Star Trek: The Original Series


2 stars.

Air date: 10/27/1966
Written by Adrian Spies
Directed by Vincent McEveety

Review Text

The Enterprise encounters a planet that is an exact duplicate of the Earth, but a place where all the adults are dead, leaving behind children who age incredibly slowly ("one month every 100 years"). The problem: These children all have a disease causing them to die the moment they surpass puberty. The other problem: Kirk and the landing party have now contracted the disease, and must race against the clock in finding the cure before they die. Unfortunately, it's not much of race. "Miri" feels long, slow, and surprisingly uneventful (to the point where Kirk's speech near the end is particularly hard to sit through), and has far too many lapses in logic to make the emotional core ring true.

The notion of an "exact duplicate of the Earth" is put to absolutely no interesting use, and exists, apparently, for no other reason than so the plot could have a setting of "Earth, 1960." I had too many questions involving the children, like, just how is it they've managed to survive so long, yet don't have the capacity to grow beyond their childish ways? That's the paradox, and the story even acknowledges it at one point, but not effectively or believably on the given terms.

Still, just to hear Spock ominously say, "Without [the computer analysis of the vaccine], it could be a beaker full of death" [cue music of doom], makes it almost worth the hour spent.

Previous episode: What Are Little Girls Made Of?
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64 comments on this post

    I liked the "And I do want to return to the ship, Captain," Spock moment.

    Another great moment was when McCoy tests the vaccine on himself and collapses. Spock runs to him and can't really do anything, but just stays with him. Then he's got that great line, "I will never understand the medical mind." It's a good Spock-McCoy moment, building up that third side of the triangle.

    By the way, should this be a vaccine? Shouldn't it be an antidote? Isn't it a little late to vaccinate them against the disease?

    I wonder how many exact duplicates of Earth are located in, say, the Klingon Empire. 'Cause there's plenty in Federation space.

    I thought this was one episode I basically would have to suffer through - annoying children, an unbelievable plot set on a planet that looks like earth ca. 1960 - but it turned out I liked it much more than I expected. Particularly I enjoyed the scenes with Miri and Kirk - her infatuation was completely credible and well acted and he showed great character in dealing with her. I guess I still remember what it's like to be a young girl with a crush. Sometimes plots and scenes that deal with females motions come across as incredibly awkward or even silly in Star Trek (I won't make a guess as to why that is....), but this was well done by all involved.

    But weren't those kids just terribly annoying! Kirk is a much better human than I could ever be. I would have left the annoying brats to die (kidding... sort of...)

    This is also the episode that gave us Kirk's immortal line "No Blah Blah Blah!" which rivals "Brain and brain, what is brain?" for the best of the worst lines of the entire series.

    The episode was Ok overall.

    But what bugs me the most is the whole "exact duplicate of Earth" thing, which they never even tried to discuss further, let alone explain. I mean the continents were the same and everything, and they commented on it leading up to the opening credits. . .and then they never discussed it again. Why?

    Why not just have the same plot on a planet that happened to NOT be an exact duplicate of Earth? And the children could be aliens that are only slightly different from humans. Just seemed odd that they introduced and hilighted this huge plot detail and completely left it alone.

    I found this to be an excellent episode. Very grotesque, creepy and horrific, especially for 1960s TV. Note too that the episode's post apocalyptic zombie themes predate even Romero's "Night of the Living Dead".

    Agreed... the whole creepy kid thing worked well to me. I can see where many would be put off by this ep and rate it low but its always been 1 of my favorites. Somebody should take clips from this and set it to a rob zombie song. Id pay 99 cents for that. 3+ stars.

    Minus the unnecessary and bizarre duplicate Earth thing, I liked "Miri" pretty good. It was well-acted, especially by the two lead children.

    In fact, it might be one of the best children-focused Trek episodes in all five series.

    I liked how our crew encounters all sorts of dangers -- beings of godlike powers, but also a wild band of kids could bring them down if they didn't keep up their guard.

    Actually Jammer, the psychology and brain makeup of children is demonstrably, significantly different of that of adults. Even after 300 years, their society might still differ from what we would expect of adults...though I agree this episode doesn't render the concept in a way that rings true.

    Just watched this episode. I, too, was annoyed by the whole unnecessary "duplicate earth". And also pretty annoyed that the entire crew left their "cell phones" when they walked out of the room. Really?!?!

    But other than those two things, I liked it overall. Though there were times they didn't ask questions that I thought they should. Also… seemed like the Doc would have been more involved with things, but perhaps I'm nitpicking now.

    That said… I seem to remember running into a bunch of kids like this in Fallout 3 (or maybe New Vegas). Not sure if it was a direct homage to this episode, but I found it interesting.

    Captain I was always trying to get you to look at my legs, captain look at my legs!!! (Kirk looks upon legs with diease with doom music in background)......oh the burdens of being the captain!!!! Makes me laugh everytime!!

    I should have listened to Jammer. I am doing a selective rewatch of the series with my kids, using these reviews as a guide, but I think there was something in the premise and in the comments that gave me hope that we should try this one. But both my kids fell asleep halfway through, and I had to fight off the drowsiness myself. Just slow and boring.

    Also, the interaction between Kirk and Miri was kind of creepy; and Yeoman Rand exuded all kinds of sexist stereotypes.

    The only thing that really held my interest was that some of the kids looked familiar. Particularly Miri and the older boy; and to some extent the bucktoothed younger boy.

    @SlackerInc: Funny you mention that; one of the little girls was Bill Shatner's daughter.

    See Memory Alpha, "On the Set":

    I'm re-watching TOS , and started with the most well-regarded episodes and with my personal favorites. Now I'm going through the rest of the not-so-hot episodes. This one is dull and creepy, with an "ick" factor regarding Kirk's manipulation of Miri's crush on him. Looks like he's grooming her for something. I agree with others that the "duplicate Earth" thing was a clanger--all they had to do was say the planet was an M-type, and they could have made it look a little like Earth without showing the continents…and it would have been fine. Also thought that all four leaving their communicators in the empty room was an obvious device to move the plot forward. The crew never would have done that. (And didn't the two redshirts have communicators? Where did they go, anyway?)

    But it's worth watching, sort of, for Spock's line about the "Beaker of Death!!" Hahahahaha.

