"Star Trek" All Our Yesterdays (TV Episode 1969) Poster

(TV Series)

(1969)

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9/10
a very good episode of season 3
fabian58 September 2007
The penultimate episode of Star Trek's third season is excellent and a highlight of the much maligned final season. Essentially, Spock, McCoy and Kirk beam down to Sarpeidon to find the planet's population completely missing except for the presence of a giant library and Mr. Atoz, the librarian. All 3 Trek characters soon accidentally walk into a time travel machine into different periods of Sarpeidon's past. Spock gives a convincing performance as an Ice Age Vulcan who falls in love for Zarabeth while Kirk reprises his unhappy experience with time travel--see the 'City on the Edge of Forever'--when he is accused of witchcraft and jailed before escaping and finding the doorway back in time to Sarpeidon's present. In the end, all 3 Trek characters are saved mere minutes before the Beta Niobe star around Sarpeidon goes supernova. The Enterprise warps away just as the star explodes.

Ironically, as William Shatner notes in his book "Star Trek Memories," this show was the source of some dispute since Leonard Nimoy noticed that no reason was given in Lisette's script for the reason why Spock was behaving in such an emotional way. Nimoy relayed his misgivings here directly to the show's executive producer, Fred Freiberger, that Vulcans weren't supposed to fall in love. (p.272) However, Freiberger reasoned, the ice age setting allowed Spock to experience emotions since this was a time when Vulcans still had not evolved into their completely logical present state. This was a great example of improvisation on Freiberger's part to save a script which was far above average for this particular episode. While Shatner notes that the decline in script quality for the third season hurt Spock artistically since his character was forced to bray like a donkey in "Plato's Stepchildren," play music with Hippies in "the Way to Eden" or sometimes display emotion, the script here was more believable. Spock's acting here was excellent as Freiberger candidly admitted to Shatner. (p.272) The only obvious plot hole is the fact that since both Spock and McCoy travelled thousands of years back in time, McCoy too should have reverted to a more primitive human state, not just Spock. But this is a forgivable error considering the poor quality of many other season 3 shows, the brilliant Spock/McCoy performance and the originality of this script. Who could have imagined that the present inhabitants of Sarpeidon would escape their doomed planet's fate by travelling into their past? This is certainly what we came to expect from the best of 'Classic Trek'--a genuinely inspired story.

Shatner, in 'Memories', named some of his best "unusual and high quality shows" of season 3 as The Enterprise Incident, Day of the Dove, Is there in Truth no Beauty, The Tholian Web, And the children Shall Lead and The Paradise Syndrome. (p.273) While my personal opinion is that 'And the children Shall Lead' is a very poor episode while 'Is there in Truth no Beauty' is problematic, "All Our Yesterdays" certainly belongs on the list of top season three Star Trek TOS films. I give a 9 out of 10 for 'All Our Yesterdays.'
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7/10
Trapped in the Past of Another Planet's History
Bogmeister11 March 2007
An unusual take on time travel: instead of traveling to Earth's past, the main trio get stuck in the past history of another planet. They beam down to this planet, whose sun is scheduled to go nova in 3 or 4 hours (that's cutting it close!). In some kind of futuristic library, they meet Mr. Atoz (A to Z, get it? ha-ha) and his duplicates. It turns out, instead of escaping their planet's destruction via space travel, the usual way, the inhabitants have all escaped into their planet's various past time eras. Mr. Atoz uses a time machine to send people on their way after they make a selection (check out the discs we see here, another Trek prognostication of CDs and DVDs!). When Mr. Atoz prepares the machine (the Atavachron-what-sis), gallant Kirk hears a woman's scream and runs into the planet's version of Earth's 17th century, where he gets into a sword fight and is arrested for witchery. There's an eccentric but good performance here by the actress playing a female of ill repute in this time, using phrasing of the time ("...you're a bully fine coo.. Witch! Witch! They'll burn ye...!"). Spock & McCoy follow Kirk, but end up in an ice age, 5000 years earlier.

