In this episode of Trekking Through Compliance, we consider Charlie X, which aired on September 15, 1966, Star Date 1533.6.

Story Synopsis

The Enterprise (crew of 420) takes charge of Charlie Evans from the science probe vessel Antares (crew of 20) in order to transport him to his nearest living relatives on Earth colony Alpha 5. Captain Remart and navigator Nellis sing the praises of Charlie, the sole survivor of a transport crash on the planet Thesus 14 years previously. Charlie appears to be quite bright and has learned to talk from the crashed ship’s data tapes. After dropping Charlie off, Remart and his crew bid the Enterprise what appears to be an unusually hastened adieu and return to their ship.

On the Enterprise, Charlie tells McCoy that the crew of the science ship didn’t like him, and that he wants people to like him. Charlie then proceeds to fall in love with Yeoman Janice Rand. He pats her rump (which she objects to) and gives her a bottle of perfume, her favorite kind. Charlie meets Rand later in the Recreation Room, where Spock is playing a Vulcan musical instrument and Uhura is (attempting) to sing. Charlie shows good taste by not enjoying the singing and causes Uhura to run out of breath. When the Antares is almost out of communications range, it starts to warn the Enterprise about something, then disintegrates. After the spontaneous destruction of the Antares, Charlie makes the curious and sinister-sounding comment that “it wasn’t very well constructed.” Shortly thereafter, another strange event takes place when the cook reports that the synthetic meatloaf has been transformed into real turkeys! Back in the Rec Room, Kirk manages to beat Spock at 3-D chess, implausibly beating Spock’s logic with his own quirky strategy. Charlie is intrigued by the game and tries to duplicate the feat. After losing, he causes the white chess pieces to melt, revealing that he has both a bad temper and rather scary telekinetic powers.

Rand introduces Charlie to Yeoman third class Tina Lawton, but Charlie is only interested in Rand and brushes Tina off. Kirk, doing his best to instill Charlie with manly qualities, attempts to teach him how to fight using some curious mallet objects. When Kirk’s training partner Sam laughs at one of Charlie’s falls, Charlie makes him “go away.” This demonstrates to Kirk and Spock that Charlie has the power to manipulate matter. Kirk calls security guards to escort Charlie to his quarters, but Charlie objects and causes all phasers on the ship to vanish.

Kirk suspects that Charlie has been given certain powers which legend ascribes to an ancient race of Thesians and confronts Charlie. Charlie admits he destroyed the Antares by making the warped baffle plate on the shield of the energy piling go away but claims it would have blown up anyway. When Charlie discovers that Kirk plans to divert from Alpha 5, he takes control of the Enterprise and its crew. He forces Spock (“Mr. Ears”) to recite poetry (“Tiger, Tiger, Burning Bright” and “Once Upon a Midnight Dreary”). He then turns Tina into a lizard and bursts in on Rand. When she spurns his advances, he makes her disappear. Kirk and Spock attempt to lock Charlie in a detention chamber, but to no avail. Charlie goes on a rampage, turning a young crew member into an old woman and removing the faces from some crew members who are laughing. Kirk, Bones, and Spock try to distract Charlie by overloading him with activity, but do not meet with success until a Thesians vessel approaches the Enterprise. The Thesians return Yeoman Rand, apologize to Kirk, and take Charlie away to live alone with them.

Compliance Takeaways:

  1. Ask more of your front-line employee and they will respond positively.
  2. Compliance is like a multi-dimensional chess match.
  3. As a compliance professional, who are you mentoring?


Excruciatingly Detailed Plot Summary by Eric W. Weisstein for CharlieX X