What Are Little Girls Made Of? – Episode 8

This week, Rachel and Chris ask themselves What are Little Girls Made Of?

In this episode, Kirk and Chapel go down to a planet and meet some androids. Of course, the androids make an android Kirk. What more do you need?

Special thanks to Chad Fifer for our theme tune and to Greig Johnson for his vocal stylings!

Next episode: Miri!

13 thoughts on “What Are Little Girls Made Of? – Episode 8”

  1. Ah! the superfluous shoulder roll. Followed by the momentary pause as the actor get’s their bearing back. If I remember correctly Galaxy Quest even poked fun at it not once but twice. “It helps me think” – Command Taggart. I honestly think it was added because the show was competing with TV Westerns which were the top shows on TV at the time and every western episode had a fist fight at some point. I would love to see the script to see if it actually screen directs a shoulder roll or just says “Fight Scene” I suspect the latter.

    Once again, great episode. I did not realize Bloch wrote this story. Doesn’t surprise me. Really good Scifi story and theme.

    I actually saw the costume in person that Sherry Jackson wore and there is not a lot of fabric. To be honest there are other costumes in future episodes that have less. I think the designers believed the fashion revolution of the time would progress further and further down the same path.

    Keep up the great work! Dwaine out—-

  2. Ah, another of the patented ‘Kirk-Fu’ moves, the Kirk Roll! One of his most popular moves, along with the one-two Karate Chop, the Double-Fisted Hammer Blow and the Drop Kick!
    There might be a drinking game in there somewhere, with stiffer drinks for the rarity of the move – take a drink for a karate chop, chug the lot for the Human Bowling Ball or the full body Wall-of-Kirk attack!

    Robert Bloch managed to sneak in a couple of references to ‘The Old Ones’ into the script as a nod to the Mythos – he references them again in a later episode he penned, “Catspaw”. That and his other episode, “Wolf in the Fold” definitely carry more of a ‘Blochian’ feel than this one, having more horror/supernatural-like elements to them, though all three were based on short stories he had written previously with a good dose of ‘Trekkification’. I wonder if this one originally had more of those elements before Rodenberry rewrite it?

      1. Good choice – I think “Wolf in the Fold” is probably the strongest of Bloch’s three Trek episodes.

        According to Memory Alpha, “Wolf in the Fold” was adapted from his 1943 story “Yours Truly, Jack the Ripper” (http://www.unz.org/Pub/WeirdTales-1943jul:85), “Catspaw” was loosely based on 1957’s “Broomstick Ride” (from Super Science Fiction, Dec 1957 available at http://www.luminist.org/archives/SF/) and “What Are Little Girls Made Of?” came out from three of his stories, but most notably 1940s “Queen of the Metal Men” (in a compilation of public domain SF stories at http://file770.com/?p=26940).

        Hmm, perhaps a crossover with the HP Lovecraft Literary Podcast might be in order this Bloch-tober?

  3. Another fun episode from the internet’s most entertaining couple. I think every show should have a phallic stalactite battle. Plus, now both Dr. McCoy and Nurse Chapel have gone looking for old flames only to find that they’re alien salt vampires or robots. (Kirk and Spock both have old girlfriends and or wives–two each, I believe–on the way, so don’t think this is over). Star Trek seems to be sending a definite message about reliving your memories.
    Rachel, you need to find a “work spouse” ASAP.
    Watching this episode as a kid I could never make heads or tails of it. It seemed so random. Not until much later did I realize it was Robert Bloch sneaking Lovecraft into Star Trek. This is very much a Mountains of Madness inspired story. Ancient race retreats from ice to underground city where they create a race of servants which eventually overthrow the masters. These servants can be molded for any function necessary i.e. Geisha, colleague, or bonus Captain Kirk, and are pretty good at mimicking their creators’ language. And just so you don’t miss it, one of these servants (Ruk) even refers to the ancient race as the “Old Ones.” Fortunately they avoided the temptation to have Chapel go insane, except for her hair, and maybe that uniform.

