Star Trek: The Animated Series

Season 1 Episode 2


Aired Saturday 10:30 AM Sep 15, 1973 on NBC
out of 10
User Rating
72 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

Spock must return to his own past on Vulcan to prevent his death as a youngster.

Who was the Episode MVP ?

No results found.
No results found.
No results found.
  • Spock must return to the past to save himself as a child.

    This is easily the best episode of the animated series and sometimes even makes those lists in magazines and websites of the top Star Trek episodes of all time. And why not? "Yesteryear" ties directly into three episodes of the best episodes of original series ("The City of on the Edge of Forever", "Amok Time", and "Journey to Babel",) guest stars Mark Lenard, who reprises his role as Spock's father, and is the only Star Trek episode to deal with an issue that anyone who has ever owned a pet cares greatly about. The episode, written by D.C. Fontana, has great pacing and dialogue and features some excellent voice acting by Leonard Nimoy.moreless
  • Arriving from the past, Spock realizes he doesn't exist in the future. He then returns to his youth to prevent his untimely death.

    Automatically, I knew this episode would be great when I discovered it was written by DC Fontana, arguably the best of all of the Trek writers. I thought right. We really do get a good look into Spock's past and the sad story about his pet sehlat. For those who know, the worst part of the episode is the battle with the Le-Matya. The Le-Matya's roar was Godzilla's roar. It's not that it was similar, it was the same exact roar. But, that is not a big deal compared to the genuinely fantastic story. This is the episode that Gene Roddenberry liked the most out of all of them, and it really is a great episode.moreless
  • Spock travels into his own past.

    A fantastic episode that really shows off good plots that Star Trek could come up with. Nimoy does a fantastic job as always.

    If I had to find a problem with the episode it is a few minor nit picks. The creature that attacks little Spock uses Godzilla's exact roar. Guess it was on hand from the other animated series the studio was making.

    The other is little Spock's voice actor. It is obvious he is been fed the lines a few words at a time. The words come out in an unsmooth manner. It is a minor problem, but it show that they used an actual kid for the role.moreless
  • After returning to the Guardian of Forever to observe historians using it for research, the crew suddenly discovers something has gone wrong and history has changed, and Spock must go back to fix what went wrong.moreless

    A personal favorite and semi-sequel to D.C. Fontana's other favorite effort - the original series episode Journey to Babel, this episode follows Spock back in time to his childhood and reveals some of his trials and tribulations as a half-human/half-vulcan child on a world that enforces ritual and conformity.

    This poignant story was the one submitted for Emmy consideration and it won the show a daytime Emmy for Best Children's Programming. In its short running time, we meet I-Chiya, the fearsome yet lovable and loyal sehlat that Spock had as a pet, who saves young Spock's life during an ordeal involving a deadly creature in the Vulcan desert while going through a manhood ritual known as the Kas-wan. Yet Spock's earlier travel through time for research using the Guardian of Forever, had altered that history, where his young self ends up dying during the ritual. And this change not only wipes any knowledge of Spock's existence out of the current time that he returns to, but results in the non-aligned Andorians suddenly appearing as members of the Federation among other major changes discovered during the current time. So he must go back in time once more to fix what changed, saving his own life and restoring the proper timeline. But doing so comes at the cost of his young self going through the heart-breaking experience (at least for his human side) of watching his pet sehlat die after saving him. This particular outcome of showing the death of a child's pet during the Saturday morning cartoons, was considered controversial at the time, but was allowed to air (and was most likely the first time such did).

    It was nice to see Sarek and Amanda again and to learn Amanda's maiden name. It was also nice to actually see the Kas-wan ritual played out, as it was an important milestone for a young Vulcan as he begins to mature, and mention of it would come later in both Voyager and Enterprise.

    There was alot packed into the episode and it was and continues to be deserving of its many accolades and outstanding rating.moreless
  • Yesteryear is a highly enjoyable and significant episode of Trek history with brilliant character development, story-telling and animation.

    Yesteryear starts off rather abruptly on a planet capable of letting users pass through time with the help of a vortex-like being. As Spock & Kirk return from a trip into the past, it is established that the future has been changed and Spock is no longer remembered by any of the crew.

    Performances for this episode from the regular actors remain top-notch with Nimoy proving to be more than capable of playing the leading role in the animated series. There are some minor problems with the performances here and there, but luckily nothing too distracting.

    The story is as fascinating and well written as it is important to the history of Spock and his species. Even though we hardly get a good view upon the Spock’s city, what we do see is fantastically animated and represented on-screen, especially for 1973.

    Overall, Yesteryear is a highly enjoyable and significant episode of Trek history with brilliant character development, story-telling and animation. If you see one anmated episode of Trek, it should probably be this.

James Doohan

James Doohan

The Healer/Aleek-OM/Erikson/Guardian of Forever/Thelin the Andorian/Ensign Bates

Guest Star

Mark Lenard

Mark Lenard


Guest Star

Billy Simpson

Billy Simpson

Young Spock

Guest Star

James Doohan

James Doohan

Lt. Cmdr. Montgomery "Scotty" Scott / Lt. Arex

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (6)

    • In one shot in the transporter room, Scotty's insignia can just be seen to be on the wrong side of his uniform.

    • In one shot in the briefing room, Spock's insignia appears on the wrong side of his uniform.

    • In one shot of the Andorian Thelin in the Enterprise's briefing room his collar is blue instead of black.

