Saturday, March 2, 2013

Star Trek: Miri

On the surface, Miri should be a good episode, but it isn't. Not by a long shot.

The Enterprise follows an "Earth-style" distress signal that leads them to a planet that is an exact duplicate of Earth, except this Earth has no clouds.
No explanation for Earth's twin is given or even discussed after the show's early moments. The logical reason behind their finding Earth's twin is that is gave them an excuse to use available sets on the studio back lots. 

Kirk, Spock, McCoy, Rand and 2 Red Shirts beam down and learn the planet's terrible secret--it is populated by really annoying children.
They meet Miri, who tells them that all of the grownups, aka "Grups," have died off due to some disease.
Apparently the Grups had been working on life prolongation and it really worked. The kids have lived for hundreds of years, but as soon as they reach puberty they are rapidly taken by the disease, as were all the Grups before them. Kirk and the entire landing party, except for Spock, contracts the disease and the race for the cure begins.

The kids eventually steal the communicators and even Yeoman Rand. Without the communicators, there is no way to contact the ship and access its computers. McCoy thinks he may have found the cure, something based on the Nitrogen Cycle (Really?!).  Without being able to use the communicators to check the results, Spock warns that the cure could be "a beaker full of death."
Silly Vulcan, doesn't he know the difference between beaker and an Erlenmeyer flask?
Thankfully, Miri also contracts the disease. This way Kirk can use her to get to the elusive kids to rescue Janice and the communicators. Unfortunately the scenes with the kids are really painful to watch.
In the end, McCoy finds the cure & even tests it on himself (he's just that awesome). The crew returns to the ship, but wisely leaves the kids behind on the planet (Well, they will be sending teachers and stuff). 
Best part of the episode? When they fly away from this story.
Ways this episode could have been improved:
Have McCoy playing with an electric guitar, instead of a trike. (Seriously, will someone Photoshop this?)
Re purpose the episode as an anti-tobacco PSA or after-school special.
Star Wars crossover with Biggs, Luke's best friend from A New Hope. Oh, wait. It's already been done.
I would include the link so that you could watch this episode online, but trust me, you really don't want to. If you really want to watch something, Five Year Mission's song for the episode is much better than the episode itself:

Next up, is Conscience of the King.

1 comment:

  1. By nitrogen cycle, I think he was referring to the urea/arginine/citrulline/NO cycle. I hope he was, anyway.

    I just watched this episode yesterday with my son because he was reading to me from The Enemy, a dystopian YA novel about a plague that turns everyone 16 or older into a zombie, and it reminded me of "Miri." I thought the scenes with the kids were an exploration of bent, traumatized, stuck people, and a parable of why immortality is not necessarily desirable. What bothered me most about the episode were the plot holes you could fly a shuttlecraft through:
    - Spock knew that the children taunted as a setup for traps. So when they heard the kids, they all ran out and left the lab unguarded? Really?
    - What happened to the redshirts for the better part of a week?
    - The Enterprise was up in orbit all that time. Would they do nothing for a week of no contact? They'd be tracking the crew's biosigns and know they were separated from their communicators, and they wouldn't send more?
    - They were IN THE BUILDING WITH THE RADIO THAT DREW THEM THERE. They didn't think to signal the Enterprise with that, when the communicators were stolen?

    All in all, I thought it was a decent episode in terms of the atmosphere, acting, and plot. But it's a bit ruined once you start thinking about it. And like you said, abandoning the children was pretty messed up. And they don't need teachers, they need therapists.