    I pretty much agree with what others have said--I'd just like to point out that Miri is played by the talented Kim Darby, well-known for her Oscar-worthy performance in "True Grit." I think her nuanced performance shines in this otherwise tedious episode.


    "I wonder how many exact duplicates of Earth are located in, say, the Klingon Empire. 'Cause there's plenty in Federation space."

    The writers created the fictitious "Hodgkin's Law of Parallel Planetary Development" to "explain" why all the aliens were humanoid and all the "town" location shooting ("Miri," "Return of the Archons," "The City on the Edge of Forever") was done on the studio's back lot. Notably, this "Hodgkin's Law" was never mentioned in any of the subsequent incarnations of Star Trek.

    I'm with Jammer on this one; this episode is slowwwww. Everything was boring, whether it be Bones and Spock trying to find a cure or Miri crushing on Kirk or the other "kids" (seriously, the oldest one looked about 30 years old) threatening Kirk. Yes, this is probably a matter of preference, but I think part of the problem was that the plot can't really sustain a full episode.

    For the overall plot, it's a tale as old as dirt. Seriously, mankind tries to gain godlike powers and fails miserably; just how often can you find that story? That's not to say that you can't come up with a new version of this plot, but the show doesn't actually do anything with it, given that everyone's dead. None of the children seem to know anything about what happened, so we don't see any insight into the people who worked on this doomed project. Ever read the Bible story about the Tower of Babel (another example of this plot)? It's about 8 sentences long. That's pretty much the extent of the depth we have on this story. It's understandable, given the approach this episode has. But it means that the sci-fi concept of "and man grew proud" has all the merit for this episode as the infamous "dual earth" part of it.

    What about the planet of children aspect? Well, the kids were freaking annoying. Was their plot regarding attacking the Enterprise crew worthwhile? Was Kirk convincing them to stop antagonizing them really a worthwhile plot? Honestly, it all just felt like padding. We didn't really see enough of them to get a true Lord of the Flies like atmosphere, so never felt like enough of a plot. They are antagonistic because, well, grownups are scary I guess, then kidnap Kirk, then listen to Kirk. Hooray, I guess?

    That leaves the finding a cure plot and the Miri crush plot. The first is necessary but frankly boring (not sure how to make it more exciting, but some more interplay between Spock and Bones would have helped, showing them working together despite their animosity. I guess the drama about McCoy testing the cure on himself redeems it somewhat.). The second is a little bit disturbing, given the age of Miri (emotional and physical age, that is). I guess they tried to just play it off as cute, but, it still didn't seem to be able to carry an episode. Miri has crush, then gets jealous, then does something stupid because of the jealousy, then gets better. That's about it.

    So not the most exciting stuff here. And that's not to factor in all of the oddities of the episode as well. Yes, everyone mocks the mirror Earth thing, but what a coincidence that the children survived all along at the city that sent out the distress signal, and was also the city that had all the research to find the cure! Also, pretty useful, plot-wise, that one kid got the disease just before the Enterprise arrived so we could see what would happen and create some mystery, and that Miri was just about to get the disease too. What are the odds? Also convenient that Rand came along for absolutely no reason other than to get Miri jealous. Did she or any other yeoman ever go on another away mission? Also, what's with the security guards? They just disappear and reappear at random times throughout the story. Are they not cool enough to get communicators of their own? Pretty convenient that they weren't around providing security when the kids stole the communicators, and also convenient that they didn't have their communicators with them wherever they were.

    One last point that was never brought up during the episode, which did seem kinda curious. These kids are 300 years old. The brains of children are, of course, quite adept at learning. Have they really just been playing games for 300 years? I realize that there are no adults, and that they probably weren't that mature when this plague started, but no one tried learning how to be an adult in all this time? There wasn't a quiet kid who liked school in the bunch? I wonder how a 300 year old child would really act, because I doubt it would be like this. Oh well, can't fault the episode for not going in that direction.

    I quite liked this episode, but the oldest male "child" looked about 30!

    Just saw the episode for the 2nd time in the last 3 months or so. I liked it more the 2nd time than the 1st time but it's not a particularly strong episode.
    The kids are annoying and I'm not sure why they need to band together under the leadership of the oldest male kid.
    I liked the Kirk-Miri-Rand subplot and Kirk reasoning with the kids with Miri's help. Rand has played a high-profile role in the first few episodes of Season 1 - she's a good actress though not particularly useful.
    Of course, plenty of questions about what 300-year-old kids would actually be like - maybe the virus prevented them from learning and maturing despite still being in kids bodies? It would have been good to get more insight into the grown-ups who created the virus.
    Anyhow, 2.5/4 stars for me -- interesting idea, some good parts but kind of a slow episode with not that much happening.

    I would venture to guess those complaining about the Miri-crush on Kirk as "disturbing" or "creepy" are a) men (who have no idea what this feeling is, because they conveniently forget when they had this exact same thing when they were young teens with a very good-looking adult woman in their life) and/or b) have never worked with kids of that age before (as a teacher, etc.), because a young girl getting a puppy-love crush on an older man, especially one she looks up to, is entirely believable, real, and occurs every day with human beings. The "disturbing" or "creepy" part would be if the man used that crush to take advantage (romantically, of course, or even with just plain power-abuse, like using her infatuation to con her out of money, etc.), which Kirk patently does NOT do in this episode.

    So, I guess, I'd just say to all the witch-hunters: pack your torches and pitchforks and go home, because every interaction between an adult male and a female child is NOT the sick and perverted fantasy created by your own minds that you think it to be.

    Sometimes the best part of watching TOS is that it’s like attending a reunion: all these familiar people that I haven’t seen in forever. In this particular episode: Kim Darby and Michael J Pollard. (Michael J Fox at one point claimed that he took the middle initial J because of Pollard. I think Darby was probably about 20 here, and Pollard not quite 30.)

    I think the crush is believable And Kirk handled it okay. And yes, a duplicate earth, if you’re going there, you should use it better. As a kid, I watched TOS occasionally in its original run and then in syndication. And seeing it all these years later, it’s clear that TV storytelling has evolved and that some stories don’t hold up. And yet they’re still better than some stuff that’s being created today. And knowing what I know now and didn’t then, I was awfully worried for those red-shirts when they started wandering about on their own.

    I think this episode is pretty good (probably 2.5 stars).

