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Miri (episode)

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Real World article
(written from a Production point of view)
"Miri"
TOS, Episode 1x11
Production number: 6149-12
First aired: 27 October 1966
Remastered version aired: 16 September 2006
12th of 80 produced in TOS
8th of 80 released in TOS
2nd of 80 released in TOS Remastered
8th of 728 released in all
Miri disease advanced
Written By
Adrian Spies

Directed By
Vincent McEveety
2713.5 (2266)
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The Enterprise discovers an Earth-like planet that was devastated by a horrific degenerative disease and is now populated entirely by impossibly old children.

Summary

Teaser

Miri Earth remastered

Enterprise in polar orbit of an Earth-like planet

Onlies

The Onlies, led by Jahn

Responding to an Earth-type distress signal many light years from Earth, the USS Enterprise discovers a planet that is an exact copy of Earth. It has the same mass, circumference, density, and atmosphere. Even the topography is identical.

Act One

Beaming down, the landing party of Captain Kirk, Spock, Dr. McCoy, Janice Rand and two security men discover architecture like that of Earth, circa 1960. But there is debris in the streets and evidence that decay has been ongoing for at least several centuries, and that the distress signal is automated.

Then McCoy is attacked by a diseased man – a man horribly disfigured, insane, and violent. Before Kirk can get any useful information from this man, he dies. Noises draw the landing party to one of the abandoned buildings, where they discover a terrified girl, Miri.

Meanwhile, Spock and the two security guards search the ruins outside. They hear children, and are pelted with debris, but they never actually see anyone; the feral children, who call themselves Onlies, know the area too well, and are too canny.

Talking to Miri, Kirk learns how the grups became ill and insane, burning and killing, and the Onlies had to hide from them until they all died. McCoy realizes that a plague struck this world, and killed most of its people. And then, on Kirk's hand, Miri finds a blemish. Kirk has the disease that killed the grups.

Act Two

Soon, everyone has it except Spock. However, Spock is a carrier.

McCoy begins to work, bringing a biocomputer and an electronic microscope from the ship. Spock discovers research dating back three hundred years: there was a project, with the goal of prolonging life. It worked, after a fashion; but a miscalculation annihilated the adults, leaving only the children to survive on their own for the last three centuries. Once they reach puberty, they succumb to the disease. Spock calculates that within a week, all of the Human members of the landing party will succumb; even sooner than that, they will go mad.


Act Three

The Onlies, suspicious of the crew, clandestinely steal their communicators in an attempt to foil their plans.

The disease is starting to affect the landing party, their nerves are frayed and their tempers are short. Rand, now infected with the disease and crying, seeks comfort in the arms of Captain Kirk. Miri witnesses this and becomes jealous of Kirk's attention to her. Miri returns to the Onlies and helps them develop a plan to capture Rand, thereby luring Kirk to them.

Act Four

Meanwhile, McCoy has discovered the organism responsible, and succeeds in isolating a substance that might be the vaccine. But without the ship's computer, it is impossible to be certain – or to know the dosage.

Later, Kirk becomes lovesick regarding Rand's disappearance grabbing Miri and shouting, "Where is she Miri! Where is she Miri! Where's Janice?.....Has something happened to Janice?.....I've got to find Janice!". Kirk persuades Miri to help him, by revealing the secret the landing party had kept: that she, and all the children, would get the disease, and that the youngest would starve long before that. Miri takes Kirk to where Rand is being held and to Jahn, the next oldest child, who leads the Onlies. The children dont trust Kirk and pummel the captain. Beaten and bloodied, Kirk makes the children realize they're doing what the grups did – hurting others.

Returning with Rand and the communicators, Kirk finds Spock and a security man at McCoy's side. The doctor, in a move of desperation, has injected himself with the vaccine. He is unconscious, perhaps dying... and then the blemishes begin to fade. The vaccine is a success.

The Enterprise departs, leaving a medical team in charge of the children, who will soon receive the care they need.

