In celebration of Star Trek: Discovery's Mia Kirshner's birthday, it's only logical that we take a moment to recognize Star Trek's greatest and most memorable mom.
Mr. Spock’s mother, Amanda Grayson, is the human teacher who married the Vulcan ambassador Sarek and, not long after, gave birth to everyone’s favorite half-human/half-Vulcan.
The character was first played by Jane Wyatt in the Star Trek: The Original Series episode “Journey to Babel.” Wyatt was a perfect choice for the role, as she’d already been, in a way, America’s mother for years, having portrayed the beloved Margaret Anderson on the classic TV sitcom Father Knows Best.
Years later, Leonard Nimoy famously reunited the Vulcan family when he, Mark Lenard (Sarek) and Wyatt appeared in Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home. Wyatt once again imbued Amanda with a sense of warmth and love as she guided Spock toward reclaiming his humanness following his demise and renaissance on the Genesis Planet.
During an interview she conducted years ago, Wyatt commented on Amanda Grayson’s enduring impact on her career and people in general. “The three big movies or shows for which I get fan mail are Star Trek, Father Knows Best and Lost Horizon,” she said. “But Star Trek is the oddest of them all. Complete strangers come up and call me ‘Amanda.’ Once I got off the plane in Iceland, where I was going fishing, and somebody down below yelled ‘Amanda!’ Well, I didn’t know who Amanda was until I realized that was my name in Star Trek. It’s absolutely crazy!”
“Journey to Babel” and The Voyage Home marked Wyatt’s only appearances as Amanda, but the character turned up in and was referenced in other media, and was essayed by several other actresses.
Of course, Winona Ryder played a doomed version of the character in Star Trek (2009). In the film's production notes, Zachary Quinto, who plays the Kelvin Timeline's Spock, shared, "Winona brought a real tenderness to the role and she really highlights the juxtaposition between her heartfelt way of being and Sarek's logic."
Most recently, Mia Kirshner appears as Amanda Grayson, Spock and his adopted sister Michael Burnham's mother, on Star Trek: Discovery. With her portrayal in Discovery, Kirshner demonstrates Amanda's determination, strength, and the lengths she will go in order to protect and care for her family.
OK, now it’s your turn. Do you agree with us that Amanda Grayson is Star Trek’s greatest mom? We're sure we'll hear support for Lwaxana Troi, the Horta, Dr. Crusher, Moogie, B'Elanna Torres and Carol Marcus, among others. So, bring it on!
This article was originally published on May 7, 2011.
Star Trek: Discovery Seasons 1-4 are currently streaming exclusively on Paramount+ in the U.S. Internationally, the series is available on Paramount+ in Australia, Italy, Latin America, the U.K. and South Korea, as well as on Pluto TV in Austria, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Switzerland on the Pluto TV Sci-Fi channel. It will also stream exclusively on Paramount+ in Italy, France, Germany, Switzerland and Austria later this year. In Canada, it airs on Bell Media’s CTV Sci-Fi Channel and streams on Crave. STAR TREK: DISCOVERY is distributed by Paramount Global Content Distribution.