★★★1/2 September 8, 1966 Season 1 Episode 1
If you want to see where we are…and you missed a few…HERE is a list of the episodes in my index located at the top of my blog.
This show was written by George Clayton Johnson
This was the first episode aired although it was the 6th one filmed. NBC thought this one had more action than the other 5 that were ready to go. The world got its first look at the crew of the Enterprise…and they didn’t fail to deliver here. It’s not one of the top episodes by any means but it is a good solid episode.
In this episode, we get the first peek at an alien monster (Salt Vampire) and what a handsome man he is! He was a shapeshifting alien who is the only one left of his kind that needs salt to survive and loves the human variety of salt.
The show does serve as a good introduction to the main characters. William Shatner as Captain James Tiberius ‘Jim’ Kirk, Leonard Nimoy as Mister Spock, DeForest Kelley as Doctor Leonard ‘Bones’ McCoy, Grace Lee Whitney as Yeoman Janice Rand, George Takei as Lieutenant Hikaru Sulu, and the beautiful Nichelle Nichols as Lieutenant Nyota Uhura. The main thing that is missing is the close friendship between Spock and Jim…of course since this was the 6th one made but the first to air…it hadn’t built up yet.
Dr. McCoy is the central character here for the most part, except when he’s being lectured by Captain Kirk for dropping the ball a few times. The characters are close to what they become but we will see growth from all of them coming up.
It’s interesting how they touch on real life with species that are on the brink of being extinct. Determining the creature’s right to continue existing, drawing parallels between the salt vampire and the now-extinct wild buffalo. Like the Twilight Zone…they manage to get a social comment across through science fiction. There will be more of that to come in the episodes.
As a debut, it is solid and good. I would say a little above average but they have better ones coming.
From IMDB Trivia
It was Gene Roddenberry’s idea to have the creature, in its illusory form, speak Swahili to Uhura. Kathy Fitzgibbon supplied him with the translation. In English, the illusory crewman says “How are you, friend. I think of you, beautiful lady. You should never know loneliness.”
Dr. McCoy’s handheld “medical scanners” were actually modified salt and pepper shakers purchased originally for use in “The Man Trap”, in which a character was seen using a salt shaker. They were of Scandinavian design, and on-screen was not recognizable as salt shakers; so a few generic salt shakers were borrowed from the studio commissary, and the “futuristic” looking shakers became McCoy’s medical instruments.
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.
William Shatner … Captain James Tiberius ‘Jim’ Kirk
Leonard Nimoy … Mister Spock
Jeanne Bal … Nancy Crater
Alfred Ryder … Prof. Robert Crater
DeForest Kelley … Doctor Leonard ‘Bones’ McCoy
Grace Lee Whitney … Yeoman Janice Rand
George Takei … Lieutenant Hikaru Sulu
Nichelle Nichols … Lieutenant Nyota Uhura
Bruce Watson … Green
Michael Zaslow … Darnell
Vince Howard … Crewman
Francine Pyne … Nancy III
Budd Albright … Barnhart (uncredited)
Tom Anfinsen … Crewman (uncredited)
John Arndt … Crewman Sturgeon (uncredited)
Bob Baker … … Beauregard (uncredited)
Bill Blackburn … Lieutenant Hadley (uncredited)
Frank da Vinci … Brent (uncredited)
James Doohan … Lieutenant Commander Montgomery ‘Scotty’ Scott
Sandra Lee Gimpel … M-113 Creature (uncredited)
Jeannie Malone … Yeoman (uncredited)
Eddie Paskey … Lieutenant Ryan (uncredited)
Anthony Larry Paul … Berkeley (uncredited)
Walter Soo Hoo … Crewman (uncredited)
Garrison True … Security Guard (uncredited)