‘AND THE CHILDREN SHALL LEAD’ (TOS)
Please feel free to comment on my review.
This is a great tense ‘Star Trek’ episode to enjoy from ‘The Original Series’. In this, the Enterprise gets taken over by five children who have these very strange powers at their disposal to control the crew.
I did feel anxious throughout this episode about what was happening to Kirk and the crew as they’re being taken over. It is a traditional episode where the original Enterprise crew work out the problem.
The Enterprise responds to a distress call from the planet Triacus. Kirk, Spock and Bones beam down to the planet to discover all the adult members of a scientific expedition dead, except their children.
Kirk, Spock and Bones are disturbed that the five children who’ve survived are unconcerned about the deaths of their parents. They bring the five children back to the Enterprise and to learn the truth.
But the five children very soon start to cause trouble as they take control of the Enterprise and set it on a course for the planet Marcus XII. Will Kirk and the others stop this evil influence on these kids?
I was astonished by how this episode gradually builds up with the tension-driven moments caused by the children as they take control of the Enterprise. Kirk and others are the victims of their powers.
I really like how Kirk and the others notice that the children are incapable of recognizing good and evil. It seems that the children do not realise their parents are dead and are unable to express grief.
The five children are as follows. There’s Craig Hundley as Tommy Starnes, the eldest of the five kids; Pamelyn Ferdin as Mary; Caesar Belli as Steve; Mark Robert Brown as Don and Brian Tochi as Ray.
In the episode, the five children are being influenced by an evil being called Gorgan, played by Melvin Belli. Gorgan is a malicious entity who uses the children to take the Enterprise to Marcus XII.
The way that these five kids use their powers to control the Enterprise crewmembers is by shaking their fists at them. It was very intense and I wanted to stop the kids from hurting Kirk and the others.
There are moments in the episode where each crewmember becomes affected by the children’s powers. This includes seeing the planet Triacus on the viewscreen when the Enterprise has left orbit.
This results in two security officers who beam down to the planet Triacus when it’s not there and they’re dead in space. How come Kirk and Spock didn’t check that they were still in orbit of Triacus?!
On the bridge, Sulu gets affected by the children’s powers when he sees daggers in space. It was tense when Kirk orders him to change course but doesn’t since he’s afraid the ship will be destroyed.
There’s also Chekov, as he seemingly believes he’s ordered by Starfleet to put Kirk and Spock under arrest. This is a false order and Kirk and Spock fight it out with Chekov and the two security officers.
There’s also Uhura who sees herself as an old woman and diseased in a mirror when she’s at her communications desk on the brige. Scotty also threatens to kill Kirk and Spock when in engineering.
I liked it when the episodes end with Kirk showing the kids of themselves with their parents before seeing them dead. This allows the five children to burst into tears and grieve for their parents at last.
This angers Gorgan who becomes ugly before their eyes and says “Death to you all!” All in all, this episode ‘And The Children Shall Lead’ has been a very gripping and tense ‘Star Trek’ episode to see.
The DVD special features for this episode are as follows. On Disc 1 of both the original and re-mastered DVDs of ‘Star Trek: The Original Series – Season 3’, there is a preview trailer for this episode.
‘And The Children Shall Lead’ (TOS) rating – 8/10
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