Tread Perilously is a podcast in which hosts Erik Amaya and author Justin Robinson watch the “worst” episodes of popular TV shows, attempting to determine if they would continue to watch the series based on the most off-key moments.
This Week: Star Trek: TOS‘ “And the Children Shall Lead”
Tread Perilously warps into Star Trek month with one of the least awesome episodes of the original series: “And the Children Shall Lead.”
When the Enterprise arrives on Triacus, they discover all of the adult colonists have killed themselves in some sort of murder/suicide pact. Their children, meanwhile, play “Ring Around the Rosie.” After experiencing a lack of confidence in a nearby cave, Captain Kirk beams the landing party and the children back to the ship. There, the children summon Gorgan (special guest star Melvin Belli), an ancient marauding spirit dedicated to finding his way to a planet filled with people. Will the children lead him to that world?
Erik and Justin determine this is the episode everyone but Shatner did unwillingly. Justin also develops a theory behind great episodes of Star Trek and terrible ones. The pair’s fascination with Brian Cox’s portrayal of Melvin Belli in Zodiac fails them as Belli’s part turns out to be quite small. They nonetheless imagine what his podcast would’ve been like. Erik’s Spock impression disappears entirely into his Kirk impression. The sad UFP flag gets a shout-out. Space knives turn out to be less impressive than hoped for, and DeForest Kelley becomes a minor villain in Justin’s world.