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 Enterprise answers an automated distress call from a planet resembling Earth in every detail. 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. When they examine a tricycle they are attacked by a strong, disfigured man. After Kirk hits the man three times, the man has a seizure and dies. A mysterious figure catches their attention, and they investigate.

They discover an adolescent 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 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.

Spock learns that when the disease begins, its victims have seven days to live. Although he is apparently immune, he considers himself a carrier who could infect the Enterprise if he returned.

The other children, mistrustful of the "grups", meddle with their plans. Jahn steals the landing party's communicators, rendering McCoy's search for a cure impossible without the Enterprise's computers. Miri opposes the mischief and remains near Kirk; 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. Another girl goes insane and attacks Kirk before she collapses and dies after Kirk uses his phaser, only set on stun. Jahn's line while banging the hammer on the table is "bonk, bonk on the head" (repeated continuously).

McCoy and Spock, drawing on their own knowledge, pursue a discovery of McCoy's that may lead to a vaccine that can prevent the fatal disease from killing them and the onlies. However, without the ability to check their work with the ship's computers, the vaccine they create may not be a cure, but a deadly poison. They have no way to tell.

Miri is confronted by Kirk, who tells her that she and the onlies will contract the disease if they do not help him find a cure. She brings Kirk to where Rand is being held; he confronts the children, but one beats Kirk with a hammer.

Kirk begs them to think of the youngest onlies, who will be helpless when the older ones are dead. He points out that almost all of the food in the town has been eaten, and soon there will be none left. 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, finding that McCoy has collapsed after injecting himself with a dose of experimental serum. The doctor's sores begin to fade; the serum McCoy devised without the assistance of the ship's computers is the cure for the disease the scientists 300 years ago had been searching for.

Back on the Enterprise after vaccinating everyone, Kirk asks "Space Central" (the only episode in which this entity is referred to, presumably before the term "Starfleet" became standard in the series) to send teachers and advisers to help the children improve their lives. Dr. McCoy suggests that they also send a few truant officers. Kirk assures him the staffers will be armed.

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]

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 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.)

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]