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Star Trek - The Man Trap

episode 1.1
Raumschiff Enterprise - Das Letzte seiner Art

USA 1966
produced by
Gene Roddenberry for Desilu, Norway Corporation/NBC
directed by Marc Daniels
starring William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, DeForest Kelley, Jeanne Bal, Alfred Ryder, Grace Lee Whitney, Nichelle Nichols, George Takai, Bruce Watson, Michael Zaslow, Francine Pyne, Vince Howard, Garrison True
written by George Clayton Jones, created by Gene Roddenberry, music by Alexander Courage

Star Trek, Classic Star Trek, Star Trek (original crew)

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Captain Kirk (William Shatner) & Doctor McCoy (DeForest Kelley) plus crewman Darnell (Michael Zaslow) from the Starship Enterprise beam doown onto a deserted planet to perform medical checks on an archeologist couple Robert (Alfred Ryder) & Nancy Crater (Jeanne Bal)  ... with the female part of the couple being McCoy's long lost love ...

& would you know it, all 3 men from the Enterprise see her differently: Kirk sees a woman in her 40's, McCoy sees her exactly as he left her, & Darnell sees her as a blonde bombshell (then played by Francine Pyne). To little surprise to the audience, she is of course some kind of shapeshifter, & it is also not very surprising that crewman Darnell soon turns up dead when left alone with her.

Back aboard the ship, the doctor finds out the man died from something as impossible & inexplicable as salt deprivation, but when he & Kirk with 2 crewmen go down to the planet again to question Robert Crater, his wife in all secrecy kills the 2 crewmen & sucks their salt, before turning into one of them, crewman Green (Bruce Watson), & as him gaining easy access to the Enterprise.

Aboard the Enterprise, Nancy the Saltvampire finds it incredibly easy to get to people to szuck their salt, leaving Captain Kirk & even his logic-obsessed first officer Spock (Leonard Nimoy) baffled ... so baffled that the pair of them decides to beam down onto the planet yet again to force Crater to accompany them to the ship & help them find the creature at gunpoint.

Back on the Enterprise, Crater, Kirk, Spock & McCoy try to make up a plan to hunt down the creature - according to Crater the last of its kind that must be kept alive at any  cost -, but Crater seems to show little cooperation ... & McCoy is really the saltvampire in disguise. Soon Crater & the fake McCoy even manage to overcome Spock, before the saltvampire, in a sudden urge for salt, sucks Crater saltless, then it goes after Kirk ... in McCoy's sleeping quarters no less, & the real McCoy is unable to shoot the saltvampire as it has taken on the form of his love Nancy again. But when it starts sucking the salt out of Kirk, it (inexplicably) turns back to its original form, a hideous monster, & now McCoy shows little hesitation to eliminate it.


The first ever aired episode of Star Trek (other episodes, including the actual pilot The Cage, were in fact filmed sooner but shown later (in the case of The Cage much later).

The series was actually only moderately successful during its original run, but once it was discontinued in 1969, it gained such a momentum that an animated series (in 1974), a series of motion pictures & 4 spin-off series followed.

This episode is not  especially clever in storytelling (the fact that Nancy is a shapeshifting salt-vampire is given away way too soon), & it doesn't feature any special effects to speak of that would elevate it above other 60's sci-fi-stuff, but it does feature a certain naive gung-ho attitude towards space travel that would permeate the original Star Trek series (& was sadly amiss from all the spin-offs), where there was little that couldn't be sorted out in a fistfight, & if in doubt, there was always the possibility to shoot IT. This might of course not be entirely politically correct from today's point of view, but it makes a nic piece of mindless, highly entertaining nostalgia.


review © by Mike Haberfelner


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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner


Out now from




On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide


A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD