When did the Pon Farr cycle become seven years?

Discussion in 'Star Trek - The Original & Animated Series' started by Neopeius, Sep 26, 2022.

  1. Commishsleer

    Commishsleer Commodore Commodore

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    Wasn't Tuvok over 100 years old and still having pon farr?. I suppose Sarek was a bit older.

    And there was the young Vulcan on VOY when he tried to crack onto B'Elanna during pon farr. I don't think he had a partner back on Vulcan but I can't remember that for sure.


    I know I'm going to lose any street cred I had here (probably none anyway) but I was reading a fanfiction that claimed Kirk and Spock were drugged during "Cloud Minders" and thats why Spock was spouting drivel to Droxine and why Kirk fell in love with Rayna in 4 hours in the next episode.
     
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  2. Mytran

    Mytran Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I for one like that theory! I've always mentally retconned that the landing party in RFM were suffering from the plague to some degree in order to justify the various off-character moments.
    Being drugged in TCM is just fuel for that fire! :devil:

    As for Spock's 7 year cycle (fascinating to see it was in the earliest script drafts!) I have previously used it to explain why he was so emotional in The Cage, since it was 14 years before Amok Time (more or less). Perhaps Spock's emotional control just got a bit affected during the previous 7 year peaks, leading him to hope he would be spared the full whack - hence his regretful dialogue in AT
     
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  3. Henoch

    Henoch Rear Admiral Premium Member

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    Don't forget Spock going full hippy between those two episode in The Way to Eden.
     
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  4. Unicron

    Unicron Boss Monster Mod Moderator

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    Somewhat amusingly, the German version of TOS heavily edited many episodes, sometimes rather bizarrely. Star Trek was initially considered more of a kid's show, so the German version of "Amok Time" removed all romantic/sexual references in regards to Vulcan courtship and Spock just has a sort of violent space fever (during which he hallucinates fighting and killing Kirk). :rommie:
     
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  5. Mytran

    Mytran Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I've heard about these whacky German versions for years - are they available to watch any more?
     
  6. NCC-73515

    NCC-73515 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    And those titles! Emergency landing on Galileo 7! The central nervous system manipulator! Time jump with Q! :D
     
  7. Unicron

    Unicron Boss Monster Mod Moderator

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    Unfortunately I haven't a clue about availability, but I admit, it would be kind of fun to watch. :D
     
  8. Sir Rhosis

    Sir Rhosis Commodore Commodore

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    If memory serves, the Joel Engel bio mentions that GR asked for and received a story fee for "Amok Time."

    Sir Rhosis
     
  9. at Quark's

    at Quark's Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Do only males get pon farr? Or females as well? Seeing that T'Pol got it (even though it was not supposed to be her time) I suppose it's the latter.

    But in that case I would expect most couples to have misaligned pon farrs, so that in effect the Significant Other simply has to 'undergo' the pon farr phase of the other. Sounds less than ideal to me even if it isn't necessarily unpleasant. Or perhaps there's a biological one-time synchronisation mechanism in place that can be triggered for couples?
     
  10. Kor

    Kor Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Perhaps the bonding ceremony involves some telepathic trickery that aligns their seven-year cycles.

    Another aspect... does achieving Kohlinar have any effects on how pon farr is experienced? Or do away with it altogether?

    Kor
     
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  11. Phoenix219

    Phoenix219 Commodore Commodore

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    When did the Blish books come out? Could that have "added" speculation to the canon in the early days?
     
  12. MAGolding

    MAGolding Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    "Amok Time" is in Star Trek 3, published April, 1969. So April 1969 should be the soonest that Blish's adaptation of "Amok Time" could have influenced fan speculations.
     
  13. Commishsleer

    Commishsleer Commodore Commodore

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    Didn't Tuvok do Kohlinar and still have pon farr.
    But maybe Spock's was more intense.

    In TSFS (1984):
    SAAVIK: Pon farr. Vulcan males must endure it every seventh year of their adult life.
     
  14. hofner

    hofner Commodore Commodore

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    I'm sure this wasn't Sturgeon's inspiration but the pon farr strikes me as being an adolescent teenage boy's dream.

    "I just GOT to get some or else I really, really am going to die!"

    So Bulcan females are obligated to 'put out' if they don't want Vulcan boys to be dropping dead like flies. That is biology has literally given Vulcan females the shaft.

    No wonder T'Pring and T"pau are pissed.

    Robert
     
  15. Kor

    Kor Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    T'Pau's prominent position implied some kind of matriarchal structure in Vulcan society, but talk of T'Pring becoming "the property of the victor" contradicted that idea. But then, Vulcan culture and society has a number of seeming inconsistencies or contradictions.

    Kor
     
  16. Commishsleer

    Commishsleer Commodore Commodore

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    Did T'Pring become the "property of the victor" because she didn't divorce Spock before it was too late and he would die as a result with no backuo lady?
    I know T'Pring said that the challenge was the only way she could divorce Spock but I thought ENT said T'Pol could divorce so I take it as "the only way she could divorce and not become a social pariah and still have a chance at Spock's money".
    So the "property" thing was a punishment for endangering Spock's life. If there wasn't a punishment I suppose everyone would do it and men would needlessly die and thus the race.
    I sort of imagine there's a lot of negotiation and money and favours passed between families on Vulcan with their arranged marriages just like it is here. But on Vulcan its life and death so the punishment is high stake
     
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  17. mithril

    mithril Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    I don't think that the ponn far is a literal "mate or die" in most cases, after all spock didn't with T'pring, and he was fine. I think it is more like the 'musth' that male elephants go through. A time when the hormones are surging to prepare the Bulls to compete for sexual dominace, and as a result they get very aggressive and irritable.
    Which describes the vulcan experiance fairly well. In short, they are just incredibly horny and in the grips of the natural equivilent of a 'Roid Rage'.
    Elephants don't die from it, biologically speaking. Unsated it burns itself out after awhile. Mating and/or fighting can shorten the effects.

    Which is pretty close to what vulcans seem to go through as well. If they can have sex, the condition ends fairly quick. The hormonal urges sated. If they can't, they either have to try and endure it (relying in meditation to avoid lapses in emotional control) and pursue alternative treatments (foods, medications, perhaps even self-stimulation) to deal with the hormonal and nuerochemical changes until it ends of its own accord, or fight for dominance (the various biochemical effects of a life or death battle presumably signalling the body to end the cycle). The risk of death would be for those who can't manage it or find a mate or battle.

    Now most female animals on earth go through their own hormonal surges, usually known as 'Rut' or 'heat'. Where their bodies start producing tons of hormones to help trigger ovulation and prepare the body for pregnancy. During which they also tend to go through emotional changes, irritability, etc. Though not usually as bad as Musth can be. Their hormonal changes also result in a change in scent, and often various visual changes as well. Which tend to trigger hormonal states in males as well, leading to dominance displays and/or battles, etc. (It is notable that humanity seems to be one of the few animals on earth which do not go through such a heat cycle, instead having subtler changes during times of fertility.)

    It is likely that the vulcan evolutionary ancestors evolved a long period between fertility as a result of the harsh desert conditions of their world. With so few environmental resources, any fast reproducing creature would tend to exceed the capacity for the land to support it and risk extinction. So slower reproducing creatures would be selected for. Very likely most animal lifeforms on vulcan are extreme K stetegists, devoting a lot of time and effort into ensuring the survival of a small number of offspring.
    The vulcan evolutionary ancestors probably got by initially with non-synchronized pon farr cycles..dominance fights during male pon farr, possibly over groups of females (not unlike gorilla social dynamics) and mating whenever the female members of a group went through theirs.
    Once they gained intelligence and civilization, and developed their psychic traits, they ritualized the whole affair, and likely found that a male and female that had a mental connection ended up with synchronized cycles.. which would make maintaining a civilization a lot easier. Odds are said bonding process is also how they ended up being monogamists in terms of marriage.

    Now, T'Pring seems to have been rather more level headed than spock was.. I'd guess that either the female pon farr isn't quite as strong as the male one, or something about Spock's half human nature (be it biochemical or just mental) made it harder to control the effects. Personally I'd lean to both.. the full Vulcans we've seen go through it didn't seem to have as much trouble as spock did, but at the same time i could see the hormonal effects being different for vulcan women. After all if vulcan women got as battle crazy as the men, the odds of them surviving to bear a kid is going to be lower, so those with a genetic tendency towards extreme effects likely would be weeded out of the gene pool. (Since the guy is mostly just a genetics donor biologically speaking, if he dies after or during the process it isn't as evolutionarily limiting)

    T'Pol got pretty agressive but hers was an artificially induced one, so likely atypical. Plus her emotional control was flawed like most vulcans of the time due to the corruption of surak's teachings during the time before the kirshara was found. So her ability to control herself in the face of the changes would have been weaker.


    As far as how spock got by post TOS? I would presume that he used a mix of that kohlinar training to manage the control, and being unbonded, sought out companionship as needed. Though the possibility that after his genesis ressurection his 'biological clock' got reset and he was able to go longer before it became an issue would be interesting. Especially if what savvik did during the 'puberty' phase of his accellerated rebirth counted as being bonded. Assuming that its effects survived the katra being put back in. Of course the novels had him marry savvik by the time of the Enterprise C..
     
  18. Timewalker

    Timewalker Cat-lovin', Star Trekkin' Time Lady Premium Member

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    There's an article in one of the Best of Trek books that answers this. Vulcans are a long-lived species, and so puberty occurs later (consider humans vs other mammals; cats go through puberty at 5-6 months vs 10-14 or so years for humans). The article speculated that pon farr didn't affect Spock until T'Pring had matured. As for T'Pring's choice of Stonn, she explained it herself; add bigotry against humans, and it all makes sense.
     
  19. Ronald Held

    Ronald Held Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Not unreasonable to expect Vulcans to start puberty in their late twenties to thirties Standard years.
     
  20. JonnyQuest037

    JonnyQuest037 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I actually went to the trouble of charting Spock's likely years for Pon Farr when I did my Star Trek Timeline, and, assuming that "Amok Time" happened at the tail end of 2267, I have his subsequent Pon Farrs happening in 2274 (so during the 5YM between TMP and TWOK), 2281 (a couple of years before TWOK), 2288-89 (putting it between TFF and TUC), and 2295-96 (or after TUC). Of course, it's very possible that Spock's regeneration in TSFS disrupted his Pon Farr cycle somehow.
    I think Spock's dialogue "I'd hoped that I would be spared this" makes it pretty obvious that "Amok Time" is his very first Pon Farr, and that his half-human metabolism just delayed the natural process until his mid-thirties. I also like the suggestion that Spock was unconsciously suppressing his Pon Farr due to his reluctance to marry T'Pring. What we saw in The Search For Spock was an unsuppressed Pon Farr, occurring at the normal age, around 17 or so. (I'd imagine that it can be tough to pinpoint a Pon Farr sometimes, which is why Spock didn't take leave ahead of time.)
     
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