Kirk manages to get back to the library first. The real story here is Spock's reversion to the barbaric tendencies of his ancestors, the warlike Vulcans of 5000 years ago. This doesn't really make sense, except that maybe this time machine is responsible for the change (even so, Spock & McCoy weren't 'prepared' by Atoz - oh, well; it also seems to me Spock was affected by the transition almost immediately - he mentions being from 'millions of light years' away, instead of the correct hundreds or thousands - a gross error for a logical Vulcan). In any case, Spock really shows his nasty side here - forget "Day of the Dove" and remember "This Side of Paradise" - McCoy quickly finds out that his Vulcan buddy will not stand for any of his usual baiting and nearly gets his face rearranged. Spock also gets it on with Zarabeth, a comely female who had been exiled to this cold past as punishment (a couple of Trek novels were written about Spock's son, the result of this union). All these scenes are eye-openers, a reminder of just how much Spock conceals or holds in. It's also ironic that, only a few episodes earlier ("Requiem for Methuselah"), McCoy was pointing out to Spock how he would never know the pain of love - and now all this happens. Kirk, meanwhile, tussles with the elderly Atoz, who insists that Kirk head back to some past era ("You are evidently a suicidal maniac" - great stuff from actor Wolfe, last seen in "Bread and Circuses"). It all works out in the end, but, like I mentioned earlier, they cut it very close. A neat little Trek adventure, with a definite cosmic slant.
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10/10
definitely one of the very best
asinyne10 June 2007
Warning: Spoilers
This is certainly one of my all time fav episodes of Trek. There is just so much going on in this one film that its crazy cool. First the guys beam down to an alien planet thats about to explode. They meet a freaky librarian type dude (very well played). Then Kirk manages to get himself transported back to what is very much like 16th century earth. McCoy and Spock try to follow but instead nearly freeze to death on the frozen version of the alien world 100,000 years in the past. Kirk manages to get himself locked up and charged with witchcraft while Spock enjoys some amok time with a sexy cavegirl who was vanquished to the this frozen, awful world by some bad guy.

Spock decides hes happy where hes at and gives McCoy a royal assestment whuppin' when the doc suggests they need to look for a way out. Anyhow,they all finally escape, leaving the poor cavegirl behind. It takes a ton of convincing before Spock finally gives in and leaves. You can literally taste the sadness at the end. Leaving the cavegirl all alone in her frozen wasteland just seems cruel and is really touching. Spock must have been out of his vulkin' mind to leave behind his greatest hope for love and being human. Albeit, in a not so nice neighborhood!

Anyway, you just get so much bang for your buck with this episode....A love story, the Salem witch trials, Spock as a human, the desperation of being left in total isolation...abandoned, and three entirely different settings on the alien planet. Its amazing they managed to jam all this into one fifty minute film. This one is a classic, don't miss it....I want it on DVD fer shure vulcans!!!!!!
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10/10
Brilliant episode from final season one of the show's best
mlraymond14 April 2009
Warning: Spoilers
There's something compelling and strangely believable about this episode. From the very beginning, an atmosphere of tension is created by the knowledge that a certain planet is going to explode within a few hours. Kirk, Spock and McCoy have beamed down to evacuate the inhabitants, all of whom seem to have left already for parts unknown, except for an elderly librarian.

The librarian's polite but cryptic advice about where all the citizens have gone to is interrupted by a crisis in which all three Enterprise crew members find themselves unexpectedly hurled into different eras of the planet's past. Kirk finds himself in a time period resembling 17th Century England, while Spock and McCoy are stranded in a desolate, frozen waste.

The intercutting between the two stories, and the different hazardous situations the men find themselves in is superbly handled, with return to the present an unknown chance, while the minutes are counting down to the planet's explosion.

Imaginative writing and fine acting characterize this episode, with a touching performance by Mariette Hartley as a woman exiled to the Ice Age, and Ian Wolfe as the urbane Librarian. Somewhat reminiscent of the classic episode City On The Edge of Forever, this time travel story is a rich and compelling finale to the series, which concluded one episode later. This has to be one of the best of the whole series, especially remarkable given the generally lesser quality of the third season overall.
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9/10
Despite being one of the last episodes, it's exceptional and compelling
MartinHafer8 December 2006
Warning: Spoilers
Kirk and crew land on a lonely planet where the sun is about to explode. They intend to evacuate the inhabitants but find the place deserted except for a Mr. Atoz who operates some sort of high-tech library. Despite trying to get a straight answer from him about everyone's whereabouts, Atoz is indifferent to their questions and insist they must quickly 'make a selection while there is still time'. They have no idea what he's talking about but wander about looking at the hand mirror-like disks on the viewers and they see images of the planet's past. Then, while a disk is in the viewer, Kirk runs through the doorway and is magically transported back in time to what on Earth would look like the time of Louis XIV (the 1660s). When McCoy and Spock follow, a different disk is in the viewer and they are sent to an ice age hell. All too late they realize that the library is a time travel machine and repository.

While Kirk's visit is pretty short and not all that exciting, Spock and McCoy's is much more eventful, as Spock falls head over heels for Mariette Hartley--who was sent to this awful place as a punishment. The scenes with Spock are exceptionally interesting and very atypical of the normally logical guy.

Spock's departure from the norm, the wildly inventive script and very diverse locales make this an exceptional episode--one well worth seeing.

