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Star Trek - Original Series The one that started it all...

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Old September 8 2012, 09:16 PM   #1
gomtuu20
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Acting in Charlie X

I have a 26 year old friend who, due to having two syndromes, will always be 11 years old mentally. I watched Charlie X last night and noticed many of the same characteristic in Charlie Evans that my friend has. I wonder if the actor that played Charlie had a friend like mine.

Specifics?: Difficult to pinpoint and put into words, but here are some:
1) When given the chance to be put in charge of anything, or anyone, my friend becomes a maniacal dictator. He behaves precisely as Charlie did in the second half of the episode.
2) Part of his syndromes is the constant need to draw attention to himself and to always make everthing about him.

Those characteristics match perfectly with Charlie's fictional character of being alone for 17 years, and having special powers. In any event, I thought the performance was spot on. I know that many people don't like this episode and even name it as one of the 10 worst, but I think it was brilliantly conceived, beautifully written, and effectively acted.

Shatner's performance was also top notch. He is completely believeable as a Starship Captain in this episode. He displays the toughness as a Captain to deal with a threat, but also shows compassion and empathy for a lonely 17 year old boy.

When Charlie made the guy in the gym dissapear, Kirk suddenly realized that he had a very serious threat to deal with. This was all communicated throught the expression on Shatner's face, with no dialogue. Shatner CAN act!
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Old September 8 2012, 10:53 PM   #2
Mr_Homn
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Re: Acting in Charlie X

People don't like this episode? I think it's a great episode.
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Old September 9 2012, 04:22 AM   #3
Matt S
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Re: Acting in Charlie X

Interesting thoughts on this, OP! Side note, I love this ep -
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Old September 9 2012, 02:43 PM   #4
SimpleLogic
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Re: Acting in Charlie X

I just am always reminded of a spoiled brat when I watch that episode. He just happens to have incredible powers on top of being an ingrate teenager.
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Old September 9 2012, 10:30 PM   #5
Neutral Zone
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Re: Acting in Charlie X

I've never thought to much of this episode, Charlie is a tedious spoilt brat that should've been beamed out into space.
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Old September 9 2012, 10:34 PM   #6
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Re: Acting in Charlie X

One of the many reasons I like this episode so much is it gave us more of a peek into the down-time hours of the enterprise crew. That kind of thing was kind of rare in TOS, especially after season one.

It's the first bottle episode in trek history, and it's a great one. We saw the Gymnasium for the first and only time, we saw the rarely shown recreation room, and the brig also made it's first appearance.

Shatner's on his A-game in this one, too. Great stuff.
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Old September 10 2012, 04:35 PM   #7
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Re: Acting in Charlie X

"Charlie X" is on of the very first episodes I recall seeing. It was Star Trek so I liked it, but for awhile I didn't think much about it. Now, though, I think it's a wonderful episode and for many of the reasons already stated by others.
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Old September 10 2012, 04:50 PM   #8
Doug Otte
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Re: Acting in Charlie X

gomtuu20, thanks for sharing the info about your friend. I've always enjoyed Charlie X, and Walker did a wonderful job portraying a child in a young man's body who'd never had the social environment which could have taught him to balance his own desires with the rest of society.

It's a shame we didn't get to see more of Walker or his father. Both of them were in relatively few films and TV series.
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Old September 11 2012, 01:29 AM   #9
gomtuu20
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Re: Acting in Charlie X

Uhura was kind of sexy too.
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Old September 11 2012, 01:35 AM   #10
gomtuu20
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Re: Acting in Charlie X

I read somewhere that the cast didn't like Walker. I don't know if it's true, but there seemed to be a definite disconnect between Charlie and crew. Seems like I also read somewhere (not sure where) that Walker remained intentionally distant from the rest of the cast because he thought it would help the character. I could be misremembering, or it could just be hype.
While I did enjoy some of comedic aspects of a trek later on, I can't help but wonder if it could have been more successful in it's first run if it had maintained the seriousness of this episode.
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Old September 12 2012, 10:04 PM   #11
ToddPence
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Re: Acting in Charlie X

gomtuu20 wrote: View Post
I read somewhere that the cast didn't like Walker. I don't know if it's true, but there seemed to be a definite disconnect between Charlie and crew. Seems like I also read somewhere (not sure where) that Walker remained intentionally distant from the rest of the cast because he thought it would help the character. I could be misremembering, or it could just be hype.
While I did enjoy some of comedic aspects of a trek later on, I can't help but wonder if it could have been more successful in it's first run if it had maintained the seriousness of this episode.
Grace Lee Whitney and Robert Walker appeared together at a convention back in 2005 and seemed to get on fabulously together.
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Old September 14 2012, 01:34 PM   #12
ssosmcin
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Re: Acting in Charlie X

gomtuu20 wrote: View Post
Shatner CAN act!
Shatner is an amazing actor who is always crapped on because of his trademark delivery and tendency to chew scenery. What people don't take the time to discoer is that he is incredibly talented and is full of subtle nuances that make every character he plays come alive. He didn't ham it up until later on in the series, usually when called for, but often because directors didn't give the proper guidence (and when he directs himself he's not that successful).

But give him a good director and you'll see him give a powerhouse performance. But, again, all most people think of is the Kevin Pollock imitation (which is what most people are imitating). If Shatner was actually a shitty actor, he wouldn't have gotten so much work. Also Emmys.

Grumble grumble.

As far as Walker getting along with the cast, I glommed this from Memory Alpha:

In her autobiography, Grace Lee Whitney mentions that Robert Walker (a method actor) completely avoided the cast on the set, trying to stay alone and "in character". "He explained to us when he arrived to the set that he wanted to remain alien and apart from us - and it worked. You can see it in his performance, a subtle yet persistent air of estrangement from the Enterprise crew, and indeed from the rest of humanity. His careful effort to stay in character added a convincing dimension to his performance." Furthermore, she adds, "It's impossible to imagine anyone else in the role - he captured the perfect balance, projecting vulnerability, innocence and horrfying menace all the same time. A lesser actor could not have handled the range and depth of the character." (The Longest Trek: My Tour of the Galaxy, pp. 98-99)
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Old September 14 2012, 04:35 PM   #13
E-DUB
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Re: Acting in Charlie X

Compare Charlie with Billy Mumy's character in the classic TZ episode "It's a good life".
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Old September 17 2012, 11:45 PM   #14
Delta Vega
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Re: Acting in Charlie X

I think Robert Walker is brilliant in Charlie X.

He played "Different" extremely well
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Old September 17 2012, 11:57 PM   #15
Lt. Zanne
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Re: Acting in Charlie X

gomtuu20 wrote: View Post
Uhura was kind of sexy too.
yes~ I liked Uhura and Spocks flirtation in this episode. I liked when she was sassy.
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