The Man Trap...why not provide salt for the creature?

Discussion in 'Star Trek - The Original & Animated Series' started by MarsWeeps, Sep 9, 2017.

  1. Samuel

    Samuel Captain Captain

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    I've always wondered about the creatures motivations as well. And who was the woman that Kirk early in the episode saw "Nancy" as?

    I do agree with Kirks basic argument that Crater's "relationship" with the creature was bizarre and unnatural. I mean come on I think if I was a scientist and a creature killed my wife apparently right in front of my eyes I would've shot it dead no matter what form it took.
     
  2. MAGolding

    MAGolding Commander Red Shirt

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    One thing that supports the theory that the civilization on M113 might have been from another planet is the way the ruins look like fake ancient ruins. In one scene Kirk is behind a structure that has three vertical stone blocks and two horizontal stone blocks connecting the tops of the vertical ones. Dr. Crater blasts the middle vertical "stone" and the two horizontal ones that met on top of it do not fall down on Kirk. If that was a real structure built of giant stones the two horizontal ones would have fallen on Kirk and killed him.

    Thus the structures seem to have been built with very modern building technology but designed to look like ancient structures built of giant stones. So the structures were built by an advanced civilization but designed to look like structures of some ancient and less advanced civilization - maybe the M113 version of fake Egyptian or Mayan architecture. Thus they could have been built by colonists from another world.
     
  3. Maurice

    Maurice Vice Admiral Premium Member

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    ^^^Or more likely the set designers didn't think about actual physics.
     
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  4. FormerLurker

    FormerLurker Commodore Commodore

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    Kirk saw "Nancy" as Nancy. McCoy saw "Nancy" as Young Nancy. And Darnell saw "Nancy" as the girl from Wrigley's Pleasure Planet.
     
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  5. Gary7

    Gary7 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

  6. johnnybear

    johnnybear Commodore Commodore

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    But did McCoy see Nancy as her proper age later on as we did? I think so as he mentions it to Kirk that he probably saw her through a haze or something of his previous love for her!
    JB
     
  7. Poltargyst

    Poltargyst Captain Captain

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    You are way overthinking it.
     
  8. Poltargyst

    Poltargyst Captain Captain

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    This for the win.
     
  9. Cutie McWhiskers

    Cutie McWhiskers Captain Captain

    The creature had an ability to mind rape a victim, to find something alluring than to exploit it.

    Mr Crater certainly had the hots for what Nancy looked like. Or he was a zoologist as a hobby and really cared to see the salt vampire species survive as long as possible, didn't Spock or McCoy say "pet" at one point? Wonder what killed the species... The creature, given its intelligence, probably could have realized that it could kill everyone and still have no salt afterward. Desperation, I suppose(?), but futile. Better to show it than to say it, sci-fi's favorite cliché is someone saying how futile resistance is... There's this book covering "Doctor Who" that brings up the phrase, and its variants, for any number of stories. And, of course, the Borg - especially during "Voyager"'s time.
     
  10. Samuel

    Samuel Captain Captain

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    This is far from a favorite episode but I do love Kirk's dialogue with Crater in the Briefing Room.

    "You bleed too much Crater. You're too pure and noble". It shows just how dismissive Kirk is of Craters supposedly altruistic motives for saving the creature because "its the last of its kind".

    "And you win all the arguments".
     
  11. Herbert

    Herbert Captain Captain

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    I like the episode. It's got a very cool, scary monster. Yeah, there are issues but you can pick apart pretty much any episode. Sometimes you just gotta go with it.
     
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  12. Mark 2000

    Mark 2000 Captain Captain

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    I've always seen the creature as being a psychopath, maybe from being alone for so long. It is intelligent. It certainly made a case for itself as McCoy in the meeting. But instead of waiting for the salt to be provisioned it immediately killed a crewman. There is something about the hunt that it enjoyed and it didn't matter that what it was hunting was as sentient as it was. If the Enterprise people had beamed down to a full explanation – Crater telling them Nancy was killed by accident before the creature knew humans were intelligent and has been fine on salt tablets ever since – they probably would have fed it immediately.

    As it is, all Kirk knew was that three of his people were dead. When the creature attacked Kirk, Spock had punched it, McCoy had stunned it, and yet it kept attacking. There wasn't really a choice but to kill it.
     
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  13. Samuel

    Samuel Captain Captain

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    • One wonders what kind of favor Crater was doing this creature by not simply killing it? I know it sounds callous but the creature was compared to the American Buffalo so I'm wondering if it reproduced sexually. If that was the case then this species was completely doomed anyway. And what Crater did by letting it live was condemn it to many more years (apparently) of loneliness.
    IIRC, Crater in defending his actions said something to the effect that the "creature needed not just salt but love".

    I think its more accurate to say that Crater needed love.
     
  14. Mark 2000

    Mark 2000 Captain Captain

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    I don't think any civilized society thinks it's doing anyone a favor by euthanizing them for loneliness. The creature wanted company, Carter wanted Nancy back. They helped each other. Not every human relationship is based on sex.
     
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  15. Samuel

    Samuel Captain Captain

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    I think after watching the episode and listening to Crater, viewers tend to vastly overestimate the M-113 creatures (salt vampires) actual intelligence. Many of its actions seem to be the product of simple hunting instinct when simply waiting for the Enterprise crew to resupply Crater with another big jar of salt (which they certainly would have).

    There is another ominous possibility. That while the creature could survive on mere salt tablets, it greatly preferred salt that was processed in a humanoid body which would go a long way to explaining why they slowly went extinct. The planet had originally had another humanoid race (intelligent or not) that the salt vampires hunted to extinction.
     
  16. Mark 2000

    Mark 2000 Captain Captain

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    We don't just hear it from Carter, though. We hear it from the creature. It defends itself. It makes a case for it's existence. It interacts with people. It's not a mimic. It is intelligent. I don't think you can question that. That doesn't mean that it's morally sound though, or that it respects the lives of others.

    As for the planet before the extinction, we have no idea what was there before, let alone that their were other humanoids. They could have over hunted. They could have also eaten all the natural salt on the planet. They could have had a war and the last few left didn't know how to mine. There's a million reason for the state we find it in.
     
  17. Samuel

    Samuel Captain Captain

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    Yet,

    The analogy Crater (who one presumes to knows the creature pretty well) is that of buffalo(bison). Hardly a creature known for higher order intelligence.
     
  18. Ragnarok

    Ragnarok Ensign Red Shirt

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    That was my thought too. They preferred the taste of the salt when it came from a human.
     
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  19. Mark 2000

    Mark 2000 Captain Captain

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    You're reading too much into one line and ignoring everything else. Crater literally states there were millions and now they are all gone. The extinction event was the only point of that analogy. Everything else points to the creature being sentient including Crater's later defense of it.
     
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  20. Samuel

    Samuel Captain Captain

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    Crater's defense sounded too much like rationalization. Like he's saying "Yeah I know this creature has killed at least four human beings that we know of. But its an intelligent being facing extinction".