Star Trek: Season 3, Episode 4

And the Children Shall Lead (11 Oct. 1968)

TV Episode  |   |  Action, Adventure, Mystery
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Ratings: 5.3/10 from 958 users  
Reviews: 15 user | 3 critic

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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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)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


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 »


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 »


Captain James T. Kirk: I'm getting a feeling of anxiety in this place. It doesn't sound very scientific, does it? But it's strongest right here.
Mr. Spock: I'm not aware of it, Captain.
Captain James T. Kirk: Maybe that's what's registering on your tricorder.
Mr. Spock: I am not familiar with anxiety, but I was not aware that it could be registered on sensors.
See more »


Referenced in Children of the Corn (1984) See more »

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User Reviews

Law and performance
26 April 2014 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

This episode shows that the writers of Star Trek prime were beginning to recycle. The theme of children running things was fresh when Kim Darby and Michael J. Pollard were playing kids running a planet in the first season with grownups (Grups). But now the kids have left a planet where their parents were taken over by a demon being and are all dead. It's how the Enterprise away team found them. They brought the kids back and their demon with them.

The demon is played in florid style by famed criminal defense attorney Melvin Belli replete with the flowing gown of some prince of the Catholic Church. Belli successfully erases the line between the law and performance.

Unfortunately for his ambitions, Belli needs willing catalysts to do his worst and he has them in the kids who show no signs of grief for their parents. In that is his weakness which both William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy exploit. Especially Nimoy, that Vulcan mind training comes in handy in this story.

But it truly is a rehash from the first season.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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