Log Entries

  • "Captain's log, stardate 2713.5. In the distant reaches of our galaxy, we have made an astonishing discovery: Earth-type radio signals coming from a planet which apparently is an exact duplicate of the Earth. It seems impossible, but there it is."
  • "Captain's log, stardate 2713.6. The building Miri led us to also housed an automatic transmission station, which sent out the signal that drew us to this planet. We also discovered something else: that the blue splotches, characteristic of the unknown disease, had appeared on each of us, with the exception of Mr. Spock. There was a well equipped laboratory in the building. Dr. McCoy took tissue samples of each of us, in an attempt to isolate the organism responsible."
  • "Captain's log. Dr. McCoy's biocomputer and a portable electronic microscope have been beamed down from the Enterprise. They will be used in conjunction with computer banks on board ship."
  • "Captain's log, supplement. It's the second day of the seven left to us. We've found nothing. Enterprise is standing by with its labs, computers, ready to assist us. There's no data, no starting point."
  • "Captain's log, stardate 2717.3. Three days, seven hours left to us. Investigation proves that the supply of food left in the area is running dangerously low. Unless something is done, the children will starve in a few months. In addition, the disease is working on each of us according to Dr McCoy's prediction. Our tempers are growing short, and we're no further along than we were two days ago."

Memorable Quotes

"Now, this is marvelous. The most horrible conglomeration of antique architecture I've ever seen."

- McCoy, arriving on Miri's homeworld


"Being a red-blooded human obviously has its disadvantages."

- Spock, on why he shows no symptoms of the virus


"Life prolongation. Didn't have much luck, did they?"

- McCoy, on the bioengineering experiment


"Eternal childhood, filled with play, no responsibilities. It's almost like a dream."
"I wouldn't examine that dream too closely, Yeoman. It might not turn out to be very pretty."

- Rand and Kirk, on the effects of the virus


"Back on the ship, I used to try to get you to look at my legs. Captain, look at my legs."

- Rand to Kirk, showing her scabs


"Bonk! Bonk! On the head! Bonk! Bonk!"

- Redheaded Onlie, inciting the other children


"This is the vaccine?"
"That's what the computers will tell us."
"Without them, it could be a beaker full of death."

- Kirk, McCoy and Spock


"WHERE IS SHE MIRI?!, WHERE IS SHE MIRI?! WHERE'S JANICE?! HAS SOMETHING HAPPENED TO HER?!...I'VE GOT TO FIND JANICE!!"

- Kirk, anxious about Rand's disappearance


"Tell 'em, Jim!"

- Jahn, inciting the Onlies to taunt Kirk


"Blah! Blah! Blah!"
"No blah! Blah! Blah!"

- Redheaded Onlie and Kirk


"Nyah nyah nyah-nyah nyah!"

- Onlies, surrounding Kirk


"Who will understand the medical mind?"

- Spock, on McCoy's risky self-injection


"I never get involved with older women, Yeoman."

- Kirk to Rand, on Miri

Background Information

Production Timeline

Story and production

  • Adrian Spies's original script draft featured a much closer relationship between Kirk and Janice Rand.[1]
  • Spies considerably padded out his script with lengthy scene descriptions and stage directions, and when they were edited out the episode was found to be approximately ten minutes too short, leading to a late rewrite of the script by Steven W. Carabatsos. This, combined with the generally poor reaction to the story, led to Roddenberry deciding to never let Spies write any more stories for the show. (citation needededit)
  • In Spies' original script, the action is basically the same, however around 80% of the dialogue is different from Carabatsos' rewrite and the aired episode. Janice is revealed to be 24 years old (James Blish includes this reference in his adaptation of the episode), and she is considering leaving the Enterprise. Also, the character of the "Fat Little Boy" is extended, and more emphasis is put on the older kids taking care of the younger ones.[2]
  • This was the first episode produced by Gene L. Coon, and Gene Roddenberry (previously the line producer) serving as Executive Producer.
  • Vincent McEveety directed this episode from a wheelchair, as he had broken his leg in a skiing accident a few days prior. (The Longest Trek: My Tour of the Galaxy, p. 103)

On the Set

Lisabeth Shatner, Miri

William and Lisabeth

"... once we entered the set and were directed to the costume room ... someone handed me a box with a costume in it, and told me to put it on. Since Halloween was one of my favorite holidays, I opened the box eagerly–I was getting a chance to dress up, and it wasn't even Halloween! However, my excitement was somewhat lessened when I saw the costume. It was a beige, apron-like dress with the words "I Spy" printed on the left pocket. Even at the age of five, I considered myself too mature to wear such a silly costume. I spent the next hour with my left hand over the print ... my mother made matters worse when she asked the costumer if they had any green wigs left. She had seen a little girl walk by with a wig of long, green ratty hair and she wanted one for me. I breathed a sigh of relief when she was informed none were left."

