Star Trek

Season 1 Episode 8

Miri

10
Aired Unknown Oct 27, 1966 on NBC
7.8
out of 10
User Rating
214 votes
12

EPISODE REVIEWS
By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

EDIT
Kirk and a landing party are stranded on a planet due to a disease that causes any adult to die a painful death, and must deal with the local children who have survived.

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • Kirk and company become stranded on a planet where a medical experiment went very wrong.

    7.5
    "Eternal childhood, filled with play, no responsibilities. It's almost like a Yeoman Rand



    Star Trek kills three birds with one stone with its first medical drama, its first episode with kids, and its first "faux-earth" story in this well-crafted science fiction tale about the discovery of a life-prolongation vaccine gone wrong. It's sort of like a cross between Peter Pan and The Walking Dead.



    This time, with the entire story taking place on a planet, we have Kirk, Spock, and (of course) McCoy together, giving the big three their first televised lengthy "away" mission together. The planet itself is "another earth", a concept used as the hook for the teaser... but the discovery itself doesn't really amount to anything and merely serves as the setting for the story. (Future Star Trek episodes would improve on the concept by ditching the unsustainable "duplicate planet" idea and instead using "Earth-like" planets that are alien yet have settings and cultures similar to our world). Standing in for the planet's town is Mayberry, with Star Trek borrowing the Desilu Culver from The Andy Griffith Show. (In fact, the building Kirk enters to find Miri is recognizable as the Mayberry Hotel). Used in a few future episodes as well, the back lot gives new viewers a more familiar visual than the usual sets, with the contrast of Kirk and Spock on 20th Century streets with realistic looking buildings giving the science fiction story a surreal feel. (In fact, it's notable that the story itself gets rather close to the post-apocolyptic Zombi thing, something ahead of its time when the episode aired in 1966. Night of the Living Dead wasn't released until 1968).



    What really sets "Miri" apart from the episodes that precede it, however, is the direction and editing. Like Citizen Kane, it features some beautiful cinematography with some unconventional shots and some inventive character compositions within the frame. (In fact for one shot, the filmmakers had a set built on a platform so the camera could shoot level with a character.. McCoy.. who has fallen on the Meanwhile, the cuts have a seamless feel, with their timing so perfect, you don't know they're there. With all these elements working hand in hand with the performances of Star Trek's big three (Shatner, Nimoy, and Kelley), it gives the viewer confidence from the beginning that he or she is in good hands and carries right through to the end.



    Unfortunately, Spies's script itself isn't as strong as his story, with his teleplay having some needless issues (such as the unresolved duplicate earth mystery) and some mistakes (such as a misunderstanding over what a vaccine is, mistaking it for an antidote).



    As such, "Miri" isn't likely to crack the top ten on a list of best TOS episodes, but if there's a television station doing a top twenty five weekend countdown, expect a bit of "bonk bonk" and "no more bla bla bla!" in the fifteen to twenty five range.



    Remastered: As one of the first remastered episodes, CBS [whatever] keeps it basic, though having an Earth in the episode gives them enough of a challenge. (It's always hardest to fake things that people are very familiar with, because anything that's off sticks out like a soar thumb. In the original episode, for example, the Earth looks completely phony because it has no clouds and no While CBS Digital would improve its Earth for its remastered version of "Tomorrow is Yesterday", they do a fine job for "Miri". Just as it's exciting seeing Kirk and Spock on seemingly real streets, it's fun to also see the Enterprise seemingly orbiting our planet.

    moreless
  • Infected kids in space that don't get that they're dieing....zzzzzzzzzzz

    3.5
    Yeah yeah....infected kids in space that don't get that they're dieing. But wait, they're OLDER than we are?! Uhm....that's just dumb. No better way to put it and no worse waste of time.



    Word has it this episode was banned in the UK for 20 years.... You know, the British have always had better TASTE than us Americans!



    The only fun part about this episode is the Miri vs Yeoman Rand stuff. And any episode with Yoeman Rand deserves at least a 3.... So the .5 is for the rest.



