EPISODE EIGHT: Miri
If you put Dickens’ gang of unruly children (or the crew of Lord of the Flies) and mix in a liberal dose of post-apocalyptic, vaguely zombi-fied adults (think 28 Days Later) and dump them on a perfect copy of 1960’s Earth, then you get Miri. Kirk and Co. pick up a distress signal and find a carbon copy of Earth (which is really the most remarkable element of the episode…but never really dealt with; here are some helpful explanations from the internet) on which a plague has wiped out the entire adult population, leaving only children running around.
The plague turns anyone hitting adolescence into a crazed zombie-esque creature, but extends life to a “you age 1 month every 100 years” so all the kids are super old, but still act like idiots. This episode actually had me demanding that Kirk start punching children…they were bludgeoning him at one point and I just wanted him to start kicking heads. Anyway, the kids want to stop the crew from curing the plague (which they’re now infected with) but Miri, the girl the crew has met and dealing with is in love with Kirk (leading to a typically awkward Kirk “rage hug” after emphatically proving a point). They cure it, leave the kids to rebuild society and head on their merry way (still not acknowledging there’s a COPY OF EARTH just out there) but what this episode is really most notable for is the final real performance of Yeoman Rand, who basically disappears until the movies after this.
This episode finally brought the Kirk/Rand love story to the surface, with her admitting she’s been trying to catch the Captain’s eye, and him having to rescue her from the kids (Miri is also jealous that Kirk clearly digs her). I was so pumped that this story was finally getting some play, that I IMDBed her, only to learn that she was let go around this time because she limited Kirk’s romantic options quite considerably (early on I did note how strange it was that he was less woman-izy than I was lead to believe by pop culture jokes). A disappointingly abrupt ending to a really nice underlying story. Ah well.
All-in-all, kind of a dull episode; it gives Kirk another chance to convince people with logic (but after murderous robots, the kids are kinda weak sauce) and though the post-apocalyptic 60’s locale is a nice change of pace from sytrofoam planets, it’s a little bit wasted on this episode. Though I don’t know that we’d have the Fallout series without it.