Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Star Trek TOS S1 Ep7: What Are Little Girls Made Of?

Sherry Williams. Holy ya-yas! How do you not absolutely lose it over Sherry? Is she not a perfect specimen? The physique! That ribcage! She is simply off the charts sexy! Yes, Star Trek: The Original Series was moving in the right direction quite nicely.

"We all know what happened afterward to Star Trek. ... Syndication not only launched Star Trek into mythic levels in our popular culture, but signaled the beginning of the end for network domination of television." -Paul Levinson, How Star Trek Liberated Television, Boarding The Enterprise-

David Gerrold [The Trouble With Tribbles] said it best in his Foreword: The Trouble With Trek from a book of essays called Boarding The Enterprise. "It was supposed to be just another television show. Really. Not even the folks who were making it had any idea that it might become something more. Not at the beginning- and not for a long time afterward, either." Gerrold puts it quite eloquently and as an insider he knows. Ultimately, this little show that became something of an iconic epic through syndication made stars even of its guests and and the latest is no exception, even if those guests were forever immortalized through a single entry of Star Trek: The Original Series alone. Who knew?

And now for the continuing sexual escapades, adventures and morality plays of Captain James T. Kirk, Spock & Dr. Leonard "Bones" McCoy. Seriously, there was always the potential for hot babes when Star Trek: The Original Series was going to air. It was a pretty hot and racy show for its time. It had to be one of its strengths next to the science fiction excitement complete with ideas. Substantive scriptwriting with a point combined with some of the most sultry women in space offered viewers a smashing combination and was a true hallmark of Season One. With Sherry Williams on board it's safe to say Star Trek: The Original Series, Season One, Episode 7, What Are Little Girls Made Of?, will continue to fulfill the promise of Roddenberry's vision and what a vision for talent this series had.

Captain's Log Stardate 2712.4. EXO-III. The entry begins with Kirk sharing a conversation with Nurse Christine Chapel. The crew of the Enterprise is en route to EXO-III. The temperature on the planet's surface is 100 degrees below 0 [sounds a lot like The Great Ice Planet Adventure.]. The sun has been fading away from the planet for a half million years.

The vibrant uniform colors and the camera angles make Star Trek: The Original Series a smorgasbord of eye candy fun. The intention of the Enterprise crew is to find Dr. Roger Korby. Communications with him ceased five years ago. Dr. Korby wrote about immunization techniques and other vital medical areas. It was required reading in Starfleet Academy. Uhura picks up a signal from Korby.

Uhura looks mighty fine in a red skirt and those legs just don't quit. She is the complete package. Could Spock be thinking the same?
Dr. Roger Korby is alive and well underground on EXO-III. Korby requests Kirk beam down alone. He'll be bringing one other. Korby was formerly engaged to Nurse Chapel and she is excited to see him as he is her. The two beam down to the planet below.

Kirk and Chapel arrive, but there is no greeting party. Uncertain of what to expect, Kirk requests Spock beam down two red shirts pronto. Poor fellows. One will stand guard while the other accompanies Kirk and Chapel. A bright light shines upon Kirk and Chapel and they are greeted by Brown, Dr. Korby's assistant. A scream is heard from behind them. One of the accompanying red shirts has just met an unfortunate, untimely demise. He really should have stayed on the Enterprise or changed his shirt color. A large figure creeps away through a doorway. His demise was clearly no accident.

Nurse Chapel is excited to see the doctor's assistant, Brown, and recognizes him, but she is curious that he does not recognize her until moments later. Kirk is distressed over the alleged accidental death. He communicates with the entry security officer Rayburn to ensure he still has a pulse. He does for now. After checking out, Rayburn dies, the victim of the large hands of a large bald figure. Dr. Korby, the Louis Pasteur of archaeological medicine, has been learning much on EXO-III regarding the civilization that once inhabited the planet. Star Trek is filled with terrific science fiction ideas and this episode is one such example.

Enter the radiant, half-naked beauty that is Andrea [played by Sherry Jackson]. She is strikingly hot. She rivals the hotness of Mudd's Women times warp factor 5. Nurse Chapel is slightly jealous by her presence to say the least . After all she has been looking for her fiance for some time so why would Andrea be here? Roger arrives on the scene and he and Chapel's eyes meet. They are aglow for each other. They kiss passionately. He has missed her and her him. So much for Spock [see Episode 4, The Naked Time].