    As others have pointed out, the "duplicate earth" thing is probably unnecessary and no attempt is made to explain it. Also, I too found it implausible that 300 year olds would still act like children, even if they are in the bodies of children. Of course, we are dealing with an alien race (even though they look just look humans on a duplicate Earth) so their psychology may be somewhat different. Even Kirk contradicts himself in this episode, saying at one point that children need guidance and that they were dealing with children - immensely old children perhaps, but still children. Then at the end of the episode, when Rand expresses concern leaving the alien "children" to fend for themselves, Kirk says there are "children - hundreds of years old. They'll be fine." (I'm paraphrasing, I don't recall Kirk's exact words, but I'm sure my point is made.)

    Interesting bit of trivia: Two of the guest actors in this show are Grace Lee Whitney's sons, and as mentioned by a poster above, Shatner's daughter appears in this episode. She's the little girl Kirk is carrying toward the end of the episode.

    So, they want to know how to make it so this disease doesn't kill kids when they hit puberty. Why not just study this Jahn guy, since he's clearly way past puberty and he hasn't been afflicted yet?!

    Did I miss the explanation for how this second Earth came to.... be?

    Kirk flirting relentlessly with Miri. That's not creepy. (come on I do know these crushes happen but the adult reciprocating and calling them pretty? I'm pretty darn sure they didn't intend it to come across this way, but eww)

    Once she starts "becoming a woman" he immediately sets her to work cleaning desks and sharpening pencils!

    "I never get involved with older women" doesn't help him either.

    And indeed a rather slow episode.
    I do like the Spock+McCoy moments though.

    Star Trek does the zombie apocalypse in Miri, but ekes genuine warmth and drama out of it. Great episode that Leonard Nimoy once called a lovely and sensitive story, and I agree with him. It's also perhaps the first in a long line of "Kirk, McCoy, and Spock get stranded and must work together to survive" shows -- in this case with Yeoman Rand and two red shirts for company. I give it 3 1/2 or 4 stars.

    Great guest stars here in Kim Darby (True Grit!) and Michael J. Pollard, who effect memorable characters. And I must say, rewatching these early episodes, that Grace Lee Whitney has real personality and chemistry as Yeoman Janice Rand -- she's very feminine but with a fiery personality that comes through when her eyes flash. She and Shatner play well off each other, continuing to keep their relationship on a professional level even at this point where it's clear that they both have feelings for each other, and I can see why Whitney was brough back for several cameos in the Star Trek movies after leaving the show prematurely in Season One.

    The Spock-McCoy stuff is fun to watch, with McCoy's selfless humanism coming through in his willingness to test the "beaker of death" (love that Spock line) on himself and Spock's dry humorous-yet-reverential comment (McCoy has clearly earned his respect, almost against his own better judgment) later about "the medical mind." In this case, Kirk kind of stays in the middle while they fight things out, and it's fun stuff. Spock's line "and I *do* want to return to the ship" is also a great one in a particularly well-written script.

    No Sulu, Scotty, or Uhura in this one, unfortunately, but we hardly notice since it's a McCoy-Spock-Kirk show. Side note: While it's true the women characters on TOS often serve food and coffee, as Rand does in her capacity as yeoman, it's also noteworthy here that Uhura's assistant/backup comm officer is a white man -- it's not strictly a "woman's job" to run the communications system. Little touches like this one remind us how TOS often subverted gender and racial divisions right under the noses of censors -- and why some families refused to watch the show in the 1960s because of its racial and gender integration.

    But above all else, the story to "Miri" is an endlessly fascinating classic Sci-Fi yarn, inviting us to consider the moral implications of pushing science beyond moral limits for the sake of human vanity -- the idea here is to that people of present-day Earth (circa the episode's air date) accidentally wiped out the whole planet's population while pursuing a medical means of prolonging life indefinitely. Far from creating the Zombie apocalypse through a nuclear war, the people of this alternate earth created it through self-improvement medicine, and it's really clever how the disease partially succeeded by elongating the life of children until they reach puberty and are hyper-accelerated into a zombielike adulthood that kills them.

    So there's kind of a space allegory about puberty here, too, playing on adolescent fears that adulthood will kill us because we're not ready for it. And the traumatized "elderly children" (love Kirk's "never date older women" quip to Rand at the end regarding Miri's crush) are clearly terrified and in distress, leading them to attack Kirk out of fear and confusion. All of this stuff, including Miri's girlish crush on Kirk and Kirk's efforts to earn her trust for the sake of the landing party, is astonishingly well-observed in human terms. There's even some real emotion in the Kirk-Rand scene, and in the escalating conflicts among the landing party when the disease wears them down, as things gradually start looking desperate. Very nice to see a real sense of danger on Star Trek, a hallmark of TOS.

    As for the alleged plot holes, I really have to say with all due respect -- as a lifelong Star Trek fan who has seen every episode and movie of every series -- that I think we fans really start to lose the point when we insist on a line of dialogue to explain away every little uncertainty or unresolved thread in an episode. The point of TOS is to provide an abstract allegory, to raise more questions than it answers in order to make viewers think, and it's far more nourishing to the imagination to leave certain details (like what did the kids eat to survive?) unexplained rather than invent a technobabble solution -- see TNG, Voyager, and Enterprise for over-explanations if you're more concerned to harmonize the fictional universe of this franchise into a coherent self-contained bubble than to think about the big issues it raises. Watch TOS if you're more concerned to wrestle with big questions as you get to know a very warm and lovable cast of characters -- questions like how to care for traumatized children while working harmoniously with different personalities to save yourselves from the Zombie apocalypse that killed them and fend off a girl's first crush. And questions like whether there are any moral limits to risky procedures to prolong life, beauty, and other passing things which make us who we are as human beings.

    PS -- And I almost forgot to mention the most sumblime Shatner moment in the episode: His showdown with the "Lord of the Flies" gang at the end while they hold Rand hostage is a classic. It even gets scary when the kids start beating him, a rare shocking moment on Star Trek when you see Kirk's life is possibly in danger from a distressed group of children who have bruised and bloodied him. But Shatner is brilliant in this one, playing it straight, and his desperation escalates gradually in each scene of the story -- he progresses from amused to concerned, from irritable to despairing, and finally from desperate to heroic with great believability. It's probably one of the strongest Kirk character arcs of any episode in the series, when you think about it, because Shatner really gives you a sense of Kirk's helplessness in this one.

