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And the Children Shall Lead (episode)

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"And the Children Shall Lead"
TOS, Episode 3x05
Production number: 60043-60
First aired: 11 October 1968
Remastered version aired: 14 April 2007
61st of 80 produced in TOS
59th of 80 released in TOS
26th of 80 released in TOS Remastered
59th of 728 released in all
Tommy Starnes in command
Written By
Edward J. Lakso

Directed By
Marvin Chomsky
5029.5 (2268)
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A group of children on the Federation outpost Triacus, under the influence of an evil spirit, commandeer the Enterprise.

Summary

Teaser

StarnesEncampment2

Mass suicide

The Enterprise responds to a distress call from the Starnes Expedition at the Federation outpost on Triacus. But a landing party finds a scattering of dead bodies.

Act One

A log replayed from a tricorder supports McCoy's opinion that the event is a mass suicide. The log mentions an "enemy from within."

The scientists' children, however, are unharmed – and oblivious to the death, unmoved even as the landing party buries their parents. They continue to play as though nothing happened. McCoy theorizes that this could be a psychological defense against trauma. Captain Kirk and Spock believe the colony has been attacked, with the children deliberately excluded from the attack for an unknown reason. A strange tricorder reading leads Kirk and Spock into a nearby cave, where Kirk is struck by sudden anxiety, which subsides when he leaves the cave.

Kirk has the children beamed aboard the Enterprise, where Nurse Chapel serves them ice cream from the food synthesizer in the arboretum. But McCoy can find no physical anomaly in the children, and Kirk cannot get them to discuss what happened to their parents. When the children are left alone, they chant to summon a "friendly angel" (later referred to as Gorgan) and he appears, congratulating them for getting rid of the adults on Triacus and telling them that they must take control of the Enterprise and travel to Marcos XII.

Act Two

Gorgan

Gorgan appears on the bridge

The children, with Gorgan's help, can exercise psychological control over adults. Scott sees that his engineers have taken the Enterprise out of orbit, but they subdue him. By pumping their fists, the children exert mind control over Sulu, Chekov, Uhura and other crewmen to do their bidding. For example, at first Sulu, Chekov and Uhura believe that they can see Triacus on the viewscreen even though they are no longer orbiting the planet. Kirk and Spock do not realize the starship is en route to Marcos XII until Kirk orders two additional security guards down to Triacus, who are instead beamed into space.

Kirk and Spock enter the bridge as the children summon Gorgan, revealing him to Kirk for the first time.

Act Three

Gorgan does not address Kirk but merely warns the children that their "operation" has been discovered.

Uhura's image of herself as an old woman in And the Children Shall Lead

The image planted by the Starnes Expedition children in Uhura's brain of her seeing her own worse fear of being a disfigured, diseased, dying old woman

Kirk makes the crew realize that they have left Triacus and the children plant new fears in them: Sulu sees rings of swords that will destroy the Enterprise if he changes course and Uhura sees not her console but herself as a disfigured, diseased, dying old woman. The children briefly take over Spock's mind and unleash Kirk's greatest fear, losing command of his ship, as every command he issues is either disobeyed or heard as gibberish. Spock frees himself of the children's mind control and gets Kirk off the bridge to help him overcome his fear. They try to take control of the ship through the Auxiliary Control Center but Scott and the control center crew are now under the children's influence; he and his engineers force them out.

File:KirkSpockSecfight.jpg

Chekov and two security personnel corner Kirk and Spock, telling them that Starfleet has ordered their arrest. When Kirk resists, Chekov threatens to shoot him.

Act Four

StarnesEncampment

Footage of recreation on Triacus

File:Kirk-Spock defeat security.jpg

Kirk and Spock defeat the delusional security team by fighting and with Vulcan nerve pinches. They summon Gorgan to the bridge by replaying a recording of the children's chant and then challenge him. They show the children footage of themselves on Triacus, playing with their parents, followed by images of the parents lying dead, then by the headstones marking their graves. The children suddenly realize what they have done and begin to cry. McCoy is pleased that the children are finally showing authentic grief. Without the children's support, Gorgan morphs into a grotesque being with a face of drooping flesh as he disappears.

