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Journey to Babel

What rating would you give "Journey to Babel"?  

4 members have voted

  1. 1. What rating would you give "Journey to Babel"?

    • 5. It's great, I loved it!
    • 4. It's good
    • 3. It's average
    • 2. It's not that good
    • 1. I hated it!

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The Romulan commander is back as Sarek. lol Yeah, it was mentioned before, but someone had to say it. Nice episode really. A mother embarrasses her son in front of his friends, a murder mystery, and a life and death decision, with cunning on the side to deceive Spock. I think what I enjoyed most was the ending where judging by axis positions and all, it would seem that Dr. McCoy was addressing Nurse Chapel, but it looked more like he was addressing the camera and the audience with that quip of his. I loved it! I give it a 5.

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This was a great episode1 So many insights into Spock and the inner workings of the Federation. We get to see for the first time that membership into the Federation is not a gimme. We see the Tellerites and Andorians for the first time. We see Spock's parents for the first time. We find out about Spock's teddy bear which will go on to be featured in the cartoon series as well as several books! So many "firsts" in this episode its hard to keep track.

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Journey to Babel is one of my favorite TOS episodes, with the highlight of meeting Spock's parents! There are some memorable quotes and some fine performances. Here is some trivia and info from Memory Alpha website. Warning SPOILER ALERT!


Memorable Quotes

"That hurts worse than the uniform."

- McCoy after attempting a Vulcan salute


"Mr. Spock – explain the computer components."

(pause) "I gave Spock his first instruction in computers, captain. He chose to devote his knowledge to Starfleet, rather than the Vulcan Science Academy."

- Kirk and Sarek


"They're both – stubborn."

"A human trait, captain?"

- Kirk and Amanda, discussing Sarek and Spock


"A teddy bear!"

"Not precisely, Doctor. On Vulcan, the teddy bears are alive – and they have six-inch fangs."

- McCoy and Spock, after learning of Spock's pet sehlat.


"Captain, the intercoms are jammed. All the ambassadors are asking what's going on."

"Tell them to take a good... guess, but clear that board, lieutenant!"

- Uhura and Kirk


"Are you quite through shaking this ship around?"

- McCoy, to Kirk


"Logic! Logic! I'm sick to death of logic! Do you want to know how I feel about your logic?"

- Amanda


"Emotional, isn't she?"

"She has always been that way."

"Indeed – why did you marry her?"

"At the time, it seemed the logical thing to do."

- Spock and Sarek discussing Amanda's outburst.


"Now, if you keep arguing with your kindly family doctor, you'll find yourself spending the next ten days right here. Cooperate – and you'll be out in two."

- McCoy, after Kirk protests his extended stay in sickbay.


"Dr. McCoy, I believe you're enjoying all this."

"Indeed, Captain. I've never seen him look so happy."

"Shut up!"

- Kirk, Spock and Dr. McCoy, when McCoy orders the other two to remain in sickbay to recuperate.


"Well, what do you know? I finally got the last word!"

- McCoy


Background Information

The actor playing Gav couldn't see well through the prosthetics over his eyes, thus causing him to raise his head to see. This added to the early mythos that the Tellarites were arrogant.

Tellarites will be seen in two third-season episodes, with greatly modified masks.

An unused make-up scheme for the Tellarites can be seen in the end credits of several episodes.

The matte shot of Uhura appearing on the screen in Engineering is one of the smallest mattes ever used in the series until the view discs in "All Our Yesterdays".

For some unknown reason, during the fight between Thelev and Kirk, just after Kirk's failed wall kick the comical sound effect of a coconut konk can be heard. This may have been meant to indicate Thelev's head hitting the floor. In the Remastered Edition of this episode it seems that this slighty silly effect has been removed from the fight.

During the same fight Thelev's hands noticeably alternate between Andorian-blue and stunt-man "pink".

The unknown actor who plays one of Sarek's aides also appeared as mirror Spock's Vulcan bodyguard in "Mirror, Mirror".


This episode introduces the Andorians and the Tellarites. Along with Humans and the Vulcans, they are two of the four founding members of the United Federation of Planets.

The guest actors in this segment are uniformly excellent, with Jane Wyatt and Mark Lenard leaving their mark with some of the most memorable portrayals in the series. As a tribute to her long and distinguished career, Wyatt is called "Miss Jane Wyatt" in the closing credits.

