Certainly "Journey to Babel" has the best teaser in Star Trek history. The Enterprise crew is decked out in their formal dress to welcome the Vulcan Ambassador Sarek aboard. Kirk and McCoy are surprised when Sarek snubs Spock and go into complete shock when Spock tells that Ambassador Sarek and his wife are his parents. Sarek is one of several delegates bound for a conference that will debate the admission of Coridan to the Federation (the planet is rich with dilithium). When one of the delegates shows up dead, Sarek is a prime suspect until it is revealed he has a heart condition. McCoy is all ready to perform surgery with Spock serving as a blood donor when Kirk is also attacked by the assassin. With the captain incapacitated, Spock cannot relinquish command, even if it costs his father his life. Mark Lenard as Sarek is absolutely the ultimate Vulcan and even Leonard Nimoy seems to be acting more Vulcan-like in this episode. Jane Wyatt as Amanda is clearly too emotional for a woman who has been living with Vulcans most of her life, but she looks great when she smiles and casting Mrs. Anderson from "Father Knows Best" is just a tad short of being as great as that of casting Lenard. "Journey to Babel" is just a wonderful episode with every scene involving Spock and his parents a treat, especially when father and son comment on Amanda's emotional outburst on the subject of logic. It is just so clear these two love her so much. Simply a wonderful, wonderful episode that deserves to be on everyone's list of Top 10 Star Trek episodes.
No other original series episode visually demonstrates the scope and inclusiveness of The United Federation of Planets as does this episode. Over the course of the series, the grand United Federation of Planets is represented mostly as a boatful of multicultural humans plus one Vulcan. Sure, the costumes and productions values are not up to modern-day snuff--the Tellerite masks were no doubt deplorable in their OWN time--but folks, THIS is THE original Cantina scene. In an admittedly shoddily re-set USS Enterprise conference room, we have, perhaps, THE original "casual" meeting of indiscriminate races and alien life-forms. Not only is does this scene represent the true substance of seven years worth of DS9 Promenade beauty-shots, this is one of the only episodes in the entire series that attempts to demonstrate that humans were working with other races to solve to varied woes of newly encountered species. Ironic that in one of the only other instance in which we saw an Andorian, he is crazed murderer looking to escape a Federation penal colony. (Andorians are, after all, one of the five founding races of the the Federation, along with Terrans, Vulcans, Tellerites, and the Alpha Centauri).
This episode is worthy of recommendation even were it not for the very compelling 'human' drama of a successful hero facing the life-threatening choice of saving the life of his own unsupportive father. Spock's prioritization of the good of the Enterpise (and by that logic, the good of the Federation) before the life of his own flesh-and-green-blood father takes on further resonance when the themes of their reconciliation are revisited at the end of Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home.
This is yet another example of the drama woven almost haphazzardly woven inot the tapestry of Star Trek. In the end, many, many story lines in the franchise would wind up "making sense," seemingly by accident. It's this "logic" to it all that keeps us interested: the consistency of the on-screen story and it's adherence to the codified "rules" of the the Star Trek universe: many of which, we FANS formulated. Yet it all seems to have been impacted by the personalities "behind the screen," the Roddenberrys, Bermans, and myriad writers, who have at least kept up the appearance of maintaining a dialogue with fans.
After all, it was really the fans who decreed that the Andorians and Tellerites were among the original five founding races of the Federation. And we fans who keep the franchies alive through weak patches, like the one officially known as "Star Trek Voyager."
"Jounrey to Babel" Meet Spock's father Sarek for the first time.Jane Wyatt stars as Amanda...Spock's mother. Kirk is almost killed in an assassination attempt and Sarek almost dies.We also get a "first look" at the Andorians. I feel kinda sorry for the Tellarite though. He suffered from bad makeup.