As the ship nears Marcos XII, Kirk orders a course change to Starbase 4.

Log entries

  • "Captain's log, Stardate 5029.5. Responding to a distress call from our scientific colony on Triacus, we are beaming down to investigate."
  • "Captain's log, supplementary. We have buried the members of the Starnes Exploration Party. Everyone has been deeply affected by what has happened here, with some important exceptions."

Memorable quotes

"Humans do have an amazing capacity for believing what they choose and excluding that which is painful."

- Spock to Kirk, on the children's lack of grief


"Parents like stupid things."

- Don, believing his parents liked living on Triacus


"It'll spoil your dinner."
"See what I told you? They all say it."

- Kirk and Tommy, as Tommy asks for more ice cream


"Hail, hail, fire and snow. Call the angel, we will go. Far away, for to see, friendly angel come to me."

- Tommy, Mary, Don, Steve and Ray, summoning Gorgan


"As you believe, so shall you do, so shall you do. As you believe, so shall you do, so shall you do."

- Gorgan, inciting the children


"Evil does seek to maintain power by suppressing the truth."
"Or by misleading the innocent."

- Spock and McCoy, on what killed the Starnes Exploration Party


"But most legends have their basis in fact, Spock."

- Kirk, on the legend of Triacus


"Without followers, evil cannot spread."

- Spock to Kirk, on the dangers that the children pose


"Death to you all!"

- Gorgan's last words

Background information

Production timeline

Story and production

  • This episode borrows elements and concepts from several sources, including Greek mythology (Gorgon), the old testament (the Book of Isaiah), and puritanical/colonial witchery (the incantations). [1] It also has a similar plot to the first-season episode "Charlie X".
  • It is never explained how Kirk knew to refer to the Friendly Angel as "Gorgan." Based on early drafts of the script, and in a bit of sloppy editing, episode writer Edward J. Lakso alternated between the various names, explaining why it appeared and stuck so late in the episode. A deleted scene had revealed that Tommy did tell Kirk the name, however, this scene took place in the script after Kirk had used the name. [2]

Performers

  • The idea to cast noted attorney Melvin Belli as Gorgan came when his son, Caesar Belli was cast as Steve. Producer Fred Freiberger hoped that the presence of Belli would boost ratings. This plan failed and Freiberger realized it would have been more appropriate to cast an actor in the role.[3]
  • Brian Tochi is one of a very few actors, along with Phil and Iona Morris in "Miri" and Clint Howard in "The Corbomite Maneuver", who appeared in TOS as a child and was later cast in one of the new series or movies. Tochi and Pamelyn Ferdin were later reunited on Space Academy, a live-action Saturday morning television series produced by Filmation which aired on CBS from 1977 to 1979.
  • All eight major regular performers of the second and third seasons—Kirk, Spock, McCoy, Scotty, Sulu, Uhura, Chapel and Chekov—appear in this episode.

Sets and props

Arboretum, And the children shall lead

The arboretum

  • The mirror in which Uhura sees her aged reflection at the communications station is never used in any other episode.
  • During one scene on the bridge, Kirk tries to give orders to Mr. Leslie, but his words are garbled. If the audio for this scene is played in reverse, Kirk can be heard to say, "Remove Lieutenant Uhura and Mr. Spock from the bridge. Confine them to quarters. Did you hear me? Take Mr. Sulu to his quarters. He's relieved of duty. Remove Lieutenant Uhura and Mr. Spock from the bridge. Confine them to quarters. Take Mr. Sulu to his quarters, I said. (garbled) Mr. Spock from the bridge. Confine him to quarters. Mr. Leslie, take Mr. Sulu to his quarters. He's relieved of duty." Listen to Kirk's re-reversed ordersfile info
Starnes Exploration Party children

23rd century children's attire

Federation pennant on Triacus

UFP pennant

  • The dress worn by the one of the female members of the Starnes Expedition Party was also created by Theiss, and was previously worn by Janet Wallace in "The Deadly Years". (Star Trek: The Original Series Sketchbook, pg. 135) In fact, both costumes worn by Wallace can be seen in this episode, one worn by Don Linden's mother and the other worn by an unnamed woman (who commits suicide in the teaser).

