"Spock" (Leonard Nimoy) is showing strange, erratic behavior and "Capt. Kirk" (William Shatner) asks "Dr. McCoy" (DeForest Kelly) to examine the First Officer. "McCoy" learns in his examination that "Spock" MUST return to his homeplanet "Vulcan" within eight days (maximum) or he will die. However, "Spock" refuses to explain why he must return to his homeworld and why it threatens his life at first. He eventually explains that he is suffering from "Pon Farr" and must mate with his mate that was picked for him when he was a child or he will die.
"Kirk" jeopardizes his career, and orders the Enterprise divert from their current mission to bring "Spock" to his native world.
As they arrive at "Vulcan," "Spock" asks "Kirk" and "McCoy" to accompany him to the planet surface as his guests. The three "beam down" to the planet where "Spock's" chosen mate, "T'Pring" (Arlene Martel) awaits. To "Kirk's" surprise, one of "Vulcan's" most respected leaders, "T'Pau" (the late Celia Lovsky) is to conduct the ceremony.
Trouble starts when "T'Pring" stops the ceremony to announce she wishes to marry a "Vulcan" named "Stonn" (Lawrence Montaigne). She envokes her right to have "Spock" fight for her, and, to every one's surprise, chooses "Kirk" to fight on her behalf instead of "Stonn."
However, the biggest surprise to "McCoy" and "Kirk" is that the fight, with hand-held weapons which have large blades at one end and a blunt object on the other, is to the death.
The episode, written by Theodore Sturgeon, was the Season Two premiere episode that had a memorable entry march and music with interesting costumes for the "Vulcan" wedding party which greets "Spock" and his guests in a set that might remind you of Stonehenge.
Both Arlene Martel and the late Celia Lovsky did good jobs both as a young (Martel) and elder (Lovsky) "Vulcan" females. Both are stoic as required as a "Vulcan". Lovsky stands out a bit more, as she talks with her Czech accent making her performance a little more memorable.
Another standout performance is done by Nimoy, who does a wonderful job portraying "Spock" as one who is trying to retain control while feeling the urge to return home like the bass must return to the stream it was born in to spawn. Shatner also does a good job as "Kirk," who puts his career, and neck, on the line to save his First Officer and close friend.
The episode lags in some places, and the fight scene seems to take up more time than it should, but they help with advancing the story to the surprise ending. The scenery is fairly boring, yet interesting as you can see hints of the "Vulcan" red-colored sky and the redish "rock" of the structures which surround the area for the wedding.
To sum things up, "Amok Time" is an interesting look into the "Vulcan" culture and biological needs.