Monday, April 15, 2013

We Never Saw it Coming

The Man Trap
TOS 1.1
Stardate 1513.1 - 1513.8 (7/6/2324 thru 7/7/2324)

Captain's log, stardate 1513.1.
Our position - orbiting planet M-113.
On board the Enterprise, Mr. Spock temporarily in command
On the planet, the ruins of an ancient and long-dead civilization.
Ship's surgeon McCoy and myself are now beaming down to the planet's surface. 
Our mission - routine medical examination of archaeologist Robert Crater and his wife Nancy.
Routine but for the fct that Nancy Crater is that one woman in Dr. McCoy's past.

It began, it seems, with a doctor's appointment. Kirk and McCoy have beamed down to a planet (M113) to see the Craters for their annual physical. The complication is that Nancy Crater is McCoy's long lost love, now married to a Doctor Robert Crater.

See, we've known Kirk for three seconds, and he's already breaking out the phallic symbols.

Kirk, of course, teases McCoy mercilessly. When they get there, and Nancy comes in, McCoy sees her as the woman he knew, Kirk sees an older woman, and the security dude, Darnell, well... he sees someone he once met on Wrigley's Pleasure Planet. When he speaks up, he is promptly exiled from the room.

Nancy and I are joined by the bonds of love, and you cannot track that, not with a thousand bloodhounds...
Oh, wait, that's "The Princess Bride."

Huh, well,, I'm sure she was hot in her day.

Wow, she looks like a hooker I once knew!
Captain's log, additional.
Since our mission was routine we had beamed down to the planet without suspicion.
We were totally unaware that each member of the landing party was seeing a different woman, a different Nancy Crater.

Kirk eventually kicks Darnell out for being annoying, and when Nancy leaves to find her husband, well, what choice does he have but to follow her?

Act One
See, already he looks like a kook.

Doctor Crater arrives and he does not want a physical. This is no different, as far as I can tell, from any other man in the universe. We learn an interesting fact: apparently tonsils still exist in the 23rd century. Also, he wants salt tablets.

Also, you can wave this little machine at someone and it will tell you what their health is like. Now, that is cool.

Healthy set of tonsils indeed!

Anyway, as they're talking, Kirk and McCoy start to realize they saw a different woman, so Doctor Crater tries to smooth it over by telling McCoy he sees her with the eyes of love or whatever. Amazingly, they actually fall for it, even though it's one of the stupidest things ever said.

Someone screams.

Women the universe over do one thing very well.
They scream.
Nancy says Darnell ate a poisoned plant. He's certainly dead. There are these weird mottled rings on his face, too, that no one can explain.

Sexual tension you could cut with a lirpa.
On the Bridge, Spock is still in command, but Uhura is hitting on him. By her lines, she is apparently in charge of communications or something. Unclear what Spock's job is, other than to be in command. Anyway, Uhura is hitting on Spock, hardcore.

I'd like to take a moment to say something about Star Trek 2009. Uhura is all over Spock in this scene. This brings me to a topic that I find very upsetting, namely the negative reaction to this:
Yes, hes gay and he's still selling it. That, my friends, is acting.

Unlike this.
Get over it, people! They are totally holding true to TOS with the Spock/Uhura ship! I'm sorry if you didn't notice it before, but she is all over him in early TOS, and then it appears she gives up on him, and who wouldn't! He's the king of emotionally unavailable. But you know what, suck his planet into a black hole and you bet his emotions are gonna be available. Deal with it.

Or don't.

But please quit whining.

Anyway, Uhura rips Spock a new one for not seeming to care that Kirk, the closest thing he has to a friend, could be dead, since the away team chooses that moment to call and mention that someone's died.

Sock calmly aknowledges the message, so you can understand her frustration, especially since he's probably been spurning her advances.
I'm Spock, and I'm so logical I don't freak out over my very best friend.
My face will always remain completely expressionless...oops. Too late.

Kirk, luckily for Spock, is not dead.

He is in Sickbay, called the "dispensary" this week, being grumpy because Darnell couldn't resist following the hot blonde with the come-hither look. This is why you shouldn't chase women around, boys.

You might end up with round sucker marks on your face.

That would be bad.

Anyway, Kirk is very grumpy about this, especially since McCoy has no clue why Darnell died.

It's at about this point that Spock finds out Kirk is still alive when he delivers his report on how the "Borgia plant" that Nancy said killed Darnell doesn't leave sucker marks on your face.

Act Two
Captain's log, stardate 1513.4
In orbit around planet M-113.
One crewman, member of the landing party, dead by violence.
Cause unknown.
We are certain the cause of death was not poison.

So how do we know it was violent?

Oh, whatever.

That guy on the left looks enough like Anton Yelchin that I'd be comfortable saying
Chekov was recast as Walter Koenig and given a name, which explains how
Khan knew him. And they said this episode was worthless!

They're supposed to be delivering something to a starbase, but Kirk tells Uhura to tell "Jose" that he'll get his chili peppers later. Apparently they also run cargo. They're looking into the Craters but nothing so far.
McCoy found something though. Darnell died of, get this, lack of salt.

Lack of salt?


Well, Dr. Crater did ask for salt. Maybe there's a connection.
Green and the other dude in the background there - what is the point, really,
of having them split up? Isn't it just asking for them to get killed? Wow, this Kirk
guy is dumb as dirt.

