For those who are new to my episode reviews, you can find the post where I establish my point criteria here
Episode Overview – Amazed to discover a planet that is identical to Earth, Kirk beams down with an away team. Shortly after they are attacked by a deranged man who shortly after dies. They soon meet Miri, a young girl on the verge of puberty, and learn that all the adults, or “grups” as they are called, have died, and that only children remain. It does not take long for Kirk and the away team to learn that they have contracted the virus that has wiped out the adults in the population, and it is soon a race against time for not only Kirk and his away team, but for the children, starting with Miri.
|Kirk, Rand, McCoy, and Miri|
Episode Score – 7/10. Not a bad episode. The children are a little “Lord of the Flies” on the creepy factor, but it is a nice story. My biggest criticism is that there is no apparent purpose for the planet to be virtually identical to Earth. No reason or connection is given as to how this planet on the other side of the galaxy is so similar to Earth. It is almost as if the budget didn’t allow them to create anything that would be foreign to our world.
Relevance – 1 point. The blooming relationship between Kirk and Rand is touched on here. Other than that, nothing of note.
|Arriving on the new planet|
Continuity – 2 points. I give a point for story and universe continuity here, but I have to deduct a point for character continuity. Try as I might, I just do not buy into the flirtatious nature Kirk had with Miri. While he never crossed any lines, per se, it just seemed odd. Kirk was no stranger to flirting with the ladies he encountered, but this was out of place with him.
|Jahn and Miri|
Character Development – 1 point. A point for Kirk and Janice Rand. Not much development here, other than Janice expressing that she had always tried to get the Captain’s attention. I thought about how McCoy had taken the vaccine without any verification in an act of desperation, but I am not sure if this further developed his character or was a result of a desperate situation combined with the symptoms of the virus affecting his state of mind.
|McCoy knows how to take one for the team.|
Social Commentary – 2 points. The reason the children are in the position that they are in is because their parents were trying to cheat death by slowing down the aging process. While the children had their aging slowed (about one month of aging occurring in 100 years), the adults became the dreaded “grups”, covered in bluish scabs and descending into violent insanity before succumbing to the effects of the virus. A classic tale of the unintended effects of the futile search for the Fountain of Youth. Star Trek will deal with that theme several times again. There is also a connection to the inevitability of growing up. In the case of Miri, it is a literal death of innocence that she and her fellow “Onlies” faced.
|You now are the ones with blood on your hands|
Cool Factor – 1 point. Many of the children in this episode were children of some of the actors as well as Gene Roddenberry. They were Gene’s daughters (Darleen and Dawn), Grace Lee Whitney’s sons (Jon and Scott Dweck), and William Shatner’s daughters (Leslie and Lisabeth). The scene where Kirk enters carrying a little girl (Lisabeth) is just that much cooler knowing that it was father and daughter.
|William Shatner and his daughter|
Rank – Lieutenant (14 points). This is a fair episode. I really dislike the fact that the whole idea presented at the beginning where the planet is almost an exact duplicate of Earth is never touched on again. Despite that, I liked the story. Sadly, the actress who played Yeoman Rand would be fired shortly after the filming of this episode was completed. She would return for a walk-on scene in the next episode, but this was the end of the line for the character until the movies started.