Thu
Apr 9 2009 2:51pm

Star Trek Re-watch: “Charlie X”

Charlie X
Teleplay By D.C. Fontana
Story By Gene Roddenberry
Directed by Lawrence Dobkin

Season 1, Episode 2
Production Episode: 1x07
Original air date: September 15, 1966
Star date: 1533.6


Mission summary
The Enterprise rendezvouses with the Antares, a trade (later, survey) ship that has picked up an unusual passenger: Charles Evans. Charlie is a seventeen-year-old boy who was the only survivor of a crash into the planet Thasus, fourteen years ago. He’s been living alone on the planet for as long as he can remember, until he was rescued by the Antares. Captain Ramart and Tom Nellis of the Antares beam over with Charlie to pass him off to the Enterprise, which is headed in the direction of Colony Alpha 5, the location of Charlie’s only living relatives. In between sweating profusely and otherwise looking incredibly sketchy, the two men swear up and down that Charlie is the greatest thing since sliced food cubes. They then get the hell out of there, refusing even an offer of Saurian brandy!

The boy has clearly never been around other people: he interrupts Kirk’s conversation (that makes Kirk grumpy), bounces around hoping for a ship tour, and fixates on Janice Rand. “Is that a girl?” he asks Kirk. “That’s a girl,” Kirk responds. Makes you wonder what the atmosphere on the Antares was like...

Doctor McCoy finds him in perfect health but is suspicious of his story that he was able to subsist for fourteen years on Thasus’ sparse local fare. How did he survive? And does it seem weird to anyone else that the boy spent his entire life alone and yet he doesn’t get so much as a routine psych screening when he comes onboard? Charlie then wanders somewhat aimlessly through the ship, sweating and widening his eyes at passersby. He watches a man feed a pipe through a grate (what for?), and then sees two different men wrapping up some task. The first man says, “See you in the rec room, huh?” to which his buddy replies, “You’ve got a deal, friend!” Man #1 then proceeds to slap the other guy’s ass before walking off camera. Charlie finds this confusing (as does the audience...), but he makes a mental note.

He then runs into Janice Rand and produces, seemingly from nowhere, a gift of perfume for her—perfume not available in the ship’s stores. She politely tries to deflect him, but invites him to the rec room later. Taking the earlier manly interaction as a cue, he then slaps her on the ass as he walks away. The Enterprise has such great role models for young people! Janice gets upset (obviously) but won’t explain how what he did was wrong—she’s not much for awkward conversations—and suggests he ask McCoy or Kirk for an explanation. Oh please say he asks Kirk, please say he asks Kirk...

Things on the Enterprise start to get weird. (I mean, other than the ass-slapping.) Charlie makes a card appear in Janice’s shirt, Uhura lose her voice during a song, and all the meatloaf is miraculously transformed into turkeys. I mean, that’s what I’d do with godlike powers... But Charlie’s only got one thing on his mind, and that’s Janice Rand, so he chases down Kirk to find out what the deal was with that ill-fated ass-slap (and hopefully win her heart). Awkward conversation alert! Charlie tells Kirk what happened—well, actually, he shows him, bringing the ass-slap count up to three—and Kirk explains,

I see. Well, um, er, there are things you can do with a lady, er, Charlie, that you er. There’s no right way to hit a woman. I mean, man to man is one thing, but, er, man and woman, er, it’s, er, it’s, er. Well it’s, er, another thing. Do you understand?

Perfectly. Things get even more strange when the Antares calls into the Enterprise to warn them of something. Just as the Great Terrible Thing is about to be revealed...the signal is suddenly lost. Charlie says ominously, “It wasn’t very well constructed.” We then learn that the Antares has been blown to bits. Why is no one catching on yet? They all look at Charlie suspiciously and then the whole thing just sort of fades from memory. Poor Antares crew.

In an effort to reach out to Charlie (who is seriously creeping Janice out at this point), Kirk gives him a pep talk about being a man and takes him to do some real mano-a-mano work: falling. They go to the gymnasium, don some spectacularly tight little red-orange man-tights, and prepare for hand-to-hand combat! This scene was cut for syndication, so be sure to check it out if you haven’t seen the uncut version. Young Shatner in killer salmon-colored tights is the kind of image that gets printed indelibly on the brain for all eternity. You’ll be sitting there eating breakfast, or listening to your iPod, or reading The Great Gatsby, and boom! Shatner in tights. You just can’t escape it. Anyhoo, Charlie chickens out from fighting Kirk so Kirk uses another crewmember to demonstrate the technique. Ta-da! Man fight accomplished. Slightly more relaxed, Charlie agrees to wrestle Kirk—and to no one’s surprise, Kirk is way more man than that scrawny seventeen-year-old. The crewmember in the demonstration laughs at the spectacle, and Charlie doesn’t like that one bit: he makes him disappear.

