Star Trek Episode Review: Charlie X (1966)

Synopsis: After being trapped alone on a remote planet for 14 years, 17-year-old Charlie Evans (Robert Walker, Jr.) is rescued and the Enterprise is asked to take him to his nearest surviving relatives at colony Alpha V. However, Charlie isn't like other teenagers. He has powerful psychic abilities that he is reluctant to restrain, especially when he doesn't get his way.

Review: After seeing pretty much every episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation on more than one occasion, I decided it was time to move on. Originally, I thought about watching Deep Space Nine. But, after realizing I haven't seen many of the original series episodes, I figured I would give that a try again. I started with this one and was very impressed.

This actually turned out to be a somewhat creepy episode. The best way I would describe it was it was a bit like watching Village of the Damned combined with an episode of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. His psychic capabilities seemed to have no limit and gave him the ability to cause harm or even make things/people disappear. And, his obsession with Yeoman Rand (Grace Lee Whitney) was reaching dangerous stalker levels.

I think the thing that really had me interested was the way Charlie seemed to stay one step ahead of Kirk (William Shatner) and his crew because his powers, among other things, gave him the ability to read minds. And, while he seemed to have some respect for Kirk and admitted he needed the captain in order to get to the colony, he was perfectly capable of making Kirk disappear whenever he chose.

The ending to this episode was somewhat unexpected as well, mostly because I figured there would be some sort of twist that would allow Charlie (who wasn't really a bad person, he just didn't know how to control his emotions) to have some sort of happy ending. I was surprised when that didn't happen but, at the same time, was perfectly OK with the route the show took. Though, admittedly, I am kind of hoping he shows up in a later episode, just so I can see what happens to him.

Final Opinion: This was an entertaining episode that had a good mix of action and suspense and wasn't nearly as predictable as I was expecting it to be. I would definitely recommend it as a result.

My Grade: A


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