I love when Andrea says "you must be Captain Kirk of the Starship Enterprise." Hubba-bubba. You almost half expect Kirk to say, "and you must be freaking amazing." I mean, for crying out loud, Kirk is speechless and cannot respond. Kirk reaches out to Rayburn to find communications have been severed. He has lost contact. In his worry he looks up to find Korby's assistant has him at gunpoint. Andrea stands positively perky in her petite, green/blue, little cloth outfit. Good Lord! I don't know what little girls like this are made of, but damn if it isn't the highest quality stuff.

Korby gives orders to Andrea who is about to pull out a weapon on Kirk. Kirk reverses the tables and grabs her weapon and Andrea. Nothing wrong with grabbing Andrea. Holy Toledo. It hurts to look at her. Honestly, a shower may be in order. Kirk quickly fires upon Korby's assistant and blows a fiery hole inside his belly. Chapel screams as the man is clearly some sort of android, a composition of computer boards and wiring. Kirk is held in the powerful grips of the Frankenstein-ike creature man called Ruk.

Kirk reports in to Spock as the Enterprise orbits EXO-III. Spock suspects something isn't right with Kirk hinting of the intuitive nature each has for the other in their growing relationship. He's not wrong because Kirk isn't the one reporting in, but rather Ruk who has mastered the voice of Captain James T. Kirk among others. Ruk is an android too and fully capable of mimicking anything.



Ruk mimics Andrea and Dr. Korby. He precedes to mimic Christine Chapek and Dr. Korby is none too pleased. He orders him to never harm Chapel. Kirk pipes in "or disobey an order from her." Kirk is clearly setting up his ace in the hole in the form of a very powerful Christine should things get ugly. She will be able to order Ruk to stand down I suspect in the event things get nasty. It's such a simple idea, but employing these simple concepts offer us effective and vintage Star Trek. Ruk's ability to voice various characters is a terrific sci-fi technique without expenditure of great resources. It give the impression of really complex special effects when it so strikingly minimalist, but super-freaky.

Dr. Korby asks for Kirk to listen to him for 24 hours. Kirk inquires if he must be a prisoner to comply. Kirk wants to know where Rayburn has gone. Ruk is programmed to protect Korby's experiments and death may result for that protection. Ruk was left behind by the Old Ones. He has been around for centuries. The now destroyed Brown was built utilizing the records left behind by the Old Ones. Kirk attempts an escape, but is thrown down. Ruk reminds me of Richard Kiel.

Elsewhere, Andrea visits Chapel with her smoking hot android body created by Korby. He really did do a bang up job with her. Okay, truth be told, she is an actress and the good Lord has created a true gem. Chapel looks her up and down. She too is impressed by her amazing figure and the workmanship of craft that graces her body. Chapel requests to know of Kirk's whereabouts. Andrea wonders how Chapel could love Korby without trusting him. Andrea notes Chapel appears irritated when Andrea uses the name Roger. Korby orders Andrea to call him by Dr. Korby from now on. Andrea confirms to Kirk she is an android. Yes, I'd be pretty stunned too. "Remarkable isn't she?" Yes doctor she is indeed. Chapel is slightly disturbed and lashes out at Korby with her jealousy. He indicates he could not love a machine. Excuse me, butif she looks remotely close to Andrea, I'm thinking exceptions are in order. I could make the exception. How about you?



I'd take a kiss and slap too. Sign me up. Kirk listens to Korby who talks of the unemotional involvement of his creations. Kirk is held in check by Ruk. The pre-Blade Runner, pre-Sean Young test a la Sherry Jackson is in full effect.

Korby takes Christine to the android making facility. A mummified figure lays opposite Captain Kirk as a table rapidly spins [a fairly questionable scientific device]. Chapel asks Roger what has happened to him. He has changed. Andrea stands in the room behind them twirling a variety of large computer knobs. [I promise I won't make a crude knob joke here.] Ruk is assisting her knob twirling. Can you blame it? Through some kind of strange amalgamation process the mummified figure has transformed into a perfect copy of Kirk. A split screen is implemented to achieve the effect. It's a deconstruction of The Enemy Within. Korby asks Chapel which one is the real Kirk to which she replies she does not know. So begins the synaptic fusion process. Korby indicates the android will be so precise it could literally replace the Captain. Oh boy. The real naked Kirk, and he really is naked, is none too happy about this development. Overhearing Korby's discussion with Chapel he quickly begins reciting lines that are antithetical to Kirk's normal behavior. "Mind your own business Mr. Spock, I'm sick of your half-breed interference do you hear?." That should get Spock's attention should the replica version of Kirk get beamed aboard the Enterprise. That Kirk is a very innovative and clever fellow. The fuzzy photo lens is often implemented on close-ups of the female crew members. Nurse Chapel is featured with the effect in this episode.