    Yes, indeed, Spock's comment about "a beaker of death" always prompted my friends and I to yell at the screen, laughing as others have for its over-the-top drama, but also because, "Dammit, Spock, it's an Erlenmeyer flask!"

    Surprised that Spock didn't also hold an A-7 Expert Classification in Chemistry. He was, after all, the flagship Enterprise's Science Officer, not just its Computer Science Officer.

    Great points about going out of its way to tell us, "Another Earth!" and then drop the meme completely. I guess I'd understand if I was ever tasked with cranking out an episode a week for national broadcast. I wonder if original scripts (before editing) exist. Seems like such a cavernous hole, more of a "collaboration" error than one of originality.

    I liked the episode, the acting, Rand's part, and the Spock-McCoy development.

    Surprised at the negativity here. I've always regarded this as one of the better episodes from the season; it's like a creepy, post-apocalyptic Lord of the Flies, with some very graphic Zombie make-up effects thrown in.

    Some have complained about the episode being set on Earth. I thought the writers did this deliberately, the episode like a giant metaphor for our earth dying when man leaves aside his youth, love and innocense for adult forays into greed and desire.

    Anyone else see Kirk toss that bucktooth kid to the floor? That looked pretty real.

    This episode just gives me the opportunity to say what my main pet peeve of Star Trek.

    It is noted this was a M-Class Planet. Then they follow it up with a planet with a Earth-like conditions, climate, water, and oxygen just like Earth. Isn't that what a M-Class planet means?? There is no reason to say it is just like Earth. That's what the classification is for. Speaking of which, what planet have the crew ever visited that wasn't M-Class? Even the frozen planet in the Episode where Kirk was split into two Kirk's in a transporter malfunction, was Earth like. In Siberia.

    Bonk, Bonk.

    There are a lot of complaints in the review and thread about the planet, but don't forget just how early in the run of TOS this episode was. 50+ years later, we're all used to seeing planets where everyone looks and acts human, and everyone knows what a class-M planet is.

    But viewers of the day were new to it all. This was the first episode in all of Star Trek where the crew meets human-looking aliens, and only the second episode (or third, if you count "The Cage") where they meet aliens of any sort, besides Spock of course. So the "duplicate of Earth" planet does have a purpose, it's lampshading the fact that these "aliens" are basically just humans. Eventually, of course, this would go from a curiosity to a trope, and they stopped bothering to try to explain it. But here, it was still necessary to explain.

    Am watching this episode for (I think) the first time. I've only seen a few episodes of TOS in the past; this is the first time I'm sitting down and watching it in sequence. Based on this, however, I'm questioning whether it will be worth it.

    This episode has the worst and least coherent writing I've ever seen anywhere. Why do the children keep wanting to kill Kirk? Is it purely because he is acting like an adult schoolteacher?

    When we first hear the word "Only" used to describe the children, it is as if it is a natural part of the language; as though we are already meant to know what it means in that context, but I don't.

    The icing on the cake here was the theft of ALL FOUR communicators. ALL of them are going to be left unattended on the table? Said communicators are normally carried by the crew wherever they go; I assume they have holsters for them. Yet they left all of them on this one occasion, purely because it was convenient for the plot?

    I've seen "Spock's Brain," but truthfully I consider this episode worse. The reason why is because, while I felt that said rules were preposterous, it still at least felt as though "Spock's Brain," actually HAD some rules and followed them. The biggest problem with this episode, is that things just happen, without any foreshadowing or real context whatsoever.

    My other problem with this episode, is that whoever wrote it apparently has an extremely negative view of children. Young children might be noisy and experience primal emotions, yes; but in my experience, pre-pubescent children are actually more capable of coherent logic than adults. I've talked a toddler down from a tantrum with reason before. It can be done. I simply explained to the toddler that there was no causal connection between it losing its' temper and getting what it wanted; so it could get as angry as it liked, but that would not help it. Once it realised that anger was futile for reaching its' objective, it tried another approach.

    I've watched a lot of science fiction at this point, which means that my tolerance for incoherence and arbitrary explanations is very high; but regardless of how arbitrary an explanation might be, the one necessity is that there IS one. With "Miri," there isn't. There are far too many events here which occur with no context or previous establishment whatsoever, and I can not accept that.

    Forget that pollard was almost 30 and miri was almost 20, or that the clothes dont look too bad for being 300 years old,this is a good episode.Of course we still have the problem that how did these kids feed themselves??With so few kids around and the food supply exhausted centuries ago we really only have one conclusion...Cannabilalism .

    Watching and commenting:

    --The Enterprise comes across a duplicate Earth! There's a distress signal. An intriguing start.

    --They find a horrible looking person and the ruins of 1960s Earth. How are they going to manage to fit the requisite sex goddess into this scenario? There's just an adolescent girl, Miri. Kim Darby. I guess Rand must carry the sex symbol burden alone.

    --A disease has killed all the adults and is killing Jim, Bones, and Rand. They have 7 days to live.

    --Miri, who apparently is 300 yrs old or so, has a crush on Kirk. This is played out in a rather ooky, if innocent, way.

    --Michael J Pollard: He is clearly not prepubescent, but OK. Haven't thought of him in decades.

    --So far, they've given us no explanation, or shown any interest in, just how it is that an exact duplicate of Earth should exist.

    --Rand throws herself into the designated sex pot role, hugging the Captain and telling him she always wanted him to look at her legs.

    --"A Beakerful of Death!" a good line from Spock that should have been the title of the episode. These kids are immensely annoying.

    --Shatner gives a standard dramatic Kirky speech to convince the kids they need help.

    --McCoy finds a cure. All is well.

    Not horrible, but the ooky and annoying factors are high in this one. Below average.

    Hello Everyone!


    Your question: Why do the children keep wanting to kill Kirk? Is it purely because he is acting like an adult schoolteacher?

    They mention that the adults went crazy, hitting and whatnot, and figured they had to do something about the crew before they also went crazy. They had not realized they each would as well, as they (very) slowly grew up.

