"Miri", Ep. 12 - After beaming down to a planet that's identical to Earth, Kirk, Spock, McCoy and a landing party find a decaying 20th century city inhabited only by diseased "ancient children." "The Conscience of the King," Ep. 13 - There's a mass murderer aboard the U.S.S. Enterprise! Kirk beams up a man he believes to be Krodos the Executioner, thought to have died 20 years ago.
The continuing adventures of the starship Enterprise
, as recorded for posterity on DVD, move into their sixth volume with a very interesting pair of shows from the original series. "Miri," one of the most popular episodes, featured a couple of soon-to-be-semi-icons from two very different kinds of films from the late 1960s: Michael J. Pollard (who would appear in Bonnie and Clyde
) and Kim Darby (John Wayne's costar in True Grit
). The intriguing story concerns a race of children on an Earth-like planet who are in fact 300 years old, kept pristine in the summer of their lives by a disease that also causes madness and death with the onset of adulthood. The Enterprise
's landing party, including Captain Kirk (William Shatner), Mr. Spock (Leonard Nimoy), and Dr. McCoy (DeForest Kelley), are instantly contaminated and forced to remain on the planet until McCoy can find an antidote. In the meantime, Darby's character, Miri, falls for Kirk and becomes jealous of his attentions toward anyone else. Easily one of Star Trek
's strongest shows, "Miri" is a must-see for Trekkers and Trekkies.
Also on this disk is "The Conscience of the King," a memorable drama about a traveling Shakespearean troupe led by one Anton Karidian (Arnold Moss), who may or may not be the same man as Kodos the Executioner, former governor of a Federation planet who oversaw the mass murder of thousands of people rather than watch them starve to death during a food shortage. (Shortly after the deaths, Federation supply ships arrived and Kodos disappeared, right around the time that Karidian arrived as a classical actor touring the planets.) A nice twist: among victims of Kodos's wrongheaded mercy killings were relatives of Captain Kirk (William Shatner), adding a personal note to the mystery of Karidian/Kodos. Well-written (by Barry Trivers) and sensitively directed by a not-well-known but very interesting Hollywood filmmaker, Gerd Oswald.--Tom Keogh