As we wait for the next season premiere for a Star Trek show, we are looking at Star Trek: The Animated Series and giving our takes on the episodes. This week is “Yesteryear” which focuses on Spock. The episode begins with Kirk and an away team emerging from The Guardian, which has let them go back in time to observe an event in the past. Spock emerges as well, but the officers that are greeting them, including McCoy, do not recognize him. Something has happened in the past as it’s learned that Spock has somehow died as a child. He remembers that he was saved by a cousin who looked like his adult self, and it’s deduced that adult Spock must rescue his child self during a rite of passage. Spock does go back in time via Guardian and finds his younger family while posing as Salek. Young Spock is facing an identity crisis as the rite approaches and is torn between his human and Vulcan halves. He runs away and is attacked by a creature. Spock knows this is the moment he is to save his younger self and succeeds. However, a childhood pet is present and attacked by the creature as well, and later dies from the attack. This is different than it was originally to be, but Spock has still succeeded and returns to the present being remembered by all on the Enterprise.
Here we go with our thoughts!
Mr. Daps: “This week’s music was very similar to last week. If I recall, this is something that ends up happening a lot throughout this series. This follows what Star Trek: The Original Series did as well. There was a LOT of recycled music in the days when that was still allowed. I would say this falls in the middle of Star Trek music for me. It isn’t my favorite but it could have been worse too.”
Murray: “I did have a little trouble with the music this episode. It was repetitive from the last episode, and I do know this was a common trope for animated series such as this. I did notice a rather guitar-like score that I felt was a bit too rock for this type of show. It wasn’t a terrible soundtrack, but I wish it had a little more Trek originality.”
Mr. Daps: “I thought this week’s design was pretty clever. I liked the different members of the crew that were quite unique and creative This was something that couldn’t be done during Star Trek: The Original Series. The medium of animation allowed them to create alien crew members that truly allowed the creators to be quite creative. I thought it was nice to see the return of the Guardian. Overall, I liked how they expanded the world of Star Trek from a design perspective this week with this episode.”
Murray: “I liked the use of the Guardian and that it kept with the look from the non-animated episodes. But, it was some of the other designs that I had a bit of a problem with. I noticed the shield belts from the first episode on Kirk as he transported in, which means that was a recycled cel. Spock’s outfit as a child was rather odd to me, and not like anything seen in any other child version of him. But, the animated versions of Sarek and Amanda Grayson were spot on for a cartoon and great versions of them.”
Mr. Daps: “This is an episode I remembered from watching this series in the past. I really think it is one of the better ones in all of Star Trek. It is creative, especially considering when it was made. It also was a good way to see the development of Spock. I think it also probably inspired future Spock stories that were seen in both the Kelvin Universe and perhaps in Star Trek: Discovery? Those are just guesses though. Overall, I really enjoyed this story.”
Murray: “This surprised me at how quickly it jumped into the action. And even though it was predictable, the twist of the pet dying was very welcome to make it not quite a run-of-the-mill time travel episode. It was a great use of the time travel to examine Spock and his character more than the danger of the story.”
Hit or Miss
Mr. Daps: “This was an easy hit for me. I really enjoyed watching this episode. I like what they did with the characters. I like how it enhanced the overall Star Trek universe. I also found this to be a good use of time travel. The one thing I really wasn’t a fan of was The Guardian’s voice. It went a completely different direction from the one heard in The Original Series. I also am a little unsure how the use of The Guardian was allowed with Starfleet protocols… like the Temporal Prime Directive and what not? I guess I could look into that more. Overall, I really enjoyed this episode and I can’t wait to watch the next one!”
Murray: “This was a surprising hit with me. I liked the pacing of the episode and the callback to The Guardian. Even though I had some issues with the elements used in the episode, it was still a great story in my opinion that I really enjoyed it. It is another surprising animated episode that I enjoyed, and though it had the cliché recycled animation and music that is common for this era of television cartoons. I could easily see it tie into the rest of Trek well if they ever wanted to.”