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A strange group of children are discovered on an Earth-like planet.



USS Enterprise orbiting Earth Two, remastered

Enterprise in polar orbit of an Earth-like planet

Responding to a Earth-like recording over a hundred light years from Earth, the USS Enterprise discovers a planet that is an exact copy of Earth. It has the same mass, circumference, density, and atmosphere. Even the topography is identical.

Act One[]

Beaming down, the landing party of Captain Kirk, Spock, Dr. McCoy, and Janice Rand, along with security officers Galloway and Fields, discover architecture like that of Earth, circa 1960. But there is debris in the streets and evidence that decay has been ongoing for at least several centuries. Spock surmises that the distress signal is automated.

Then, while McCoy is examining an old tricycle, he is attacked by a horribly disfigured and insanely violent young man. He complains about his broken tricycle, and accuses the landing party of lying when they tell him they can try to fix it. After yelling "fibber" several times, he suffers a seizure and dies.

James T

"We won't hurt you, sweetheart. We're your friends."

Noises draw the landing party to one of the abandoned buildings, where they discover a terrified young girl named Miri hiding in a closet.

Meanwhile, Spock, Galloway, and Fields search the ruins outside. They hear children, and are pelted with debris and rocks, but they never actually see anyone; the feral children, who call themselves Onlies, know the area too well, and are too canny.

After talking to Miri, who only gradually realizes that she is in no danger, Kirk learns that the adults, whom Miri calls "grups" (a contraction of "grown-ups"), became ill and insane, and the Onlies had to hide from them until all the grups died. McCoy realizes that a plague struck this world. On Kirk's hand, Miri finds a blueish blemish. It turns out that Kirk contracted the same disease that killed the grups.

Act Two[]

Miri leads the landing party to an abandoned hospital where McCoy makes use of the laboratory facilities to take tissue samples from the group in an attempt to isolate the organism responsible for the disease. Everyone in the landing party contracts the disease except Spock, thanks to his Vulcan green copper-based blood. However, Spock becomes a carrier and the whole crew would contract the disease if he were to beam back to the Enterprise.

McCoy begins to work, asking Lieutenant John Farrell to have a biocomputer and an electronic microscope beamed down from the ship. Spock discovers research dating back three hundred years: there was a project with the goal of prolonging life. (i.e aging only one month every 100 years) It worked, after a fashion, but a miscalculation annihilated the adults, leaving only the children to survive on their own for the last three centuries. Once they reach puberty, they succumb to the disease.


The Onlies, led by Jahn

Kirk, wanting to find the elusive children to get some answers, asks Miri to show him where they are hiding. In an old, rundown building, Jahn, the oldest and apparent leader of the Onlies, and a number of Only children discuss the sudden reappearance of the "grups". The children are afraid of things returning to the way it was in the "before time". Jahn hatches a plan to steal the landing party's "little boxes" (i.e. their communicators) they use to talk to other "grups" so they will be all alone on the planet. When Kirk enters the building, the children scream and run away, and an infected child named Louise attacks him. Kirk uses his phaser to stun Louise, but this appears to be too much for her in her infected and weakened state; and she dies. Miri, shocked and saddened by the death, saying that Louise was a little bit older than herself, and embraces Kirk.

Spock calculates that Miri will have only one month or less to live. Lastly within a week, all of the Human members of the landing party will succumb; even sooner than that, they will go mad.

Act Three[]

Kirk comforts Rand

Janice Rand, partially stricken by the disease and crying, finds comfort in the arms of Captain Kirk.

In the laboratory, Kirk orders Spock and McCoy to recreate the thinking of the planet's scientists. If they can isolate the virus creating the disease, McCoy will be able to create a vaccine. Just then, Kirk hears the Onlies saying "nyah, nyah, nyah…" outside and runs with Spock and McCoy to investigate. In the empty lab, Jahn emerges from an open ventilation duct and takes all of the landing party's communicators. Returning to the lab and discovering the communicators missing, McCoy underscores the need for them; if they do not have the devices, they will not be able to verify their findings through the Enterprise's computers and they won't have a chance. Likewise the food stocks of the planet are getting dangerously low and the children will starve in six months.

By the third day The disease is starting to affect the landing party; their nerves are frayed and their tempers are short. Kirk passes by Rand and bumps into her while walking by, causing her to drop a beaker. This causes her to snap, cry hysterically, and run out into the corridor. Kirk follows, and Rand shows him a large purple blemish on her shoulder and other smaller blemishes on her legs visible through her stockings; the yeoman now has the disease. Kirk takes the crying and upset Rand into in his arms to comfort her. Miri witnesses this and becomes jealous of Kirk's attention to her and Rand's romantic looks at the Captain. Miri returns to the Onlies and helps Jahn and then develop a plan to capture Rand, thereby luring Kirk to them.