Kirk joins Chapel for dining. Andrea has prepared the table for two. Kirk feels for Chapel. He suspects she is torn between loyalty to her commander and her fiance Korby. She indicates she is not. Kirk asks if she would handle a direct order to betray him. She asks Kirk not to ask her to have to make that choice. Chapel tells Kirk to eat. And then there is the catch.



Kirk is intrigued by his exact replica complete with his own handy dandy green/blue garb. He asks about Sam. His android coutnerpart indicates he is the only one who refers to his brother George Samuel Kirk as Sam. Sam saw James T. Kirk off on his five year mission. Korby indicates the android is actually only half of what he could potentially achieve. Korby hopes to accomplish a process called consciousness transference, the soul, into an android. Could this require something more complex than the revolving table trick? It would be eternal life- immortality. Kirk indicates these were the same kinds of promises made by Hitler and Genghis Khan towards achieving perfection. Korby insists life could be improved. A world without disease, deformities, jealousy, hate could evolve. It could be paradise. All Korby asks for is travel to a new colony with proper resources. Kirk is busy untying the rope underneath his chair while he listens to the ramblings of a mad man. Korby indicates he created android Kirk to impress him not replace him. Kirk says with a grin, "I'm impressed." Kirk leaps into action as only Kirk can grabbing Korby with a rope around his throat. Ruk is kept at bay as Kirk escapes.

There's something familiar about the object in Kirk's hands. Could this be his secret weapon to luring women?
Ruk is given orders to "protect" and off he goes after Kirk into the catacombs. Chapel follows in pursuit issuing orders to Ruk not to harm Kirk. Ruk goes into full deception mode implementing the voice of Nurse Chapel to lure Kirk out of hiding. Kirk acknowledges the voice leading Ruk into a hand-to-hand battle with our fearless Captain. A clear example why many find fault with a Captain leading teams into potentially dangerous and hostile situations never to return. Kirk hangs onto a ledge with his life in the balance. Suddenly without warning Ruk reaches down and saves Kirk.
Meanwhile aboard the Enterprise, replicant Kirk has arrived. Spock is surprised by his arrival. He is further surprised by Kirk's response. Spock is definitely put on alert by the replica Kirk's reaction thanks as always to the quick-witted, sure-footed thinking of one Captain Kirk's leadership even if he is always one step away from death.



Kirk is now in a holding room. Andrea visits Kirk and orders her to kiss him. She accepts. We so need to acquire our very own androids. He really gets her in a lip lock and her reaction is near overload. This is clearly the affect Kirk has on women. This is why we love him. He represents male desire and our unrestrained libidos. Kirk flies into full-on Captain seduction mode teaching her what it means to feel. Right. Ruk enters and Kirk asks if he disapproves of Chapel's orders to save Kirk. "What happened to the Old Ones?" asks Kirk. The Old Ones began to turn off the androids when they became fearful. Kirk's complex brain energy continues to toy with Ruk's wiring. Ruk indicates it became necessary to destroy them. "You can't protect someone who is trying to destroy you." BINGO! I think he hit the right button with Ruk. As Ruk moves to kill Korby, Korby disintegrates Ruk.

Kirk takes on Korby only to discover and reveal that he too is an android. Roger is not Roger after all. Roger that. Just as Chapel mentioned earlier, he has changed. He has changed indeed, because it is not Korby. The concept and question of machine over man is at the heart of our tale.

Korby orders Andrea to deal with the landing party. I love this little android to android exchange. It does not go well for android Kirk. You really should have kissed her.



Do Andreas dream of electric sheep? Perhaps Andrea and Korby did have an electric thing going.
Andrea kills the android Kirk thinking she killed the real Kirk. Nothing like a female android scorned. The whole concept of discovering what it means to be human is in play of course. "Is this your perfect world?" asks Kirk. Kirk asks Korby to prove he is really Dr. Korby. Korby hands his phaser to Kirk. Andrea kisses and loves the machine Korby and in that embrace, Korby pulls her phaser killing them, disintegrating them both. The love machines perish.

