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Miri (1966) Star Trek episode - TheBooBooKitty Rating: {>>--} (Bonk, Bonk) {{ Previous - Next}}


Please note that this review is laden with spoilers.

Miri was a much maligned episode of Star Trek, where Captain Kirk and company discover a parallel earth populated only with children. Star Trek episodes with children on them are usually unpopular with Trekkies as a whole, and this one is no exception.

Body count: One. One of the alien children falls prey to disease during the episode. The children are one of those hundreds of alien species that are exactly identical to humans. These races seem to be more common during the original series days, but they infest all the series to some extent. The children are members of one of the more rare clone races, as their planet also happens to be an exact clone of Earth.

Plot Outline: The USS Enterprise discovers an old style S.O.S distress signal coming from a type M planet. They travel to the planet and discover that it isn't just a type M planet, it is an exact clone of Earth, something that happens several times during the original series.

The landing party finds that the society of this "Earth" fell apart during the 1960s, almost 300 years earlier. The original inhabitants all fell prey to a virus, all but the children that is. The children survived, and in massive numbers. They are all over the place, and scurry like rats from place to place.

The virus came about as a side effect of a life prolongation program. The life prolongation itself worked, the aging process on the planet is slowed down by a factor of 1200. But everyone on the planet carries the virus. The virus itself is harmless in children, laying dormant until adolescence, at which point it causes the carrier to break out in black blotches, go insane and then die.

There do not seem to be any babies on the planet. It is a small detail that says a lot. Apparently the children were not responsible enough to keep them alive and eventually they all must have died. Speaking of death, the landing party has also contracted this dread virus, and has only a few days to cure it before they all die.

Most of the children want nothing to do with the landing party, as they all hate adults due to the memory of them all going insane. But "Miri" falls in love with Captain Kirk, and stays with the landing party. Kirk really seems to like this, he looks at her and speaks to her in the exact same manner he does to every random love interest on the show. But Miri soon becomes jealous of Yeoman Rand, and helps the children harass and beat the crew.

Kirk is finally able to convince the children to let them help, and Doctor McCoy creates and antidote to the virus. They leave the children behind with a plan that the Federation will be coming to send adult colonists with the antidote to the planet. They must have forgotten to do that though and the planet is never mentioned again.

My Opinion: This certainly isn't one of the best episodes of Star Trek, but it isn't nearly as bad as most people make it out to be. There are two main problems with this episode. The first is that the children are just terribly annoying, they run around yelling "Bonk, Bonk" all the time. I blame this on the fact that few of the children were actually actors. The other main thing that used to bother me was the way Captain Kirk and Miri interacted. Kirk seemed to nearly be as in love with Miri as she was with him. He certainly looked at her that way. Later I discovered how old the actress that played Miri actually was, so I was able to forgive William Shatner for making goo goo eyes at her.


Notes
  • This episode uses sets recycled from the Andy Griffith show. One of those sets will be used again in "The City on the Edge of Forever".
  • The actress playing the twelve year old "Miri" was nineteen years old when they filmed this episode. So not only was she not pre-pubescent, she was actually fully grown. They hid that fact by keeping her in baggy clothes. She isn't the only late teen in the group, as there are several other boys who are nearly as old.
  • Most of the children in this episode belonged to various actors in the series. Captain Kirk picks up his own daughter near the end of the episode. A few names that obviously stand out are Dawn Roddenberry, Darlene Roddenberry, Lizabeth Shatner, and Melanie Shatner.


Cast and Guest Stars

Directed by: James Goldstone directed this episode along with several other first season ones.

Writing credits: Robert Bloch was responsible for this script. He also wrote What are Little Girls made of?, The Conscience of the King, Catspaw, and Wolf in the Fold. He is sometimes regarded as one of the weaker writers on the show.

Sources: Star Trek.com, my head, and watching the sucker multiple times. A big thanks to weasello for the format used.

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