Memory Alpha

Yesteryear (episode)

  • View history
  • 1.1 Act one
  • 1.2 Act two
  • 1.3 Act three
  • 2 Log entries
  • 3 Memorable quotes
  • 4.3 Cast and audio
  • 4.4 Production
  • 4.5 Continuity
  • 4.6 Reception and aftermath
  • 4.7 Adaptations
  • 4.8 Apocrypha
  • 4.9 Video and DVD releases
  • 5.1 Starring the voices of
  • 5.2 Also starring the voices of
  • 5.3 Guest stars
  • 5.4 Uncredited co-stars
  • 5.5 Background characters
  • 5.6.1 Unreferenced materials
  • 5.7 External links

Summary [ ]

Act one [ ].

Federation historians

Recording history through the Guardian of Forever

As Federation historians Aleek-Om and Grey as well as USS Enterprise Doctor McCoy record history, while standing outside the Guardian of Forever , the Guardian announces the return of the travelers Kirk , Spock and historian Erickson through its gateway, after a mission to observe the dawn of the Orion civilization . As the travelers begin to appear, one-by-one, Kirk announces to McCoy how exciting it was to observe the birth of a civilization, just as the last traveler, Spock, emerges from the Guardian, much to the surprise of both Grey and McCoy. McCoy inquires who it is they brought back with them. Although Kirk reacts with puzzlement because he believes McCoy obviously knows Spock, McCoy says he doesn't.

Grey, McCoy, and Aleek-Om

" Cease review. "

The crew members beam back to the ship and are greeted by Scotty . He was not expecting a Vulcan among those he transported back, and was anticipating one of the historians instead. Annoyed, Kirk responds that he expects his first officer to be treated with respect, just as an Andorian crew member enters the transporter room , stating that no-one has ever treated him otherwise. Kirk inquires as to who the newcomer is and McCoy then introduces – or rather re -introduces – Commander Thelin , making an attempt to remind Kirk that Thelin has been his first officer aboard the Enterprise for the past five years . Spock and Kirk finally come to the realization that what they have encountered is not a game, and question what is going on.

In a staff meeting in the briefing room , Lieutenant Erickson reviews the tricorder logs from their mission, and observes that there is nothing they could have possibly done to change the events of the future. Spock then surmises that the change in the timeline must have happened while they were in Orion's past.


Thelin questions Spock's past

The meeting is then interrupted by Bates , who just checked Starfleet records on Spock, as requested by Thelin. Bates reports there is no Vulcan named Spock serving with the Starfleet in any capacity. Thelin then inquires about the results of the Vulcan family history request. Bates displays an image of Sarek of Vulcan , and notes that he has been an ambassador to seventeen Federation planets in the past thirty years . Spock notes that this information is incorrect and inquires about Sarek's family – his wife and son. Bates then transmits an image of Amanda Grayson , the former wife of Sarek, from whom she separated following the death of their son. Amanda was later killed in a shuttle accident at Lunaport on her way home to Earth . Sarek has not remarried. Spock mourns briefly for his mother, then inquires as to the name of the son that died; it is Spock, aged seven upon his demise.

Kirk, Spock, and Thelin return to the surface of the time planet to confer with Aleek-Om and Grey on what happened. Kirk asks if the Guardian was in use while they were away, and Grey informs him that it was used, in only in a limited capacity, to scan recent Vulcan history, twenty to thirty Vulcan years past. Kirk then wonders if there is any notation on the death of Sarek's son, and Aleek-Om confirms that there was, and that he had died during the kahs-wan maturity test.

Spock then recalls the date of the event in question, the twentieth day of Tasmeen , noting that it was the day that his cousin Selek saved his life in the desert when he was attacked by a wild animal. Although Spock cannot remember the finer details of the event, he recalls that that was also the only time he had ever met Selek.

On a hunch, Kirk asks if Selek looked anything like how Spock now does. Spock confirms what Kirk has been thinking; Spock saved his own life in the original timeline, but was unable to do it a second time because he was in Orion's past when the time vortex replayed Vulcan history, making it impossible for him to be in two places at one time. With the realization of what has transpired, Kirk asks the Guardian if there is any way they can reverse what happened. The Guardian confirms that there is, as long as no other important factor is altered.

Spock enters the Guardian of Forever (2269)

Spock enters the Guardian of Forever

Spock decides that, in order for him to save the lives of both his mother and himself, he has to return to Vulcan and correct what has been changed. Before his departure, he requests a Vulcan desert soft-suit and boots , as well as a small selection of street wear and carry bag , circa 8877 Vulcan year , from the ship's wardrobe section . Kirk flips open his communicator so it can be done. A brief conversation with Thelin reveals that he bodes no ill will towards Spock's quest, despite the fact that this quest will change the commander's timeline as well. He considers it a reasonable sacrifice in order to save Spock's family. Likewise, Spock wishes Thelin a long and prosperous life, in whatever circumstances the hopefully repaired timeline will put him in.

Spock hurriedly enters the Guardian and travels back to his hometown, ShiKahr , in the month of Tasmeen, thirty years in the past, in 2237 .

Act two [ ]

Vulcan youths

A group of Vulcan boys bully young Spock

Spock meets his father, Sarek, as well as his younger self (who is being harassed by three young Vulcan bullies – Sepek , Sofek , and Stark ), and assumes the identity of cousin Selek, introducing himself to Sarek in such a manner.

Young Spock goes on his kahs-wan a month early, on his own will. His pet sehlat , I-Chaya , follows him into the Vulcan desert, defying young Spock's authority. In the meantime, adult Spock/Selek, about to turn in for the night, suddenly realizes and says aloud, " Of course– I should have remembered! It wasn't the actual kahs-wan ordeal. " Upon that realization, he rises again and dresses, following young Spock and I-Chaya into the desert.

Vulcan desert soft-suit

The two Spocks stand over the defeated le-matya

In the desert, the pair are attacked by a ferocious le-matya . Adult Spock, who had been following the two into the desert, intervenes and saves young Spock's life, incapacitating the large creature with a Vulcan nerve pinch – but he is too late. For unlike the way adult Spock remembers this episode, I-Chaya is badly injured from the battle and is dying.

Act three [ ]

Young Spock sets out to find a healer in the city. Meanwhile, adult Spock uses a nerve pinch to help ease I-Chaya's pain, telling the creature that he previously undertook the kahs-wan ritual without I-Chaya having to be sacrificed.

Vulcan healer preps a hypo

The Vulcan healer prepares his hypospray

Although young Spock is successful, I-Chaya is too far gone by the time the healer arrives. The healer gives young Spock the choice to give I-Chaya a longer but painful life, or to release him from his suffering . Spock chooses to release I-Chaya from life, the most logical way, and, in doing so, chooses to follow the Vulcan ways of his father.

The timeline is saved and Spock returns from the Guardian as first officer. Before beaming back to the Enterprise , Spock laments the death of I-Chaya to Kirk, admitting that this did not happen the first time around. Kirk, however, cannot understand how a pet could mean so much in the course of time. In the Enterprise 's transporter room, McCoy is complaining when it is Spock's turn to take a routine physical , and bemoans that he has to recalibrate his medical scanner for a Vulcan every time. Spock tells him that if things were different, he would be recalibrating for an Andorian instead. McCoy asks if this is some sort of joke, reminding Spock that Vulcans don't tell jokes. To this, Spock responds by pointing out to the doctor that "times change. "

Log entries [ ]

  • Captain's log, USS Enterprise (NCC-1701), 2269
  • Personal log, Spock

Memorable quotes [ ]

" Is it possible for Spock to return to Vulcan and repair the timeline that has been broken so all is the same as before? " " It is possible if no other major factor is changed. "

" What a trip, Bones! "

" In the family, all is silence. No more will be said of it. Live long and prosper, Sarek of Vulcan. "

" Who are you? " " Oh, I thought sure you'd know Thelin by now, Jim. He's been your first officer for five years. "

" You will not disappoint me. Not if your heart and spirit are Vulcan. "

" What you do not yet understand, Spock, is that Vulcans do not lack emotion. It is only that ours is controlled. Logic offers a serenity Humans seldom experience in full. We have emotions, but we deal with them... and do not let them control us. "

" Earther! Barbarian! Emotional Earther! You're a Terran, Spock! You could never be a true Vulcan! " " That is not true! My father... " " Your father brought shame to Vulcan. He married a Human! You haven't even mastered a simple Vulcan neck pinch yet, Earther! "

" What's the matter, Bones? " " Who's he, Jim? " " Whadda you mean, 'Who's he'? You know Mr. Spock. " " 'Fraid I don't, Jim. "

" One small thing was changed this time. A pet... died. " " A pet? Well, that wouldn't mean much in the course of time. " " It might, to some. "

" Every life comes to an end when time demands it. Loss of life is to be mourned but only if the life was wasted. I-Chaya's was not."

" Doctor McCoy, you do not know your good fortune. If the times were different, you would have to recalibrate for an Andorian. " " What's that supposed to mean? If that was supposed to be a joke, Spock, I have to remind you Vulcans don't tell jokes. " " Times change, doctor. Times change. "

Background information [ ]

