Mark Robert Brown shares his memories of working on the original series episode And The Children Shall Lead as a ten-year-old boy.
Although he was only ten, Brown was no novice when it came to acting. “I did And the Children Shall Lead in 1968, when I was 10,” he explained. “I had started in 1965 and I’d already done I, Spy and Andy Griffith and Please Don’t Eat the Daisies and Family Affair and The Flying Nun and Bewitched and The Monkees.”
Brown remembers how everyone was called to appear on the set when it was time to film And The Children Shall Lead. “Any time we were called to set someone else around us would whistle,” he said. “That was apparently a ritual, like when you’re in the Navy and they call you on to the deck of your ship. So, one person would do it and then someone else would do it. It might have been Shatner who did it first and then Nimoy or Koenig or Takei would make the second call and response whistle to get everyone to set. That’s a very vivid memory because, on a ship it means something serious, but on the Star Trek set it brought great levity. Every time it happened, whether we were starting the day or after a lighting change, you’d hear that call and response and there’d be laughter. What else do I remember? I remember the high level of professionalism.”
When the show finally aired, Brown and his family watched at home. “We had at least two televisions and there was me, my sister, my mom and my dad,” he said. “…With And the Children Shall Lead, I remember being especially excited to see that. It was always cool to see myself on any show, but Star Trek, for so many reasons, was so damn special. Watching that episode was an event. I got home from school that day and it was like, ‘OK, do you chores, your homework.’ Then we ate dinner and had to have the dishes done and the kitchen cleaned and be ready for bed because ‘Mark is going to be on Star Trek tonight and you’ve got to have everything done so you can watch it (and be set to go to sleep right afterward).'”
Brown now has a website to reach out to fans. “I’ve created a site for the fans,” he said. “It’s called Startreksmarkrobertbrown.com. Forty-one years later I get to continue to contribute to these phenomenal fan moments I’ve come to know, to be part of the Star Trek community. Fans can reach out to me. I’ll have authorized pictures and my one-of-a-kind personal collectibles, like call sheets and shooting schedules and the broadcast airing posts from TV Guide. And I’ll be expressing my thoughts, by blogging, to give people more insight as to who I am and what Star Trek was like for me.”