"Sarek's Son Spock" -- Gene Roddenberry talks to Mark Lenard in connection with "Inside Star Trek", a tribute to Star Trek released in 1976.

Roddenberry to transporter officer: "Set transporter for Vulcan Embassy."

"Coordinates on Vulcan Embassy."

"Lock on to Ambassador Sarek."

"Ambassador Sarek, sir. Engaging."

[transporter effect]

"Welcome, Ambassador Sarek."

"My old friend Roddenberry, it's been years since we've met."

"And I have many new questions, Ambassador--much more intimate, and personal, than I have ever had to ask before."

"About my son Spock, I presume."

"Well, yes, if you include the beginnings of Spock... There are some things I must know, Ambassador, in order to continue with my Star Trek journey. Forgive me, but how were you able to... overcome... the Vulcan _pon farr_ mating drive? I presume you did overcome it, Spock's mother Amanda was human, and somehow she was impregnated by you--"

"Roddenberry, are you asking if we coupled?"

"Ehrr, yes, sir. We know that Vulcans normally mate only once every seven years--"

"And since it is known that we pay for our sexual repression during these years by an almost animal madness, this has aroused a... a prurient curiosity among humans."

"It comes out of our affection for your son Spock, Ambassador. And your son's future. He's half Human, we've seen him reject a Vulcan marriage, is marriage to a Human female possible to him?"

"It was for me."

"But if you take the madness, which happens to your people at the time of pon farr, then add to it the extraordinary strength of a Vulcan--"

"Ordinarily an Earth woman could not endure that. If she survived, she might be severely injured, both physically and emotionally."

"Regarding that--"

"Roddenberry, I will not paint a word picture. I will say, that Humans and Vulcans mate in... somewhat similar fashion--in quite a similar fashion. But physical contour, mass, duration and energy do vary. Since we are deprived of our reason, during this time, the rest depends upon the woman. Not just her strength, but also her wisdom. Her patience."

"Is it possible to ever completely overcome the pon farr madness?"

"It is probably impossible to a Vulcan in his youthful prime. Fortunately, I was not. And it was no doubt helped by the fact that I spent almost thirty years as Ambassador to other Federation planets."

"And you spent many of those years on Earth itself?"

"Yes. But this gives too much credit to me. Spock's mother Amanda is an extraordinary woman."

"And Spock was the result. The first Human-Vulcan mixture."

"No, not the first. But the first to survive. As you must know, an Earth-Vulcan conception will abort during the end of the first month. The fetus is unable to continue life once it begins to develop its primary organs. The fetus Spock was removed from Amanda's body at this time--first such experiment ever attempted. His tiny form resided in a test tube for the following two Earth months, while our physicians performed delicate chemical engineering, introducing over a hundred subtle changes that we hoped would sustain life. At the end of this time, the fetus was returned to Amanda's womb. At the ninth Earth month, the tiny form was again removed from Amanda, prematurely by Vulcan standards, and spent the following four months Vulcan term pregnancy in a specially designed incubator. The infant Spock proved surprisingly resilient--there seems to be something about the Earth-Vulcan mixture, which created in that.. tiny body.. a fierce determination to survive."

"And, as Spock grew into childhood, Ambassador--"

"Yes, yes. There must have been times when his inner mind wondered, if the fight to survive had been worthwhile. You see, while all Vulcans, including our children, live by the code of IDIC, and believe that diversity is to be admired, and treasured, it must be understood that the display of emotion is considered on our planet to be grossly offensive. No, more than that. Shockingly indecent. I can only explain that our attitude is rooted in Vulcan history, involving events of such bloody violence that it's left our race forever scarred, and sensitive to displays of emotion. Whether or not this Vulcan attitude can be defended, the fact is, it exists."

"Young Spock was allowed no smiles, no tears, no anger..."

"Such emotions, so common among your small children, are shocking, even appalling, to a Vulcan child. Spock's playmates could only assume that the bearer of these emotions was exhibiting hatred for his fellows. Some desire to embarrass, to disgust them. The children were prepared to enjoy Spock's diversity, they were not prepared for my son's demonstrating what seemed to be an obscenity of the grossest kind."

"It must have been a cruel existence for Spock."

"It was."

"Then, what kept your family on Vulcan?"

"We felt... Spock's torture, of course. But Amanda and I also had a dream. One that justified even the risk of our precious son's life and sanity. What point is there in any life surviving unless it has meaning? The meaning of Spock's existence is the very meaning of our marriage: What our two lifeforms combine, and offer something of value to other lifeforms."


"Yes. Infinite Diversity from Infinite Combinations. It has given us quite a lovely Universe. I will return to Vulcan now, if I may."

"Thank you, Ambassador. Engage transporter."

[transporter effect]