“Miri,” the eighth episode of Star Trek, The Original Series, is the last episode I watched in my previous viewing of Star Trek. I’m fairly confident in the fact that I’m going to keep going with the Star Trek franchise. I know that I’ve made some criticisms of some of the previous episodes, but I’ve also seen enough elements that I’ve liked to make me want to continue. I’ve heard enough from others about what’s to come to make me feel confident that I will enjoy the franchise overall, even if I don’t enjoy specific parts of it. If that makes sense?
Other things worth mentioning about “Miri” before I start discussing the plot is that some of the children on this episode were the children of various members of the Star Trek cast and crew. This includes William Shatner’s daughters, Grace Lee Whitney’s son, and Gene Rodenberry’s daughters. I also wanted to mention that I’m in the midst of reading Grace Lee Whitney’s autobiography and some of the events she discussed there made me look at this episode differently from the first time I saw it. But I’ll discuss that in more detail later.
So anyway. The Enterprise answers a distress call from a planet that bears a striking resemblance to earth. Kirk, Spock, McCoy and Rand beam down to find what initially appears to be a deserted planet. However, the planet isn’t as deserted as they initially believe: on the planet live not adults, but a group of (what appear to be) children who are distrustful of adults.
It turns out that adults once lived on the planet, but they attempted to create a drug that would slow the aging process and they gave it to everyone 300 years earlier. The effect was that the adults went crazy and died. The drug did work on the children, whose aging did slow, but once they reached puberty, they also went crazy and died. It’s no wonder that the kids were so distrustful of adults if all the adults they knew went crazy and then died. And the landing crew also started to show signs of the disease.
So the crew of the Enterprise raced to find a vaccine in order to stop the progression of the disease in both the children as well as themselves.
I always feel like I come away from these Star Trek episodes with questions and this one is no option. So here goes:
- How is this disease spread? At first, I thought perhaps it was a drug or something that everyone injected hoping to slow down their aging. But that wouldn’t explain why the Enterprise landing party became ill, since they didn’t inject anything.
- The kids managed to live on the planet for hundreds of years and their population was clearly dwindling – as people reached puberty, they died. So how is it that they managed to live for 300 years off the resources at their disposal, but are conveniently running out now that the Enterprise is there? I hate to say it, but the amount of food they’re going to need is only going to go down as people hit puberty and die. Additionally, surely they must have found a way to grow/produce their own food or something – they had 300 years to adapt! Heck, how did they not realize that the disease happened to everyone as they aged?
- The Enterprise crew was adamant that they find a vaccine to stop the illness from getting worse in themselves. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I thought vaccines were supposed to prevent you from getting the disease in the first place, not serve as a treatment for a disease once you already have it…??
So I guess that’s all I have to say about “Miri.” I’m looking forward to finally seeing a new to me Star Trek episode.