    Regards... RT

    P.S.: I hope you found some episodes you liked. :)

    As a child in the '80s, this was always a favorite episode - so rewatching it with a critical grown-up eye does disappoint a bit for the reasons noted here, to which I'd like to add the following:

    They assume, without investigating further (as far as we're shown) any further than what would have been a few miles from that crumbling town. How do they know that, elsewhere—Fiji? the Himalayas? the Amazon? the Sahara? (whatever corresponds to comparable earth geography on this planet)—hundreds, heck thousands or even millions of kids, aren't alive and doing just fine? Why would the go-to presumption be that these 20 kids or so are the ONLY onlies? And that in every other geographic region of the world, 300-year old "child" survivors are all nothing more than a bunch of do-nothing brats?

    [I know that sometimes, the Enterprise has some kind of power to "detect human life" in places, but in just as many other cases, it seems they cannot.]


    If (perhaps taking place only "off screen") the Enterprise actual was able to and did do a thorough scan of the entire planet, and did confirm 100% that there were no other surviving children or adults except for these 20 or so 300-yr-olds...

    Why on earth—or rather, why on double-earth—would the Enterprise leave these 20 "children" (dysfunctional people with no education, skills, training, medical care, etc., ALL ALONE on that planet (save for the "teachers" or whomever they left to help; can't be more than 4-5 of them) ? It's one thing for a group of adult space colonists to set up camp on a planet—by choice. But these elderly children surely deserved the opportunity to leave and experience actual functioning communities comparable to their own culture. Or any culture really, so long as it's not a planet where just about entire population was wiped out centuries ago?

    Such a small group, there'd surely have been plenty of room on the Enterprise to transport them somewhere. And rightfully, they would have some advocate appointed to them to secure and protect their rights to a stake in their own planet, once outsiders learn of its existence and resources. (Seriously, what a prize for the Klingons to claim!)

    One can only imagine the psychological warping of these "children" in all that time. Seeing all that violence of the gr'ups, the horrific extinction of all (at least sentient) life except for themselves. 300 years of festering emotional wounds. Teaching them to read, write, and farm aren't going to fix all that. They need role models and examples of possible ways to live and learn and thrive.

    I watched this episode today for the first time since I was a kid and I was genuinely impressed with the build up. Very eerie setting and the kids playing havoc with the new grups by throwing things at them at singing the "nyah nyah, na nyah nyah" was just brilliant. When the zombie like creature first enters at the start when Bones takes an uncharacteristic interest in the wheel of trike was an excellent action sequence with some great (for the day) makeup.

    The premise is both intriguing and absurd. With a little more care with the writing, perhaps allowing some better character development and maybe playing off the whole Kirk, Miri and Jand love triangle with more aplomb may have led this episode becoming a true classic.

    Unfortunately we have some jarring dialogue (Bones : I've never seen so much bacteria, enterprise, send down some virus scanners!) and kirks final speech is pretty lame. The ending left me agog with the Enterprise leaving orbit and leaving the kids there on the planet!

    So a great start to the episode but it doesn't meet its promise of a true classic.

    Just making a comment here because I just read that Michael J Pollard died on the 20th of Nov - i.e., Wed.

    I immediately thought of this episode, where Pollard's baby face couldn't quite disguise the fact that he was 28 and not prepubescent.

    An interesting and talented actor who distinguished himself from the pack. RIP.

    This episode has a huge plot hole... the Enterprise would surely have beamed down more communicators after receiving no response from the away team?

    That is one of those: "We don't have any money but we have a set we can use for free" episodes.

    Quite a few creepy undertones or overtones, I'm not sure. Also this is not a how a vaccine works. No wonder that there are so many anti vaxxers in the US!

    Is this a vietnam analogy? The children are the young people of the USA who need to trust the grups again?

    The whole scenario is not explained at all. Why is there earth two? Why are there people on it who lived like earth 1? Why didn't the "guards (red shirts)" get sick?

    Oh and of course there is a message from Queen Amidala to the Yeoman about how ridiculous her hairhat looks.

    I agree with the comments calling this one a sort of Zombie Apocalypse story, and I think it's engaging on that level. Despite the low budget reuse of an NBC set and yet another Duplicate Earth, the costumes and makeup are nice and we get a rare treat of fine Star Trek kid actors. That said, I'm with Jammer in that there are some mind-blowing lapses in logic for the drama to work in the episode. Everyone is on the clock trying to cure the disease and yet they let days pass without searching for the communicators which are apparently vital to the cure.

    The relationship between Kirk and Miri was enjoyable, and it leads to some interesting discussions about entering adulthood and what it means to be stuck as a child. I only wish the episode went a little further and capitalized on the children-versus-adults dilemma. Unfortunately, it seems like these children are too stupid to live which hurts feeling much sympathy towards them. Perhaps if we knew more of what kind of abuse they suffered, we could relate to them better.

    I agree with Springy that Yeoman Rand being helpless and lamenting not being able to show off more skin to Kirk was pretty icky. Luckily, Rand gets better material in other episodes.

    Some intriguing concepts and decent characters but missing the real polish of a classic. 2 stars seems about right.

    There is so much going on here! Add me to the list of folks who would have rated Miri higher - I’d say 2 1/2 stars, just for all the fascinating ideas.

    The weird thing is I really liked this episode much more when I was a little kid. Maybe the episode speaks to kids in a way it doesn’t to adults. But for years - well into my teens - I regularly called grown ups “Grups” - not that anyone had any idea what I was talking about :-) But then, isn’t that what it means to be a kid?

    The episode has so many themes that have been picked up elsewhere over the years.

    For a planet where everyone dies after adolescence, a great example is Farscape’s "Taking the Stone”, where Chiana runs after she learns her brother has died.

    I really liked how the kids were portrayed in Miri. As many have noted, Kim Darby did a fantastic job. And she was only 18 at the time.

    Kirk treats Miri with a gentleness that is necessary to handle a young crush if you are to keep her at arms length without crushing her. Yeoman Rand seems very taken with Kirk’s gentle hand. Kirk, very cleverly, puts the entire Rand situation to rest once and for all, with the almost throw-away line at the end:

    KIRK: I never get involved with older women, Yeoman.

    Yeoman Rand was more than a year older than Kirk. So that settles that.

    But of all the pieces of this episode that really jumped out at me, it was that, the plague was engineered. Spock says,

    SPOCK: According to their life prolongation plan, what they thought they were accomplishing, a person would age only one month for every one hundred years of real time.