I found myself reminded of Sean Young in Blade Runner based upon Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep? [1968] by Phillip K. Dick. And that's what I think is in play in these final moments of the show. What makes us human? What is the nature of the human condition? What allows us to feel, pain or pleasure? Can machines learn to love? Of course, What Are Little Girls Made Of? pre-dates that classic Dick publication. Chapel breaks down in tears. I suppose she is mourning the loss of her real Dr. Korby since that wasn't him, but it's all catching up to her emotionally.

Spock wonders where is Dr. Korby? Kirk responds, "Dr. Korby was never here." Nurse Chapel will remain with the ship and her mission. You have to love the humor that is injected into the series for many of its closings. This is one of those special moments between Kirk and Spock that fans love. I know I lived for them as a kid.



And like the oft-cited science fiction questions that crop up in works like Star Trek: TOS and Phillip K. Dick's books we are left to wonder what it means to be human and whether we have the right to determine what love is. What Are Little Girls Made Of? is a fine example of the classic sci-fi morality play of Star Trek: The Original Series.


What Are Little Girls Made Of?: B-/ A [for Sherry Jackson]. Writer: Robert Bloch. Director: James Goldstone.

Dead Crewman: 2 [Red Shirts: Matthews and Rayburn]/ Dead Crewman To Date: 10
Babe Alert: 1/ Babe Alert Total To Date: 9

Actor Footnote: Michael Strong [Dr. Roger Korby Android] [1924-1980]. American. He passed away from cancer.

Actor Footnote: Ted Cassidy [Ruk] [1932-1979]. American. He played the part of Lurch in The Addams Family [1964-1966], and Injun Joe in The New Adventures Of Huckleberry Finn [1968-1969]. He also appeared in The Six Million Dollar Man [1974-1978] as Bigfoot and provided the narration over the opening sequence to The Incredible Hulk [1977-1982]. He passed away from complications following open heart surgery. Cassidy, like actor Richard Kiel [Jaws in 007], was born with larger than normal physical features as a result of a syndrome called acromegaly. It's the result of an overactive pituitary gland. The pituitary gland produces excessive hormone. Signs and syptoms often associated include enlarged brow, jaw and skull as well as excessive growth. It is often connected to gigantism.

Smoking Red Hot Babe Alert: Sherry Jackson [1942-present] American. She appeared in The Space Croppers on Lost in Space [1967]. She had a major role on The Danny Thomas Show [1953-1958] for six years . She is on the Hollywood Walk Of Fame. She also appeared in Playboy magazine for a film appearance in 1967. I can't for the life of me figure out why anyone would want to see her nude. Shwwwing! I'm sorry. There's just something about Sherry.

Writer Footnote: Robert Bloch [1917-1994]. American. The eerie science fiction/ horror writer behind the novel Psycho brings a strange element to Star Trek: TOS. Bloch would also bring his unique touch to Catspaw and Wolf In The Fold in the second season of ST: TOS. Allen Steele wrote in his entry All Our Tomorrows in Boarding The Enterprise, Bloch "made it possible for fantasy to mix freely with science fiction." This is why Bloch gave a unique feel to his own Star Trek input. He passed away from cancer at 77.

12 comments:

Ivan said...

Oh yeah...the first of many sexy replicants...And Robert Bloch rules! I gotta watch this episode again.
Thanks!
--Ivan

John Kenneth Muir said...

SFF:

A great retrospective of "What are Little Girls Made Of." This is one of my favorite early episodes of Star Trek.

All the ingredients are truly coming together here, from the conflict based on what it really means to be human, to the humorous Spock/Kirk relationship, to the (possible) dalliance for Kirk with space babe of the week -- whom, as you aptly note -- is smoking hot.

Ted Cassidy makes for a great villain with Ruk, both in appearance and performance. And I love the Lovecraftian idea here of "The Old Ones" who left behind their great machines.

Your still image and caption with Kirk holding that uhm...phallus...is great! :)

Best,
JKM

The Sci-Fi Fanatic said...

Ivan-

I love your many variations on the Sexy Replikantz posts at your site. Terrific!

There's something about sitting home on a rainy day and watching a classic episode of Star Trek. You wish the feeling could last forever.

John-

We agree. These concepts and ideas are really coming together with a great science fiction entry.

I love your point about the Lovecraftian Old Ones.

I love Star Trek for its dramatic intensity, but I'd be lying if I didn't admit in my entries my affection for the sexual and the beauties that populated Roddenberry's classic.

As a red-blooded male, not a Vulcan, it is just one more element to the show that never gets old.

