Jammer's Review

Star Trek: The Original Series

"What Are Little Girls Made Of?"


Air date: 10/20/1966
Written by Robert Bloch
Directed by James Goldstone

Review by Jamahl Epsicokhan

Nurse Chapel is reunited with her fiancé Dr. Roger Korby, a brilliant scientist who has "perfected" the ability to create an android copy of a human being, and hopes to replace humanity with these superior, emotionless androids in the interest of removing dangerous emotions from society. Needless to say, Kirk does not agree with Korby's views.

"Little Girls" is a good example of Trekkian ideology. There's a plot here featuring a kidnapping and some attempted escapes, but the story is much more concerned about dialog concerning the nature of existence. For example, would stripping away humanity's ability to feel in favor of cold, strict logic make it less prone for violence and aggression? What about stripping away the positive aspects of emotion, like compassion and generosity? And what happens if you can preserve a person's mind in an android body, potentially forever? And what happens if the androids somehow evolve and create these pesky feelings all over again? Those are some of the intriguing questions posed by the story, though the answers provided only begin to scratch the surface.

There are some moments in the episode that are a tad silly, like a scene where Kirk somehow manages to trick Ruk (Ted Cassidy) into turning against Korby by using some strategic use of logic and semantics ... although the argument Kirk comes up with doesn't really seem to make much sense. Of course, two redshirt deaths also come across as a little pointless, but, hey, that's how clichés are born. (Also, another story so soon after "The Enemy Within" featuring a duplicated Captain Kirk may be pushing it.)

Previous episode: Mudd's Women
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6 comments on this review

Strider - Fri, Jun 1, 2012 - 8:05am (USA Central)
This one confused me because we'd already seen Chapel confess her love for Spock, and suddenly she's got a fiance and she's all excited about that? I tend to focus on relationships, so I didn't mind her conflict, but if you're going to make her a central character, the meat of the episode should have been Chapel's conflictedness. And, geez, maybe just a flicker from Spock at the news that a woman who said she loved him has another guy?

Of course, as a philosophy professor, I'm also very interested in the question--not so much can we exist without emotion (having Vulcans in the ST world effectively wrestles with that), but if you put your intellect into a different body, is it still you? I think this episode came down on the side of no.
Peremensoe - Sat, Aug 9, 2014 - 10:52am (USA Central)
^ Indeed. "Dr. Korby was never here."

But was Kirk correct? The android-expression of the Korby personality does seem pretty similar to the later android-expression of Dr. Ira Graves (TNG, "The Schizoid Man"). Picard seems convinced that it is legitimately Graves himself, not a simulacrum, that inhabits Data (but is not able to be transferred again, to the ship's computer). Did Graves improve on Korby's technique? (Was he aware of it? Picard thinks the man-machine "bridge" is unprecedented.) Or does Picard's acquaintance with Data make him open to an interpretation Kirk was not?
Thelia - Thu, Oct 16, 2014 - 6:29am (USA Central)
I would just like to point out that as a Vulcan Spock was NOT devoid of emotion. He used logic and Vulcan techniques taught to him as a child to CONTROL his emotions. And that was true for full blooded Vulcans as well.
navamske - Fri, Nov 28, 2014 - 10:18pm (USA Central)
There's a fairly suggestive line in this episode. When Chapel meets Andrea, she immediately becomes suspicious and maybe even a little jealous. Korby says, "Do you think I could love a machine?" which I take to mean "Do you think I could have feelings for a machine?" Chapel asks not "Do you?" but "Did you?" By phrasing the question that way, Chapel is asking Korby if he had sex with Andrea. (This, of course, is before she -- and the audience -- knows that Korby is an android too.)
SlackerInc - Sat, Nov 29, 2014 - 4:09am (USA Central)
I noticed that suggestive line, too. Hard not to think suggestive things about Andrea: she was smoking hot and really rocking that suggestive outfit.

Spock had a hint of a grin there at the end. He's getting closer to the character we recognize, but not quite all there yet. Sure, he always had a sardonic nature, but he used it much more drily later on.

Jammer's last observation: "Also, another story so soon after 'The Enemy Within' featuring a duplicated Captain Kirk may be pushing it". In the comments section under that episode's review, I noted that it "is the fourth of the first five episodes in which at least one of the main actors deviates from the typical way they would play their character: either because someone or something was causing them to act nutty, or because they were playing an imposter." So now this makes five of the first seven. I wonder if some viewers in 1966 were starting to see this as almost the premise of the series!
lt.holman - Tue, Jan 20, 2015 - 8:23pm (USA Central)
Ruk!!! No kill!!! No kill!!! Ruk!!!! My favorite chapel line Ruk is the rock love him he makes me laugh soooooo hard!!

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