The Rewatch 54: And The Children Shall Lead

Series: Star Trek (The Original Series)
Episode: 3.04 And The Children Shall Lead  (10-11-68)
Rating: 3/5
Redshirt Status:  2/2/44

Notable Guest Stars:
Craig Hundley – Tommy.  He appeared in season 1 as Peter Kirk.  He would later become a musician and composer, even working on several Star Trek projects.
Melvin Belli – Gorgon.  Belli was a celebrity lawyer.

Review:

Today our journey brings us to Triacus, where a science expedition has called on the Enterprise to help.  Kirk beams down with only his science officer and chief medical officer which seems to me a little understaffed.  No security or medical teams?

When they arrive, the adult population has died from self-inflected causes of death. The children live but seem not to notice the death of their parents.  They seem to dissociate from it. 

Ok, any episode with children chanting and saying hail creeps me out.  It’s the same with the Andromeda episode where the kids hailed the High Guard.  Kids can be so much creepier than adults with less trying.

I did find it weird that the process of them controlling the minds of the adults was basically rock paper scissors.   Also we had the first mindless death of red shirts.  They were beamed out into space.  I would have thought that the transporter would have some sort of failsafe for that.

They also left the crew behind on the planet.  I hope they left food and such if they are going to a starbase before they go back to get them. On the bright side, it means that they were probably there to help build the graves, and McCoy, Kirk and Spock didn’t do all of them themselves, plus watch a bunch of kids.

Interesting Notes:

  • Directed by Marvin J. Chomsky
  • Written by Edward J. Lakso
  • Season 3 seems to have a more varied collection of directors and writers then previous seasons. 
  • Leonard Nimoy was not happy with this episode.  I can understand.

Pros:

  •   Nothing much stands out

Cons:

  •  These poor kids are going to need some extensive therapy.  Not just because their parents died, but one day they are going to realize that they may have led their parents to dying.
  • Kirk’s biggest fear is loosing command?  Really?  I can understand if it was loneliness. That’s an ongoing theme for him, especially in the movies.  He’s also oddly good with kids at odd moments and awkward and harsh about them in others.  It doesn’t quite make sense.
  • The Gorgon talked the kids into controlling their parents to death. I would think their fears would be loosing their parents.  It doesn’t seem clear if he has them convinced this is a game or not, but these children are mostly pretty young and would probably not have liked seeing their parents frightened.  I think that would have broken them out of it far before seeing pictures of happy times against death times.
  •  

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