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Arthur sacrifices himself for Camelot... almost.
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Star Trek: The Original Series Episode 09 - What Are Little Girls Made Of?

Original Airdate: October 20, 1966

Synopsis

Exo III

On the bridge, Jim is talking to Chapel about her fiance, Dr. Roger Korby; he is evidently the "Pasteur of archaeological medicine," (what in the Sam Hill does that even mean? He heals mummies?) and has been missing for five years. Chapel gave up a career in bioresearch to sign on for starship duty so she could go look for him; she believes that he's still alive. His last mission said they'd found underground caverns, and he's the determined type.

Spock is not so upbeat; Exo III, the planet Korby and his party were on, may be Class M, but the temperatures drop to a hundred degrees below zero at night, and two other search parties failed to find them. Maybe they should send Sulu down to look; he has some experience with planets like that. Just send his good luck tent and some coffee down with him.

Jim asks Spock quietly if he thinks there's any chance of finding Korby alive, and in answer, Spock fades the screen with Korby's photo on it to black. Guess not.

Uhura's second attempt at hailing the party on all frequencies actually gets a response; Korby himself hails them back.

Jim responds, but Korby cuts him off, asking him to please beam down alone. He also throws in, strangely, "you may find yourself faced with a big decision." Jim says ok, he'll beam down with only one other person - Christine. Korby is very happy to hear that she's there.

As they head to the turbolift, there's a sweet moment in which Uhura hugs Chapel and gives her a little kiss on the cheek.

Aw!

When they materialize at the mouth of the cavern, there is a blanket of snow behind them. I think it actually is a blanket, too, just a white fuzzy blanket draped over some boxes to give the effect of piled snow.

Chapel's a little concerned, because Korby said he'd be waiting for them, but Jim reassures her. He calls up to the ship for backup, just in case, and two security officers, Matthews and Rayburn beam down. Rayburn is assigned to guard the entrance, Matthews will walk down with them.

They begin the long and precarious walk down into the caverns, which, it should go without saying by now, are lit beautifully in purple and blue. I'd love to have the lighting staff from this show come put something together for my apartment.

At one point, Christine slips and nearly goes ass over teakettle over the ledge, but Jim catches her and pulls her back. After that, he takes her hand and holds it the rest of the way. Matthews brings up the rear.

choreographed by FOSSE!

In front of them suddenly is a man lit from behind. He steps forward, and while Christine knows him - it's Korby's assistant "Brownie" - he doesn't seem to notice her. As they talk, Matthews screams behind them. They run up to the ledge where Chapel almost went over, and Brown tells them that he's certainly dead. We see a huge and strange-looking bald man sneaking away.

Kirk comms Rayburn and tells him to have a security team brought down if he doesn't check in with him again shortly, but the bald man creeps up behind and kills Rayburn immediately after. Meanwhile, Brown is leading Kirk and Chapel onward, and yapping the entire time about the culture of Exo III choosing a mechanized life over freedom.

Eventually, they come to a well-furnished room (I can just imagine them walking every piece of the furniture and equipment down those steep ledges and skinny paths) quite a ways down. A hot little number named Andrea comes out, wearing a scantier version of the overalls the men are wearing, and seeing the look of cold anger on Chapel's face, curries favor with her. Then Korby emerges, and embraces Christine passionately.

Before they can all get started conversing though, Kirk tries to get hold of Rayburn. He can't, of course, and Korby grows insistent that no one else is to come down anyway. Brown and Andrea both pull phasers on Jim & Chapel, but Jim wrestles Andrea's away and flings her aside.

ew, android guts

He shoulder rolls across the room and takes aim at Brown, telling him to drop it. Of course, Brown doesn't, and acts like he's going to fire. Jim fires first, and a giant, gaping, smoking hole full of circuits appears where Brown's stomach used to be. I gotta give them credit; even though his innards are circuits, not guts, it still looks gross. Go, low-fi effects designers!