    -Smoreless
  • The Enterprise discovers a planet duplicate of early 1960s Earth, where the only inhabitants are children. Kirk and the landing party are stranded on the planet due to a disease which has wiped out the planet's elders. In some places, a chilling episode..moreless

    9.5
    Here in the United Kingdom, this episode was famously absent from the BBC's (many) runs of the series for many years, due to it's content being deemed unsuitable for its timeslot. It was not broadcast on terrestrial television until it finally appeared in the early 1990s.



    Anyway, this is another good first season episode of the classic series. It does indeed have its dark and chilling moments, such as the zombie-like diseased older children, and the scene of Captain Kirk being battered and beaten by the horde of children as a young girl watches and smiles.



    One thing that is never fully addressed is the whole location in the first place – a duplicate of early 1960s Earth. Although the whole teaser revolves around it, by the time the landing party beam down, the plot about the only survivors being children takes over, and by the latter acts the whole duplicate Earth element is practically forgotten; it is never really explained.



    Kim Darby gives a good performance of the young Miri of the title, although at times, just how close Kirk gets to her does feel slightly uncomfortable in my opinion. But even so, they make for some nice scenes.

    Michael J. Pollard, who plays Jahn, the 'leader' of the children, looks a bit too old compared to the rest of them, but gives a fair performance. Also mixed in with the youths are Gene Roddenberry's daughter, William Shatner's daughter, and Grace Lee Whitney's two sons.



    Kirk very much saves the day by giving the children one of his famous 'Kirk speeches'. (These even continued into 'T.J. Hooker' in 1982!). If all else fails, get Kirk to make a speech!!



    All-in-all, this is a good episode. However, I do feel that there is something lacking to make it a true series classic. But it still stands as a good one.



    "No more blah blah blah" indeed!moreless
  • "No more blah blah blah!"

    8.0
    The Enterprise encounters an unknown planet which is seemingly an exact duplicate of Earth from the 1960's, right down to the finest detail with one exception: The adults are all dead and children rule the streets after centuries of being alone and in fear of their once abusive adult leaders. Upon further investigation of the planet, the crew contract the very disease that wiped out the adult population and have only days to find a cure.



    First of all, let's get the episode's rather absurd and completely useless premise out of the way, which only goes out of its way to hinder the story's credibility. The planet found in 'Miri' was an obvious production decision, albeit a rather clumsy one. My problem isn't just that an exact duplicate of Earth being found in our own galaxy is almost logically impossible (I'm surprised Spock didn't have a fit), it's that we get no explanation or discussion from the characters as to what the hell it's doing there. Furthermore, the whole concept doesn't even have anything to do with the plotline with the exception that it allows the inhabitants to be 'human', and so save money even more without having to design complex alien costumes (not that this stopped them later on). All in all, unnecessary and completely ridiculous, but something that I can overlook, mainly because it is so hardly referenced during the episode: a double-edged sword it would seem.



    I must admit however, the change of scenery in 'Miri' is a nice one, and ironically, it did help to make the episode more tolerable than it would have been had it been a planet of rocks and sand (again). It adds a nice feeling of space and kills the claustrophobic atmosphere created by the endless hallways and tightly packed rooms of the Enterprise. Indeed, aesthetically, the entire episode is rather pleasing to both eye and ear, with the brilliant lighting and music working together on many occasions to help build the tension and drama conveyed throughout. Such things I would usually take as granted, but with 'Miri', they really caught my attention during specific scenes.



    The main plotlines developed through the episode concern the 'virus' that kills humans once they reach puberty, and how the children have hence grown to be weary of those that carry it: the adults. I found the whole idea of the humans -300 years ago- developing a cure for aging quite plausible, although this is where the concept a duplicate Earth starts to make things even more unbelievable, concerning the fact that people from the year 1665 were scientifically coming up with ways to slow down aging. Ignoring that aspect however, I didn't have much trouble believing in the threat and thought the idea of the slowed down aging process to 120 times slower than normal was an interesting idea, even though it wasn't sufficiently detailed enough during the course of the episode.



