Like an uncomfortable echo of the first season child actors episode "Miri" (which at least had the good sense to cast a really young Phil Morris), the third season drops its first real turkey (okay, okay; "Spock's Brain" is usually afforded the "honor," but this is my reckoning).
In short, a bunch of bratty kids are manipulated by an evil alien to do naughty things. A later echo-of-a-kind can be found in Deep Space Nine's "Move Along Home" as far as chanting goes. Otherwise, you can easily skip this otherwise uncomfortable reminder that the series had some unfortunate tendencies. Note that I said tendencies, as in "Children" isn't even so much an example of the routinely-stated poor quality of the third season, but representative of the whole series in some regards. The best of the series had competition from its worst, and for too many viewers, lost out. (Then again, genre programming tended to have brief lifespans, then as now, anyway, so there's always that, too.)
|via John Kenneth Muir. No, that's not Wesley.|
The thing that's usually referenced about this episode is that the dude who plays the evil alien was a famous lawyer of the day. If I bother to mention his name now, it'll be meaningless, except to say he's the rube who defended Jack Ruby. That's a name you'll know. John Adams post-Boston Massacre this guy was not.
four quarter analysis