Just then, the giant bald man - we'll call him "Ruk" from now on, because that's his name - tears into the room faster than you'd ever think somebody who's 6'9" could possibly move, picks Jim up and slams him against the wall.

We cut to Spock receiving a transmission from Jim in which he's told to prepare to beam up all of Korby's stuff. Spock thinks Jim sounds a little off, and Spock is a good judge of character, because "Jim" is actually Ruk. Ruk is an android like Brown, a very sophisticated one who can mimic any voice he hears, and was built centuries ago by the race that formerly inhabited Exo III.

Jim is unsurprisingly distrustful, and to try to abate that, Korby tells Ruk that he must never mimic Christine's voice, nor disregard any order from her. Korby just wants to explain the situation to Kirk before he goes off half-cocked, is all. Jim asks if he needs to be a prisoner in the meantime, but Korby's aware that the first thing he'd do is create a report and that would ruin everything.

Jim would first like to know what happened to his men, and Korby says, entirely too perkily, that Ruk destroyed them both.

Jim tries to haul ass out of there, but Ruk grabs him and throws him across the room again.

Andrea waltzes up to Chapel and in her breathy bunny voice, asks her why she's so unhappy if she's here with Roger, and why she's so unhappy that Andrea calls him Roger.

Android Loaf
Korby interrupts, telling her it's enough that it does. He explains that Andrea is just an android like Brown, except he seems quite taken with her lifelike pigmentation, soft skin, physical sensation - even a pulse! Christine is less excited by the results of his work, as you might expect, and accuses him of having made himself a geisha. He asks, "you think I could love an android?" and she answers archly, "did you?" He starts talking a little faster - draw from that what you will - when he tells her Andrea "can't do that." He also strangely throws in that "there's no emotional bond." Dude, no one's asking if you're in love. Christine just wants to know if you shtupped the 'bot.

We go from there to another room with a big circular platform that spins, revealing on one side, a naked Captain Kirk - don't get excited, he's decently covered - and on the other, an icky-looking green pod person form. Jim looks at Christine pleadingly, and she looks back at him, all dithery. (See, Christine, this is where I would say something to my fiance. Something like, "Maybe five years mostly alone out here hasn't been so good for you." Or, "Darling, it sounds like you might need a punch to the back of the head.")

The platform spins, and Korby fatuously tells Chapel that Kirk's not being harmed. She rants at him about the old him never harming an insect or an animal. Majel's acting is not at her finest here.

The platform spins faster and faster, and soon there are two Kirks.

build your own Captain Kirk with this Aurora kit!
Korby asks Chapel if she can tell which is which, and lo, she cannot. He then says that he's going to finish the job by duplicating the personality, and that the finished product will be such a perfect duplicate that he could even take over the ship!

Seeing which way the wind is blowing, Kirk tries planting a seed. He mutters repeatedly, "mind your own business, Mr. Spock. I'm sick of your half-breed interference, do you hear?" Dials and knobs turn and Kirk suffers, and then it's done. "Are you all right?" Chapel asks him protectively. "As far as I know," he says. Where was this protective nature 5 minutes ago?

Andrea sets down plates of colorful fruit cube stew (she's got too much free time if she's watching Sandra Lee) on a distinctly Early American themed tablescape and Chapel sits down at one of the places. Andrea mentions that she's now been programmed to please Chapel too. Kiss-ass.

Sandra Lee's Honeydew, Canteloupe & Hearty Beef Stew

Kirk comes in and sits down at the other setting and they have a private discussion about whether she thinks Korby's sane (she does) and whether she'd betray him if ordered to (she'd rather not discuss such a thing). She tells him to go ahead and eat without her, and he tells her that androids don't eat. I have to say that even though I knew where this scene was going from the moment he walked in the room, that Shatner's delivery of that last line was good enough to still create an oogy little moment there.

It's fortunate that she said all the right things.

Real Jim comes in then with Korby, and the Kirks discuss which of them is superior. They bicker back and forth, with the android showing off his access to all of Jim's memories. (For you trivia buffs, this includes the knowledge of Jim's brother George Samuel Kirk, who is only called Sam by Jim, and Sam's wife and three sons. Remember this, it'll come up again later.)

