REVIEW: “All Our Yesterdays” (“Star Trek: Remastered” edition)

Star Trek (Remastered): “All Our Yesterdays”
Remastered Episode #27 (4/21/2007)
Original Episode #78 (3/14/1969)

Though it is essentially an inferior remake of “The City on the Edge of Forever,” there is something oddly compelling about “All Our Yesterdays,” which was the second-to-last episode to air of the original Star Trek. It certainly would have made a better season/series finale than “Turnabout Intruder.”

Maybe it is the librarian with the perfect name, Mr. Atoz (Ian Wolfe). Or perhaps it is Zarabeth (Mariette Hartley), a political prisoner exiled into an Ice Age solitary 5,000 years in the past by an apparently blind evil dictator. There is also a strong performance by Leonard Nimoy, in perhaps his most convincing display of emotions as Spock. (There’s no crying in Star Trek!)

Okay, I admit it, it is Zarabeth. Without her, this episode’s probably a five. Six at best.

Arriving just before a planet’s sun is about to explode, Kirk, Spock, and McCoy find that most of the inhabitants are missing. The only ones left are Mr. Atoz and several duplicates of him. When Kirk hears a woman screaming for help, he naturally runs off to assist and accidentally steps through a time portal. Don’t you hate when that happens?

Seeing their captain vanish, Spock and McCoy of course run after him and vanish, too. Fortunately for them, it wasn’t a vaporizer ray. Anyway, Kirk arrives just in time to save an annoying woman in the past. She soon accuses him of being a witch, since he keeps talking to an unseen voice named Bones. The Captain is imprisoned as such and, worse, so is the annoying woman.

Spock and McCoy arrive in a different time period, much farther back, during the planet’s Ice Age. McCoy nearly freezes to death and tells Spock to leave him behind. The Vulcan refuses, but soon a mysterious person dressed head to toe in fur appears and takes them to safety in a nearby cave.

The mysterious person turns out to be Zarabeth. She heats up the cave so much that she has to strip out of most of her fur garments. Back in 1969, the NBC censors, in their infinite wisdom, went after “All Our Yesterdays” because Hartley’s costume was originally too revealing. They demanded that shocking and disturbing imagery of Hartley’s bare . . . belly button not be shown.

I suppose the thinking was that the sight of 28-year-old Hartley’s private part would just be too much to handle for whatever audience was left watching Star Trek near the end of its run.

The rest of the actresses’ body remained relatively unclothed through most of “All Our Yesterdays,” though. Who says that Star Trek lost the vision of Gene Roddenberry in the third season?

Hartley later appeared in Genesis II, a failed Roddenberry TV pilot in the early 1970’s. In that show, she exposed two belly buttons. Get it? An extra one to make up for the one they had to cover in 1969. The Great Bird was a clever guy.

As Zarabeth, Hartley heats up the cave, the screen, and Spock. “It is agreeably warm here,” he tells her. He uses that line on all the women. Zarabeth’s belly button is kept safely hidden, though, so it is okay for the kids to watch this episode.

I was going to get into speculation on how the inhabitants of the planet would have been “prepared” for this time travel, essentially escaping to the past to avoid the future. It would seem that sterilization and possibly even memory wipes might be necessary. Then, I remembered those words of wisdom: It’s just a show.

CBS Digital makes the most out of an episode that has nearly no effects. The Enterprise looks great. They’ve really got her down. Usually, the ship leaving the planet sequence at the end is a bit of a throway, but this one actually has content. There is an incredible shot of the planet’s sun exploding, somewhat reminiscent of Star Trek Generations.

The Star Trek: Remastered version of “All Our Yesterdays” is worth watching, just for those few seconds.

And for Zarabeth, of course, who needs no enhancements.

Dramatic Content: 8 (out of 10)
Effects Upgrades: 8
Overall Experience: 8