  • The writer of "Yesteryear", Dorothy "D.C." Fontana , was a writer and story consultant for Star Trek: The Original Series , and also served as the story editor and associate producer of Star Trek: The Animated Series . She said, " When I came to the [animated] show, I wanted to do at least one script. " ( Star Trek - Where No One Has Gone Before , p. 56) This episode is the only one she wrote for the animated Star Trek .
  • Prior to the writing of this animated episode – with its portrayal of a boyhood Spock – a young version of him had been temporarily considered for inclusion as a regular character in Star Trek 's animated series, along with other child equivalents of the series' main characters. ( The Art of Star Trek , pp. 42 & 43)
  • Dorothy Fontana originally wanted this episode to be a "touch-back" to TOS. [1] She explained, " 'Yesteryear' resulted from my looking back at the things we had done on the [original] series. " ( Captains' Logs: The Unauthorized Complete Trek Voyages , p. 97) Fontana also realized that she wanted to feature Spock in the story, since he had always been her favorite of the main characters and was the focus of her favorite episodes from the ones she had written for TOS, such as " Journey to Babel " (which this episode ties into) and " This Side of Paradise ". ( Star Trek - Where No One Has Gone Before , p. 56)
  • Dorothy Fontana was excited about the prospect of exploring Spock's formative years, especially the early history of his familial relationships. " We could probe into these characters, " she related, " and see the beginning of some of the trouble with Spock and Sarek, Amanda's problems back then and part of what made Spock Spock. " ( Captains' Logs: The Unauthorized Complete Trek Voyages , p. 97) At the time she plotted the installment, one of the questions Fontana asked herself – she having explored the conflicted state of relations between the adult Spock and Sarek in "Journey to Babel" – was, " How had that relationship been before, why did it evolve? " ( Star Trek - Where No One Has Gone Before , p. 56)
  • This outing is a sequel to the TOS episode " The City on the Edge of Forever ". In fact, Dorothy Fontana once explained that this installment stemmed from " remembering the time portal from 'City on the Edge of Forever' [namely, the Guardian of Forever]. " ( Captains' Logs: The Unauthorized Complete Trek Voyages , p. 97) She kept thinking about that time portal. ( Star Trek - Where No One Has Gone Before , p. 56) Fontana recollected, " I thought we could use [the Guardian] for a legitimate trip, but then have something happen so that Spock has to return to Vulcan to his childhood. " ( Captains' Logs: The Unauthorized Complete Trek Voyages , p. 97) The reuse of the Guardian of Forever from "The City on the Edge of Forever" was not only a tie-in to one of the most popular episodes of TOS but also minimized the need for exposition concerning time travel, which was important since Fontana already intended so much backstory, unrelated to the Guardian, to be in this episode. ( TAS DVD text commentary ) Indeed, she once referred to the Guardian of Forever as " an ideal way to put Spock back into his childhood, which was the story I wanted to do. " [2]
  • Dorothy Fontana pitched the story to Gene Roddenberry , who approved of the pitch. ( Star Trek Magazine  issue 125 , p. 80) Inspired by one of his guidelines, Fontana tried to utilize animation in such a way as to show a more expansive portrayal of the planet Vulcan than had previously been possible. She said, " I was mindful of Gene Roddenberry's rule that writers must take advantage of the enormous range animation gave us, in terms of 'sets' and aliens [...] Animation [...] would allow us to show the planet Vulcan any way I saw fit. Although it had been established in ' Amok Time ' that most of the planet was desert, I wanted to depict other aspects of Vulcan. " ( Babel #5; Enterprise Incidents , issue 11, p. 26) Fontana also mused, " We never really could [show Vulcan] on the [original] series except, in 'Amok Time', we had a ceremonial circle, very small piece. We could show the whole planet of Vulcan, and a lot more of it, in the animation. So, that was one of the reasons I wanted to do the story. " [3] Fontana concluded, " I realized that here was a way to tell a really nice Vulcan story in a way that would look good [...] It was an absolutely ideal way to [show Spock's backstory] [...] because of the freedom that the animation allowed us. For instance, we could show a great deal of ShiKahr and the surface of Vulcan, the desert, the city and environment of the home, and the strange creatures that lived there, the Le-matya and [...] the sehlat. " ( Star Trek: The Magazine  Volume 1, Issue 2 , p. 87)
  • The storyline involving the sehlat was not included in the episode's pitch. Dorothy Fontana noted, " I came up with that angle in the outline. " ( Star Trek Magazine  issue 125 , p. 80) The concept of Spock having had a pet sehlat in his youth had already been established, however, the creature having been spoken about (though without Spock's particular sehlat being named) in "Journey to Babel". Fontana observed, " You [could now] finally get to see a sehlat , which could only be referred to in 'Journey to Babel'. " ( Star Trek - Where No One Has Gone Before , p. 57)
  • Another influence on the sehlat I-Chaya was a cat that Dorothy Fontana owned, which was named Bobby McGee (after a song that Janis Joplin popularized). ( TAS DVD text commentary ) Shortly after working on the episode, Fontana remarked, " As to who and what I-Chaya would be as a character, I decided he would be closely patterned on my large cat, Bobby McGee. While Bobby is not old and fat, he has the same affection, snuggle-ability, the fastest claws in the West, and complete disregard for orders. 'One word from me, and he does exactly as he pleases.' The statement fits both Bobby and I-Chaya. " ( Babel #5; Enterprise Incidents , issue 11, p. 27)
  • The euthanizing of I-Chaya embodied a theme that Dorothy Fontana was eager to teach youngsters about. " I actually wanted to do a story that dealt with death, " she admitted. " It just seemed to me that so many times children are not aware of death and then, when a pet dies, the child is devastated by it. The parents find it's difficult to explain the situation. And I wanted to touch on a way to deal with the subject. " ( Star Trek Magazine  issue 125 , p. 80) Fontana additionally remembered, " [I] felt strongly about dealing with the death of a pet. It was a very serious thing for kids. We were trying to put across a lesson to children, that when it comes time for an animal to die, if he must go, it should be with dignity. " ( Captains' Logs: The Unauthorized Complete Trek Voyages , p. 97)
  • Fearing that children would be "upset" by the depiction of euthanasia, NBC executives wanted the ending of this episode changed, but Dorothy Fontana refused and Gene Roddenberry supported her decision. ( The Trek 25th Anniversary Celebration ; TAS DVD text commentary , et al.) NBC's concerns were voiced by the network's Standards and Practices department, after the episode's outline was submitted to the network. ( Star Trek Magazine  issue 125 , p. 80) Andy Mangels explained, " [The death of Spock's pet sehlat ] [...] was something that NBC was absolutely freaked out about. Like, how do you show the death of a pet, a child's pet?! How do you do that and not traumatize your audience?! But remember that Filmation had complete creative control, and [the deciding factor] was, if Gene Roddenberry approved it, the network had to go with it. " [4] Years after the incident, Fontana reflected, " Gene said, 'Trust Dorothy, she'll handle it.' " ( Star Trek - Where No One Has Gone Before , p. 56) NBC thereafter followed Roddenberry's advice, allowing the example of euthanasia to be shown. ( TAS DVD text commentary ) Noted Fontana, " I really appreciated his confidence in me. So I handled it, I think, in a sensitive way. " ( Star Trek - Where No One Has Gone Before , p. 56) However, not a word was directly passed from the network to Fontana herself, who later commented, " There was never any discussion at any time that the story was too adult for a children's audience. " Having had past experiences of losing pets of her own, though, she was nevertheless aware of the feelings involved in such a loss and knew she had to handle the issue delicately and sensitively. ( Star Trek Magazine  issue 125 , p. 81)
  • The creation of the Vulcan city ShiKahr was influenced by D.C. Fontana considering where the eminent Ambassador Sarek might reside, a question she had pondered years beforehand. " Reasonably, he would maintain his residence in a city, probably the capital, " Fontana noted. " Therefore, I created ShiKahr as the foremost city of Vulcan. I had visualized this city before in an early draft of 'Journey to Babel' [...] I still saw the city from the way I had in 1967 . " ( Babel #5; Enterprise Incidents , issue 11, p. 26) Additionally, Fontana explained, " I went back to the description from that script and said 'let's do this now.' I wanted to see a city with parkways and trees, with growing things, and with unique spires. " [5]
  • According to D.C. Fontana, she intended the name "Vulcan's Forge" literally, due to the dangers existing therein. One of these perils was sucker vines , which were written into the script but could only be shown fleetingly, due to NBC censorship. ( Babel #5; Enterprise Incidents , issue 11, pp. 26-27)
  • Due to the limited time constraints of the narratives in Star Trek 's animated series, D.C. Fontana found there wasn't enough time for an in-depth exploration of what eventually happened to Thelin. She felt that answering the question of whether he was wiped from existence by Spock's time traveling might have been better addressed if this episode had been longer than half an hour. " This is ethical time traveling because it deals with characters, " she observed. " If something is changed in another section of time, it causes a ripple effect, like a pebble thrown in a pond [....] Ideally, it [the story] would have dealt more with the characters. This is truly a Vulcan and a Spock story, so we had to go with it from that perspective. " ( Star Trek: Communicator  issue 127 , p. 28)
  • D.C. Fontana thoroughly enjoyed working on this episode. She enthused, " It was great. " ( Star Trek - Where No One Has Gone Before , p. 57) Fontana also felt compelled to tell this episode's tale, saying in retrospect, " It was an opportunity to tell a story that was very dear to my heart. " ( Star Trek: The Magazine  Volume 1, Issue 16 , p. 68)
  • The first draft of this episode's script was submitted on 13 April 1973 . The final draft of the script, which included a page from that initial draft, was submitted on 20 April 1973, though some pages were revised three days later .
  • The character names of Grey , Erickson , Bates , Stark , Sofek , Sepek , and Aleek-Om are not mentioned on-screen and are derived from the episode's script. Furthermore, the script named Aleek-Om's species as Aurelian. ( Star Trek Magazine  issue 158 , p. 52) In addition, the teleplay described the character as "a native of the planet Aurelia , and he is a bird-like creature of blue-green hue."
  • The first draft script of this episode contained an ultimately omitted scene extension that dealt with the aftermath of McCoy admitting that Spock wasn't familiar to him. In the omitted section, Spock replied, " I am not amused, doctor, " to which McCoy answered, " I'm not being funny, mister. " Angered, Kirk announced, " All right, Bones, I've had enough of this game, " before he called for the Enterprise to beam them up. This scene was changed in the final draft script, replaced with a scene description that instead merely stated, "Kirk eyes McCoy curiously, puzzled," prior to Kirk calling for the beam-up, the wording of which was similarly very slightly different between those two drafts as well as between the final draft and the on-screen version.
  • Another revision was in Kirk's response to Scott voicing surprise at seeing a Vulcan in the beamed-up group. Originally, instead of Kirk ordering Scott to "explain" himself, Kirk declared, " That will be enough, Mr. Scott. " He went on to "angrily" say, " I'm ordering you to stop playing games with the dignity of my First Officer. I don't know who started it, " at which point Kirk was interrupted by Thelin entering with an assurance to the captain that his dignity was "quite intact". In the final draft of the script, though, this dialogue was changed to Kirk commenting, " I don't know what's going on, but the First Officer of this ship will be treated with respect, " at which point Thelin interrupted with an assurance to the captain that nobody had ever treated him otherwise.
  • The first draft script specified that the Andorian character of Thelin was to have blue skin. This detail was retained in the final draft.
  • The first draft script didn't, on the other hand, include Kirk saying to Spock, in reply to him concluding they were not in a game, " No... but if it's reality... what happened? " The same draft of the teleplay also left out a captain's log entry immediately thereafter. However, both portions of dialogue were in the final draft.
  • In the first draft teleplay, a baffled Erickson revealed, during the subsequent briefing scene, that he couldn't find anything that might have "changed any time lines," though this phrasing was replaced (in the final draft) with "affected the future".
  • The first draft script did not have Kirk tell Spock, " But I know who you are, and no one else aboard does. While we were in Orion's past, the time revision that took place here didn't affect me. " However, this statement was written into the episode by the time the final draft was submitted.
  • Chekov, described as an ensign, was in the first draft script, rather than Bates. By the time the final draft was issued, Bates had been created, replacing Chekov's role in the story.
  • In the first draft script, a particular close-up of Spock was instructed to be shown but wasn't described. The shot was intended to portray him reacting to news that Sarek and Amanda had separated following the death of their son. In the final draft, a scene description specified, " A reaction on this... tightly held back... but surprises and pain. " Also, Spock didn't react to news of Amanda's death by stating, " My mother, " in the first draft, though he did say this in the final draft.
  • In the first draft script, Spock described "the twentieth day of Tasmeen" as "the day my cousin saved my life in the desert." In the final draft, he concluded this sentence with "when I was attacked by a wild animal." Also, in both the first draft and the final draft of the teleplay, Spock referred to the name Selek as "a common name in my father's family," though this description is not in the episode. Another piece of dialogue included in both drafts but not the actual installment had Spock saying that none of his family, after they were visited by the Vulcan who had called himself Selek, had ever seen the man again.
  • In the first draft script, Kirk told Spock, " This time, you were in Orion's past with us when Vulcan history was replayed – so you died as a boy. " In the final draft, the same statement was refined to become, " This time, you were in Orion's past with us when the historians had the time vortex replay Vulcan history. You couldn't be in two places at once – so you died as a boy. "
  • In the first draft teleplay, Kirk asked the Guardian if it was possible for Spock to "repair the time line that has been broken". In the final draft, Kirk concluded this question with the words, "so all is the same as before?"
  • As evidenced by the first draft script, Kirk originally told Spock, " You have to remember – to exist. " In the final draft, Kirk instead cited the need for Spock to remember as being "for you... and your mother... to live."
  • In the first draft teleplay, Thelin mused that, in Spock's timeline, he and and his "family" would continue to live. In the final draft, however, Thelin mentioned Spock and his "mother" living, rather than Spock's family.
  • In the first draft script, Spock used the Guardian of Forever by instructing it, " Activate for planet Vulcan. " This became, in the final draft, Spock more casually telling the Guardian, " I wish to visit the planet Vulcan. "
  • The first draft script didn't contain Spock's personal log at the start of the second act, though the final draft did.
  • Both drafts noted the potentially vicious nature of sehlat s. Although the sehlat seen here is commonly referred to as "Eye-chi-ah" in the final version of the episode, the name was phonetically spelled as "EE-chi-ah" in the installment's script, which is how Fontana much preferred the name to be pronounced. ( Babel #5; Enterprise Incidents , issue 11, pp. 27, 29)
  • In both drafts of the script but not in the episode itself, Sarek warned Young Spock that his "schoolwork has been disgraceful" and, in reply to Sarek admonishing the boy for having been "seen fighting in the street", Young Spock answered back, " Personal combat is not dishonorable. " To that, Sarek retorted, " Brawling like a common deckhand off a freighter is , " advice that Spock finally accepted, responding, " Yes, father. " In the episode, this reply of Spock's is in response, instead, to Sarek telling him he has been witnessed quarreling in the street.
  • The first draft script did not include Sarek advising Spock, " The time draws near when you will have to decide whether you will follow Vulcan or human philosophy. Vulcan offers much... no war... no crime... order, logic and control in place of raw emotion and instinct. Once on the path you choose, you cannot turn back. " This dialogue was included in the final draft. It is in the actual episode, though, that iteration of the statement changes "emotion" to "emotions".
  • A comment by Amanda Grayson wasn't in the first draft teleplay either. This was when she expresses that she hopes Spock will find his direction in life and goes on to observe, " I respect Vulcan and all its traditions. But it is a demanding life... "
  • Sarek was originally to have told Spock he would not disappoint his father by failing the kahs-wan maturity test, adding, " Not if you are a Vulcan. " In the final draft, this became, " Not if your heart and spirit are Vulcan. "
  • The script also declared that no moon was to be pictured in the Vulcan sky. ( Babel #5; Enterprise Incidents , number 11, p. 27)

Cast and audio [ ]

  • The dialogue from this episode that was spoken by Star Trek: The Animated Series ' regular cast was recorded when all of those cast members were together (the first time they had reunited since filming of TOS ended in January 1969 ). This recording session was at Filmation 's studios in Reseda, California , in June 1973 (on or prior to the fourth of that month ), and also included recording of the vocals for " Beyond the Farthest Star " and " More Tribbles, More Troubles ". ( Star Trek: Communicator  issue 119 , p. 32; The Star Trek Compendium , 4th ed., p. 143) Some of the cast's lines from this installment were rerecorded at a later date. ( Babel #5; Enterprise Incidents , number 11, p. 27)
  • With the addition of this episode, Mark Lenard (Sarek) became one of only three actors, besides the regulars, to play the same character on both this series and TOS. The other two were Roger C. Carmel ( Harcourt Mudd ) and Stanley Adams ( Cyrano Jones ).
  • Before Mark Lenard was available for the episode, James Doohan was originally set to voice Sarek and actually recorded the character's lines of dialogue, over which Lenard's voice was thereafter looped. ( Star Trek: Communicator  issue 119 , p. 78)
  • D.C. Fontana was pleased that Mark Lenard was available to voice the role of Sarek. She later remarked, " I was fortunate that [he was], " and went on to say that Lenard reprising the role "added weight to the story." ( Star Trek Magazine  issue 125 , p. 81)
  • Although the role of Amanda Grayson was most frequently played by Jane Wyatt (including an appearance in TOS), the character was voiced by Majel Barrett-Roddenberry here. D.C. Fontana explained, " Jane Wyatt was not available to do the voice of Amanda, so Majel Barrett did that characterization, pitching her voice to that of Ms. Wyatt's as closely as possible. " ( Star Trek Magazine  issue 125 , p. 81) Similarly, even though the Guardian of Forever was originally voiced by Bartell La Rue (in "The City on the Edge of Forever"), James Doohan provided its voice for this episode. Quite unlike LaRue's rich, booming register, Doohan enunciated the Guardian's words in an elderly, quavering tone.
  • This is one of two episodes of the animated Star Trek series that James Doohan provided the most voices for; in both this installment and " The Ambergris Element ", seven different characters are voiced by Doohan.
  • According to D.C. Fontana, the practicalities of casting would have meant that trying to produce this as a live-action episode would have been extremely challenging. " It would have been far more difficult to do it live, because we would have had to have a young Spock, a young actor, and that was a difficult role, " Fontana observed. " As it was, we managed to get a boy whose voice was quite good, and we were able to pull it off that way. " [6]
  • In 1973, a nine-year-old Billy Simpson was selected for the role of Young Spock. He later remembered first learning of the part; " My agent called with an audition at Filmation Studios for a new animated Star Trek show. Having not really been too aware of the original series, I didn't really appreciate how important this role could be! " [7] Simpson did have some awareness of the original Star Trek series, however, and – upon walking into Filmation Studios with his mother – he was surprisingly handed the script. ( Star Trek Magazine  issue 125 , p. 81) " I was given a rather extensive stack of sides to study in the waiting room (usually it's just one sample scene from the script) and then was called into a recording studio with director Hal Sutherland in the booth, " explained Simpson. " He rolled tape as I recorded all of the isolated lines marked 'Young Spock' and that was it. " [8] Simpson further remembered, " I was standing alone in the studio with my script pages on a stand. Sutherland was in the booth behind the glass and would prompt me to read each of my isolated lines [....] It seemed odd that I was reading so much for what was supposed to be merely an audition. " ( Star Trek Magazine  issue 125 , pp. 81-82)
  • Billy Simpson found the recording session challenging and, even though he was somewhat familiar with TOS, he struggled with emulating the portrayal of the adult Spock, which Hal Sutherland instructed him to do. " The only coaching he gave me, " offered Simpson, " was to read the lines in a rather stilted way, as Mr. Spock would [...] I recall being rather uncomfortable at that direction, having difficulty distinguishing stilted 'Spock'-like interpretations from just plain bad acting! Since I wasn't hearing too many of my cue lines, it was difficult to respond naturally [...] I stumbled on the pronunciation of some of the more unusual names. " ( Star Trek Magazine  issue 125 , pp. 81-82)
  • Billy Simpson experienced difficulty with one particular line. " The preceding line stated something to the effect that it would be impossible to bring the injured I-Chaya to a healer, " reflected Simpson. " My line should have had the inflection, 'I will bring a healer HERE,' but instead was 'I will bring a HEALER here.' Having been unaware of the context, that seemed the 'logical' reading. " [9]
  • Hal Sutherland liked the audio tape from Billy Simpson's audition to such a degree that he used it for the actual episode. ( TAS DVD text commentary ) " A day or two later, the agent called with the exciting news that I got the part! " Simpson exclaimed. " When asked when the recording date would be, I was told that I already did it! " [10] No reason for the audition tape's use in the episode was given to the baffled Billy Simpson. ( Star Trek Magazine  issue 125 , p. 82) He ultimately felt the "cold reading" quality of the tape was readily apparent from listening to the episode, including audible hesitation on "some of the unusual character names I had to pronounce," and he especially regretted his pronunciation of the line, " I will bring a healer here. " [11]
  • The change regarding the pronunciation of I-Chaya from "EE-chi-ah" to "Eye-chi-ah" happened amid the recording of the episode's vocals. Although the series' regular cast consistently said the former (and, according to D.C. Fontana, "proper") version during their recording of the script, Billy Simpson was told that the name was to be pronounced "Eye-chi-ah" and therefore repeatedly did so on his audition tape. D.C. Fontana concluded, " Rather than call him back to re-record at extra expense, the regular cast changed the name in pick-up lines read at the next recording session. " ( Babel #5; Enterprise Incidents , issue 11, p. 27)
  • Hal Sutherland's son, Keith Sutherland , provided the voice of one of Young Spock's tormentors – namely, Sepek. ( TAS DVD text commentary )
  • The voice of the le-matya was a reuse of Godzilla 's roar from Japanese movies. ( Trek Navigator: The Ultimate Guide to the Entire Trek Saga , p. 272; [12] )