John Wheeler, William O'Connell and Reggie Nalder make the most of their small roles, with Nalder's Austrian accent giving a great sense of the exotic to the role of Shras.

We learn about Spock's childhood pet, a sehlat, in this episode. We will meet I-Chaya in D.C. Fontana's animated episode, "Yesteryear".

Andorian make-up was very expensive. Three different sets had to be created, for O'Connell, Nalder and for the stuntman doubling for O'Connell.

The Orion ship, a convincing piece of animation, is recycled as the missile in "Patterns of Force".

The coded message sent by Thelev is the same signal heard in "Miri".

Jim Shepherd, Thelev's stunt double, died in a stunt accident on another show/movie shortly after his work in this episode.


In the original script Sarek and his company were beamed aboard the Enterprise. But after going over budget with the expensive Vulcan, Andorian, Tellarite make-ups and the outer space footage of the Orion ship there was no money left for the transporter effect. Their transportation to the ship by shuttlecraft was intended because it could be made completely by using stock footage from "The Galileo Seven". The resulting scene was far more dramatic and interesting than a beam-over would have been.

James Doohan (Scotty) and George Takei (Sulu) do not appear in this episode, although McCoy and Kirk do mention Scotty's name.

If you look behind McCoy while Amanda is inquiring about Sarek's condition, you will see the Tantalus field controls used in "Mirror, Mirror".

According to Spock, the Orion ship travels at "approximately Warp 10" in its first pass.

According to Uhura, Starfleet says "No authorized Federation vessel in this quadrant". The quadrant that she is referring to is obviously a different kind than the galactic Alpha, Beta etc. quadrants.

The Tellarite ambassador is found dead in "Deck 11, section A3", which according to Matt Jefferies' original internal schematics is at the bottom of the main interconnecting dorsal. The "slanting wall tube" that the Tellarite is found sprawled in is also identified as "Engineering Circuit Bay" by the wall plaque in another episode.


Spock reports that he gets readings of "trititanium" in the Orion ship's hull. It is not clear if the entire hull is made of it or parts of it. Trititanium is the material that the Enterprise's hull is made of as Gene Roddenberry says in his novelization of ST:TMP. It is not clear whether it is the same material as "tritanium" which is reported to be "20 times as hard as diamond" in TOS "Obsession".

Kirk orders that photon torpedo "tubes 2, 4, and 6" to be loaded, and requests "widest possible scatter". The ship only seems to get off two shots though, and Chekov reports "a full spread miss, sir". Photon torpedoes also seem to be controlled by Chekov from the science station in this episode.

After repeated attacks by the Orion ship, which is armed with "standard phasers", the Enterprise's #4 shield buckles, at which time Kirk orders "auxiliary power", after which Chekov reports "Shields firming up, #4 is still weak, Sir."


Kirk says to Engineering: "Cut power on the port side, except for phaser banks." It is unclear whether this means there are phasers on the port side somewhere or if he means the port side of the forward banks.

The Orion ship is destroyed while closing on the Enterprise at sublight, at a range of around 75,000 km.

Manny Coto originally pushed to have the short, gold-skinned species from this episode attend the Coalition of Planets conference in "Terra Prime", but it proved too expensive. He named the species Ithanite which was mentioned in "Azati Prime" by time traveller Daniels.

Remastered Information

The remastered version of this episode premiered in syndication the weekend of 3 February 2007 and featured several notably altered effects. The Enterprise shuttlebay and landing sequence was completely redone digitally, featuring a number of background actors visible within the viewing galleries. Also revamped were shots of Vulcan (now more closely resembling its appearance in Star Trek: Enterprise) and the battle between the Enterprise and the Orion ship, now more featuring an identifiable design.


Guest Stars

Miss Jane Wyatt as Amanda

Mark Lenard as Sarek


John Wheeler as Gav

James X. Mitchell as Josephs

Reggie Nalder as Shras


Uncredited Cast

William Blackburn as Hadley

Jerry Catron as Montgomery

Billy Curtis as a copper-colored alien

Frank da Vinci as Sarek's aide

Jim Shepherd as William O'Connell's stunt double


Retrieved from ""


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