Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Star Trek--"Miri"

“Miri” is further proof Trek does not do children well. It is difficult to tell whether the children, with their “bonk, bonk, blah, blah” dialogue is the worst element of the episode or if it is the undressed plot holes. Maybe it is the somewhat disturbing idea that Miri, though much older than she looks, is still a child with a crush on kirk. We will have to work through this and decide.

The Enterprise answers an Earth-like distress signal and discovers it is coming from a planet virtually identical to Earth. I imagine ths is a budget saving solution, but gene Roddenberry could not leave it at that. He had the idea every planet with a human population would develop exactly like Earth. the result here is not as bad as in “The Omega Glory,” but is still a cring worthy, unnecessary idea. We know the studio wanted to save money on sets. Just leave it at that.

The planet is populated by children who are actually much older than they seem. The planet has been ravaged by a plague that slows aging drastically, but kills upon adulthood. The kids do not care much. They are more interested in playing silly games real children would more than likely find mind numbingly boring. I have already commented on the silly dialogue. One wonders if the screenwriter was ever a kid himself. I bet he suffered eternal wedgies from his classmates. Too bad he never read Lord of the Flies, either, or the children’s savage behavior living in a society without adults would have been more realistic as opposed to inane.

The landing party naturally contracts the plaque, too. The effects are quite disturbingly disfiguring. That is about the only decent part of “Miri.” there is a definite tension in the race against time for a cure. Being the miracle worker that he is, McCoy manages to find a vaccine just in the nick of time. An entire planet full of scientific minds were unable to do so before being wiped out. Talented guy, that McCoy.

A subplot about the children running out of food is present, but is never part of the tension. In fact, it is never openly addressed. The audience is lefted to assume the problem has been fixed when Federation babysitters arrive to take care of the children. Speaking of, the children were all kids of the cast and crew, including Lisabeth, the daughter of William Shatner. She is the little girl he holds up after being mobbed by the rest of the little brats. That is about the only point of interest in “Miri.”

Rating: ** (out of 5)

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