Production [ ]

Aleek-Om and Young Spock concept sketch

A concept sketch from the making of this installment, with Aleek-Om and Young Spock pictured

  • As this episode was less action-oriented than a lot of the other animated Star Trek installments, Hal Sutherland experienced some difficulty with the episode's pacing. " I couldn't do anything with the camera or the action on that one, " he later disclosed. " The pacing of it was quite different, and I was very surprised. I couldn't reach a stride of some excitement. It was a very emotional story, not an action story. And that was just my impression at the time. You would get all caught up in the momentum of what was happening on the show. " [13]
  • For the time vortex planet, Filmation's background artists recreated the planet's look from "The City on the Edge of Forever", painting the planet's backgrounds under the auspices of art director Don Christensen as well as director of color (and background director) Ervin Kaplan . ( TAS DVD text commentary )
  • Just as D.C. Fontana had planned, Filmation's artists were able, with expansive background paintings, to create grander vistas for the planet Vulcan than had been doable in TOS. ( TAS DVD text commentary ) Inspiring and witnessing the creation of the city ShiKahr was thrilling for Fontana. " Remember, up to that point, we'd never seen a Vulcan city of any kind, " she pointed out. " I could describe the way it should be laid out, to my mind, and they drew it. " ( Star Trek - Where No One Has Gone Before , p. 57)
  • The fact that a long shot of ShiKahr portrays a huge planetoid in the Vulcan sky, despite the script having specified that the planet Vulcan was to have no moon, was a mistake made during production. D.C. Fontana reflected, " Frankly, it was an error on the part of the animation house. The problem lies in the fact that, once past the story board, no one – no artist – ever [referred] to the script or descriptions [....] A preliminary drawing of the long shot included the huge orb in the sky. Both Gene Roddenberry and I noted, 'NO MOON!' on the sketch when it came to us for approval. Someone didn't get the word, and the final print shows that satellite in the Vulcan sky. " ( Babel #5; Enterprise Incidents , issue 11, p. 27)
  • Similarly, in contradiction to the episode's script, the Andorian Thelin was given a much paler complexion than those of known Andorians, due to the coloring practices of Filmation (director Hal Sutherland was color-blind); in the animated series, Andorians are sometimes grayish rather than blue, and Orions are commonly pale blue or yellowish instead of green.
  • Evidently, Aleek-Om was another lifeform that was colorized differently than scripted, changing from the "blue-green hue" that is referred to in the teleplay.

Sehlat I-Chaya sketch

A sketch of the sehlat I-Chaya

  • The episode's depiction of Spock's pet sehlat was influenced by the fact that, in "Journey to Babel", it is described as being akin to "a fat teddy bear" with six-inch fangs. According to the unauthorized reference book Boldly Writing (p. 5), the design of the sehlat I-Chaya was also inspired by a speculative article that was published in the 1970 fanzine "Spockanalia 5". Boldly Writing states, " In this piece, the author looks at precedents in nature to see what sort of animal would have six-inch fangs. The author concludes, 'And so our portrait of the sehlat : a carnivore or just possibly tushed omnivore, general shape that of a giant panda, size on the order of an Alaskan brown bear, highly intelligent, and despite the six-inch fangs, of a patient and gentle disposition.... Question: did the sehlat belong to Spock, or was Spock in the care of the sehlat ?' The Star Trek production staff read this article, and animators incorporated many of the suggestions into the drawing of the sehlat I-Chaya. " [14]
  • Another basis for the animated appearance of the sehlat was an illustration that fantasy and science fiction artist Alicia Austin drew for D.C. Fontana, who remembered, " Alicia Austin came up with several variations on what a sehlat looks like. I chose one of the early ones as a model – with modifications [....] I-Chaya has a different kind of tail, different shape of face, the broken fang. " ( Babel #5; Enterprise Incidents , issue 11, p. 27) Fontana purposefully instructed the Filmation artists to break off the creature's tooth, in order to give the animal a more aged appearance. [15]

Continuity [ ]

  • D.C. Fontana once remarked that, due to her interest in making this installment a "touch-back" to TOS, the episode "does have a lot of references back." [16] Similarly, Billy Simpson said, " In retrospect it fills in several rather significant plot elements from the original series. " ( Star Trek Magazine  issue 125 , p. 82) One element that Fontana thought importantly linked this episode with Star Trek of the time (such as both the original and animated series) was its depiction of the relationship between Kirk and Spock – for instance, Kirk being the only inhabitant of the alternate timeline who remembers the half-Vulcan officer. " There is a continuity of friendship between Kirk and Spock, " opined Fontana, in 1974 , " binding this adventure into the total Star Trek concept [....] Without such ties to the original Star Trek concept, 'Yesteryear' would merely have been an interesting adventure that had no real relationship to the overall show – a dramatic diversion, but not consistent with series continuity. " ( Babel #5; Enterprise Incidents , issue 11, p. 29)
  • Although Michael and Denise Okuda originally decided that the animated series would not be canonical , they also stipulated that this episode is the only exception, stating their reasoning as " partly because it is reinforced by material in ' Unification, Part I ' [sic] and 'Journey to Babel', but also because of Fontana's pivotal role in developing the background for the Spock character in the original Star Trek series. " ( Star Trek Chronology  (1st ed., p. 30)) It is not only the Okudas who accept the events of this episode to be canonical; many other production staffers also do. ( Star Trek Monthly  issue 6 , p. 22, et al.) Even Gene Roddenberry reportedly regarded the episode as canon. ( Cinefantastique , Vol. 37, No. 2, p. 37)
  • Spock's survival in the past required that he travel in time to save himself. Therefore, within the logic of the episode, the "normal" timeline is actually an altered timeline.
  • In a production inconsistency , a low portion of the le-matya 's head abruptly disappears during a close-up of the adult Spock's hands around its neck, during the nerve pinch that he uses to down the creature. A similar mistake occurs during the beam-in of Kirk and Spock in one of the Enterprise 's transporter rooms, near the end of the episode, as they also momentarily disappear, making their transport seem like a riskily stinted process.
  • In another production inconsistency, when the landing party beams up from the Time Planet, they are wearing life-support belts, whereas they were not wearing them on the planet's surface.
  • There are several production errors in the scene in the briefing room. At one point, Thelin's uniform color is blue, not black. Erickson has no identifying logo on his insignia. And Spock's insignia is transposed to his right side.
  • Manny Coto considered this to be a very rare Star Trek outing. Twice referring indirectly to the installment, he opined, " The animated show [...] was one of the few shows to do a whole episode on Vulcan and do a really in-depth show about that. " ( Cinefantastique , Vol. 37, No. 2, p. 37)
  • Andorians, as well as the characters of Sarek and Amanda, were reused, from "Journey to Babel", here (although Andorians also appear in " The Gamesters of Triskelion ", " Whom Gods Destroy " and " The Lights of Zetar ", all three of which are TOS episodes that were produced and are set between this outing and "Journey to Babel"). D.C. Fontana clarified, " There are lots of references [to TOS] in 'Yesteryear', in terms of Spock's parents. " ( Star Trek: The Magazine  Volume 1, Issue 16 , p. 67) Andorians went on to appear in numerous productions after this one, as did Sarek and Amanda.
  • The "family shrine" that Spock tells Sarek he is on a journey to was meant to be, according to D.C. Fontana, an allusion to the ceremonial grounds in "Amok Time". ( Babel #5; Enterprise Incidents , issue 11, p. 27)
  • D.C. Fontana's concerns over depicting the massive planetoid in Vulcan's sky were due to, in TOS : " The Man Trap ", Spock telling Uhura that " Vulcan has no moon. " The theatrical edit of Star Trek: The Motion Picture later featured a similar large body, but for the director's cut of that film , it was decided to remove the orb.
  • This is the first of three animated episodes that do not feature any scenes set on the bridge of the USS Enterprise . The two subsequent episodes that exclude the location are " The Slaver Weapon " and " The Jihad ".
  • Similarly, this is the first of three episodes in which the character of Arex does not appear, the first of three that do not feature Uhura and the first of two wherein Sulu is absent. The two other installments that exclude Arex are "The Slaver Weapon" and "The Jihad", while Uhura appears in neither " The Eye of the Beholder " nor "The Jihad", and Sulu is additionally absent from " How Sharper Than a Serpent's Tooth ".
  • Amanda's maiden name, Grayson, was first established here and later mentioned in Star Trek V: The Final Frontier .
  • The city of ShiKahr essentially resurfaces on an okudagram in TNG : " The Emissary ", as it includes the holoprogram title "Shi-Kar Desert Survival, Vulcan," which is also a subtler reference to Spock's kahs-wan . The city is again indirectly mentioned in ENT : " Fusion ", in reference to the Shi'Kahr Academy , and later serves as the namesake for the USS ShirKahr , seen but not mentioned in DS9 : " Tears of the Prophets ". A Vulcan city which looks very similar to ShiKahr is shown in new establishing shots used in the remastered version of "Amok Time".
  • An okudagram that features in TNG : " Eye of the Beholder " references the Sepek Academic Scholarship , partly sharing its name with an aforementioned Vulcan child from this episode.
  • The title of " healer ," for a Vulcan physician , is referred to for Healer Senva in DS9 : " Prophet Motive ".
  • Both Lunaport and the kahs-wan are mentioned in ENT : " The Catwalk ".
  • Vulcan's Forge is later referenced in DS9 : " Change of Heart " and is the focus of a three-episode ENT arc: " The Forge ", " Awakening ", and " Kir'Shara ". The location reappears in the first installment of that trilogy, but not in the other two episodes.
  • The sehlat , having first appeared in animated form in this episode, was recreated in CGI for Star Trek: Enterprise and features in "The Forge".
  • Spock's dialogue to his younger self, regarding logic offering " a serenity Humans seldom experience ," is revisited by Sarek in the 2009 film Star Trek , in which Spock likewise travels through time and meets a younger version of himself . The film also depicts, with almost the exact same taunts, the confrontation of young Spock and three Vulcan bullies – though, in that version, Spock's physical response is much more effective.

Reception and aftermath [ ]