FYI--Ian Wolfe, the excellent character actor, played Mr. Atoz. I am a huge fan of older films and have seen him as a supporting and bit player in countless films in the 30s and 40s and he looked almost exactly like he did in this episode from 1969. Interestingly enough, despite looking ancient, he lived on another 23 years--dying at over 95 years of age!!
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10/10
Top Three for Me
Hitchcoc10 May 2014
The writers finally managed to let their imaginations go. When a star is about to nova, the big three arrive on the planet, hoping to help evacuate the population. They beam down to a library, watched over by a rather abrasive Mr. Atos, a librarian who also has several holographic duplicates. He tells the boys that he is the last one left on the planet and he is leaving soon. All the others have used a device that reads discs and can send people back in time to a place they will enjoy being. Unfortunately for Kirk, he hears a screaming woman and rushes through a kind of portal and finds himself in a time lack that of the Three Musketeers. He is subdued and kept in prison, accused of being a witch. Simultaneously, Spock and McCoy make their ways through the portal, but find they have inadvertently used a disc putting them in the ice age. Nearly freezing to death, they are rescued by a beautiful woman in animal skins, played by Mariette Hartley. She had a magical quality as an actress. In a cave, over a hot spring, the twosome is given shelter. McCoy is practically frozen and Spock and the girl cover him to keep him warm. During this time, Spock, being 5000 years in the past, begins to revert to his primitive self. He and Mariette begin a bit of a relationship. His emotions, the emotions that the Vulcans avoided when they evolved, are back and he nearly kills McCoy. All principles have been told that they may never go back through the portal because they will die if they try. Kirk finds an ally as a judge from the time is also a time traveler.

This is a highly creative episode that sets up conditions under which the characters must function. The plot ebbs and flows and keeps one involved. There are similarities to "City on the Edge of Forever," my favorite, but it can stand on its own.
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8/10
Mr. Spock almost gets his "groove on"
garrard3 July 2006
Warning: Spoilers
Dr. McCoy and Mr. Spock find themselves trapped in a planet's past Ice Age, while Capt. Kirk is in the same planet's colonial period. However, it's the former pair that has the most trying time. Besides the freezing temperatures and sanctuary to be found only in caves, there is a third inhabitant, the beautiful and so sexy Zarabeth (Mariette Hartley). As Spock spends more time in this era, he slowly begins to revert to the behavioral patterns of his ancestors, feeling a natural attraction to Zarabeth and throwing "caution to the wind" about ever leaving this place. Only with Dr. McCoy's constant "reminders" does Spock hold on to some grasp of reality.

This stand as one of the few times when the character gets to show some "emotion" and Nimoy (Spock) plays it to the hilt, coming close to knocking the bejesus out of Deforest Kelly (McCoy). Surprising to previous installment, Captain Kirk (William Shatner) wasn't allowed to get the girl, another plus for this one.

Perennial "old man" Ian Wolfe assays the role of "Mr. Atoz," the librarian responsible for sending the trio into the past.
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7/10
above average third season episode
HelloTexas1118 December 2008
Warning: Spoilers
The next-to-last episode aired of the original Star Trek series is an interesting, sometimes melancholy installment that proves the show was still exploring its characters even at this point in the third season; though flawed, 'All Our Yesterdays' has its moments and overall a moody, compelling feel to it. Kirk, Spock, and McCoy beam down to a planet, assuming they are arriving in the nick of time to save or at least give some warning to whatever populace is there, since the planet's sun is due to explode within hours. But as it turns out, the people there are all too aware of the planet's fate, and using a kind of time travel device, have escaped into the past. Each person has been able to choose the time and place in the past where he or she would like to live at a 'library,' run by an elderly man named Mr. Atoz. Atoz assumes the three men are looking for a past to live in as well, and shows them various periods from which they can choose on viewers. There is some rather forced confusion at the start of the episode, with lines like:

McCoy- Where did they go? Atoz- Wherever they wanted to.

The misunderstanding could be cleared up rather easily, but for plot purposes, it isn't, and soon Kirk finds himself transported back to a period resembling 18th Century England, while Spock and McCoy are sent to an ice age, 5000 years in the planet's past. From here, the main focus is on Spock and his relationship with a woman exiled to this time by a tyrant as punishment. Spock begins acting increasingly emotional, showing anger toward McCoy and deep affection for Zarabeth, the woman. He eventually realizes that he is reverting back to the primitive emotional state of his ancestors on Vulcan, 5000 years ago. Kirk makes his way back to the library first, and finally convinces Mr. Atoz they don't belong in his planet's history. Spock and McCoy return just before it's too late, leaving Zarabeth behind; the Enterprise beams the three up and speeds away as the sun explodes, destroying the planet. The interaction between Spock and Zarabeth provides this episode's most memorable moments, though Kirk's adventure into the 'English' past is amusing. All in all, a very decent latter-day Star Trek outing.
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7/10
"I should be able to solve this problem logically".
classicsoncall12 March 2011
Warning: Spoilers
Star Trek's approach to this time travel story took an interesting turn, as a planet's sole resident purposely stayed behind to transport it's inhabitants to the era of their choice in order to avoid it's destruction. Yet as I write this, it becomes apparent to me that it's still the same physical world that's going to come to an end, so escaping into the past wouldn't help much. Oh well, these kinds of contradictions popped up before, so best not to dwell on them.

