Apr 30 2009 1:33pm

Star Trek Re-watch: “Miri”

Written by Adrian Spies
Directed by Vincent McEveety

Season 1, Episode 8
Production episode: 1x11
Original air date: October 27, 1966
Star date: 2713.5

Mission summary
The Enterprise picks up an S.O.S. and follows it to a planet eerily similar to Earth, as it was in the mid-twentieth century. Kirk, Spock, McCoy, Janice, and two red shirts beam down to the surface. They find the planet is a desolate wasteland (that looks remarkably like a late ’60s Hollywood lot...), uninhabited for at least 300 years. Doctor McCoy bends down to examine a tricycle sitting atop a huge heap of garbage, and a disfigured humanoid creature leaps out at him. The creature claims the tricycle is his, and in the broken thoughts of a child whose toy has been seized, he attacks the landing party. A brief skirmish breaks out until the boy-creature succumbs to seizures and dies. McCoy, somewhat stunned, takes a few readings and realizes: “Its metabolic rate. It’s impossibly high, as if it’s burning itself up, almost as if it aged a century in just the past few minutes.”

The landing party examines the nearby buildings and comes across a young girl named Miri, who utterly failed to hide from them. She is clearly terrified, pleading over and over with them not to hurt her. She calls them “grups,” which Janice realizes means “grown-ups,” and refers to the other children like her as “onlies.” She tells them that she doesn’t trust grups: “But I remember the things you grups did, burning, yelling, hurting people.” Meanwhile Spock tries to chase down other things-that-go-bump, which turn out to be wild monkey-children chanting schoolyard rhymes. (Okay, so they’re just kids, but I can't help but think of them that way.) They pelt rocks at him and scurry away like animals.

Kirk’s dashing good looks are able to coax a bit more information about the “grups” out of Miri: “That was when they started to get sick in the before time. We hid, then they were gone.” All of the adults on the planet are dead of some vast plague a very long time ago, and all that’s left is a planet of pre-pubescent children. Miri, successfully persuaded by Kirk’s irresistable sexual energy (or something), agrees to take them to the nearest medical facility: and at that moment she notices blue blotches on Kirk’s arm. “It’s already starting. I knew it would. Just like it did with the grups. It’ll spread all over you, and you’ll yell, and you’ll try to hurt everybody and then you’ll die. I knew it would! I knew it would!”

The disease has infected the landing party.

They make it to the building that had been sending out the S.O.S., and it contains a full laboratory, including notes from the now-extinct adult inhabitants. The disease was part of the Life Prolongation Project, which seemed to work just fine on the kids, who only age one month for every one hundred years. But in adults it causes an insane metabolic nucleic acid mumbledybmumbledy breakdown that infects the victim with the crazy, driving him or her to acts of brutal violence before finally killing the person. The children are not immune: when they enter puberty, they will become infected with this horrible disease and die, as the one who attacked them in the teaser did.

Miri starts to hang around the captain, and it’s clear she’s interested in more than just a science lesson:

SPOCK: There may be other emotions at work in this case, Captain.
MCCOY: She likes you, Jim.
SPOCK: She’s becoming a woman.

Miri has developed a big ol’ crush, an ominous indicator of her own age (and her eventual fate). Kirk and Miri set off to find some answers, but the captain gets attacked by a post-pubescent girl (happens all the time) who he unsuccessfully tries to stun. The phaser winds up killing her, and Miri reveals that the girl wasn’t that much older than she is. Back at the lab, McCoy determines that the adults who beamed down have about seven days before the virus will utterly overwhelm and kill them. Spock is the only one not infected, though he is a carrier, and is likewise unable to return to the ship.