  • On 4 June 1973, NBC made the announcement that Star Trek 's regular cast had reunited to record the script for this outing (as well as the teleplays for an additional two episodes). ( Star Trek: Communicator  issue 119 , p. 32)
  • Even though this installment of the animated Star Trek series was the second to air in most of the United States , it was the first to be telecast in Los Angeles . As Sulu actor George Takei was running for a District Councilman post in that area, the broadcast of any episode in which he vocally features was considered unfair by his opponents, who demanded equal airtime. Therefore, this episode was swapped with series pilot " Beyond the Farthest Star "; unlike that installment, this one does not include Takei's vocals. ( TAS DVD text commentary , booklet)
  • D.C. Fontana, who did not see this episode until the day of its telecast, believed that fan reaction to the episode was initially negative. Shortly after its first airing, she remarked, " I'm sure when it was announced that my Star Trek animation script 'Yesteryear' was about Spock as a boy and included his sehlat , a lot of fans thought I had sold out to a kiddy show. Now that the episode has been on the air, I hope that notion has been disabused. " ( Babel #5; Enterprise Incidents , issue 11, pp. 26-27)
  • Viewer response between the episode's announcement and 2006 did not focus on the sehlat 's death; Fontana never had a conversation, during that time, with fans who spoke to her about the issue. ( Star Trek Magazine  issue 125 , p. 81) Also, despite NBC's initial nervousness over how controversial the euthanasia in this episode would prove, the television network never received a single letter of complaint about the story. ( Star Trek - Where No One Has Gone Before , p. 57, et al.) Decades after the episode's broadcast, Fontana remarked, " We did not get one letter of complaint, so apparently we did it right. " [17] Fan reaction did, however, concentrate on the thrill of viewing some of Spock's backstory. Fontana commented, " The response I get most often – and it has been consistent over the years – was that it was the one chance fans got to see Vulcan and had some insight into what made Spock 'Spock'. " ( Star Trek Magazine  issue 125 , p. 81)
  • In 1974, D.C. Fontana addressed the issue of I-Chaya's demise in an article she wrote, which explained her intentions in writing the episode and defended the importance of the death in the context of the plot. She mused, " I-Chaya's death was absolutely necessary to the story. Part of Spock's training had to do with the facing of responsibilities and realities. One of the greatest weaknesses of children's programming on television, especially animation, is the presentation of total non-reality. Things do die – plants, pets and people. Is there anyone who, as a child, has not suffered the loss of a pet? In deciding that I-Chaya should die with peace and dignity rather than pain and suffering, Young Spock accepted reality and responsibility. " ( Babel #5; Enterprise Incidents , issue 11, p. 29) In a 1999 interview, Fontana stated about the use of euthanasia here, " It was in the Vulcan way, because the argument for allowing the pet to go was its peace of mind; this was the kind thing to do, the peaceful and logical thing to do. " ( Star Trek: The Magazine  Volume 1, Issue 2 , p. 87) In a 2003 video interview for , Fontana thanked God that Gene Roddenberry had supported her decision to keep the euthanasia in the episode, saying the reason she was grateful was " because that, I think, was the power of that particular story, to say that it is kinder to let an animal in pain die with dignity than to keep them alive just for your sake. You know, it was a nice message, it was a moral tale. " [18]
  • In an interview from 2000 , D.C. Fontana related that this episode's story was still "very dear to [her] heart." ( Star Trek: The Magazine  Volume 1, Issue 16 , p. 68) In her 2003 video interview, she additionally stated, " I looked at 'Yesteryear' not too long ago and I was amazed, myself, having not seen it for a while and not read my own script for a while, how much story we got into that and how complex the story was. " [19] She also cited the episode as one of her favorites from the animated series, despite admitting that her opinion was prejudiced. [20] Fontana again expressed pride in the episode during a 2006 interview. ( Star Trek Magazine  issue 128 , p. 46)
  • Also in 2006, Fontana speculated about how this episode would have been as a live-action treatment. " Vulcan could probably have been visualized both with locations and on stages, " she reckoned. " But I don't believe there was any way we could, with the technology of the time, have effectively done the sehlat and the Vulcan mountain lion. With the longer story time allowed by a one-hour live action show, I could have done more between [Spock and his parents] [...] and how Young Spock had a difficult time fitting into Vulcan life because of his Human heritage. But the action line would have had to be done differently because of the difficulty of creating the animals believably. " ( Star Trek Magazine  issue 125 , p. 83)
  • The satisfaction with the decision to show I-Chaya's demise was exemplified by Filmation co-founder Lou Scheimer when he remarked, " A pet's death had never been done on a children's program, and it was touching and provocative. Dorothy [Fontana] was instrumental in making it so creative. " [21] Scheimer also judged the depiction of euthanasia to have been "quite effective" and was happy with the installment in general. He went on to say, " Not only did it deal with something that was hardly ever dealt with before on Saturday morning, it was very moving and touching, and much more than just another science fiction story. It was a very Human story. We used alien people and animals to tell a very Human story, which is what Star Trek is all about, and why the animated version succeeded. " [22]
  • Due to having found the episode's pacing a challenge, Hal Sutherland felt that he had done an inadequate job on the outing. " And I felt that some of the younger viewers would have difficulty understanding the story, " he continued. " It may have seemed somewhat tedious, and less action-packed. But so much for what I know, because it's become one of the most popular of the animated episodes. " [23]
  • At least in the opinion of Andy Mangels , this was an historically important episode. " It is the first animated show to show the death of a pet [...] and that's major; for that to happen on a Saturday morning show is seismic! " exclaimed Mangels. " It changed everything for Saturday morning television. " [24]
  • Star Trek: The Animated Series received a nomination during the First Annual Emmy Awards for Daytime Programming for the 1973-1974 season in the category of "Outstanding Entertainment Childrens Series," based on the submission of this episode. [25] (X) Andy Mangels noted, " It was the first time that Star Trek had gotten that kind of attention, and it was the very first daytime Emmy Awards. " [26] The following year, the TAS episode "How Sharper Than a Serpent's Tooth" won the series its only Emmy. Billy Simpson was under the erroneous impression that it was this episode that won the award. About three decades after the actual Emmy win (at a point when Simpson admitted that he found the details surrounding this episode's production were "a bit sketchy"), he recalled what had happened when he had met Hal Sutherland "a couple of years" after the making of this outing; " I recall being approached by Sutherland who proclaimed, 'Billy, do you know you won us an Emmy?!' He was referring to the award won by the animated Star Trek . 'Yesteryear' was the episode submitted for academy consideration. " [27] Simpson also observed that, despite regretting some of his vocal work on the episode, the accuracy of his pronunciations " didn't seem to bother the Emmy voters, as I was told that 'Yesteryear' was the episode submitted and it won! " ( Star Trek Magazine  issue 125 , p. 82)
  • This episode did obtain a Filmcon Award for D.C. Fontana. [28]
  • David Gerrold cited this as his favorite TAS episode, further commenting, " Brilliant storytelling, and some great background on Spock. " [29]
  • J.M. Dillard 's reference book Star Trek - Where No One Has Gone Before (pp. 55-56) describes this installment as both "certainly one of the finest episodes of the animated show," and "the show's finest and most popular episode."
  • Judith and Garfield Reeves-Stevens have also been highly appreciative of this installment, having found it to be emotionally effective. In their book The Art of Star Trek (pp. 49-43), they refer to it as a "moving episode" and an especially good example of "a few exceptions to the generally lack-luster animated episodes." In the DVD documentary "Drawn to the Final Frontier - The Making of Star Trek: The Animated Series ", Judith Reeves-Stevens opines that the episode shows a "pretty poignant glimpse" of Spock's childhood.
  • Another pairing of Star Trek production staffers who have exhibited enthusiasm for this outing are Michael and Denise Okuda. In their text commentary for the episode, they describe it as a "very Human tale," positively comment on its views of both the time vortex planet and Vulcan (describing the former as having "beautifully stylized backgrounds" and the latter as incorporating "imaginative vistas"), and state that it was "fortunate" that NBC complied with Gene Roddenberry's advice to "trust Dorothy." The Okudas' text commentary additionally enthuses, " D.C. Fontana's script proved to be a powerful yet sensitive treatment of a very emotional subject [....] [It] took advantage of animation's strengths to tell a story that would not have been possible for the original live-action show. The result is what many fans consider to be the finest episode of the animated Star Trek series. " The Okudas also note that the prevalence of subsequently made productions that reuse elements from this episode reflects the outing's importance for the character of Spock. In their text commentary for "Amok Time", the Okudas refer to this episode as a "memorable visit to Vulcan." Likewise, the Okudas' text commentary for "The Forge" states that "Yesteryear" provided the Star Trek audience's "first tantalizing glimpse of a stylized Vulcan cityscape."
  • The book Star Trek 101 (p. 48), by Terry J. Erdmann and Paula M. Block , cites this installment as "The Best Episode" of Star Trek: The Animated Series . The same publication also raves, " 'Yesteryear' deals with an interesting science fiction premise and carries the emotional significance found in the best Star Trek live-action episodes. " Additionally, the book considers this episode to be either the only or most extreme exception to what it describes as the "flawed" nature of numerous episodes from the animated series.
  • The unofficial reference book The Trek 25th Anniversary Celebration (p. 47), by James Van Hise , cites this episode, due to Mark Lenard reprising the character of Sarek herein, as one of three installments that, collectively, the book regards as "the plus side" of the animated Star Trek series (other such outings being " Mudd's Passion " and " More Tribbles, More Troubles "). The same book (p. 48) also defines this episode as "one of the few exceptions" to most of the other scripts for the series being "bland and uninteresting." The book goes on to say, " 'Yesteryear' is the only animated episode which, in its aired form, can be placed alongside some of the better live-action episodes without coming up a distant second [...] Stories dealing with actions deriving from characterization [were] considered too complex for Saturday morning. This is where 'Yesteryear' broke the mold. "
  • Similarly, the unauthorized reference book Beyond the Final Frontier (p. 57) enthusiastically refers to the installment as "the undoubted highlight" of the animated series. That book, which was first published in 2003, goes on to say, " [The episode] transcends the limitations of the animation to present a story that's rich, complex and moving, as well as being a fanboy wet dream. Even now, 'Yesteryear' ranks as one of the best Star Trek episodes. "
  • In 1992 , writer Philip Chien positively commented on this installment in a feature about the animated series, published in Star Trek: The Official Fan Club Magazine  issue 87 , p. 6. He remarked, " What was particularly special about 'Yesteryear' was that it actually felt and looked like a live Trek episode. "
  • In the unofficial reference book Boarding the Enterprise: Transporters, Tribbles and the Vulcan Death Grip in Gene Roddenberry's Star Trek (p. 53), Allen Steele described this as one of the "most notable" installments of the animated Star Trek series (in common with " Beyond the Farthest Star " and " More Tribbles, More Troubles ").
  • The editors of Trek magazine collectively scored this episode 4 out of 5 stars (a rating that they termed "very good"). ( The Best of Trek #1, p. 109)
  • Star Trek Magazine  issue 163 , p. 25 rated this episode 5 out of 5 Starfleet arrowhead insignia and named it the best episode of TAS, also featuring Sarek as the "best guest star" of the series. Furthermore, the magazine referred to the installment as "a fabulous coming-of-age story" and stated, " It helped that 'Yesteryear' was not a simple retread of an original episode but had a fresh story with solid character development. [Mark] Lenard's distinctive voice helped this episode into the number one slot by reinforcing its continuity with the original series. "
  • In the book Trek Navigator: The Ultimate Guide to the Entire Trek Saga (pp. 271 & 272), co-writer Mark A. Altman rates this episode 3 and a half out of 4 stars (defined as "great") while fellow co-writer Edward Gross ranks the episode 4 out of 4 stars (defined as "classic!"). Altman describes the installment as "a superbly moving story," "a compelling Trek adventure," and "one of its most adult offerings" that nevertheless involves "some wonderful wit." He considers both Thalen's introduction and the moralistic plot point about I-Chaya's death to be successful. Altman also passes judgment on the outing as being "the best-acted episode of the animated series," and appreciates Mark Lenard's vocal return to the Sarek role. He criticizes, however, the casting of Majel Barrett-Roddenberry and James Doohan for the voices of Amanda and the Guardian of Forever. Gross regards the outing as "the perfect animated episode" and "the best of the series," additionally saying that the installment has "more resonance than most episodes." He also implies a belief that the episode's animation is the only facet that is less than perfect and bemoans the fact that the outing was not produced in live-action.
  • In 2010 , UK magazine SciFiNow (issue 44, p. 026) cited this as the 24th best Star Trek episode. The magazine stated, " Featuring delicate levels of characterisation and exposition that wasn't intrusive, 'Yesteryear' was a fantastic piece of sci-fi writing. "
  • In 1974, D.C. Fontana re-used the plot of this installment for an episode of Land of the Lost entitled "Elsewhen". This was on the recommendation of David Gerrold who, at the time, was the story editor for Land of the Lost and who later commented, " I actually think the 'Elsewhen' episode has some strength to it that the 'Yesteryear' episode didn't, because it was trapped in the Star Trek universe. " [30]
  • According to Michael and Denise Okuda, this episode's portrayal of the planet Vulcan is of such a scale that it could not be equaled by later productions, "even the higher-budgeted Star Trek movies and spin-off TV shows [...] with matte paintings and location filming." ( TAS DVD text commentary )
  • By 1974, several people had asked what the orb in Vulcan's sky, in this installment, was and members of the production staff had had to dismiss it as being a sister planet. ( Babel #5; Enterprise Incidents , number 11, p. 27)
  • Following the appearance of the birdlike Aleek-Om in this episode, the same animated design was reused for the character of Tchar in Star Trek: The Animated Series ' first season finale, "The Jihad". The fact that, in that episode, the character is referred to as a Skorr rather than an Aurelian caused decades of speculative discussions about whether the two species were related.

Adaptations [ ]

  • This episode was novelized by Alan Dean Foster in Ballantine Books ' Star Trek Log 1 (along with " Beyond the Farthest Star " and " One of Our Planets Is Missing "). Among numerous changes and additions made to this episode, as adapted in that book, are the facts that the name of Spock's pet sehlat is commonly spelled "Ee-chiya," that the natural habitat of the sehlat is "the cool, high forests of the north" and thus makes the animal's thick fur a heavy burden in the open desert, Spock's pronouncement that he can bring a healer to the wounded animal is notated as, " I can bring a HEALER here! " and no Vulcan-neighboring planets or planetoids are mentioned, with the novelization specifically stating, " Vulcan had no moon. "
  • This was the second of five Star Trek projects to be adapted into View-Master reels, and was retitled Mr. Spock's Time Trek . There was also a version for use with "talking" View-Masters. Both versions involved 21 pictures.
  • Two animation cels, released by Filmation as part of a collection of cels from the animated Star Trek series, had this episode as its subject. One involved Aleek-Om, Kirk, Spock and McCoy standing near the Guardian of Forever, and showed Spock pointing at Aleek-Om with a hand including six digits. The other cel was of Young Spock riding I-Chaya, ready to battle the le-matya . In the collection, these cels were numbered 5 and 12, respectively. ( A Trekker's Guide to Collectibles , p. 46; et al. )

Apocrypha [ ]

  • The Star Trek: Myriad Universes story " The Chimes at Midnight " goes into greater detail about the alternate timeline in which Spock died, focusing mainly on the differences of the events in the films ranging from Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan to Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country . The same story also states that Thelin is, in fact, half- Aenar , accounting for his particularly pale complexion.
  • Other aspects of this episode have been included in a variety of Star Trek novels . For instance, the phrase "Vulcan's Forge" is not only the name of a desert area on Vulcan but also the title of one particular novel . The planet seen in Vulcan's sky here is named Charis or T'Khut in the novel Spock's World .

Video and DVD releases [ ]

  • Re-released by Paramount and Pioneer: 1997
  • UK VHS release ( CIC Video ): Volume 1 , catalog number VHR 2535, 6 December 1991
  • Released in Japan on LaserDisc, catalog number PILA-1406, 8 March 1997
  • Region 1: 21 November 2006
  • Re-release: 23 March 2009
  • As part of the The Animated Series Blu-ray collection

Links and references [ ]

Starring the voices of [ ].

  • William Shatner as Capt. Kirk
  • Leonard Nimoy as Mr. Spock
  • DeForest Kelley as Dr. McCoy

Also starring the voices of [ ]

  • Amanda Grayson
  • Guardian Voice
  • Montgomery Scott
  • Vulcan healer

Guest stars [ ]

  • Mark Lenard as Sarek
  • Billy Simpson as young Spock
  • Keith Sutherland as Sepek

Uncredited co-stars [ ]

  • Unknown actor as Stark

Background characters [ ]

References [ ].

2230 ; 2235 ; 2237 ; 2264 ; 8877 ; adulthood ; age ; ambassador ; Andorian ; animal ; annual physical ; answer ; antidote ; apology ; area ; Aurelians ; authority ; barbarian ; beauty ; behavior ; body ; " Bones "; boots ; captain ; carry bag ; case ; charity ; child ; chit-chat ; city ; civilization ; claw ; conclusion ; consciousness ; courage ; cousin ; coward ; crime ; danger ; date ; day ; death ; demonstration ; desert ; desert flyer ; dignity ; discipline ; doctor ; Earth ; Earther ; embarrassment ; emotion ; family ; family history ; family line ; family shrine ; Federation ; Federation history ; food ; foothills ; forefather ; fountain ; friend ; god ; graciousness ; Guardian of Forever ; Guardian ruins ; healer ; healing ; heart ; history ; historian ; home ; honor ; hospitality ; Human ; Human philosophy ; humble ; instinct ; " in the course of time "; investigation ; joke ; kahs-wan ; L-langon Foothills / L-langon Mountains ; le-matya ; liar ; location ; logic ; Lunaport ; marriage ; maturity test ; medical scanner ; medicine ; memory ; Milky Way Galaxy ; mind ; mission ; month ; mourn ; name ; orbit ; order ; Orion ; Orions ; pain ; path ; peace ; perfection ; pet ; philosophy ; physical ; place ; poison ; practical joke ; question ; reality ; regret ; remarriage ; research ; respect ; rite ; road ; Sarek's house ; Sasak ; schoolmate ; screen ; search ; sehlat ; Selek ; sensitivity ; separation ; serenity ; shame ; ShiKahr ; shuttle accident ; silence ; spirit ; Starfleet ; Starfleet records ; streets ; street wear ; sucker vine ; survival test ; sympathy ; Tasmeen ; tear ; Terran ; thing ; timeline ; time period ; time plane ; time planet ; time revision ; time vortex ; T'Khut ; T'Pel ; tradition ; trait ; traveler ; vacation ; visit ; visitor ; Vulcan (planet); Vulcan (species); Vulcan desert soft-suit ; Vulcan history ; Vulcan neck pinch (neck pinch); Vulcan philosophy ; Vulcan salute ; Vulcan ship ; Vulcan year ; Vulcan's Forge ; war ; wardrobe section ; warrior ; warrior race ; water ; weapon ; wish ; witness ; wound

Unreferenced materials [ ]

Aurelia ; dust demon

External links [ ]

  • "Yesteryear" at
  • " Yesteryear " at Memory Beta , the wiki for licensed Star Trek works
  • " Yesteryear " at Wikipedia
  • " Saturday Morning Number One " at , a Roddenberry Star Trek podcast
  • 1 Nick Locarno
  • 2 Sito Jaxa
  • 3 Old Friends, New Planets (episode)
  • Show Spoilers
  • Night Vision
  • Sticky Header
  • Highlight Links

star trek yesteryear

Follow TV Tropes

Recap / Star Trek: The Animated Series S1 E2 "Yesteryear"

Edit locked.