Korby dismisses the android, and asks Jim if he's figured it out yet. Why, he could have transferred Jim's very consciousness into the android, had he kept going with it! If people could only be programmed as androids, and jealousy and hate removed, how much better would life be! Jim counters that he'd be removing all the good qualities too, but Korby blows right by that without even slowing down.

He wants Jim to help him help humanity, by taking them & the equipment to some out-of-the-way colony, where they can work on people unhindered. Jim responses are sarcastic through the conversation, but Korby pays no attention, too fixed on his goals. He's also not noticing that Jim has spent the time unwinding a leather braid from the chair ... nor have Ruk or Andrea, and they shouldn't be able to miss it. He sees his opening and lunges for Korby's throat with the garrote, and tells Ruk that he will kill Korby if he comes any closer, then pushes Korby at him and runs off through the caverns.

Korby tells Ruk to "protect," and Ruk is off after Kirk. Christine yells after Ruk that he's supposed to obey her, and tells him to stop, but he doesn't. She runs off after him. Jim rounds a corner and hides, and thinking that Ruk must have moved on, he breaks off a stalactite to use as a weapon, but Ruk heard. Ruk stalks him through the cavern and as he turns a corner and finds Jim, Jim swings the stalactite at him. Ruk catches it, they struggle, and Jim ends up hanging from the ledge over the bottomless pit.There's a tense bit where Jim looks up at him expectantly, but then Ruk seems to have a change of heart and pulls him up, obeying Christine's orders.

You rang?

"Jim" walks purposefully through the corridors of the Enterprise, passing right by a very surprised Spock who follows him into his quarters. "Jim" ignores him as he gets into a wall safe and starts flipping through the destination schedule. Spock asks, shocked, if he intends to bring down command packet material to Korby, and absently, "Jim" tells him - say it with me now - "mind your own business, Mr. Spock! I'm sick of your half-breed interference, do you hear?" and then goes on to ask him, quite innocently, if something's wrong. Spock is rather surprised by this, to say the least, and wisely says no, lets him leave, and then calls security to meet him in the transporter room after the captain beams down.

"The captain," back on the planet's surface, shows Korby the schedule and says that Midas V looks like a good choice. Korby is pleased.

Andrea enters Jim's room to collect his dinner tray, and Jim grabs her arm. He tells her to kiss him. She does, and then tries to slap him like she was ordered to the last time, but he stops her. He pulls her close and kisses her passionately, which she goes along with compliantly at first. She stops after a few minutes and says, confused, "no ... not programmed for you." Hmmm. The slight emphasis on the word "you" speaks volumes. She goes to leave; he tries to stop her and seduce her, but it doesn't work. As he tries to leave the room to follow her, Ruk appears and shoves him back.

Jim asks him what happened to the Old Ones who created him and gets him all riled up about humans being inferior and unpredictable and dangerous to the androids. Ruk says he'd forgotten the "equation" (equation doesn't seem like the word he wanted there, but then, Cassidy actually says the word "brang" a bit later, so who knows. And how does an android forget something?) that survival trumps protection. Ruk picks him up and throws him across the room again as Korby & Christine enter. Ruk lunges at Korby for having "brang" the evil humans back, and Korby phasers him out of existence.

cold hands, warm heart

The three of them walk to another room, where, once inside the door, Jim attacks Korby, but Korby fights him off. In the commotion, Korby's hand is damaged, and well, I'll just say that we find out exactly what he's truly made of.

Christine is appalled; Roger tries to explain that he was dying of hypothermia, his legs were gone, and it was the only way to survive. An alarm sounds and Korby comms Andrea, telling her to go get a weapon and go to the cave entrance - there's someone there.

As she heads out, she runs into the Kirk android and tells him she will kiss him. He hilariously tells her no very flatly, that it is illogical. Pissed, she phasers him. She stalks into the room with the others and announces that Kirk freed himself and she destroyed him. When she sees the real Kirk and realizes what she did ... oopsie.