As the days tick by, Kirk and the crew become increasingly paranoid and exhibit borderline psychotic behavior. They begin snapping at each other for no reason, and become violent. The adults are so on edge that when they hear schoolyard chanting from the wild monkey-children, they all leave their posts to seek out the noise. In the meantime, the children have stolen their communicators, and with them, their only hope of finding a cure. Without the communicators to test the vaccine prototype, the concoction they’ve made could be, as Spock puts it, a “beaker full of death.” Pushed to the brink, Janice breaks down and begs Kirk to look at her legs, which have broken out in the blue sores. (Hey now...clock’s a’tickin’...) Kirk tries to comfort her, but Miri watches with jealousy—a new, scary, and dangerous emotion.

Miri returns to the wild monkey-children’s hideout and convinces them to kidnap Janice (no ulterior motives there, nosirree), which they do, successfully luring Kirk out into their trap. What follows feels like a disturbing send-up of Kindergarten Cop as Kirk first tries to control the children (he can’t), then tries to talk to them (they don’t listen), and finally is overwhelmed by them. Shouting “Bonk, bonk, on the head!” they physically scratch, punch, and otherwise hurt Kirk. Finally he points out that Miri has begun showing the sores, and that she—and the rest of them—will die if they cannot find a vaccine. She swears that it only happens “sometimes,” but Kirk persuades her:

KIRK: Not sometimes. All the time, Miri! As soon as you start growing up the way you are. Don’t you know why you don’t like to play games anymore, why you don’t see your friends the way you used to? It’s because you’re becoming a young woman, and the moment you become a young woman, you get the disease. All of you.
MIRI: That’s not true. It just happens sometimes!
KIRK: All the time, Miri! It’s happening to you right now! Look at it. Look at it, Miri, it’s in you!

Even this doesn’t entirely persuade the wild monkey-children, who continue to whale on Kirk. William Shatner gets his ass kicked by a bunch of little kids. It’s utterly surreal and unsettling, and gave me flashbacks to everything from Lord of the Flies to Children of the Corn. He explains that the children’s violent behavior makes them just like the grups, and without Kirk’s help they will all die.

The kids, scared and sober now, return the communicators—but it’s too late, because McCoy, knowing he would die anyway, has injected himself with the vaccine. Kirk and Miri arrive to find him convulsing on the floor. But slowly, his sores begin disappearing...

Everyone beams back to the ship, probably swearing up and down that they’ll never have children. They’ve contacted Starfleet to ensure that teachers, medical personnel, food, and truant officers (heh) will be making their way to the planet to help the children rebuild. As Kirk is about to give the order to leave forever, Janice says thoughtfully:

RAND: Miri. She really loved you, you know.
KIRK: Yes. I never get involved with older women, Yeoman.

Analysis: I’m going to state the obvious and say that this episode came right out of the Peter and Wendy playbook. We’ve got Jahn, the carefree Peter Pan type who leads some very lost boys indeed: they are violent and cruel simply because they don’t know how to be anything else. With no role models, no rules, and no guidance, they are trapped in a world of games and jokes that do little to equip them for the harsh realities of their own existence. Miri is a kind of Wendy, on the brink of growing up, but she has a maturity that sets her apart from the other children. This Neverland is a dark one. At one point Janice ruminates:

JANICE: Children who never age. Eternal childhood, filled with play, no responsibilities. It’s almost like a dream.
KIRK: I wouldn’t examine that dream too closely, Yeoman. It might not turn out to be very pretty.

And it’s very ugly indeed. Childhood isn’t eternal: to grow up is to die. This is true for the rest of us, too, but it’s a fact made all the more acute in Miri’s world. Part of the innocence of childhood is to be oblivious of your own mortality, to believe that you can and will live forever, that nothing can hurt you. It’s Peter Pan who, when confronted with death, says that “to die will be an awfully big adventure.” But in order to survive, they must grow up. They cannot farm, cannot recover resources, cannot create for themselves the things they need for a continued existence. It takes Kirk many tries to impress upon them that their world is not forever—their food is running out, and if that doesn’t, they will all die once they hit puberty anyway.