Act Four[]

Meanwhile, McCoy has discovered the organism responsible, and succeeds in isolating a substance that might be the vaccine. But without the ship's computer (still unavailable because the landing party was still without communicators), it is impossible to be certain of the correct dosage.

Later, Rand goes missing and a lovesick Kirk becomes worried and lost in thought with Rand's whereabouts. Kirk persuades Miri to help him, by revealing the secret the landing party had kept: that she and all the children, would get the disease when they reach puberty, and that the youngest children would starve long before that. Miri then starts to develop the disease on one of her arms and cries while Kirk holds her. Miri then takes Kirk to where Rand is being held and tied up by Jahn and the other Onlies. The children don't trust Kirk and pummel the captain. Beaten and bloodied, Kirk finally makes the children realize they're doing what the grups did: hurting others.

Meanwhile, back at the lab, a desperate Dr. McCoy injects himself with a hypospray filled with the serum, knowing that without confirmation from the ship's computers he could be injecting himself with, as Spock described it, "a beaker full of death." The doctor screams in agony and then collapses.

Returning with Rand and the communicators, and carrying one of the smaller children, Kirk finds Spock and a security man at McCoy's side. The doctor is unconscious, perhaps dying… but then the blemishes begin to fade before their eyes. The vaccine is a success.

Back on the bridge of the Enterprise, Rand tells Kirk that Miri really loved him, but Kirk assures the yeoman that he never gets involved with older women. The ship departs, leaving a medical team in charge of the children, who will soon receive the care they need.

Log entries[]

Memorable quotes[]

"Now, this is marvelous. The most horrible conglomeration of antique architecture I've ever seen."

- McCoy, arriving on Miri

"Being a red-blooded Human obviously has its disadvantages."

- Spock, on why he shows no symptoms of the virus

"Life prolongation. Didn't have much luck, did they?"

- McCoy, on the bio-engineering experiment

"I think children have an instinctive need for adults; they want to be told right and wrong."

- Kirk

"A child entering puberty on this planet means a death sentence."

- McCoy

"Eternal childhood, filled with play, no responsibilities. It's almost like a dream."
"I wouldn't examine that dream too closely, Yeoman. It might not turn out to be very pretty."

- Rand and Kirk, on the effects of the virus

"I am a carrier. Whatever happens, I can't go back to the ship… and I do want to go back to the ship, Captain."
"(smiling) Of course, Mr. Spock."

- Spock, rallying the landing party in his own Vulcan way with Kirk understanding

"I'm upset, so upset...Back on the ship, I used to try to get you to look at my legs… Captain, look at my legs.!"

- Rand to Kirk, showing the scabs on her legs

"Bonk! Bonk! On the head! Bonk! Bonk!"

- Redheaded Only, inciting the other children

"You two will have to re-create their thinking if we're going to isolate that virus and be able to develop a vaccine."
"Is that all captain, we have five days you know?"

- Kirk and McCoy

"This is the vaccine?"
"That's what the computers will tell us."
"Without them, it could be a beaker full of death."

- Kirk, McCoy, and Spock

"Where is she, Miri? Where is she, Miri? Where's Janice?"
"What's the matter with you? How should I know!"
"Where is Janice? Has something happened to Janice?"
"Don't you feel all right?"
"No, I don't feel all right!! None of us feel all right!! Can't you see what's going on!!? "
"Jim, I don't want anything to happen to you."
"I've got to find Janice!"

- Kirk and Miri, Kirk becoming extremely agitated about Rand's whereabouts

"Tell 'em, Jim!"

- Jahn, inciting the Onlies to taunt Kirk

"Blah! Blah! Blah!"
"No blah! Blah! Blah!"

- Redheaded Only and Kirk

"LOOK AT MY ARMS!! That's what's going to happen to you… unless you let me help you!"

- Kirk, tearing up his uniform sleeves to show the Onlies the extent of the disease

"Nyah nyah nyah-nyah nyah!"

- Onlies, surrounding Kirk

"I never will understand the medical mind."

- Spock, on McCoy's risky self-injection

"Miri. She really loved you, you know."
"I never get involved with older women, Yeoman."