    SPOCK: Evidently through some miscalculation, this virus annihilated the entire adult population in a very short period, leaving only the children.

    Can’t believe I had never caught that detail before.

    Reminds me of Firefly. Specifically the Reavers:

    MAL REYNOLDS: "Sure as I know anything, I know this - they will try again. Maybe on another world, maybe on this very ground swept clean. A year from now? Ten? They'll swing back to the belief that they can make people better. And I do not hold to that.”

    Finally, as @Pete points out, there’s this

    which, let’s face it, makes Miri a 10 star episode. 11 stars even.

    An episode with real potential, b completely wasted in my opinion. There were some nightmarish scenarios straight out of “Lord of the Flies “ (sinister kids’ chanting off screen for example), but...

    Kirk positively leering at an adolescent girl near the start? Yuk, creepy.

    The away team all abandoning their communicators in contravention of Starfleet Academy Protocol 223.45 (iv)?

    Spock apparently not in possession of an iPad? 🤣

    As so often, all senior crew members beaming down together? (At least they addressed this in TNG.)

    Where were Uhura and Sulu at the beginning?

    Why wasn’t the “duplicate Earth” scenario explored? That was a great story wasted.

    It could have been a great episode but turned out one of the least in the end.

    {{ The notion of an "exact duplicate of the Earth" is put to absolutely no interesting use, and exists, apparently, for no other reason than so the plot could have a setting of "Earth, 1960." }}

    I guess they saved money by not having to pay someone to draw new continents on a fake globe?

    {{ I immediately thought of this episode, where Pollard's baby face couldn't quite disguise the fact that he was 28 and not prepubescent. }}

    Yeah, Kim Darby really did look 14 or so, but Pollard was so obviously an adult.

    {{ Kirk flirting relentlessly with Miri. That's not creepy. (come on I do know these crushes happen but the adult reciprocating and calling them pretty? I'm pretty darn sure they didn't intend it to come across this way, but eww }}

    Even worse is how he ends up ripping her shirt, and then later holding her by the hair while she screams "NOO!" ... I mean yeah it's all not like that in context (she's yelling in denial about having the disease, not saying don't assault me), but still - *shudders*

    Miri has become a great episode as of, say last year.

    A bunch of crazy kids who don't believe in Medical science and preventing an epidemic.

    The best thing about this episode is its eerie atmosphere. As many have mentioned, it’s a postapocalyptic abyss of a world, with “creatures” (crazy kids) vocalizing from the rafters and hiding around every corner. And Jamahl is right--the “duplicate Earth” presentation was a clumsy 1960’s way of explaining the existence of a planet that has Earth-like structures and people simply so that Desilu could save on set pieces and models. It’s a made-up science fiction show; forget about it.

    I think some people here are reading way too much into the Kirk and Miri interactions. For God’s sake, he’s not “grooming her,” he’s trying to put a clearly traumatized kid at ease so she doesn’t fly off the handle every few minutes. Miri’s jealousy over Janice was pushing it a bit, but I didn’t take it as anything that grew from what Kirk did; I chalked it up to Miri’s unstable mind. I actually found Kirk’s crack at the end--”I don’t go for older women” or something like that--pretty funny. And Kim Darby did a great job; for some reason she reminded me of Judy Garland in the Wizard of Oz movie.

    I think SlackerInc touched on a good point above. While I liked the creepy vibe of the scenes with the bratty other kids, that particular storyline felt unfinished and undeveloped--”Miri” tries to be “Lord of the Flies” but comes off more as “Village of the Damned” or the Lost Boys from “Hook,” managing to not say much more than “These kids are so off-kilter, aren’t they?” And yeah, “Jahn” (which is how my subtitles named him) was clearly past puberty. I get that over-18 actors playing kids are easier to schedule and work with, but nothing in Jahn’s scenes convinced me, either in or out of the box, that he couldn’t have been played by an actor the same age as that annoying urchin who kept saying, “Bonk bonk bonk!” (As an added bonus, my son tackled me shortly after we finished watching the episode and pounded his fists into my shoulders while shouting “Bonk bonk bonk bonk,” so thanks, Star Trek.)

    There are a few things to be said here about the dangers of playing God and experimenting with genetic engineering, and that’s okay, but the resulting jeopardy plot with the virus and “countdown” seemed a bit clumsy. Remind me again why they couldn’t simply find the security guards and use their communicators to contact the ship when they supposedly had “days” to accomplish this. The guards appeared at the end almost like an afterthought, like the writer forgot about them and didn’t have time to go back and explain it. They should have just had the kids kill them earlier when they separated from the group--I mean come on, that’s Horror Movie Plot Cliche #1, how do you not take advantage of that?

    I did like McCoy’s arc and how his crazy “medical mind” responded to the crisis. And I’m sorry, but Janice was hilarious (and I’ll leave it at that).

    Lastly, Star Trek sure has some obvious doom-and-gloom warnings weaved throughout it. Between “What Are Little Girls Made Of?” (the dangers of too-smart artificial intelligence) and “Miri,” (the dangers of screwing with nature) I’m starting to have concerns about what we’re headed for in our future as a species. I think I’ll hug my kids a little tighter tonight.

    Best line:
    Kirk -- “Why do you think the symptoms haven’t appeared in Mr. Spock?”
    McCoy -- “I don’t know. Probably the little bugs, or whatever they are, have no appetite for green blood.”
    Spock -- “Being a red-blooded human obviously has its disadvantages.”

    My Grade: B

    "This is also the episode that gave us Kirk's immortal line "No Blah Blah Blah!" which rivals "Brain and brain, what is brain?" for the best of the worst lines of the entire series."

    Wait, what?! Pete, stop it, you’re making that up! Are you telling me there is an actual line of dialogue that’s “Brain and brain, what is brain?” I can’t wait to get to that episode.


    "Miri has become a great episode as of, say last year.

    A bunch of crazy kids who don't believe in Medical science and preventing an epidemic."

    Hah! Good one.

    "Wait, what?! Pete, stop it, you’re making that up! Are you telling me there is an actual line of dialogue that’s 'Brain and brain, what is brain?”

    Yes he is. And he ain't joking.

    "I can’t wait to get to that episode."

    Be careful what you wish for. The episode in question is even worse then the above quote implies (some people regard it is the worst episode of TOS).

