Charlie X
Episode

03

Charlie X

Working an equation where X = an adolescent male who’s never seen another living person. Throw in superhuman powers and there’s a real problem to address on this week’s Mission Log!

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Discussion

  • Will Wright

    What happens in the turbolift stay’s in the turbolift ? See Kirk’s shirt change ! http://nitcentral.com/nitclips/2010/05/23/53-what-happens-in-the-turbolift/

  • Trivia : 1967 – When James Blish adapted Star Trek’s scripts into “short stories” novels, this Episode was the 1st to be written, and was titled “Charlie’s Law.”
    A total of 7 Episodes were adapted in Volume One.
    Sales of these books were strong despite the poor review.

  • Coupon: The Movie

    I think you’re right about the “poor little rich kid” analogy. I didn’t understand that being from the South where pretty much everyone’s poor but then I moved to Los Angeles and for a year, I was able to live in one of the very elitist suburbs just outside the Valley were everyone’s kids acted like Charlie but even more unlikable and arrogant. Now when I watch this episode, it makes me think of that kid in Santa Barbara that went on a shooting spree a year or two ago. He was a rich kid who’s parents gave him everything material wise but absolutely no guidance or emotional support. He was Charlie X with an assault rifle instead of super powers.

  • Low Mileage Pit Woofie

    The image of that crewman without a face haunted me as a child. Definite Kindertrauma material 🙂

  • Just 4 you John- The CBS / Columbia House VHS title card.

  • August

    Another great discussion! Really appreciated the perspective of societal adolescence — nicely reviewed.

    I am listening in production order, so this is my 8th episode. Much as I like the show there always seems to me to be one or two nit-picky things you go after that are just wrong. In this episode it was the comment that Uhura was just an operator and wouldn’t run diagnostics on her own equipment. I’m guessing neither of you guys was ever deployed in the military, which is pretty much what Starfleet is, and I can guarantee you that a radio officer can and regularly does take apart their equipment and reassemble it. This story is by Roddenberry who served in the military. If that isn’t evidence enough for you, in a future episode (The Tholian Web if I remember right) Spock checks on Uhura when she is doing just that and comments to her “I cannot think of anyone more capable for the task.” That is actually why her uniform was changed from gold to red — she is not command personnel, she is an engineer.

    Speaking of redshirts, by now I’ve heard you joke several times about a character who will die by referring to them as “_____ who might as well have been a redshirt.” I wonder if you’ve realized that the only reason you can keep making that joke is that so far, of all of the people who have died, NONE of them have been redshirts?

    You guys are pretty normal. I’m thinking that because of that you don’t quite get a lot of the appeal of Trek’s audience since many of us relate to Trek because we are not normal. I have Asperger’s and find that I relate to Charlie (and often Spock) on a profound level. So while you seem to find the message of Charlie X as somewhat trivial it is actually very impacting and important to those of us who have needed an acknowledgment of what it is like to be not normal, and what some of the consequences can be. Again, while you touched on the message, you trivialize it because it seems a bit silly to normal folks. But for myself, there is a message that normal people can treat less normal people with acceptance as the Enterprise crew does Charlie, but it is incumbent upon us X’s to receive that acceptance even tho we do not easily understand or relate to the way normal folks interact.

    I guess it seems to me that when you judge these episodes as to whether they still stand up today, you are judging whether they stand up for normal people and not the “infinitely diverse” type of folks they originally appealed to.

    None the less, greatly appreciating your work here! Looking forward to hearing more

  • August

    Great discussion! However, your comment that Uhura wouldn’t be in the habit of, much less have the skill to maintain her communications board is at least a bit ignorant as well as a bit insulting. I’m guessing neither of you served in the armed forces as communications personnel, because that is exactly what they do. Any unit far distant from command HQ has communications as one of it’s highest priorities. And to say that Uhura is nothing more than a telephone operator… well, I’ll restrain myself. I’ll just quote Spock: “I can think of no one better equipped to handle it, Miss Uhura.”

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/2a41a07a08d169e854c7e9ad7c0bd917f2cd333a47399edc4ca29e355b2f9e6b.jpg