Finally Kirk understands what’s been going on and orders Charlie to quarters. Charlie doesn’t want to go, and begins overtly threatening Kirk and the crew. The captain and Spock attempt to toss him in a brig, but Charlie just disintegrates the walls. He then takes over the ship, plugs in an unalterable course to Colony 5, and uses his powers to intimidate and dispose of anyone who gets in his way—including Janice Rand, whom he makes disappear after she rejects him. To save the day, Kirk decides to try and make him overreach his powers, taxing them as best he can by turning on every system in the ship. Kirk attacks Charlie, who is weakened by stretching his powers. They begin to fight, but before it goes too far a ship appears—the Thasians.

A discombobulated head appears (no one seems perturbed by this, either) and explains that the Thasians gave Charlie his powers so that he could survive on the planet. They’re convinced now more than ever that he would be a mortal danger to not just the people on Colony 5, but the whole human race, and could destroy them all (or be destroyed in the process). They decide to take him back to Thasus. Charlie gets frantic, screaming and begging not to go back there, alone, for the rest of his life. The Thasians beam him away, and our final image is the crew of the Enterprise somberly contemplating the misfortune that awaits poor Charlie.

 

Analysis

First of all, Robert Walker, Jr. (the actor who plays Charlie) delivers an amazing performance. He’s able to display the whole range of violent teenage emotions without it looking corny or pathetic. This is a boy that hurts so much, and all he wants is to not hurt anymore—not hurt for want of love, of company, of friendship. After Dr. McCoy’s examination, Charlie asks: “Do you like me?... The other ship, they didn’t like me. I tried. I’m trying to make people like me. I want them to like me.” He does terrible things but he does them because he doesn’t know how to be a person, let alone an adult, and his loneliness and desperation are wrenching. When Kirk tries to talk to him about it, Charlie says

Everything I do or say is wrong. I’m in the way, I don’t know the rules, and when I learn something and try to do it, suddenly I’m wrong! ... I don’t know what I am or what I’m supposed to be, or even who. I don’t know why I hurt so much inside all the time.

I think most of us can relate to not knowing who we are, or why we do the things we do, or why we hurt so much. I don’t know about the rest of you, but for me being a teenager was such a powerful experience because you feel everything much more strongly than you do as an adult—the highs are so much higher and the lows are so much lower. Everything seems like the most important thing, and both love and loneliness are amplified so greatly that you think you’ll just burst. I really loved the line when Charlie describes his love for Janice as the feeling of being “hungry all over.” Robert Walker, Jr. encapsulated that need, that want, and those feelings of alienation and disconnect astonishingly well.

I also particularly enjoyed the pep talk scene between Kirk and Charlie in which Kirk explains the harder side of being an adult:

KIRK: Charlie, there are a million things in this universe you can have and there are a million things you can’t have. It’s no fun facing that, but that’s the way things are.
CHARLIE: Then what am I going to do?
KIRK: Hang on tight and survive. Everybody does.
CHARLIE: You don’t.
KIRK: Everybody, Charlie. Me, too.

He may display confidence, but he struggles just like everyone else. It’s a really nice Kirk moment.

This episode, by the way, is the one with Uhura’s song, “Oh, On the Starship Enterprise,” a beautiful but weirdly disturbing tribute to Spock. She then sings a song about Charlie to the same tune (it’s apparently based on an Irish folk song). The whole scene is wonderful and sweet and weird and adds dimension to the players involved. We get to see what they do when they’re not working, and the way that they play and interact with each other. Another syndication edit to be aware of: when Spock is tuning up his lyre, Uhura distracts him. Spock then smiles, amused. Oops!

