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


(as Marvin Chomsky)


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Title: And the Children Shall Lead (11 Oct 1968)

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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

Plot Keywords:

children | colony | dead body | alien | cave | See more »


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Release Date:

11 October 1968 (USA)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Craig Huxley (Tommy Starnes) previously appeared in Star Trek: Operation -- Annihilate! (1967) as Kirk's nephew Peter. See more »


During the fight of Kirk and Spock versus Chekov and two security guards, Spock renders one guard unconscious with the Vulcan Nerve Pinch. However, about 10 seconds later, Kirk has Spock escort all three to the brig, all of them walking, including the guard that had been nerve-pinched. See more »


Dr. McCoy: [of the children] They're crying, Jim! I don't know how it happened, but it's good to see.
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Referenced in Zodiac (2007) See more »

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User Reviews

Attack of the Brats and a Phantom Lawyer
13 January 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

They pump their fists at the command of an unseen menace and Uhura sees herself as a dying crone; Sulu sees daggers in outer space; Scotty threatens to kill anyone entering auxiliary control; and Kirk? He gets anxiety attacks (this popularized Shatner's style of tensing his body in an odd manner). These are some of the better scenes in this episode which proceeds at a limp pace in the first half, starting at a decimated scientific colony. The foot soldiers of this new threat turn out to be little children or, as I term them, brats. It recalls another low-rated episode which also had many kids, "Miri." They run around, playing their games, annoying Kirk (Capt. Picard on the TNG show also could do without children), and ignore the fact that all their parents have just died.

Mystery in space. The reveal is, certainly, a letdown: real-life famous attorney Belli is the culprit, materializing every time the kids voice a silly chant. Belli had no acting experience or ability that I could see, literally seeming to 'phone in' or 'project in' his performance. He resembles a holographic image, dressed in a weird robe, and I could kind of imagine that his scenes were filmed separately, matted in to the show later. No explanation is given for what his so-called evil character really is (a fallen angel? an alien lawyer?) and I found I didn't much care anyway. There was also a misconceived use of the transporter which, as depicted, cannot automatically detect the absence of a planet, even though it's the most sophisticated piece of hardware in the Federation. Any entertainment value stems from the scenes of our crew behaving in a strange or hostile fashion, such as Chekov's attempt to arrest Kirk and Spock. It was done better in the upcoming "Day of the Dove."

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