"Charlie X," Ep. 8 - The cargo ship Antares transfers Charlie Evans (Robert Walker Jr.) to the U.S.S. Enterprise on his way to Alpha Five Colony. When the Antares is destroyed and crew members vanish, Kirk realizes that Ch... more »arlie is responsible but has little control over his deadly powers. "Balance of Terror," Ep. 9 - It's a game of cat and mouse for Kirk and the Romulan commander (Mark Lenard), whose cloaking device renders his ship invisible--and very deadly!« less
This episode is famous because it isn't really "happily ever after" or "there we fixed a problem." That was pretty darn haunting for the time.
Personally, I found the human teenager typical of human teenagers... he annoyed me and I wanted to spank him. BUT... it is a good episode. Has some very memorable moments. Worth watching simply because it is a classic one that has been referenced often.
BALANCE OF TERROR
Definitely on the list of "Must See if you want to know anything about Star Trek" List.
This one introduced the Romulans.
Explores some interesting character conflicts as Romulans look a lot like Vulcans (actually if you notice the actor who played the commander later did appear in an episode... as Spock's Dad. PLUS another Romulan appeared in the episode "Amok Time" as a Vulcan... anyway I'm off the subject...)
Some begin to question Spock's loyalty... is he really a spy?
More dark than other episodes. I think the ending is rather sad. (I feel sorry for the bride... that is all I'm gonna say) however it is very famous and influenced later Star Treks.
Includes a very classic final line from the Romulan Commander.
MUST WATCH IT.
The youth from hell and "The Enemy Below."
- Durrkk | Ohio/PA border USA | 11/28/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Star Trek: The Original Series Volume 4 presents two episodes originally aired in 1966:"Charlie X:" A troubled adolescent with powerful telekinetic abilites comes aboard the Enterprise and horrifyingly subjects the crew to his undisciplined, torturous powers. Writers Gene Roddenberry and Dorthy Fontana serve up a mature and utterly captivating yarn of space horror that further explores the "power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely" theme, which was well presented in the (second) pilot "Where No Man Has Gone Before" (episode #2). Highly memorable. GRADE A+"Balance of Terror:" The Enterprise plays cat and mouse with a cloaked (i.e. invisible) Romulan ship in this space version of "The Enemy Below." This is Mark Lenard's first role for Star Trek as the Romulan commander. He is much better known as Spock's Vulcan father Sarek, who first appears in the second season episode "Journey to Babel" (episode #44). Interestingly, Lenard would also go on to play a klingon in "Star Trek: The Motion Picture." He thus holds the distinction for being the only actor to play a Romulan, a Vulcan and a Klingon on Star Trek. Bottom Line: Okay, but generally boring; ridiculously overrated by some. Grade: B- (I'm being generous)"
Child knows best!
Cseeley6 | Texas | 03/11/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Charlie X Conducting a rendezvous with the transport ship Antares the Starship Enterprise takes onboard a seventeen year old passenger named Charlie Evans for transport to Colony Alpha Five. Charlie who was the sole survivor of a transport ship crash fourteen years prior on the planet Thasus was orphaned yet still he somehow managed to survive, learning how to speak by using the ships library tapes, and after the ship's supply of food concentrates had run out found other things to eat just growing around. Having had no human contact all that time proves to be tough on the young man, who desperately wants to be accepted by the people he comes into contact with on the Enterprise. Charlie finds his first experience dealing with women, especially Yeoman Janice Rand extremely awkward. Charlie has more than a passing infatuation with Yeoman Rand, and this infatuation leads Charlie into an embarrassing encounter. Imitating some friendly interaction between two male crew members that Charlie witnessed earlier the eager young man gives Yeoman Rand a friendly pat on her bottom in response to being asked to meet her in the recreation room after she's off duty. Flustered Yeoman Rand suggested that Charlie talk to Captain Kirk or Dr. McCoy and ask one of them what he did wrong.
Upon taking Yeoman Rand's advice Charlie seeks out Captain Kirk with whom Charlie starts to look up to for an etiquette lesson in regards to dealing with women. Jim Kirk who feels commanding a starship with a crew of 428 easier than giving advice about women to a teenage boy finds the experience new and confusing and is saved from further awkwardness by having to respond to an urgent call from Captain Ramart, commander of the Antares. Kirk heads to the bridge with Charlie tagging along and upon arrival the duo find Lt Uhura desperately trying to establish communications with the Antares which was transmitting at full output, Captain Ramart started to give Captain Kirk a warning when suddenly the channel went dead, Uhura attempts to reestablish contact with the Antares when Charlie makes a comment about the "poor" construction of the cargo ship arousing some suspicion from Kirk. Conducting a sweep with probe scanners Spock verifies that the Antares has been destroyed.