And finally, the ending. I’m going to say it right now—this is one of the few episodes I’ve seen before (a few times now) and it chokes me up every time. The look on Charlie’s face as he begs and pleads with Kirk to let him stay is just heartbreaking. All he wants is contact with other people, and yet he lacks all of the skills to actually interact with them. I find his last line in particular utterly devastating: “Oh, please, don’t let them take me. I can’t even touch them! Janice, they can’t feel. Not like you! They don’t love! Please, I want to stay.” It’s not his fault he was given these powers; it’s not his fault he survived. I can’t help but think at that moment that maybe he wishes he had died there, at age three, instead of lived to know such despair.

Torie’s Rating: Warp Factor 5 (on a scale of 1-6)

 

 

 

Eugene Myers: I kept thinking of this episode as “It’s a Good Life, Charlie X.” Did anyone else get a creepy Twilight Zone vibe from this one? When we see the uneasiness of the Antares crew when they unload him on the Enterprise, I practically heard them thinking, “It’s good that you did that, Charlie. Real good.” I mean, where else did he send Rand, if not to the cornfield?

I don’t have much to add to Torie’s comments and observations above. Like “The Man Trap,” this episode is about someone, effectively an alien by upbringing, who desperately needs love to survive. Charlie’s life among the Thasians, without any kind of human contact, is truly horrific. Banishing him back to that existence is perhaps worse than killing him—this is the road not taken with the salt creature in the previous episode, perhaps the first real “no win scenario.”

What bothered me throughout this episode is that as willing as the crew is to help Charlie, they also seem to take pleasure in his ignorance, in the way they so quickly point out his mistakes. We learn from making mistakes, this is how you teach children after all, but Spock is practically smug about checkmating Charlie, and Kirk is as rough with his words as his wrestling in the gym. Uhura outright embarrasses him in public over his crush on Rand!

Kirk observes that Charlie’s “a boy in a man’s body, trying to be an adult with the adolescence in him getting in the way,” but Charlie is really more a child than a teenager when it comes to other humans. Rand tells the lovestruck boy that he isn’t alone anymore, but even on a ship with over 400 people, he’s more alone than ever with no way to relate to any of them.

Maybe we’re meant to see things as Charlie sees them, in which case his anger, however misguided, is largely sympathetic. I think Kirk, Spock, and Rand could have taken more care with him, taught him more gently. But just as they are blissfully unaware of all the signs of his hidden power, they miss his deeper pain and his needs until it’s too late to do anything for him. I see Walker’s strong performance as Charlie as what Anakin Skywalker could have been in the Star Wars prequels—in the hands of an actor with more range and a better script.

In fact, maybe this episode strikes a little too close to home for some geeks. Who among us hasn’t felt alienated at one time or another (probably in high school)? Most people want to be liked, and when you have strong feelings for someone who doesn’t return them, it’s hard to let go of them. Is D.C. Fontana slyly trying to spare the boys at home some future angst when she has Kirk offer some dating advice to the awkward teen?

You go slow. You be gentle. I mean, it's not a one-way street, you know, how you feel and that's all. It's how the girl feels, too. Don't press, Charlie. If the girl feels anything for you at all, you'll know it. Do you understand?

This episode does have a lot of great character moments. It’s the first time we see three-dimensional chess, a staple in Classic Trek. Kirk randomly wears the wraparound version of his uniform, which unfortunately introduces some continuity errors in the episode (on the way to the bridge, he and Charlie must have stopped off at his quarters so he could change his shirt). And this is the first real debate between Spock and McCoy, as they argue on the bridge over Charlie’s mysterious past.

Ultimately, despite the emotional weight of this episode, it’s also frequently goofy. I don’t know how I forgot the shirtless Kirk prancing around in red tights, but I wish I could forget it again. I liked Uhura’s singing just fine, but there was a little too much of it. (BTW, how did they know this early that fangirls would be so taken with Spock?) But I’ve also seen this story done on Star Trek in later episodes, and better; the ending is particularly evocative of “The Squire of Gothos.”

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

Best Line: Kirk: “There’s no right way to hit a woman.”

Syndication Edits: As I mentioned above, Spock warming up on the lyre and the Kirk/Charlie falling lesson were cut from the final version. There were a whole host of minor cuts—part of Charlie’s beam-in, the totally random women in orange leotards that do cartwheels as they enter the gym, a bit of the briefing room discussion and some of the final pleading from Charlie at the finale. The other significant cut was the initial man-on-man ass-slapping that Charlie witnesses. This changes a chunk of the episode because that takes away the whole motivation behind Charlie ass-slapping Janice.