While investigating the past through the Guardian of Forever, Spock's past is accidentally changed so that he no longer exists as the Enterprise 's first officer, and now he must go back to his own past to fix whatever happened in the past that changed everything.

This episode provides examples of

  • An Aesop : A very blatant one in favor of animal euthanasia, outright stating that it is "logical" to end a wounded animal's suffering rather than sustain its life only for it to live in agony. Fontana commented that it was her proudest moment in the making of TAS... and the one that met with the most controversy from viewers.
  • Continuity Snarl : Either the animator did not get the memo that Vulcan has no moon, or he just plain ignored it.
  • For Want Of A Nail : Spock comes back through the Guardian a couple of steps behind Kirk and Erickson, and thus erases himself from history.
  • Friendless Background : This episode lets us see Spock having this. His agemates torment him endlessly for being "a Terran" and Sarek, who expects his son to act like a Vulcan, is disappointed by Spock reacting to their teasing.
  • Grandfather Paradox : Spock in this episode saves his own life.
  • Kids Are Cruel : We get our first glimpse at Spock's childhood in this episode... and it's not pretty.
  • My Future Self and Me : Spock guides his seven-year-old self through a dangerous Vulcan rite of passage.
  • Never Say "Die" : Actually averted. The computer explicitly states that Sarek's son died in childhood, and D.C. Fontana included the aspect of putting I-Chaya to sleep specifically to teach children that pets die and it's best to let them pass with dignity.
  • One-Liner, Name... One-Liner : The last line of the episode. Spock : "Times change, doctor. Times change."
  • Ret-Gone : Spock in this episode — rather he did exist but died in childhood.
  • Ripple-Effect-Proof Memory : Only Spock and Kirk remember the original timeline.
  • Shoot the Dog : I-Chaya is stung by a venomous animal. The vet gives young Spock the option of saving him but forcing him to live with constant pain or euthanizing him. Spock chooses the latter.
  • Stable Time Loop : Spock mentions the "cousin" who helped him survive the desert. There is a difference, however — in his present memories, his pet sehlat did not die.
  • Stock Sound Effect : The le-matya's sounds are the iconic roar of Godzilla . It's rather amusing that his roar was used here, but Toho wouldn't let Hanna-Barbera use it in their own Godzilla series a few years later .
  • Temporal Paradox : If Spock hadn't survived to adulthood, he couldn't have protected his younger self from an early death.
  • The Time Traveller's Dilemma : We certainly hope Thelin the Andorian got a comparably good job in the rewritten timeline. At least he accepted his fate bravely, and Spock wished him a long and prosperous life in whatever circumstances he would be placed in. (Like most Trek time travel, it's unclear whether or not the version of him serving aboard Kirk's Enterprise got to keep doing that in a divergent timeline.)
  • Star Trek: The Animated Series: S1 E1 "Beyond the Farthest Star"
  • Recap/Star Trek: The Animated Series
  • Star Trek: The Animated Series: S1 E3 "One of Our Planets Is Missing"

Important Links

  • Action Adventure
  • Commercials
  • Crime & Punishment
  • Professional Wrestling
  • Speculative Fiction
  • Sports Story
  • Animation (Western)
  • Music And Sound Effects
  • Print Media
  • Sequential Art
  • Tabletop Games
  • Applied Phlebotinum
  • Characterization
  • Characters As Device
  • Narrative Devices
  • British Telly
  • The Contributors
  • Creator Speak
  • Derivative Works
  • Laws And Formulas
  • Show Business
  • Split Personality
  • Truth And Lies
  • Truth In Television
  • Fate And Prophecy
  • Edit Reasons
  • Isolated Pages
  • Images List
  • Recent Videos
  • Crowner Activity
  • Un-typed Pages
  • Recent Page Type Changes
  • Trope Entry
  • Character Sheet
  • Playing With
  • Creating New Redirects
  • Cross Wicking
  • Tips for Editing
  • Text Formatting Rules
  • Handling Spoilers
  • Administrivia
  • Trope Repair Shop
  • Image Pickin'


star trek yesteryear

Star Trek: The Animated Series (TV Series)

Yesteryear (1973).

  • User Reviews
  • The Guardian of Forever is the entity/time portal featured in the classic TOS episode "City on the Edge of Forever".
  • Actor Mark Lenard returned here to voice Spock's Father, Sarek.
  • There's a scene here that is very similar to one in JJ Abrams' 2009 Star Trek film, with a young Spock being bullied by classmates.

Awards | FAQ | User Ratings | External Reviews | Metacritic Reviews

  • User Ratings
  • External Reviews
  • Metacritic Reviews
  • Full Cast and Crew
  • Release Dates
  • Official Sites
  • Company Credits
  • Filming & Production
  • Technical Specs
  • Plot Summary
  • Plot Keywords
  • Parents Guide

Did You Know?

  • Crazy Credits
  • Alternate Versions
  • Connections
  • Soundtracks

Photo & Video

  • Photo Gallery
  • Trailers and Videos

Related Items

  • External Sites

Related lists from IMDb users

list image

Recently Viewed

  • Entertainment /

Celebrate Star Trek: Discovery’s return with one of the best episodes of the most neglected Trek series

Star trek: the animated series is visually limited, but it takes its science fiction seriously in yesteryear.

By Noel Murray

Share this story

star trek yesteryear

There are so many streaming options available these days, and so many conflicting recommendations, that it’s hard to see through all the crap you could be watching. Each Friday, The Verge’s Cut the Crap column simplifies the choice by sorting through the overwhelming multitude of movies and TV shows on subscription services and recommending a single perfect thing to watch this weekend.

What to watch

“Yesteryear,” a 1973 episode of Star Trek: The Animated Series . Written by D.C. Fontana (a key contributor to the original 1960s Star Trek, who penned 10 episodes and served as the story editor), “Yesteryear” takes place in the wake of a routine fact-finding mission into a “time vortex.” Though Captain James T. Kirk and the USS Enterprise’s landing party have taken great pains not to interfere with history, when they return to the present, they discover that a minor oversight has inadvertently erased first officer Spock from the timeline. To restore his reality, Mr. Spock must head back through the vortex to his own boyhood on the planet Vulcan to save his younger self from a fatal accident.

Why watch now?

Because the second season of Star Trek: Discovery debuted last night.

Set about a decade before the Enterprise’s adventures in the original series, the latest interstellar drama is different from other shows in the Star Trek TV universe. It tells more of a serialized story, and it’s focused less on a single ship’s crew and commander than on one particular upper-level Federation officer: Michael Burnham, played by former The Walking Dead actress Sonequa Martin-Green. In Discovery ’s first season, Michael gets bounced from her original post due to criminal insubordination, and she is reassigned to a new ship to help fight a war against the Klingons alongside a crew that’s not sure they can trust her… just as she (correctly) surmises that not all of them are on the up-and-up. Last year’s finale ended with some of the season’s big mysteries and plotlines being resolved, then it tacked on a coda / cliffhanger, as the USS Discovery received a distress call from the Enterprise’s pre-Kirk commander, Captain Christopher Pike.

Season 1 also spent a lot of time digging into Burnham’s background as an orphaned human who was adopted as a child by the esteemed Vulcan emissary Sarek — also known to Star Trek fans as Spock’s father. Some of the franchise’s most memorable moments have dealt with Spock’s Vulcan upbringing and how being reared as an icy, unsentimental logician affected his relationships with his human colleagues. Discovery is continuing this theme with its own heroine.

Star Trek: The Animated Series did this, too — especially in “Yesteryear.” After the original Star Trek was canceled in 1969, its three seasons became so popular in syndicated repeats that creator Gene Roddenberry decided to bring the concept back as a cartoon, and he insisted on taking the same mature approach to science fiction storytelling that had won so many new fans. “Yesteryear” is a prime example. Fontana doesn’t use her time-travel plot for some kind of goofy, kid-friendly caper, but as a way to look more closely at Spock’s origins. The episode explores the finer details of Vulcan culture, while showing how Spock’s family expresses deeper feelings in their own way.

star trek yesteryear

Who it’s for

Trekkies and neophytes alike.

Because there’s been such an explosion of Trek product over the past few decades — movies, TV shows, games, books, and more — even fans of the franchise may not realize what a big deal Star Trek: The Animated Series was in the 1970s. Roddenberry maintained a remarkably high level of quality control on the Star Trek offshoots and merchandise after the original series went off the air. The Gold Key comic books, the paperback novels and short-story collections, and the cartoon all featured work from some of the industry’s top writers who were serious about Roddenberry’s mandate to contrast big philosophical ideas and ethical quandaries with small character moments.

The animation in Star Trek: The Animated Series is nowhere near as strong as the writing. The production company, Filmation, didn’t have the resources available to the era’s major animation studios, so the characters’ movements range from “stiff” to “nonexistent,” while the color palette looks drab and blocky. But the artists did put a design flourish into the alien planets’ backgrounds that a live-action series would’ve found difficult to replicate. And they also occasionally dropped in creatures with bizarre antennae and facial features that were beyond what most 1970s makeup artists could’ve done.

star trek yesteryear

Nearly all of the major original cast members returned to The Animated Series as voice actors ( at Leonard Nimoy’s insistence , according to series regular George Takei), so it’s maybe best to think of this Star Trek like an illustrated radio play. In “Yesteryear,” there’s a rare subtlety to the way William Shatner and Nimoy approach their roles as Kirk and Spock, respectively. They maintain relaxed, conversational vocal tones, rather than shouting or exaggerating. That all adds even more poignancy to the subtle emotional swells of Spock’s visit with his younger self.

Where to see it

CBS All Access or Netflix. Although one of the main selling points for CBS All Access is that it’s the exclusive home of Star Trek: Discovery (as well as future Star Trek TV projects, such as Patrick Stewart’s as-yet-untitled Jean-Luc Picard drama and the upcoming raunchy cartoon Lower Decks ), Netflix, for now, still shares the streaming rights for several of the old shows, including The Next Generation , Voyager , Deep Space Nine , Enterprise , and The Original Series .

An OLED iPad Pro is the upgrade I’ve been waiting for

Humane officially launches the ai pin, its openai-powered wearable, sony’s new ‘slim’ playstation 5 is smaller but also weirder, hades is coming to netflix, loki’s season 2 finale dug deep to find a meaning in all of marvel’s madness.

Sponsor logo

More from this stream Star Trek: Discovery: all the trailers, commentary, and updates for the new TV series

Star trek: discovery made this the perfect weekend to watch for the love of spock on netflix, star trek: discovery gets a third season and a fifth showrunner, you can now watch star trek: discovery’s season 2 premiere on youtube, star trek: discovery’s mansplaining takedown returns to the series’ roots.

Memory Beta, non-canon Star Trek Wiki

A friendly reminder regarding spoilers ! At present the expanded Trek universe is in a period of major upheaval with the finale of Picard and the continuations of Discovery , Lower Decks , Prodigy and Strange New Worlds , the advent of new eras in Star Trek Online gaming , as well as other post-56th Anniversary publications such as the new ongoing IDW comic . Therefore, please be courteous to other users who may not be aware of current developments by using the {{ spoiler }}, {{ spoilers }} or {{ majorspoiler }} tags when adding new information from sources less than six months old . Also, please do not include details in the summary bar when editing pages and do not anticipate making additions relating to sources not yet in release. ' Thank You

  • View history

This article has a real-world perspective! Click here for more information.

" Yesteryear" was the second episode of Star Trek: The Animated Series . It was produced in TAS' first season and debuted on 15 September 1973 . The episode was written by D.C. Fontana and directed by Hal Sutherland . It was novelized in Star Trek: Log One by Alan Dean Foster in June 1974 and subsequently adapted by View-Master . The episode's design of ShiKahr was added to the remastered edition of TOS episode : " Amok Time ". Events from the story were revisited in TOS - Crucible novel : The Fire and the Rose , DTI novel : Forgotten History , and in TOS movie & novelization : Star Trek .

  • 1 Introduction
  • 2 Log entries
  • 3.1.1 Episode characters
  • 3.1.2 Novelization characters
  • 3.1.3 View-Master characters
  • 3.2 Starships and vehicles
  • 3.3 Locations
  • 3.4 Plants and animals
  • 3.5 Races and cultures
  • 3.6 States and organizations
  • 3.7 Science and technology
  • 3.8 Ranks and titles
  • 3.9 Other references
  • 4.1.1 View-Master adaptation
  • 4.1.2 Novelization
  • 4.2.1 Video releases
  • 4.4.1 Timeline
  • 4.5.1 Translations
  • 4.6 External link

Introduction [ ]

Log entries [ ], references [ ], characters [ ], episode characters [ ], novelization characters [ ], view-master characters [ ], starships and vehicles [ ], locations [ ], plants and animals [ ], races and cultures [ ], states and organizations [ ], science and technology [ ], ranks and titles [ ], other references [ ], appendices [ ], background [ ].

  • Mark Lenard reprised his role as Sarek , but Majel Roddenberry performed the role of Amanda Grayson .

View-Master adaptation [ ]

  • The adaptation was packaged under the title "Mr. Spock's Time Trek" in 1974 . The packaging contained three reels of captioned 3-D slides from the episode and a 16-page, two-color illustrated booklet.
  • The booklet faithfully adapted the episode, with much of the dialogue transcribed verbatim. This adaptation differed from the episode only in a few details. Young Spock was said to be ten years old, rather than seven. Hikaru Sulu was not present. The Vulcan healer did not doubt Spock's word. Young Spock had two tormentors in the booklet, as per the final draft script dated April 20, 1973, whereas three Vulcan boys were seen taunting Spock in the aired episode and on the View-Master slide.
  • The booklet clarified a few story details. It did not name T'Khut , but did call it the twin planet of Vulcan . Events were specified as taking place one month prior to Spock's actual kahs-wan . The desert flyer was called an air car. Ted Erickson was explicitly identified as being in the time vortex with Kirk and Spock, as in the final draft script, whereas TOS - Crucible novel : The Fire and the Rose stated that it had been Paul Bates .

