Star Trek – Charlie X

★★★★ September 15, 1966 Season 1 Episode 2

If you want to see where we are…and you missed a few…HERE is a list of the episodes in my index located at the top of my blog. 

***Sorry to interrupt Star Trek but I guest hosted UK #1’s Blog today…he has an incredible blog of all the number 1 hits in the UK from the beginning. Check his blog out today if you can!***

This show was written by D.C. FontanaGene Roddenberry

There are parallels between Charlie X and the iconic Twilight Zone episode It’s a Good Life that aired 5 years before…when Billy Mumy’s character would wish people in the cornfield. 

Charles Evans had very little contact with human life before coming on board the Enterprise and has to live amongst a community of 428 people. He is 17 years old, a time when teenagers have to find their way in the world and somehow fit into adult communities. This episode does a good job of portraying how awkward and difficult life can be in these situations. What complicates it further is the infatuation he develops for Yeoman Janice Rand, not to mention the uncontrolled psychic power he possesses.

Star Trek charlie x and Yeoman

Charlie is a 17-year-old with the emotional maturity of a 5-year-old…but with massive powers that no one knows about. You feel bad for Charlie as he has never had the opportunity to develop and learn around real people. He asked Kirk if Yeoman Janice Rand is a girl. Kirk tries to be a father figure to Charlie throughout the episode which included explaining why he shouldn’t slap Rand in the butt. Charlie comes off as obnoxious and whiny…so yes…a teenager but they find out quickly he is very dangerous. 

The episode starts off humourous until Charlie is angered by the rejection of Rand and that is when the crew discovers his powers. Charlie is a character whom one could easily fear or hate, but in the end, one realizes that what he really needs is guidance. Imagine being 17 and having unlimited powers. Robert Walker Jr. who plays Charlie Evans did a great job of portraying Charlie. 


True to his training as a Method actor, Robert Walker Jr. chose to remain in his dressing room and not interact with any members of the cast as this would help his characterization of a strange, aloof person.

In the original outline, Gene Roddenberry’s working titles were “The Day Charlie Became God” or “Charlie Is God”. These would almost certainly have been problematic to the network censors, so the title was changed to Charlie’s Law, then settled on Charlie X, as X denotes the unknown. However, the title “Charlie’s Law” was retained in the book-form tie-in, novelized by James Blish.

During the lounge scene, where Uhura sings a song about Charlie, Spock is seen smiling as he accompanies her on a harp-like instrument. This is one of the few times in the series that Spock smiles, while not under the influence of a substance or someone’s mind-control powers.

This episode was originally scheduled to air further into the season, as all action took place aboard the Enterprise and it was basically a teenage melodrama set in the space age, both of which NBC disliked. However, as it required no new outer space special effects shots (actually all Enterprise shots are recycled from the two pilots), its post-production took less time than other episodes, and it was chosen to be the second episode to air out of necessity, as other episodes were not ready for the deadline. The Antares was originally to be shown on screen, however, when the early airdate was commissioned, this was eliminated.


Charlie Evans was the sole survivor of a crash and he has been alone on a deserted planet for fourteen years. Making Charlie’s return to society more difficult is his mysterious godlike abilities. The space vessel Antares rescues Charlie from the forbidding surface of the planet Thasus, and then hurriedly hands him off to the Enterprise. Soon, mysterious happenings dog the boy, who cannot seem to learn certain vital lessons of adulthood. Finally, the humiliated teen reveals prodigious psionic powers that could even threaten the survival of the Federation. Who is Charlie, really, and where did he get these abilities?


William Shatner … Captain James Tiberius ‘Jim’ Kirk
Leonard Nimoy … Mister Spock
Robert Walker Jr. … Charlie Evans (as Robert Walker)
DeForest Kelley … Doctor Leonard ‘Bones’ McCoy
Grace Lee Whitney … Yeoman Janice Rand
Nichelle Nichols … Lieutenant Nyota Uhura
Charles Stewart … Captain Ramart (as Charles J. Stewart)
Dallas Mitchell … Tom Nellis
Don Eitner … Navigator
Pat McNulty … Tina Lawton (as Patricia McNulty)
John Bellah … Crewman I
Garland Thompson … Crewman II
Abraham Sofaer … The Thasian
Bill Blackburn … Lieutenant Hadley (uncredited)
Frank da Vinci … Brent / Security Guard (uncredited)
Bob Herron … Sam (uncredited)
John Lindesmith … Helmsman (uncredited)
Eddie Paskey … Lieutenant Leslie (uncredited)
Gene Roddenberry … Enterprise Chef (voice) (uncredited)
George Takei … Lieutenant Hikaru Sulu (voice) (uncredited)
Ron Veto … Security Guard (uncredited)
Laura Wood … Prematurely Aged Woman (uncredited)


Author: Badfinger (Max)

Power Pop fan, Baseball fan, old movie and tv show fan... and a songwriter, bass and guitar player.

37 thoughts on “Star Trek – Charlie X”

  1. Great episide and an intense performance from Robert, the plot is still relevant and always will be. Teens are bursting with emotions and immaturity and thinking they know it all. Loads of enthusiasm, optimism and energy too, mind you!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yea I remember having this anger inside of me that I couldn’t put my finger on…just wanted to grow up…and then when I did I wanted to be back.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Max, good comparison between Charlie and the young Billy Mumy in the TZ episode. Deadly powers held in the hands of emotional immaturity is a scary thing. I felt sorry for the people on Enterprise that were trapped with him. Good thing his “parents” intervened or it could have gotten real bad. They picked a good actor to play him and neat bit of trivia about how he secluded himself from the other actors. Also liked that musical scene with Uhura and Spock.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. He was a very good actor…he was in his mid 20s at the time but I bought it completely.
      It was cool to see Spock briefly smile during that scene with Uhura

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I thought I located one but it was too much rust. My buddy now is looking and he is a car guy. I want a affordable fixer up one… but the inexpensive ones come with a lot of free rust! I’m determined to find one though.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah, rust proofing was more a hope than a reality of 60s-70s cars. There are so few Fiat 850 coupes or 124 coupes from that era around over here and we have snow once every 5 years or so, so its not due to salt or anything like that. it was crap steel in Fiats case. Ah well, out in Arizona or somewhere there is a scorched flame grilled GT gathering desert dust behind some old barn…

        Liked by 1 person

      2. That is what hurts…knowing somewhere out there my car is sitting in a barn or in a basement. I totally agree about the crap steel…they just wanted to build and sell. Cars from Florida have a lot rust…the metal and the salt air I would think. I have found many in Florida…when I see that I brace myself.

        Liked by 2 people

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