- Rand and Kirk, on Miri

Background information[]

Production timeline[]

Story and production[]

  • Adrian Spies's original script draft featured a much closer relationship between Kirk and Janice Rand. [1]
  • In Spies' original script, the action is basically the same. However, around 80% of the dialogue is different from Carabatsos' rewrite and the aired episode. Janice is revealed to be 24 years old (James Blish includes this reference in his adaptation of the episode), and she is considering leaving the Enterprise. Also, the character of the "Fat Little Boy" is extended, and more emphasis is put on the older kids taking care of the younger ones. [2]
  • This was the first episode produced by Gene L. Coon, and Gene Roddenberry (previously the line producer) serving as Executive Producer.
  • Because the script still needed a large amount of rewriting when photography on "Dagger of the Mind" was completed, production shut down for two days (plus a weekend) before the filming of this episode. This also allowed some prep time for director Vincent McEveety, who directed the two episodes back-to-back. (These Are the Voyages: TOS Season One, 1st ed. pp. 254-255)
  • McEveety directed this episode from a wheelchair, as he had broken his leg in a home accident (previously incorrectly stated as a skiing accident) a few days prior. (The Longest Trek: My Tour of the Galaxy, p. 103; These Are the Voyages: TOS Season One, p. 257)
  • Clocking in at a minute and ten seconds, this episode's teaser is the shortest of any in the original series.
  • The set of the ruined city was a reuse of the outdoor stage set of the Main Street of the fictional town of Mayberry, North Carolina from The Andy Griffith Show. (citation needededit)
  • According to The Star Trek Compendium (4th ed., p. 42), this episode is a parody of the children's tale Peter Pan, with the characters of Jahn, Miri, and the Onlies said to symbolize Peter Pan, Wendy Darling, and the Lost Boys, respectively.

On the set[]

Only girl 6

William and Lisabeth

"… once we entered the set and were directed to the costume room … someone handed me a box with a costume in it, and told me to put it on. Since Halloween was one of my favorite holidays, I opened the box eagerly – I was getting a chance to dress up, and it wasn't even Halloween! However, my excitement was somewhat lessened when I saw the costume. It was a beige, apron-like dress with the words "I Spy" printed on the left pocket. Even at the age of five, I considered myself too mature to wear such a silly costume. I spent the next hour with my left hand over the print … my mother made matters worse when she asked the costumer if they had any green wigs left. She had seen a little girl walk by with a wig of long, green ratty hair and she wanted one for me. I breathed a sigh of relief when she was informed none were left."

After they left the costume room:

"Leslie, who was also appearing in the episode (and got a much better costume than I did), accompanied me to the make-up room to visit dad. When we walked into the room, he was sitting in the make-up chair, his back to us. We ran forward excitedly, relieved to see his familiar outline. When he turned towards us, I caught a glimpse of his arm and saw the skin on the inside of his elbow was covered with a long, bluish-red scab! I blanched, and my dad burst out laughing, and told us to touch the sore. It was made of rubber – at that moment, I realized everything was "pretend." Once I understood that, I relaxed."

Only with blood on his hands

Shatner shows them the "blood"

Afterward, she and her sister were taken to the set and "a make-up man came around and put dirt smudges on our faces, something which Leslie didn't appreciate very much." When shooting began, she confessed her confusion:

"Finally, my father started talking. I understood that his words belonged to the "pretend" realm, but what he was saying still didn't make much sense. "Look at your hands," he commanded. "They have blood on them." When no one moved, he stopped talking. "Well, look at them," he said, and all the kids looked down at their hands. I followed suit, but didn't see anything unusual. I wondered why he told me there was blood on my hands when there wasn't any."

Onlies converge on Kirk

Lisabeth's character being thrust towards her father

"The next scene didn't clear up my confusion. [ Keith Taylor ] was told to pick me up and carry me towards my father, whereupon I was supposed to take a swipe at my father's face. I knew this part was 'pretend.' In fact, I couldn't keep a smile off my face every time I got close to hitting him. My father kept saying, 'No, no you can't smile,' every time I grinned. We had to do it four or five times before I finally could keep a straight face. I wasn't entirely sure why I was supposed to look as if I meant to hit him."

For the last scene Lisabeth was, where Kirk and the Onlies run to the lab:

"My father entered carrying me, and set me down next to the actress playing Janice Rand, who was kneeling on the floor. The scene took a long time to film. Eventually, I began looking around the room, and discovered I had a bird's eye view of the top of the actress's head. I was utterly fascinated by her hair, which was woven into a checkered pattern on top. I stared at that hair for a long time, wondering if it was possible to actually play checkers on it."

  • According to her autobiography The Longest Trek: My Tour of the Galaxy (pp. 3-4), Grace Lee Whitney (Janice Rand) was sexually assaulted by a member of the show whom she identifies only as "The Executive" during the Friday night end-of-the-week party on 26 August, after filming this episode. She was fired soon afterwards, strengthening her depression and alcohol addiction.