Novelization [ ]

  • The story took place several days after the events of TAS episode : " Beyond the Farthest Star ", with Kirk referencing those events in his captain's log during the ship's approach to the Time Vortex planet .
  • Alan Dean Foster reiterated that Vulcan had no moon and pointed out during young Spock's trek to the healer that the boy's night vision had been well developed. T'Khut was not mentioned.
  • Historian Vassily , the appearance of the Historical Institute and a description of the political situation surrounding the Guardian – that it was cooperatively defended by five governments with armed satellites, planet-based phasers , and missile batteries — were unique to the novelization.
  • It was stated that the Guardian allowed 30 minutes local time to pass before automatically retrieving whoever passed through the portal. That allowed time enough for the historians to scan Vulcan history and create the time paradox in this story. That was different than the events of TOS episode : " The City on the Edge of Forever ", in which Montgomery Scott observed that only a minute passed for him while Kirk and Spock were in 1930 Earth .
  • Historians Ted Erickson , Meijan Grey , and Loom Aleek-Om drew lots to decide who would go with Kirk and Spock. Subjective time, they spent 2 1/2 days in Orion's past.
  • I-Chaya was spelled Ee-chiya .

Related media [ ]

Spock's kahs-wan period featured in

  • TOS novel : Vulcan's Forge
  • TOS novel : Sarek
  • TOS comic : " Lt. Commdr. Spock: Psycho-File "

sehlats were in, or mentioned in

  • ENT episode : " Kir'Shara "
  • TOS episode : " Journey to Babel "
  • TOS - Year Four comic : " The Enterprise Experiment, Part 5 "
  • TOS comic : " The Needs of the One "
  • DS9 comic : " Hostage Situation "

le-matya were in, or mentioned in

  • TOS - Star Trek: The Manga - Kakan ni Shinkou comic : " Forging Alliances "
  • TOS novel : The Vulcan Academy Murders

Video releases [ ]

VHS release with

Connections [ ]

Timeline [ ], production history [ ], translations [ ], external link [ ].

  • " Yesteryear " article at Memory Alpha , the wiki for canon Star Trek .
  • Yesteryear review at TrekToday .
  • Yesteryear discussion at the Mission Log podcast.
  • Yesteryear discussion at the Saturday Morning Trek podcast.
  • 1 Nicholas Locarno
  • 2 Ferengi Rules of Acquisition
  • 3 Star Trek: Infinite
  • More to Explore
  • Series & Movies

Coming Soon

Blast, that page isn’t here yet. Return to the homepage or try a search .

If you think there should be something here, please reach out for support .

How to pitch

Back to top.

The Most Important Dates In Star Trek History

Mr. Spock looking skeptical

As sci-fi fans know, Star Trek is one of the longest-running media franchises in modern times. Since the original series premiered in September 1966, some iteration of the voyages of the starship Enterprise (or a related spin-off) has been continuously available on TV, in theaters, on bookshelves, through video games, and via streaming. Not all of them have been successful, of course ( Star Trek V: The Final Frontier , anyone?), but there's rarely been a time in almost six decades when Star Trek fans didn't have a version of their favorite sci-fi saga to watch, read, or play.

What has made Star Trek last so long? It's been a combination of indelible characters, remarkable sci-fi concepts and stories, and the franchise's uncanny ability to comment on the times no matter what decade it's in. From Gene Roddenberry's original vision of a hopeful, inclusive future to the darker, more complicated edge of shows like Star Trek: Picard , the franchise has continually held up a mirror to humanity and showed us at our best and our worst.

With over 50 years of production behind it, Star Trek certainly has its share of important milestones in its development and ongoing evolution. While the future of Trek itself is unwritten — the "undiscovered country," as a Klingon leader once called it — here are, for now, the most important dates in this fascinating franchise's history.

Gene Roddenberry puts his 'Wagon Train to the stars' on the road (March 11, 1964)

Star Trek officially came to life on March 11, 1964, when former pilot and police officer turned television writer Gene Roddenberry penned a 16-page outline for a science fiction TV series he dubbed " Wagon Train to the stars." The show was also loosely inspired by Jonathan Swift's Gulliver's Travels , with Roddenberry planning to use the sci-fi framework to tell morality tales about modern society.

In his original conception, the U.S.S. Yorktown was the vessel at the heart of the show, commanded by Captain Robert April. Among the crew were a female executive officer only known as Number One, a doctor named Phillip Boyce, and a first lieutenant of indeterminate extraterrestrial origin called Mr. Spock. Nestled within those 16 pages were also some 25 story ideas, a number of which eventually became the basis of Star Trek episodes.

While many things changed along the way — including the name of the ship from Yorktown to  Enterprise — the essential idea remained the same. Roddenberry shopped his premise to several TV networks and production companies, with all but one passing — Desilu Studios, owned by Lucille Ball . Desilu in turn sold the pitch to NBC, which commissioned a pilot called "The Cage." Star Trek was on the launchpad ... until NBC rejected the pilot.

The Original Series sets course for strange new worlds (Sept. 8, 1966)

NBC liked some of what it saw in the first Star Trek pilot, "The Cage," but the story was deemed " too cerebral ," and network execs were also wary of the demonic-looking Mr. Spock , played by a relatively unknown actor named Leonard Nimoy.

NBC requested an unprecedented second pilot, and Roddenberry delivered a more action-oriented tale called "Where No Man Has Gone Before." While Spock was retained, nearly every other role was recast — including the ship's captain, now named James Tiberius Kirk and played by young Canadian thespian Willian Shatner. The second time was the charm, and NBC picked up the series .

On September 8, 1966, Star Trek premiered on NBC with an episode called  "The Man Trap." The fifth entry filmed in regular production, it had the Enterprise encounter the last member of a shapeshifting alien species that needed salt to survive. It introduced several characters who would become part of Star Trek history, including Dr. Leonard "Bones" McCoy (DeForest Kelley), Communications Officer Nyota Uhura (Nichelle Nichols), physicist (later a helmsman) Hikaru Sulu (George Takei), and Yeoman Janice Rand (Grace Lee Whitney). The Enterprise 's stated five-year mission was on its way.

The original mission ends two years early (June 3, 1969)

It's been debated for years whether Star Trek always fared low in TV's Nielsen ratings. While the show was never an unconditional hit, it may have actually done better with audiences than has long been assumed. Nevertheless, NBC was looking to cancel the show after its second season, not just because of ratings but due to constant creative and budgetary battles with Gene Roddenberry.

A massive letter-writing campaign  led to Star Trek getting renewed for a third season, with Roddenberry — who'd stepped back from the show during the previous year — promising to return as full-time producer in exchange for a decent time slot. But when NBC stuck the show in the "death slot,"  10 PM on Friday nights , Roddenberry walked away and appointed Fred Freiberger as the new producer.

With Freiberger at the helm , the third season — which suffered from even steeper budget cuts — is universally considered Star Trek 's worst. While several episodes did stand out, nothing matched the quality of classics from the first two seasons like "The City on the Edge of Forever," "Balance of Terror," or "Mirror, Mirror." Viewers began to desert the show, too, and on June 3, 1969, the last episode produced, "Turnabout Intruder," aired on NBC. The five-year mission had been cut short.

Star Trek lives! (January 21-23, 1972)

Following its cancellation by NBC, Star Trek immediately went into syndication to local TV outlets in markets around the country, with its 79 episodes often rerunning five days a week in late afternoon or early evening time slots. As with so much about Trek , the results were unprecedented . Viewed by a new generation of fans who had missed the show in its original run, Star Trek became even more popular after its cancellation than it had ever been during its network heyday.

As sales of Star Trek merchandise (including books, comics, model kits, and toys) began to rocket upwards and the show's dedicated fan base — known at first as "Trekkies" and later as "Trekkers" — began to grow, the first official Star Trek convention was held in New York City from January 21-23, 1972 . While there had been unofficial Trek gatherings before, this one was solely devoted to Trek and featured guest appearances by Gene Roddenberry, original series story editor D.C. Fontana, and other production personnel.

A few hundred fans were expected to attend, but by the end of the weekend, the Lakeland Ledger said the estimated head count was 3,500 . The second annual convention, held the following year, drew some 7,000 Trekkers. Star Trek was very much alive in the hearts and minds of its fans, but the question was, could it live again on the screen?

Star Trek: The Motion Picture takes the Enterprise out of dry dock (Dec. 7, 1979)

By the mid-1970s, a Star Trek revival seemed inevitable, although whether the Enterprise would fly again on the small screen or in movie theaters wasn't so clear. An animated children's series based on the show — with voices by many of the original actors — lasted for just 22 episodes in 1973 and 1974. Meanwhile, plans to launch a Paramount television network with a show called Star Trek: Phase II were set in motion in 1977. Even though the series got well into pre-production — with Gene Roddenberry producing and all the original cast except Leonard Nimoy reprising their roles — Paramount corporate parent Gulf & Western pulled the plug in 1978.

Star Trek wasn't dead, however. Paramount officially announced Star Trek: The Motion Picture , directed by Robert Wise ( West Side Story ) and based on a revamped version of the Phase II pilot script. Nimoy agreed to return, with the story centering on the Enterprise 's encounter with a massive alien intelligence headed towards Earth. Overbudget,  barely completed in time for its premiere, and hampered by dodgy visuals and a flabby story, Star Trek: The Motion Picture was nonetheless  a box office hit  when it hit theaters in December 7, 1979, even if its price tag made it less than profitable. Nevertheless, there was an audience out there that wanted more adventures in "the final frontier."

Spock's sacrifice stuns the world (June 4, 1982)

While Star Trek: The Motion Picture was wildly expensive (and thus less profitable), it did prove there was an audience out there who would watch the Enterprise on the big screen. So Paramount Pictures ordered a sequel. Television producer Harve Bennett was hired to bring the movie in on time and on (a much lower) budget, while Nicholas Meyer was recruited to direct and write a new draft of the script. There was one obstacle, however. Leonard Nimoy refused to return ... unless Mr. Spock was killed off.

The result was Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan , in which Kirk and the Enterprise met up once again with Khan Noonien Singh (Ricardo Montalban), the popular villain from the show's first season episode "Space Seed." And the movie did end with Spock sacrificing himself to save the ship — a stunning, poignant finale that left audiences reeling . But Trek II was a tremendous hit , with fans and critics alike proclaiming that the movie did a much better job of capturing the flavor of the series.

Of course, Spock eventually came back, and there have been (to date) 11 more Trek movies, including four more with the original cast, four with The Next Generation crew, and three with the Kelvin Timeline ensemble. But thanks to a great story and Spock's now-legendary death, The Wrath of Khan remains the gold standard of Trek on the big screen .

The Next Generation launches a new mission (Sept. 28, 1987)

By 1986, it was finally decided by Paramount that Star Trek would return to broadcast television . But acknowledging that the original cast members were both aging and requiring higher salaries, the new show would feature a fresh crew of mostly unknown actors .

Announced in October 1986 and premiering a year later on September 28, 1987, Star Trek: The Next Generation was launched as a syndicated show — sold independently to local stations instead of through a TV network — and moved the story 80 years into the future, with a sleek new Enterprise commanded by an imposing Frenchman named Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart). Gene Roddenberry once again was at the helm (for the first year) and kept to the basic Trek template .

Although the show didn't really find its groove until its third season, The Next Generation was a hit out of the box , with The New York Times noting that its ratings were often comparable to shows on major networks. In addition to Picard, it introduced new favorites like the android Data (Brent Spiner) and the Klingon officer Worf (Michael Dorn), plus formidable enemies like Q (John de Lancie) and the terrifying Borg collective. Running for seven seasons — over twice that of the original series — The Next Generation began a  new era for the franchise .

The Great Bird of the Galaxy soars into history (Oct. 24, 1991)

Gene Roddenberry passed away on October 24, 1991 at the age of 70. Nicknamed "the Great Bird of the Galaxy" by original Star Trek associate producer Robert Justman (after a throwaway line in the episode "The Man Trap"), Roddenberry was inextricably connected with the franchise he created for the rest of his life. In addition to creating and producing the original show, he produced or consulted on all the feature films until his death, and he created Star Trek: The Next Generation , although his failing health forced him to step away after its first season.

While Roddenberry's  talents and overall influence on Star Trek have been re-evaluated over the years — and his  personal foibles, such as alleged misogyny, brought to light  – there's no questioning the immensity of his contribution to pop culture and science fiction. Star Trek was the first truly intelligent sci-fi show with regular characters. The way it addressed issues of the day through genre window dressing was groundbreaking for its time. The mythos that Roddenberry conceived — along with his refreshingly optimistic and forward-thinking view of humanity — has endured for nearly six decades and will assuredly stand for many more.

Deep Space Nine takes Trek down a different path (Jan. 3, 1993)

Several years after The Next Generation premiered, Paramount wanted to develop a new series set in the Star Trek universe. With Gene Roddenberry passing away in 1991, this would be the first Trek show where he'd have no involvement. TNG producers Rick Berman and Michael Piller were charged with creating the new series, which ended up being called  Deep Space Nine .

Premiering on January 3, 1993, DS9 was in its own way just as groundbreaking as the original Star Trek . It was the first Trek series to feature a Black commander (Benjamin Sisko, played by Avery Brooks), it was set on a space station instead of a starship, and it was darker in tone than any previous Trek iteration. It featured interpersonal conflicts among the crew and inhabitants of the station (unlike past shows), and it also introduced story arcs that stretched across entire seasons, such as the Dominion War.

Political intrigue, occupation, terrorism, and galactic conflict were all part of DS9 's seven-season run. While not as highly rated at the time as TNG , DS9 has been cited by many fans as  the best Trek series of all . The two that followed in its wake — Star Trek: Voyager (1995-2001) and the prequel show Star Trek: Enterprise (2001-2005) — weren't as acclaimed, and the latter's cancellation after just four seasons began a 12-year drought of Trek on TV.

Welcome to the Kelvin Timeline (May 8, 2009)

Seven years after the last movie to feature the Next Generation cast (2002's poorly received Nemesis ) and four years after Enterprise went off the air, Star Trek was reinvented again — this time by Lost and Fringe creator J.J. Abrams as a major feature film that would tell the origin story of the classic Star Trek cast.

Abrams and his team came up with a brilliant concept. Certain events in their story would create an alternate reality — dubbed the Kelvin Timeline — in which their Trek characters could forge their own adventures while preserving the original canon as the "Prime" universe. This also allowed for one last appearance by Leonard Nimoy as Spock Prime, showing up to dispense crucial information to a young James Kirk while also symbolically passing the torch.

The cast of Abrams' Star Trek was what made it work. Chris Pine as Kirk, Zachary Quinto as Spock, Zoe Saldana as Uhura, and Karl Urban as Dr. McCoy gave this new Trek an energy and freshness that had been missing for a while.  Critics and  audiences responded favorably, with the film earning an astonishing $386 million. While the next two Kelvin films — 2013's  Star Trek Into Darkness  and 2016's  Star Trek Beyond  – were, respectively, a  half-baked remake of The Wrath of Khan and a  box office underperformer , the 2009 Star Trek remains an exciting and bracing entry in the series.