As they beam down to the planet Sarpeidon some three and a half hours before their sun, Beta Niobe is about to go nova, Kirk, Spock and McCoy meet Mr. Atoz (Ian Wolfe), standing vigilant against the few remaining hours left for the planet. Upon reflection, it didn't have to be such a mystery what Atoz's mission was; he could have explained it all very logically to his visitors. Presumably the only apparent reason for the forced misunderstanding was to send the Enterprise crew off into different directions through the library's time portal, thereby justifying the story.

As we've seen in other Season III episodes, the series was taking advantage of Spock's workmanlike and serious Vulcan nature, and turning those conventions on their head to provide him with human emotion. In this one, with Spock and McCoy both trapped some five thousand years in the past, Spock begins to regress to the baser instincts of his Vulcan roots, feeling jealousy and rage as he begins to fall for cave-girl Zarabeth (Mariette Hartley). Eventually McCoy prevails with his own logic, but I have to wonder, would it have killed the writers to have Spock give Zarabeth a good-bye kiss when he left?

Best line of the show for me had to do with the Captain's saving a Salem witch from an angry mob. Once safe, she says to Kirk - "I thought I'd be limbered sure when that gull caught me cuttin' his purse". But the concept that really blew me away was that first look at a future technology when Atoz introduced the atavachron. Who would have been able to say back in 1969 that we'd be watching Star Trek episodes over and over again on little round discs?
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9/10
A Supernova and A Time Portal Into Sarpeidon's History
Rainey-Dawn14 January 2017
Season 3, episode 23. The Enterprise goes to the planet Sarpeidon to help the people before their sun becomes a supernova. Ship's scanners indicate there is no life on the planet. Kirk, Spock and McCoy beam down to investigate and run across one life, the librarian Mr Atoz. Mr Atoz scolds them for being very late. Atoz knows about the supernova and shows them the Atavachron, a time portal which he will escape into to be with his family. A woman screams and Kirk, by instinct, runs through the portal to save her, followed by McCoy and Spock while Mr Atoz yells at them to wait because they are not prepared. Kirk ends up in a place that is much like Earth's England in the 17th century. McCoy and Spock end up in the Sarpedidon's ice age. None of the 3 men can find the portal back to where they came from but they can hear one another from the area they stepped into. Spock is correct in speculating that all of the inhabitants (outside of Mr Atoz) has escaped the danger of the supernova by going into the planet's history. Now the 3 must find a way back to their own time and the Enterprise.

Excellent episode that proves that season 3 is not nearly as bad as some have tried to make it out to be. This one is quite memorable and still has a place in my heart from my teen years.

9.5/10
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10/10
Stands the test of Time...
poe4262 March 2011
Warning: Spoilers
Following in the footsteps of seminal shows like THE TWILIGHT ZONE and THE OUTER LIMITS, STAR TREK often offered die-hard science fiction and fantasy fans some serious food for thought. STAR TREK gave us familiar faces on a regular basis, and the roster of Regulars was just about as varied as was possible- down to an extraterrestrial co-star, something even THE INVADERS couldn't boast. But, whereas THE INVADERS was set in (then) contemporary settings, STAR TREK boldly went where no teleseries had gone before- to the edges of the Galaxy. And it did so without tens of millions of dollars worth of cgi. An excellent example of what could be done with a minimum of means is "All Our Yesterdays." A character-driven story and superb performances (not to mention some outstanding if understated direction) belie this episode's sometimes obvious budgetary shortcomings. Mention must be made, too, of some striking lighting (often used effectively throughout the series) that greatly enhances the ice cave setting. STAR TREK was well ahead of its time, in many respects, and remains the standard by which all shows of its type will forevermore be judged.
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6/10
An Interesting Idea Stretched Thin
RestlessRust25 July 2016
Kirk, Spock and McCoy beam down to a planet to warn its inhabitants of an impending disaster, only to find themselves trapped in the planet's past.

"All Our Yesterdays" has echoes of "City on the Edge of Forever" but takes the concept in a completely different direction. Instead of traveling into the past and trying to figure out how not to alter it and never mind how they get back, here they have to figure out how to get back and never mind how much they alter it. The point is, it's a twist on one of the most popular episodes of the series, so the elements are there for a great episode.