That image of Kirk holding the, uh-hum, rock is just classic right?

Thanks again my friend.
Take care.
sff

le0pard13 said...

Like JKM, it's one of my faves from ST:TOS. Sherry Jackson as Andrea (love that name, btw) is in that league of hot Star Trek women that I never tire of watching (along with Nichelle Nichols, who I just started following on Twitter). Glad to see people remember Ted Cassidy -- don't forget, he portrayed Harvey Logan in BUTCH CASSIDY AND THE SUNDANCE KID (he of, "Rules? In a knife fight? No rules!"). He had one of the all-time great voices, too. He did the voice of Balok in the CORBOMITE MANUEVER and Gorn from ARENA in the original series. As well, he did a number of voice work stints in animation programs during that period. He was a marvelous character actor. As usual, a great look at a classic episode in the venerable series, SFF. Thanks.

The Sci-Fi Fanatic said...

Thanks for your additional input there L13. Great stuff.

I've had Butch Cassidy And The Sundance Kid on my watch list for a pick up. One of these days I'll be checking it out again.

His voice was outstanding. I loved the narration he did for The Incredible Hulk. Just awesome!

Thanks
sff

Fritz "Doc" Freakenstein said...

This is one of my least favorite episodes of Star Trek, Sci-Fi Fanatic. Other than the obvious eye-candy, I honestly find “What Little Girls are Made Of” unwatchable with a 21st Century eye. The title alone is gag worthy and all the worst aspects of the 60’s era of male-female sexual politics are on display. The ending where the female android kills both herself and her artificial creator holds no emotional weight.

I respect your joyful appreciation for even the lesser classic Trek episodes (in most cases I even share it), but to compare this lightweight fluff to “Blade Runner” or the Dick novel on which it is based… is sci-fi sacrilege! Robert Bloch was no P. K. Dick and his contributions to Star Trek are inferior science fiction and not even very entertaining Star Trek sci-fi.

The Sci-Fi Fanatic said...

Sacre Bleu Doc! [That just sounded good].

First, I agree, those 60s era male-female sexual politics are just in your face in play, but this is one of those nostalgic appeals for me. I kind of enjoy it in this politically correct world of culture and politics. Enjoying ST:TOS is like a retreat of fun.

Second, I kind of like the quirky little title that also has that sexual politics appeal. I like it.

Third, I agree with you on the emotional weight of that moment. It's not really there.

Fourth, I agree again. I do love these even some of the lesser Trek episodes for a whole host of reasons.

Fifth, I can't really comment on Bloch specifically with great authority, but I merely reflect on some of the ideas in the episode.

This takes me to my final thoughts my friend. I think the episode has its problems which is why I gave it a cautious B-. I think it is imperfect. I think it isn't entirely successful, but I do think some of the ideas in play are expressive and of course it's always colorfully presented on Star Trek.

I truly enjoyed your alternate opinion on the entry from some of the other remarks here.

I think it's safe to say my take on the episode falls somewhere between your opinion of it and some of the others, although I clearly enjoyed it quite a bit more than your always terrific, engaging and sometime uniquely different perspective.

We may not be as close on this one, but I love your input on the series and was looking forward to it.

But I do say Doc, if Sherry Jackson is what these girls are made of, I'm good with that. : )

Sean Gill said...

"She rivals the hotness of Mudd's Women times warp factor 5."

Agreed, my friend! I just caught this episode the other day for the first time, and found it to be damned enjoyable, and additionally so because of Ms. Jackson.

And, what, did Ken Russell guest-direct the sequence where Kirk is defending himself with the ginormous stone phallus?!

Another enjoyable, comprehensive write-up, SFF!

le0pard13 said...

SFF: I thought you and others would appreciate this YouTube vid on the subject at hand ;-).

The Sci-Fi Fanatic said...

A humorous visit by the gentleman Mr. Gill. Thanks so much Sean.

That was a fun read at the end of a long day.... ooops, there's that word "looong" again. Kirk does do that to us. : )

Best
sff

The Sci-Fi Fanatic said...

Thanks so much L13! I'll be heading off to check it out. Thanks for bringing it to our attention here.

best my friend

sff

dmappin said...

Ted Cassidy returned to work with Gene Roddenberry in two TV movies (unsold pilots for a proposed TV series, "Genesis II" and "Planet Earth 2133").

It remains to be seen, of course, how the series would have proceeded had it sold as a series.