TVSins: Everything Wrong With "The Man Trap"

Discussion in 'Star Trek - The Original & Animated Series' started by tharpdevenport, Jan 2, 2019.

  1. tharpdevenport

    tharpdevenport Admiral Admiral

    TVSins, a spin-off channel of the popular CinemaSins Youtube channel, has made a video for this episode:


    (Non embedded link: youtube.com/watch?v=RnXNCDW61hU)
     
  2. Henoch

    Henoch Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Very entertaining on my least liked episode. I'm glad I didn't watch the series by air date, or, for first impressions, I think McCoy is a jerk and Spock a dick as shown in the video. Actually, all our heroes came off rather poorly, except Scotty who was not in the episode. Where No Man Has Gone Before, The Corbomite Maneuver and The Enemy Within (not Mudd's Women) are much better initiation episodes to the series.
     
  3. marlboro

    marlboro Captain Captain

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    I think it's a very good episode, honestly. Good chemistry among the cast even that early on. Cool monster, too. One of the most memorable critters in all of Trek.
     
  4. johnnybear

    johnnybear Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I've always loved The Man Trap but agree that it's not really ideal for the first episode of the series! It works well within the limits of the show to bring us our first look at the alien monsters which also inhabit the Trek universe! Plus the Shat gets to scream too when the creature tries to drain him of his salt! Why didn't any of the others scream, or if they did why wasn't it heard? :hugegrin:
    JB
     
  5. Spock's Barber

    Spock's Barber Commodore Commodore

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    I will watch the episode just to compare it to other S1 shows. The pace of the story is slower than a snail running a marathon, and at times the music is Grade B sci-fi stuff. Not to mention Gertrude, that human hand wrapped in a plastic glove alien thingy. :lol:
     
  6. Big Matty

    Big Matty Ensign Newbie

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    Agreed. It angers me that the writers imbued more character into a creature than they did at times into long-standing "characters" like Worf, Sisco, Guinan, and Uhura.
     
  7. Gov Kodos

    Gov Kodos Admiral Admiral

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    Worf, Sisko, and Guinan were developed long after TOS, they are irrelevant to this. This was pretty much the first episode of the series so Uhura wasn't really long standing at all at this point.
     
  8. GNDN18

    GNDN18 Pool boy Premium Member

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    Whatever its faults, “The Man Trap” is one of a handful of episodes that sheds any light on Uhura’s character and background. She has scenes where she playfully flirts with Spock, banters with Bobby, and is in grave danger of being killed by Nancy the Salt Creature. Along the way we learn that she is dissatisfied with her job, that the door to her cabin rattles, that she won’t be trifled with by obvious passes, and that she speaks Swahili. Not a bad day’s work, all in all.

    Some people (not you, of course), really ought to watch an episode before popping off.
     
  9. Gov Kodos

    Gov Kodos Admiral Admiral

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    For what is a first episode, as I recall, she gets a lot of development for someone that's not a guest star or on the font credits.
     
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  10. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Premium Member

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    Less than a minute in, they count five "sins". Not sure they really understand the context in which they use the word.

    After that, I cut it off.
     
  11. johnnybear

    johnnybear Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I blame the Networks for picking this one first! Especially when Where No Man Has Gone Before is obviously the first episode! And yes I know it was all to do with which shows had been finished first and the special effects etc. but if they hadn't have made the deadline so close then they may have started with the pilot instead of the monster of the week episode! :barf2:
    JB
     
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  12. marlboro

    marlboro Captain Captain

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    I've never seen someone stretch so hard to find something to nitpick - and I'm a member of Trekbbs so that's really saying something.
     
  13. Pauln6

    Pauln6 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Uhura is thirsty lol. They forgot that 10 mins later she was asking a technician to fix her rattling doors.
     
  14. Marsden

    Marsden Commodore Commodore

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    This video is like a corpse under a sheet for me, I know I'll be disturbed if I look but I'm curious to see it. I'll think it over a few days.