  4. “Shatner’s girl acting. He’ll take it real seriously. Wouldn’t he?” Rachel, you cheeky bugger! You sure you’ve never seen Star Trek? As SamwiseCr mentioned, you’re in for a treat when you get to episode 79.

    I am a proficient master of Kirk-Fu. Do not dismiss the tumble-roll. It completely distracts your opponent, gives you momentum, and a lower center of gravity for stability.

    1. I certainly wouldn’t want to go 1-1 with a Kirk-Fu master – for a start, if they are in the traditional Kirk-Fu uniform you could injure yourself striking the corset boning 😉

      Practically speaking, the efficacy of Kirk-Fu moves varies wildly. Some are actually very effective close combat moves (the ear-clap he uses on the Gorn in “Arena” for example), others may be effective in certain situations for well-trained practitioners (like the Kirk Chop, where you need to know where you are striking and untrained amateurs may just injure themselves). Some, however, you’ll only see being effective in Star Trek or a WWE match (Wall-of-Kirk, I’m looking at you).

  5. Wall-of-Kirk. Wall-of-Kirk?!? Wall-of-Kirk!!

    Raf, my friend, you obviously have not been cornered by two or more opponents. When I was 12, I was chased by three assailants and cornered in an alley. They made the mistake of getting close together to block me. I moved toward them and jumped into the air knocking them all on the floor. This created a means of escape to perhaps to tussle once again.

    On a TV show, with stunt actors playing, it does look silly and entertaining. In real life, I can attest to their effectiveness. A Kirk-chop to the throat is more likely to succeed than a punch to the throat. A flat hand can be more precise than a closed one, especially to a combatant with three or more layers of neck.

    Now, don’t let all this machismo fool you. I’m a peaceful person and willing to avoid any altercation, if possible.

    Peace and Long Life. \ //,

    1. Hmm – okay, it works on Star Trek, WWE and as a last ditch move when cornered and all your opponents are standing together – which in fairness is when Kirk uses it! Consider Wall-of-Kirk upgraded to the ‘useful in certain situations’ category by the skin of its teeth 🙂

      And agreed, a knife hand strike can be very effective in hitting sensitive areas if you know what you’re doing. And that such techniques should only be used by those trained in such matters and then only in self-defence.

  6. Now that that is settled.

    We never did learn what little girls are made of. The nursery rhyme it’s based off does not seem to have a sinister origin; unlike Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary or Three Blind Mice. However, it does foster gender stereotypes.

    We did learn what clones of James T Kirk are made of; bigotry and racism.

    Personally, I’m all for transhumanism. I hate this frail , flesh frame. I do have a problem with changing the fundamental makeup of my personality, though.

  7. Frakkintalos, I think you’re spot on that the episode never answers the question in its title, but it does make us think about it – what makes a “little girl”, or indeed a person? Kirk clearly believes that Korby surrendered his humanity by becoming an android – as he says at the end, “Dr. Korby was never here.” And yet, Korby appears to still have feelings for Chapel, Ruk overcomes his programming with anger, and Andrea appears to start exhibiting emotions – or is it all just malfunctioning circuitry?

    This episode has to be one of the earliest examples of these kind of transhuman and artificial life issues on television, so hats off to Bloch and Trek for approaching the concepts.

    I do think it’s interesting that the questions around AIs being sentient come up regularly in Trek, and is positioned either positively towards AIs or at least in a considered manner (there are several episodes of TNG and Voyager that could be pointed at here, but perhaps most notably the excellent TNG episode “The Measure of a Man”), whereas transhumanism is almost always shown in a negative light.

    This episode is one such instance, but there are many others. The Borg are a technological transhuman nightmare, and there is the legacy of the Augments and the Eugenics Wars in TOS, in Enterprise and carried over into the attitude towards genetically enhanced individuals shown in DS9. There are lots of other examples throughout the series where the threat in the episode is a result of people applying transhuman-type improvements to improve their bodies or abilities, extend their lifespans etc. The few positive examples of transhuman-type augmentation are for correcting existing issues rather than enhancing normal abilities (e.g. Geordi’s VISOR) – in other words, to make someone closer to ‘normal’.

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