Trivia: The pictures on the back of the playing cards that Charlie transformed are Grace Lee Whitney’s (Janice’s) publicity photos. The galley chef is actually voiced by Gene Roddenberry, in his only performing role in the series.

Other notes: Fans of this episode (and really the show in general) should check out Of Gods and Men, a 40th anniversary Star Trek fan (well, semi-pro) movie. The film is essentially a direct sequel to this episode, and it features both Walter Koenig and Nichelle Nichols in their original roles (along with a slew of other ST alums). Charlie Evans, 40 years later, is still pretty damn pissed about the whole thing (can’t blame him, really) and decides to exact revenge. I liked it a lot and would recommend it to any fan.


Next episode: Season 1, Episode 3 - “Where No Man Has Gone Before.” 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.

22 comments
DemetriosX
1. DemetriosX
It's been ages since I've seen this episode, but some of the things mentioned here as syndication cuts don't quite jibe with what I remember. I'm pretty sure that there was some sort of wrestling/judo scene which ended with Kirk giving Charlie a slap on the butt before sending him off to the showers. Maybe my memory is faulty, but I would have sworn it was Kirk. That certainly puts a different spin on the subsequent episode with Janice Rand. (From you, okay! I learned it from you!)
DemetriosX
2. bufsprite
The "Charlie is my darling" song is, I believe, Scottish in origin-for Bonnie Prince Charlie-and not Irish. I also remember Spock having both his legs broken and not showing any pain, which was the first hint that Vulcans hid their emotions. But either it was a different episode, or was from the James Blish episode collections. I really enjoyed this episode-okay, the tights were cringe worthy-but Picard was naked in one of the ST:TNG episodes!
It is definitely one of the better episodes.
Eugene Myers
3. ecmyers
@1

Were you perhaps reading some Star Trek fanfiction?

@2

You're right--Spock calmly sits there and says "My legs are broken," which was quite surprising. This is the man who exposed himself to lethal doses of radiation to fix the warp core in The Wrath of Khan!

And for some reason, most of the people I know were happy to see Picard naked in "Chain of Command"...
C.D. Thomas
4. cdthomas
This episode brought out what I treasured about ST: Its intensity.

TNG and the rest really didn't have a lot of that; everything would be fine in the end, the guest star would go away and order would be restored. These early episodes had guest stars and characters so distinctive and destabilizing that I got caught up in their story, and suspended the disbelief that of course all would be normal in the end.

Basic suspense, characterization, storytelling. Melodrama, yes, but that got the ideas through the back door. Still little like it in SF TV history.

And the judo scene involved Kirk practicing with a fellow crewman, then demonstrating falls to Charlie, who doesn't want to do something so lame as admit he'll need to fall. Then Kirk and Charlie practice arm holds and leg blocks, which makes Charlie fall, red shirt crewman laugh, red shirt disappears... and tears before bedtime.
DemetriosX
5. DemetriosX
@3
I definitely wasn't reading any fanfic. It might have been the Blish collections, but it is a very visual image. I would have been watching some very early syndication cuts and maybe it was Kirk butt-slapping his sparring partner (or not). Putting it in a sports context would at least have made it a little less odd.

I've actually never much cared for this episode, largely because of the deus ex machina ending, but maybe it's worth another look.
Torie Atkinson
6. Torie
@ 2

You're absolutely right. I had been looking at Memory Alpha, which lists it as Irish. Thanks for pointing that out!

@ 4

I love that about this episode, too, but I'd disagree that things were always fine in the end in TNG. It fell into that trap a lot, but plenty of episodes ended badly, and there were truly devastating moments in the series. Some that come to mind off the top of my head are "The Offspring" (when Data creates a daughter) and "The Outcast" (when Riker falls in love with the member of an androgynous race).
Torie Atkinson
7. Torie
@ 5

Nah, that's not in this episode. There's a scene where Kirk takes Charlie to the gymnasium. Kirk wrestles some guy, then wrestles Charlie, and then Charlie makes the other guy disappear so Kirk calls security. No showers, no butt-slapping. You may be confusing that scene with the previous scene in which Charlie asks Kirk what he did wrong, and Charlie demonstrates by slapping Kirk's butt?