Unfortunately, those elements never really come together. Kirk finds himself imprisoned in a Renaissance period and must find a way to escape; Spock and McCoy are trapped in an arctic wilderness and must find shelter. Neither story is particularly compelling, barely filling its time on screen. We also have a frame story set in a "library" where the time travel is managed. That part never feels like anything more than filler. It doesn't help that there's such a short time frame in which the story plays out. This is something that would have worked better over days, not hours.

The best part of the episode is Spock's narrative, as he finds himself losing control of his emotions and falling in love with a woman trapped in the past with him. But that part of the episode doesn't quite make sense. We're told that the effects of time travel will be deadly, but Spock is the only one who shows any adverse effects at all -- and McCoy's explanation of the effects he suffers are nothing like what are described by others. (Speaking of McCoy, his accusations against Zarabeth seem unfounded, as far as anyone actually knows.) And the crew has traveled into the past before; why is it so deadly this time? And why doesn't Spock's phaser work?

Ultimately what we are left with is a feeling of incompleteness. The away team members travel into the past, spend some time in an enclosed area talking to the locals, then return to their own time...and some scenes in a "library" fill out the time. For all that's at stake, nothing seems very urgent or grand. "All Our Yesterdays" is probably one of the better third-season episodes, but overall it's middle-of- the-road at best.
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Another time travel storyline
maverick-15425 June 2006
Warning: Spoilers
In this episode the Enterprise visits a library on a world whose sun is about to explode - presumably to transport anyone who is there to safety. When they arrive they find only a single strange little man, Mr Atoz, who is the librarian who has apparently already transported everyone else (via their world's Octavatron time transporter device) except himself to other time periods to live out the remainder of their lives. He mistakes Kirk, McCoy and Spock for stragglers and they mistakenly get transported to other time periods also. Kirk goes to a medieval time and Spock and McCoy go to a prehistoric frozen time - together. But there is a problem. The three haven't been "prepared" for the transfer so they have to get back somehow - which they manage to do by finding the time-space "holes" they came through from the library. Kirk barely escapes being burned as a witch and Spock falls in love with the previously transported and now very lonely Mariette Hartley character and eats "animal flesh" as he begins to revert to his barbaric, ancestral behavior. Fortunately, McCoy talks sense back into Spock (nearly getting cold-cocked by Spock in the process) and they all get back to the library in time for Mr Atoz to go through the Octavatron and the three heroes to get back to the Enterprise and outta there in time. Spock has to leave the woman he loves in the prehistoric past and all alone since her "preparation" for the Octavatron has rendered her unable to return back to the library again. Final scene back on deck of the Enterprise has Spock unusually somber and McCoy somewhat awkwardly understanding of him while Kirk is clueless about Spock's mood. Spock insists that he will be OK since, he reminds McCoy, those few minutes ago were in reality eons ago and "she" is now long since dead. Nevertheless says McCoy, "It did happen Spock". Episode thus ends with much to ponder for all.
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10/10
Great episode
lboy197114 March 2019
One of the best episodes of TOS. Had more than just Kirk being the focal point. The interplay between Spock and McCoy was very good and definitely proves there was never any loveloss between the two. And Mariett Hartleys legs were incredible.
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One of the three best in Season 3, and I put it in my top 10 for the entire series.
karc-2626123 January 2017
Warning: Spoilers
IMHO, "All Our Yesterdays" is one of the three best in Season 3, and I put it in my top 10 for the entire series. I would also give it a score of 9/10.

Here are some of my thoughts…

First, we can agree that there are some holes in this plot. Yes, Spock's behavior reverts to his Vulcan ancestry whilst McCoy's does not. And yes, perhaps Mr. Atoz did not need to stay after everyone else had gone (although have you ever known a librarian that would close the library early if it was a slow day?) But how could everyone miss the first problem that I see – the Enterprise is coming to a planet that is about to be destroyed, to evacuate, presumably to their star ship, the entire planet's population (Thousands? Hundreds of thousands? Millions?) which will be destroyed by a supernova - in just over 3 hours? I mean, I know they can use the shuttle craft for the overflow crowd, but still. (Oh wait, if there are too many, Kirk will have to play Kodos the Executioner all over again?)

All that aside, this is a great story. They were able to blend the concept of time travel into a story that is essentially a tragedy – Spock finding that rare place where he can spend his life with a woman who feels much like himself (Zarabeth: "Do you know what it is like to be alone? Really alone?" Spock: "Yes. I know what it is like.")

