Miri (Star Trek: The Original Series)

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"Miri"
Star Trek: The Original Series episode
Episode no. Season 1
Episode 8
Directed by Vincent McEveety
Written by Adrian Spies
Featured music Alexander Courage
Cinematography by Jerry Finnerman
Production code 12
Original air date October 27, 1966 (1966-10-27)
Guest actors
Episode chronology
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"What Are Little Girls Made Of?"
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List of Star Trek: The Original Series episodes

"Miri" is the eighth episode of the first season of the science fiction television series Star Trek, that was first broadcast October 27, 1966, and repeated June 29, 1967. It was written by Adrian Spies and directed by Vincent McEveety.

In the plot, the Enterprise discovers an exact duplicate of Earth, where the only survivors of a deadly man-made plague are some of the planet's children.

Plot[edit]

On stardate 2713.5, the Federation starship USS Enterprise, under the command of Captain James T. Kirk, follows an old planetary distress call leading to a planet that resembles Earth in every detail.

Kirk assembles a landing party consisting of himself, First Officer Spock, Chief Medical Officer Dr. McCoy, Yeoman Janice Rand, and two security personnel, to investigate this remarkable find. Upon their arrival, they find the planet resembles Earth of 1960, but seems abandoned. As the team curiously inspects a tricycle, they are attacked by a ragged man who seems infected by a horrible disfiguring mutation, but shows incredible strength. Kirk strikes the man three times, the man has a seizure and dies. The security guards then spot another figure running into a building.

The team chases the figure down, discovering that it's a terrified girl, who appears physically normal. She identifies herself as Miri (Kim Darby), and when asked why she ran away from them, she tells them because they are "grups" (a contraction of "grown ups"), and the grups killed and hurt the children before they died. When asked where her family are, Miri tells them that she is an "Onlie," and she and her friends are the "only ones" left as all the adults are dead.

Soon the landing party starts to notice painful blue sores are forming on their bodies; Spock however remains immune. Miri informs them that these are the first signs of the disease, and they will soon become like the other adults. The team searches an abandoned hospital for clues to the mysterious condition. They discover the disease infects only those who have reached puberty. It is an accidental side-effect of an experiment to prolong life; the technique works on children, but when they reach puberty, they enter a short period of violent rage and then die. Shockingly, they learn that the children are over 300 years old, having aged only one month's time every century.

Spock also discovers that once the disease starts, they only have 7 days to live. Even though he seems immune to the disease, he believes he is still a carrier and could infect the Enterprise if he returns.

Meanwhile, the rest of the hiding children, who do not trust these new grups, decide to meddle with their plans. Their leader, a boy named Jahn, steals the landing party's communicators, which renders McCoy's search for a cure nearly impossible without assistance from the Enterprise computers. Miri however, doesn't agree with the other children's mischief and stays near Captain Kirk, on whom she appears to have a crush. However, when Yeoman Rand becomes hysterical over their impending fate and Kirk tries to console her, Miri becomes jealous and runs away to scheme with her friends. The children devise a "foolie" prank and kidnap Rand.

Returning later, Miri is confronted by Kirk, who tells her she and the others will eventually contract the disease just like the grups if they don't help him find a cure. In fact, he grabs Miri's arms and shows her the blue sores that are already forming on her skin.

Miri takes Kirk to the schoolhouse where Rand is being held captive. He confronts the children and tries to get through to them that none of this is a game. At first the children don't listen and continue to harass him, encouraged by Jahn. They become increasingly menacing until one of them finally beats Kirk nearly senseless with a wrench. Bruised and bloodied, Kirk implores them to think of the youngest onlies, who will be left without resources when the older ones are dead. He warns them that the stores of food and supplies are nearly depleted. He also points out that the children have hurt him and now have blood literally on their hands, exactly like the grups they are afraid of. "I'm a grup," he says, "and I want to help."

Kirk rounds up the children and returns to the hospital, but finds that Spock has previously found that McCoy, unable to accurately test his experimental serum, has injected himself with a full dose and collapsed to the floor. Soon however, his sores fade away. The serum is found to be both safe and effective. After curing the landing party and the children, Kirk informs Starfleet to send teachers and advisers to the duplicate Earth, to help the children start their lives over again.

Reception[edit]

Zack Handlen of The A.V. Club gave the episode an 'A-' rating, describing using children as the antagonists as one of the script's "smarter twists." Handlen felt that the sense of threat was maintained throughout as although the audience knew the crew wouldn't die, "they don't know that."[1]

Production[edit]

The planetary exteriors were shot on the set used for fellow Desilu series The Andy Griffith Show,[2] part of what had originally been known as the RKO Forty Acres backlot in Culver City which had been acquired by Desilu.

Apart from guest stars Kim Darby and Michael J. Pollard, several of the children on Miri's world were portrayed by relatives of the Trek cast and crew. Among them were William Shatner's daughter Lisabeth, Grace Lee Whitney's two sons, and Gene Roddenberry's daughters.

Two of the other child actors, Phil and Iona Morris, later appeared in subsequent Trek shows as well. (They are the children of Mission: Impossible star Greg Morris.)

One of the children was played by John Megna, who also played Charles Baker 'Dill' Harris in To Kill a Mockingbird in 1962.

See also[edit]

  • The Cry of the Onlies, a Star Trek novel by Judy Klass which includes events occurring after the episode Miri. (In this novel, all references to Miri's world being a copy of Earth were ordered removed; Miri's world is presented as a long-abandoned colony of Earth.)
  • Forgotten History, a Trek novel by Christopher L. Bennett. It reveals that Miri's world is not merely a copy of Earth, it actually is Earth - of a parallel timeline. Miri's Earth had briefly drifted into the main timeline due to instability in the fabric of spacetime.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Handlen, Zack (January 22, 2009). ""What Are Little Girls Made Of?"/"Miri"". The A.V. Club. Retrieved August 15, 2009. 
  2. ^ "Mayberry in Star Trek". Mayberry.com. 

External links[edit]