‘THE MAN TRAP’ (TOS)
Please feel free to comment on my review.
This is a cracking good ‘Star Trek’ episode with Dr McCoy meeting his old flame Nancy Crater. It’s a good story with an interesting alien/monster that’s needy on salt and was quite scary when I saw it.
In the episode, the Enterprise visits planet M-113 to conduct a medical examination on Professor Crater and his wife Nancy. But during the visit, mysterious deaths occurred on Enterprise crewmen.
Kirk is unhappy with the mysterious deaths of his Enterprise crew and is determined to solve it. But McCoy’s feelings of his former flame Nancy may endanger the lives of everybody on the Enterprise.
This was the first episode shown in the original ‘Star Trek’ TV series, although it was the sixth in production order. I don’t understand the random transmission order that these ‘Star Trek’ episodes were shown on TV.
From the DVD, this was the first proper ‘Star Trek’ episode I saw with my parents. It took some time to get to know all the characters, but I recognised Captain Kirk and Mr. Spock from seeing this episode.
I enjoyed the story with Dr McCoy (or ‘Bones’ as Kirk calls him). It was interesting to see him reunite with an old flame, who he still has feelings for and he can’t see her as an older woman like Kirk does.
It was strange that Kirk, Bones and crewman Darnell see different versions of Nancy in the episode’s opening prologue. This is to hint that Nancy isn’t what she seems before her real identity is revealed.
Jeanne Bal guest stars as Nancy. I like those scenes between Bones and Nancy, when they reunite over old times. It’s scary when Nancy becomes sinister and she’s obsessed with salt by killing people.
Alfred Ryder guest stars as Professor Crater, Nancy’s husband. Crater is anxious and irritable with Kirk and his men to leave his home. It’s strange that he doesn’t realise his wife ‘Nancy’ is an alien murderer.
The concept of an alien obsessed with salt and having the ability to shape-shift was so interesting. It causes an identity crisis especially when one or two crewmembers are imposters on the Enterprise.
Grace Lee Whitney stars as Yeoman Janice Rand in this episode. I enjoyed it when she suspects crewman Green who keeps following her as she carries a tray of lunch with a salt cellar on it to Sulu.
It was good to see George Takei as Mr. Sulu and Nichelle Nichols as Lt. Uhuru in this episode. I enjoyed the first scene between Uhura and Spock when she chats to him on the Enterprise bridge.
I enjoyed William Shatner as Captain Kirk in this episode. He gets rattled that an alien creature is murdering people aboard the Enterprise and he’s determined to solve the mystery once and for all.
I equally enjoyed Leonard Nimoy as Mr. Spock in this episode. It took some time for me to understand Spock as an alien called a Vulcan and why he’s so logical and not showing any emotions.
Deforest Kelley steals the show as Dr. McCoy in this episode. I liked him the first time I saw him as he is a genuinely decent person to be the Enterprise’s medical officer and is very good friends with Kirk.
The episode’s end was very emotional as McCoy refuses to shoot Nancy when she’s about to kill Captain Kirk. He eventually sees Nancy as the monstrous creature and painfully kills it with a phaser.
‘The Man Trap’ is a superb ‘Star Trek’ episode to watch from the series. It’s cleverly written and full of tension. I especially enjoyed the character of Dr McCoy/Bones when seeing this for the first time.
The DVD special features for this episode are as follows. On Disc 1 of both the original and re-mastered DVDs of ‘Star Trek: The Original Series – Season 1’, there is a preview trailer for this episode.
‘The Man Trap’ (TOS) rating – 10/10
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