Miri - episode #12

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Miri - episode #12

Post  BoG on Wed Mar 10, 2010 7:51 pm


MIRI (1st season; episode #12) Air Date: 10/27/66
Directed by Vincent McEveety / writer: Adrian Spies


We now reach one of the less stellar Star Trek episodes. The first season had a few clunkers in it and here is one. To begin with, in another part of our galaxy, the Enterprise arrives at a planet which is an exact duplicate of Earth - "it seems impossible" Kirk says in his log; uh, yeah, a flat-out impossibility, unless they traveled to another dimension (a parallel), which they didn't. It's bad enough when the crew encounter civilizations which are very similar to Earth's history (the Roman Empire in Bread and Circuses or the East-West conflict/nationals in The Omega Glory) so Roddenberry could make some social statement, but the planet in this one has the exact same continents as Earth! The odds are probably trillions to one against.
Now, there is a mathematical theory that, if the universe is infinite, then it follows that such a duplicate of Earth must exist somewhere; but, even so, it would be far across the universe, in another galaxy, I would think. From Wikipedia:  Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor Max Tegmark suggests that if space is sufficiently large and uniform, or infinite as some theories suggest, and if quantum theory is true such that there is only a finite number of configurations within a finite volume possible, due to Heisenberg's uncertainty principle, then identical instances of the history of Earth's entire Hubble volume occur every so often, simply by chance. Tegmark calculates that our nearest so-called doppelgänger, is 1010115 meters away from us (a double exponential function larger than a googolplex).  Of course, in the film Journey to the Far Side of the Sun (1969), the other Earth was located just on the other side of the sun, and that was only a 'mirror' image of our planet, but I digress...
In Miri, on this 'other' Earth, in its version of the 1960s, an artificially-created plague wiped out all adults, leaving children who age only a month for every 100 years; so, this is when the divergence occurred, around 1965, from our Earth history. When a child hits puberty, however, they age rapidly, looking briefly like a deformed human, and quickly die - this now resembles the plot of The Omega Man (1971). That's the trade-off: hundreds of years of playtime, followed by an ugly, painful death. This begs another question: if no plague had occurred here, would this Earth's civilization have progressed to form its own Starfleet? - and then the two Starfleets would run across each other and..? Now that might be an interesting story... but I digress again.

The set design was pretty good for a TV series, though I hear that they merely redressed sets from the Andy Griffith Show. Kirk, Spock, McCoy, Yeoman Rand and two red-shirts beam down into the middle of a dilapidated city. So, we are to assume they weren't able to detect the still-lethal virus in the air; the landing party all contract the disease and are slated to die in a week, except Spock, who is a carrier and is stuck on the planet regardless. A bunch of these kids scamper amid the ruins and cause some trouble by stealing the communicators. Then they kidnap Rand.
We now come to the other reason I rate this episode so low: the damn kids! There are a couple of scenes with these brats which are nearly unwatchable for me. With many of the characters being juveniles, there's too much talking of "bonk-bonk on the head" and repetitive-style silly dialog which was designed for children to verbalize.

There's some tension but not much. Kirk & McCoy start to swipe at each other in frustration as the deadline looms. Rand has a panic attack. I'm wondering if there is a correlation between no fatalities occurring during a TOS story and the so-so episodes of the first season; it's not very exciting overall. This episode was also probably the closest that Kirk and Rand came to admitting that they had romantic feelings for each other. Rand (Grace Lee Whitney) was booted off the show soon after. BoG's Score: 6 out of 10

These were early roles for Kim Darby, playing the title character, and Michael J. Pollard as the weird-looking main troublemaker with the strange name of Jahn. She went on to True Grit in 1969 and he to Bonnie and Clyde in 1967. Darby was somewhat touching as the girl on the verge of womanhood, while Pollard...well, he applied some method acting, but he seemed anywhere from 15 to 35 years old in his scenes; I couldn't decide on which. One second he's saying stuff like "It's a foolie" or "Is this a good thing, Miri?" and, the next, he's planning the destruction of all 'grups' like some guerrilla general - be wary of the Lost Boys on other Earths!
Extra Trek Trivia: further discrepancies are opened up in this episode since in episodes such as The Man Trap, it's established that the Enterprise's devices can pinpoint a lit match on the surface of a planet, yet here they're unsure if anyone is left alive on the planet before beaming down. Many of the numerous children in this episode were offspring of the cast and crew, including Grace Lee Whitney's two sons, the director's son, and the daughters of William Shatner and Gene Roddenberry.

Rock Video:BONK BONK !


Last edited by BoG on Sat May 02, 2015 10:17 pm; edited 6 times in total
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Miri full episode

Post  BoG on Sun Mar 28, 2010 7:48 pm

CLASSIC TREK QUOTES:
Spock: "Measuring the planet now, Captain... Spheroid shape. Circumference - 24,874 miles. Mass - 6x1021 power tons. Mean density, 5.517. Atmosphere, oxygen-nitrogen..."

NOT-SO-CLASSIC TREK QUOTES:
Kirk: "No blah, blah, blah!!!" kids: "Nyah nyah nyah-nyah nyah!"
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