“What Are Little Girls Made Of?” is the seventh episode of the first season of the American science fiction television series, Star Trek.
In the episode, Nurse Chapel searches for her long lost fiancé, and uncovers his secret plan to create sophisticated androids for galactic conquest.
The first episode of the series to be repeated on NBC, the title of the episode is taken from the fourth line of the 19th-century nursery rhyme, “What Are Little Boys Made Of?.”
The Federation starship USS Enterprise, under the command of Captain Kirk, travels to the icy planet Exo-III to search for the exobiologist Dr. Roger Korby (played by Michael Strong). Korby is the fiancé of Dr. McCoy’s temporary assistant, Nurse Christine Chapel, who signed on to the Enterprise to search for Korby.
At Korby’s request, Kirk and Chapel beam down alone to a cavern entrance, but Korby is not there to meet them. Kirk and Chapel eventually find him living in a system of caves, left by an extinct race. Korby shows Kirk and Chapel machinery which creates androids. With the help of Ruk (played by Ted Cassidy), a still functioning android from the time of the original inhabitants, Korby has created more androids, one being a lovely woman he calls “Andrea”. Chapel recognises Korby’s aide Dr. Brown, but is surprised the man does not remember her. In reality, Brown is also an android created as a prototype for Korby’s plan to replace key personnel in the Federation with android duplicates under his control.
Korby proceeds to create an exact android duplicate of Kirk as Chapel looks on. As Kirk’s personality is imprinted on the android, the real Kirk imagines himself insulting Spock as a “half-breed”. Korby has the duplicate Kirk beamed aboard the Enterprise with orders to begin the spread of android duplicates throughout the galaxy. When Spock questions the Kirk-android’s orders, it repeats the insult Kirk had used. Spock, realising that this is not Kirk, forms a security team and follows the Kirk-android back down to Exo-III.
Meanwhile, the real Kirk, guarded by Ruk, convinces the android that Korby is a threat to his continued existence and must be destroyed. Ruk begins to recall the clash between the “Old Ones” and the androids that led to his civilisation’s demise centuries ago, and concludes that conflict is again inevitable. Korby enters and Ruk confronts him, but Korby destroys Ruk with a phaser. Shortly afterwards, in a struggle with Kirk, the skin of Korby’s hand is torn, revealing that he is also an android.
It is now revealed that Korby, dying of frostbite, had transferred his mind to an android body. He begs Chapel to believe that he is still the same man, but Chapel is repelled by what he has done to himself. Andrea, realising she loves Korby, kisses him, and in despair, Korby fires Andrea’s phaser between the embracing pair, destroying them both.
Spock arrives with the security force, but finds that the crisis has passed. When Spock inquires about Dr. Korby’s whereabouts, Kirk replies, “Dr. Korby was never here.” In the end, Chapel decides to stay on with the Enterprise and finish out her tour of duty.
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Production & Filming Details
- Director(s): James Goldstone.
- Production: Desilu Productions (1966-1967) and Paramount Television (1968-1969).
- Distributor(s): Paramount Pictures (1966-2006), CBS Paramount Television (2006-2007), and CBS Television Distribution (2007-Present).
- Original Network: NBC.
- Release Date: 20 October 1966.
- Running Time: 50 minutes.
- Country: US.
- Language: English.