"The Man Trap" if you had seen it's debut in the 60's

Discussion in 'Star Trek - Original Series' started by Dale Sams, Feb 6, 2014.

  1. Dale Sams

    Dale Sams Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    And I'm sure someone here did....

    I would have been very impressed by the desolate music, the easy-going repartee and how the Doctor and Kirk snap at each other. I would have been very impressed by the big 3's acting.

    Less impressed about how Uhura is flirting with the XO.

    I'm not sure how I would have felt about the alien. While it does look horrifying, I think I would have been worried about the show being, "Monster-of-the-Week"

    Oh, and it's almost a procedure drama with its deliberateness and taking pains to show us GQ3 and GQ4 and the security guards meeting to patrol.
     
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2014
  2. ZapBrannigan

    ZapBrannigan Commodore Commodore

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    I would still have kept watching and become a Star Trek fan if the series premiere had been my first sight of the show. This despite the fact that "The Man Trap" is far from my favorite episode. But I was so starved for sci-fi and spaceships in those days...
     
  3. Botany Bay

    Botany Bay Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Great thread. Did anyone here see Trek in first run? What was it like for you? Did all your friends talk about it at school etc? There's a bit of debate going on about how big a hit Star Trek was..very keen to hear from people.
     
  4. Nerys Myk

    Nerys Myk The Real Me Premium Member

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    I liked the episode when I was a kid. I still like it.

    @Botany Bay I don't recall talking about Star Trek or any other TV show with my friends as classmates as a kid. Of course that was a long time ago and I was in the single digits at the time. Though in seventh grade I did talk about Star Trek with my best friend, but was in the syndicated rerun era.
     
  5. Nerys Myk

    Nerys Myk The Real Me Premium Member

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    I liked the episode when I was a kid. I still like it.

    @Botany Bay I don't recall talking about Star Trek or any other TV show with my friends as classmates as a kid. Of course that was a long time ago and I was in the single digits at the time. Though in seventh grade I did talk about Star Trek with my best friend, but that was in the syndicated rerun era.
     
  6. CrazyMatt

    CrazyMatt Captain Captain

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    I might have had a similar reaction to "Encounter At Farpoint" which was.. kinda sorta boring.
     
  7. ZapBrannigan

    ZapBrannigan Commodore Commodore

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    As I recall, those early TNG episodes were kept aloft entirely by the excitement of having a new ST series, and not so much by their intrinsic quality. We willed it to be a hit.
     
  8. Commishsleer

    Commishsleer Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I'm wondering about the 'Monster of the Week' reference.

    I only watched the reruns in the 70s. I had no fears about the whole series being about monsters. But that's not the first episode I saw. I have seen the term used to refer to "The Man Trap" before but wonder why people would think that.

    I thought the flirting was a bit of fun, in no way I thought Uhura was being serious. I was more annoyed by Kirk's flirting in other episodes.
     
  9. Forbin

    Forbin Admiral Admiral

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    I saw it first run, but I really can't remember how I felt about it. I was 9! I loved sci fi, so I just know I loved the show and kept watching, and it eventually became the way of life it is now.
     
  10. J.T.B.

    J.T.B. Rear Admiral Premium Member

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    You can't realistically judge how you would have reacted to it because all your opinions have been formed by X-number of years of different cultural influences. If you had grown up with three channels of TV with programming histories of less than 20 years, you would compare it to other shows you had seen and that would shape your expectations. My experience of first seeing the show as a '70s rerun is much different than someone who first saw it after Star Wars and some Trek movies, and theirs is much different than someone who first sees it streaming today.
     
  11. Dale Sams

    Dale Sams Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Exactly. Part of me was saying "STARRRRRR TREKKKK!!" and the other part saying, "I waited 20 years for this?"
     
  12. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

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    I remember thinking the Salt Vampire was scary and the transporters were cool, but that's about all I recall. I certainly wasn't analyzing the show in a critical fashion when I was seven! :)

    To add a bit of historical context, however, nobody back in 1966 worried about shows being too "Monster of the Week." That wasn't even a term back them. Nobody expected ongoing story arcs or character development on network shows, let alone sci-fi adventure shows. Heck, "The Outer Limits" was literally a Monster-of-the-Week show and "The Twilight Zone" was an anthology series.

    You can't really apply 2014 expectations and standards to a 1960s TV show. It's like wondering why a black-and-white Fred Astaire musical doesn't have more rap music. :)
     
  13. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

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    To get a more realistic appraisal you need to hear from someone or was in their teenage years or twenties in 1966.

    I started watching TOS in 1969 or '70 when the syndicated reruns had already begun. I was 11 at the time. "The Man Trap" was not the first episode I saw so I had no thought the series would be monster of the week. I can't really recall which was the first episode I saw other than I think it was either "Charlie X" or "Balance Of Terror," but I'm not really sure.
     
  14. Silvercrest

    Silvercrest Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    This. Exactly this.

    I was born during the show's first run and didn't see it until syndication. But it's obvious that a first-run audience wouldn't have judged it by today's standards.

    Although Fred really dropped the ball by not upping the funk factor. And he should have sported more bling.
     
  15. urbandefault

    urbandefault Commodore Commodore

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    I saw some Trek in the first run, but I don't think I saw that one. I remember being at a friend's house on a Wednesday and rushing home so I wouldn't miss Star Trek. But like most homes at the time, we had one TV controlled by the patriarch of the family. And my dad was not into any kind of sci-fi.

    My real Trek experience started in the early 70s, when it was rerun in the afternoons and there were other kids like me at school who liked this kind of stuff.
     
  16. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    What strikes me about "The Man Trap" is how much eating is in it. There are so many scenes where the characters are eating or talking about food, more than any other episode. I sometimes wonder if that was intentional satire in a story about the crew themselves becoming "food" for a predator.

    As Greg said, the template is something like The Outer Limits, which was a smart SF anthology, but which the network demanded include a monster in every episode to entertain the kids. Monsters were also frequently featured in Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea and Lost in Space, though not every week. The whole reason NBC scheduled "The Man Trap" as the series premiere is because it fit the monster-story template that so much SFTV had at the time, and thus conformed to their expectations.
     
  17. plynch

    plynch Commodore Commodore

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    The food scenes are, I believe, a function of the early episodes' greater inclusion of scenes of onboard daily life.
     
  18. urbandefault

    urbandefault Commodore Commodore

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    The eating thing is a great observation. When I was younger we used to talk about little things like that we'd notice in the episodes, but now I've seen them so many times that stuff like that goes right by me.
     
  19. Bad Atom

    Bad Atom Commodore Commodore

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    I always assumed the eating scenes served two purposes, to show the crew's off-duty life and have a convenient way to show the creature's desire for salt.
     
  20. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Well, yeah, on the surface, but I've wondered if there was an additional subtext. Or maybe it's a George Clayton Johnson thing, although I don't remember whether his Twilight Zone episodes had a lot of eating.