Cast and characters[]

Sets and props[]


  • This is the only episode in which the men's Enterprise uniform tops are revealed to be fastened by hidden zippers, as shown when Kirk's and McCoy's tunics are opened at the neck.


McCoy suffers from life prolongation project

Kelley wearing Phillips' "rubber scabs"

  • Fred Phillips was responsible for the creation of the "rubber scabs" worn by the infected crew, which has been described as a "simple matter" for Phillips to create. It was his choice of color that added the dramatic edge. (Star Trek: The Original Series Sketchbook, p. 187)
  • The signal coming from the planet can be heard in The Outer Limits episode, "The Man Who Was Never Born" (also featuring make-ups by Fred Phillips, and starring Martin Landau and Christopher Held). (citation needededit)
  • The sound of Kirk's phaser firing is unique to this episode. So is the appearance of the beam itself, which oscillates in and out of the emitter. (citation needededit)
  • The sphere model used for Miri has the same geographical configuration of its continents as modern Earth, only without any clouds. Recycled footage of the Enterprise orbiting "Earth" can be seen in "Tomorrow is Yesterday" and "Assignment: Earth". In the former episode, clouds were added in post-production, although in some instances, the original "cloudless" model can be seen. In the latter, they simply reused the footage from "Miri" without any clouds. The same Earth globe was also used in "Shore Leave" and "Arena", printed backwards and with exotic color tints added. (citation needededit)


  • "Miri" is not only the shortest episode title (and its sole proper name title) in the Original Series, but the only one that is rendered on-screen in italicized type.
  • The font of the closing credits in this episode is different than any other first season episode.


  • The planet on which this episode is set is never named in the episode's dialogue. The script referred to it as "Earth Two." Over 50 years after the episode aired, a star chart shown in the Star Trek: Picard episode "Maps and Legends" identified it as "Miri".
  • The actions of the crew are technically a violation of the Prime Directive since they interfered with the natural development of the planet. The fact that someone from the planet sent a general distress signal and the lives of crew members were at stake could be some reason for the directive not to be applied.

Other information[]

  • Despite being transmitted by the BBC in the UK in December 1970, "Miri" was not broadcast again until the '90s. An official BBC statement by Sheila Cundy of the Programme Correspondence Section reads: "After very careful consideration a top level decision was made not to screen the episodes entitled "Empath" [sic], "Whom The Gods Destroy" [sic], "Plato's Stepchildren" and "Miri", because they all dealt most unpleasantly with the already unpleasant subjects of madness, torture, sadism and disease" (BBC form letter, undated, Reference 28/SPC). Apparently, when "Miri" was first broadcast by the BBC in black-and-white, several viewers wrote to complain about its content and the BBC reviewed the remainder of the episodes, deeming the three mentioned above as being unsuitable. When the BBC came to restart its showing of the first season, having acquired color film prints, "Miri" and the others were omitted; in 1984 when the BBC decided to show Star Trek in prime-time, these episodes were still omitted, despite the continuity announcer telling the audience that they would be "beaming up the whole series." Clips from "Miri" were shown circa 1984 on the I Love TV quiz show, broadcast on a rival station (ITV), possibly because the BBC did not have exclusivity on this episode; a clip was shown of the "glandular changes" scene on a brief late night documentary feature on Star Trek: The Next Generation in late 1987. (citation needededit)
  • This is the only one of the eight episodes in which Janice Rand appears in which she actually leaves the Enterprise.
  • This is the first of eleven episodes in which all action aboard the Enterprise is confined to the bridge. The others are "A Taste of Armageddon", "The Devil in the Dark", "Errand of Mercy", "Metamorphosis", "Who Mourns for Adonais?", "Bread and Circuses","Spectre of the Gun", "The Empath", "Plato's Stepchildren", and "Whom Gods Destroy".
  • The scene in which Spock discovers McCoy unconscious on the laboratory floor is shot from an unusual angle, offering a worm's-eye view of the action. (citation needededit)


  • The preview contains an edited Captain's Log from the finished episode: "Captain's log, stardate 2713.5… We have made an astonishing discovery… a planet which apparently is an exact duplicate of the Earth."


