Edit
"Star Trek" Charlie X (TV Episode 1966) Poster

(TV Series)

(1966)

Trivia

Jump to: Cameo (1)  | Spoilers (4)
True to his training as a Method actor, Robert Walker Jr. chose to remain in his dressing room and not interact with any members of the cast as this would help his characterization of a strange, aloof person.
47 of 48 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
In the original script, Uhura was to amuse the crew by performing as a trained mimic, imitating Spock and other officers. This was changed to her singing a song about Spock, followed by a spoof of the 18th-century Scottish love song "Charlie is my Darling," in order to highlight Nichelle Nichols' singing talent.
45 of 46 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
Robert Walker Jr. was 26 when he played the 17 year old Charlie Evans.
39 of 40 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
Some of the things now considered everyday items in Star Trek are missing during the early episodes. In this one, the Enterprise has a cook who prepares meals for the crew. The Yeoman also talks of searching through "ship's stores." The use of replicators to create food and other materials had not yet been conceived of but would become commonplace by Star Trek: Tomorrow Is Yesterday (1967).
39 of 40 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
During the lounge scene, where Uhura sings a song about Charlie, Spock is seen smiling as he accompanies her on a harp-like instrument. This is one of the few times in the series that Spock smiles, while not under the influence of a substance or someone's mind control powers.
34 of 35 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
The term "United Federation of Planets" had not been developed when this episode was made. The series frequently changed the name of the organization which the Enterprise serves during the early episodes. In this one it's "United Earth Space Probe Agency" or UESPA, pronounced by Captain Kirk as "you spa." This name was later used in Star Trek: Enterprise (2001) for one of the Federation's precursor agencies.
31 of 33 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
In the original outline, Gene Roddenberry's working titles were The Day Charlie Became God, or Charlie Is God. These would almost certainly have been problematic to the network censors, so the title was changed to Charlie's Law, then settled on Charlie X, as X denotes the unknown. However, the title Charlie's Law was retained in the book-form tie-in, novelized by James Blish.
22 of 23 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
Scotty and Sulu do not appear in this episode, although two words of Sulu's dialogue from Star Trek: The Man Trap (1966) are dubbed in when Kirk calls the bridge from the gymnasium.
19 of 20 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
William Shatner had his chest shaved for this episode. In the next episode to be aired, Star Trek: Where No Man Has Gone Before (1966), he clearly has a hairy chest, as that episode was filmed a good year before this one.
28 of 31 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
Charlie Evans' character-nature, back-story, and superhuman powers, are remarkably similar to those of Valentine Michael "Mike" Smith, the main character of Robert A. Heinlein's Stranger in a Strange Land, a 1961 novel which became one of the "bibles" of the hippie movement. It's possible that this was just a coincidence, as both stories resemble Jerome Bixby's "It's a Good Life" from 1953 (see elsewhere on page).
17 of 18 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
Captain Kirk reveals that there are 428 crew aboard the Enterprise.
26 of 29 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
First script for the series by D.C. Fontana would go on to become the story editor for the series.
15 of 16 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
During the first-season episodes, cinematographer Gerald Perry Finnerman was encouraged to maximize placement of coloured background lighting to add exotic warmth to the gray walls of the Enterprise set. This was a major promotional point for NBC, as Star Trek was a selling point for colour televisions. As pressure to complete episodes grew, this touch gradually faded from the series. NBC was owned at the time by RCA, a major manufacturer of color television sets.
15 of 16 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
The ship's gymnasium makes its first and only appearance in the series. It was originally intended to be seen in more episodes, as some of the shots showing acrobatics and gymnastics there were filmed as intended stock footage for reuse later. The gymnasium was a redress of the engineering set. The room where the gymnasts are tumbling is the redecorated briefing room.
15 of 16 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
This episode was originally scheduled to air further into the season, as all action took place aboard the Enterprise and it was basically a teenage melodrama set in the space age, both which NBC disliked. However, as it required no new outer space special effects shots (actually all Enterprise shots are recycled from the two pilots), its post-production took less time than other episodes, and it was chosen to be the second episode to air out of necessity, as other episodes were not ready for the deadline. The Antares was originally to be shown on screen, however when the early airdate was commissioned, this was eliminated.
13 of 14 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
A portion of this episode takes place on a date which is revealed to be the Earth date of Thanksgiving.
16 of 18 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
The line "Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered weak and weary" spoken by Spock while under Charlie's influence is the first line of the poem "The Raven", by Edgar Allan Poe. Spock is also forced to quote some lines from "The Tyger" by William Blake when he shouts that there is a "Tyger, Tyger burning bright, in the forests of the night".
