It’s interesting to watch how well put together this episode was. While the idea of an all powerful child is nothing new and was done better on The Twilight Zone, Star Trek played up the sexually awkward neglected angle making Charlie a borderline child and a borderland rapist – with phenomenal cosmic powers!
It’s that element that gives “Charlie X” its air of creepiness and humor, such as when Charlie slaps Rand on the butt as a show of friendship without realizing that it’s wholly inappropriate. Creepiness ensues as Charlie literally steals the face off of a crewmember. Creepy!
It’s a sci-fi look at going through puberty as a young man longs for love, sex, and everything that makes humans human and, just like puberty, it’s ugly, causes a major inconvenience, and ends with the immature boy disappearing forever.
The story is eerie, haunting, and funny but does seem to stretch out too long and looses steam.
Interesting Fact: This episode featured the one and only cameo by Gene Roddenberry as the voice of the ship’s cook who exclaims that the turkeys for Thanksgiving have come to life.
“You go slow, be gentle. It’s no one-way street — you know how you feel and that’s all. It’s how the girl feels too. Don’t press. If the girl feels anything for you at all, you’ll know.”
– Pimp Daddy Kirk