  • Actress Grace Lee Whitney named this episode as one of her three favorites. "Then, there's 'Miri' because my children were in the show. There's a big grate that's lifted up and my two little kids came out and they stole the communicators." (Starlog #105, April 1986, p. 49)
  • Jason Isaacs also cited this his as one of his favorite Star Trek episodes. "I loved 'Miri' when I was a kid because it was this amazing adventure and there was… it's a planet where only the kids are alive and all the adults are dead," he related. "Now I'm an adult, I see the whole thing as an allegory for puberty. I have teenage kids. I know exactly what they're talking about." [4]

Syndication cuts[]

The episode bears the distinction of being one of the most heavily cut episodes during the syndication run of Star Trek. In all, a total of twelve scenes were omitted during syndication, mainly:

  • Extended scene of the landing party beaming down for the first time.
  • Comments from McCoy that the planet contains "the most horrible conglomeration of antique architecture" that he has ever seen
  • An extended fight between Kirk and the first Grup creature.
  • The landing party hearing a noise in the street, running to investigate, and passing a building labeled as Bartlett Stables.
  • Additional scenes of Spock and the security guards looking around the streets and eventually coming to an alley.
  • Reactions from Miri after hearing about the Life prolongation project, implying that she knows what it is and what has happened on her planet; in the syndicated version, there is no indication that the children understand what has happened on their world.
  • Longer discussions between Kirk and Spock about scientific calculations in order to understand the adult disease.
  • A longer reaction from Yeoman Rand upon hearing that the children age one month in one hundred years.
  • In the children's den, the singing of a complete song before Jahn begins speaking.
  • A scene with Miri sharpening pencils.
  • Additional scenes between Kirk and Rand, including one where he grabs Rand by the shoulder after hearing a report from McCoy about the disease.
  • An extra clip where a single child attacks Kirk as a prelude to his being attacked by the entire mob.

Remastered information[]

The remastered version of "Miri" was first aired in many North American markets as a "bonus" episode during the weekend of 16 September 2006, alongside "Balance of Terror". These were the first episodes to be "remastered" by CBS Digital and featured a flawed CG-model of the Enterprise that was eventually replaced. [5] The episode is notable for the replacement of the original, highly unrealistic shots of Miri's planet with brand-new computer-generated versions. The episode was rerun (finally airing in some markets for the first time) on the weekend of 23 June 2007. [6]


  • In his original script, Spies offers no explanation for the existence of a parallel Earth, and its presence has no bearing on the development or outcome of the finished episode. Presumably, the parallel was posited because it would have been prohibitively expensive to have created an entirely alien culture for the episode. In his first volume of Star Trek episode adaptations, James Blish supplies a backstory that is vastly different to that of the "identical Earth" premise. Blish writes that Miri's planet is the fourth planet orbiting the star 70 Ophiuchus, beautifully Earth-like and having one large and two smaller continents connected by islands. Ophiuchus IV (or Ophiuchus 4 – Blish never names the planet) is located between twelve and fifteen light years from Earth and had been the first planet outside Earth's solar system to be colonized. The colonists refugees from the so-called "Cold Peace" in the early 2100s. These colonists were isolationists who violently repulsed the first attempt to contact them by a later expedition from Earth, so no further contact was attempted. As it turned out, the Ophiuchus system was in a "backwater" part of the galaxy that subsequent years of Earth-based space exploration passed by, and so the belligerent colony was easily ignored and almost forgotten. Around 300 years before the events shown in "Miri", scientists on Ophiuchus IV developed the experimental life-prolongation project that resulted in the deaths of every adult on the planet. Yet despite their close proximity, the distress signal sent by the colony didn't reach Earth because Ophiuchus IV stood between Earth and the center of the Milky Way, whose radiation created interstellar static that drowned out the SOS signal the colony had directed towards Earth.
  • In the Star Trek: Department of Temporal Investigations novel Forgotten History, Miri's homeworld is described as being an alternative version of Earth from a parallel universe which arrived in the primary universe as a result of a subspace confluence. It was eventually returned to its own universe by the same process in 2275, having been transposed with a Vedala planetoid from the same universe.

Video and DVD releases[]

This release included "The Empath" and was unrated, dating its release to prior to the Video Recordings Act 1984.

Links and references[]


Also starring[]

Guest stars[]



Uncredited co-stars[]

Stunt double[]



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Unreferenced materials[]

badminton; basketball; Beatle; blood; cage; can; can opener (aka "mommies"); canary; cat; colds; ghost; government; Hongkong; hots; lions; lion tamer; mannequin; money; North America; pint; price tag; principal; sailboats; (sailing); surfboards; surfers and surferettes; time bomb; (trap); tuxedos; water; wig

External links[]

Previous episode produced:
"Dagger of the Mind"
Star Trek: The Original Series
Season 1
Next episode produced:
"The Conscience of the King"
Previous episode aired:
"What Are Little Girls Made Of?"
Next episode aired:
"Dagger of the Mind"
Previous remastered episode aired:
"Balance of Terror"
TOS Remastered Next remastered episode aired:
"The Devil in the Dark"