Now that we’re back to this whole blogging thing, let’s talk about the episode Charlie X shall we?
In this episode of Star Trek, what Kirk describes as an “unusual” passenger arrives on board the Enterprise. Charlie is the sole survivor of a crash that occurred 14 years ago, when he was just three. He was picked up by a science probe called the Antares and was being delivered to the Enterprise so that he could be transported Alpha 5. At first, Charlie seems to be a not only clueless about human interaction due to the lack of human contact for most of his life, but also raging with hormones (both of which are understandable). Not only that, but he had his first crush on Janice Rand. Rand, on the other hand, wasn’t interested. Still, Charlie didn’t seem to understand boundaries and followed her around, slapped her on the ass, and otherwise behaved in an unacceptable manner. It turns out, however, that Charlie was more than a horny teenager who never learned about boundaries: as a three year old, he was rescued by Thasians – a race of alien previously believed to be the stuff of myth. The Thasians gave Charlie the ability to control things with his mind. Whenever Charlie didn’t get what he wanted, he could make things disappear. This, in turn, made him dangerous. The episode ended with the Thasians taking Charlie back.
It’s impossible to discuss this episode without mentioning that Charlie sexually assaulted Janice Rand. I want to give Charlie X props for making it clear that how Charlie behaved around Rand was not acceptable. While this episode made me uncomfortable for reasons I have trouble articulating, I at least appreciate the writers for making it clear that there was nothing ok about Charlie’s behavior. I’ve heard some things about some of the later episodes to suggest that sexual assault isn’t always treated well on Star Trek, so I want to commend the writers when I feel it’s deserved.
I also want to bring up Rand’s hair again. That hairdo seemed incredibly impractical for her job. And yeah, other female crewmembers had big hair, none of them seem to have hairdos anywhere near as elaborate as hers. It looks like it would take forever to do on a regular basis and it must be really hot.
And finally, I think it’s funny how Spock seems to always be right – I’ll confess that I watched some later episodes before sitting down to write this review of Charlie X and it’s true in those episodes as well. Spock seems to be able to see things that his human crewmates don’t seem to see.