Miri (Star Trek: The Original Series)

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"Miri"
Star Trek: The Original Series episode
Episode no.Season 1
Episode 8
Directed byVincent McEveety
Written byAdrian Spies
Featured musicAlexander Courage
Cinematography byJerry Finnerman
Production code12
Original air dateOctober 27, 1966 (1966-10-27)
Guest appearance(s)
  • Kim Darby - Miri
  • Jim Goodwin - Farrell
  • Michael J. Pollard - Jahn
  • Irene Sale - Louise
  • David Ross - Security Guard #1
  • Steven McEveety, John Megna, Keith Taylor, Ed McCready, Kellie Flanagan, Iona Morris, Phil Morris, Darleen Anita Roddenberry, Dawn Roddenberry, Lisabeth Shatner, Melanie Shatner, and Scott Whitney - "Children"
Episode chronology
← Previous
"What Are Little Girls Made Of?"
Next →
"Dagger of the Mind"
Star Trek: The Original Series (season 1)
List of Star Trek: The Original Series episodes

"Miri" is the eighth episode of the first season of the American science fiction television series, Star Trek. Written by Adrian Spies and directed by Vincent McEveety, it first aired on October 27, 1966.

In the episode, 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]

The USS Enterprise answers a distress call from a planet resembling Earth. A landing party of Captain Kirk, First Officer Spock, Chief Medical Officer Dr. McCoy, Yeoman Janice Rand and two security personnel find an abandoned, 1960 Earth. They are attacked by a disfigured man. After Kirk hits the man three times, the man has a seizure and dies. Noises draw the landing party to an abandoned building. They discover a preadolescent, Miri, who ran away from them because "grups" ("grownups") killed and maimed children before dying. She and her friends are "onlies", the only ones left. The distress call is traced to an automated signal.

The landing party, except for Spock, notice purple lesions on their bodies; Miri tells them that these are the first signs of the disease and they will soon become like the other adults. The party find a medical research laboratory and look through documents for clues to the disease, and discover that it is a side effect of a life-extension experiment, affecting those who have reached puberty; death follows a brief period of violent madness. The "children" are over 300 years old, aging one month every century, but show the mental and emotional maturity of their biological age rather than their actual age. When the disease begins, its victims have seven days to live. Although Spock is apparently immune, he considers himself a carrier who could infect the Enterprise if he returns.

Kirk uses his charm on Miri to persuade her to show him to the other children. However, mistrustful of the "grups", they disperse when Kirk and Miri approach their hideout. Jahn, an older boy and the leader of the children, steals the landing party's communicators, rendering McCoy's search for a cure impossible without the Enterprise's computers. When Yeoman Rand panics at their impending fate and Kirk comforts her, a jealous Miri runs away and schemes with her friends to kidnap Rand.

McCoy discovers a possible vaccine for the disease, but without the ability to check the dosage with the ship's computers, the vaccine may kill the patient. Kirk tells Miri that the onlies will contract the disease if they do not help him find a cure. Upon realizing that she herself is infected, Miri brings Kirk to where Rand is being held. At Jahn's urging, the children swarm and gang up on Kirk. An injured and bleeding Kirk then angrily begs the children to think of the youngest onlies, who will be helpless when the older ones are dead. He points out that their food supplies are running out; the children will starve within six months. Convinced, Jahn gives the communicators back to Kirk. He rounds up the children and returns to the laboratory, but in desperation McCoy has already injected himself with a dose of the vaccine. The doctor's sores fade, confirming the cure's effectiveness.

Back on the Enterprise, after vaccinating everyone and leaving the children in care of a medical team, Kirk sends for teachers and advisers to help the children improve their lives.

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]

BBC ban[edit]

Following the first screening of Miri on British television in December 1970, the BBC received a number of complaints regarding the episode's content. The quantity and nature of the complaints were never made public.

The BBC refused to show the episode again during its many repeats in the 1970s and 1980s, and also banned three further episodes: "Plato's Stepchildren", "The Empath", and "Whom Gods Destroy".

Fans writing to the BBC to complain about the ban during the 5th repeat run in the mid-1980s received a standard reply: "There are no plans to screen the four episodes because we feel that they deal most unpleasantly with the already unpleasant subjects of madness, torture, sadism and disease. You will appreciate that account must be taken that out of Star Trek's large and enthusiastic following, many are juveniles who would watch the programme no matter what time of day the series is put into the programme schedules." The ban was finally lifted in the early 1990s for the BBC's 6th showing of the series.[2] In 2020 it was also shown in Britain on the Horror Channel.

Production[edit]

The planetary exteriors were shot on the set used for fellow Desilu series The Andy Griffith Show,[3] 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 daughters Lisabeth and Melanie, Grace Lee Whitney's son Scott, Vincent McEveety's son Steven, and Gene Roddenberry's daughters, Darleen and Dawn. Two others, Phil and Iona Morris, children of Mission Impossible actor Greg Morris, later appeared in subsequent Star Trek shows as well.

This was child actress Kellie Flanagan's first television role. She played the Blonde Girl standing on the table in the schoolhouse. Between takes her agent, Dorothy Day Otis, got her a line to deliver during the scene, which led to Flanagan receiving her SAG card.[4]

Another of the actors playing the children, John Megna, had 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. Note that in the original episode, no explanation is offered as to the reason the planet looks exactly like a cloudless Earth -- in fact, after the planet's appearance has been visually established and there is a brief reaction from the Enterprise crew, the planet's exact geographical resemblance to Earth is never referenced or mentioned again.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Handlen, Zack (January 22, 2009). ""What Are Little Girls Made Of?"/"Miri"". The A.V. Club. Retrieved August 15, 2009.
  2. ^ "Set Phasers To Stun" by Marcus Berkmann, pg. 42
  3. ^ "Mayberry in Star Trek". Mayberry.com.
  4. ^ Gerace, Adam. "...And Then I Wrote". AdamGerace.com. Retrieved October 29, 2014.

External links[edit]