'Star Trek' First Aired Episode: THR's 1966 Review
On Sept. 8, 1966, Star Trek was beamed to American homes via NBC during the 8:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. hour. The Hollywood Reporter's review of the first aired episode, titled "The Man Trap," is below.
The planets come into play in the latest entry in the sci-fi category. Most of the action takes place on a spacecraft called USS Enterprise which has a medical group aboard to visit a planet outpost where guest stars Jeanne Bal as Nancy Crater and Alfred Ryder, as Prof. Crater, have been living several years doing research allegedly for their archeological designs.
Soon after the government scientists land, namely William Shatner as Capt. James T. Kirk, and Leonard Nimoy, as chief science officer Spock, two of their crew are mysteriously killed, red circles on their faces being the mark of the terrorist.
The audience is soon informed who the killer is and learns the strange power of changing from Mrs. Crater to women the two stars knew years back, later transforming herself into men she wants to dispose of, and does except for Nimoy, whom Shatner saves at the last second.
There's quite a bit of suspense and tricks with gadgets that will please the sci-fi buffs no end. Featured as regulars are Deforest Kelley, Grace Lee Whitney, George Takei and Nichelle Nichols. Mark Daniels directed with an eye for building suspense; people running in and out of rooms and passageways excitedly. Gene Roddenberry was creator and executive producer. Gene Coons produced for Norway productions in association with Desilu and NBC. Alexander Courage wrote the theme song called "Star Trek Theme."
Should be a winner. — Bill Ornstein