And the Children Shall Lead
Kids! An evil non corporeal being! Space swords! How does one explain an episode that defies explanation? Summon John and Ken to find out as they put “And the Children Shall Lead” in the Mission Log.
Tags: And the Children Shall Lead, Melvin Belli, The Original Series, The Original Series Season 3, TOS
Trivia: Does this kid look familiar ? That’s right – he played Peter, the son of Kirk’s dead brother, Sam just a couple of episodes ago in “Space Madness – Operation Annihilate! at the end of season two.
In a scene cut from that episode Kirk and his nephew discuss having Peter returning to live on Deneva .
I guess we know what happened to him ???
If this episode were filmed a year later I would have imagined it to be influenced by the Manson Family murders, but that still wouldn’t have saved this.
Hi. Starting late on Mission Log, and am loving it. It’s become a constant companion… like in METAMORPHOSIS… Anyway, here’s a thought on AND THE CHILDREN… the Manson Family comment by CupidsArt is good because I think the production values aside, this episode is about the danger of cults. I remember in the 70’s how scared everyone was about cults and (though I was only 8) I suspect this was true in ’68 too. I do remember this being probably my most hated episode, yet it was effective for the young mind. I hated the chanting and when the “angel” turned ugly. For Christian believers this was serious business and Gorgan in his “shower curtain” came across as an angel. At the same time, the “power of positive thinking” business was highly suspect as a Godless doctrine that undermined the church teaching that you accomplished things through God’s grace and your faith. Whether you read this as a straight critique of cults and cult leaders with New Age ideologies, or as a parody of the fear of them, it sort of works on an emotional level (especially for kids). What Trek subtly does is take this prevalent fear and let Kirk overcome it and reveal it as just another incorporeal being — no gods, no angels. Even “devils” are folklore and ultimately nothing we humans can’t overpower (with human emotions!). It is an anti-myth message like that in WHO MOURNS. And it is one in so many dealing with incorporeal aliens and “esper’ powers — the power of the pure mind, “pure energy” aspect of our own beings. Arguably, Gorgan didn’t give these kids powers — he just showed them how to use them, albeit for vaguely evil intentions. Well, no. Really, just for ice cream.
Really good read on some of the underlying concerns of this episode, James. Still doesn’t quite redeem it, of course 😉
But, yes, the cult aspect of it, the whole idea of “mind control” and, in the end, using rationalism to beat the “ghost” – all classic Trek.
You guys have challenged your listeners to write in and defend this episode.
I want to know what “chocolate wobble” ice cream is like… AND we get to see what Melvin Belli would look like with fifth stage syphilis on his face…
There you go!
I think that about sums it up.
I love listening to you guys quote scripture. 🙂
In discussing the guest cast for this episode, I’m surprised you left out Pamelyn Ferdin. She had a very prolific career as a child actress, was the voice of Lucy in two Peanuts movies, Fern in the animated 1973 “Charlotte’s Web”, and was in “Space Academy” with Brian Tochi.
I didn’t know how disliked this episode was. While I agree it is on the poorer end of Star Trek episodes, it falls closer to the middle for me. To me, this episode makes a lot more sense if you look at it through a horror lens, gather than a science fiction one. In bare bones the story is that an ancient creature is able to seduce a group of children into murdering their parents and spreading his evil will by channeling his powers. The children play with the crew’s minds, implanting their deepest fears, until Captain Kirk is able to reach the children through the brainwash. The children are able to then cast off the enchanter’s influence. With no tether, the malevolent being rots away. Still, even with this lens, that doesn’t forgive its many flaws. However, all and all, this episode is so unapologetically extreme (murderous child cult??) I can’t help but enjoy it for entertainment’s sake.