And speaking of puberty, Kirk gave me the creeps in this episode. I understood Miri’s devotion to him—Kirk is “different” from the other grups, he cares about others and is gentle and kind to her—but Kirk’s efforts to befriend her made me a bit uncomfortable. His smirks and smiles had a (clearly unintentional!) Humbert Humbert quality that made me shudder involuntarily. He compliments her, tries to comfort her, tries to be there for her—but he also deliberately manipulates her obvious interest in him (getting information out of her) and treats her more like a pet than like a parent. (At one point he tells Janice to “take Miri for a walk.” What, so she doesn’t pee on the carpet?) The long looks he gave her, the cheek caresses, and the hand-holding just didn’t sit right with me—they’re the same looks he gives sexy alien women. It’s one thing to be a teenager, hopelessly devoted to your teacher or some other adult; it’s another for the adult to feed that. I’m willing to write most of this off as Shatner’s acting lacking in nuance, but it’s not all him. His farewell joke about her being an older woman hit the “Ew” chord.

Creepy sexual tension aside, this episode just didn’t make sense to me. Did the teenagers really have 300 years of food stores? Does vaccinating them really do them any good, since most will live a lot longer without the “cure”? Are children really incapable of any kind of learned maturity without the biological hormones to back it up? I like the quest for immortality angle (it’s not one I tire of) and I really liked Miri—but they didn’t dig as deeply as I would’ve liked on the childhood/adulthood questions. I didn’t feel like this episode thought about its premise very hard, and that would’ve been fine if it had deeply probed any questions I found really interesting—but it offered neither good questions nor good answers, and on the whole fell pretty flat to me.

Torie’s Rating: Warp 2 (on a scale of 1-6)

Eugene Myers: “Miri” is a very memorable episode for me, one that I’ve always liked. I was surprised at how much of the episode I remembered (such as the excellent visual of the tricycle framed in the foreground of the street, one of many terrific shots) and how much I’d forgotten (the fact that Miri has Janice Rand kidnapped out of jealousy, not to mention the fact that the Yeoman ever beamed down with a landing party at all).

This episode is the first of many to take place on an alternate Earth, which Kirk says “seems impossible, but there it is.” Perhaps not impossible, but improbable, especially asking us to believe that such a planet could exist so close to our own galaxy, and that Kirk and Spock would readily recognize it as Earth circa 1960. Well, it was good for the show’s budget, at least. They correctly wave their hands past this to move on to the more striking premise, one you may have encountered before: this is a world where all the adults have died, leaving behind children to survive on their own. This probably hadn’t been done too often by 1966, and obviously “Miri” had not yet been parodied and referenced in popular culture the way it has today (for instance, in South Park's “Wacky Molestation Adventure”). There’s some element of wish fulfillment here that might have appealed to young viewers at the time: a prolonged childhood without adults to tell you what to do, a life without responsibility and “filled with play” (as opposed to that beaker that Spock says could be “full of death,” which describes the situation somewhat more accurately). But this is essentially a story about the search for immortality (aka “life prolongation”) and its consequences, which Star Trek revisits frequently. It’s also a story about childhood, growing up, and the loss of innocence—none of which is idealized for the impressionable children at home.

The “onlies” on this planet are far from innocent. They may not realize the impact of their playful actions, they may not mean to cause harm, but their behavior is tinged with malice—driven by fear of “grups” and their fear of eventually, inevitably becoming them, with the added downside of certain madness and death to follow. Though not much time is spent showing us what their lives must have been like for the past 300 years, we can infer it from the ruins of their society and the fact that they’re now running out of food. You can’t live under those conditions and remain a child, no matter what physical age you are. But, you can continue to pretend not to care, and it’s a child’s capacity for imagination and play that differentiates them from most adults.