    As for the children themselves, well… yea, they're annoying as hell. Such dialogue as "nah nah, nah nah, nah" chanting through halls and "mr. lovey dovey! Bonk bonk on the head!" repeated over and over really doesn't progress things much further than showing that yes, these are children. In fact, I found that it often detracted from the seriousness of the situation and often contradicted the idea that the children were feeling scared or threatened by the adult's arrival as shown when the away team first find Miri who is genuinely terrified for her safety. Instead the pack of children is shown as aggressive, who –I guess you could suggest- are defending themselves with straight offence. I could come up with more reasons as to why such things weren't needed in 'Miri' but really when it comes down to it, it was just irritating.



    As annoying as the kids were during the episode I cannot blame the actors for such things for they all deliver a perfectly believable performance, especially for young children. Most notable are Kim Darby and Michael J. Pollard who play Miri and Jahn respectably. Pollard really brings out a third dimension to his character, fleshing him brilliantly with his facial expressions and engagement with the stage and other actors. The scenes featuring the children also show some promise with the opening scene of the dying child clutching a bike and the incredibly dumb but humorous 'fight scene' involving a dying girl named Louise who jumps on Kirk for a piggy back ride before being shot. So between confusion and contentment with the episode, I was always quite amused with little moments like these and Kirk screaming 'No more blah blah blah!'.



    One of the episode's most interesting and certainly original elements is the 'love triangle' that emerges from Kirk and his competing ladies, Miri and Yeoman Rand. Miri, the child whom has set it upon herself to help the crew find a cure, falls for Kirk when he comforts her in a way that is actually both totally familiar yet out of the ordinary for the captain. It seems almost that he treats her with a little more respect than the other women he encounters among the stars –more than likely because he has no intention of doing anything with her- which results in some touching and down to duplicate-Earth scenes. Both Darby and Shatner play off each other brilliantly and –more often than not- with suitable emotional display. I'd even go on the record and say that this is actually one of my favourites of the captain's relationships, not just because of his mannerisms but because it shows the natural good nature he has with children and develops his character accordingly. Yeoman Rand, who eventually confesses her personal desire for the captain's attention breaks down with the pressure of the virus which threatens her beauty and at the same time, at Kirk being overly friendly with Miri. It's a stark contrast and one well written into the plot showing the insecurity of a woman caused by the complete freedom and innocence about to be lost of a young teenager. As with most ideas, it could have been developed more but we do have is both interesting and insightful and certainly gives us a better glimpse into Rand as a character.



    'Miri' is also a great 'trio' episode that showcases Kirk, Spock and McCoy working together both functionally and slightly dysfunctional under the strain of the virus. When things do turn sour towards the end of the episode, things are obviously very tense within the group but I couldn't help but feel it was a little too forced at times. I did however (as I always do), find Shatner's scenery munching to be more than entertaining, always keeping my full attention. I don't care what people say about this guy but I love his acting style, sure it's over the top and enthusiastic, but what's up with that? For a show like Trek that can sometimes be as dry as a cracker, Shatner really brought a great amount of ease into the show that sometimes I miss from the other series. However –and there's always a however- the scene involving Kirk comforting Miri on her contraction of the virus, was a little too enthusiastic and came off as cringe worthy.



    The episode closes itself up with three small acts the first of which involves an attack by the children on Kirk that serves as both an assortment of stupid dialogue from the children and a very decent speech from the captain ragarding the morality of their attack. There are moments during this scene that amused me also, being the point where Kirk throws one of the children from a desk onto the floor, the before mentioned, 'No more blah blah blah!' and Kirk showing his wounds to the children and eventually winning them over as a result. The next scene involves McCoy testing his vaccine on himself unknowing of the results which could indeed kill him as Spock implied when stating –hilariously- that the cure could be a 'beaker full of death'. Kelley gives a great snippet of a performance here, bringing the episode's drama and tension to a fantastic climax where the trio are reunited together to see McCoy's sores disappear and the virus defeated. This important scene isn't just good for the episode but for McCoy's character in general, shaping him to be more than a whiney old doctor who disagrees with Spock a lot. Such acts and character traits are developed in other episodes such as in the season 3 episode 'The Empath' where McCoy similarly sacrifices himself for the sake of Spock and his captain.