So they go confront Crater, who is not amused. Kirk sends some guys to go find Nancy and then decides to take the Craters to the ship. Dr. Crater somehow sneaks away from two people (Kirk and McCoy).
See? Dumb.
Crater finds the body of one of these guys and tries to summon whatever-it-is with salt, much like trying to summon a dog with a dog biscuit.

Kirk and McCoy, having found the body of Sturgeon (the dead guy) go looking for Green. Green is already dead - he was killed by Nancy. Only Nancy changes her face into Green's and says he can't find her. Since they can't find Nancy, Kirk wants to beam up to the ship. McCoy freaks about leaving her. Kirk, in a rare moment of logic (Spock will handle that in later episodes) points out that they do have sensors.

Act Three

So Kirk, McCoy, and "Green" beam back up to the ship.
That guy on the left? Salt vampire.
Kirk heads straight for the Bridge, giving the director more time to take some shots of this glamorous ship, the Enterprise.
This is the first time you get a feel for the size of the ship.

"Green", meanwhile, does some poking around. One of the first people he encounters is Yeoman Rand, with a tray of Future Food (brightly colored cubes of something) that apparently still might require salt. "Green" grabs for the salt shaker but she slaps his hand away.
300 years in the future, we still use salt shakers.
Spock, on the Bridge, finds Crater on the scanners.

What is this thing and why will they spend 3 years staring at it?

Green follows Rand to her destination, the Botany lab.
This guy is creepier than that guy on the bus you wish you weren't sitting next to.
Future plants!

He follows her in as she delivers her tray to Sulu, who is apparently Chief Botanist as well as helmsman. Or something. He tries to approach the tray but one of the plants freaks out and forces Green to run away because apparently he's afraid the plant might start yelling "It's a faaaaaake!" or something.

Sulu and Rand try to calm the plant down.
That pink flower there that Sulu's stroking oh so lovngly is named Gertrude
or Beauregard.
"Green" runs down the hall and sees Uhura. Being the racially concious show this was, "Green" turns himself/itself into "random black crewmember" and tries to seduce her with Swahili. He seems to almost hypnotize her, which may have been among the Salt Vampire's repitoire of powers (unclear) and certainly would explain why no one is screaming while having the salt sucked from their bodies.

Luckily, the spell is broken when Uhura is paged.
Every woman is just waiting for a man who speaks the same language,
looks really intense, and tries to suck the salt from her body.

McCoy, meanwhile, is having trouble sleeping. And also, humans still wear T-shirts.

The salt vampire finds it's next victim.

Kirk and Spock can't find Nancy on the plantet, so they beam down to try to find Crater, who they have located. Kirk snacks on some colored cubes, sans salt.

The Salt Vampire turns itself into Nancy again when it sees this:

It basically busts into McCoy's quarters and looks all sad and pathetic and begs for help. Then it gives McCoy some sleeping pills. An interesting move.

Sulu and Rand, meanwhile, find the body of the man who learned that you can suck salt through a spacesuit in the corridor.
Is it wrong that I still love his outfit?

Act Four
Captain's log, stardate 1513.8
I am now certain that the death of my crewmen was caused by some strange life-form.

The Salt Vampire turns into McCoy and continues to move about the ship freely. Uhura summons McCoy to the bridge and the Vampire goes in his place.

Captain's log, additional.
Armed and able-bodied crewmen are not attacked and slaughtered this easily. 
Apparently, the killer can immobilize them as it approaches, perhaps with some hypnotic or paralyzing power.
The answer lies with professor Crater.

Kirk and Spock, on the planet, find Green's body. So now they know there's a salt vampire loose on the ship with shape shifting abilities.

That is a woman in pants, a rare thing in Classic Trek. This scene reminds me of the men in
skants in the beginning of TNG.

The ship goes to red alert.

Kirk and Spock find Crater, who starts shooting. They split up to stun him...

McCoy is still sleeping.

The Vampire goes to the Bridge and gets an update.

Kirk and Spock get Crater to 'fess up. Nancy has been dead a year or two but the Vampire has been living as Nancy, as long as he kept it supplied with salt. Only problem: he's running out and the Vampire is hungry.

Act Five
Captain's log, continuing.
The Enterprise has been invaded by a creature capable of assuming any form and with the capacity to paralyze and draw the life from any one of us.

Back on the ship, a meeting is called of the senior staff to try to figure out how to trap it. Only problem is that the creature is at the meeting, still disguised as McCoy.

Crater won't identify the creature, so they decide to use truth serum.

Only, on the way to Sickbay  the "dispensary", the Vampire attacks Spock, giving itself away as being not McCoy. Kirk is called to Sickbay and Spock is okay, but that vampire did not like his green blood. Instead, it killed Crater (convenient) and then left the room.
What's up with his blood around that head wound? It's

Nancy goes to McCoy's quarters and starts begging him to help her. Kirk comes in and she tries to attack him, leaving a slightly drugged McCoy really confused. Spock comes in and proceeds to start beating on Nancy, growling "Could Nancy take this, Doctor?" She throws Spock across the room and McCoy shoots her.

And then her true form appears. She turns back into Nancy, but he shoots her again with a "Lord, forgive me," and the vampire dies.

Kirk orders their departure from the system. Cue theme.

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