This character-driven episode allows the regulars and guest stars alike to flex their acting muscles. In particular, Mark Lenard (as the titular character) and Patrick Stewart put on an acting clinic, working in concert with each other as opposed to competing. The episode also pays homage to the original series; in addition to the obvious connection of Sarek, a few references to Spock and "Journey to Babel" are tossed in.
On an interesting side note, this story for this episode was originally pitched as being about some generic Starfleet ambassador; the idea of it being Sarek then came about organically. On a sadder note, while the episode was in production, creator Gene Roddenberry's health was declining and the cast and crew couldn't help but draw some parallels between Sarek and the Great Bird of Galaxy.