Episode: "The Man Trap"
Series: Star Trek: The Original Series
Season 1, Episode 1
Original Air Date: September 8, 1966
Star Trek first aired on a Thursday night. While not the first to be filmed, "The Man Trap" was the episode chosen to introduce the Enterprise and her crew to the NBC television audience. On board that first night were a few of what would become very familiar faces: Captain Kirk (William Shatner), Mr. Spock (Leonard Nimoy), Dr. McCoy (DeForest Kelley), Lt. Uhura (Nichelle Nichols) and Lt. Sulu (George Takei).
For its first televised adventure, the crew visits the planet M-113 for routine medical exams of an archaeologist and his wife. Not all is as it seems, however, as the wife is actually a shapeshifting monster who craves salt and is willing to kill to get it, sucking it out of her victims through her fingers - a sort of extra-terrestrial vampire. For me, the episode's most amusing moment is when Kirk says he doesn't like mysteries. Little did he know then, probably a majority of Trek episodes over the years to follow would essentially be mystery stories!
William Shatner was born to a Jewish family in Montreal in 1931. He, not Patrick Stewart, was the first Shakespearean-trained actor to play captain of the Enterprise, performing with the Stratford Festival of Canada beginning in 1954. He had his first big feature film role in 1958's The Brothers Karamozov, playing the part of Alexei. He gained a reputation for dependability and a willingness to take pretty much any part offered to him. He drew steady, though mostly low-profile work in both film and television before the role of James T. Kirk came to him in 1966.