Star Trek: What are Little Girls Made Of?

Corby: "You think I could love a machine?"
Christine: "Did you?"

I've always liked this one. Maybe it was the super whirly android maker. Maybe it was Lurch from The Addams Family in extreme make-up skulking around wearing a pink ruffled blouse.

Actually, it was probably the way they explored the idea of immortality via android, and whether or not a human being is still a human being after they've downloaded. Clearly, the answer was an unqualified no: the implication was that Corby killed himself and Andrea because he realized they were less than human and had no souls. In fact, there's a veritable android massacre at the end of the episode, which was probably good for Starfleet: no androids claiming citizenship or suing for human rights, I guess.

Christine immediately thought Andrea was a sexbot. Was she? Where did Andrea come from? (What are little girls made of?) Was she a downloaded consciousness of another one of Corby's assistants, like Brown? Was she just an android drone, like Ruk? In which case, why wasn't she seven feet tall and scary-looking? What did the "Old Ones," the people from that planet who were taken over by androids, look like? Did they resemble Ruk, too?

If Andrea was completely unemotional, how come Kirk was able to confuse her with sex? Of course, sex is so cool and feels so good (and Kirk was so good at it) that even androids want it, huh? Andrea even killed the Kirk android because he wouldn't kiss her. And here's the big question. How did Andrea keep her boobs from falling out of the criss-cross straps of her overalls? (I've heard that a lot of the sexy female costumes in TOS were kept in place with two-sided tape. Ouch.)

This episode is notable for the launch of Kirk's romantic follies. From here on out, no female visiting dignitary, alien or robot will be safe from him. As I've mentioned before, I'm not a Shatner fan and Kirk's tomcatting never did much for me. The relationships that this series explored best were between Kirk, Spock and McCoy.



One of the best parts of the episode was Kirk programming his double to insult Spock. And it was nice to learn more about Christine, although I certainly didn't think Kirby was worthy of such devotion. And hey, I thought she was in love with Spock? I suppose that doesn't preclude a tragic romance in her past, though.

Ben says...

Apropos of nothing:

The scene: August 1974, El Paso, Texas, Temperature: 105 degrees F.

I am lying on my back on a playground merry go round. You remember the kind, a metal disk with metal pipe handles, if you pushed it with even moderate force it would attempt to hurl even the most determined young occupant off with surprising force. I have my feet braced and am trying to lay still. My stepbrother, an individual with all the humanity displayed by Roger Corey in this episode if not the intellect, is pushing me as fast as he can and is re-capping the episode to me loudly. “So when you stop, you are the duplicate Ben!” Sadly, the only evil that I can get up to in my android form is to dizzily fall off the merry go round and narrowly avoid vomiting up the corn dogs we had for lunch. Sadly, this is perhaps my earliest clear Trekkie memory.



Of course, it says something about the era we live in now that it is easier to find an actual android sex doll (see: Lars and the Real Girl, I could have suggested other sites but come on folks this is a family Blog) than one of those merry go rounds.

Back to Billie for bits and pieces:

— Stardate 2712.4. Planet Exo III, another cold and uninhabitable one.

— You gotta give the producers nerve for doing another evil double episode so soon after the first.

— I don't intend to mention future incarnations of Trek constantly, but Data, an android who clearly possessed a "soul," was a lead character in Next Generation and a huge favorite with fans. The general opinion on androids changed as the Star Trek franchise progressed.

— Kirk ordered two security guards in red shirts to beam down. One was immediately tossed into a bottomless pit, while the other was taken down by a killer android.

— We learned that Kirk has a brother named George Samuel Kirk, who has a wife and three children. And that George wanted to be transferred to Earth Colony Two.

— Kirk mentioned Genghis Khan, Julius Caesar, Hitler, Ferris, and Maltuvus.

— The cave sets in this episode were spectacular. Yes, it's unlikely that cave formations would ever be bright purple, red and blue, but the bright colors on Trek were always distinctive and visually interesting.

— Loved the way Ruk (Ted Cassidy) just picked up William Shatner and lifted him over his head, as if he weighed about a pound.

— The phasers were suddenly as small as the communicators, instead of bigger, ray-gun types of affairs.

— Did they deliberately give Andrea a name as close to the word "android" as they could?

— Uhura was back in red, with no explanation. Maybe she wore the gold one while the red one was at the cleaners.

— Christine's hair style was a lot saner and more attractive this time.

Quotes:

Spock: "You're certain you recognize his voice?"
Christine: "Have you ever been engaged, Mister Spock?"
Well, that's a topic for another episode.

Spock: "Frankly, I was rather dismayed by your use of the term 'half-breed,' Captain. You must admit it is an unsophisticated expression."
Kirk: "I'll remember that, Mister Spock, the next time I find myself in a similar situation."
Spock, of course, wasn't at all disturbed. That tiny smile signaled that he was trying to get a rise out of Kirk.

Three out of four sexy androids,

Billie
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Billie Doux loves good television and spends way too much time writing about it.

6 comments:

Mark Greig said...

This was an alright episode. Not one of my favourites but enjoyable none the less (Andrea’s wardrobe certainly helps).

I’m surprised neither of you mentioned that rather rude looking chunk of rock Kirk grabs to whack Ruk with. Has me in stitches every time.

Billie Doux said...

Yes, I know about the chunk of rock -- there are tons of photos of Shatner holding it online. (Just Google images "what are little girls made of" if you're curious and haven't seen it already.) I guess it just didn't surface in my conscious mind while I was writing the review.

Paul Kelly said...

But that look looks exactly the same shape as...a thingy, Jim!

Mark Greig said...

Really? A thingy? Thought it looked more like a turnip myself.

Michael said...

Years ago when SciFi ran the special editions of Trek, they interviewed with Sherry Jackson (Andrea) who said that if you watch the scene in which Kirk kisses Andrea, you can see their lips are swollen. She said this is because Shatner deliberately flubbed his lines time and again so he could kiss her again.

Billie Doux said...

I've been to a lot of Star Trek conventions, but I've never seen Shatner. One of my friends did, though, and was terribly disappointed that he said suggestive things to young female fans and told dirty jokes onstage. So this story doesn't surprise me.