Star Trek: S1.E3. “Charlie X”

Star Trek (1966)

The Lawrence Dobkin directed “Star Trek” first season episode “Charlie X” was originally televised in the United States on Thursday, 15 Sep. 1966.

The second televised episode of the original “Star Trek” series, “Charlie X” revolved around the interactions of the Enterprise crew with Charlie Evans. Evans, played by Robert Walker Jr., is an unstable 17-year-old boy with dangerous mental powers who lacks the training and restraint to handle them wisely.

Assigned by “Star Trek” series creator Gene Roddenberry to teleplay writer D.C. Fontana to dramatize, the premise for this second episode was an integral component of the original pitch made to the television network NBC in March 1964.

At that time, the intended title was “The Day Charlie Became G-d.” Even though the episode was televised as “Charlie X,” during production, it was referred to by the cast and crew as “Charlie’s Law.”

With there being indication made Walker Jr.’s character was to originally have the name Charles Law, the title “Charlie’s Law” would have been better fit. But with the actor playing a 17-year-old teenager, coupled with the character being emotionally unstable, the name Charles sounded a tad too grown-up.

Produced by Roddenberry, Robert H. Justman and John D.F. Black, the episode was edited by Fabien D. Tordjmann. With costumes created by William Ware Theiss, the hair and makeup were in the hands of Makeup Department personnel Virginia Darcy and Fred B. Phillips, respectively. Further, the special effects crafted for the episode was created by James Rugg.

This is the episode where Roddenberry makes an uncredited audio cameo as the Enterprise’s mess officer. It the scene, while it is fleeting, the series creator can be heard explaining the meatloaf he had placed in ship’s kitchen’s ovens had somehow turned into real turkeys.

As a side note, the title of this article is “Star Trek: S1.E3. ‘Charlie X’” because it makes consideration for “The Cage” as the first episode created.