Like all fine stories, this one has many fine ideas just below the surface. The two most interesting ideas that I saw both involved Spock and Zarabeth. First, of the 4 primary characters that went back in time(Kirk, McCoy, Spock, and Zarabeth), only Zarabeth and Spock were changed – Zarabeth was changed by the Atavichron, Spock by his "connection" to his Vulcan ancestry. And because they were changed, they could both start a new life, different from the one into which they were born, and find happiness, on that island of solitude, with each other.

The second idea is the one involving tragedy (fitting, since the episode's title comes from one of the greatest tragedies of them all). Zarabeth and Spock both shared tragedy. Zarabeth's was one of exile and solitude. She will never know love, physical affection, motherhood (the one thing that makes all women complete). And she would have had the chance for that, and more, with Spock, were he to remain. And she realizes this, even to the end (the single tear running down her face). And no less a tragedy is visited upon Spock. He is in love with Zarabeth, in a way that he could never be with any other woman, because the ancestral connection that is growing within him is allowing it. If you doubt this, just remember the last thing he wanted from Zarabeth – a moment alone with her to say good bye. ("How much time do we have?") He even tries to throw McCoy into the portal ahead of him. But he cannot – they came through together and must return the same way. He can't even have that small, private moment with her, just the two of them. Tragic. And once Spock gets back, he is back to being trapped in his world of logic ("She is dead and buried, long ago."), but with the memory of another type of life he could have led, one filled with warmth and love (ironically in the midst of a frozen wasteland).

One more thing: The final shot of the Enterprise flying away, leaving the nova and the destruction of the planet behind, was one of the best images of the entire series. I agree with those who believe that it was this episode should have been the series finale.

Finally, there is some great writing:

McCoy: "Spock, you pointy-eared Vulcan!" ...Spock (grabs McCoy by the throat): "I don't' like that. I don't think I ever did. Now I am sure."

Magistrate (pompously and officiously): "I'm here to see that you get a fair trial in front of the Inquisitional Tribunal." ... Kirk: "You must help me get back to the Library." ... Magistrate: "I can't." ... Kirk (a serious look comes upon his face): "Then I'll denounce YOU to the Inquisitor". ... Magistrate (pompous look is gone, replaced by one of horror): Please. I beg you. They will burn me."
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5/10
The wonders of the Atavacron
bkoganbing6 September 2014
Watching this particular Star Trek episode I find it hard to believe that a humanoid civilization that was able to master time travel as well as it did could not master space travel at all. Then again had they done so we would not have this episode at all.

Kirk, Spock, and McCoy are an away team which beams down to a planet which has a humanoid civilization and orbits a sun about to go supernova in a matter of hours. All they find a library with a Gazillion discs showing the planet's history. The librarian Ian Wolfe and his duplicates are all that is left.

William Shatner goes through the portal called the Atavacron after he hears a scream coming from the other side. He finds himself in a world that resembles Restoration England with people costumed that way. When Leonard Nimoy and DeForest Kelley follow Shatner through they are in a prehistoric Ice Age and they are given shelter by Mariette Hartley who is an exile of sorts and understandably lonely for some company.

I won't go into how the three got out of their predicament, but going back through time won't solve the planet's problem with the supernova when it does come. Unless those that go back change history so that research into space travel is done. I would have exacted that pledge from those going through the Atavacron.

Interesting story, but the series has done better.
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4/10
Lacks depth
chrisbaird-ma31 March 2013
Warning: Spoilers
While not containing any material that is glaringly awful, this episode ranks as one of the series worst for the worst crime in Hollywood: boring the viewer. The plot just didn't have the depth to carry the episode for 50 minutes. Kirk, Spock, and McCoy get thrown by accident into a planet's past and must get back to their own time. That's it. You just know eventually that they'll slip away from the locals back to the time portal and get home. There's also a love affair thrown in for Spock which is painful to watch because it is so poorly scripted and acted, and also because Spock doesn't do love affairs. And even if Spock did have love affairs, it would be with some witty and intellectual Vulcan, not a dim cave-woman. I could almost sense Nimoy's embarrassment in being forced to act out this plot line. The explanation that going back in time somehow changed Spock into his primitive ancestors was really implausible. Out of all the times and places in the past they could have been thrown, Spock just happens to end up with a young, pretty, half-dressed woman who is lonely and hungry for affection. What lazy and implausible script writing. It's bad enough when a trivial romantic subplot involves Kirk. We can partially forgive the script writers for this because Kirk's womanizing nature seems to attract such subplots. But when a trivial romantic subplot involves Mr. Non-emotional himself, it is jarring and annoying. It felt like this absurd subplot was thrown in just to kill as much time as possible because there was so little of other plot elements.
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9/10
Last Great Star Trek Episode
Samuel-Shovel29 October 2018
Warning: Spoilers
In "All Our Yesterdays", Kirk, Spock, and Bones beam down to the surface of a planet whose sun is going nova. The planet is reportedly populated but no one is there when they beam down. The last man there is the librarian and his replicas who are in charge of a strange machine. This planet is not warp capable but figured out time travel. The planet's residents have all escaped back in time to avoid demise. Kirk accidentally travels back through the portal to a time of swashbuckling swordsmen who believe he's a witch. Spock and Bones end up in the planet's ice age with a beautiful outcast sent here as punishment.