(If you can't watch the CBS video for some reason you can follow the story via screencaps, here.)
Richard Fife
8. R.Fife
OK, things I am noticing:
Kirk loves to have a mischievious, knowing look. I forgive the old western style of swaping back and forth between faces ala Vascini in Princess Bride when he's having the battle of wits with Wesley. But I've noticed that Kirk always seems to almost be laughing at some unseen joke. Oddly, I like it.

Now, I'll admit that most of my Kirk-Enterprise impressions come from the movies, but it seems Uhura has a much more major role than I remember, even from the TOS eps I remember watching when I was younger. Perhaps its just because they have yet to introduce the rest of the main command cadre (Scotty and Chevok to be exact).

I noticed the shirt swap on the way to the bridge too, and it threw me for a loop. Went back to the previous scene just to make sure. Although, I have to wonder, what is with Kirk's casual uniform. It seems like an unneccessary prop, unless they are trying to play into more noverbals of Kirk being the mix between emotional McCoy and heartless Spock.

Oh, and my Fav line was "I prefer to call it inspired" when Kirk beats Spock at chess. Mainly 'cause I like to fly by the cuff like that myself.

OK, all my random BS aside (that's Basic Science, by the by), to the central theme of Charlie:

Yeah, I can see him being an Everyman for awkward teenagers the SFF community over, moreso because he has all the cool "make them pay" powers that most awkward teens want (I know I did, hell, sometimes still do in my mid-20s). I find the face-value characterization much more believeable and not in need of my psycho-babble interpretation. But, poor Tina. She was attractive, and her hair wasn't as crazy as Rand's, IMO.

So, I have to wander, at the Thasian early Q? They sure seem powerful enough, even if they aren't as passively-malevolant. Charlie does play the role of TNG's Q decently well, if adolescent about it.

Nothing more to add, and I need to go get some bleach to put in my eyes. Maybe that will get rid of the orange/red tights...
Eugene Myers
9. ecmyers
@8

Good thoughts on the Thasians as early Q; then again, Q seem to have no problem with physical contact. I've only ever heard Trelane from "The Squire of Gothos" mentioned as a possible Q candidate--more directly, if not canonically, in the tie-in novel Q Squared.
Richard Fife
10. R.Fife
@9

Hmm, I meant more conceptually than evolutionarily. All powerful mind-strong aliens. Star Trek liked to play around with the concept of near "magical" aliens alot. But, if we wanted to go the evolution route, Charlie himself could have been an early evolutionary Q.
DemetriosX
11. sps49
I think that the two versions of captain's shirts were introduced in The Enemy Within to help viewers differentiate the two Kirks.

James Blish's (first!)Star Trek novel, Spock Must Die, echoes this with the too-late realization that the Spock duplicate must've had his insignia badge on the wrong side of his chest.
C C
12. Hatgirl
Yes, WTF was with the ass-slapping? Can anyone who was around in the 1960s confirm or deny that ass-slapping was a common practice among male maintenance workers?

As much as I loathed the character of Deanna Troi, they really could have done with a councilor of some sort. Kirk should not be inflicted upon traumatised children *shudder*
Richard Fife
13. R.Fife
Semi-relevant question. I might be blind, but was the actual schedule for the re-watch ever posted? Just curious so I can budget my time for rewatching. So far, I had to scramble to rewatch the episodes after the posts came up.

And it is kind of odd that Kirk is the best thing they had. I grant it was for plot ease, but a throwaway line about the ship's chaplin or space-age equivalent would have been nice. I know Rodenberry was fairly anti-organized-religion and all, but still...
Eugene Myers
14. ecmyers
@13

It wasn't announced, but we're planning to post reviews on Tuesdays and Thursdays. The episode list on the Re-watch Index shows the order we're following.
Melissa Ann Singer
15. masinger
@13: Given Roddenberry's aversion to religion, it's not surprising to me that there's no chaplain on TOS--Kirk conducts (or nearly conducts) a marriage in one episode, in his role as ship's captain. Having a chaplain would have made that scene very different. Story-wise, including a chaplain in the ship's complement might have significantly altered a number of plots (if the chaplain's role was taken seriously).

The frame for the ethical debates in TOS was in the Triad of Kirk, Spock, and McCoy. Given that the 60s were a time of turmoil in many aspects of American life, I think including a chaplain actually would have limited those debates because of the likelihood that the chaplain would have represented a single religious point of view and not taken the broader view that we became accustomed to seeing in shows like M*A*S*H (Father Mulcahey was Christian but there was a broader discussion of religion on the show and an understanding that not everyone was Christian, which I doubt would have happened on Trek.

