Star Trek: What Are Little Girls Made of?   Rewatch 
September 6, 2014 9:42 AM - Season 1, Episode 8 - Subscribe

While searching planet EXO-III to learn the fate of Dr. Roger Korby after his last communication 5 years prior, the Enterprise finally receives a transmission from Korby and Nurse Chapel is ecstatic that her fiancé has been found.

This episode was first broadcast October 20, 1966, and repeated, two months later, on December 22, the first episode of the series to be repeated on NBC. It was written by Robert Bloch and directed by James Goldstone. The title of the episode is taken from the fourth line of the 19th century nursery rhyme "What Are Little Boys Made Of?."

In the plot, Nurse Chapel searches for her long lost fiancé, and uncovers his secret plan for galactic conquest.

Red Shirt death count: 2


Memory Alpha Link

The Episode can be viewed on Youtube, Hulu, and Netflix.
posted by Benway (7 comments total)
I always enjoy seeing Ted Cassidy in this one. But that stalagtite has always bothered me.
posted by DarkForest at 5:30 PM on September 6, 2014

I love Spock's reaction to Kirkbot's "Mind your own business, Mr. Spock, I'm sick of your half-breed interference, do you hear?": Raised eyebrow, then "Yes; very well, captain."

Also, wow, Ted Cassidy was huge.
posted by Flunkie at 1:32 PM on September 7, 2014

DarkForest, you say "bothered", I say "delighted".
posted by Katemonkey at 2:24 PM on September 7, 2014 [1 favorite]

I am caught up!

Hurray for me! I guess!

I actually really dug the direction in this episode, which I felt was really trying to bring the viewer into the moment. There was a lot of free moving camera work, in which the camera followed actors around and wasn't afraid if it meant getting a little too close and out of focus for a minute, such as when we follow Kirk into the turbolift. There were other angles, as well, such as shooting upward from below to either indicate the height of Rok/Cassidy or shooting with regard to the cliff/ledge scenes. Silhouettes were used a couple times, always to glamor shot Nurse Chapel, or in the case of the first doctor robot (not Corby), in shadow - as if to indicate that what they were seeing was nothing but a shadow of the man it meant to portray.

Cassidy is huge. I would be curious if the first time he picked up Shatner, if his one arm jerking of him off his feet was done unassisted or not.

I'm unsure if the stalactite is delightful or's unfortunately awesome?

I appreciated the little background on Chapel, though portraying her as a romantic who passed up on a very promising career to search the stars for her fiance. At least one day she becomes a doctor.

Was this the first incident of an actual red shirt dying? The literal and not the figurative?

The plot somewhat reminded me of the Manchurian Candidate and the Body Snatchers, based on the aspect of replacement of others with identical versions for the latter and the individual who appears and acts normal, even the hero, who inwardly has been programmed (in this case, literally) with a philosophical agenda. Referring back to the Communism fears of the Cold War, could it be seen as analogy or response toward American socialists/communists who argued that Communism and the Soviet Union wasn't something to be feared? Much of what Korby wanted to do was strip a certain element of individual will from people when he created robot versions of them, and this I think could also be a criticism of Communism, or at least the popular held belief of what it meant to be a citizen in the communist system.

The ending with the murder/suicide (are either of these appropriate labels?) when Korby turned the phaser on himself and Andrea. When he had handed his phaser over to Kirk, it seemed like an action that the will and body were fighting over. A battle between what humanity was left in Korby and his robotic body? Likewise, when he pulled the trigger, was this his human half surrendering to the realization that he had indeed lost his way? It's my assumption, especially prefaced by his snarling criticism of Andrea about robots not being able to love.

Love was an underlying theme of the episode. It drove Chapel to the stars, it was Kirk's refutation to a world of robots, and it was a robot's declaration. Andrea's own affections were interesting based on Kirk's kissing. It was also a bit odd, where I reckon what was intended to be conveyed that when he kissed her beyond what she had been programmed to perform, it caused something of a crisis within her. "You're not the one I'm programmed for." Is that a statement that Korby had created himself a girlfriend or was it a robot trying to confess, "You're not the one I love" ?
posted by Atreides at 8:08 AM on September 10, 2014

Was it Korby who pulled the trigger? To me it looked like Andrea -- who was trying to deal with the emotions that she was developing (that she should not have been?)
posted by sparklemotion at 7:06 AM on September 15, 2014

I just re-watched the scene, if you look closely, you can see his thumb press down on her finger over the trigger, and fire the gun.
posted by Atreides at 11:34 AM on September 15, 2014 [1 favorite]

Here I am, obsessing over the sensors. Was this entire episode set underground just so the sensors wouldn't detect that everyone on the planet was an android? A lot of these plots would be short-circuited if the sensors worked properly.

Meanwhile, I couldn't take my eyes off Nurse Chapel's hairdo. It was elaborate. And the EXO-III fashion statement of blue and brown "X-wear". My pity for Andrea in that outfit was high. Even an android didn't deserve that.
posted by acrasis at 3:18 PM on October 17, 2020

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