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-   -   Episode of the Week : Charlie X (http://www.trekbbs.com/showthread.php?t=239182)

Botany Bay February 28 2014 08:07 AM

Episode of the Week : Charlie X
 
Each week we're having a look at a TOS episode, going through the series in production order. Please rate the episode out of ten, and have your say below. As usual, I'll record the scores so we can rank TOS in order of popularity when we finally get through them all.


This week : Charlie X

Runetouch February 28 2014 11:50 AM

Re: Episode of the Week : Charlie X
 
7.5. Rounding it off, I get 8.

Use of Time February 28 2014 12:57 PM

Re: Episode of the Week : Charlie X
 
I'll give it a solid 8. Charlie was a creepy character and I liked the way they played up the Kirk "father figure" aspect of the story.

BillJ February 28 2014 01:14 PM

Re: Episode of the Week : Charlie X
 
I give it a 7. Solid outing. Though it is my wife's favorite episode of Star Trek.

2takesfrakes February 28 2014 02:10 PM

Re: Episode of the Week : Charlie X
 
I ranked it as #8. Though not without its problems, it is a strong episode. What I found particularly effective was when Kirk starts, rather hesitantly and unenthusiastically, to try to defend Charlie to the aliens who've come back for him. Even going so far as to say that the boy should "be with his own kind." Charlie, of course freaking out and everything. I don't know why I liked that so much. I guess because it does show the kind of leader that Kirk is. He has every reason to want Charlie off his ship and wrapped in heavy chains, but instead, tries to show mercy, however futile he knows this might be.

Ssosmcin February 28 2014 02:24 PM

Re: Episode of the Week : Charlie X
 
"When I came aboard!!!!!"

Sorry, someone had to say it...

Not a favorite. The rec room scene goes on FAR too long and Uhura gets not one, but two AWFUL songs to warble. For better use of her talents, I prefer The Conscience of the King.

Otherwise, it's really just a Star Trek remake of The Twilight Zone's "It's a Good Life" or a coming of age version of WNMHGB. Good performances and some really chilling stuff (the faceless woman is right out of Rod Serling's bag of tricks). I give it a 5 for chills, but otherwise, as the second episode aired, it falls far short of what I tune into Star Trek to see.

Trivia: this is the only episode of the series proper not to use a single clip of the "series" Enterprise model. All shots of the ship are from the two pilots.

mach7 February 28 2014 08:58 PM

Re: Episode of the Week : Charlie X
 
I give it a 7.

Great episode for Kirk and Rand.

But it kind of drags, It feels to me like it could have used another re-write.

Also, it's kind of an odd Star Trek story, As said before More of Twilight Zone episode.

scotpens February 28 2014 09:13 PM

Re: Episode of the Week : Charlie X
 
Quote:

ssosmcin wrote: (Post 9303382)

Not a favorite. The rec room scene goes on FAR too long and Uhura gets not one, but two AWFUL songs to warble. For better use of her talents, I prefer The Conscience of the King.

I like the rec room scene with Uhura singing. It's part of the byplay and banter among the regular cast that we saw early in the first season, which fleshed out the characters and made them more human.

Warped9 March 1 2014 12:32 AM

Re: Episode of the Week : Charlie X
 
I give it an 8.

I can't say with certainty this is first, but this episode is among my earliest recollections of seeing Star Trek on television. And over the years I've heard a lot of people dump on this episode, but whenever I watch I find myself liking it on some levels.

Firstly there's early TOS' execution which is often quite good. The performances are also usually there. And perhaps on some level I can identify just enough with Charlie because I was about eleven years old when I first saw this. Even after all these years I find this is one story with a youth in it that doesn't make me cringe and gag.

That said if there's anything that really dates this story it's seeing the Enterprise crew struggle with trying to explain the facts of life to young Charlie---it's very much of its time since this was a subject matter that was dicey to dance around on television of that era.

It would be easy to play it safe and just give this a fair rating, but in all honesty I find myself liking it a little more than that.

The Old Mixer March 1 2014 01:12 AM

Re: Episode of the Week : Charlie X
 
It has its cringeworthy aspects, but is generally entertaining with a good early Season 1 vibe. It was creepier the first time with Bill Mumy. (Did Charlie send his victims to the same cornfield...?)

Pauln6 March 1 2014 01:41 AM

Re: Episode of the Week : Charlie X
 
The super-powered human comes a bit too fast on the heels of WNMhgb but I like this episode. The Rec Deck scene is fun, Charlie is both creepy, dangerous, and sympathetic - where is the ship's counselor when they actually need one for a change? :P

The special effects in the episode are some of my strongest early memories of Trek. Uhura gets a fun scene and it is probably Rand's meatiest episode, although I wish they had credited the woman (or pretty much any woman in TOS) with a bit more common sense.

The Old Mixer March 1 2014 02:03 AM

Re: Episode of the Week : Charlie X
 
Troi would have been in the cornfield before the second commercial break!

Push The Button March 1 2014 02:44 AM

Re: Episode of the Week : Charlie X
 
Charlie had no redeeming qualities, he was just a cruel monster in my opinion. I give the episode a seven, it was made with lots of that great Season One special sauce that made it memorable.

A great performance by Grace Lee Whitney, plus it contains that famous Gene Roddenberry voice cameo.

Warped9 March 1 2014 03:28 AM

Re: Episode of the Week : Charlie X
 
Charlie was an interesting kind of monster. he was a 17 year old without any human guidance whatsoever. He was obviously quite curious about so many things ye he knew nothing about relating to others. in some respects he was quite similar to some teenagers who can be incredibly self-absorbed, but those kids don't have the power to make their annoyances vanish or melt into a puddle. Couple that with a lack of impulse control that quite a few teenagers can experience.

Botany Bay March 1 2014 03:51 AM

Re: Episode of the Week : Charlie X
 
There is a terrific little scene at the start of the episode where Kirk asks McCoy to provide Charlie with an adult role model, and McCoy tries to get out of it by suggesting Charlie needs a strong role model like Kirk. Kirk then shoots him down, telling him that flattery will get him nowhere. The look on Kelley's face is just priceless. A really nice bit of acting between Shatner and Kelley.

If you look at the scene where Kirk is explaining why Janice didn't like Charlie slapping her on the backside, Kirk is wearing his standard uniform when he's summoned to the bridge for the Antares distress call. He tells Uhura he's on his way, and when he exits the turbolift, he's suddenly wearing his green wrap!

Speaking of the Antares, is Captain Ramart a bit of a coward? To offload Charlie onto a ship with 430 people doesn't seem very Starfleet. Or was the Antares not part of the fleet? It's hard to tell in these early episodes. I suppose you could argue Charlie's control of the Antares and its crew was total, and the only time he could warn Kirk was via a distress call when Charlie was 'out of range' or distracted.


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