    • Time-travelling Spock establishes himself with the cover story of being a distant relative (which everyone accepts so must be true), but later tells his younger self that he also has human blood. In the show Spock has always been presented as the first, unique half-Vulcan/half-Human. Wouldn't young Spock think it odd that there were another half-Human Vulcan when he's the first?

    • The Le-Matya's head briefly disappears when Spock applies a nerve pinch.

    • Thelin's skin is greyish-pink: Andorians in the series have blue skin.

  • QUOTES (10)

    • Thelin: This change in the timeline will put you in my place, yet I'm not aggrieved.
      Spock: Andorians are not known for their charity.
      Thelin: True. A warrior race has few sympathies, but one we do possess is for family. In your time plane, you will live and so will your mother. That is valuable. Live long and prosper in your world, Commander Spock.
      Spock: And you in yours, Commander Thelin.

    • Sarek: My apologies, visitor. I regret you were witness to that unfortunate display of emotion on the part of my son.
      Spock: In the family, all is silence. No more will be said of it. Live long and prosper, Sarek of Vulcan.

    • Sarek: Spock, being Vulcan means following disciplines and philosophies that are difficult and demanding of both mind and body.
      Young Spock: Yes, Father.
      Sarek: You constantly display your emotions. You have even been seen fighting in the street.
      Young Spock: Yes, Father.
      Sarek: 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 emotions and instinct. Once on the path you choose, you cannot turn back.
      Young Spock: Yes, Father.

    • Young Spock: Thank you for helping me and I-Chaya.
      Spock: It was my duty, Spock.
      Young Spock: Mother says you should always say thank you.
      Spock: The lady Amanda is known for her graciousness.
      Young Spock: Do you think I'll ever be able to do that neck pinch as well as you?
      Spock: I dare say you will.

    • Spock: There is some human blood in my family line. It is not fatal.

    • Healer: You are Spock, son of Sarek, are you not?
      Young Spock: Yes, Healer.
      Healer: I have heard of you. I have heard of a tendency toward what humans call "practical jokes."
      Young Spock: I did that once, two years ago. Healer, I would not call you out unless a life was in danger. Have you ever heard the son of Sarek was a liar?

    • Young Spock: I wanted only to help I-Chaya. He was my father's before he was mine. To lose him...
      Spock: A Vulcan would face such a loss without tears.
      Young Spock: How?
      Spock: By understanding 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.

    • Young Spock: If you will excuse me now, I have some business to conduct with schoolmates.
      Sarek: Business?
      Young Spock: A demonstration of the Vulcan neck pinch.

    • Kirk: I sent the others up to the ship. What happened?
      Spock: One small thing was changed this time. A pet died.
      Kirk: A pet? Well, that wouldn't mean much in the course of time.
      Spock: It might to some.

    • McCoy: Never mind the chitchat. I've got my medical scanners all set up for a Vulcan. I have to recalibrate every time I run a physical on you, Spock.
      Spock: Dr. McCoy, you do not know your good fortune. If the times were different, you would have to recalibrate for an Andorian.
      McCoy: 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.
      Spock: Times change, Doctor. Times change.

  • NOTES (13)

    • The Le-Matya's roar is the same sound effect as the roar of Toho Films' kaiju, Godzilla.

    • George Takei and Nichelle Nichols are credited but do not lend their voice talents to the episode.

    • A wild version of a sehlat similar to that kept by the young Spock as a pet, was seen by Captain Archer and Commander T'Pol while traveling on Vulcan in the Star Trek: Enterprise episode "The Forge."

    • The sentient time portal the Guardian of Forever first appeared in the Star Trek (Original Series) first-season episode "The City on the Edge of Forever". Originally voiced by Bart LaRue, he is played by James Doohan in this episode.

    • Spock's pet sehlat was first mentioned by his mother Amanda in the Star Trek (Original Series) second season episode "Journey to Babel."

    • This is the first time in Original Trek or anywhere else we hear of Amanda's maiden name: Grayson.

    • Keith Sutherland (Sopek) is the son of director Hal Sutherland, who directed this and many other animated episodes.

    • Billy Simpson never actually recorded for this episode, or worked with Leonard Nimoy or anyone else. All of the material of Young Spock comes from Simpson's audition tape, which was edited in later and combined with Mark Lenard, Leonard Nimoy, etc.

    • When story editor D.C. Fontana was writing this episode she ran into opposition from the network executives when they learned her story would have Spock's beloved pet mortally wounded and requiring euthanasia. The executives were concerned that it would upset young viewers and insisted that the pet be allowed to live. Gene Roddenberry supported Fontana and reassured the management that she would handle the story appropriately. As it turns out, there were never any complaints about the episode and the story is considered the finest of the series.

    • Author D.C. Fontana penned the original episodes "Tomorrow is Yesterday", "Charlie X", "This Side of Paradise", "Journey to Babel", "Friday's Child", "By Any Other Name", "The Ultimate Computer", and "The Enterprise Incident". Purportedly she did much behind-the-scenes script cleanup work as well and is generally accredited as one of the "founding fathers" and major creative forces behind Star Trek.

    • The actors who played Sofek and Stark are unknown.

    • Since Jane Wyatt wasn't available on the show's budget, Majel Barrett fills in for Amanda.

    • Mark Lenard reprises his role as Sarek from the original series.


  • 8:00 pm
    People's List
  • 9:00 pm
    20/20: In an Instant Murder in the Maternity Ward