Kirk, lamenting the destruction of the Antares and the twenty crew on board while engaging in a "friendly" game of chess with Mr. Spock discusses what happened to the Antares and how Charlie seemed to know what happened before they did they did. Charlie who has developed a "crush" on Yeoman Rand experiences feelings that frustrate and confuse the young man which in turn make life uncomfortable and awkward for Yeoman Rand who enlists the aid of Captain Kirk for some "fatherly advice". Kirk lays it all out for the seventeen year old with raging hormones prompting Kirk to not only bust Charlie's bubble concerning Janice but also that life isn't always fun or fair.
Kirk in an attempt to help Charlie try and forget about Rand and relieve some stress takes Charlie to the ship's gym for a little workout and a lesson in self defense. Kirk attempts to teach Charlie a throwing technique which Charlie doesn't perform so well proves disastrous as one of Kirk's crewman who is also working out in the gym as well playfully laughs at the frustrated young man. Charlie who is embarrassed at not being able to get the throw right and is livid at the fact that the crewman is laughing at him makes him "go away". Shocked at witnessing his crewman disappear and even more shocked at the fact that Charlie was responsible for making it happen orders security to come for Charlie and escort him to his quarters. Resisting the security guards with his powers Charlie forces Kirk to threaten him with punitive measures if Charlie doesn't comply. Charlie relents and reluctantly goes with the security guards who are weaponless thanks to him.
Meeting with Spock and McCoy in the briefing room Kirk and the two senior officers discuss what happened in the gym and the danger the awkward teenager with the powerful weapon within him poses not only to the Enterprise but to the population of Colony Alpha Five as well. Theorizing that Charlie caused the destruction of the Antares, a theory which proves to be true the trio realizes that they are in the hands of a dangerously immature and unpredictable adolescent. Charlie starts to exert his control over the Enterprise by locking it on a course for Colony Five and cutting off communications despite Kirk's attempts to change the course of the ship away from the colony so they can buy some time and warn the colony's governor about Charlie. Charlie who punishes Kirk and Spock for not being nice and who makes Janice Rand the women he is obsessed over "go away" for slapping him across the face is in full control of the ship and crew and uses his power to get even with those who annoy him or get in his way. Kirk who must stop Charlie at all costs sees a window of opportunity in stopping the "boy" who lives in a man's body, realizing that Charlie may have over stretched himself in controlling the whole ship decides to tax him further by turning on every device, light and anything else in hopes that Charlie can be distracted so he can be tranquilized until the ship reaches Colony Five. Kirk takes the chance and plays the dangerous game with the powerful teenager.
The plan proves be successful and just as Kirk is about to deliver the knockout blow to the boy, a ship from Thasus arrives to take Charlie home. The Thasians who were supposedly only a legend taught him the power of molecular transformation which allowed him to survive those fourteen years on Thasus. Remorseful at the destruction of the Antares which the alien beings cannot change the Thasians undo all the harm Charlie caused the Enterprise and her crew. Charlie who desperately wants to stay with the Enterprise and who desperately pleas for Kirk to let him stay shows some kind of remorse at what he's done. The Thasians reject Kirk's offer to let the boy stay with the Enterprise and his own kind take the fearful, panicking yet dangerous remorseful young man away.
This episode gives Kirk a chance at being a father figure and there are some humorous results. "
Enter the Romulans--two great episodes
David Bonesteel | Fresno, CA United States | 08/06/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"In "Charlie X," Robert Walker plays another of Gene Roddenberry's mad omnipotent beings, in this case a young man who was given incredible power by benevolent aliens to enable him to survive on a barren planet. Rescued by humans, he lacks the social skills, maturity, and self-control to use his abilities responsibly and soon endangers the crew of the Enterprise. This is an excellent episode with several chilling moments; a brief shot of a faceless young woman groping along the wall really freaked me out as a kid and remains effective today. The theme of "power corrupts" had not yet become the Trek cliché that it would, but coming so soon on the heels of "Where No Man Has Gone Before," one can definitely see a pattern developing.