After they left the costume room:

"Leslie, who was also appearing in the episode (and got a much better costume than I did), accompanied me to the make-up room to visit dad. When we walked into the room, he was sitting in the make-up chair, his back to us. We ran forward excitedly, relived to see his familiar outline. When he turned towards us, I caught a glimpse of his arm and saw the skin on the inside of his elbow was covered with a long, bluish-red scab! I blanched, and my dad burst out laughing, and told us to touch the sore. It was made of rubber–at that moment, I realized everything was "pretend." Once I understood that, I relaxed."

Only with blood on his hands

Shatner shows them the "blood"

Afterward, she and her sister were taken to the set and "a make-up man came around and put dirt smudges on our faces, something which Leslie didn't appreciate very much." When shooting began, she confessed her confusion:

"Finally, my father started talking. I understood that his words belonged to the "pretend" realm, but what he was saying still didn't make much sense. "Look at your hands," he commanded. "They have blood on them." When no one moved, he stopped talking. "Well, look at them," he said, and all the kids looked down at their hands. I followed suit, but didn't see anything unusual. I wondered why he told me there was blood on my hands when there wasn't any."

Onlies converge on Kirk

Lisabeth's character being thrust towards her father

"The next scene didn't clear up my confusion. [ Keith Taylor ] was told to pick me up and carry me towards my father, whereupon I was supposed to take a swipe at my father's face. I knew this part was "pretend." In fact, I couldn't keep a smile off my face every time I got close to hitting him. My father kept saying, "No, no you can't smile," every time I grinned. We had to do it four or five times before I finally could keep a straight face. I wasn't entirely sure why I was supposed to look as if I meant to hit him."
For the last scene Lisabeth was, where Kirk and the Onlies run to the lab:
"My father entered carrying me, and set me down next to the actress playing Janice Rand, who was kneeling on the floor. The scene took a long time to film. Eventually, I began looking around the room, and discovered I had a bird's eye view of the top of the actress's head. I was utterly fascinated by her hair, which was woven into a checkered pattern on top. I stared at that hair for a long time, wondering if it was possible to actually play checkers on it."

  • During the Friday night end-of-the-week party on 26 August, after filming this episode, Grace Lee Whitney (Janice Rand) was sexually assaulted by a member of the show whom she identifies only as "The Executive" in her autobiography The Longest Trek: My Tour of the Galaxy. She was fired soon after and her descent into a very messy life began.

Cast

Sets and Props

  • This is the first episode to feature outdoor shooting after the first pilot "The Cage", featuring the redressed exterior sets from The Andy Griffith Show. [3]
  • This is the first appearance of McCoy's portable biocomputer.

Costumes

This is the only episode in which the men's Enterprise uniform tops are revealed to be fastened by hidden zippers, as shown when Kirk's and McCoy's tunics are opened at the neck.

Effects

McCoy suffers from the life prolongation complex

Kelley wearing Phillips' "rubber scabs"

  • Fred Phillips was responsible for the creation the "rubber scabs" worn by the infected crew, which has been described as a "simple matter" for Phillips to create. It was his choice of color that added the dramatic edge. (Star Trek: The Original Series Sketchbook, pg. 187)
  • The signal coming from the planet can be heard in The Outer Limits episode, "The Man Who Was Never Born" (also featuring make-ups by Fred Phillips, and starring Martin Landau and Karl Held).
  • The sound of Kirk's phaser firing is unique to this episode. So is the appearance of the beam itself, which oscillates in and out of the emitter.
  • The sphere model used for Miri's homeworld has the same geographical configuration of its continents as modern Earth, only without any clouds. Recycled footage of the Enterprise orbiting "Earth" can be seen in "Tomorrow is Yesterday" and "Assignment: Earth". In the former episode, clouds were added in post-production, although in some instances, the original "cloudless" model can be seen. In the latter, they simply reused the footage from "Miri" without any clouds. The same Earth globe was also used in "Shore Leave" and "Arena", printed backwards and with exotic color tints added.

Titles

  • "Miri" is not only the shortest episode title in the original series, but the only one that is rendered onscreen in italicized type.
  • The font of the closing credits in this episode is different than any other first season episode.

