Recap: Star Trek S 1 E 8 Miri
answers a distress beacon from a planet that seems to be a carbon copy of Earth. No one answers their hails, so they beam down to investigate. What they find looks like Downtown Detroit on a bad day. As Bones forlornly inspects a decaying tricycle, a strange person covered in blue lesions attacks him. The person cries over the broken trike after being wrestled into submission. And then he dies. Further searching brings them to a building where a young girl named Miri has been hiding in a closet. She tells the landing crew about the "Grups" who all got sick and killed each other. Even the animals died, leaving the "Onlies", children of pre-pubescent age.
Soon after, Kirk realizes he has a blue lesion on his hand. They have to find a way to cure the disease, to save themselves and all the Onlies. Unfortunately, their communicators have been stolen by Miri's friend Jahn, the little bast—uh, scamp!
Tropes for this episode include:
- Banned in China: The first BBC broadcast of this episode led to protests over its allegedly over-horrific nature (since it involved children in peril and adults getting killed), and as a result it and three later episodes ("Plato's Stepchildren", "The Empath" and "Whom Gods Destroy") were suppressed from BBC broadcasts of the show until the 1990s due to being considered excessively violent and horrific. (Although the BBC was happy to broadcast much worse scenes on its own show Doctor Who. Maybe the BBC didn't like competition from America?)
- The Before Times: Referenced by name, in regards to the times before The Virus killed all of the adults.
- Big "NO!": Shouted by Rand when she realizes she has lesions too. Miri also when Kirk points out one on her arm.
- Canon Marches On/Fridge Horror: The planet is a dead ringer for Earth... Does this include the trench?
- Cobweb Of Disuse: Spock and Kirk pull the hospital files (as in, Manilla envelopes) out of 300 years of cobwebs. Did the disease spare the spiders?
- Creepy Child\Enfant Terrible: The Onlies, even if they're Really 700 Years Old.
- Creepy Children Singing: Combined with Mocking Sing Song.
- Creepy Doll: One hangs in a shop window.
- Dawson Casting: A particularly absurd case, as the two lead pre-pubescent children are played by actors who are 20 (although at least Kim Darby did look 15ish) and 29! (Possibly justified by their being Really 700 Years Old?)
- Depopulation Bomb: A genetic engineering project got out of hand and killed off everyone over puberty. The children are still around, because the intended effect of the project was to drastically slow the rate of aging and it worked fine on anyone it didn't kill.
- Disaster Scavengers: How the children have survived for over 300 years. Kirk and his team note that the surviving canned goods are starting to run short and that the children will soon starve to death unless they intervene.
- Fiery Redhead: Jahn, the little ginger brat!
- Future Slang: Adults are "Grups" (a corruption of "grown up") and children are "Onlies" because they're the only living beings left. "Foolie" is a violent game with about as much structure as Calvin Ball.
- Ghost City: The place where Kirk and crew first beam down.
- Green-Eyed Monster: Miri betrays Kirk to the other Onlies after she sees Kirk give Rand a comforting hug.
- Growing Up Sucks: Especially when it means you're gonna die.
- Hate Plague: The disease causes its victims to be progressively short tempered, culminating in outright violence.
- Held Gaze: Kirk and Spock held each others' gaze for a full twelve seconds, in complete silence, as the camera flicked back and forth between closeups of their faces, after engaging in extremely flirty dialogue.
- Hey It's That Kid: Miri is Mattie from True Grit, the "Bonk Bonk" boy is Dill from To Kill a Mockingbird, and Jahn is C.W. Moss from Bonnie and Clyde.
- Narm: Kirk's "No Blah Blah Blah" line
- Never Land: A fairly dark example: A planet of long-lived, unaging children who sicken and die upon reaching long-delayed adolescence.
- Mocking Sing Song: The Onlies are fond of annoying Kirk and co. with the standard "Nyah Nyah!"
- Mysterious Waif: The eponymous Miri.
- Nightmare Face: The face of anyone who is in the last stages of the fatal disease.
- Precocious Crush: Miri has one on Kirk. He tells her she's pretty, but he may be flattering her in order to get her to be more co-operative.
- Professor Guinea Pig: Our heroes are trapped on a planet and slowly dying from a disease that kills all adults. The McCoy has mixed up what may very well be the antidote. Only problem is, he's not sure, and the only way to be sure is to check the Enterprise's computers, which can't be done because the local Creepy Children have stolen the communicators. What to do? Why, wait until Spock leaves and inject yourself, of course!
- Real-Life Relative: The little girl Kirk picks up is played by William Shatner's daughter, Melanie Shatner.
- Really 700 Years Old: Miri appears to be a chestless 12 and a half year old. Actually, she's at least 300 years old. Kirk leaves her behind not because he isn't a pedo (not saying he is) but, because he doesn't get involved with older women.
- Red Shirt: Averted; not only do the two in the episode appear to survive, but they don't even seem to get sick.
- Rules of Orphan Economics: The Onlies have been living out of the supplies left by the original colony for three hundred years. Captain Kirk tells them they would not be able to survive much longer this way because the food's running out. Some fans speculate that they could have made it a while longer. Many children are capable of learning to take care of themselves, and space colonists would have emphasized this. Learning how to plant and grow food in gardens would have been a big deal; they would even have had books on it, and older kids would have taught younger ones to do this. Whether they'd have the patience to do so, however...
- Shaming the Mob: ...is easy when they're all emotionally under 13. Kirk pointed out that he was hurt and bleeding and it's their fault. They're become no better than the Grups who murdered each other.
- Staring Kid: When the Onlies gang up on Kirk, one girl in a green wig just stares dispassionately.
- Still Wearing The Old Colors: Jahn wears an army jacket. Given his age, it's unlikely he was in any branch of the (now obviously defunct) military.
- Teenage Wasteland: A planet where a virus had killed off all the adults, leaving the children to look after themselves.
- Typhoid Mary: Due to his Bizarre Alien Biology, Spock cannot be infected by the disease but he can carry it.
- Trans Atlantic Equivalent: Really cool coincidence: Two days after the airing of this episode, over in Great Britain Doctor Who would air the fourth episode of "The Tenth Planet", a serial that featured a twin-planet of earth and one of the main characters dying of an slowly acting disease.
- We Will Not Have Pockets in the Future: Not made explicit, but affects the plot in its own way. When the entire crew leaves to investigate a noise, their communicators are all left on tables, allowing them to be stolen.
- What Happened to the Mouse?:
- A big mouse, at that. The ep begins with the Enterprise crew making the astonishing discovery of a planet identical to Earth. They beam down to investigate, and get caught up in a plot about a plague that kills adults and leaves children alive. This presents a mystery and danger that is duly solved. The episode ends without any further mention of the fact that the planet is identical to Earth.
- What happened to the balding Red Shirt? Did he die? We never do see him again after Bones starts work researching a vaccine.
- Woobie: Miri, when she cries and begs Kirk and co. not to hurt her.