Welcome to the Star Trek Project! Getting back into watching Star Trek feels good! It’s been several years since I’ve been able to watch an episode, since it was not at all popular in Japan. So, I am watching every Star Trek episode in order of airing date and talking about my impressions of each episode. So, let’s get started!
Season 1, Episode 1: The Man Trap
Original Air Date: September 8, 1966
Featured Alien: M-113 Creature (Salt Vampire)
Main Cast: Kirk, Spock, McCoy, Uhura, Sulu, Rand
Main Guest Characters: Professor Robert Crater and Nancy Crater
Things I Noticed
The first thing I noticed when I watched this is that it’s the remastered edition with new CG Enterprise and planet shots. I like it, actually. The old ones were not as visually pleasing, although I still liked them. I mean, they’re the original!
Watching this episode brought back many memories. And made me notice a lot of things. First of all, I noticed that Dr. McCoy is still using tongue depressors. Spock is also using a stylus. The technology seems a bit old.
Another thing I noticed is how the women are portrayed and the men’s reactions to them. With this being the year 2266, you’d expect some progress would’ve been made in gender equality. The men were awful, constantly staring and making comments on the women. There was a lot of sexual tension, and it seemed so unnatural. The show was at the very beginning, so I can understand some issues would happen. I don’t recall the blatant sexism in this episode being as prevalent in later episodes, though.
The interaction between Spock and Uhura was interesting. Uhura seemed to be coming on to Spock! This made me think about the Kelvin timeline movies, where Spock and Uhura are a thing. Did they get this idea from this episode? Did they notice that Uhura actually had an attraction toward Spock and explore that in the alternate timeline?
Another thing with women, and this has always bothered me about Star Trek, is that when there was a close-up shot of a female character, the picture was soft and fuzzy.
Also, there’s a lack of some main cast members, including Scotty. Chekov is introduced much later on, so I don’t expect him for a while. Nurse Chapel was never a main cast member, similar to Yeoman Rand. However, Rand is featured quite a bit in this episode.
For a first official episode of a TV series, it seems like we were just dropped into it without any introduction or anything like that. It doesn’t feel like a first episode at all. Of course, there were two pilot episodes, the first of which is featured in a two-part flashback episode, and the second pilot was actually aired as the third episode of the first season. But basically, we’re introduced to a crew that has been together for quite some time already. This is unique among the Star Trek TV series.
This is an episode that I was never in love with. I enjoyed watching it, as I always do, but it’s not one I got excited about watching after school. The characters behaviours aren’t established enough at this time. Spock is a bit too emotional at the end of the episode. However, we are pretty much shown that Kirk, Spock, and McCoy are the main trio of the show. But the sexism really struck me this time. It was surprisingly jarring.
Star Trek doesn’t start off very well. It was okay, I enjoyed it. But it doesn’t leave the best first impression, if you ask me.
What did you think of this episode? Let me know in the comments below.