Star Trek: The Original Series Episode 1 – The Man Trap [Remastered]


Here it is, the inaugural episode of the Star Trek Challenge. I’m going to attempt to organize this in a way that I will follow for my other reviews, but I may be a bit hit-or-miss for a while, so bear with me. 😉 Also, I’m not posting the whole review on the front page because it is looooong, so click below to read the rest.

Don’t want to read it all? Check out the weekly video recap (date TBD).

Watch this episode at CBS.com

SUMMARY

McCoy’s ex-girlfriend has turned into a salt-sucking monster (kinda). Star Trek sets a precedent by killing off six characters in the first episode. Special guest appearance by The Little Shop of Horrors’ Audrey II.

Click the picture for a full summary from the startrek.com database.

REVIEW

Interestingly enough, “The Man Trap” was the first episode of Star Trek to air, and yet it was neither the pilot episode or one of the first episodes produced. It was actually episode #6, but for some reason, The Powers That Be decided to air this episode first. Because of this, “The Man Trap” really feels like just another day in the life of the Enterprise crew. And I like that.

First things first, I loved this exchange between Kirk and McCoy:
KIRK: Shall we pick some flowers, Doctor? When a man visits an old girlfriend she usually expects something like that.
MCCOY: Is that how you get girls to like you, by bribing them?

Then we’re introduced to Nancy Crater, and we get to see her through the eyes of McCoy, Kirk, and Crewman Darnell, with her appearing different to each of them. It’s a great way of setting up the premise of this ain’t right. Also, seriously? Wrigley’s Pleasure Planet? That’s kind of awesome. I actually had to rewind a couple of times to make sure I heard that right.

Next:  Red Shirt does something dumb and impulsive, Red Shirt dies mysteriously,and Red Shirt’s murder is covered up (although, he’s not actually wearing red). Actually, the “salt vampire” (I like that term) is pretty smart since it knows how to cover its tracks. Most Star Trek BAAOTW (Bad-Ass Aliens Of The Week) are of the kill-and-run variety. Good for ya, Salty.

On the bridge of the Enterprise…

I’m in love with this scene between Spock and Uhura:
UHURA: Mr. Spock, sometimes I think if I hear that word “frequency” once more, I’ll cry.
SPOCK: Cry?
UHURA: I was just trying to start a conversation.
SPOCK: Well, since it is illogical for a communications officer to resent the word “frequency”, I have no answer.
UHURA: No, you have an answer. I’m an illogical woman who’s beginning to feel too much a part of that communications console. Why don’t you tell me I’m an attractive young lady, or ask me if I’ve ever been in love? Tell me how your planet Vulcan looks on a lazy evening when the moon is full.
SPOCK: Vulcan has no moon, Miss Uhura.
UHURA: I’m not surprised, Mr. Spock.

This almost helps me come to terms with the Spock/Uhura relationship in the newest movie. Almost. It definitely helps that Nichelle Nichols is adorable as hell in that scene.

The salt vampire “Nancy” kills two more crewman, then changes into one of them, Crewman Green. This is when everything starts getting really freaky. Green is a weirdo, with crazy eyes and a weird knuckle-gnawing habit. He’s the creepiest thing about this episode, in my opinion. He starts stalking Janice Rand for the salt that’s on the tray she’s carrying, and then freaks her and Sulu out. If I was wearing a dress that short, I’d be freaked out, too.

By the way, what was up with that flower in Sulu’s quarters? I want to see more of the crazy, purring, hand-flower thing named Beauregard, er… Gertrude.

Hand puppets... in space!

Since being a creeper isn’t getting him anywhere, the salt monster turns into a sexy Swahili-speaking man and tries to seduce Uhura, and he’s almost successful. Methinks Uhura needs an interplanetary cuddle buddy.

Professor Crater is finally cornered by the dynamic duo of Kirk and Spock, gives up the intel on the crazy salt-sucking monster, and begs them to not kill it.
SPOCK: The Earth buffalo. What about it?
CRATER: Once there were millions of them prairies black with them. One herd covered three whole states, and when they moved they were like thunder.
SPOCK: And now they’re gone. Is that what you mean?
CRATER: Like the creatures here. Once there were millions of them. Now there’s one left.

Except the buffalo weren’t serial killers. An often overlooked fact.

Now, the salt vampire has taken McCoy’s form (confused yet?) and is in sickbay with Kirk, Spock, and Crater. Kirk leaves, Crater dies, and Spock, thanks to his Vulcan blood, is immune to the critter’s attack. Then, the salt vampire, as Nancy, goes to McCoy for help, as Kirk hunts it down with a phaser and some salt. “Nancy” starts attacking Kirk, and McCoy finally gets the balls to fire at it with a phaser, and it dies and it turns into a gross suction-cup-fingered alien.

The end.

MORAL OF THE STORY

Sometimes your ex marries a millionaire, and sometimes she’s murdered by salt vampires.

RATING

I give this episode the rank of Lieutenant Commander. 2.5 pips out of 4. It was an intriguing hour of television, very subtle character development for the first episode, but, since I already know all of the characters, very enjoyable.

TOMORROW ON THE STAR TREK CHALLENGE: Charlie X

Hope you enjoyed it!

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4 Responses to Star Trek: The Original Series Episode 1 – The Man Trap [Remastered]

  1. Great review and a great start to your challenge! I’m about 8 episodes in and I can say honestly that the Spock/Uhura scene you write about is my favorite scene of the series so far.

    • I’m really loving Spock and Uhura. In the next episode, the scene where she sings to him, it made me a bit giddy. It just seems way too weird to pair them together, but it kind of works, too.

  2. Nick says:

    Very nice review.

    I like the rating system too.

  3. ip camera says:

    I’m grateful for you because of this excellent content material. You genuinely did make my day :

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