Star Trek 1.7: What Are Little Girls Made Of?

What Are Little Girls Made Of? Nurse Christine Chapel plays a big role in this episode, getting to beam down to the planet with Kirk because apparently her fiance, Dr Roger Korby, is down there despite being stranded on an ice planet for the past five years. They seem to like freezing cold planets, having just almost abandoned Sulu on one a mere two episodes ago. (And there are a few more to come in later episodes, if I remember rightly.)

This revelation that Nurse Chapel has/had a fiancé seems to affect Spock noticeably, despite him turning down all of Chapel’s romantic advances throughout the series. Chapel has the interesting line, “Have you ever been engaged, Mr Spock?” when trying to explain to him how she feels. Then she beams down to go find Dr Korby, leaving Spock sitting in the captain’s chair and looking extremely contemplative. Perhaps he’s thinking of what we learn later in the episode “Amok Time”…

After disposing of a couple of redshirts, Kirk and Chapel encounter Dr Koby and his assistant Dr Brown, and the mysterious Andrea, who wears a distinctive costume resembling a pair of overalls cut so that only the bits that cover strategic parts of her upper torso remain. This discomfits Chapel and causes some jealousy until Korby reveals Andrea is an android (Andrea/android, get it?), leading to a very memorable line:

Korby: You think I could love a machine?
Chapel: Did you?


After Korby makes an android clone of Kirk as part of his demented schemes, Andrea serves Chapel and Kirk a meal. Delicious primary-coloured cubes of space gelatine! Mm-mmm. No wonder the android Kirk doesn’t eat any, although the real Kirk apparently enjoys this sort of food. Kirk then sets about seducing Andrea, despite the fact that she’s an android and “not programmed for love”. Being Kirk, he convinces Andrea that she can in fact love. I guess Kirk could probably seduce a cactus into doing what he wants.

There’s another android floating around: the imposing Ruk, played by Lurch from The Addams Family. It turns out he disposed of the redshirts earlier, and can perfectly imitate anyone’s voice, including Kirk’s and Chapel’s, which he does to capture them at one point when they try to escape. Of course everything goes pear-shaped in the end and Andrea ends up killing everyone who isn’t either Kirk or Chapel, including Dr Korby, who also turns out to be an android in a surprise reveal. So we get an exploration of what it means to be human, or not human, which becomes a common theme in Star Trek as the episodes go by. And I guess now Chapel can go back to lusting after Spock, now that her fiancé has been conveniently killed off.

Body count: 2 redshirt security guys. Also 5 androids destroyed: Dr Roger Korby, Andrea, Ruk, Dr Brown, and a copy of Kirk.
Tropes: Theiss Titillation Theory, Robot Girl, Mad Scientist, Utopia Justifies The Means, Voice Changeling, Robot Me, Something They Would Never Say, Spot The Imposter, Turned Against Their Masters, Robotic Reveal
(Image © 1966 Paramount Studios, used under Fair Use.)

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