Continuity

Reception

  • The Agony Booth website included this episode on their list of "The Worst of Trek". They even named "And the Children Shall Lead" as the worst episode of The Original Series. They write that the episode "has a script that offers virtually nothing: No suspense, no character development, no intriguing sci-fi premises, and not one memorable line of dialogue. The director of this episode, Marvin J. Chomsky, is generally regarded as a skilled TV director (he also helmed Billionaire Boys Club and several installments of Roots), but there's really nothing he could have done with this script. Considering the guy who wrote it, Edward J. Lakso, also went on to write some pretty lousy episodes of Charlie's Angels, The Fall Guy, and Airwolf, need I say any more?" [5]
  • The reviewer is also harsh on William Shatner's acting, which he sarcastically describes as being "renowned and imitated the world over" [6] Describing Kirk's breakdown in the turbolift, he concludes, "There's no denying it: This is 100% grade-A pure Shatner here. We have now reached ShatNervana. The Shat goes through his entire range of grotesque, buffoonish facial expressions until Spock finally moves towards him, prompting Kirk to wildly grab him by the throat." [7]

Remastered information

"And the Children Shall Lead" was the twenty-sixth remastered episode of the The Original Series to air. It premiered in syndication the weekend of 14 April 2007 and aside from the standard CGI replacement footage of the Enterprise, this episode most notably featured new effects shots of the planet Triacus.

The next remastered episode to air was "All Our Yesterdays".

Apocrypha

  • In James Blish's novelization of this episode, Sulu is terrified by the sight of missiles on the viewscreen, not swords. More interestingly, the children sing spells to cause havoc among the crew rather than making the fist-pumping gesture which has earned a lot of ridicule among fans.
  • Gorgan also played a feature role in Greg Cox's Q Continuum trilogy of Next Generation novels published in 1998. He is part of a powerful gang of interstellar evil-doers which includes the God-imposter from Star Trek V: The Final Frontier and the entity from "Day of the Dove". Not much is really added to Gorgan's origin and motivations, as Cox is content to emphasize Gorgan's modus operandi of using children to cause chaos, though Gorgan's placement on Triacus is explained.

Video and DVD releases

Links and references

Starring

Also starring

And:

Co-starring

And:
And:

Uncredited co-stars

References

angel; anxiety; Auxiliary Control; bacteria; bee; bridge-control monitor; bridge monitor screen; bridge navigation system; cherry; child specialist; chocolate; chocolate wobble; coconut; cyalodin; Epsilon Indi system; evaluation laboratory; Federation; fire; food card;freeze tag; Friendly Angel; food synthesizer; general; God; ice cream; Lacunar amnesia; Marcos XII; mass suicide; medical officer; mental depression; Milky Way Galaxy; peach; pistachio; population; professor; scientist; snow; Starbase 4; Starfleet Command; Starnes Exploration Party; "Ring Around the Rosie"; Starfleet; suicidal anxiety; swarm; tape; Triacus; Triacus marauders; tricorder; United Federation of Planets (UFP); vanilla; Vulcan; Wilkins

External links


Previous episode produced:
"The Enterprise Incident"
Star Trek: The Original Series
Season 3
Next episode produced:
"Spock's Brain"
Previous episode aired:
"The Paradise Syndrome"
Next episode aired:
"Is There in Truth No Beauty?"
Previous remastered episode aired:
"The Immunity Syndrome"
TOS Remastered Next remastered episode aired:
"All Our Yesterdays"

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