How did the children eat?

Discussion in 'Star Trek - The Original & Animated Series' started by SignGuyHPW, Sep 27, 2013.

  1. SignGuyHPW

    SignGuyHPW Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    I just re-watched "Miri" again and this has always bugged me. The children had been frowing at the rate of one month for every year for many, many years without really advancing past childhood. The Enterprise crew while trying to cure the disease that killed the adults also determined that there were only 6 months worth of food saved. What always bothered me is that they make a huge point about how this disease was caused by a failed experiment and killed the adults quickly. If that's the case then how did they have the foresight to have saved hundreds of years worth of food. I'm guessing the children weren't sophisticated enough to have learned how to learn farming, butchering, fishing, etc on their own. Plus, since there were only some close to adolecence at a time I doubut cooking was a skill that got taught too much. How did the children manage to eat for all of those years?
     
  2. Mytran

    Mytran Commodore Commodore

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    Similar to in John Wyndham's "Day of the Triffids" I imagine - lots and lots of canned food!
     
  3. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Cannibalism?
     
  4. SignGuyHPW

    SignGuyHPW Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    I don't think that's it. There didn't seem to be a huge number of them and I don't think that's something children would consider really. Even if they ate the other children when they dropped dead of the disease it looks like they were emaciated so there'd not be much meat for them.
     
  5. ZapBrannigan

    ZapBrannigan Commodore Commodore

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    I say it was a combination of canned food and a greatly reduced need for calories due to the disease itself, which slowed their metabolisms as drastically as it slowed their aging process.
     
  6. bbailey861

    bbailey861 Admiral Premium Member

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    That and foraging. They would have supplemented canned goods with whatever they could find growing during the right seasons. Who knows, maybe they even hunted or trapped small game. Hunger is a strong motivator.
     
  7. Ssosmcin

    Ssosmcin Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    The implication was that there was still food left. Kirk mentioned, during his speech on what is to come for them, that soon there will be no more food, maybe 6 months worth still left.

    Perhaps the Grups, knowing their time was finite, prepared an overstock of preserved, canned food for the onlies.
     
  8. TREK_GOD_1

    TREK_GOD_1 Commodore Commodore

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    Interesting theory. It seems possible--unless the disease overwhelmed the population so fast, it prevented any sort of response time.
     
  9. SignGuyHPW

    SignGuyHPW Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    The implication was that the disease comes quickly and starts affecting the mind so I can't see them stocking that much food that would last for that long.
     
  10. Shon T'Hara

    Shon T'Hara Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    You could interpret Kirk's line to mean the older children are hunting and gathering to provide food for the younger children now that the preserved foods are almost gone, and once the older children die the younger ones will be SOL.
     
  11. JirinPanthosa

    JirinPanthosa Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    What bothers me more about the episode is the way that after hundreds of years, the children are still children. You'd think after a while they'd be adults in childrens' bodies. Unless you want to make the brain development argument.
     
  12. Commishsleer

    Commishsleer Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Maybe society has a lot to do with it. With no examples of adults around they might have arrested development. Still I think they would be different from normal children. I can't really see a four year old still acting the same after 300 years, no matter what the environment. Maybe the disease also stopped their mental development?

    In regards to the food, with say at least 90% of the population wiped out - all adults, teenagers and the very young eventually I just can't see them surviving on canned food. Unless the town they lived in was a distribution centre for canned goods and had a big warehouse full of them.
    Maybe the only kids who didn't starve were in farming communities where the kids knew how to plant each year.
    I can see how these 20 or so kids might be the only ones left. Disease, fighting, accidents, starvation, shock may have killed off everyone else in 300 years.
     
  13. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    From the episode I got the impression that the children were in a medium sized city at least. If they were eating canned goods from stores, restaurants and private homes that would hold them for decades. Occasional moving on to the next city or town.

    And there did not seem to be very many of them, so maybe the illness killed off a lot of the children too, except those with some kind of immunity that protected them through to puberty.

    :)
     
  14. David.Blue

    David.Blue Commander Red Shirt

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    Actually your nervous system grows, the same way your body does. Your brain literally doesn't take its final form until around age twenty.

    This was a major topic of conversation elsewhere, on a board devoted to Let The Right One In a book/pair of movies/now two stage plays about a child vampire. Folks did a lot of research to show children literally do not think the way adults do, and has little to do with amount of experience. Not that experience doesn't have an impact of course.
     
  15. scotpens

    scotpens Vice Admiral Admiral

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    It was necessary to do research? That's like doing research to prove that shit stinks.
     
  16. GSchnitzer

    GSchnitzer Co-Executive Producer Moderator

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    Here's some content from the Final Draft script of "Miri" by Adrian Spies, dated August 12, 1966:

    KIRK
    (after a pause)
    Now tell me – how long ago did it happen, how long ago did all the grups die?

    MIRI
    (reluctantly)
    Three – hundred – years…the onlies mark down all the hots and colds at a secret place… it’s not much fun…
    (quickly, childishly, trying to recover )
    But it wasn’t like that!... We just went on – being onlies…

    KIRK
    I understand.

    MIRI
    (frantic not to seem old to him)
    We just had – foolies…
    (getting up, forcing a big grin)
    If we were hungry, we just took something… there are lots of mommies and cans.

    KIRK
    Mommies?

    MIRI
    Can opener things.
    (a beat)
    Can opener is a dumb word. We found a kind of fresh word, maybe…
    (another beat, a little giggle, also sly)
    Mommies… that’s what we call the can openers, mommies…
    (to all of them, a smile that is a very sad thing)
    You get it?
    (they all nod. They get it)
    But mostly – mostly it was fun, foolies…
    (the smile more frantic)
    After all, with no grups to say no, what else would onlies do, anyway?
     
  17. ZapBrannigan

    ZapBrannigan Commodore Commodore

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    Thanks, Greg. The final episode was very good, but it didn't convey the depth of tragedy in emotional terms the way Adrian Spies apparently envisioned.
     
  18. FormerLurker

    FormerLurker Commodore Commodore

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    I take it that's a deleted scene. It's very similar to a scene in the James Blish adaptation that is one of the differences between the adaptation and the episode as aired. As such it explains a lot, not only about the Onlies' situation, but about the mindset in the '60s and how the studio and the network would have not wanted the audience to be exposed to what is really a very downer element of the children being left alone.
     
  19. teacake

    teacake Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    What I never understood is how remaining a child physically for years and years means you remain a child mentally. Doesn't years of experience add up over time? Wouldn't you grow in understanding and capability just from practice at taking care of your food needs? Just because you are a child doesn't mean you can't learn how to plant and fish, given time.
     
  20. GSchnitzer

    GSchnitzer Co-Executive Producer Moderator

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    Yes, that scene doesn't appear in the episode as aired. (The Alchemist might be able to tell us if that scene was even shot.) And indeed, this "can openers are called 'mommies'" scene is something from the script that actually made it into James Blish's adaptation of "Miri" in the old Star Trek 1 episode adaptations book.