And the Children Shall Lead (1968) Star Trek episode - My Rating: {>>--} (The enemy from within!!) {{ Previous - Next}}

Please note that this review is laden with spoilers.

The crew of the starship Enterprise discover a colony world in which all the adults have died from various forms of suicide. However the children are all still alive and act as if nothing is wrong at all.

Body count: 3-6 One of the colonists dies at the very beginning of the episode. Later Captain Kirk accidentally beams two men into space. The alien enemy at the end of the episode is defeated, but we are not sure if he actually dies. Finally an error in either writing or direction causes them to simply leave two security guards down on the planet.

Plot Outline:

The crew of the USS Enterprise visits the planet Triacus where they find that all the adults on the planet have committed suicide. They beam down to the surface just in time to see the last adult commit suicide. Of course Captain Kirk knew this one personally, as Kirk seems to know everyone in space.

The half dozen children who were on the planet (who were obviously carefully selected for "diversity") are alive and well, and are acting as if nothing is wrong at all. Kirk beams the children aboard the Enterprise and they start investigating the issue.

What is happening is that the children are under the influence of an evil alien presence, whom they think of as the "friendly angel". The children even manage to take over the ship with his help. Kirk is able to turn the children against the "angel" by showing them videos of their parents. With no believers the "angel" fades away.

My Opinion: This certainly isn't one of the best episodes of Star Trek, but it isn't nearly as bad as most people make it out to be. The children are just terribly annoying, but they are not nearly as bad as the children were in Miri. Apparently they actually used actual actors this time, instead of the using kids who belonged to people on the show.

I also have to note that I always like seeing them operate those early replicators that use those colored floppy discs to select items.

  • Kirk and Spock take a complete trip in a turbolift together without either one of them selecting a destination.
  • This episode reuses some pre-Chekov stock footage, causing Pavel Chekov's position to sometimes become manned by Lt. Hadley in the middle of scenes.
  • The evil summoning chant of the children is tape recorded by Mr. Spock, but then it is different when he plays it back later.
  • They built a big expensive rec-room set for this episode and then never used it again.

Cast and Guest Stars

Directed by: Marvin Chomsky directed this episode along with two other original Star Trek episodes.

Writing credits: Edward J. Lakso was responsible for this script. This was the only Star Trek episode he ever wrote.

Sources: Star, my head, and watching the sucker multiple times. A big thanks to weasello for the format used.

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