Kirk is arrested and must figure out how to get back in time to reboard the Enterprise before the planet perishes. Bones is deathly I'll and requires shelter. He wants to return but Spock has devolved into his ancestorial lineage and is angry and wishes to stay with the woman. She claims they can't go back due to DNA transformation.

In the end, an imprisoned Kirk escapes and finds the portal in time. Bones and Spock make it back just in time as well. They reboard the Enterprise moments before the star goes nova and live to see another day.

I always have mixed feelings about these time travel episodes, the time continuity always makes my brain hurt. Like they're back in time, yet must hurry back before the planet explodes because the device is pegged to their time periods at a definite time difference? Yet there are so many people that went through the portal to different periods! Anyways, despite this I loved this episode.

Half of the plot is devoted to Kirk trying to escape imprisonment and a witch trial but the real star here is Spock's relationship with Zarabeth. Spock devolving to an older, more tribal Vulcan is a bit silly but I just love it in this instance. Bones having to be the defender of logic here is an interesting role reversal for the two crew members who often bicker. Ian Wolfe is also great in his tertiary role.

It's a fairly simple plot when it comes down to it: 3 friends trying to reunite but love and life continually gets in the way. Everything else is just sci-fi window dressing... but Star Trek is great at it.
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9/10
THIS SHOULD HAVE BEEN THE LAST EPISODE!
zitacarno27 October 2018
After watching this episode several times I have come to the conclusion that this should have been the series finale. It was an absorbing trip backward in time, to the different aspects of various civilizations and the various stages of evolution---such as Vulcan in primitive times, the time of so-called witchcraft and how Kirk coped with it, the trials of poor Zarabeth and how she almost escaped...and how Kirk and Co. escaped back into the 23rd century just barely in time before the sun went supernova. I enjoyed this one and have always felt that it should have been the fitting conclusion to a superb series.
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7/10
Not every episode in S3 was awful
Fluke_Skywalker23 March 2017
Warning: Spoilers
Plot; The Enterprise arrives at a planet whose sun is about to go supernova to begin an evacuation. When sensors indicate the planet is uninhabited, Kirk, Spock and McCoy beam down to investigate.

S3 of Star Trek is famous--or perhaps infamous--for its drastically reduced quality thanks in no small part to NBC slashing its budget. But there are a few highly regarded episodes from that final season, and one of them is "All Our Yesterdays".

There's never any real explanation as to why or how the people of this planet created a device that allows them to go back in time, or why they chose to do this instead of simply fleeing their planet, but what it lacks in logic it makes up for by being a solid dramatic device. With a ticking clock and our heroes separated, there's a nice energy to the episode. Kirk's arc is pretty empty from a dramatic perspective, but as he's the one who can get them back to the present and off the planet before things go "Boom!", there's some nice intensity to his scenes. With Spock and McCoy, the gristle is the fact that Spock, 5,000 years in the past, begins to revert to the passion of his more barbaric ancestors. This creates nice tension to balance out Kirk's action oriented arc.

A little more *ahem* logic to the plot device would've gone a long way toward making this a top-tier episode. As it stands, it's still pretty good, and if one grades it on a S3 curve, pretty darn good.

  • The episode features a young and quite fetching Mariette Hartley.