Leonard Nimoy lived long and prospered (Feb. 27, 2015)

Leonard Nimoy, beloved by generations of fans as Mr. Spock,  died on February 27, 2015 at the age of 83 from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). While other revered members of the original Star Trek cast had passed before him — including James Doohan (Scotty) in 2005, DeForest Kelley (Dr. McCoy) in 1999, and Mark Lenard (Spock's father, Sarek) in 1996 — Nimoy's death hit especially hard. Not only was Mr. Spock arguably the most  well-known and popular character in Trek history, even more so than Captains Kirk and Picard, but Nimoy embraced his alter ago (after a  brief estrangement ) and advocated for Trek 's message of optimism, tolerance, and humanism until the end of his life.

While some of his castmates were hobbled in  their post- Trek careers by typecasting, Nimoy enjoyed a long and fruitful life afterwards that included more acting (on TV, in films, and on the stage), directing (including two Trek films and other non-genre work), writing (he authored two memoirs and several books of poetry),  music ,  photography and  activism . Yet with all these accomplishments to his name, he was and always shall be "our friend" — the logical, brilliant, loyal, and courageous Mr. Spock.

Star Trek: Discovery boldly goes into the future (Sept. 24, 2017)

After more than a decade with no new Star Trek on TV, CBS decided to launch its new streaming service, CBS All Access, with a  brand new Trek series called Star Trek: Discovery . Set  a decade before The Original Series , Discovery didn't quite look like a prequel but more like another  alternate reality version of Trek . The diverse cast was led by Sonequa Martin-Green as Michael Burnham, who rises from mutineer to captain of the title ship amidst a war with the Klingons, conspiracies inside the Federation, and strange occurrences throughout the galaxy.

Discovery had a troubled lift-off and went through  several showrunners before settling down in its second season. Nods to the canon with new versions of Captain Christopher Pike and Mr. Spock — who also happens to be (surprise!) Burnham's adopted brother — either lured in or turned off some wary Trekkers, as well.

While Discovery has polarized the fan base , its success has led to a Trek resurgence on TV, with  Star Trek: Picard , a new animated show called Lower Decks , and at least two more series — including the Pike-Spock-centric  Strange New Worlds — in the works. Thanks to Discovery ,  Star Trek looks certain to boldly go where no movie or TV franchise has gone before.

star trek yesteryear

site categories

Netflix & disney+ score uk streaming highs after debuting david beckham & coleen rooney series, breaking news.

‘Star Trek: Prodigy’ Sets Season 1 Release Date On Netflix

By Denise Petski

Denise Petski

Senior Managing Editor

More Stories By Denise

  • ‘Dead Boy Detectives’ Officially Moves To Netflix From HBO Max; Watch Teaser Trailer
  • Anthony Anderson & Mom Doris Bowman Replacing Jamie & Corinne Foxx As Hosts Of Fox Game Show ‘We Are Family’
  • Dwayne Johnson Says He Was Asked To Run For President By Several Political Parties

Star Trek: Prodigy

Merry Christmas to all. Netflix announced it will release all 20 episodes of Star Trek: Prodigy  Season 1 on Christmas Day, December 25, 2023. The streamer made the announcement during its annual Geeked Week.

Related Stories

The Crown creator Peter Morgan and Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos

Netflix's Ted Sarandos Talks About End Of Strike As Star-Powered Hollywood Premieres Return With 'The Crown'

David Harbour in 'Stranger Things'

David Harbour Teases 'Stranger Things' Season 5 "Will End In A Very Real Way"

Star Trek: Prodigy  follows a motley crew of young aliens who must figure out how to work together while navigating a greater galaxy, in search of a better future. These six young outcasts know nothing about the ship they have commandeered – a first for the  Star Trek  franchise – but over the course of their adventures together, each will be introduced to Starfleet and the ideals it represents.

The series was developed by Emmy winners Kevin and Dan Hageman ( Trollhunters ), along with  Star Trek  universe chief Alex Kurtzman and his team at Secret Hideout.  Star Trek: Prodigy  is from CBS Studios’ Eye Animation Productions; Nickelodeon Animation; Secret Hideout; and Roddenberry Entertainment. Kurtzman, Heather Kadin, Aaron Baiers, Rod Roddenberry and Trevor Roth serve as executive producers, alongside co-showrunners Kevin and Dan Hageman. Ben Hibon directs, executive produces and serves as the creative lead of the animated series. Aaron Waltke and Patrick Krebs also currently serve as co-executive producers.

Must Read Stories

Netflix’s ted sarandos talks end of strike as star-driven premieres return with ‘the crown’.

star trek yesteryear

‘The Marvels’ Melts Down: What Went Wrong In Disney MCU’s Lowest Opening Ever

Kevin turen, ‘euphoria’ & ‘the idol’ producer, dies at 44, ‘the circus’ wraps run with anxiety & angst over state of politics and democracy.

Subscribe to Deadline Breaking News Alerts and keep your inbox happy.

Read More About:

Deadline is a part of Penske Media Corporation. © 2023 Deadline Hollywood, LLC. All Rights Reserved.


Star Trek at 50

For 50 years, the Star Trek franchise has made history with its vision of the future. From miniskirts and memes to real-life tech, we're celebrating the little sci-fi show that became an enduring and influential part of our culture.

star trek yesteryear

A dozen former cast members reveal which Trek tech they most want to see in real life and why they think the world's still captivated by the franchise.

star trek yesteryear

The star who played a single mom on TV also had a child during the show's run. Though she's happy with her real son, her fictional one could have used more work.

star trek yesteryear

The "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine" star calls her time on the show an important part of who she is, but says she also finds it hard to watch reruns.

star trek yesteryear

Actor John Billingsley of "Star Trek: Enterprise" talks about creating a new alien race for the show, and why he doesn't have a Facebook account.

star trek yesteryear

The "Star Trek: Voyager" star had plenty of misgivings about the futuristic ideals his show portrayed. Still, he had a great time playing Chakotay.

star trek yesteryear

One of Trek's most prolific actors took a "just a job" approach to his work. Still, his time on the show made him appreciate the importance of science.

star trek yesteryear

The "Voyager" cast member describes his audition for The Doctor -- and how his years on the show made him a cheerleader for science.

star trek yesteryear

The star of Trek homage "Galaxy Quest" talks about his deep connection to the franchise's biggest followers.

star trek yesteryear

The "Enterprise" cast member on how fellow Brit Patrick Stewart was a role model, and why he was forced to watch "The Next Generation" over and over.

star trek yesteryear

How playing a character rediscovering her humanity after being kidnapped by the Borg paved the "Voyager" star's professional path.

star trek yesteryear

The star of "The Next Generation" talks about his first years on the show, how he made Worf lovable and why he adores his Tesla Model S.

star trek yesteryear

Some of the technology from the universe of Kirk and Picard could be a reality sooner than you think.

star trek yesteryear

Find out how well you know your funky space sweaters, starships and captains as Star Trek hits the big 5-0 this year.

star trek yesteryear

An intrepid fan boldly faces her past by rewatching "The Final Frontier." Does it deserve its reputation at the bottom of the Star Trek movie pile?

star trek yesteryear

The man who played "The Next Generation" boy genius Wesley Crusher opens up about his favorite behind-the-scenes moments.

star trek yesteryear

New postage honoring 50 years of obeying the prime directive will soon whisk your letters to any starfleet address...on this planet at least.

star trek yesteryear

These are the voyages of a dedicated Star Trek fan boldly shaking Sulu's hand and seeing Capt. Kirk at her very first Trek confab.

star trek yesteryear

One of Star Trek's most frightening enemies comes to life in a live makeup demonstration at the 50th anniversary convention.

star trek yesteryear

Fans sort through the highlights from across the entire television franchise to seek out the single greatest Trek episode ever aired.

With so much Star Trek out there, there were bound to be missteps. Fans hash through space hippies, stolen brains and an awful series finale to find the worst.

star trek yesteryear

William Shatner regales Star Trek convention fans with his thoughts on reading, seeing the Gorn on a plane and the importance of Star Wars.

star trek yesteryear

George Takei has now seen "Star Trek Beyond," and he has both praise and criticism for the reboot movie and its depiction of Sulu as gay.

star trek yesteryear

The actress and comedian dishes on Guinan's saucer-shaped hats, her weird on-set nickname and wanting to return to the Star Trek universe.

star trek yesteryear

Leaving personal messages on a larger-than-life poster, grieving fans honor the Star Trek actor who died in an accident in June.

star trek yesteryear

Delve into the anatomy of a Star Trek costume as CNET's Amanda Kooser preps for a coming convention in full Captain Kirk style.

star trek yesteryear

Set phasers to stunning as artists create a range of art you're going to want in your starship quarters.

star trek yesteryear

Shmaltz Brewing Company pours Star Trek Golden Anniversary Ale: The Trouble With Tribbles for the franchise's 50th anniversary.

star trek yesteryear

She's played a blue-skinned alien and a green-faced warrior, and is now making her third appearance as communications officer Lt. Nyota Uhura in "Star Trek Beyond." Her dream: being able to use a real-life transporter.

Star Trek in pictures

star trek yesteryear

Why Star Trek: The Original Series Was Canceled and Brought Back

Despite being an instant sensation Star Trek: The Original Series was canceled by NBC after three seasons but that's when it really became successful.

  • Star Trek: The Original Series was a phenomenon but not one big enough to save the show from early cancelation.
  • Fans rallied to save Star Trek in Season 2, but it was what they did after the show ended that truly saved it.
  • Star Trek is a unique franchise that changed fans' lives and the way Paramount's television arm did business.

When Star Trek: The Original Series debuted on NBC in 1966, the series had already survived setbacks that killed other series. The series quickly became a sensation, but the budget was too high and the ratings weren't high enough. After battling creator Gene Roddenberry, NBC scheduled Star Trek in a graveyard timeslot for Season 3, and it was canceled. However, the show survived in syndication, and its legion of fans practically willed the franchise back into existence more than once.

There are many reasons why Star Trek was canceled by NBC in 1969 beyond simple ratings. If anything, the series was troubled from the start. First, the show's original pilot failed, but Lucille Ball of Desilu Productions agreed to give Roddenberry another shot. Second, Star Trek was an expensive series to produce despite being co-financed by NBC. Third, Art director Matt Jefferies , production designers and visual effects personnel were asked to do the impossible each week. Still, despite these setbacks, Star Trek spawned a universe of more than a dozen series, with new shows in production almost 60 years later. So, how did this misbegotten science fiction version of Wagon Train beat the odds?

Why NBC Canceled Star Trek: The Original Series In 1969

Star Trek: Just How Old Is the United Federation of Planets?

As mentioned, Star Trek was always a show in trouble despite quickly finding a passionate audience. Desilu was going deep into debt because of the co-financing arrangement, almost canceling the show itself. The ratings were solid, but not as high as NBC wanted them to be. This was before the days of demographics, so NBC didn't realize they had the vaunted 18-34 audience in a stranglehold. During production of Season 2, Roddenberry knew the Sword of Damocles hung over the production. He reached out to writer Harlan Ellison to encourage other respected science fiction authors to write to NBC in order to save the show.

Before there were Star Trek conventions, there were horror and sci-fi conventions, primarily for authors. Star Trek was a big deal among that crowd, and two super-fans Bjo and John Trimble extended the campaign to Trekkies, already cosplaying and mimeographing the first fanzines. The response was so intense NBC not only renewed the show, but the network aired a renewal message before some episodes begging fans to stop writing letters, according to The Center Seat - 55 Years of Star Trek .

For all his visions of a peaceful harmonious future, Gene Roddenberry was a tough person to work with by all accounts. Biographies, oral histories and documentaries present many different versions of the downfall of The Original Series . Factually, NBC scheduled the series on Friday nights, when Star Trek 's primary audience was out on dates and doing other activities young people did in the late 1960s. There was no DVR, so Star Trek disappeared from the zeitgeist, leading to its cancellation. But, there's an argument to be made that it was Roddenberry's fault, simply because he lacked the knack for dealing with network executives like Herbert Solow or Robert Justman had.

Gene Roddenberry Quit Star Trek, but Syndication Saved It

Star Trek Can Still Tell TNG-Era Sequel Stories in Adult Animation

Energized by the victory of the letter-writing campaign, Solow and Justman wrote in Inside Star Trek: The Real Story that Gene Roddenberry grew distracted towards the end of his run. He'd just gotten married to Majel Barrett, enjoying fame and success. He supposedly tried to strong-arm NBC into moving the series into a prime timeslot, threatening to leave the production if they didn't. NBC called his bluff, and Roddenberry retained his executive producer title but stopped actively managing the series. Justman said Season 3 of Star Trek: TOS suffered because of the loss of "the Roddenberry touch."

With 79 episodes, Star Trek didn't meet the typical 100-episode threshold for syndication, but the studio sold it anyway. Something remarkable happened once they did. Airing daily in the afternoon and evening, when children and families were watching, the show became more popular than ever. For more than a decade, Star Trek: TOS was the highest-rated scripted series in syndication. Five years after the show was canceled, the first Star Trek convention was organized. Thousands of people attended, and it was the first time there was such a convention for a single fictional property.

Recognizing they'd killed a golden goose, NBC reached out to Roddenberry for a new show, deciding to try animation since The Original Series was such a hit with kids. Star Trek: The Animated Series began a tradition that persists to this day. Fans revolted at the news , hating the series and actively trying to get it canceled. Then, after watching it a few times, they grew to love it. Star Trek: The Animated Series won an Emmy , the only show in franchise history to be so recognized for storytelling.

Star Trek's Early Cancelation Spawned Movies and a Universe of Spinoff Series

Synthehol: Star Trek's Sci-Fi Take on Alcohol, Explained

After the animated series ended, Roddenberry continued to develop new Star Trek ideas. He wrote a script for a film tentatively titled The God Thing , in which the Enterprise crew meets an interdimensional alien being responsible for all religious mythology. Paramount planned to make a low-budget, B-movie, then that shifted to a TV pilot called Star Trek: Phase II . The success of Close Encounters of the Third Kind and Star Wars shifted plans again into The Motion Picture .

It was a fraught production and a critical disappointment, but it made a boatload of money. Despite disliking the cartoon, the first movie and even The Next Generation , the fanbase showed up for Star Trek . Adults watched the cartoons when they realized the cast reprised their roles. The movie made a profit and inspired a baker's dozen more films, almost all of which made money. Today's franchises like the Marvel Cinematic Universe owe Star Trek a debt.

Roddenberry returned to TV with Star Trek: The Next Generation, and after his passing, nine more television series after that. Star Trek always finds its audience, and even when they're angry, the audience usually tunes in. Fans are still active, currently petitioning Paramount for the Star Trek: Legacy series, continuing the stories of new and legacy characters in the 24th Century. When NBC canceled Star Trek too soon, it set the stage for the universe to go on longer than anyone predicted.

Screen Rant

Star trek is over for 2023 - now what.

2023 was quite a year for Star Trek with some incredible moments, but how is 2024 shaping up and what can Trekkers expect?

  • 2023 was a mixed year for Star Trek, with great episodes but also uncertainty due to strikes and production disruptions.
  • The season 4 finale of Star Trek: Lower Decks marks the end of new episodes for the year.
  • Despite the setbacks, there are still exciting plans for Star Trek in 2024, with three confirmed series and the potential for more.