    It seems really convenient that they just happened to beam down to the one town on the entire planet that had the very hospital where this plague was developed.

    One thing that drove me crazy was trying to figure out who the oldest "boy" was (I put boy in quotes because he was actually 27 years old in this episode) and where I knew him from; he was so recognizable and I never could place him. Now through the magic of the internet I was finally able to look it up. He played "cousin Virgil" on an episode of the Andy Griffith show, the clumsy relative who always goofed everything up. I've seen that episode so many times I can't believe I couldn't make the connection.

    I've convinced my wife to watch TOS with me, start to finish, which is quite neat, especially since I think she'd only seen the odd episode until now. Of course when watching it for the 50th time you'd think evaluations would already be a foregone conclusion, but it's amazing how much a fresh pair of eyes makes you really watch as if for the first time.

    Within that context I have to say that TOS S1 is surprising me a little. I obviously know the episodes like the back of my hand but seeing them all in exact sequence (something I've rarely if ever done) is showing me something I hadn't noticed. So far we're 8 episodes in and TOS really has a lot of elements that I would consider to be very reminiscent of 50's and 60's science fiction stories (not pulp stuff but real science fiction). Take Miri, for example, which has a lot in common with The Omega Man (made in 1971), based on I Am Legend from the 50's. The type of contemporary-dystopia set not in the future but in the near-present after a technological disaster is a sci-fi trope that use to be quite popular but has since fallen out of fashion (other than in reboots). Most of the plot development in Miri is the unfolding of what these people did to themselves with genetic experimentation, which puts it squarely in the sci-fi camp and quite far from the 'space western' genre which so many people have suggested TOS was. Previous episodes are likewise tonally absolutely not space westerns, such as The Man Trap (an Outer Limits style creature feature), Charlie X (a chilling story, certainly not an 'adventure'), and Where No Man Has Gone Before (a supremely cerebral look at human weakness ballooned to godlike proportion). So it's quite striking that 'adventures in space' is hardly the tone of the show up until this point, and in fact it has yet to establish a common tone. Each guest submitted script is really quite different in approach and even banter style, and certainly none of them seem to be in the mindframe yet of making statements about the Cold War or anything else directly contemporary.

    Another thing I'll mention is that at this juncture I'm a bit surprised at how many people call TOS 1 the best original season without any qualification. Now it's my favorite Trek show so I'm not complaining about it, but so far out of eight episodes most of them are in the least-enjoyed category, relatively speaking (absolutely speaking I'd watch any of them any day). I rather enjoy The Enemy Within, but looking ahead it won't be until The Menagerie that the show gets into what I think of as prime TOS mode, and two episodes after that with Balance of Terror that we get a thrilling classic, halfway through the season. Granted, the second half of the season does include The Galileo Seven, The Squire of Gothos (which I like more than some people perhaps), Space Seed, Devil in the Dark, Errand of Mercy, and City. So that's a heavily backloaded season, but nevertheless it takes 12-13 episodes IMO for it to hit its stride and find a truly original type of story to tell. Don't get me wrong, I like Miri, but it's a known scenario in sci-fi terms at this point in history and in a sense nothing new.

    Check out S2's roster by contrast, which although obviously is not perfectly even (no Trek season is) there is a huge assortment of episodes that exemplify Trek. Even the least of the S2 episodes seems a bit more 'Star Trek' than The Man Trap does, which makes sense of course. I had just never noticed before that TOS did take maybe half a season to hit its mark of originality. That's still much better than most TV shows do, and it's the rare show putting out classics even within its S1 (Babylon is a notable example of a fairly quick ramp-up period). S3 is definitely more uneven again, maybe on par with S1 on average. Both are excellent, but TOS S2 is the equivalent of TNG S3-4, more or less, with winner after winner.

    Here's a review I wrote back in 2008 when I was 24:


    This is a trek episode that I vaguely remember watching as a kid. This episode starts with the Enterprise following an old SOS distress signal to a planet that is seemingly identical to earth both visually and in terms of readings. After beaming down to an abandoned 1960’s earth duplicate and being attacked by a zombie looking dude who has a kid’s mind and seems rather upset at a bike being broken, the away team find a girl called Miri and learn about a disease that killed off all the “Grups” or grown ups as Yeoman Rand points out. Some quick research of local records quickly reveals a virus created 300 years ago that was originally intended to prolong life, but kills off anyone who has hit puberty. It turns out the kids are 300 years old and age a month per 100 years, however as soon as they hit puberty they age rapidly (which explains our zombie friend at the beginning). The away team have seven days before they will all die (except for Spock who will be stranded since he’s a carrier of the virus), mean while the local kids and their ringleader plot against the away team. The communicators get stolen, Rand gets captured, Kirk goes after Rand, gets in a scuffle with some kids, does a Kirk speech to appeal to both their sympathy and fear, all while Spock and McCoy make a vaccine for the virus. (Wouldn’t a vaccine be too little too late, I think they mean cure?).


    Overall a disappointing episode. My biggest quibble being the fact that they didn’t explain the planet being identical to earth even though according to Kirk it was further away than any Earth colony - although they never did tend to dwell on such things back in TOS. I’ve noticed this is another TOS episode which would have had a key obstacle removed had it been incarnated in a recent Trek series, ie: Spock: “we can’t capture them, they know the area too well” – ever heard of a transporter lock and site to site transport? I found the children’s annoying repetition of phrases strangely similar to ‘Lord Of The Flies’, and the communicators being left laying about even though they normally always get put back into their pockets was just silly. The adult-looking ringleader was never explained either. Kirk gets hit several times over the head with what looked like a spanner yet he escaped largely unhurt - not even a Borg drone gets up after being violently assaulted with a spanner. About the only good that came from this episode was phrases like “The before time” which was reused in ENT: 1 x 06 – Terra Nova, a similarly themed episode and Yeoman Rand under the influence of the virus, admitting to trying to get Kirk to look at her legs back on Enterprise, oh and Kirk saying that he “never gets involved with older women” at the end.

    There was no real moral dilemma to be drawn from this episode, unlike the previous episode which had a clear “is controlling criminals by altering their minds really the right thing to do” – (even if it wasn’t a scratch on ‘A Clockwork Orange’) was still better than don’t try to prolong life in case you make a zombie virus that will kill everyone off and leave your kids to grow up as jibbering idiots due to lack of parental care and prolonged boredom. They could have easily added to the excitement of the episode by adding more zombie and phaser action but instead the cream of Starfleet nearly loses out to a bunch of pre pubescent kids.