12 of 13 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
After this episode William Shatner only wore tights once more, in Star Trek: Errand of Mercy (1967). He later poked fun at his costume in this episode when clips of it were shown as part of How William Shatner Changed the World (2005).
11 of 12 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
This takes place in November 2266.
12 of 14 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
For most of the episode, Charlie wears a gold wraparound jacket, which appears to be an unused, early version of Kirk's green tunic made for Star Trek: The Enemy Within (1966). It is apparently too big for him.
12 of 14 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
The director Lawrence Dobkin would later play Ambassador Kell in Star Trek: The Next Generation: The Mind's Eye (1991).
9 of 10 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
The opening credits of this episode are the same as those used in Star Trek: The Man Trap (1966), which included a "Created by Gene Roddenberry" credit. The credits at the close of the episode only list Roddenberry as Producer. Also, the credits for William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy are missing the "starring" and "also starring" designations. This episode followed Star Trek: The Man Trap (1966) in airdate order. The main titles were standardized for syndication, however the DVD prints restore the titles to their original configuration.
9 of 10 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (1993) writer/producer Ira Steven Behr says that this is the episode that "won him over".
9 of 10 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
This is the first time we see the brig in the series, although the electrically charged "bars" that emerge from either side of the doorway were removed and replaced with lights hereafter. During season two, it was given a permanent location in the hallway leading to the engineering set (which is near this set across the hallway). This same spot is used as the guest quarters in Star Trek: The Conscience of the King (1966), and as part of engineering in Star Trek: The Alternative Factor (1967). Finally, it becomes the medical lab in "Star Trek" (1966) {Operation - Annihilate! (#1.29)}.
9 of 10 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
When Kirk and Charlie have their final confrontation, the camera moves to a rare floor-level view of the bridge. This close-up shows that the set is carpeted. This was probably done as a noise-absorber, given the propensity of the set to pick up noises like plumbing and squeaking floors. The material itself is Ozite, a portion of which was sold at the Profiles in History Star Trek auction in June 2002.
9 of 10 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
A strange bit of dialog present in the teleplay was cut from the episode: when discussing the possible existence of Thasians, and Kirk's possible father-figure behavior to Charlie, Spock satirically asks McCoy, "Shall I schedule you to give him voodoo and superstition lessons, doctor?" McCoy replies, "You can if he provides his own chicken's teeth and penguin feathers.", and Spock tells him, "I'll see to it, doctor."
8 of 9 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
According to D.C. Fontana, the filmed episode was basically the same as her screenplay, "There were a few line changes, not much. The images of how Charlie affected people, you know, no face so a woman couldn't talk, things like that, those were all there. (...) I noticed there really wasn't that much that was changed, it was pretty much the way I wrote it."
8 of 9 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
It is possible that "Charlie X" was inspired by Jerome Bixby's 1953 short fiction "It's a Good Life," which had been filmed as The Twilight Zone: It's a Good Life (1961) five years before this one.
7 of 8 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
In the scene in Rand's quarters, when Charlie flings Kirk and Spock against the wall, the wall has a hole punched in it. On an earlier take, Leonard Nimoy had struck the wall too forcefully. This alternate take can be seen at the end of the episode's preview.
7 of 8 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
The music accompanying Charlie's disappearance at the end of this episode, highlighted by a mournful bassoon dirge, was re-used effectively in "Space Seed" as the landing party beams onto the Botany Bay; in Star Trek: Patterns of Force (1968) for the death of John Gill; in Star Trek: The Tholian Web (1968) as Chekov witnesses the dead engineering crew on the Defiant; as Kirk wanders the empty corridors of the faux-Enterprise early in Star Trek: The Mark of Gideon (1969); and in Star Trek: The Ultimate Computer (1968) during Daystrom's final conversation with his M-5 computer.
7 of 8 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
This is the only episode shot after the pilots to have no exterior views of the Enterprise using the updated "series" model. All of the shots are footage from Star Trek: The Cage (1966) and Star Trek: Where No Man Has Gone Before (1966).
9 of 11 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
Still not firmly set in his characterization in this early episode, Spock shows both irritation and amusement as Uhura makes fun of him. It seems that he has learned how to express irritation ("Ah yes, one of your Earth emotions") fairly quickly since the events of Star Trek: Where No Man Has Gone Before (1966).
9 of 11 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
This was one of only three episodes of the first season that didn't show Vina in the last closing still. The other two episodes were Star Trek: What Are Little Girls Made Of? (1966) and Star Trek: Dagger of the Mind (1966).