Similar difficulties would have arisen if a psychiatrist or psychologist were included.
Alan Stallings
16. astacvi
I was never much of a fan of this episode, but I still remember vividly how much it creeped me out when Charlie erased that poor girl's face. I was probably about eleven or twelve and that image stayed with me for years.

I find the reference to "It's a Good Life" quite interesting in that I've never really compared the two. I never saw the Twilight Zone episode until well into adulthood, but had certainly read the Bixby story by my early teens. I'm amazed I had such a blind spot to the similarity. I think the age difference between Bixby's child and TOS's adolescent must have masked the parallels.
Eugene Myers
17. ecmyers
@ 16

That face-wiping trick freaked me out too. They used a similar malady on a recent episode of Fringe (though the cause was viral), and boy was that creepy.
DemetriosX
18. stardreamer
I'm coming into this very late, but for the benefit of any other latecomers, there's something I want to add. There's a scene (and this may be from the Blish version rather than the episode) that has always stuck in my mind. It's toward the end of the episode, and Kirk is being regretful over having to send Charlie back.

McCoy asks Kirk to look at a sign.
Kirk reads the sign out loud.
McCoy says something like "You can't NOT read it, can you? Once you've seen it, you've read it. That's what Charlie's power is like. The Thasians gave it to him because he had to have it to survive, and now he can't stop using it. That's why we had to send him back."

That was SUCH a powerful analogy that it made the hair stand up on the back of my neck. It's one I've used myself since then, in other contexts. The learned ability that's such a deeply-ingrained reflex that you can't NOT do it...
Eugene Myers
19. ecmyers
@ 18 stardreamer

That's a great speech. It would have put a different spin on the ending if it had been included in broadcast. We'll have to check the Blish version to see if it's there. It may even have been in the original script. Thanks for mentioning it!
Rajan Khanna
20. rajanyk
Oh god. Shirtless Kirk in tights. Wrestling an adolescent boy. To help him deal with his sexual frustration. I don't know where to begin.

I love how why everyone else wears a kind karate gi top, but Kirk must go shirtless.

I totally got the Twilight Zone thing from this, too.

But really, I think the wrestling scene overwhelmed my mental palate.
Eugene Myers
21. ecmyers
@ 20 rajankyk

Now that you've seen shirtless Kirk, you can't UN-see it! The only way it could have been worse is if he'd taken his shirt off in one of the movies...
DemetriosX
22. Farawayben
Awesome episode. It had me at internal cringe throughout. I kept wanting to tell Kirk to cool it, especially in the gym! I was like, "ok, Jim, you see what he just did to that guy, and why. cajole the kid, get out, and then beam him into space."

Throughout I couldn't help but be reminded of the episode Q2 where Q's son "visits" Voyager, and contemplated if that was something of a remake of this one. But it had been a long time since I'd seen that episode, and while there were some similarities, even if it was a potentially more developed version of Charlie X (with the whole Q background behind it), I feel this episode is far superior. The main reason for that is that with Q's son you ALWAYS knew the continuum or Q would intervene. With Charlie there was no knowledge of a higher, more powerful authority that would keep him in check if he went too far with his powers. That alone made this episode riveting. It truly was a no win situation for Kirk, particularly when I realized that even conspiring to beam him into space (which never would happen in Star Trek) wasn't even an option anymore because the boy knew everything that was going on, and accordingly responded by manipulating the ship.

Top ratings on this one. Few ST episodes have moved me like this one did. It ranks right up there with Best of Both Worlds.

I'm surprised more posters didn't mention Q when commenting on this episode. (except for #8)

Have had Of Gods and Men for some time now but never read the synopsis. Am eager to check it out.

By the way, the whole music scene was amazing. Simply amazing. And Spock shows a lot more emotion than a smile (I guess my version has the tuning scene included.) I also seem to recall him smiling early on on the bridge in this episode, but forget. I love identifying his human side, even if it's a blooper. He is one of the most convincing characters I've ever come accross in film or television to the point that it's a struggle for me to separate the actor from the character, which is rare. I'm not a die hard trekkie in that sense that I worship the cast, either, just a fan. (After almost 20 years of watching the shows (and 25 with the movies), this is the first time I've REALLY dug into the TOS. in the past I always found it unappealing, but right now I'm thorougly enjoying it.)

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