Star Trek: “The Man Trap”

My wife gave me all three seasons of Star Trek for Christmas – and the old DVDs, too, with none of the “remastered” bullshit! There’s way too much going on in this show, though, too much variety and too much awesomeness, to sum it up in just three posts, so I feel the need to post for every episode rather than just once per season.

Title: Star Trek: “The Man Trap”
Year: 1966
Network: NBC
Episode: the first (of twenty-nine) from season one; 50 minutes
Creator: Gene Roddenberry
Director: Marc Daniels
Writer: George Clayton Johnson
Starring: William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, DeForest Kelley, Jeanne Bal, Alfred Ryder
Music: Alexander Courage
I saw it: on video and TV several times, most recently a few days ago (have on DVD)
Synopsis: a deadly alien can change its appearance

My reaction
Concept:4.0/4 (Great) It’s like The Thing, only space-ier!
Story:3.0/4 (Good) It could have been a lot better if the audience didn’t always know who the creature is, but I guess that would have been confusing this early in a TV series.
Characters:3.0/4 (Good)
Dialog:3.0/4 (Good)
Pacing:3.0/4 (Good) Only fifty minutes and a lot of plot doesn’t leave much time for building up suspense.
Cinematography:2.0/4 (Indifferent)
Special effects/design:4.0/4 (Great) This is going to be pretty much a given for every episode of Star Trek. I don’t care how cheap the special effects are, the look of the show is perfect: pure pulpy, mid-century science-fiction goodness.
Acting:3.0/4 (Good) Some questionable bits from Nimoy (he completely botches his climactic action scene), but very good otherwise.
Music:4.0/4 (Great) Again, pretty much a given for every episode.
Subjective Rating: 8/10 (Great, 4.0/4 (Great)). A solid, clever episode.
Objective Rating (Average):3.3/4 (Very good)


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