    Memorable quote: Spock: “Being a red blooded human obviously has its disadvantages”.

    Final Score: 1/10

    This episode is certainly watchable, its just not great. The pace is slow and the story a bit weak.

    Overall, just a decent episode. Annoying children. Now that Kirk knows that Rand wants him to look at her legs, I think he should get right on it. Michael J Pollard will always be known to me as the driver ,C W Moss, from the Bonnie and Clyde movie.

    An AI that watched all of Star Trek would conclude all children are obnoxious. Miri initiates Trek's support of the "Children should be seen and not heard" proverb. At least the eponymous character breaks from that mould, but as is important for the episode, Miri's not really a child any longer.

    I'm afraid there is more I dislike here than like. The "another Earth" aspect is wasted. I wish Kirk had found a way to gather information other than exploiting Miri's crush. We don't see him say goodbye to her, a scene that probably was intentionally omitted. Kirk's repeated attempts to make rational arguments to an irrational gang grow tiresome. I alternate on whether Rand's "I used to try to get you to look at my legs" is cringeworthy, or an appropriate way of expressing her fear of death in that situation. Net result, 1 of 4 bonks on the head.

    The duplicate earth thing must have been some sort of production gaffe, like the original script had that as a major plot concept but then they started filming and were forced to pivot away from their original idea when all the feral kids started breaking shit on set or something. It just makes no sense that they would make such a note of pointing it out, even showing an image of the earth, continents and all, only to drop it outright and never touch on it again. It’s too bad also, because it starts the episode off on such a weird footing.

    There’s a lot of unfortunate plot mechanics here that further distract from the story. The wandering/randomly reappearing redshirts, the communicator blunder, McCoy’s apparent lack of understanding in microbiology, etc…what makes these goofy things tough to ignore is how easily avoidable they are, you can’t even fall back on the whole “tv in the 60s” defense because, honestly, even one of those bonkbonk kids could probably have spotted the logic lapses in the script.

    However, if you can side step the sillier elements of Miri, it’s a pretty good show, with a very good core idea. I found the interplay between rand, Kirk, and Miri to be well done overall. While I get why some people might find the Kirk/Miri dynamic uncomfortable, I for one thought it was well executed in a less than creepy way. I’d also mention that if one’s life and the lives of one’s friends depended on it, most people would eagerly exploit a puppy crush if necessary, so I find Kirk’s behavior actually fairly restrained.
    The Spock/McCoy character work was good too, nice to see that frenemy relationship develop. Spock continues to shape up. Beaker of death indeed.

    Lastly I like this episode for the simple fact that after I watch it I spend the next week or so inexplicably saying “bonk bonk on the head” to people around me.

    It's amazing how the blemishes on McCoy's face magically disappear before your eyes.

    This is a silly episode, but I have always liked it. I never saw the relationship between Miri and Kirk as "icky", but as an adult, I really have a hard time believing Miri would simply cave just because an adult is being nice. She's had 300 years to evolve. It seems more likely to me that she'd bolt at the first sign of freedom and remain hidden from the unusual visitors.

    "Captain, look at my legs". This statement really doesn't make a lot of sense to me, considering the desperation of the situation. However, like the theft of the communicators, I chalked up all of the unusual behaviors of the landing party as the result of the disease. No one was thinking clearly once it took hold.

    Having gone through and still dealing with covid over the past four years, it makes me wonder how this virus could stay relatively stable for 300 years and not mutate into something else entirely during that time period, or mutate itself out of existence. Likewise, there were many people on this planet for a long time, judging from the tall buildings around. It stands to reason that some adults were immune, or even managed to overcome the disease.

    As a kid, I never thought much of the "another earth" silliness. As an adult, I know an earth exactly like ours is unlikely, unless the beloved crew ended up in an alternate universe. That actually could have made for a great story, in my opinion. Certainly better than "Mirror, mirror".

    I have to wonder at the people who populated this planet and why they would try to create a chemical to give them a sort of immortality. That sounds really shallow to me. On the flip side, there's a planet of murderous children. That in itself would have been an idea to explore. It'd be interesting for the episode to ask the question of whether it's normal for children to develop in this fashion, or if the virus altered them.

    Love this episode. It stands out for me, and no doubt other UK ST fans as it was one of the four episodes banned by the BBC, after it's one screening in 1970 caused an uproar.

    Count me among the ones who really enjoyed this one. Like others have said, the atmosphere here is really good. Post-apoc in 1966! This episode is probably the grandfather of many video game franchises and movies. I'm pretty sure stuff like Mad Max borrowed some (if not most!) of that flavor from this one. Mutated children, deserts, industrial ruins, rundown labs, plague. Yup, this episode has been recycled and reused by pop culture for decades now.

    Sure, the plot is not that great and Jammer and the comments went through all the problems in that regard, but at least it gave plenty of opportunity for us to run around this world and see the set pieces. We visited a lot of different locations on this one and I quite enjoyed it for that. Guest actors were really good, too, especially Miri. That little romance with Kirk was very well played and I found it sweet. I agree it’s accurate at how those teenage infatuations go. The way they included Yeoman to cause some extra drama was also effective, at least for my own taste.

    The children! Others have commented on this of course, but they really managed to make a bunch of little, weird, scary band of kids here! Second time we have youngsters as a menacing, threatening force on Star Trek. Charlie X and now this! It can’t be a coincidence. A few years prior to this episode Village of the Damned premiered.

    It’s fun to watch how this crew falls apart. It’s not rare they reach the point where they're shouting at each other and throwing things around. Quite a shock for me, transferring from NCC-1701-D. I didn’t know you’re allowed to shout at people like that.

    What Spock meant by not understanding the medical mind? Isn’t the medical mind the scientific mind for the most part? I would guess Spock would be the one to understand it. McCoy doesn’t inject himself with the antidote out of medical mind reasoning, he was desperate.

    Anyway, one of my favorite episodes so far.

    @David Brilliance
    I wonder what particular scene or plot point caused the ban.

    "It’s fun to watch how this crew falls apart. It’s not rare they reach the point where they're shouting at each other and throwing things around."

    This is a good point. It is fun.

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