Sunday, April 9, 2017

"Star Trek" Review: "And the Children Shall Lead" (October 11, 1968)

"And the Children Shall Lead" 
Writer: Edward J. Lasko
Director: Marvin Chompsky
Fred Freiberger

This episode. This episode is garbage. This garbage episode is a piece of garbage.

Ever see one of those "creepy children" stories? Y'know, where the kids in some small town all get weirdo powers and become creepy murder children who murder their parents and lord it over adults?

Cool. This is that, but on the Enterprise. 

Remember "Charlie X", back in season one? This is that, but with like five kids instead of one, and with pre-adolescents instead of a teenager, and a bunch of hocus-pocus oogity-boogity instead of character insight and examination.

Oh, and the kids get their powers from an evil spirit called The Gorgon who's a glowing green old man in a giant floral print muumuu with a ruffled collar inexplicably played by non-actor Melvin Belli, the lawyer to countless celebrities from Zsa Zsa Gabor to Jack frickin' Ruby.

It's an egregiously terrible hour of television, and the first real sure sign of season three's descent into utter banality. It's also got the central problem that a lot of season three episodes do: not enough plot. There's simply not enough going on here for an hour of television. Kirk & co beam down to a planet to discover the adults are all dead and only the children alive. They beam back to the ship. The kids try to take over using spooky powers. Our heroes realize the kids more or less killed their own parents. Kirk defeats the evil spirit by getting the kids to turn on him by getting them to reconize their parents are actually dead.

That's basically it.

There's maybe something about the generation gap here, about the gulf between parent and child. But by making the kids so young as to be elementary school students, there's nothing really to be said here about the actual generation gap -- and such topics are covered much better in "Charlie X", and even later in "The Way to Eden".

This episode is just garbage.

Rating: 0 out of 4

Next Voyage:

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