As everyone on earth (to say nothing of everyone in the United Federation of Planets) must know by now, the debut episode of Star Trek's first season, "The Man Trap", was not the first episode filmed. Nor was the series' "official" pilot episode, "Where No Man Has Gone Before", the first one to go before the cameras. The real launching pad for ...
As everyone on earth (to say nothing of everyone in the United Federation of Planets) must know by now, the debut episode of Star Trek's first season, "The Man Trap", was not the first episode filmed. Nor was the series' "official" pilot episode, "Where No Man Has Gone Before", the first one to go before the cameras. The real launching pad for Star Trek was "The Cage", which stars not William Shatner as James T. Kirk, but instead Jeffrey Hunter as Captain Christopher Pike of the Starship Enterprise. Though Hunter was replaced by Shatner, producer Gene Roddenberry wasn't about to let the costly "The Cage go to waste: thus, the episode was reedited as a two-part "flashback" titled "The Menagerie", with an added wraparound sequence in which the Enterprise's first officer Mr. Spock (Leonard Nimoy) explains at his court-martial why he attempted to kidnap the now-enfeebled and demented Captain Pike. With this out of the way, it can be said that Season One of Star Trek--or more specifically, year one of the Enterprise's five-year mission to "boldly go where no man has gone before"--contains several of the series' best and best-loved episodes, with the ensemble cast--Shatner, Nimoy, DeForest Kelley (Dr. "Bones" McCoy), James Doohan (Engineer Scott), Nichelle Nichols (communications officer Uhura), George Takei (helmsman Lt. Sulu) and Majel Barrett (Nurse Christine Chapel)--in peak form. In fact, the casting falls short of perfection in only one respect: Walter Koenig as ensign Chekov would not join the show until Season Two. This season represents the first series contributions of Richard Matheson ("The Enemy Within"), Jerry Sohl ("The Corbomite Maneuver"), Robert Bloch ("What Are Little Girls Made Of?"), Theodore Sturgeon ("Shore Leave") and Star Trek story editor D.C. Fontana ("Tomorrow is Yesterday"). Perhaps the most memorable--and certainly the most controversial--of the season's offerings is Harlan Ellison's Hugo-award winning "City on the Edge of Forever" (Alas, Ellison would never write again for Star Trek, the result of a well-publicized feud between the author and producer Roddenberry which has been exhaustively chronicled elsewhere). Finally, let us take note of two unforgettable guest star turns in Season One. First there's Roger C. Carmel, making his first appearance as intergalactic con artist Harry Mudd in "Mudd's Women". And last but not least, Ricardo Montalban plays the evil Khan, a genetically engineering superman who endeavors to take over the Enterprise in "Space Seed." Sixteen years later, Khan (again played by Montalban) would be up to his old tricks in the theatrical-movie spinoff Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan! Hal Erickson, Rovi
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