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Years before George Lucas knocked us out with his wildly imaginative bar scene inStar Wars(in which a broad mix of exotic creatures mill about),Star Trekdid much the same thing in "Journey to Babel." Serving as a transport for a variety of extraterrestrial diplomats, theEnterprisebecomes a warp-capacity hotel for truly eclectic visitors. (Director Joseph Pevney credits the makeup artist with this episode's impressive array of alien species.) The story finds murder committed aboard the ship and an attack on Captain Kirk (William Shatner), all in an effort to sabotage the imminent signing of a peace treaty. But against this mystery is an even more curious family drama featuring Spock's conflicts with his parents, the Vulcan ambassador Sarek (Mark Lenard), who disapproves of his son, and his human wife, Amanda (Jane Wyatt). Story editor Dorothy Fontana wrote the script after deciding it was time to show us the oft-mentioned mother and father of theEnterprise's first officer (Leonard Nimoy). We can thank her for inventing all the fascinating details of a complicated family relationship that ultimately became crucial to a couple of feature films and even a memorable episode ofThe Next Generation.--Tom Keogh
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Studio:  CBS Paramount International Television
CastLeonard Nimoy, Mark Lenard, Jane Wyatt
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review by . August 29, 2004
This is one of the best episodes of the original series, demonstrating originality by exhibiting many new species and some of the features of the Vulcan culture. Having Spock's parents on the Enterprise as Vulcan ambassador Sarek and his human wife Amanda was a stroke of genius. Most children experience tension with their parents over their career paths, and it was interesting to see the same thing happening among Vulcans. Surak had opposed Spock's decision to enter Star Fleet and they have not …
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