  • This was the second to last episode of ST:TOS to air.
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7/10
Star Trek: The Original Series - All Our Yesterdays
Scarecrow-8821 October 2016
Warning: Spoilers
Kirk, Spock, and McCoy beam down to planet where a supernova is going critical on a rescue mission. Mr Azoz, and his cloned replicas, have sent the entire population of the planet back in periods of time in their own history using a time machine. Kirk hears a woman's scream, going towards it, sent to a period of musketeers and burned witches. Spock and Bones follow but they find themselves in an ice age, meeting Zarabeth, scantily clad in body part proportionate animal skins under a heavy fur coat and boots. Kirk speaks to his men on the other side of the time portal which has him considered a heretic who talks to dark spirits, imprisoned, and needing help from a prosecutor who came from the planet he wishes to return. That subplot is just not particularly exciting, and Kirk gets back to the planet with little suspense. The meat of the episode is Spock gradually reverting back to the barbarism and his growing lust/desire for a particularly fetching Mariette Hartley is fascinating to see develop to me. Bones ribbing him and how a less logical Spock doesn't tolerate it is rather startling...some might enjoy it considering Bones kind of has it coming. Wolfe as Azoz, the two genial replicas and the surly humanoid one, is fun in a limited bit of screen time, needing his arm twisted by Kirk to help get his men out of the ice age of 5000 years ago. Spock's logic slipping and the animal side emerging, along with his bond with Hartley, makes this a substantial episode.
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8/10
A Season 3 (And Series) Standout
jpop5910 November 2015
Warning: Spoilers
By the time "All Our Yesterdays" appeared at the end of season 3, many fans had probably given up on the idea that "Star Trek" would actually be capable of producing another quality episode. Thanks to budget cuts and creator Gene Roddenberry abandoning ship, there were just as many bad episodes in Season 3 as there were good episodes in season 1. "All Our Yesterdays" starts out with the interesting premise that allows the viewer to imagine what it would be like to choose your own destiny in the time line of your existence. A planet is about to be destroyed by a natural outer space phenomenon when its people (who have had enough time to prepare) are allowed to choose some point in their planet's history to live out their lives. The plan is to "prepare" everyone before they go through a time portal so that once they are on the other side they are unaware of their actual past. This preparation also prevents them from returning. Kirk, Spock and McCoy are inadvertently shoved through the portal by the "Librarian", a caretaker who is frantically trying to get everyone to safety before the impending disaster. Kirk lands at a point in time similar to Earth's 17th century and finds himself accused of being a witch (after people hear the voices of McCoy and Spock on the other side of the portal). In the meantime McCoy and Spock are back in the planet's Ice Age where they are befriended by a lonely beautiful women who lives in a cave by herself. In addition to having to find their way back to the portal, Spock has started to revert to a more primitive version of himself complete with primal Vulcan emotions, adding another obstacle to their dilemma. The ultimate solution to their problem is believable and along the way we get to witness more of Kirk's ingenuity and bravery and get more insight to the complex relationship between Spock and McCoy. A very satisfying episode.
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9/10
The past is another country
Tweekums25 August 2015
Warning: Spoilers
With a star about to go nova Kirk, Spock and McCoy beam down to a moon which is apparently inhabited. They find themselves in a library where they meet Mr. Atoz is surprised to see them; he doesn't realise they are alien but thinks they should have been evacuated already. He tells them the population has been sent to anywhere they wished to go thanks to the use of the 'Atavachron' device. He invites the trio to look at various discs showing the planet's history; as Kirk views one he hears a scream come through a portal. He runs to help and as he steps through the portal he finds himself in a street where a woman is being harassed by men dressed like cavaliers; he helps her and returns to the area of the portal where he calls out to the others. They reply but they aren't in the library anymore; they tried to follow Kirk but as McCoy was looking at a disc which showed the planet's ice age they are in a frozen wasteland.

Kirk soon finds himself arrested and charged with witchcraft because he is talking to disembodied voices while Spock and McCoy struggle to survive in the extreme cold. As McCoy lies freezing a person clad from head to toe in heavy furs approaches them and takes them to a warm cave. Here we learn that this person is Zarabeth; a stunning redhead who isn't wearing much under her furs! While McCoy recovers she tells Spock that she was sent there because of crimes committed by her family, she also explains that it is impossible to travel back as the machines changes people as they go back in time in a way that makes return fatal. Kirk meanwhile learns that because they weren't properly prepared they can return… in fact if they don't they will die! As time passes there are noticeable changes in Spock; he starts showing emotions and falls for the beautiful Zarabeth.

After several distinctly subpar episodes this is a real return to form. The idea of a society that hasn't developed space travel but have developed a means of allowing people to emigrate to the planet's past is both interesting and novel. Ian Wolfe does a fine job as Mr. Atoz and his duplicates… the way are introduced to them was rather fun. Mariette Hartley is also good as the beautiful Zarabeth; her part in the story was enjoyable and a little tragic as there was no way to end her solitary exile in the frozen past when Spock and McCoy finally return. The fact that there was a time limit imposed by the Nova kept the tension higher than if they'd just been dealing with the problems in the past. Overall I'd say this is a really good episode; up there with the best in the series.
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10/10
Best Star Trek Episode Ever
richardhjn29 November 2018
Nothing to add to my title. Watch it on every opportunity. Bought it on video when such things were on sale. I should have a regular day each year to watch it.

An "All our Yesterdays Day" sounds good.
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9/10
Enjoyed seeing Spock acting human!
SusanJL1 February 2019
Warning: Spoilers
This episode was different and engaging. Enjoyed seeing Spock fall in love and stand up to McCoy's insults. One of the better episodes!
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