Several of the kids in this group (and there must be many more groups all over the planet, admittedly with dwindling numbers) wear costumes and masks; notably there’s a boy in a cowboy hat and another in a Sherlock Holmes deerstalker. It’s also a child’s inability to understand “right from wrong” in a world without parents and teachers, authority and responsibility, that makes them particularly dangerous. Thus Miri’s friends are more based on Lord of the Flies than Peter Pan, though even Barrie’s Lost Boys are capable of incredible cruelty. The scenes where the children chant in the streets while pelting Spock and the security officers with rocks is chilling. And even while it’s funny to hear them shouting “Bonk, bonk, on the head,” it’s creepy when they overwhelm Kirk and beat him bloody while a little girl watches and smiles (which reminded me of the opening scene in the Japanese film Battle Royale). Of course, it’s up to Kirk to bring them to their senses, explaining things in terms children can understand:

All right, you want a foolie? All right. I dare you, I double-dare you. Look at the blood on my face. Now look at your hands. Blood on your hands. Now who's doing the hurting? Not the Grups, it's you hurting, yelling, maybe killing, just like the Grups you remember and creatures you're afraid of. You're acting like them, and you're going to be just like them unless you let me help you. I'm a Grup, and I want to help you. I'm begging you, let me help you or there won't be anything left at all. Please.

Kirks seems to have learned something since his experience with Charlie in “Charlie X,” because he takes the time to be caring and considerate to Miri and her friends, even while under the influence of the disease. It’s easy to see Kirk’s attention to her as inappropriate and perverse, but overall I had the impression that he was trying to ingratiate himself, be kind to a frightened child, and help her. When this makes her fall in love with him, he inadvertently teaches her about jealousy and pushes her to cause harm to Janice (again, the loss of innocence brought on by puberty) and does lead her on a bit in order to get what he wants. In the back of my mind I did wonder if his motivation was to help these children or help themselves, since their lives were on the line, but of course some philosophers argue that none of us do anything that isn’t in our own best interest, and here the result is the same: by helping the children, they help themselves. Why they leave the children on the planet is a whole other question, but we know they’ll get the help that they need. What we don’t know is whether the cure McCoy develops will also rob them of their extended lives, or what the effects of finally becoming adults after all this time might be. If they continue to age at their slow rate, puberty could well last for 6000 years, which sounds pretty miserable to me.

One of the highlights for me in this episode are the slang terms, the distorted words that have developed over 300 years: grups, onlies, foolies, and “the Before Time.” Around the time I first saw this episode, I also saw Michael Pollard, the “boy” who plays Jahn, again on the TV series Superboy, where he delivered the finest performance as the interdimensional imp Mr. Mxyzptlk that I’ve ever seen.

Eugene’s Rating: Warp 4 (on a scale of 1-6)

Best Line: Spock: “I am a carrier. Whatever happens, I can’t go back to the ship...and I do want to go back to the ship, Captain.”

Syndication Edits: A really great line was cut as they beam down to the surface. McCoy looks around and remarks of the 1960s scenery, “Now, this is marvellous. the most horrible conglomeration of antique architecture I’ve ever seen.” The only other significant cut is a shot of Miri sharpening pencils for Kirk, which is really just kind of creepy and weird anyway.

Trivia: The desolated planet set is the standard Desilu lot—the exteriors were repurposed from The Andy Griffith Show. Also, to fill out the horde of wild monkey-children, there are a bunch of familiar-looking sooty faces: two of Shatner’s daughters (his middle daughter, Lisabeth, is the little girl he holds towards the end of the episode); the director’s son; two of Grace Lee Whitney’s sons; and two of Gene Roddenberry’s daughters, among others.

Other Notes: Kim Darby, who played Miri, was actually nineteen—they gave her a shapeless costume to hide her age. She’s perhaps most famous from the John Wayne picture True Grit. Michael J. Pollard, who plays Jahn (the lead wild monkey-child), was actually twenty-seven. The following year he appeared in Bonnie and Clyde, earning him an Oscar nomation and two Golden Globe nominations, as well as a BAFTA award for Most Promising Newcomer to Leading Film Roles.

And in addition to the South Park parody, there was a popular New Zealand television show called The Tribe about ten years ago—again, a world in which all the adults had died, and the children formed groups and factions, surviving on their own. I caught it on satellite once and it’s got that Degrassi pre-teen soap opera thing going on (plus they live in the mall!) but it’s certainly weird and fascinating.

