May 1, 2020
Star Trek “And the Children Shall Lead...” (part 1 of 5)
Summary: The starship Enterprise answers a distress call from a scientific colony, and upon arrival, Kirk and Co. find all of the adult colonists have committed suicide. Though the children have survived, they’re pretty blasé about the whole affair.
After several rounds of incoherent philosophical discussion between Kirk, Spock, and McCoy, we learn that a rather unimpressive manifestation of eeeeee-vil is controlling the children. In turn, the children use an especially mockable “gesture” to control the entire crew and turn them all into anal-retentive freaks.
Kirk and Spock are eventually able to overcome this mind control simply because they’re total badasses. Kirk then shows the kids some home movies, which causes their faces to become covered in glycerin. This breaks Evil’s spell, and everything instantly returns to normal. Unless you’re a Redshirt security guard, that is.
To celebrate the first anniversary of the Agony Booth (which was, um, about three weeks ago, actually. Sorry!), I decided it was a good time to pay tribute to the series that inspired the name and look of this website. And by “pay tribute”, I mean of course that I’ll be pointing out the weakest moments and most wrongheaded missteps of the entire Star Trek franchise here in a regular feature I’m calling The Worst of Trek.
The first piece of Crap Trekdom that I’ll be tackling is one of the lowest points of the original series, the episode “And the Children Shall Lead”. But readers shouldn’t take this as a statement on how I view the quality of the original series relative to its various spinoffs. Trust me, I’m well aware that there are plenty of terrible episodes of The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, Voyager, and Enterprise that are just as deserving of reviews. But I’m beginning with the first series because it’s the one that inspired everything that came after: the books, the cartoon, the movies, the spinoffs, and not least of all, this website.
I have to admit, however, that even though this is probably the worst episode of the original Star Trek, it’s a total cakewalk compared to what the later shows would eventually vomit onto an unsuspecting public. So you can rest assured that I will definitely get around to “Shades of Gray”, “Profit and Lace”, “Threshold”, and the abominable “A Night in Sickbay” all in good time.