SCORE: (3/5 stars)
In accordance with Hodgkin’s Law of Parallel Planetary Development (also known as the Producer’s Law of Not Spending Money We Don’t Have), the Enterprise finds a very familiar planet. Its atmosphere, mass, shape, and terrain all seem to match, shoreline for shoreline, our good old planet Earth. In fact, up to about 300 years ago, the planet seemed to have an identical progression to us. But something happened, and all the adults have vanished, leaving behind nothing but children. The landing party of Kirk, Spock, McCoy, Rand (and two lucky redshirts who get to die another day) beam down to the trashed set of the Andy Griffith Show and encounter a teenage girl by the name of Miri. She is initially fearful of the “grups,” but Kirk manages to convince her that they are her friends and don’t intend to harm her. She quickly takes a liking to the captain, but begins to recoil in fear when blue scabs begin forming on first Kirk’s skin, then the others save Spock.
McCoy makes the best use of the facilities he can find on the planet, with a few extra supplies beamed down to aid, and he determines that there’s a mutated virus that lays dormant until post-pubescence. More importantly, however, is that it also slows the aging process by several orders of magnitude. These children roaming the streets are hundreds of years old. The scientists of this planet were developing a fountain of youth and ended up killing themselves off for it. But before he’s able to develop a cure, the local children, or the “Onlies” as they call themselves, steal their communicators. Without communication to the ship, McCoy’s research can’t be verified, and the potential cure he’s developed could be “a beaker full of death.”
Miri sees how Rand interacts with Kirk and becomes jealous, so she decides to go back to the Onlies, and helps them kidnap Rand. Kirk attempts to get Miri to lead him to her, saying they’re only trying to help, and attempts to convince her that this virus will affect every single one of them eventually, so it’s in all their best interests to have it cured. He even shows her a blue scab she’s beginning to form as proof of this. She leads him to the Onlies, where after receiving a savage beating (“BONK BONK!”) from a bunch of children, he manages to give an impassioned plea to return the communicators so that not only his crew can be saved, but all the children. They relent. Of course, none of that matters, because McCoy took it upon himself to try the cure anyway, and it works. A medical team is left on the parallel Earth to care for the children, with more people coming later. And so the Enterprise continues on its course, giving little thought to the fact that right behind them is AN EXACT PARALLEL OF THE PLANET EARTH, HUNDREDS OF LIGHT YEARS FROM HOME. COME ON, EXAMINE THIS A LITTLE MORE CLOSELY!
- Why does Spock just stand by and let Kirk beat the crap out of their first contact to this planet, when all he would have to do to subdue the man was nerve pinch him?
- Why does Kirk tell Spock to engage warp? He’s at the science station, not the helm.
- Spock: Spheroid shaped. Circumference, twenty four thousand, eight hundred seventy-four miles. Mass, six times ten to the twenty-first power tons. Mean density, five point five one seven. Atmosphere, oxygen-nitrogen.
Kirk: Not the Earth… another Earth. Another Earth!
- Rand: Eternal childhood full of play and no responsibilities. Almost like a dream.
Kirk: Wouldn’t examine that dream too closely, Yeoman. Might not turn out to be too pretty.
- Rand: Miri, she really loved you, you know.
Kirk: Yes. I never get involved with older women, Yeoman.