Monday, September 21, 2015

Musical Monday - Charlie X by Five Year Mission

Unlike The Corbomite Maneuver, the song Charlie X isn't really a "funny" song, although given that the original Star Trek series was inherently campy, a lot of songs written about it have humorous notes. For example, I am reasonably certain that in the original episode whenever Charlie Evans (played by Robert Walker) rolled his eyes back in his head when he used his powers he was supposed to be scary and creepy. But now, whenever I see the episode, I can't help but find him hilariously silly. And when Kirk decides to teach Evans to be a man by taking him down to the Enterprise gymnasium for some wrestling, the sequence now appears to be both incredibly homoerotic and also incredibly goofy.

On the other hand, the episode is fairly creepy - Charlie is a petulant teenager with almost no impulse control and strange supernatural powers that allow him to lash out and punish those he takes a dislike to by stealing their voices, removing their faces, turning them into lizards, or simply making them disappear. In some ways, this episode of Star Trek is reminiscent of the 1953 Jerome Bixby short story It's a Good Life, which was made into a Twilight Zone episode of the same name in 1961. It is probably no accident that Bixby later wrote four Star Trek episodes: Mirror, Mirror, By Any Other Name, Requiem for Methuselah, and Day of the Dove. The humor in this episode is tempered by the impending sense of horror as Charlie lashes out again and again, and even the best efforts of the Enterprise crew prove to be ineffective at stopping his rampages. Unlike It's a Good Life, this episode has a happy ending, as the aliens from Thasus show up to take Charlie into hand and fix all of the problems he caused (essentially pressing the reset button for the first time in Star Trek history).

But the real question this episode raises is why, exactly, does Yeoman Rand have a button in her quarters that opens a communications channel directly to the captain's chair on the bridge? Is this a booty call button?

Previous Musical Monday: The Corbomite Maneuver by Five Year Mission
Subsequent Musical Monday: Bad Moon Rising by Creedence Clearwater Revival

Dream Five Year Mission Set

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