“What a trip, Bones!”
D.C. Fontana takes Harlan Ellison’s Guardian of Forever from the first season episode, “The City on the Edge of Forever” and turns it into a “device.” Not content to leave well enough alone (as Kirk and Starfleet should) because this is a dangerous device, the party of researchers treat it like an amusement park ride. Kirk and Spock return from a jaunt through time, but nobody (excluding Kirk) recognizes the Vulcan, meaning some part of his history has been changed so that he no longer serves in Starfleet, nor does he even exist! It appears Spock died as a child, and because of that, Kirk has an Andorian science officer! The set-up reminds me of Fontana’s teleplay for “The Enterprise Incident” from the third season. That episode also begins with a reckless action perpetrated by established characters for no good reason.
Kirk asks the Guardian if Spock may be permitted to go back into the past and find his younger self to determine what happened. Spock asks the Guardian to take him thirty years into the past. That would make Spock 37 years old, but is that Vulcan years or Earth years? Spock watches his younger self being bullied by Vulcan children. Spock pretends to be a distant cousin of Sarek’s family. Sarek apologizes for his son’s emotional outburst. Huh? These kids were persecuting Spock, which seems highly illogical (if I must get all Vulcan on you), and Sarek is apologizing for Spock? Mark Lenard was the first of several actors to return to Star Trek for the Animated Series. While “Yesteryear” does provide some important world-building aspects to Star Trek canon (such as The Forge and Spock’s pet sehlat), the story makes very little sense.
For Dorothy “D.C.” Fontana, a very talented writer who struggled to sell her scripts in a male-dominated industry. She fleshed out Spock’s character as well as building a good portion of the world of Star Trek. (1939-2019)
Twice a week, Star Trek Rewind explores the Star Trek universe. From Archer to Janeway, Kirk to Picard, and Georgiou to Sisko — boldly read what no one has read before!