Star Trek: Season 3, Episode 4

And the Children Shall Lead (11 Oct. 1968)

TV Episode  -   -  Action | Adventure | Sci-Fi
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Ratings: 5.3/10 from 874 users  
Reviews: 14 user | 3 critic

The Enterprise reaches a Federation colony where the adults have all killed themselves but the children play without care.


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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Tommy Starnes (as Craig Hundley)
James Wellman ...
Professor Starnes
Pamelyn Ferdin ...
Melvin Caesar Belli ...
Steve (as Caesar Belli)
Mark Robert Brown ...


The Enterprise responds to a distress call from the scientific colony on Triacus and arrives to find that all of the adults are dead. Oddly, the children seem unaffected by the deaths and continue to play as if nothing had happened. When questioned, they show no remorse whatsoever and express a dislike for parental authority. Expedition logs reveal that the expedition had discovered an ancient civilization and that there might be one survivor. In fact, the Gorgon thrives on the innocence of the children and the adults' self-doubt. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


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Release Date:

11 October 1968 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


The title paraphrases the last line of Isaiah 11:6: "The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them." See more »


The stardates the Enterprise and Professor Starn's scientific team used apparently do not match up. The opening stardate of 5049.5 would have made more sense than the 5029.5 quoted on the captain's log. See more »


Mr. Spock: Captain, so long as the children are present, there is danger. They are the carriers.
Captain James T. Kirk: Spock, they're not the alien beings, they're children being misled.
Mr. Spock: They are followers. Without followers, evil cannot spread.
Captain James T. Kirk: They're children!
Mr. Spock: Captain, the 430 men and women on board the Enterprise, and the ship itself, are endangered by these... children.
Captain James T. Kirk: They don't understand the evil that they're doing.
Mr. Spock: Perhaps that is true. But the evil that is within them is spreading fast. And unless we can find a way ...
See more »


Referenced in Zodiac (2007) See more »

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User Reviews

And The Children Shall Groove
18 June 2014 | by (Troy, NY) – See all my reviews

Reviewer's Note: The following is a parody of the classic Star Trek episode, AND THE CHILDREN SHALL LEAD. Judge for yourself if it truly captures the manic intensity and unintentional humor of the original.


"Why, you little punk!" Kirk looked down at his gold uniform shirt, and then glared at the tall red-haired boy. "I just – had that shirt – dry- cleaned. The next time you throw ice cream at me I'm gonna beat you like a Dimorphian Drumfish!"

"Jim, he's just a boy." Dr. McCoy gave the children a reassuring look. "Don't mind our captain, he's most likely been affected by the anxiety- causing atmosphere on that strange planet you just came from. Maybe that's what happened to your parents too."

"Parents? What parents?" Tommy the tall red-head glared at Captain Kirk. "We don't remember any parents. We don't have to tell you about no stinking parents!"

"Bones, let me handle this," Kirk said smoothly. "Unless I hear the truth – about what happened – to your parents – there will be no more ice cream cones!"

"Ah, I got your cone right here." Tommy grabbed his crotch and squeezed. "Try it with nuts."

"That does it!" Kirk lunged for Tommy and caught him in a headlock. Then a call came from the bridge.

"Captain, Spock here. Strange phenomenon on the bridge screen. Please come at once."

Up on the bridge, Spock indicated a sexy young man sprawled out shirtless on the view screen.

Kirk couldn't place the alien. "Abraham Lincoln?" He asked. "The Greek God Apollo?"

"My name's Jim," said the god-like figure in black leather pants. "You wanna beam me up? Let's break on through to the other side."

"Fascinating," Spock peered into his glowing monitor. "Evidently a twentieth-century earth poet, Captain. Decadent and cruel, but devastatingly attractive to the young of both sexes. Known to his followers as the Lizard King."

Kirk was glad that he'd brought the other Jim up to the Enterprise. At first. It was awesome to hear "Crystal Ship" and "Soul Kitchen" coming through the ship's speakers late at night, instead of all that horrible warbling by Uhura. But soon the Lizard King was encouraging the kids to misbehave. They lurked in the corridors, pumping their fists and making stuff go wrong. And now they had a leader.

"You're all a bunch of slaves!" Jim shouted, stirring up the Red Shirts in the crew lounge. "I don't know about you, but I plan on getting my kicks before the whole s---house explodes!"

"That's enough, mister!"

"What you gonna do, man?" Morrison mocked. "Gonna use the ship's phasers on a bunch of kids?"

"Listen to me!" Kirk shouted. "Do you think he's one of you? Do you think he's a glamorous, youthful god?"

"He's the Lizard King," Tommy stated boastfully. "He can do anything."

"Lizard King! Lizard King!" chanted the little kids, in unison.

"These kids are my friends," Morrison crooned, drunkenly. "Soon, we will go to your Star Base, and make even more friends. And the children shall groove. All those who dig our trip will be our friends. Those who do not will be destroyed. They got the guns, but we got the numbers. We want the world and we want it now!"

"We want the world and we want it now!"

"Look at him!" Kirk shouted. "Is he a kid like you? Look how drunk he is! He's not only a grown up, he's the worst kind of grown up. How long before he has a big beer gut? How long before he's floating face down in someone's bathtub?"

"That's a lie!" Tommy shouted. But Jim Morrison was starting to change. His belly was getting fat. His beard was getting longer and longer. And his voice sounded raspy and worn out.

"Kill the father," he moaned. "F—the mother. Kill the father. Kill the father. F---the mother."

"That's what destroyed your parents!" Kirk cried, pointing the finger like a prosecuting attorney. The kids started to cry.

"Take it as it comes," Morrison shrugged. His face was bloated, pasty. He tried to unbutton his leather pants and expose himself, but his belly got in the way. He collapsed on the floor and writhed around like a Crawling King Snake. Then vanished into thin air.

"They're all crying now, Jim," Bones McCoy said quietly. "I guess you knew what you were doing all along. Now the healing can begin."

"Captain, I never will understand earth men," Spock said, a few days later. The ship had been cleaned up after Morrison threw up all over everything, and the children were undergoing intensive counseling combined with medication. "You knew all along that Morrison was the source of the children's bratty attitude, yet you insisted on beaming him aboard."

Kirk shrugged, back in his favorite chair on the bridge. "I always wanted – to see the Doors – do their thing live, Mr. Spock. Say what you want about Jim Morrison, he was a rock and roll legend. Four centuries haven't changed that."

Spock lifted a thoughtful Vulcan eyebrow. "Perhaps in the end, only the truly dark emotions make rock and roll possible. All the great rock legends seem to have been exceptionally bad men. Elvis, Morrison, Cobain, Chang-twang Lee . . . the only exception might be Bono. But on Vulcan, he's regarded as something of a pussy."

Dr. Leonard McCoy flared up at once. "Spock, you obviously have no appreciation for the achievements of Bono. Or Bruce Springsteen. Or James Taylor, or Elton John . . ."

"Warp Three, Mr. Sulu," Jim Kirk called out. "Rock and roll will never die!"

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