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Star Trek - Season 1, Episode 1 - The Man Trap

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"The Man Trap," the first aired episode of "Star Trek: The Original Series," premiered on September 8, 1966. The episode's storyline revolves around the starship Enterprise visiting planet M-113 for routine medical examinations of the archaeologist Professor Robert Crater and his wife, Nancy.

Dr. McCoy, who had a past relationship with Nancy, is part of the away team. The plot thickens as they discover that Nancy is not what she seems. She is actually a shape-shifting creature, the last of its kind, desperate for salt, which it requires to survive. The creature can camouflage itself to appear as anyone, leading to a series of eerie and dangerous encounters for the crew of the Enterprise.

The episode is notable for its exploration of themes such as loneliness and the struggle for survival. It introduces the trope of a terrifying yet misunderstood creature, a theme that would become recurrent in the series. The salt vampire, while dangerous and deadly, is also portrayed as an intelligent and desperate being, the last survivor of its species, striving to continue its existence. The episode balances these elements of horror and empathy, adding depth to its narrative.


Reviews of "The Man Trap" are mixed, reflecting on its pacing and the use of certain plot devices. Some viewers found the episode slow and thought it stretched a shorter story into a full-length episode. Others appreciated the episode for its dialogue and the introduction of the dynamic between main characters Kirk, Spock, and McCoy. The interplay between these characters is highlighted as one of the episode's strengths, showcasing their working and personal relationships right from the start. However, there's a consensus that the episode, while not the strongest in the series, played an important role in setting the tone for what "Star Trek" would become known for: tackling complex themes in a space setting.

Actors and Characters in this Episode

William Shatner William Shatner as Captain James T. Kirk
Leonard Nimoy Leonard Nimoy as Mr. Spock
DeForest Kelley DeForest Kelley as Dr. Leonard 'Bones' McCoy
Nichelle Nichols Nichelle Nichols as Lieutenant Uhura
George Takei George Takei as Lieutenant Hikaru Sulu
Grace Lee Whitney Grace Lee Whitney as Yeoman Janice Rand
Jeanne Bal Jeanne Bal as Nancy Carter
Alfred Ryder Alfred Ryder as Professor Robert Crater

Episode Details

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