Vincent McEveety directed this episode from a wheelchair as he had recently broken his leg.
At four letters, "Miri" is the shortest episode title in the original series. It's also the only one shown in italicized type on the screen.
After being shown in 1970, Miri was not shown on the BBC again until the 1990 because it, along with "The Empath", "Whom Gods Destroy" and "Plato's Stepchildren" were considered to deal "most unpleasantly with the already unpleasant subjects of madness, torture, sadism and disease."
As they explore a man appears, attacking the group before collapsing and dying. He is horribly disfigured by some strange disease. The security officers with the landing party see another figure running into a building. They chase the figure down, finding a terrified teenage girl who calls herself Miri. She calls the landing party "Grups", a contraction of "grown ups", and states that Grups are dangerous and violent. Apparently almost the adults on the planet are dead and long gone, but Miri reveals that there are still some youngsters alive and in hiding. The grown ups died of the same affliction as the man they encountered earlier, becoming angry and violent, leaving the children terrified of any adult.
As they continue to investigate the planet the members of the landing party begin to develop the same purple sores on their own bodies - they are all infected with whatever killed the adults on the planet. The lone exception is Spock, whose Vulcan physiology apparently makes him immune. They search an old hospital for clues to the illness, and gradually the truth emerges - the population of the planet engaged in an experiment to prolong their lives almost indefinitely. However, something went wrong. In adults, the project created the illness which led to disfigurement, violence and death. They realise that all this happened some three centuries ago - the children survive because in them the life prolongation project works perfectly, slowing their ageing to a crawl. But despite this the children do still age, and as each one reaches puberty the effect turns into the deadly condition which killed all the other adults on the planet.
As the landing party works to devise a cure, the children discuss what to do about the "Grups" and the threat they represent. They steal their communicators, cutting them off from the support of the medical staff on the ship and so making the search for a cure far more difficult. Miri at first remains with them, developing a crush on Kirk. But when she sees Kirk comforting a distraught Janice Rand, Miri becomes jealous and sneaks away to talk with her friends. She convinces them to kidnap Rand in order to get rid of the woman she sees as competition.
Miri goes back to the landing party and is confronted by Kirk. He pressures her to help them further, revealing the truth that the children are all doomed to die as they turn into the Grups that they so fear. To emphasise the point he shows Miri that she is already starting to develop the purple scabs herself.
Miri takes Kirk to see the other children. He tries to explain the situation to them, though they at first refuse to listen and even attack him. Eventually Kirk manages to convince them that their way of life cannot last much longer, pointing out that the attack on him proves that the older children are already starting to become violent as they hit puberty. They finally agree and surrender to Kirk.
Back at the hospital McCoy manages to create a cure for the disease. Without the computer assistance from the Enterprise he has little choice but to test it on himself. Fortunately it works, and the children and landing party are all restored to normal. Back on the ship Kirk requests that Starfleet send some support to help the children so that they can finally grow up and begin the long process of reclaiming their planet.
Outside that, the story isn't up to much. The idea of a life prolongation project wiping out the adults and leaving the children is kind of an interesting concept, but it leaves us dealing with a bunch of kids for the episode, and that's rarely a good thing. Seeing Miri crushing on Kirk, and Kirk practically encouraging it, is more than a bit creepy to modern eyes, whilst the scenes with the kids are a typical adult view of how kids behave.
All in all then, not a good episode. But it's kind of awkward and ultimately pointless, considering that they never really do anything with it. Later we would see planets which had societies that paralleled Earth societies for one reason or another, which is pretty unlikely in itself, but they always had the good sense to put them on alien planets that had compatible environments to Earth without being identical. planet being identical to Earth doesn't feature at all in the plot outside of that first scene
|© Graham & Ian Kennedy||Page views : 38,825||Last updated : 16 Jun 2013|