It's Mother's Day and it got us thinking, Who is Star Trek’s greatest and/or most memorable mom?
To us, it’s a no-brainer. That’d have to be Mr. Spock’s mother, Amanda Grayson, the human teacher who married the Vulcan ambassador Sarek (Mark Lenard) and, not long after, gave birth to everyone’s favorite half-human/half-Vulcan. The character was first played by Jane Wyatt in the TOS 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, Lenard 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’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!” Wyatt was 96 years old when she passed away on October 20, 2006.
“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. Majel Barrett-Roddenberry voiced the character for the animated episode “Yesteryear,” while Cynthia Blaise portrayed a younger version of Amanda in Star Trek V: The Final Frontier. Of course, Winona Ryder played a doomed version of the character in Star Trek (2009); check out the DVD/Blu-ray extras for deleted scenes that add texture and emotion to Ryder’s characterization. And Amanda figured into several Star Trek novels, most notably Sarek, by A.C. Crispin, which depicts the character’s death.
OK, now it’s your turn. Do you agree with us that Amanda Grayson is Star Trek’s greatest mom? Let us know. If not, who do you think is?
And, to all the moms out there in the galaxy, happy Mother’s Day!