November 24th, 2008

Salt Vampire

Yesterday I was flipping through the channels and came across an episode of classic Star Trek. I watched the remaining 15 minutes or so and was reminded of how much I always enjoyed the show. I’ve gotten so used to Trek being the movies and The Next Generation that I sort of forgot about the show that started it all.

I’ve owned all three seasons on DVD for a while, but have never watched them. I got a fantastic deal on the set a while back and couldn’t pass it up. Of course, now they’ve released new touched-up versions, the jerks. Maybe some day there’ll be an incredible deal on those, too.

Seeing that episode on TV prompted me to break out my DVDs and I started tonight with the first episode, “The Man Trap.” According to many sources, it was the first episode aired, though it was not the first episode produced. The Enterprise goes to check up on a scientist and his wife on a remote planet and eventually discover a creature that is the last of its kind, a salt vampire. It’s a pretty good episode and there are some good moments with the cast, but the highlight is the salt vampire itself.

As I was watching, it struck me that the very first bit of Star Trek I can remember seeing was from this exact episode. I had to have been around 7 or 8 years old, and our family was over at someone else’s house. The parents were playing Rook, most likely, and we kids were flipping through the channels. We came across the end of this episode, right when the salt vampire made its true appearance known.

I’m telling you – it freaked me out. I remember being really, really freaked out. The image of that creature stuck in my head for several days after, and I don’t remember how or when I got over it. If you’re curious as to what the creature looked like, if you’re brave enough, click here to see it.

Pretty frightening, isn’t it? For 1966, that wasn’t too bad, really. And to a kid in the 70s, well, that was apparently scary enough.

Funny thing is, that’s the last time I can remember being scared by something on TV or a movie. Sure, I get startled and weirded out, but nothing has ever stuck with me again the way that salt vampire did. I wonder why that is.

It’s peculiar that a memory of what, at the time, was very scary, has turned into a pleasant memory. I don’t remember specific details about the room or the other people in it, I just have the general feel of the time and place in mind, and it’s a good feel.

The mind is an intriguing creation.

One Comment on “Salt Vampire”

  1. the obscure says:

    I think TOS is still my favorit incarnation of Star Trek.

    It'll stay that way until Matt Damon plays Kirk. XP

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