Let’s get this straight right off the bat, I’m not a Trekkie. My allegiance has always lied with the Galactica (c’mon, there was a monkey in an orange robot dog suit in it, what choice do I have?) Much of my resistance to GENE RODDENBERRY‘s creation had to do with the fact that when my brothers and I played STAR TREK, I always had to be “Bones” McCoy. (Actually I guess I chose to be the good doctor not knowing that it was such a lackluster, mostly phaser-less role). That being said, I have always had a fondness for an episode from S.T.‘s first season entitled “Miri” in which the gang visits a planet not unlike Earth, except that the adult population is dead and children rule. Needless to say, this episode has Kindertrauma written all over it. Actually it turns out that the kids are like 300 years old and because of some funky virus that was created, they age about a month in a hundred years. The down side is when you hit puberty, you get blue blotches all over you and turn into a whack job. Hold up a second, a “failed” experiment that lets you live 300 years? That sounds kind of like a successful experiment to me. So what if you turn into a crazy lunatic that spouts nonsense at some point, that would have happened when you got old anyway! Characteristically mac daddy Captain Kirk and company set out to “cure” these kids and return them to a normal, blue-blotch-free life cycle. I guess they are inspired by the fact that the crew of the Enterprise are all past puberty, have caught the disease and are perilously close to freak out time (Spock is immune, but may be a carrier). Speaking of freak out time, this episode contains my favorite SHATNER line in history. When the kids respond to Captain Kirk’s attempts to resolve their differences by chanting “Blah, Blah, Blah,” over all his words, Kirk’s brilliant retort is ” NO, BLAH BLAH BLAH!!!” This is around the time one of the uglier kids “bonk-bonks” “Mr.Lovey-Dovey” on the head with a wrench. I’m really not doing this episode justice and I apologize. Even cooler than the prerequisite freak out by my man SHATNER is the presence of a young KIM DARBY, who would later battle tiny walnut-faced imps in the Kinder-fave T.V. movie DON’T BE AFRAID OF THE DARK and get a deadly dose of M.M. rage in HALLOWEEN 6. Furthermore you are treated to the lovable, Mr. Mxyzptlk looking AMERICAN GOTHIC alum MICHAEL J. POLLARD as the kid’s ringleader. Even if you’re not a Trekkie you may still enjoy this highly entertaining CHILDREN OF THE CORN-like S.T. episode. Those interested can find it in its entirety HERE
The U.S.S. Enterprise runs afoul of yet another group of deadly kids in the season three episode “And the Children Shall Lead.” They go to a planet where a bunch of adults have just committed mass suicide JIM JONES style and find a bunch of strangely unbereft tykes there, which they take aboard the ship. The children are actually following the lead of a super fat alien in a moo-moo and with some kind of hand jive routine are able to make the crew hallucinate that their worst fears are reality. Sulu imagines giant swords are floating in space, Uhuru envisions herself an old hag in her handy computer board vanity mirror…
…and Captain Kirk becomes so insecure that, I swear to God he seriously almost made out with Spock in the elevator!!! If either they or I was a little more drunk I think it would have happened!
This episode guest stars puppy activist and official Traumatot PAMELYN FERDIN and is pretty damn good as well even though it is usually considered the WORST episode ever made by most STAR TREK fans. (You can watch it HERE). I guess the truth is the only thing really keeping Unkle Lancifer from becoming a full-blown Trekkie is actually watching the show because I sorta loved both these episodes. Well, it’s too late for me to change my Colonial spots now and there ARE Cylons a’ calling. Maybe if that make-out session in the elevator had actually materialized it would be a different story.
UPDATE:It seems my mission to go where no Galactica fan has gone before is not quite over. I was alerted to yet another creepy STAR TREK kid by a kind reader (Adam Ross of DVD PANACHE, who I suspect IS a Trekkie!). Having just viewed it, I’m here to report it is indeed another stellar episode. In “The Corbomite Maneuvre,” our favorite ship gets blocked by something that looks like a lone spinning D&D die in outer space (just how nerdy am I prepared to go?) After they blow it up, a giant Christmas tree ornament attacks and begins making ballsy threats about destroying the Enterprise. An ugly alien even appears on their screen to talk more smack; he’s pissed off and he won’t listen to reason. Spock suggests that the battle of wills that ensues is comparable to a game of Chess. Probably never having played chess, Kirk likens it to playing poker, which gives him a brilliant Blair Warner idea, why not bluff (i.e. lie) his way out? Kirk then makes of few grand threats of his own. Telling the alien that basically the Enterprise is rubber and he is glue and that whatever he does to them…well, you know the rest. There are more idol threats and some camera tilting “action” and then rather than more smart talk they get a distress call from their foe. When Kirk, Bones and some nobody who has been bitching all episode beam aboard the enemy ship, they find the alien they saw previously on screen was just a fake dummy and this guy Balok lounging around like TRUMAN CAPOTE getting wasted on something called “tranya.”