing you said, but I will get you to Vulcan." So mysteriously formal. Wonderful. If you cry when Sarek says "So human" in Star Trek V, this is the episode you have been waiting for.
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Forget about City on the Edge of Forver! It's GREAT, yes, but for my money the definitive Trek episode has to be "Amok Time." It's an episode that so strongly defines the friendship, loyalty and respect that made the original triad of Kirk/Spock/McCoy work so well. Spock is driven by the Vulan mating urge to return to Vulcan and take a wife or die trying. Kirk decides to whatever it takes to help his friend--including throwing away his career if he must. And McCoy provides the human persepctive and gets his own share of great moments in the episode. It all ends up on Vulcan where a plotting intended pits Kirk against Spock to get exactly what she wants and the duo is forced to fight to the death. The episode is taut and action packed and full of startling character moments. It contains probably the best and most subtle of all the friendship scenes between the triad--in the turbolift as Spock requests McCoy attend the cermonies with them. That one scene sums up the trio and why the original Star Trek worked so well. This is one that I've seen more times than I can care to count and I always look forward to watching again. And the DVD release is extremely welcome.
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).
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Volume 17 of Paramount's complete reissue of Classic Trek contains two popular episodes from the series' second season.
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.
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When Paramount announced the release of the Classic Star Treks on DVD, I was excited. Why? Amok Time. It is(in my opinion) the best episode. It takes out some of the mystery behind the Vulcan Race. Spock is suddenly ill. Dr. McCoy has no diagnosis for the illness. All Spock will tell Capt. Kirk is that he must return to his home planet or he will die! The Enterprise diverts to Vulcan where a surprise is waiting for the landing party AND the people of Vulcan. You must see for yourself what the surprise is. I don't want to ruin it. I gave this 4 stars because I did not find "Who Mourns for Adonis" that facinating! For those that have seen these two episodes on VHS or when they originally aired, you will be very impressed with the picture quality and sound on this DVD edition. I own all 18 volumes of the original series that are currently released. They all have been restored beyond my expectations! If you are a full or part time "Trekkie", these DVDs are a must for your collection!
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