Next episode: Season 1, Episode 9 - “Dagger of the Mind.” US residents can watch it for free at the CBS website.

Check the Star Trek Re-Watch Index for a complete list of posts in this series.

Torie Atkinson
1. Torie
Ooh, our first real disagreement!

I will concede one point: thousands of years of puberty does sound pretty miserable, near-immortality or not.
Rich Bennett
2. Neuralnet
great recap and analysis of the episode. I remember this episode vividly. It still gives me the heebie jeebies. A very creepy episode with kids almost killing the crew, miri in love with kirk and that weird last line that tries to be funny just a little too hard.
Kurt Lorey
3. Shimrod
What I remember disliking was the malice of the "children". How long had they had to learn differently?

And I definitely agree with Torie that the interactions between Kirk and Miri were disturbing. And, even more so today.
4. Blackneto
I actually named our home network shares Grups and Onlies in reference to this episode. I loved it that much.
Richard Fife
5. R.Fife
I would have actually split the difference between both of you. This was my first time seeing this ep, so here are my fresh-eyes (didn't notice Torie saying if she'd seen it before or not).

The plot does seem simplistic, even by some of our other plots. There were no big reveals, no traitors, no super big twists of nay kind. Well, save one: no redshirts died. I am trying to think of "ok, 40 years ago," but as Torie pointed out, it does kinda scream to the same line as Peter Pan.

On the other hand, the reaction of the kids to the crew was, while not surprising to my 2009 brain, probably still semi-fresh back then. Yeah, the Lost Boys had the grown-up Pirates, but the Pirates were also actively after the Lost Boys, not trying to help them and getting pelted helplessly with rocks. The rejection of adults by the children must have been a bit of an audience shocker back then. (also mind, my mom was still an onlie at the time this aired, so I might be blowing hot air on that).

I thought the same thing about "wait, but Kirk hates playing daddy a la Charlie X" when he started wooing/comforting Miri, but I then also thought "Maybe he's just more comfortable dealing with a pre-pubescent daughter than a teenage son that doesn't know the facts of life". No birds-bees discussion to be had.

On the same token, I don't know how Mr. Charmer himself did not know he would be manipulating that kids feelings. He wanted information, and he was going to get it. It was somewhat irking, even, when there is the somewhat throw-away line about Miri having 6 weeks or more, while they only had a week themselves. My thought: "Good, now start being selfish, dammit!"

I liked the final schoolroom scene where Kirk rescues Rand and turns the kids to his side because it did show such adversity and frustration. If it had been me, I woulda had my phaser out after the first pummeling. But, you know, that's me.
6. DemetriosX
I've never much cared for this episode. The premise is fine, but the execution is terrible. I've always had a hard time taking the scenes with the kids seriously, since most of them are rather substandard actors, even for 60s television bit players. (Better than the kids in the Melvin Belli episode, but that isn't saying a whole lot.)

Interestingly, I don't know that I ever caught on that the kids were hundreds of years old and this had to do with a life extension project. I had always assumed it was some sort of cold war, germ warfare thing. It might have made more sense and it's certainly easier to believe in kids surviving on their own for 3 years than for 300. I don't remember Kirk's tag line about older women either.

The scene where the kids beat the crap out of Kirk has an unusual resonance. Sometime in the 80s, Shatner was in an episode of Ray Bradbury Presents (might have been the New Twilight Zone, but definitely based on a Bradbury story) where he plays a guy who had a rough childhood and goes back to his old neighborhood. While there he wanders into the playground that was the source of much of his torment and the ghosts of children past come out and taunt him to death. Two sides of the same coin, in many ways
Bill Siegel
7. ubxs113
I'm glad we can all agree that Shatner was a bit creepy in this one, but I have to side with Eugene that's it a better than average episode.