"Balance of Terror" introduces the Romulans and features a cat-and-mouse game between the Enterprise and a new generation of Romulan warship that has been sent across the Neutral Zone to probe the Federation for weaknesses. This was the first episode to place the Federation of Planets within a geopolitical (spacial-political?) context that would set the stage for the many stories and arcs concerning the confrontations of galactic superpowers that is a particular strength of the various Trek series. Mark Lenard gives a commanding performance as the Romulan captain. "
D. Nishimoto | USA | 11/27/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Balance of Terror illustrates a moral dillemma of a DMZ. DMZ represent a stalemate and the pride and arrogance of two nation engaged in a conflict with nether nation willing to admit defeat and end the useless conflict.
The Romulans ended a 70 year war with the Federation. Undoubtable the Federation make numerous errors; the Federation had superior military power and the Romulan territory should have fallen as a Federation domain.
The peace treaty establishing the Neutral Zone could not be enforced because Federation Ships could enter intentional or accidentally into the zone. The Romulans using cloaking technology had the distinct advantage with the capability too move through the neutral zone into Federation space undetected.
The Romulan empire was impoverished. The Romulan empire was not a Roman empire of great power. The Roman empire continually extended its power through constant conflicts throughout the middle east and Europe with many nations becoming subject to Roman rule. The Romulan empire does have an Roman like form of government, a military ruling class, and a warlike society. However, the society is N Korean pour. They have no industry, they are a constant threat too the federation, and historical silent for the last 70 years, in the activity of the world. The Romulans are desparate for Federation technology, education, and help.
Kirk defeats the Romulan cloak ship, but fails to understand the Romulan crisis. The Romulan ruling class arrogantly ignore the suffering of their people. The Romulan people are arouse to militant hatred of the federation, the only people who can liberate them from their improvishment. The Romulan empire never built industry, thriving and prosperous societies, nor prevail militarily against the Federations, Western Warfare - democratic way. Only Spock, a distance relative to the Romulans would understand their desparation. However, one could see Spock's cowboy diplomacy would be ignored by the Federation for another 100 years and the Romulans would continue in their peril. Some Romulans want free trade, new idealogy, and freedom; the Romulan empire will not die immediate and just as the Roman empire last 20 decades in decay, so will the Romulan empire continue its slow descent down.
The Vulcan hold the best hope for the Romulans. The Vulcans are skilled educationally, prize peace, and possess technology; Romulans have a false sense of superiority and pride, but they are increasing impoverishing the people from long military campaigns against the Federation.
The Romulan empire does not value free trade and the Vulcans are not wanted by the ruling elite. However, some of the Romulan elite want a trade agreement between Romula and Vulcan and hope for reunification between the two peoples. Eventually Romula will begin too break down and look to Vulcan for support."
Twilight Zone Revisited & the Romulans Introduced!
Frederick Baptist | Singapore | 05/14/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"2 more additions to the continuing episodes of the first season: "Charlie X" which is strikingly similar in storyline albeit different in setting to a very memorable "Twilight Zone" episode and "Balance of Terror" where we are introduced to the Romulans, that cousin race to the Vulcans which evolved in a very different direction.
"Charlie X" echoes a theme from the first episode in this series, "Where No Man Has Gone Before", by asking the question, can man given great powers suddenly be able to act responsibly and for the good of all or will he eventually end up destroying all around him? A young boy is given incredible powers, "Q-like" using TNG lingo by a bunch of well-meaning aliens who are simply trying to save the sole crash survivor from certain death on a desolate planet. Charlie is finally rescued by a Federation vessel which is extremely happy at being able to pass him over to the Enterprise. The final scene is touching as the painful and difficult decision about how to deal with this troublesome teen is made.
"Balance of Terror" is a little less complicated plot-wise but very importantly introduces us to the Romulans who play continuing and recurring roles throughout the entire Trek-dom. Curiously, the Romulan commander here eventually is re-cast as Spock's father Sarek in later episodes although none of the crew seems to notice. This episode is one of the better space battle episodes where we see Kirk and his counterpart pit their wits against each other in a winner take all contest.
Gene Roddenberry's ideas are also represented here in a very interesting element where the clear anti-bigotry stance shown by Kirk when he tells a crewman who is prejudiced against Spock and his resemblance to the Romulans to "keep your bigotry in your quarters as there is no room for it on the bridge".
2 of the better episodes in the series and a keeper."