Star Trek – The Original Series – Complete Series Review – Season 3 Episode 04 – And the Children Shall Lead

There seems to be a footrace on between finishing this third season of reviews and terminal Star Trek overdose.  Seriously, we had better reach a decent episode soon.  And this one is no exception.  My dog could have written this thing.  And I’m not talking about the smart dog.

The Enterprise is desperately summoned to planet blah blah blah.  Kirk, Spock and McCoy find all the adults have suicided and the children are happily unconcerned by the carnage.  After Spock detects alien life readings coming from a cave, he and Kirk enter it and Kirk becomes panicky like a whiny infant and runs out.  Spock relates the history of the planet including a race of space marauders that was destroyed by its victims.

McCoy spouts some psycho-babble about the kids being in some kind of denial shock over the death of their parents and warns Kirk not to ask them any questions.  Back on the ship the children prove to be a pack of creepy pushy losers who quickly alienate everyone they meet.  But when they’re alone the children reveal their awful secret.  They form a circle and chant some moronic doggerel about a “friendly angel.”  And an apparition appears that looks like a fat gay guy in a moo-moo.  This is the Gorgan, one of the race of space marauders that was supposedly eliminated long ago.  His life force is kept going by controlling the minds of other beings.  This creature forced the adults on his planet to kill themselves and has seduced the children with promises of unrestricted Nintendo viewing and endless dessert to help him hijack the Enterprise and bring it to planet blah blah blah where they can kill millions of people and corrupt millions of gullible children with the same lies.  Coincidentally some people have suggested that the actor playing the Gorgan looks like Alan Hale Jr., the Skipper from Gilligan’s Island.  But it’s not.  It’s Melvin Belli, a criminal defense and personal injury lawyer who must have been forced to play this part under a contempt of court ruling.

Anyway, the kids are able to make the crew see things that aren’t there and think things that they normally wouldn’t believe.  With the result that Sulu won’t allow anyone to change the ship’s course when it’s headed in the wrong direction and Chekov attempts to arrest Captain Kirk without cause.  But the most egregious example is that Kirk becomes panicked at the idea that he has “lost command.”  Once again, he starts behaving like a three-year-old who has wet his pants.  Finally, Spock has to call him “Jim” and rally his flagging manhood by telling Kirk that he’s in command.  Now re-invigorated in his knowledge that his authority had not been neutered Kirk pinches a few yeoman butts and jumps into action.

He uses a recording of the friendly angel chant to summon the Gorgan and then show the children video of their happy days with their parents and then photos of their parents dead to convince them that the Gorgan is a complete jerk.  Once they stop believing in the Gorgan his apparition begins to decompose and his face melts like wax and he disappears.  With everything back to normal Kirk orders Sulu to change course for Star Base blah blah blah.

The End

This show was trash from beginning to end.  I disliked everyone.  The weird kids, the Gorgan, the parents, the crew and especially Bill Shatner.  His unmanly panic attack was degrading even for the viewers.  He is an awful actor and deserves all the opprobrium I can think up.  But by the same token this episode has the highest Shatner mockery value that can be.  So, the show gets a zero and the Shatner index is a ten.  That is phenomenal.

0  //  10