July 6, 2014: Our Star Trek Tos Rewatch Continues With…miri!Cookie Monster and I continue our review of the original Star Trek series…

Me: I remember this one being a lot creepier when I was a kid, like that movie Phantasm and clowns in general.  Kirk, Spock, McCoy, Yeoman Rand, and a couple of redshirts beam down to a planet with an Earth-like atmosphere – and Earth-like studio lot ruins – to investigate a distress signal.  What they discover triggers an adventure part Children of the Corn and part Lord of the Flies with a dash of that episode of the 1967 Spiderman where Spidey gets knocked out in a meat locker and wakes up to a post-apocalyptic Earth where guys sporting football helmets ride around on dinosaurs.

Cookie Monster: Did me miss someting but what happened to de two redshirts who come down to planet wit dem?  Dey just disappear halfway thru episode.  Early on, Kirk try his best to get dem killed off tho.  Notice how everyone stick together EXCEPT redshirt who sent off on his own.  And STILL not manage to get himself killed!

Me: Well, it wasn’t from lack of trying.  Still, a nice twist early on as the redshirt, who we’re assuming will be killed, remains unharmed while McCoy is the one who gets attacked.

Cookie Monster:  The Bonester checking out tricycle and get jumped by zombie boy.  Kirk come to do reskue, punching out zombie boy TREE times before knocking him down.

Me: Wouldn’t it have been more humane to simply stun him with his phaser?

Cookie Monster: Sure, but not as much fun.  Kirk’s knuckles need love too!

Me: This episode does a wonderful job of slow-burning the creepy premise.  The desolation is unsettling enough, but when those unseen children start chanting….yeeeikes.

Cookie Monster: Even Spock is spooked.  At one point, he searching, hear noise, and scream: “Guards!” like my little cousin Demoika dat time spider crawl up her calf.

Me: Kirk makes a startling discovery in a closet.  A young teenager named Miri.

Cookie Monster: Monster not sure what more creepy: kids or Kirk turning on de charm for teenager.  “Pretty name for a pretty girl.  Veeeeer pretty.”  Veeeeery creepy.

July 6, 2014: Our Star Trek Tos Rewatch Continues With…miri!
You can call me James. Creepster is okay too!

Me: He has no control over his charm powers.  In many ways, it’s a curse.  “She likes you, Jim,”Spock says at one point.  “She’s becoming…a woman!”

Cookie Monster: Just like horrible blue scab Miri notice on his hand.  She be like: “You infekted!”  And he be like: “Hey!  How DAT get dere?!”

Me: Yeah, you’d think he would have been the first one to notice.  Anyway, pretty soon, everyone notices as they all get infected – with the exception of Spock who is, nevertheless, a carrier.

Cookie Monster: Speaking of carriers, monster couldn’t help noticing Yeoman Rand’s wicker basket hairstyle.  What she hiding under dere?

July 6, 2014: Our Star Trek Tos Rewatch Continues With…miri!
She’s packing a picnic lunch under that do.

Me: Unfortunately for them, NOT her communicator.  In one of the episode’s most puzzling moments, all off the communicators get stolen when everyone – EVERYONE! – leaves them behind to investigate something.  When they come back, they’re gone.  I mean, come on.  Everyone?!  Did they forget that there’s a special place on their belts where they go

Cookie Monster: De Bonester get to work on vaccine for virus – but it frustrating work.  Virus affekt deir minds.  Pretty soon, everybody snapping at each other like dey at an Oscar de Grouch family reunion.

Me: Turns out these “kids” are 300 years old and the infection develops at puberty. But McCoy is close to completing the vaccine.  The only problem is – without their communicators, they can’t contact the Enterprise to test it!  (P.S. After they hadn’t heard back from the Captain for a while, you’d think the Enterprise would send a second party down to check up on him.).  And testing it without the Enterprise could have disastrous consequences.  As Spock points out, it could be a “beaker full of death”!

Cookie Monster: Coinsidentally, Beaker Full of Death be name of old muppet band dat played at Bert and Ernie’s wedding.

Me: Things get desperate for everyone, especially Yeoman Rand who asks Kirk to check out her (now spotty) legs.

Cookie Monster: Finally, Kirk confront plastic bat-wielding kids.  He plead for communikators!  “No blah blah blah!”he scream.  So dey beat him up instead.  In hindsight, he should have stuck wit de blah blah blah.

July 6, 2014: Our Star Trek Tos Rewatch Continues With…miri!
Creepy kids school Kirk.

Me: But never underestimate Kirk’s powers of persuasion.  If he’s not seducing robots or convincing them to turn against their creators –

Cookie Monster: Or getting teenagers to fall in love wit him.

Me: Or getting teenagers to fall in love with him, he’s convincing a group of kids that their 300 year old lifestyle is wrong and in need of a complete overhaul.  He gets his communicators back just in the nick of time –

Cookie Monster: To find Bonester on de floor, unconscious after taking vaccine.  But it work!  Everyone cured!

Me: Our crew returns to the ship where Yeoman Rand informs Kirk: “Miri.  She really loved you, you know.”  To which Kirk replies: “Yes.  I never get involved with a older women, Yeoman.”  Er, oookay.  Technically she’s 300 years old but physically… Ah, let’s just forget it and move on to the next episode.

17 thoughts on “July 6, 2014: Our Star Trek TOS rewatch continues with…Miri!

  1. Dang it, I’m falling behind on these again already. After the remnants of hurricane Arthur went through here yesterday, I’ve been without power for 29 hours and counting. (Posting from my phone).

    I do remember not caring that much for this episode, but it’s been ages since I’ve seen it so maybe now I’ll see it differently. Hopefully I can still catch it tonight.

