S01E05. Sarek

Before the Future Came podcast art with a painting of a space station interior in the background that evokes a starburst
Before the Future Came
S01E05. Sarek

Bedlam! Melissa brings “Sarek,” the 23rd episode of season three of Star Trek: The Next Generation, written by Peter S. Beagle and directed by Les Landau. Like “The Sword of Kahless,” this episode features a recurring character coming to terms with the end of his career. We talk about illness, aging, dignity, honesty, gender, and violence. We also discuss everyday life in space, Mark Lenard, and retro style.

(The transcript for this episode is in progress and will be added to this post when it’s ready.)

For images discussed in this episode, visit the episode page on our website.

Please let us know what you think about the show! Hail us at onscreen@beforethefuture.space, contact us on social media, or comment on our website at beforethefuture.space.


  • Sarek first appears in The Original Series S02E15, “Journey to Babel,” and Mark Leonard reprises this role in The Animated Series S01E02, “Yesteryear,” and several films.
  • Sarek’s other son Sybok dies in Star Trek V: The Final Frontier.
  • Spock finally dies of old age after travelling to the past, as revealed in Star Trek Beyond.
  • Michael Burnham travels to the future at the beginning of season three of Star Trek: Discovery; she has not died as of this episode airing.
  • The Original Series S02E15, “Journey to Babel,” and S01E25, “This Side of Paradise,” establish that Sarek and Spock’s family name is unpronounceable by humans.
  • The novel Ishmael gives Sarek and Spock’s family name as S’chn T’gai, but non-screen works are generally not considered canon, despite this name appearing on some promotional ephemera for Strange New Worlds.
  • Spock’s mother Amanda Grayson first appears in The Original Series S02E15, “Journey to Babel.” She makes many appearances in Star Trek: Discovery, often in flashback.
  • The Vulcan mating phase, pon farr, is first depicted in The Original Series S02E05, “Amok Time.”
  • Enterprise S02E25, “Bounty,” involves T’Pol entering pon farr out-of-cycle, retconning earlier information to establish that pon farr occurs for Vulcans of any sex/gender.
  • Data’s cat Spot will first appear in The Next Generation S04E11, “Data’s Day.”
  • We weren’t able to find another scene that duplicates Sarek’s hood-removal reveal.
  • The Qowat Milat, Romulan “honesty nuns,” are introduced in Star Trek: Picard S01E04, “Absolute Candor.”

Works cited:

  • Glassner, J., Wright, B., Cooper, R., Mallozzi, J., Mullie, P., Anderson, R. D., & Greenburg, M. (Executive producers). (1997-2007). Stargate SG-1 [TV Series]. MGM Television, Double Secret Productions, Gekko Film Corp., Sony Pictures Television, Showtime Networks, & Sci-Fi Originals.
  • Saitō, K. (Director). (2023-2024). Frieren: Beyond Journey’s End [TV series]. Madhouse.
  • Straczynski, J. M. (Creator). (1993-1998). Babylon 5 [TV series]. Babylonian Productions, Inc. [Vir is a Centauri.]

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