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Amok Time
Series: The Original Series
Written by: Theodore Sturgeon
Directed by: Joseph Pevney
Novelization in: Star Trek 3 by James Blish
Production information
Episode no.: 2x05
Production no.: 6149-35
First aired: 22 September 1967
Date: 3372.7 (2267)



McCoy notices that Spock is growing restless and has stopped eating. He also is becoming extremely irritable, throwing Nurse Christine Chapel out of his quarters and physically flinging the Vulcan plomeek soup she has specially prepared for him. After this outburst, he demands a leave of absence on his home planet Vulcan. Kirk is baffled by Spock's behavior, but orders the Enterprise to Vulcan. However, a priority message forces him to change course back to Altair VI in order to be on time for the new President's coronation. As soon as he leaves the bridge, Spock orders the course changed back to Vulcan.

Kirk orders Spock to sickbay, where Bones examines him and finds that if he is not brought to Vulcan within eight days, Spock will die due to extreme stress produced by chemicals being pumped through his body. When Kirk confronts him, Spock says he cannot tell the cause of his problem because it is a deeply personal affair. Kirk eventually cajoles Spock into revealing that his problem is "Vulcan biology," which Kirk correctly concludes means Vulcan reproduction.

Spock explains to them that Vulcans are married as children with the understanding that they will fulfill this commitment when they become adults. Spock has reached this time, the "pon farr," and if he doesn't get to Vulcan immediately to mate with his bride, T'Pring, he will die. Kirk jeopardizes his career by disobeying a direct order to the contrary from Starfleet, and proceeds with all possible speed to Vulcan. As Spock's friends, Kirk and McCoy are invited to witness the marriage ritual -- the "koon-ut-kal-if-fee." The master of ceremonies is T'Pau, the only person ever to turn down a seat in the Federation Council.

Trouble starts when T'Pring announces she would rather marry Stonn, a full Vulcan. T'Pring invokes her right to have Spock fight for her. However, she chooses Kirk as her champion. Fearing Spock is too weak to fight Stonn, Kirk agrees. It is only then he is informed that it is to be a fight to the death.

The fight ensues and Spock quickly demonstrates physical superiority. McCoy objects to T'Pau that Kirk isn't used to the Vulcan atmosphere and climate. He asks to inject the captain with a tri-ox compound to compensate. T'Pau agrees and Kirk is given the injection.

During the fight, Spock apparently kills Kirk and McCoy accompanies the captain's body back to the Enterprise. Spock, his mating urges curbed by the knowledge that Kirk, his friend and captain, is dead by his own hand, relinquishes T'Pring to Stonn, but not before demanding to know why T'Pring chose Kirk for her champion; in a dazzling display of flawless logic, T'Pring explains that, as Spock's name became near-legendary among their people, she quickly grew disenchanted with the idea of becoming the mate of such fame and instead fell in love with Stonn. Since she could only divorce him through the challenge, and she didn't want to risk losing Stonn, she chose Kirk, knowing that he would not accept her as his mate should he win, and if Spock didn't release her for daring to challenge, his anticipated years of absence pursuing his Starfleet career would leave her alone to pursue an affair with Stonn. He solemnly returns to the starship. There he finds Kirk alive and well, having been injected not with tri-ox, but with a neuroparalyzer which simulates death. Here, he is overjoyed to find Kirk alive, betraying his emotion with a big smile. Kirk is let off the hook for disobeying orders when Starfleet retroactively grants permission to divert to Vulcan at T'Pau's request.



Christine ChapelPavel ChekovJames T. KirkWestervliet KomackEd LeslieLeonard H. McCoyMontgomery ScottSpockStonnHikaru SuluT'PauT'PringNyota Uhura
Referenced only 

Starships and vehicles

USS Enterprise (Constitution-class) • USS Excalibur (Constitution-class) • USS Endeavour (Constitution-class)


VulcanAltair VIEarth

Races and cultures


States and organizations

Starship CommandFederation Council


plomik soup • Oriental • birdbeepon farr • salmon • eel • stonehenge • Koon-ut-kal-if-fee • war ax • mallet • Kah-if-feeKah-if-farrKroykahlirpaknifecudgelahn woonKlee-etKlee-fah • whip


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Previous story:
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Star Trek 3
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last story
chronological order
Previous Adventure:
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Pocket Next Adventure:
The Centre Cannot Hold
Previous Adventure:
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Voyages of the
USS Enterprise (NCC-1701)
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External link

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