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ReDiscovering Star Trek : TOS S01E08 : Charlie X

(These are in airdate order, not production order.)

Wiki descriptionWhile traveling aboard the Enterprise, a dangerous young man named Charlie Evans terrorizes the crew with his unusual mental powers


Notes while watching:

  • Never really liked Kirk’s green wrap myself
  • Crew of 428 on the Enterprise
  • 2 episodes in a row where Yeoman Rand gets stalked or assaulted.
  • Surprising that Spock would submit himself to being sung about in such an emotional way, but he’s actually smiling and enjoying it.
  • Uhura wants Spock’s alien love.
  • Charlie has a scary range on his powers.
  • The starting positions for 3D chess could have been better defined.
  • Yeoman Rand says she’s had to hurt someone before.  Emotionally, or physically?
  • 24:00 before Kirk loses his shirt.
  • Once Charlie goes into full power, the show gets dark.  Really dark.   People die, Janice almost gets raped (again), the body horror of being aged or having your face wiped…
  • I do love the sound of the Enterprise at full running noises.  Feels physical.


Two episodes in (by air date) and I don’t see the big difference between this and DSC.  (Tonally).   In this episode alone, 20 people die because they made the mistake of trying to help someone they thought was stranded.

Charlie doesn’t die, but his final goodbye of an echoing “Stay… Stay… Stay…” is haunting.

Janice gets assaulted, implies it’s not her first time around that particular block.

I say this not to be negative about TOS.  The opposite, I adore it.  I grew up watching these episodes.    But like a lot of Sci-Fi at the time (and now) it was dark!  The hope was often more implicit then explicitly stated.

Just the fact that humanity didn’t bomb itself out of existence and that there was a multi-racial crew was the biggest hope.

The story itself has lots of similarities to other scifi shows of the time, ranging from the Aliens rebuilding a human from The Cage, to the young child with god-like powers. (Twilight Zone episode with Bill Mumy and the cornfield.)  It’s a great story though, and very well done.  Charlie actually pulls off the innocence unknowing of a child given dangerous powers.  Kirk is very like Picard in his not wanting to deal with kids.