  2. After decades of us being shamed for checking Facebook and its successors to the neglect of face-to-face interaction, it becomes a virtue to leave your communicator behind when you go to check out strange noises in a unanimously curious group. These being Starfleet’s elite, it would have been an insult to beam them down a communicator just because they hadn’t been in contact for a while.

  3. Joe: I remember this one being a lot creepier when I was a kid, like that movie Phantasm and clowns in general.

    Me: This is one of my favorite Star Trek episodes. As a kid, I thought it was very creepy too. It had a lot of the popular kids in it at the time. Kim Darby of True Grit with John Wayne. Michael J Pollard, and I believe the kid carrying the hammer was in To Kill A Mockingbird. (He was the neighbor little boy that came over to play with Jem and Scout.)

    Cookie Monster: Even Spock is spooked. At one point, he searching, hear noise, and scream: “Guards!” like my little cousin Demoika dat time spider crawl up her calf.

    Me: Yeah, that was funny. Once, when I was about 6, I was sitting out back in the grass with other kids. A gigantic tarantula spider came crawling up my leg. Spock would have pooped in his pants!

    Cookie Monster: Monster not sure what more creepy: kids or Kirk turning on de charm for teenager. “Pretty name for a pretty girl. Veeeeer pretty.” Veeeeery creepy.

    Me: You misunderstand Kirk, Cookie. I liked Kirk in this one because I thought he was showing kindness and patience with the children. He was just calming down Miri and gaining her trust. He was being the parent they didn’t have. A daddy. I liked this episode.

  4. One thing I didn’t question when I was a kid was the planet being an exact duplicate of Earth. It just didn’t seem important then (since the writers didn’t draw anymore attention to it). But as I watched this time, it was the elephant in the room for me.

    How was the planet an EXACT duplicate of Earth? Was this Earth 2.0 as in Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy? Was this an alternate timeline? Parallel planetary development? No clue is offered or ventured.

    I get the feeling that the writers had access to a ghost town set (complete with signs in english), and as a feint of hand to explain the english signs they came up with the duplicate Earth concept and left it at that.

    After a quick Google search, it seems my feelings were correct:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miri_(Star_Trek:_The_Original_Series)

    Scroll down to the ‘Production’ tab. It seems the set was the ‘abandoned’ Mayberry set from the Andy Griffith show. I also see that the duplicate Earth concept was explained in a Trek novel called Forgotten Histories where it’s revealed that the planet is actually Earth from a parallel timeline that temporarily is in the Trek universe due to an instability of space-time. Okay, I can live with that. 😉

    And Barb, being the long-time Trekkie that she is, was dancing to the theme song when I started this episode. Seems I’m getting all sorts of entertainment with this re-watch. 😀

  5. Don’tcha know, Rand is a “CONEHEAD” in disguise!

    Yeah, nothing says “creepy” more than a mob of socio-pathological rug-rats! – Or, the fact that most of Them are all MY age now… eww…

    BTW, did anyone think to check under the couch cushions for those pre-historic flip-phones?

  6. This episode was banned in the UK along with 3 others. The show was thought to be a children’s show so some of the episodes where thought to be to ‘violent’ to children.

    Once I got to watch this one I really liked it. An interesting concept of trying to find the fountain of youth. Basically saying that we should not reach for things that we can’t get and instead be happy with the life we have.

    Behind the Scenes – Some of the children are in fact Bill Shatner’s and Gene’s. The one he holds up and spits at him is one of his daughters… haven’t found out which one as he has 3 of them.

    Kriss 🙂

  7. @JeffW: Yeah, the “second Earth” premise bothered me, too, not because their explanation was stupid (I could live with that) but because there was no explanation at all! A whole Earth!!! Surely a simple explanation would have been that in the early days of Earth’s space exploration a group of colonists settled on this planet to build an early 20th century town and perform genetic experiments on each other.

    By presenting it as a “second Earth” it means there would be 300 year old children in every city on the planet, probably millions of them. This is a major discovery of Earth shattering proportions and the resolution? “We’ll leave a medical team behind. We can’t stick around we’ve probably got a surly scientist on some desert planet that needs a medical checkup.”

    Anyhow, apart from the “second Earth” nonsense, this is a pretty good episode. I’m curious to know whether long-lived children would actually remain mentally and emotionally childlike. Are there chemical changes in the brain during puberty that allows children to become mentally capable of being adults? Or could a child that never goes through puberty still become a fully functioning adult just through experience and education? I guess eunuchs would be a good example of a human that never goes through puberty but their growth isn’t slowed so their brain would still be developing. Perhaps the genetic modification of the children in this episode not only slowed their growth but also their brain development. That would explain why, even after 300 years, they still act like children. It’s an interesting concept which had me engaged through the whole episode.

  8. Thia was not a favorite, a little creepy for sure,, hard to over look Kirks overacting at times, don’t remember seeing that when watching it a few moons ago.. and the young girl crushing on him,ick. but do enjoy the backstory about the kids being kids of actors on the show. thanks.

  9. I hope that kid Kirk pulled off his back and flung to the concrete floor during the classroom melee at least had some padding on before he went splat. Even rewatching this I still despise these kids, especially Michael J. Pollard, who I adored in Roxanne.

    I love the Trek wigs; as a kid I believed these ladies spent hours, perhaps days, perfecting those tremedous dos.

  10. Happy Birthday Das 😀

    I always loved Yeoman Rand’s wicker basket hairdo.

    @Ponytail: That is the neighbor kid from To Kill A Mockingbird.

  11. @Wesley – Rand is a ringer for Chloe, and both are long suffering gals crushing on ultra macho bosses.

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