Sunday, October 19, 2014

Star Trek 3x23 "All Our Yesterdays"

rating: ****
Memory Alpha summary

In Deep Space Nine, Dax finds herself in a situation where she can't join a civilization in a remarkable transition ("Meridian").  In Voyager, Tuvok undergoes a personality change ("Riddles").  Combine these and toss in time travel, and you have the ingredients for the last classic episode of the series.

By the end, the series had begun to spin its wheels.  Like the second season before it, the third season had lost much of what it had originally set out to do.  Creatively, it had been on autopilot.  "The Savage Curtain" was a chance to seize the kinds of opportunities the season had been exploring early on.  "All Our Yesterdays" was the last time it let loose.

It's an episode that revolves squarely on the familiar three leads, Kirk, Spock and McCoy.  Curiously, Kirk quickly goes on in a fairly classic, dull Kirk tangent.  It's much better understood to be a Spock and McCoy episode (in the tradition of DS9's "The Ascent" or Voyager's "Rise"), an opportunity to finally put them at odds, something that seemed inevitable from the moment they first shared a scene together.

All three have visited a world about to be destroyed by its star going supernova.  Its citizens have devised a brilliant solution to their dilemma: relocating to the world's past.  It's a concept the episode exploits well, although curiously, where Kirk's elements otherwise squander it with typical trivial danger, these scenes still make clear that integration and memory were very much on the survivors' minds and as such are still worthwhile to the whole experience.

Still, it's Spock behaving atypically that proves the best incentive to watch this one.
via Star Trek
Unlike the random romance of "The Cloud Minders," there's great care to explain everything that happens to Spock in "Yesterdays," its relevance to the character, and significance.  That alone makes the episode special, but it's overall a great concept executed dynamically, exactly what you expect from Star Trek at its best.  With time travel such an important motif of the franchise, to stand out any one such story has to do something unique.  "Yesterdays" certainly does that.  It's an episode that could easily be revisited as a movie, even.  Just saying.

four quarter analysis
franchise * series * essential * character

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...