Regarding the Star Trek episode “Amok Time”, I always assumed “Amok” was a fictional sci-fi word, but then I realized it’s spelled the same as “to run amok”. Is there an intentional connection there, as in “it’s time to run amok”?
According to Merriam Webster, one of the definitions of "amok" as an adverb is:
- in a murderously frenzied state
and as an adjective, it is described as
possessed with or motivated by a murderous or violently uncontrollable frenzy
Collins categorizes the word as a noun described as
- a state of murderous frenzy, originally observed among Malays
And Dictionary.com provides the noun definition
(among members of certain Southeast Asian cultures) a psychic disturbance characterized by depression followed by a manic urge to murder.
This describes Spock's out-of-control state which, at the climax of the episode, turns into some kind of a violent bloodlust.
Therefore: Yes, I'd say there is an "intentional connection" - the episode title "Amok Time" simply uses the English term "amok" to literally describe Spock's behaviour in the episode.
Yes, it is a reference to Pon Farr being a time when Vulcans become amok, i.e.
in a violently raging, wild, or uncontrolled manner
The title appears to be a reference to an earlier script written by Herschel Daugherty for the episode Operation - - Annihilate!
In the original script (which forms the basis of James Blish's novelisation of the episode) Spock is accused of "running amok" by Kirk. Although the line was ultimately removed from the shooting script, it appears to have stuck in Roddenberry's mind and was used as the title of the subsequent episode.
“Sir, I would prefer to bear it just a little while longer. The final test of the theory is what happens to me-or does not happen-when that nucleus is destroyed. If the pain continues, we will know that we were wrong.”
“Without prejudice to your own wishes or your will power, Mr. Spock, are you certain that there’s no danger of your running amok again?”
“The danger exists,” Spock said levelly. “However, I am fighting it. And I do not see how we can forfeit this test.”