I still don't like the whole "similar to Earth" thing and how at the end they just leave all the kids with the caveat that they're sending help. Seriously, you can't hang out and feed them for a few days and figure out why this planet has the exact same continents as Earth?
8. sps49
I didn't find Kirk's befriending/ encouraging Miri as creepy, just awkward, which it would be anyway. And I should refer anyone who perpetuates the "same looks he gives sexy alien women" stuff about Kirk to Laurel Goodwin's fun, if overly K/S obsessed, site All Your Trek Are Belong To Us (she admits her "silly Star Trek obsession", but she has some very good points).

I had a vivid flashback to this episode when watching the "Miranda" reveal on Serenity. Don't let well-intentioned scientists experiment on your entire planetary population!

And living off of canned food or it's equivalent wold get seriously old. And who is keeping the light on?
Church Tucker
9. Church
This episode freaked me out as a kid. The scene with the old man crying over his trike ("Fix?") just blew my mind. He went from insanely frightening to insanely pathetic in about a minute. I cried myself to sleep that night.

It's funny that the Kirk/Miri thing has grown increasingly creepier. Back in the day it was clear that he was merely humoring her crush to get stuff done (it is the Kirk Way, after all.) But as our culture has become increasingly hysterical (sorry, Torie) over child molestation, it strikes a progressively 'wronger' chord.

The Trek Punk band "No Kill I" did a song based on this episode, and I highlighted the creepier Kirk/Miri aspect in a video I did to accompany it. Bonk Bonk on the Head

Grace Lee Whitney (Yeoman Rand) alleges she was sexually assaulted about the time of the filming of this episode by an unnamed exec (she was fired soon after.) That may also color interpretations of the episode.
10. dcoole78
Yeah the another planet just like earth did get a little wierd I have to admit. The miri stuff didn't strike me as weird either, proabably to me in that I knew there was no way she was 11. If they age slowly maybe they need less food to?

Now as for children, I beleive the show gets it right but not just for children, for anyone without society we become like lord of the flies. We are self centered creatures anyway. As well as a biochemist I can definitly say that there are changes in the brain from puberty to adult hood. I don't expect that children even if given 300 years can develop maturity or responsibility.
Richard Fife
11. R.Fife
dcoole78: at the same time, humans are social animals. We crave society and structure. I can see Lord of the Flies scenarios working well in short-term, but 300 years would, in my opinion, create some rather somber, too-old-for-their-bodies, society driven children.

Perhaps it might not be the "exact and truist" option, especially with the apparent (thusfar) abundant food and shelter the children have had, but I would almost expect something a little more freakily organized. These children were truely "eternal children." Even the most biochemically unable child would grow up some after 300 years of cleaning the streets of dead bodies, finding food on your own, and having to take care of the little ones.

And you think 6000 years of puberty is bad, imagine 4800 years of diapers!
Eddie Erwin
12. trekgeezer
I really like reading these new takes on such an
old show, but the continuing theme about the sexism in the show is going to get old.

It's the way things were and part of what the show was trying to make a point about. This is early in the series and believe me there are far worse episodes to come in this respect.

As far as the "Ew" inducing joke at the end. The majority of tv shows at the time were westerns and detective shows and it was common at the end of an episode to have a "light moment" with the main cast, even though they had just killed several bad guys and lost some of their friends.

Every show had a big reset button at the end.
Melissa Ann Singer
13. masinger
Having spent several years now watching children interact and form groups and find leaders, etc., I find the child-pack in Miri fairly simplistic.

(Hey, I'm a parent and I'm analytical and I have a very social child.)

Making analogies from the playground, camp, and other social situations, and making allowances for the several decades since "Miri" was written and aired . . . .

It's relatively rare for children to socialize in mixed-gender groups like the one portrayed in this episode. What happens far more often is that a group which is predominantly one gender may include a member or two of the "other," especially if the group's leader brings in the "other" (more often if the "other" is related to a member of the group). Some leaders are more welcoming to "others" joining in and others are more exclusionary. It's very common, even today, for social groups of children to be all girls or all boys. So I don't find the wild monkey-pack convincing anymore, though I did when I was younger.

