Thursday, May 12, 2011
Yeah, I'm a TOS-er
Many of you know that, in addition to being a famous blogger, amazing stage technician, and a 00 agent with a license to kill, I am also a podcaster. My show, Starbase 66, has been part of the Simply Syndicated network for nearly two years now, and one of the stipulations for our joining the network was that we would put up a weekly blog post on the SimSyn web site. This was forgotten in the craziness of the early days, but our fearless leader has finally called upon us to live up to that mandate, which means I need to get my blogging muscles back in shape and stop ignoring you wonderful folks in the process. So, on with the show.
Due to my line of work I have had to become something of a jack of all trades. I know a little bit about a lot of things, and a lot about a few things, but the only thing I would consider myself an expert in is Star Trek. I have been watching Star Trek for as long as I can remember, and while all of the series have been worthy, my heart will always belong to The Original Series(TOS). This is the show that started a 40+ year saga that shows no sign of ever leaving the public consciousness, but is also the most maligned and trivialized of the series due to it being 'camp' and 'cheap'. Well, I can't say that such accusations are totally false, but I can say that TOS was not always the light, silly bit of fluff many younger Trek fans make it out to be. So, in an effort to raise awareness of TOS, and to help folks who might simply dismiss it as not worth the effort to watch, I am going to review the series in its entirety, in the order it was aired. I will be giving air dates, synopses, and my reasons why you should, or should not watch any given episode. I will state that these are strictly my opinions and do not necessarily reflect those of Simply Syndicated, Starbase 66, the US or Canadian governments, or any other human being, and I welcome your opinions, especially when you disagree with me. So, without further preamble, on with the shows.
Title: The Man Trap
Air Date: September 8, 1966
Written By: George Clayton Johnson
Directed By: Marc Daniels
Synopsis: The USS Enterprise, commanded by Capt. James T. Kirk, makes a routine stop at planet M-113 to check on an archeological team consisting of Dr. Robert Crater and his wife Nancy, who is an old flame of ship’s Chief Medical Officer Dr. Leonard McCoy. Things seem strange immediately as everyone sees Nancy Crater differently. To McCoy she looks the same as she did when he last saw her years ago. To Kirk she looks like a handsome, but aging woman, and to Crewman Darnell she looks like a young woman he knew from a less than honorable shore leave. Soon Darnell is dead , having had all the salt removed from his body, and the search for the killer begins on the planet, and later onboard the Enterprise.
Why you should watch: This was the fourth episode filmed, but NBC wanted ‘strange new worlds’ for the premier, so they chose The Man Trap to introduce Star Trek to the world. It had an alien planet, and a scary monster, as well as some good exposition about the ship and crew, including the first sparring match between Uhura and Spock.
Opinion: This is not my favorite episode, though I’ve always been impressed with the design of the salt vampire costume. As with any new series the actors were still figuring out who their characters were, and the special effects, especially the phasers, were a bit wonky, but overall this is well worth a watch, and a good introduction to the Star Trek universe.