    Finally the crew are back on the enterprise where Kirk cracks a joke that actually made me laugh out loud! A rare thing usually, but nonetheless, it was in good taste and certainly a great way to close the episode and dissolve the tension from the previous 45 minutes. Overall, 'Miri' although based on a completely ridiculous premise, succeeds in all other areas, bringing out new sides of our main characters and an interesting plot that is developed at a perfect pace creating a good hour of TV.



    8/10moreless
  • "Captain...(stop giving all your attention to the adolescent and) look at my legs!"

    8.0
    Surprisingly to me, many fans seem to loathe this episode. I saw it again this morning and it is still a series classic in my opinion.



    There are definitely some continuity errors, and they never address the correlation between the planet being identical to Earth and third from its sun, the 'earth-style SOS, and what this cloned evolution has to do with anything, etc.



    However, there is something eerily creepy about all these sinister kids hiding out and spying on/lying in wait for the adults. The scene with "mad Louise" who has just hit puberty still freaks me out when they show the close-up of her face. I also like the dialogue that goes on between Kirk, Spock, and McCoy in their frustration to find a cure. When Spock says in response to a slightly jealous Yeoman Rand, "[that girl] is at least 300 years older than you," I still crack up. The ultimate line is a frustrated Kirk shouting, "No more 'blah, blah, blah!' " Between that and his turning on that hideous, fake charm again for another lady (doesn't matter that this time, she's barely a teenager)…ah, just doesn't get any better!moreless
Kim Darby

Kim Darby

Miri

Guest Star

Michael J. Pollard

Michael J. Pollard

Jahn

Guest Star

Keith Taylor

Keith Taylor

Jahn's Friend

Guest Star

Grace Lee Whitney

Grace Lee Whitney

Yeoman Janice Rand

Recurring Role

Ed McCready

Ed McCready

Boy Creature

Recurring Role

David L. Ross

David L. Ross

Lt. Galloway

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

FILTER BY TYPE

  • TRIVIA (7)

    • What did the two security guards that came with the landing party do? They aren't present when the away team is attacked or in any other scene, did they go AWOL? We see them again at the end of the episode, and they aren't sick with the purple sores, either, when they return.

    • Kirk tells Spock, "Hold us in a fixed orbit". But Spock is not in control of the ship's navigational controls. That would be the helmsman.

    • No explanation is ever given for why this planet's landmasses are an exact duplicate of those on Earth.

    • Although the children haven't physically aged, the sheer enormity of having to care for themselves and one another for centuries would have left them acting much less like children and more like adults, something we see a little in Miri, but that's all.

    • When Rand is tied to a chair, the rope tying her there changes position between the long and close shots.

    • The landing party is out of contact with the Enterprise for two days because of the missing communicators. Wouldn't the Enterprise notice at some point and beam down some more, or make some other attempt to contact Kirk & Co.?

    • The guards are out on patrol when the children steal the communicators - how did the kids get the guards' communicators?

  • QUOTES (6)

  • NOTES (7)

    • Although she played a pre-adolescent girl, Kim Darby was actually 19 when she played the titular character in this episode "Miri"

    • Phil Morris, son of actor Greg Morris, appears as a boy in this episode. He would go on to appear in Star Trek III, Star Trek: Voyager, and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.

    • Grace Lee Whitney's sons are among the children that appear in this episode.

    • The exterior Mayberry set from The Andy Griffith Show was used. They pass by the easily recognizable courthouse, Floyd's barbershop, Emmett's repair shop, and the grocery.

    • Steven McEveety (the red-headed boy) is the son of Vincent McEveety, the director of this episode.

    • Dawn Roddenberry (Little Blond Girl) is, of course, Gene's daughter, as Melanie Shatner (Brunette Girl) is William's.

    • In the United Kingdom, whilst the series was shown through many times, this episode was not broadcast for many years, due to the BBC deeming its content of the away team being badly beaten up by children being to dark and chilling for its time-slot. It was finally shown on the BBC for the first time as part of a complete re-run of the series in the 1990s (which also included original pilot 'The Cage' for the first time), and nowdays is generally present in all repeat runs of the show.

  • ALLUSIONS (0)

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