I also don't find the cohesiveness of the group completely convincing. Even with a strong leader like Jahn, it's likely that there would have been factions in the group, given the size of the pack (though possibly not since so many of the children were quite a bit younger--but even so, they would likely have had their own sub-leader within the larger group). I could see, even when my daughter was in elementary school, that different groups would have different ways of dealing with problems and outsiders and would have different ways of including or excluding group members. And the older she's gotten, the more subtleties I see in these sorts of group interactions.

I agree with those who say that even children must learn something after 300 years, regardless of how "old" they are biochemically. Real children learn quite a bit in their far-less-than-300-year journey to adulthood. (I'm feeling slightly sentimental because as of today I am the mother of a teenager . . . but using her as an example, she has learned a great deal about compassion, negotiation, problem-solving, and justice.)

As far as the Kirk-Miri exchange, I don't think it read as creepy at the time. I don't remember feeling creeped out by this at all--it looked slightly manipulative because he takes advantage of her crush--but otherwise it fell onto the spectrum of normal in terms of how a straight adult man might react to some adolescent with a crush on him.

In hindsight, not one of my favorite episodes, but I liked it at the time because I was pretty young myself and it was cool to see kids getting the better of the mighty Kirk.

BTW, it's "whale on," not "wail on."
Torie Atkinson
14. Torie
@ 12

This is an episode about puberty, blossoming womanhood, and growing up. I think a conversation about Miri's sexual awakening, as specifically triggered by Kirk, is an entirely appropriate and relevant conversation to have.

If I were discussing sexism (which I'm not, here, actually, but whatever), I've already addressed this. I think it's important, interesting, and worthy of discussion, and I'm going to continue talking about women and sexuality whenever I feel like it's notable.

Feel free to disagree with me (if you think I'm wrong, I want to know why!), but they're issues I'm interested in and I will keep writing about them.

@ 13

Oops! Fixed, thanks.
Kurt Lorey
15. Shimrod
God, I'm a nerd.

Correctly, it's wale on.
Richard Fife
16. R.Fife
While cooking my tacos for dinner, I had a sudden thought of what pinged the "Kirk is creepy" meter for me, even trying to think "1966!"

And, it was actually quoted text. The way Spock and McCoy have to kinda "point out" that Miri is "becoming a woman" and Kirk has a small look of surprise on his face, as if he didn't know he was manipulating a crush instead of just random fawning adorationg. Yeah, that.

@14 Rock on! *throws up the horns*
Eugene Myers
17. ecmyers
I'm really enjoying the discussion here. Just to clarify something in the recap, I don't think that Kirk's phaser on stun killed that plague girl. I assumed she died the same way the trike guy did. Maybe the last phase of the disease makes you jump out at a stranger.

Also, to further disagree with Torie, I thought the joke at the end was cute, but then again, I watched this episode very late last night...
Tim May
18. ngogam

Since you mention it, it's actually "whale on".
Avram Grumer
19. avram
Surely we can come up with a few more ways of spelling it. "Wayle on", anyone? "Wāl on", perhaps?
Torie Atkinson
20. Torie
@ 19

Sigh, I'm not being clear, am I. Since we can't agree on the proper word, perhaps I should use images. Let me illustrate what I mean by "whales on Kirk":


(These whales are by bensheldon and for educational purposes only.)
Richard Todd
21. rmtodd
Random bit of trivia: this wasn't the only time Kim Darby appeared on screen with Shatner. There was an early 70s movie called "The People" which featured the two of them. Interestingly enough, it was an adaptation of one or two of the "The People" stories by Zenna Henderson; IIRC Darby played the teacher who came to the small town full of The People, and Shatner played the doctor who got brought in after Random Telekinetic Boy cracked his head open while flying about.
22. sofrina
Don't forget the show from a few years back on Showtime, "Jeremiah," starring Luke Perry and Malcolm Jamal Warner. That was about an Earth where a plague had wiped every pubescent person. The survivors had grown up and it was a semi-feudal, Thunder Dome-ish world where people had to rediscover how to run power plants etc. Very harsh.
Richard Fife
23. R.Fife
As said elsewhere, lovin' the WinWhales Torie.

