A Guest Blog by Mindless-Droid
This week’s classic Star trek episode is Charlie X. The Enterprise picks up a unique passenger from the cargo ship Antares. Charlie Evans is the sole survivor of a ship crash on the planet Thasus. Charlie’s ship had crashed when he was just three years old. Now an adolescent Charlie tries to adjust to life around other people. At first Charlie seems like just another teenager trying to fit in but strange things begin to happen including the destruction of the Antares. The Enterprise crew soon learn that Charlie has extraordinary powers that allow him to do whatever his mind wishes.
This episode is pretty much an absolute power corrupts absolutely story. Then you throw in the fact that Charlie is a teenager and he has been alone for most of his life compounds his issues. I like the subtle way they show Charlie’s powers when he comes aboard the Enterprise as the Antares crew are both eager to leave and are then saying how wonderful a boy Charlie is. Then we have the hint that he knew something happened to the other ship before Spock scanned it and found nothing but debris.
Charlie is inability to control his power gets the best of him whether it is being laughed at in the gym, people not being “nice” or when Yeoman Rand rejects his advances. Charlie becomes embolden by his power but Kirk who is something of a father figure to the boy theorizes that Charlie’s power may have limits and he may be over taxing himself when he takes control of the ship. As Kirk confronts him and an alien ship appears it is the Thasians from the planet Charlie crashed on, The Thasians gave Charlie the power so he could survive and had not realized he had gone. They were unable to help the Antares but have restore the ship and crew of the Enterprise. The Thasians say they will take Charlie home with them. Charlie pleads with Kirk to let him stay as he does not want to live with the alien Thasians but the Thasians fearing he will be unable to control his power take him from the Enterprise Bridge.
Robert Walker who played Charlie did an excellent job of making Charlie out to be menacing and at the same time innocent and in the end you even feel for him as he pleads to stay on the Enterprise. You feel sorry for him as the Thasians take him from the bridge as his pleas to stay fade away.
Some bits of trivia. This episode is one of six that take place entirely on the Enterprise. This is the only episode that features the ships gymnasium. In the re-mastered episode the Antares is modeled after the grain ships from the animated series episode More Tribbles, More Troubles. There were several red shirts harmed in this episode but they were made whole by the Thasians in the end.