The season 4 finale of Star Trek: Lower Decks marks the end of new Star Trek episodes in 2023 - so now what? There's no denying Star Trek had an excellent year with tremendous highs. 30 new Star Trek episodes streamed on Paramount+ (pushing the overall series count to over 900 episodes) that featured some of the most innovative and crowd-pleasing moments Trekkers have enjoyed in many years. Yet Star Trek in 2023 was also marred by uncertainty that extends into 2024.

The Writer's Guild of America and SAG-AFTRA strikes brought Hollywood TV and movie production to a standstill, and Star Trek was certainly affected. However, even before the writers hit the picket lines in May and the actors joined them in July, Star Trek on Paramount+ changed their expected plans. In March, Star Trek: Discovery season 5 was announced as the final season of the flagship series starring Sonequa Martin-Green as Captain Michael Burnham. This was followed by the April announcements of new made-for-streaming movies, starting with Star Trek: Section 31 starring Academy Award-winner Michelle Yeoh, and a new, YA-targeted series, Star Trek: Starfleet Academy . In June, however, Paramount+ announced Star Trek: Prodigy was canceled, and the strikes then threw the rest of the year - as well as the plans going into 2024 - into tumult. Looking ahead, there is reason for optimism when Star Trek enters the coming year.

The WGA strike is now resolved, but with the actors still on strike after this writing, Star Trek is still going into 2024 without key details of next year's plans in place.

Related: Star Trek's 5 New Shows Ranked Worst To Best

Lower Decks Is The End Of New Star Trek In 2023

3 star trek series delivered incredible moments..

Star Trek: Lower Decks season 4's finale is the last new Star Trek episode of 2023. Between Lower Decks, Star Trek: Strange New World s season 2, and Star Trek: Picard season 3, the franchise delivered the strongest and most daring run of episodes since Star Trek 's 1990s heyday. Picard season 3 honored the past and set up the future as it brought the story of Star Trek: The Next Generation to a rousing and emotional conclusion. Picard season 3's finale even screened in IMAX theaters. Strange New Worlds took big swings that paid off with landmark episodes like its comedy crossover with Lower Decks and Star Trek 's first-ever musical. Lower Decks also delved deeper into and solidified its connections with TNG , and Lower Decks season 4's premiere enjoyed a theatrical release as well. also released 5 Star Trek: very Short Treks episodes that saw Connor Trinneer of Star Trek: Enterprise reprise Commander Trip Tucker.

As great as those 30 episodes of new Star Trek were, however, in terms of quantity, it was a far cry from 2022's glorious schedule where all 5 Star Trek series on Paramount+ delivered a new episode nearly every Thursday of the calendar year. Before both were canceled by the streamer, Star Trek: Discovery season 5 and Star Trek: Prodigy season 2 were supposed to also premiere on Paramount+ in 2023. The WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes also curtailed Paramount+'s original plan to stage a series of media events to hype Discovery 's final season. Overall, multiple factors contributed to fans getting less Star Trek in 2023 than previously intended.

Star Trek: Prodigy Season 1 Will Premiere On Netflix In 2023

Star trek: prodigy season 2 will arrive in 2024..

Star Trek t echnically isn't over in 2023 because Star Trek: Prodigy season 1 is slated to premiere on Netflix before the end of the year. Of course, these won't be new episodes as the first 20 half-hours of Prodigy originally streamed on Paramount+ in 2021 and 2022, but for the huge global Netflix audience, Prodigy will be a new experience. All 20 episodes of Prodigy season 1 are expected to be available on Netflix before Prodigy season 2's 20 episodes premiere sometime in 2024.

Star Trek: Prodigy 's devoted fan base saved the beloved all-ages Star Trek series from cancelation, including an online petition and an audacious plan to hire an airplane to fly a #SaveStarTrekProdigy banner over Los Angeles, which included Netflix headquarters . Prodigy 's executive producers also showed the first 4 minutes of season 2 at the STLV: 57 Year Mission fan convention in Las Vegas, which dropped the shocking reveals of The Doctor (Robert Picardo) from Star Trek: Voyager and the new Lamarr Class USS Voyager-A joining the show. Star Trek: Prodigy season 2 will be one of the bright lights of Star Trek in 2024, and it may become the biggest series of all if it becomes a global hit on Netflix.

What Does Star Trek Look Like In 2024?

3 star trek series are confirmed for 2024..

Mirroring 2023's output, there are 3 S tar Trek series confirmed to release in 2024: Star Trek: Discovery season 5, Star Trek: Lower Decks season 5, and Star Trek: Prodigy season 2. Until the SAG-AFTRA strike is resolved, Paramount+ seems hesitant to formally announce a release date for Star Trek: Discovery season 5 beyond "early 2024," as the streamer is likely waiting until it can have the actors on hand to give the final season a full-court promotion. Star Trek: Lower Decks season 5's scripts are written, and the episodes are in production, likely for its usual late summer/early fall release date. When Star Trek: Prodigy season 2 will be released on Netflix, and whether all 20 episodes will drop at once or if the season will be broken up, is unknown at this time.

Star Trek: Strange New Worlds season 3 was supposed to be released sometime in 2024 , but until the actors' strike is settled, season 3 won't be able to go into production, If Strange New Worlds season 3 begins filming in 2024, the episodes most likely won't hit Paramount+ until 2025. Similarly, Star Trek: Section 31 was meant to start filming in fall 2023 but can't commence until the strike is over, and the film will have to scramble to make a potential fall 2024 release date, but that's not out of the question. Star Trek: Starfleet Academy has resumed writing its scripts, but the spinoff won't film until after the strike is over and also, possibly not until after Star Trek: Discovery season 5 has finished streaming.

As for Star Trek: Legacy , the Star Trek: Picard spinoff series season 3's finale set up, there are no known plans by Paramount+ to actually make that show in spite of consistent fan demand online. Also looking like a no-go thus far is the Picard movie Patrick Stewart is hoping to make that he wrote about in his autobiography, "Making It So: A Memoir." Meanwhile, the Star Trek movie franchise is still in drydock, although the end of the writer's strike reportedly turned the next J.J. Abrams-produced Star Trek feature film into a priority for Paramount Pictures. Star Trek has a promising 2024 on the horizon, but as the entertainment business and landscape continue to be in flux, it's hard to predict if this will stick, much less what Star Trek will look like in 2025.

Every Star Trek TV series and movie is available to stream on Paramount+ except for Star Trek: Prodigy , which will be available on Netflix.


  1. "Yesteryear" (S1:E2) Star Trek: The Animated Series Screencaps

    star trek yesteryear

  2. "Yesteryear" (S1:E2) Star Trek: The Animated Series Episode Summary

    star trek yesteryear

  3. "Yesteryear" (S1:E2) Star Trek: The Animated Series Screencaps

    star trek yesteryear

  4. "Yesteryear" (S1:E2) Star Trek: The Animated Series Episode Summary

    star trek yesteryear

  5. TV SERIES Review: Star Trek: The Animated Series S1E2

    star trek yesteryear

  6. 1x02

    star trek yesteryear


  1. Moe Whitfield Live Stream


  3. Star Trek

  4. Star Trek is finished after this

  5. SAVING STAR TREK 06_09.23

  6. star trek


  1. Yesteryear (episode)

    Likewise, the Okudas' text commentary for "The Forge" states that "Yesteryear" provided the Star Trek audience's "first tantalizing glimpse of a stylized Vulcan cityscape." The book Star Trek 101 (p. 48), by Terry J. Erdmann and Paula M. Block, cites this installment as "The Best Episode" of Star Trek: The Animated Series.

  2. Yesteryear (Star Trek: The Animated Series)

    List of episodes. " Yesteryear " is the second episode of the first season of the animated American science fiction television series Star Trek. It first aired in the NBC Saturday morning lineup on September 15, 1973, and was written by veteran Star Trek writer D. C. Fontana. [note 1] Widely regarded as one of the best episodes of the series ...

  3. "Star Trek: The Animated Series" Yesteryear (TV Episode 1973)

    Yesteryear: Directed by Hal Sutherland. With William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, DeForest Kelley, George Takei. After finding himself erased from recent history, Spock must travel back in time to save himself as a youth.

  4. From the Vault

    The legendary series' associate producer and story editor on her approach to the classic episode. Diving into the Star Trek archive, for its golden anniversary, highlights an interview with the legendary Star Trek icon D.C. Fontana discussing her approach to the Spock-centric story she penned in "Yesteryear." Stay tuned to StarTrek ...

  5. Recap / Star Trek: The Animated Series S1 E2 "Yesteryear"

    Star Trek: The Animated Series S1 E2 "Yesteryear". "Shhhh, young me, don't try to make sense of all this." While investigating the past through the Guardian of Forever, Spock's past is accidentally changed so that he no longer exists as the Enterprise 's first officer, and now he must go back to his own past to fix whatever happened in the past ...

  6. Star Trek: The Animated Series

    Star Trek: The Animated Series (TAS) is an American animated science fiction television series created by Gene Roddenberry. ... Elements of Spock's childhood from "Yesteryear" are also referenced in the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "Unification" as well as the 2009 Star Trek feature film.

  7. Yesteryear (Star Trek: The Animated Series)

    "Yesteryear" is the second episode of the first season of the animated American science fiction television series Star Trek. It first aired in the NBC Saturday morning lineup on September 15, 1973, and was written by veteran Star Trek writer D. C. Fontana. Widely regarded as one of the best episodes of the series, it was nominated for a Daytime Emmy Award.

  8. "Star Trek: The Animated Series" Yesteryear (TV Episode 1973)

    "Star Trek: The Animated Series" Yesteryear (TV Episode 1973) cast and crew credits, including actors, actresses, directors, writers and more. Menu. Movies. ... The Star Trek Saga a list of 935 titles created 20 Mar 2021 Star Trek (Timeline) a list of 929 titles ...

  9. Yesteryear

    "Yesteryear" is the sequel to the original series episode "City on the Edge of Forever" by Harlan Ellison. The story begins with Mr. Spock returning from a time-traveling research project to find no one onboard the Enterprise remembers him. Now he must go back through the time gate to his Vulcan childhood, and save the life of the child he was ...

  10. "Star Trek: The Animated Series" Yesteryear (TV Episode 1973)

    Yet Star Trek: The Animated Series featured not only the original series cast reprising their roles but also saw writers from the original series (as well as others such as Larry Niven) returning to pen new tales for the Enterprise crew. ... Yesteryear opens with the familiar pair of Kirk and Spock returning through the Guardian Of Forever from ...

  11. Celebrate Star Trek: Discovery's return with the Animated Series

    "Yesteryear," a 1973 episode of Star Trek: The Animated Series.Written by D.C. Fontana (a key contributor to the original 1960s Star Trek, who penned 10 episodes and served as the story editor ...

  12. Star Trek The Original Series Rewatch: "Yesteryear"

    "Yesteryear" Written by D.C. Fontana Directed by Hal Sutherland Animated Season 1, Episode 2 Production episode 22003 Original air date: September 15, 1973 Stardate: 5373.4 Captain̵…

  13. 1x 02 Yesteryear : Free Download, Borrow, and Streaming : Internet Archive

    1x 02 Yesteryear. Topics Star Trek The Animated Series ... Star Trek The Animated Series. Addeddate 2017-06-12 18:49:40 Identifier 1x02Yesteryear Scanner Internet Archive HTML5 Uploader 1.6.3. plus-circle Add Review. comment. Reviews Reviewer: Paul J. - favorite favorite favorite favorite favorite - January 19, 2022 Subject: Star Trek the ...

  14. Watch Star Trek: The Animated Series Season 1 Episode 2: Yesteryear

    Yesteryear. S1 E2 24M TV-PG. Spock travels back in time to prevent his death as a young Vulcan.

  15. Videos

    From the Vault | D.C. Fontana Reflects on 'Yesteryear' Behind The Scenes Pull-ups and Protégés: The Mariner-Ransom Mentorship. Interviews Super Freaky: We Love You, Voyager. ... Star Trek History. Star Trek: The Animated Series Star Trek History: Bem. Star Trek History Star Trek History: The Inner Light. Star Trek History

  16. Yesteryear

    "Yesteryear" was the second episode of Star Trek: The Animated Series. It was produced in TAS' first season and debuted on 15 September 1973. The episode was written by D.C. Fontana and directed by Hal Sutherland. It was novelized in Star Trek: Log One by Alan Dean Foster in June 1974 and subsequently adapted by View-Master. The episode's design of ShiKahr was added to the remastered edition ...

  17. Yesteryear

    A Trek Mate review of the episode "Yesteryear" Episode 2 of Star Trek: The Animated Series.Episode Synopsis:Spock travels back in time to prevent his own dem...

  18. Spock's Parents Return! Star Trek The Animated Series 'Yesteryear

    The Target Audience are watching Star Trek The Animated Series for the first time!! Join them as they react to episode 2 the beloved tv series YesteryearFULL...

  19. Coming Soon

    © 2023 CBS Studios Inc., Paramount Pictures Corporation, and CBS Interactive Inc., Paramount companies. STAR TREK and related marks are trademarks of CBS Studios Inc.

  20. The legacy of Star Trek: The Animated Series, 50 years on

    Star Trek: The Animated Series premiered 50 years ago, in September of 1973 during Saturday morning cartoons, but the show wasn't written for children. Instead, it was very much conceived of as a ...

  21. Official Teaser

    An upcoming Live-Stream series, Yesteryear. It is a Star Trek Adventures Campaign set in the early days of what would come to be known as the Federation. Thi...

  22. The Most Important Dates In Star Trek History

    Gene Roddenberry puts his 'Wagon Train to the stars' on the road (March 11, 1964) Star Trek officially came to life on March 11, 1964, when former pilot and police officer turned television writer ...

  23. 'Star Trek: Prodigy' Sets Season 1 Release Date On Netflix

    November 9, 2023 12:33pm. Netflix. Merry Christmas to all. Netflix announced it will release all 20 episodes of Star Trek: Prodigy Season 1 on Christmas Day, December 25, 2023. The streamer made ...

  24. 'Star Trek' celebrates 50 years

    For 50 years, the Star Trek franchise has made history with its vision of the future. From miniskirts and memes to real-life tech, we're celebrating the little sci-fi show that became an enduring ...

  25. Why Was Star Trek: The Original Series Was Canceled?

    There are many reasons why Star Trek was canceled by NBC in 1969 beyond simple ratings. If anything, the series was troubled from the start. First, the show's original pilot failed, but Lucille Ball of Desilu Productions agreed to give Roddenberry another shot. Second, Star Trek was an expensive series to produce despite being co-financed by NBC.

  26. Star Trek Is Over For 2023

    Star Trek: Lower Decks season 4's finale is the last new Star Trek episode of 2023. Between Lower Decks, Star Trek: Strange New Worlds season 2, and Star Trek: Picard season 3, the franchise delivered the strongest and most daring run of episodes since Star Trek's 1990s heyday. Picard season 3 honored the past and set up the future as it brought the story of Star Trek: The Next Generation to a ...