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Charlie X

OneDamnMinuteAdmiral

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POSTS: 1401

Report this May. 18 2013, 3:50 am

Watched this episode earlier and was wondering what becomes of him. But also was thinking whether or not Charlie could have been taught to not use his powers to try to attempt to be a normal person and be around people, or at the very least not use them negatively. Those beings say he will always use his powers but he is so scared of lonelyness and the fact that they feel nothing, literally and emotionally. 


Star Trek seems, for the most part, to say that humans will always be corrupt when given god like powers but would that really be the case?


Poor Charlie, you do feel bad for him by the episode's end.


Are you sure it isn't time for a colorful metaphor?

2takesfrakes

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POSTS: 3683

Report this May. 18 2013, 6:51 am

DC Fontana wrote this one and it's interesting
to me, because it seems like she is making some
sort of comment on outcasts and social rejects
that maybe were already populating STAR TREK's
fandom, even then? Peppered in there, I suppose,
is commentary on such things as the corruption of
power, the awkwardness of puberty and even having
one's reach over-exceed their grasp. It is a weighty
character study on the Human Condition. But Charlie X
is not someone I think could ever get back into society.


TrekForthMyFriends

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POSTS: 2

Report this May. 25 2013, 9:13 pm

I remember watching this episode as a kid and thinking of the wild similarities between it and another very popular episode of Twilight Zone (which is another all time favorite show of mine) with the exception of the boy's age. The boy would just look at people he didn't favor, and 'put them' into the corn. Everything down to his coloring, and dialogue reminds me of that of Charlie X. If you watch them both, and compare side by side the similarities are pretty incredible. I think the Twilight Zone episode was called something like "It's a Good Life" though I always thought it was actually It's A Wonderful Life, that maybe the writer was a fan of the movie.


Anyway, to the question as to whether or not he could be taught differently...well, maybe not in Trek. I just don't see it as being that easy a decision. It is all together more true to his character to be a repeat offender if given the chance. The writers just weren't very generous towards him. I don't think one human can control such a power realistically speaking and moreover, his want to use it at will. I probably couldn't. Then again I would consider it for those reasons a burden, which is why I too feel bad for little Charlie.

FleetAdmiral_BamBam

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POSTS: 46327

Report this Jun. 05 2013, 10:36 am

Yes, we can feel sorry for Charlie, but there are just some people that cannot / will not live in society without harming others, no matter what we do.  It's just a fact of life.

nectarsis

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POSTS: 4

Report this Jun. 17 2013, 8:30 am

Quote: TrekForthMyFriends @ May. 25 2013, 9:13 pm

>

>I remember watching this episode as a kid and thinking of the wild similarities between it and another very popular episode of Twilight Zone (which is another all time favorite show of mine) with the exception of the boy's age. The boy would just look at people he didn't favor, and 'put them' into the corn. Everything down to his coloring, and dialogue reminds me of that of Charlie X. If you watch them both, and compare side by side the similarities are pretty incredible. I think the Twilight Zone episode was called something like "It's a Good Life" though I always thought it was actually It's A Wonderful Life, that maybe the writer was a fan of the movie.

>Anyway, to the question as to whether or not he could be taught differently...well, maybe not in Trek. I just don't see it as being that easy a decision. It is all together more true to his character to be a repeat offender if given the chance. The writers just weren't very generous towards him. I don't think one human can control such a power realistically speaking and moreover, his want to use it at will. I probably couldn't. Then again I would consider it for those reasons a burden, which is why I too feel bad for little Charlie.

>


 


I noticed this as a kid as well (being a HUGE fan of TWZ).  It goes well beyond homage to full on rip off )blank faces and all).


 


I do think that no one (especially as young, and experienced with people as a whole as Charlie was) could responsibly handle that kind of power.

Robin Bland

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POSTS: 3

Report this Jun. 27 2013, 7:19 pm

Charlie X is a great episode. One of the things that's really good about it is that the ending is so odd - no-one on the Enterprise seems comfortable with what's just occurred or seems to feel it's an equitable solution. The Thasians turn up like the hand of fate and take Charlie away - there are no terms to be debated and Kirk half-heartedly tries to say, "He should be with his own kind." But the Thasians take Charlie and by doing so, seem to say, "we know he'd wipe you out." And the evidence of the episode points to that. 


But Charlie's never been around humans - he was raised in a vacuum, doesn't know how to behave and has no empathy. If powers were bestowed upon a person later in life, surely the way they use those powers would be shaped by thier experience and personality in general? I don't think it's an absolute given that they'd be corrupted - tempted, probably, but strength of character and morality are peculiar and individual. 

buchworm

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Report this Jul. 07 2013, 5:16 pm

Despite everything that Charlie did in the episode, it is sad to hear his pleas and see him removed from all human contact for, presumably, the rest of his life.  I don't know whether he could have been taught to behave differently and even if he could, how many people would be endangered, hurt, and killed in the process?  It would really be too great a risk for anyone around him. 

crellmoset

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POSTS: 116

Report this Jul. 18 2013, 7:43 am

In the situation as it was I don't think that he could have been taught. There was simply no way to enforce real, meaningful consequences for unacceptable behavior. To go further he may have been able to simply undo even his worst behavior of killing people by will alone and then claiming that he didn't really mean it. You could wonder if the non-human entities that granted him his powers could have remained with him and blocked his powers or punished him for his actions but we don't know if their powers work that way or if the entities could have remained manifest amongst corporeal beings for long enough stretches to be effective.


 


It was a terrible fate for Charlie, but less worse than the death he would have otherwise experienced. The entities that took him should have taken human works on stoicism with them to try and assist Charlie in coping with his situation.


Ethics are arbitrary.

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