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Recap / Star Trek S1 E7 "What Are Little Girls Made of?"

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Left to right: Chapel, Andrea, Ruk and Korby.

The Enterprise arrives at the planet Exo III, from which the last report from archeologist Dr. Richard Korby was transmitted five years before. Korby allows Kirk and Nurse Chapel, his former fiancee, to beam down. There they discover that Korby has been working with machinery left behind by the previous inhabitants of the planet, allowing him to become a master of robotics. But his extraordinary behavior, and requests for the resources he will need to continue his work, lead Kirk to believe he may have gone insane.

Best remembered as the one where Kirk grasps a phallic rock firmly in preparation to use it to strike a large, masculine opponent.


What Are Little Tropes Made Of?:

  • Absentee Actor: McCoy, Scotty and Sulu don't appear in this episode.
  • Bald of Evil: Ruk.
  • Bluff the Imposter: Kirk tries doing this with his double, but it's got a full record of all his memories, so it doesn't work.
  • Brain Uploading: Dr. Korby can create a robotic clone of a person where the consciousness is preserved in the robot body and in fact has uploaded himself to a robotic body.
  • Cybernetics Eat Your Soul: This seems to be the case here, but it's unclear. For example, when robo-Korby tries suggesting tests to prove that he's really the same old Korby, he can't think of anything not obviously robotic in nature, yet this fact seems to make him upset. In general, certain elements of humanity seem impossible for Korby's robots, though they may not necessarily know which. Korby tried to cling to his love for Chapel, but is Driven to Suicide once it's obvious Andrea felt love for him. Chapel's retort to Korby sums it up. The real Korby would not have engaged in kidnappings or murder, implying that what robotization removes is morality.
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  • A Day in the Limelight: For Chapel.
  • Distracted by the Sexy: Inside Star Trek The Real Story tells of when during filming, William Shatner took guest star Sherry Jackson to lunch at the commissary while she's wearing a bathrobe, which she took off in the commissary to reveal she was in her costume from the episode. It did NOT go unnoticed.
  • Doppelgänger Gets Same Sentiment: When the android Kirk calls him an interfering half-breed, Spock visibly withdraws into his Vulcan shell. Given that he soon afterwards leads a security team to look for Kirk and Chapel, he realized immediately or soon thereafter that this couldn't be his Captain, but it still hurt to have a duplicate of his best friend target one of his major insecurities.
  • Famous, Famous, Fictional: Kirk compares Korby's ideas to those of "Genghis Khan, Julius Caesar, Hitler, Ferris, Maltuvis."
  • Fanservice: We're sure there's a very good reason the duplicator required Kirk to be naked.
  • Fantastic Racism: Kirk focuses on Spock's status as a half-breed when his mind was being copied for the android. Spock does admit to some dismay that Kirk would use such an unsophisticated phrase, but it's not clear if his feelings were otherwise hurt.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: See Robosexual below, but also, Dr. Chapel calls Andrea a "robot geisha", as close as BS&P would let them get to saying "sex-bot" on 60s TV.
  • Half-Human Hybrid: Spock, of course, is half-human, half-Vulcan. This becomes relevant when Kirk tricks his clone into calling Spock a Half-Breed.
  • Holy Backlight: While traipsing through the creepy cavern, they expect Dr. Korby to appear, but it's just Dr. Brown making a dramatic entrance.
  • I Never Told You My Name: Inverted. The first clue that there's something off with Dr. Brown is that he's very slow to recognize Christine and introduces himself as "Dr. Brown" after she had already referred to him by his name.
  • Ironic Name: Andrea means "Man." Specifically, it refers to a male as opposed to a human, making it doubly ironic.
  • Living Legend: Dr. Korby, the "Pasteur" of archeological medicine, famous for his translation of the medical records from the Orion ruins, which are "required reading" at Starfleet Academy.
  • Logic Bomb: Kirk is in fine form this episode.
  • Meaningful Name: Andrea the androidnote 
  • Mr. Fanservice: It's never revealed how they got Kirk's clothes off (not that it's hard) and got him into the machine.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Andrea.
  • Murder-Suicide: The fate of Andrea and Korby.
  • Out-of-Character Alert: Invoked. Kirk mentally focuses on a racist insult toward Spock as his robot duplicate is made, leading the otherwise flawless copy to say it to Spock and alert him that something's up.
  • Precursors: The "Old ones," an ancient civilization left Ruk and other technologies in the underground caverns.
  • Red Shirt: Notable for being the first episode where the trope is fully in play, trope name and all: two red-dressed security officers are killed off within minutes after Kirk has them beamed down to provide backup. The first on-screen Red Shirt death would have to wait a while more, though.
  • Reluctant Mad Scientist: Dr. Korby would cure humanity of all its problems if only he could change all humans to robots. Multiple times he tries to convince a non-cooperative Kirk of his vision.
  • Robosexual: Possibly—Chapel is clearly suspicious of Korby's motives in building a robot assistant in the shape of a half-dressed attractive young woman, and Korby doesn't help matters by rhapsodising about how life-like she is. (This is a case where broadcast standards may have made things worse, since Korby can't properly deny the implication that he's making time with the machine maid without making the implication explicit; all he's able to do is deny that he loves Andrea, which still leaves a number of unsavoury possibilities open. Korby is driven to suicide once Andrea makes it obvious that she has feelings for him.)
  • Robot Girl: Andrea.
  • Robot Master: Korby.
  • Robotic Reveal: No fewer than five times, if we count both visual instances (Dr. Brown and Korby) and verbal ones (Ruk, Andrea, and the android Kirk).
  • "Second Law" My Ass!: Ruk is made to remember why his kind killed the Old Ones in apparent violation of the implied Robotic laws in that inimitable Ted Cassidy voice.
    "THAT was the equation. EXISTENCE!... SURVIVAL... must cancel out... programming!"
  • Sexy Backless Outfit: Andrea's outfit covers even less of her back than it does of her front.
  • She Is All Grown Up: Well, hello, Sherry Jackson! Up to that time, she was best known as Terry in Make Room for Daddy, and especially The Miracle of Our Lady of Fatima, where she played child saint Jacinta Marto (that's her on the left).
  • Stock Footage: Kirk's walk to the turbolift from his quarters is stock footage from "The Man Trap". He does not have in his hand the command packet he had retrieved from his safe a moment before.
  • Transhuman: Dr. Korby insists humans would be improved as androids that can be programmed without jealousy, greed and hate, no deaths, deformities and even fear replaced with joy.
  • Turned Against Their Masters: The androids' creators started to distrust them, which ended up causing a destructive conflict.
    Ruk: The old ones. The ones who made us. They grew fearful of us. They began to turn us off.... It became necessary to destroy them.
  • Twinmaker: Dr. Korby uses the ancient civilization's technology to clone Kirk as a robot.
  • Unnecessary Combat Roll: Kirk uses one while making for cover after Dr. Brown pulls a gun on him.
  • Voice Changeling: Ruk is able to imitate the voices of others; in particular, he uses Kirk's voice to radio the ship and tell Spock that everything's okay. Spock is able to notice something's amiss, but Ruk bluffs through anyhow.
  • What Is This Thing You Call "Love"?: Andrea's confusion about love, kissing, etc. is understandable when she keeps getting inconsistent instructions.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Human?: Averted; the deaths of Andrea and Korby are presented as unequivocally tragic (admittedly, partly because Chapel hadn't even begun to work through her feelings about Korby by that point). Meanwhile, Kirk emphatically describes them as being killed, rather than destroyed.
  • When Things Spin, Science Happens: For some inexplicable reason, the android duplicator requires spinning like a carousel.


Example of: