Captain Kirk and Spock return from a time-traveling research project they have been conducting with the use of the Guardian of Forever and Starfleet historians. When they emerge from the portal, they discover that no one on board the Federation starship Enterprise recognizes Spock. Kirk and Spock are further surprised to see that an Andorian officer, Commander Thelin, has replaced Spock as first officer.
In the new timeline, history has recorded that Spock died at age 7 undergoing the Kahs-wan ordeal on Vulcan. However, Spock remembers that when he took the Kahs-wan, his life was saved by Selek - an adult relative - when a desert creature with poisonous claws called a la matya had attacked them. While Kirk and Spock were in the portal, the Guardian and historians had run a scan of recent Vulcan history. The pair quickly realize that as they were observing the birth of Orion at the time, Spock could not have been in two places at once to save himself as a child. Spock must go back through the time gate to his childhood, and save the life of the child he was. For his part, Thelin is supportive of Spock's efforts despite its consequences on his own existence and the officers respectfully wish each other long and prosperous lives in whatever circumstances the hopefully repaired timeline would put them in.
At first, this proceeds smoothly: Spock assumes the identity of Selek, a distant cousin of Sarek, and is welcomed into the home of Sarek and Amanda Grayson. "Selek" journeys into the desert to find his younger self, and saves the boy. However, I Chaya - Spock's pet sehlat - has been gravely wounded and "Selek" sends the younger Spock back to fetch a Healer.
Spock returns with the Healer who tends to I Chaya and informs Selek and Spock that there is nothing he can do. Young Spock is offered a choice: either I Chaya can be treated with medicines (but will live in obvious pain) or his pet can be allowed to die with dignity. Young Spock chooses the latter, and I Chaya dies peacefully. By making this choice, Spock has thus chosen the Vulcan way of life - logic and emotional control - and his elder self, successful in repairing history, returns to the restored present day, but not before teaching his younger self how to perform the Vulcan nerve pinch.
Errors and ExplanationsEdit
- Johnny Veitch on Sunday, November 15, 1998 - 10:48 am: Kirk says that Spock couldn`t save his own life in the past because he was in Orion`s past and couldn`t be in two places at once. At once? They were visiting Orion at "the dawn of its civilization". Was that at the same time as Spock was seven years old? The temporal vortex, which created the timelime in which Spock died at the age of seven, was triggered by the scan of Vulcan history conducted while Spock was visiting Orion, but was unable to remove adult Spock from history due to the temporal protection provided by use of the Guardian.
Internet Movie DatabaseEdit
- Commander Thelin's collar is black but is blue in some shots during the meeting in the briefing room. Possibly a trick of the light.
- ↑ Portrayed live on screen by Jane Wyatt in Journey to Babel
- ↑ The latter stardate is subjective, and comes from the second log entry made by Spock during his trip into the past.