Other Information

  • Despite being transmitted by the BBC in the UK in December 1970, "Miri" was not broadcast again until the '90s. An official BBC statement by Sheila Cundy of the Programme Correspondence Section reads: "After very careful consideration a top level decision was made not to screen the episodes entitled "Empath" [sic], "Whom The Gods Destroy" [sic], "Plato's Stepchildren" and "Miri", because they all dealt most unpleasantly with the already unpleasant subjects of madness, torture, sadism and disease" (BBC form letter, undated, Reference 28/SPC). Apparently, when "Miri" was first broadcast by the BBC (in black and white), several viewers wrote to complain about its content and the BBC reviewed the remainder of the episodes, deeming the three mentioned above as being unsuitable. When the BBC came to restart its showing of the first season (having acquired colour film prints), "Miri" and the others was omitted; in 1984 when the BBC decided to show Star Trek in prime-time, these episodes were still omitted, despite the continuity announcer telling the audience that they would be "beaming up the whole series." Clips from "Miri" were shown c.1984 on the "I Love TV" quiz show, broadcast on a rival station (ITV), possibly because the BBC did not have exclusivity on this episode; a clip was shown of the "glandular changes" scene on a brief late night documentary feature on "Star Trek: The Next Generation" in late 1987. A little time after this, the UK satellite channel Sky had acquired rights to show all the episodes, and included all the banned ones.(citation needededit) Finally, when the BBC were forced to acquire videotape copies of the original series c. 1991 (the film prints being in too poor a condition to broadcast again)(citation needededit), they included the banned episodes in their repertoire.
  • This is the only one of the seven episodes in which Janice Rand appears in which she actually leaves the Enterprise.

Apocrypha

  • In his original script, Spies offers no explanation for the existence of a parallel Earth, and its presence has no bearing on the development or outcome of the finished episode. In his first volume of Star Trek episode adaptations, James Blish supplies a backstory that is vastly different to that of the "identical Earth" premise depicted in the television episode. Blish wrote that Miri's planet is the fourth planet orbiting the star 70 Ophiuchus, and is a beautiful Earth-like planet having one large and two smaller continents connected by islands. Ophiuchus IV (or Ophiuchus 4 – Blish never names the planet) is located between twelve and fifteen light years from Earth and had been the first planet outside Earth's solar system to be colonized, in this case by refugees from the so-called "Cold Peace" in the early 2100s, about 500 years before the events depicted in the television episode. These colonists were isolationists who violently repulsed the first attempt to contact them by a later expedition from Earth, and so no further contact was attempted. As it turned out, the Ophiuchus system was in a "backwater" part of the galaxy that subsequent years of Earth-based space exploration passed by, and so the belligerent colony was easily ignored and almost forgotten. Around 300 years before the events shown in "Miri", scientists on Ophiuchus IV developed the experimental life-prolongation project that resulted in the deaths of every adult on the planet. Yet despite their close proximity, the distress signal sent by the colony didn't reach Earth because Ophiuchus IV stood between Earth and the center of the Milky Way, whose radiation created interstellar static that drowned out the SOS signal the colony had directed towards Earth.

Remastered Information

The remastered version of "Miri" was first aired in many North American markets as a "bonus" episode during the weekend of 16 September 2006, alongside "Balance of Terror". These were the first episodes to be "remastered" by CBS Digital and featured a flawed CG-model of the Enterprise that was eventually replaced. [4] The episode is notable for the replacement the original, highly unrealistic shots of Miri's homeworld with brand-new computer-generated versions. The episode was rerun (finally airing in some markets for the first time) on the weekend of 23 June 2007. [5]

Video and DVD Releases

This release included "The Empath" and was unrated, dating its release to prior to the Video Recordings Act 1984.

Links and References

Starring

Also Starring

Guest Stars

Featuring

And:

Uncredited Co-Stars

Stunt Double

References

1900s; 1960s; adviser; atmosphere; automatic transmission station; bacteria; Bartlett Stable; beaker; Biggs' Toys; biocomputer; carrier; classroom; communicator; computer bank; distress signal; doctor; Earth; electronic microscope; foolie; genetics; grup; Human; Krazy Kat; laboratory; Life Prolongation Project; logic; metabolic rate; mice; microscope; mile; Milky Way Galaxy; Miri's homeworld; museum; nitrogen; nitrogen cycle; nucleic acid; "olly olly oxen free"; onlies; oxygen; Palmerton Cafe; pencil; pencil sharpener; pill; police; puberty; radioactivity; Rusk Hotel; seizure; smoking; SOS; Space Central; teacher; tissue; ton; tricycle; truant officer; typewriter; vaccine; virus; zoo

External link


Previous episode produced:
"Dagger of the Mind"
Star Trek: The Original Series
Season 1
Next episode produced:
"The Conscience of the King"
Previous episode aired:
"What Are Little Girls Made Of?"
Next episode aired:
"Dagger of the Mind"
Previous remastered episode aired:
"Balance of Terror"
TOS Remastered Next remastered episode aired:
"The Devil in the Dark"

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