(copyright Paramount)

A Star Trek Twilight Zone episode.

I don’t just mean the tone and feel of the show, but there’s a very famous TZ episode about a boy in small town with similar powers who has cut his country town off from the rest of the world (or utterly destroyed the rest of the world) and the townspeople live in constant fear. He can read minds, and destroys what he doesn’t like. He has no discipline or regard for others and cannot understand why he can’t just get what he wants. Now, I’ll give the ST writer some credit that I don’t think he was ripping off TZ, but he reached the same place from another direction.
Great stuff in this episode. Some familiar B characters, aside from Rand, whom we’ll get to in a minute, and some disturbing torments of them by Charlie. I was particularly startled by him removing the woman’s face. Damn, man! Another twenty minutes of this and we’d be in horror movie territory. What a change from the more cerebral sci-fi and action. I hope they do more of this. The final scene was wrenching. You hated Charlie up to this point, but his pleas were hit the right cord of pathos for him. The only other solution the Thasian might have had would be to take his powers away. Was that not an option? I guess not. So, we end on a helpless moment for everyone. It’s a situation gone wrong where the characters are left with the best of the worst outcomes and no one is happy about it.
Grace Lee Whitney, by this episode, seems established as more or less equal with the rest of the cast (aside from top-billed Shatner and Nimoy). Rand is carry significant weight in the last few episodes and it appears the writers viewed her on par (or higher) with Sulu and the others. How different things could have been if she’d remained a part of the core cast.