8 of 10 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
Charlie and the crew of the Antares are wearing old turtleneck uniforms left over from the two pilots. Also, when Charlie is causing panic on the corridors, crewmen can be seen wearing the new series shirts with old, pilot version trousers and boots.
8 of 10 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
The grates in the floors of the corridors disappeared in later episodes. In one scene, Charlie takes great delight in watching a technician lower some tubing into one of these floor grates.
6 of 7 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
Publicity stills of Grace Lee Whitney were used on the playing cards Charlie modifies.
6 of 7 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
This is the first of six original series episodes that takes place entirely aboard the Enterprise. The others are Star Trek: The Changeling (1967), Star Trek: Journey to Babel (1967) (Babel itself is never seen), Star Trek: Elaan of Troyius (1968), Star Trek: Is There in Truth No Beauty? (1968), and Star Trek: Let That Be Your Last Battlefield (1969). Star Trek: The Doomsday Machine (1967), Star Trek: The Ultimate Computer (1968), Star Trek: The Immunity Syndrome (1968), and Star Trek: The Tholian Web (1968) were also filmed using only the Enterprise sets, including that of the shuttlecraft interior, but some of the action in these episodes took place on other Constitution-class starships. By any reasonable definition, each of these entries qualifies as "bottle episodes."
7 of 9 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
The song that Uhura sings to Spock and then Charlie may have been taken from an old Scottish folk song penned by Robert Burns called "Charlie, He's My Darling". The chorus in that song is almost identical to what Uhura sings.
7 of 9 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
Charlie Evans and Tina Lawton were both born in 2249.
7 of 9 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
Body count : 20.
3 of 3 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
Although it may not canonically represent the creative staff's intentions, the novelization by James Blish in Star Trek 1 identifies the unnamed crewman named Sam (that Charlie "disposes" of) as Sam Ellis, an officer on McCoy's medical staff. The episode novelization made it clear that he, along with all of the officers who were disfigured by Charlie, were "restored" along with Rand when the Thasians intervened. However, the USS Antares could not be saved because, as the Thasian explained, it was destroyed "in this frame" whereas the zapped Enterprise personnel were "kept intact in the next frame."
5 of 6 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
The United Earth Space Probe Agency is referenced for the first time in this episode, with the acronym "UESPA". It was mentioned again in episode Star Trek: Tomorrow Is Yesterday (1967). Years later, Star Trek: Enterprise (2001) referenced UESPA in several episodes, including Eastwick (2009).
5 of 6 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
In the final draft, the card trick Charlie plays with Janice, which reveals her photograph on the cards, is not specified. The script simply states that Charlie performs a variety of card tricks which amaze Janice and the onlookers.
5 of 6 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
The script called for the Antares to be seen, dwarfed by the Enterprise.
5 of 6 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
Gene Roddenberry had written a one-sentence synopsis of this episode on the first page of his original series outline for Star Trek (1966) under the title "The Day Charlie Became God." The page is reproduced in the Herbert F. Solow/Robert H. Justman volume Inside Star Trek: The Real Story. Writer D.C. Fontana also confirmed that the episode was based on that story idea. Fontana developed the story and wrote the teleplay, but Roddenberry received story credit.
8 of 11 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
After Charlie transforms Tina Lawton into an iguana, the noise the reptile makes was that of the sound made by Sylvia and Korob when they returned to their true forms at the end of Star Trek: Catspaw (1967).
6 of 8 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
A large number of visual effects had to be nixed due to time constraints when the episode was moved ahead in airing schedule, to be broadcast in September (originally it was scheduled to air in November, hence the Thanksgiving reference). These included the Antares, which was called to appear on screen in the script, but ended up unseen.
4 of 5 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
According to Kirk's line "On Earth today it's Thanksgiving", the beginning of this episode takes place on 22 November 2266 (assuming American Thanksgiving is meant).
4 of 5 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
The bench on which Sam was sitting when he was zapped turned up later in other episodes. In Star Trek: Court Martial (1967), it held the wrench that Ben Finney snatched in his attempt to club Kirk. In Star Trek: This Side of Paradise (1967), it was topped off by the metal tray that Spock grabs during his fight with Kirk in the transporter room.
4 of 6 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
Spock's scanners in this episode make the same sound the Metron transmission does in Star Trek: Arena (1967).
4 of 6 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
This episode was directed by Lawrence Dobkin, who later guest-starred as Ambassador Kell in Star Trek: The Next Generation: The Mind's Eye (1991).
4 of 8 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
James Doohan and George Takei do not appear in this episode, although two words of Takei's dialog from Star Trek: The Man Trap (1966) are dubbed in when Kirk calls the bridge from the gymnasium.
3 of 6 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink

Cameo 

Gene Roddenberry: voice of the galley chief who says to Kirk, "Sir, I put meat loaf in the ovens. There's turkeys in there now... real turkeys!" This was his only speaking role in "Star Trek". During the second season, his disembodied hand appears in a few scenes of Star Trek: Who Mourns for Adonais? (1967).
36 of 39 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink

Spoilers 

The trivia items below may give away important plot points.

When Charlie knocks Spock against the wall of the Enterprise, it creates a crack in the wall of the sheet rock set. In subsequent shots during the same scene, actor Leonard Nimoy is positioned in front of the crack so it doesn't show.
13 of 15 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
The episode illustrates some of the show's early inconsistencies regarding costuming. Yeoman Lawton is shown wearing a blue uniform, indicating the Medical/Science division, not the red Yeoman's uniform representing the Ship's Services division. The color could indicate Lawton's position as a Third Class Yeoman, or that the Medical or Science Departments could have been served by their own staff of Yeomans. Also, the female officer Charlie transforms into an old woman wears a two piece shirt and trousers uniform, not a one piece mini-skirted uniform worn by other female officers shown on the series.
11 of 13 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
Like Trelane, Apollo, and the Gorgan, (other advanced beings whose powers threatened the crew) Charlie makes his exit with fading repetition of his final words.
7 of 8 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
Although the Thasians gave Charlie X powers which were dangerous to his own kind, the side effect was that he could not be reintegrated into society. This theme of reintegration was later explored on Star Trek: Voyager (1995) when Seven of Nine is disconnected from the Borg collective where Captain Janeway and the Doctor (who in the series is an emergency medical hologram) became parental figures. The villains from the film Star Trek Beyond (2016) (Krall, Manas, and Kalara) were partly based on Charlie X - they were humans who were deliberately abandoned by Starfleet but used alien technology from an extinct species where their human physiology was altered at the cost of their lives.
7 of 8 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink

See also

Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

Contribute to This Page


Recently Viewed