Wednesday, March 6, 2013

The Man Trap: TOS Season 1 Episode 1

Plot Synopsis:

The Enterprise has come to a planet which is only inhabited by a researcher and his wife Nancy. Kirk, Dr. McCoy, and another person (who isn't mentioned in the voice over, hint hint) beam down to check on the researcher and give them supplies they have asked for, salt. It turns out that Nancy is an old love of Dr. McCoy. When they beam down, they meet up with Nancy first, they don't realize that they each see her as a different person. The third crewman sees her as a beautiful woman he had seen on some pleasure planet so he of course makes some rude comments and is told to wait outside. At some point she went out, ostensibly to tell him she wasn't offended, and she "finds him" dead with red marks on his face.

blue shirt, Why not red shirt?
They go back up to the ship to figure out how their crewman died and eventually discover that there is no salt left in his body. Obviously they notice the connection with the people on the ground whose only request is salt, but they don't know what to make of it yet. They beam down again with a few extra people (wearing blue and gold shirts, again, no red shirt deaths) to try to figure out what is going on. They split up to look for Nancy and the two extra crewmen wind up dead. The creature who is pretending to be Nancy takes the form of one of the dead crewmen and meets back up with the others, they beam up to the ship. He's now searching around the ship looking for salt, he sees a woman bringing a tray of food to Sulu and he follows her as there is a salt shaker on the tray. He creeps her out and winds up having to run off.

Mmm salt
He roams around and kills some more people, and then pretends to be Nancy again and convinces the doctor to go to sleep, then he impersonates him and meets up with the bridge crew. We find out from the researcher on the planet that this species used to thrive on the planet, but this is the last one, they make comparisons to buffalo. Kirk mentions that they have salt traps all over the ship but so far the creature hasn't tripped any of the traps. Dr. McCoy (who is really the monster) says they should just give him salt, Kirk says he would potentially be willing to do something like that except that it has killed a number of his crew.

So that's where those red circles came from
After the meeting, the monster goes back to McCoy and Kirk and Spock wind up in there with them. There is a fight and eventually the monster gets killed by McCoy, who didn't want to kill it because it looked like Nancy. And then it's over, a fairly unsatisfying ending in my opinion.

Notable quotes:

Kirk to McCoy about Nancy "Stop thinking with your glands"

Yomen carrying the food to the creepy follower "Why don't you go chase an asteroid?"



To me, this episode is really on the low end of acceptable. There was very little exploration about the monster's past or what happened to it's society, that would have been interesting. And a more satisfying ending could have made it a lot better as well, it was just like "this is the last of his species, aaaaaand dead. Welp, let's fly off to our next mission." Not really any character development for any of the main characters either, so it's not like this was a backdrop of sorts so that we would have much of a chance to get to know the bridge crew or the enterprise. Please let me know how you would rate it in the comments.

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