All Our Yesterdays (Star Trek: The Original Series)

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"All Our Yesterdays"
Star Trek: The Original Series episode
STAllYesterdays.jpg
Spock and McCoy meet Zarabeth
Episode no. Episode 78
Directed by Marvin Chomsky
Written by Jean Lisette Aroeste
Production code 078
Original air date March 14, 1969
Guest stars

Mariette Hartley
Ian Wolfe
Kermit Murdock
Johnny Haymer
Ed Bakey
Al Cavens
Stan Barrett
Anna Karen Morrow

Episode chronology
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List of Star Trek: The Original Series episodes

"All Our Yesterdays" is a third season (and the penultimate) episode of Star Trek: The Original Series, first broadcast March 14, 1969 and repeated on August 5, 1969. It is episode #78, production #78, written by Jean Lisette Aroeste, and directed by Marvin Chomsky. It guest-stars Mariette Hartley as Zarabeth. The title comes from a well-known soliloquy given by Macbeth in Act V Scene V.

Overview: Kirk, Spock and McCoy are trapped in two parts of world's past--a world threatened by a supernova.

[edit] Plot

On stardate 5943.7, the starship USS Enterprise arrives at the class M planet Sarpeidon to evacuate its inhabitants, doomed by an impending supernova explosion of the system's star. Oddly, sensors detect no signs of humanoid life on the surface and Captain Kirk, along with Dr. McCoy ("Bones") and Mr. Spock, beams down to investigate.

Once there, the landing party finds a sophisticated computer library where they encounter a man named Mr. Atoz — his name being a play on "A to Z", that is, a library. Mister Atoz explains that the library contains an archive of historical data disks. Kirk warns Atoz of the planet's imminent destruction and that they must leave immediately. Atoz however, says he is aware of the destruction of his world, and is already prepared. He informs that he will be joining his wife and family soon. He then activates a machine, called the "Atavachron". By viewing the historic disks, the time portal can send any who enter back in time to the point recorded in the data.

Kirk hears a woman's scream on the other side of the portal. Without realizing what the doorway is, he rushes through and disappears. McCoy and Spock rush into the portal after him, despite Atoz' warnings not to go through, since they have not been "prepared". The two find themselves transported through time 5,000 years into the past, to when Sarpeidon was in the midst of an ice age. The two are trapped in the brutal cold and desperately look around for their captain.

Meanwhile, Kirk arrives in an alleyway at a point in Sarpeidon's history reminiscent of England's Restoration Period. He manages to rescue a disheveled-looking woman from being assaulted by sword-bearing nobles. Kirk chases the assailants away, but then discovers the "maiden in distress" is really a thief who was attempting to steal the man's purse.

He offers to have McCoy treat the woman's wounds, but on looking whence he came, sees only a stone wall. Kirk steps back to the alley, but cannot locate the time portal. He discovers he can still talk to McCoy and Spock, but cannot get to them.

Spock surmises that all of the planet's inhabitants have escaped their demise by going through the portal to their past, which explains why only Atoz is left. (Atoz later confirms this. He was just about to depart when the landing party arrived.)

Authorities arrive and arrest Kirk for helping the thief. At the same time, McCoy asks his captain about what is going on at his end, and the guards are shaken when they hear the mysterious disembodied voice. The thief then betrays Kirk and tells the guards that he is using witchcraft, and the voices forced her to steal against her will.

On the verge of freezing to death, Spock and Bones look for shelter and encounter a figure wrapped in heavy furs, who leads the strangers to a warm cave. Unrobing to reveal a beautiful woman, she identifies herself to Spock as Zarabeth, and explains that she and her family have been exiled because one of them was involved in a plot to assassinate Zor-kahn, the tyrant who ruled in her time, or as she wryly puts it, her crime was "choosing my kinsmen unwisely".

Meanwhile, Kirk, taken to a jail cell, is interrogated by a prosecutor. Kirk mentions the "library" from which he came through time, and the prosecutor becomes nervous, realizing what Kirk means, for the prosecutor is also a refugee from Sarpeidon's future. At first, the prosecutor seems to believe that Kirk is innocent, but the guard and thief maintain they heard the mysterious voices and that Kirk must be a witch. Kirk realizes the prosecutor is from the future, and earnestly refers to the library and Mr. Atoz in the hope of getting back. The prosecutor becomes frightened and rushes away, saying he wants nothing more to do with the prisoner.

Back in the ice age, Zarabeth listens to McCoy's and Spock's story of their arrival, and informs them that she too is from Sarpeidon's future. She explains that the Atavachron portal is "one-way" and alters a traveler's molecular structure so that if they return to their time, they will die.

Meanwhile, Kirk sits in his cell and overpowers the jailer when he brings him food. The prosecutor arrives and Kirk confronts him, accusing him of being from Sarpeidon's future and threatening to expose him to the others as a "witch" if he does not help him escape. The prosecutor tries to calm Kirk down, admitting that he is indeed from the future, but Kirk cannot return because of the "preparation" through the Atavachron. Kirk points out that Atoz never prepared him, and the prosecutor says Kirk must return at once, since an unprepared individual can only survive a short time in the past. He guides Kirk back to the alley, and Kirk feels for the portal, soon finding it.

The Enterprise warps away from Sarpeidon just as Beta Niobe goes supernova.

Kirk steps through the portal returning to the library. He confronts Atoz and demands he help him rescue his friends. Atoz refuses to help until Kirk "prepares" himself before returning to the past. Believing his friends are dying and no more time can be wasted, Kirk tries to force Atoz to cooperate, but he shoots Kirk with an energy weapon, knocking him unconscious.

Back in the ice age, Mr. Spock slowly reverts to the barbaric nature of ancient Vulcans, an effect that may be the result of remaining in the past when those Vulcans are living. McCoy notices the hostile changes in Spock when the Vulcan reacts angrily to one of his typical insults. Spock begins to fall in love with Zarabeth, losing all intention of returning to the future, and wanting only to remain with his new love. McCoy, however, is not convinced that they are trapped despite Zarabeth's statement that trying to return through the portal would cause death; he believes that only Zarabeth is somehow unable to return, but he is willing to risk death for himself.

Back in the library, Kirk awakens on a cart just in time to stop Atoz from wheeling him into the time portal, and forces him to find his companions. Trying various disks, Kirk locates Spock and McCoy in the ice age and opens a portal. Meanwhile, McCoy, with Spock and Zarabeth at the base of the ice cliff where they arrived, hears Kirk's voice and manages to drag Spock away from Zarabeth long enough to follow it back to the library. The three are happily reunited, and with time running out, they watch Atoz slam a disk into the machine and make a panicked run for the portal and disappear.

Realizing they have seconds before the planet is destroyed, the landing party quickly returns to the Enterprise, which safely warps away just as the star explodes.

[edit] 40th Anniversary remastering

This episode was digitally re-mastered in 2006 and was first aired April 21, 2007 as part of the remastered 40th Anniversary original series. It was preceded a week earlier by the remastered version of "And the Children Shall Lead", and followed a week later by the remastered version of "A Piece of the Action". Aside from remastered video and audio, and the all-CGI animation of the Enterprise that is standard among the revisions, specific changes to this episode also include:

  • The planet Sarpeidon is given a more Earth-like detail.
  • The supernova of Beta Niobe at the end is interpreted quite differently by showing the star becoming a Crab Nebula-like nova and Sarpeidon's breaking up and being destroyed as the Enterprise warps away.

[edit] Sequels

Author A.C. Crispin wrote two novel sequels to this episode, titled Yesterday's Son (#11), and Time for Yesterday (#39) (Simon & Schuster).

[edit] External links

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