    BTW, I've never had a problem with Man Trap, as a first episode or as an anything episode.

    I don't mind honest criticism for improvement or discussion, or even laughs, but this seems like a typical youtoober just trying to get someone to pay attention to them. See my post about Hell in the Lost in Space thread.
     
  15. Cutie McWhiskers

    Cutie McWhiskers Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    It's a mixed bag. Uhura does get a lot of character development that sadly doesn't often gets used much since then... and we see a monster that isn't a monster but a misunderstood creature that's going nuts because Prof. Crater is being a dick toward Kirk, who's also got a big stick up his end regarding protocols compared to later episodes and, indeed, seasons. Unlike Uhura who's chatting up Spock on the Bridge to show the audience how he has no emotions and the Sins review rightly pointed out that's not the best place or time to be doing that, along with a lot of other bits and pieces I hadn't remembered or went over my head originally. I focused mostly on "the monster that really isn't" as to why I liked the episode, which is the sheer opposite of most sci-fi of the time where the monster was a monster needing to be splattered.)

    Then again, said misunderstood critter is also going around killing people despite waiting for the new salt supplies and that's before the plot starts to develop. The basic storyline and intents are all good if not excellent, but the execution is more than a bit off at times.

    But TVSins got one thing wrong, though they do from time to time in order to hype up the sin count: In the 1960s, with no home video but only TV channel guide magazines to know what's coming on and when, captain's logs were used as exposition - often post-commercial break - for the audience that may have tuned in late. Not sure if TVSins understands that or not.
     
  16. ZapBrannigan

    ZapBrannigan Commodore Commodore

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    The age-old story, and probably true, is that Nichelle Nichols ad libbed her playful banter with Nimoy, who was taken by surprise but came up with Spock's replies on the spot. They left it in, obviously, but told her to run any more ideas past a producer rather than spring it on them while shooting.
     
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  17. Harvey

    Harvey Admiral Admiral

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    Her lines were all scripted. What’s the source of this “age-old story?”

    Nichols was an inexperienced actress for film/TV in 1966 with a few credits and a knack for blowing takes. She wasn’t improvising this stuff.
     
  18. ZapBrannigan

    ZapBrannigan Commodore Commodore

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    Well then, somebody fibbed. I'm at work now, but maybe Nichelle told that tale to David Gerrold, and I got it from one of his books (The Trouble with Tribbles or The World of Star Trek). That's just a guess. Another possible source is Star Trek Lives! by Lichtenberg, Winston, and Marshak. But I got it from somewhere, a long time ago, and who would want to make that up? I have to guess Nichelle would want to.

    And I really thought it was true. Are you sure?
     
  19. JonnyQuest037

    JonnyQuest037 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    People take the "Sins" thing way too seriously. It's really just a format for them to make jokes. Watch their videos in that frame of mind rather than taking them all as sincere criticism and you'll have a lot more fun.
    I'm sure that they did. CinemaSins has a long-running gag where they sin any instance of narration in movies. This is just a continuation of that.
    I highly doubt that we're seeing any actual improv or ad libbing in that scene. If Nimoy and Nichols ever did workshop a scene like that, it would be between takes, during rehearsal, or even at a table reading, not during the shoot. Actors also have a tendency to say that they wrote or improvised an entire scene when they really just suggested a germ of an idea or a single line to a writer.
     
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  20. ZapBrannigan

    ZapBrannigan Commodore Commodore

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    You're making sense. Maybe Harvey's claim that the whole bit was scripted comes from a revision in which they put Nichelle's idea in, before the scene was shot. Maybe. And pending more info, it's entirely possible she didn't really have the input she claimed, and the whole scene was in the script to begin with.

    What always lent credence to her story was that Nimoy did such a good job of letting Spock be stumped for a moment, like he really didn't know what to say. Pretending to be stumped, playing dumb even for a second, would go against Nimoy's whole conception of Spock the Super Genius. But actors can do that.
     
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