"Charlie X" was the 7th episode of Star Trek: The Original Series, in the show's first season, first aired on 15 September 1966. The episode was written by Gene Roddenberry and D.C. Fontana, directed by Lawrence Dobkin and novelized under the tile "Charlie's Law" in Star Trek 1 by James Blish.
The cargo ship USS Antares transfers 17-year old Charles ("Charlie") Evans to the USS Enterprise on his way to Colony 5 from the planet Thasus. The Antares is mysteriously destroyed and Enterprise crew members disappear. Captain James T. Kirk realizes that Charlie is responsible but has no control over his deadly god-like powers.
The USS Enterprise is rendezvousing with the cargo ship USS Antares so they can transport a young teenage boy, Charles ("Charlie") Evans, whom they discovered while surveying the planet Thasus. Charlie beams over to the Enterprise with Captain Ramart of the Antares, and the ship's navigator and First Officer, Tom Nellis. Unknown to the Enterprise crew, Charlie has god-like powers. He does not inform Captain Kirk of his powers and is also controlling Rampart and Nellis, preventing them from informing Kirk of this. Charlie is supposed to transfer to the Enterprise, which is on route to Colony 5, where, ultimately, he will stay with relatives.
After being away from all human contact for so many years, Charlie begins to learn and integrate. Being a teenager, Charlie is also struggling with puberty and develops his first crush on the beautiful Yeoman Janice Rand. In one of the ship's recreation rooms, he secretly silences Lt. Uhura, who is singing, so that he can have all of Rand's undivided attention.
Later, when Charlie is on the bridge, Captain Ramart tries to contact the Enterprise to warn them of Charlie's dangerous powers, but the Antares is secretly destroyed by Charlie before they can get a message off.
Yeoman Rand eventually introduces Charlie to a girl his own age - Yeoman Third Class Tina Lawton. Charlie immediately snubs Tina and confides to Rand his feelings for her. Rand realizes Charlie's crush is becoming difficult for her and discusses the issue with Captain Kirk, who takes pity on Charlie and attempts to befriend him. Kirk takes Charlie to the gym for some self-defense exercises. After sparring with Kirk, Charlie falls down, which prompts laughter from Sam, one of Kirk's sparring partners. Feeling hurt and humiliated, Charlie makes Sam "disappear" - finally revealing his god-like powers. Ultimately, Charlie admits to destroying the Antares. Soon, Spock suspects that Charlie might be a Thasian, a race of non-corporeal, psionically-powerful beings, rumored to have lived on the planet ages ago.
Charlie begins to take control of the Enterprise at different levels. Attempts to stop him fail, so he wreaks mayhem on some of the crew. He turns Tina Lawton into an iguana, a young female crewwoman into an old lady, and makes Yeoman Rand "disappear" after Kirk and Spock try to rescue her from Charlie's influences.
Determined to stop Charlie before they reach Colony 5, Kirk tries to overload his powers by activating different systems on the ship all at once. Then, he attempts to physically subdue Charlie. During the midst of this struggle with Charlie, a spaceship suddenly appears alongside the ship. A translucent, floating human-like face appears on the bridge. The voice from the face informs the bridge that it is a Thasian, the powerful psionic beings Spock believed still existed. The Thasian states that it had taken its human form centuries ago so that it might communicate with Humans. The Thasians provided Charlie with psionic powers so he could survive. Thasians have the power to transfer psionic ability to other beings. Once they have done this, they either cannot or will not remove this power. Captain Kirk then suggests that Charlie belongs with humans and recommends that he might be trained not to use his psionic powers. The Thasian replies that "We gave him the power so he could live. He will use it – always." Since it would be impossible for Charlie to live a normal life amongst humans, the Thasians "transport" him to their ship and inform the Enterprise bridge that they will continue to care for him. The Thasians depart peacefully without incident.
- Robert Abrams • Sam Ellis • Charles Evans • Hadley • Harrison • James T. Kirk • Tina Lawton • Ed Leslie • Leonard McCoy • Tom Nellis • Ramart • Janice Rand • Montgomery Scott • Spock • Hikaru Sulu • Nyota Uhura • Vinci • Wilson
Starships and vehiclesEdit
- USS Antares (Antares-class transport) • USS Enterprise (Constitution-class heavy cruiser) • Thasian space transport
- USS Enterprise
- bridge • quarters (Rand's) • transporter room • gymnasium • detention cell • rec room
Races and culturesEdit
States and organizationsEdit
Technology and weaponsEdit
- baffle plate • energy pile • Nerst generator (novelization only) • force field • record tape • intercom • library computer • memory bank • phaser pistol • sensor • starship • subspace transmitter • transporter
Ranks and titlesEdit
- lifeform • non-corporeal species • rose • Saurian brandy • solitaire • Thanksgiving • three-dimensional chess • "The Tyger" • Victorian • Vulcan lute • carrier wave • "Charlie's law" • duty roster • English language • perfume • playing card • rosebud • solitaire • Victorian Age
- years prior to 2266
- The Evans' ship crashes on Thasus. (prior to episode/novelization)
- stardate 1533.6, 2266 (2260s chronology, 2264–2270 Enterprise voyages)
- Enterprise and Antares rendezvous.
- The scenes where Nyota Uhura sings in the recreation room and where James T. Kirk disputes with Charlie Evans on the bridge are replayed, as dreamlike scenery from Janice Rand's memory, in the TOS comic: "The Dream Walkers".
- In James Blish's novelization this episode was titled Charlie's Law.
- The Antares was not seen in the original version of this episode; however, it is pictured in the 2007 remastered edition, the design strongly resembling that of the Federation drone ships of the TAS episode "More Tribbles, More Troubles".
The Naked Time
|TOS episode produced||Next episode:|
Balance of Terror
The Man Trap
|TOS episode aired||Next episode:|
Where No Man Has Gone Before
First story in book
|Star Trek 1||Next story:|
Dagger of the Mind
The Captain's Table
Where Sea Meets Sky
Chapters 1 & 31
Star Trek: The New Voyages 2
Elegy for Charlie
The Janus Gate
|Voyages of the |
USS Enterprise (NCC-1701)
(2264 to 2270)
Star Trek: The New Voyages 2
Elegy for Charlie