Star Trek Episode 8: Miri

General Information

Director: Vincent McEveety

Writer: Adrian Spies

Cast: William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, Kim Darby, Michael J. Pollard, DeForest Kelley, Grace Lee Whitney, Keith Taylor, Ed McCready, Kellie Flanagan, Steven McEveety, David Ross, Jim Goodwin, and John Megna

Composer: Alexander Courage

Air Date: 10/27/1966

Stardate: 2713.5

Production #: 6149-12

 

Overview

Having received a distress signal from a planet identical to Earth, Captain Kirk travels with Spock, McCoy, and Yeoman Rand to the surface of the alien world. Once there, the landing party discovers that a pathogen (ironically manufactured withstar-trek-miri the intention of prolonging life) had long since killed every adult on the planet, leaving no one behind except for prepubescent—albeit extremely old—children who die upon reaching biological maturity. Only Miri (Kim Darby)—a young woman who fancies Kirk—can convince Jahn (Michael J. Pollard), leader of the children, to cooperate with the Enterprise crew.

Though potentially intriguing, “Miri” is marred by science fiction concepts of a dubious nature. Additionally worth criticizing are the antics of Jahn and his friends, which will likely irritate all but the most tolerant of viewers.

 

Pros

star-trek-miriUpon arriving on the planet, the landing party is attacked by a deranged, horribly disfigured humanoid with the faculties of a child—a surreal and terrifying display that, when combined with the puzzled reactions of Kirk, Spock, and McCoy, establishes a compelling air of suspense early in Adrian Spies’ narrative.

 

Cons

The existence of a duplicate Earth—a fantastic plot device, even by the standards of Star Trek—is never explained from a scientific perspective. Therefore, star-trek-miriaudiences of a critical mindset may have difficulty accepting the very premise on which “Miri” operates.

Also problematic are the juvenile clichés (e.g. “Bonk bonk on the head!”) recited by Jahn and the other children, the simplistic and overly repetitive qualities of which border on obnoxious. At one point, for example, Kirk attempts to reason with the young residents of Earth Two, only for his voice to be drowned in a cacophony of cringe-inducing dialogue.

 

Analysis

star-trek-miriPossibly a commentary on the need to abandon childhood pursuits upon entering adolescence, “Miri” struggles to explore its central theme with the pathos that it deserves—much in contrast to “The Magic Mirror,” a Lost in Space episode that also features Michael J. Pollard.

 

Concluding Comments

“Miri” is an underwhelming episode of Star Trek. Any interactions between Kirk and the eponymous child do, however, deserve praise for the poignancy thereof.

 

Overall Quality: 5/10

 

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