Random editorial comment, I noticed that this and the last rewatch didn't have the links to the rewatch index nor the link to the "next" episode. Now, while I can find both of these things easily enough myself, I was really enjoying being lazy and just being able to click straight to the next ep from the last thread.

So yeah, just an editorial comment, not to... *snerk* whale on you.
Eugene Myers
24. ecmyers
@ 22

Thanks for bringing up Jeremiah. I certainly had it in mind. I never actually saw the second season, but I think it's available through Netflix's Watch-it-Now service. The show was actually based on a European comic book series, but there are obvious similarities with the premise of "Miri." Though it's a much darker (possibly more realistic) look at what might happen in this sort of post-apocalyptic world. Plus there's lots of nudity.
Kurt Lorey
25. Shimrod
Well, since Torie had a different meaning in mind, I'll defer to her.

But, formally (not formerly) it was wale. Besides, who uses a source at a university that produced such "notables" as Ryan Leaf? And, "whale on" has a completely different connotation, which I hope Torie didn't intend. lol

Tim May
26. ngogam

Well, no, it's "whale", "to strike or hit vigorously". Which of those senses of "wale" did you think it was?
Torie Atkinson
27. Torie
@ 23

You're absolutely right, I've fixed it now. Thanks!

@ 26

I'm confused by that, too...
Kurt Lorey
28. Shimrod
Wale, as in create a weal (red stripe) on the skin with a flagellator.

Too young.
29. Qtip6
My disappopintment with this episode was with the premise itself. When I first remember watching this episode, I was 8. I remember it vividly, as I used a passionate "I'm mature enough at 8 to fend for myself" defense against my father's "but you were raised with the intention to make you responsible" argument.
I still have to believe that some of these kids would have been mature enough at 5 or 6 to have some awareness of manufacture or food production, and have developed some concept of industry in the long centuries without grup influence. Did not any of these kids enjoy reading for the sake of reading at a young enough age that they could then teach themselves personal responsibility as well as find a "So You Want to be a Farmer" book somewhere.
30. Jay Young
I agree with Qtip. I've never believed the myth that children and teens are biochemically programmed to be irresponsible and then something changes at 21 and they all trot off to cubicle dronehood. This doesn't even come up in small-scale cultures, rural societies, and third world countries where everybody does what they can at whatever age. But let's talk about the U.S.

Not so very long ago, children in this country were allowed responsibility at very young ages. When I was a kid (when dinosaurs roamed the earth) lots of kids had after school/weekend jobs. It used to be normal for kids to have some kind of responsibility. What kind depended on your social, cultural and economic background.

It was only among The Very Rich that one simply did not work, but inherited $ and learned how to invest and spend it wisely. Middle-class and poor children often contributed to the family income. Older siblings looked after younger ones just like in the show. Read A Tree Grows In Brooklyn -- that's autobiography, not fantasy. Dads who owned businesses could hire their kids to work delivery or in the mail room, teaching them to run the business as they got older. A strong teenage boy could earn a man's wages. 12-year-old factory workers pulled fifteen-hour shifts.

Now I'm not saying all of this was a good or right thing (Triangle Shirtwaist, ew). I'm glad the unions were created and child labor laws were passed to stop exploitation. I'm just saying that children have done these things, therefore they can do these things.
31. feeni219
I've never even seen "whale" like the animal used in this regard. In 3 decades of reading, it was always wale. Now somehow on the internet almost every listed definition is using whale, but it just doesn't look right. We're watching knowledge / language change and mutate right in front of our eyes, even thie "history" of its origins. Wow.

The "alternate earth" concept in TOS really needs an explanation somehow. Its never made sense to me....

If this episode was made today, it would definitely have been a ZOMBIE plague at puberty! And honestly, the kids should have been more devolved by now, with no education or supervision for 300 years.... but it was all believable for the time period.

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