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
Next episode: Miri

Season Index

2 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?

Submit a comment

Above, type the last name of the captain on Star Trek: TNG
Notify me about new comments on this page
Hide my e-mail on my post

Season Index

Copyright © 1994-2014, Jamahl Epsicokhan. All rights reserved. Unauthorized reproduction or distribution of any review or article on this site is prohibited. Star Trek (in all its myriad forms), Battlestar Galactica, and Gene Roddenberry's Andromeda are trademarks of CBS Studios Inc., NBC Universal, and Tribune Entertainment, respectively. This site is in no way affiliated with or authorized by any of those companies. | Copyright & Disclaimer