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Old July 4 2013, 12:58 AM   #10
Location: Los Angeles
Re: JoeD's TOS rambling review thread

Charlie X (by D. C. Fontana/story Gene Roddenberry)
Music - Fred Steiner
Effects - Howard Anderson Co.)
[I realized that the first version of the compendium lists the credits this way
too; I guess I subconsciously thought of it.]

On ABCD scale I will give this a one a C. I enjoyed parts of it, but overall - well let's talk!

Since I mentioned the effects company, I will point out that I liked the look of the ship and planet in the first episode (yes I am watching the original effects here.) This week was a bit odd - Captain Kirk mentions being alongside the Antares, there's a cut to an outside view, and we only see the Enterprise. The Thasian ship is kind of a wavy green thing, although I thought it was effective at being alien that way. Also the effects inside the ship - the melting chess pieces, the card tricks that Charlie does - there were none! Just camera cutting from the scene and back to it and it's done. I know budget affects these things, but it seemed noticeable to me.

On to characters -

I am pretty sure I heard Sulu's voice there when Kirk calls for security.

I like the way Rand is in this episode; she tries to remain as friendly and strong as she can be with Charlie, and going out of her way to try and help him out by introducing him to another girl; but he's an obsessive teenager and I thought that was a fairly effective part of the story analyzing the kind of attitudes people have of thinking they deserve what they want.

Kirk had a good line to him later in the episode "Charlie there are a million things you can have in this world and a million things you can't. It's no fun facing that fact but it's there." Kirk had effective scenes as he tries to bond with Charlie. I really am liking the Kirk character quite a bit already. He really tried to get Captain Ramart to stay for some entertainment or at least a drink (Saurian Brandy!) Of course the other Captain was hoping to escape...

Charlie's power seems to be limited to making things disappear, but he uses it to have the Antares explode. I guess he's a bit telepathic and can make things appear too? I am thinking of the scene where he produces a bottle of perfume for Rand and making the turkeys in the oven.

Spock and McCoy really come off as old buddies in this episode! The way they are casually arguing on the bridge and needling each other about emotions and science I thought was very good at conveying their characters.

Also the Uhura/Spock interplay continues here with Uhura's song. I enjoyed it a bit but this brings me to me issues:

The episode seems to be a collection of scenes that are not necessarily strongly tied together; lots of good moments, but the crew the whole time is powerless and are only saved because the Thasians come in and tell Charlie to stop. The characters just become observers instead of acting to solve the issue in the end. And everything that disappears comes back in the end, meaning not much consequence for our main characters (except the poor Antares crew!) I did like Kirk's final plea for Charlie though when he says he deserves to live with his own kind.

I did think the story had some good ideas - looking at adolescence, the way it's dealt with, and whether young people deserve chances or not when they are causing ill things to happen.

I enjoyed seeing some more parts of the Enterprise; since there wasn't a planet in this episode. The gym set is fun if a bit sparse. I like the way the monitors on the sick-bay beds look.

The act breaks were a little weird. e.g., the Antares blows up - a dramatic moment. Then the turkeys appear in the ovens - and that's what goes before commercial. Maybe just my preference but it struck me as odd. I recall the teaser ending in a strange place too.

I love Fred Steiner's music. Reminds me of TNG Ron Jones' - very noticeable powerful stuff. (I've seen TNG more recently than TOS so that style of music is fresh in my mind.)

Last edited by JoeD80; July 4 2013 at 02:04 AM.
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