7/30/12

Star Trek: Asterisk "All Our Yesterdays"

Vital Information
Series: The Original Series
Episode: S03E23
Air Date: March 14, 1969
Written by: Jean Lissette Aroeste
Directed by: Marvin Chomsky

Premise
Bones, Spock and Kirk try to warn a planet of the impending explosion of their star when they end up in that planet's past. Spock inadvertently shows his feels.

Review
When the landing party lands, they expect to find a civilization to warn. What they find instead is a big library with only one occupant: Mr. Atoz. Kirk tries to find out where everyone went, but Mr. Atoz and his two replicas are pretty dense. They believe Kirk and his friends are native to that planet and that they are late for their temporal displacement. See, that's where everyone went: to the past.

After a long and drawn-out demonstration of exactly how dense Atoz is, the man finally shows the landing crew around the library and explains that they have every moment of their history recorded. Bones checks out an ice age data tape on one of the stands that makes the data tape show an image of the era. Meanwhile, Kirk checks out another tape that holds a Victorian type of era. What they don't know is that by looking at these data tapes, they have connected themselves to that era and activated the portal. So when Kirk hears a woman screaming from the other side of the portal, he runs to investigate and is suddenly caught in a sword fight with a man with an ostrich on his head.
A sword fight with fists!
When Bones and Spock realize that Kirk is now missing, they run through the portal themselves, but they end up in the ice age. So now Kirk is in trouble with the Victorian era law, and Bones and Spock are in danger of freezing to death. That's what they get for trying to warn a planet that their star is about to go nova. When Bones and Spock try to talk to Kirk through the portal, everyone thinks Kirk is talking to spirits and is, therefore, a witch. So he's locked away on charges of witchcraft while Bones and Spock go looking for cover.

After searching for quite a while, Bones is about to die before a mysterious figure in a fur coat walks up to them and leads them to a cave. The mysterious figure turns out to be the beautiful Zarabeth who was exiled to the ice age because of the crimes she had committed. It's nice and toasty in the caves because of underground hot springs, so Bones gets to rest and Spock gets to figure out what to do next. There's only one problem: his logic seems to be broken.
"If I could just... calculate Pi..."
Well, Kirk seems to be having a bit better luck. He's in jail, but at least he's not freezing. He speaks to the guy in charge and figures out that he's not from this time, either. So when a guard comes with food, he attacks the guard, steals the keys and knocks him out. Before he can leave, though, the guy in charge comes back. He has a good long talk with Kirk and divulges the fact that if you haven't been "prepared" for this time period you will die in a matter of hours. So, he helps Kirk find his way back. And so, Kirk is back in the library trying to find Spock and Bones. Meanwhile, Atoz explains that everyone on the planet, knowing that the star was about to go nova, escaped to safety in their planet's past. It's about time he realized Kirk wasn't from this planet.

Back in the ice age, Bones is waking up and Spock is giving up. Not only does he not seem to have an answer for how to save themselves, he's also fallen in love with Zarabeth. Which is totally illogical. Bones puts two and two together and figures that Spock is reverting to the way Vulcans were in this same time period: barbaric and emotional. And Spock proves it by attacking Bones. That's about all it takes for Spock to realize what was happening himself. And to realize that Zarabeth, who had told him it was impossible to go back, may have been lying.
But, really, who wouldn't listen to this?
The three of them travel through the ice and snow back to where the portal was and attempt to find it. Meanwhile, Kirk is on the other side calling out to them. When they hear Kirk, they go toward his voice. Spock tries to have some time alone with Zarabeth by telling Bones to go first, but it turns out they can't go through unless they go together for whatever reason... so Spock says a quick goodbye and then walks through the portal with Bones. And they're all back in the future while Atoz rushes through the portal into the past to save himself. Bones attempts to cheer up Spock, but Spock says it's unnecessary. Now that he's in his regular time, he no longer has feelings for Zarabeth. Which is total BS because emotions run deep in the Vulcan race.

THE END.

Overall Thoughts
There are MANY problems with this episode. An advanced race that has established communication with the Federation should be able to acquire ships to migrate to other planets instead of having to use time travel to go to their past. And once they're in the past, there's the problem of over-population. Maybe not the first time around, but the planet will experience the supernova again. Then what? Time travel is a tricky mechanic to master. I think they should have thought this one through a little more. But the basic plot was entertaining enough. It's always interesting to see Spock being overwhelmed with emotion. Half a thumb up for this one!