Kirk starts in on him about his androids killing each other off, a trait he hates in humans, and tells Korby to give him the phaser if there's any humanity left in him. Korby says that he is still human, totally human, nothing has changed except his body! Why, they can ask him anything, ask him to solve any problem, equate any ... oh. Never mind. He appeals to Christine, but unfeeling megalomaniacal androids aren't really her type, so she has to reject him.

Andrea tells him she loves him and tries to kiss him, but he tells her sadly that she cannot love because she's not human, and when she leans for a kiss, he fires the phaser and immolates them both.

I think it's safe to say the engagement is over and Christine can keep the ring.

Spock bursts in with two security guards and asks where Korby is. "Korby was never here," Jim tells him.

On the bridge after Chapel informs Jim that she intends to remain on the ship, Spock tells him that he found the use of "half-breed" unsophisticated. Jim tells him that he'll remember that ... if he's ever in a similar situation. They smirk at each other.

Notable Moments

  • Korby tells Ruk that he must never mimic Christine's voice, nor disregard any order from her. So, the androids here are not quite Asimov's positronic men, but similar. Asimov's Three Laws being 1) a robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm 2) a robot must obey orders given to it by human beings, except where such orders would conflict with the First Law and 3) a robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law. Since Ruk - and Brown and Andrea - are programmed to obey orders, they are not the sort of autonomous androids that Noonian Soong will later build, but if they were true Asimov "robots," obeying Christine's orders would be natural to Ruk and wouldn't have to be made a specific order.
  • Ruk is wearing some sort of little girl's dress material. The pink stuff under the blue robe - that would look right at home as curtains for a 5 year old's room. What an odd choice for a huge, threatening creature.
  • Speaking of Ruk, I think I referred to the actor as "Cassidy" above without explicitly mentioning that he's played by Ted Cassidy, who also played Lurch in the '60s Addams Family tv show.

  • I really hate Korby's voice. It's so limp and ineffectual. I think it's a good thing that he never really threatened anyone violently; it would have been totally unbelieveable.
  • The supporting crew is barely seen or not there at all this time around. Uhura gets lines, I think I remember briefly seeing Sulu, but Scotty & Bones were absent.
  • This episode was written by science fiction and horror writer Robert Bloch, who also wrote the novel "Psycho." You may have heard of the movie they made from it.
  • I See You Managed to Get Your Shirt Off

    nekkidity

    ...and everything else too, this time.

    Trek 101

    The "fun facts about androids" edition. I've already covered Asimov's Three Laws above, and if you click the link up there, it'll take you to a nicely informative page all about Asimov's "robots." The reason I use quotes around robots when referring to Asimov's creations is that he referred to them as robots, but what he was writing about, at least some of the time, were androids. The difference, as best as I can explain it, is this: if it's meant to look human - artificial skin and hair, etc. - it's an android. If its appearance is mechanical, it's a robot. A cyborg is a blending of biological and mechanical in the same being. Hence, C-3PO, despite being called a "droid," is actually a robot. Data, from ST:TNG or Bishop from the movie Alien is an android, and of course, the Borg from later Trek series and movies, are cyborg.

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    Comments (3)

    Bren:

    C-3P0 is a droid. In the Star Wars universe, "droid" is not short for "android." Originally it was supposed to be, but they changed that when they realized all their androids were really robots. And that astrorobot sounded stupid.

    Of course, I refer to all Terminators as killer robots, when they're really cyborgs. Killer robots just has a nicer ring to it. Hey, I'm the George Lucas of recappers!

    Dane:

    I take your larger point(s) and cede the floor to you, esteemed colleague.

    But,

    "In the Star Wars universe, "droid" is not short for "android.""

    Oh, George. Honestly.

    Bren:

    Yeah, I know. It's hilarious. But "droid" in Star Wars terms is supposed to be synonymous with "robot" because they don't have any androids or cyborgs. Who needs to waste money on circuit boards when you can just breed some clones, right? I mean, if you've got the time.