Star Trek: Season 1, Episode 1

The Man Trap (8 Sep. 1966)

TV Episode  |   |  Action, Adventure, Mystery
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 1,664 users  
Reviews: 19 user | 12 critic

Dr. McCoy discovers his old flame is not what she seems after crew members begin dying from a sudden lack of salt in their bodies.



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Title: The Man Trap (08 Sep 1966)

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Episode complete credited cast:
Bruce Watson ...
Michael Zaslow ...
Vince Howard ...
Francine Pyne ...
Nancy III


In the series premiere, the Enterprise visits planet M-113 where scientists Dr. Crater and his wife Nancy, an old girlfriend of Dr. McCoy, are studying the remains of an ancient civilization. When Enterprise crewmen begin turning up dead under mysterious circumstances, Kirk and Spock must unravel the clues to discover how, why, and who is responsible. Written by JW Kearse

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


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Release Date:

8 September 1966 (USA)  »

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Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


The phaser Dr. Crater uses against Kirk & Spock is a reused laser pistol from the first pilot Star Trek: The Cage (1986) See more »


When Kirk walks into the turbolift, returning from his mission to the surface of M113, the cameraman's shadow can be seen following him in. And, this shot is used in many additional episodes of the show. See more »


[first lines]
Captain James T. Kirk: 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 archeologist Robert Crater and his wife Nancy. Routine but for the fact that Nancy Crater is that one woman in Dr. McCoy's past.
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Referenced in Family Guy: Not All Dogs Go to Heaven (2009) See more »


Theme From Star Trek
Written by Alexander Courage
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User Reviews

the dangers of a high-sodium diet
26 March 2015 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

The central idea of this story was anticipated by an episode in A E van Vogt's "The Voyage of the Space Beagle" (itself an anticipation of "Star Trek"). A creature that resembles a mountain lion with tentacles sucks the "id" (potassium) from its victims' bodies. (There's no explanation of where other essential nutrients come from.)

I understand why some fans don't much care for this episode. Though not intended as such, it resembles the "monster of the week" sort of story ABC insisted on for "The Outer Limits". As for the creature's failure to ask Kirk for a metric ton or two of salt -- Ryder urgently requested salt, but Kirk failed to provide it.

I like it for a number of reasons, principally that it's cool and low-key (in contrast to the noisier theatrics of almost every episode that followed). The photography is grand, making effective use of pools of light against darker backgrounds. (This would soon disappear.) There's almost no music, with sound effects creating an eerie atmosphere. From a strictly "aesthetic" perspective, "The Man Trap" is arguably the best of all the Classic episodes.

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