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On their way thgough the universe, Starship enterprise passes a planet that
looks just like earth (with all the continents in place and everything), so
the usual suspects - Captain Kirk (William Shatner), Mister Spock (Leonard
Nimoy), Doc Bones McCoy (DeForest Kelly) and Janice Rand (Grace Lee Whitney) and
2 crewmen in red Sweaters - beam down to the planet ... that just looks
like earth, the 1960's, with one difference, there are no grownups anywhere to
be seen, and the children who are on the planet seem to despise our little
survey team ... except for teenage Miri (Kim Darby), a girl on the verge of puberty, who
takes an instant liking into Kirk and thus fills our heroes in on what
happened: 300 years ago the grownups tried to develop a serum that would give
them eternal youth ... but the serum malfunctioned and infected all grownups
with some sort of plague that first turned them violent, then killed them. For
the children on the other hand the serum worked just fine, making them to age a
mere month every 100 years ... until of course they reach puberty.
... the plague now has affected our survey team too, and infected they can of
course not go back to the Enterpise but have to find an antidote down on the
planet ... and everybody turns increasingly violent. Another problem is that
the food supplies on the planet are now (after 300 years - a triumph in food
storage and conservation in itself) running awfully low for the children that
means that Kirk has to get help for them, but to get help he has to get back to
the ship (which he can't).
and yet another problem: Miri sees there's
something going on between Kirk and Janice Rand, and the typical spurned
lover, she turns to the teenage leader of the kids, Jahn (Michael J.Pollard,
actually 27 at the time this was filmed but still convincing as a kid), to help
her avenge herself ... and Jahn has the great idea of stealing our heroes'
communicators, so, when developing the antidote, they have no help from the
But in the end, Kirk manages to convince Jahn and company
of the righteousness of their undertaking, while Bones, who can't pull through
much longer, tests the untested antidote on himself ... and wouldn't you know
it, it works. Soon our heroes (even the guys in the red sweaters) are back on
their ship, and send the kids all the help they need ...
little story that is (of course) not half as meaningful as the producers would
have liked it to be. However it must have impressed writter Stephen King
terribly, as he turned this episode - with only minor changes - into his short
story Children of the Corn, that eventually made it into a long running
All that said, from today's point of view, the scene where Kirk
sweettalks pre-pubescent Miri is nothing short of creepy ...