Friday, February 13, 2015

On Pickups and Lifts in 'The Man Trap'

Still from 'The Man Trap' (1966)
This one is in response to a question from blog reader Neil B., who writes, "In 'The Man Trap' chapter in These Are The Voyages — TOS: Season One, Marc Cushman and Susan Osborn say a shot of Nimoy in the command chair was postponed and done as a pick-up while shooting 'The Naked Time.' Isn't it possible that it's just a lift from 'The Naked Time' that was edited into 'The Man Trap' at a later date?"

Like many questions I get from readers, I didn't immediately know the answer, but I thought there was a good chance I could find out. For whatever reason, the production records for 'The Man Trap' are exceptionally intact in the Roddenberry and Justman collections available for public viewing at the University of California, Los Angeles. I traveled there a few weeks ago looking for answers.

For reference, this is what it says in the revised and expanded edition of These Are The Voyages:
Day 2, Thursday. The first full day of production was also spent on the bridge, with the camera rolling between 8 a.m. and 6:50 p.m. Daniels was one-quarter day behind when he took his last shot. Two scenes had been postponed and would be filmed during production of the next episode -- "The Naked Time." One was the brief shot in the teaser, of Spock in the command chair and the unusual placement of Lt. Uhura and Lt. Leslie at the helm -- the plot for "The Naked Time" explaining why. With the addition of the Captain's log entry that opens the episode -- not in the shooting script, but written and recorded later -- Roddenberry felt the audience needed to see Spock on the bridge when Kirk refers to him. He was right. 
--Marc Cushman with Susan Osborn, These Are The Voyages — TOS: Season One (Second Edition, December 2013), p.199.
This is identical to the way the passage reads in the first edition of the book, except for one sentence at the end that has been omitted:
The second scene -- Kirk's first visit to the bridge in this episode -- features Bruce Hyde (as Lt. Kevin Riley) at the helm, a character introduced in the next episode. 
--Marc Cushman with Susan Osborn, These Are The Voyages — TOS: Season One (First Edition, August 2013), p.173
Although clunky — the book now refers to a pair of postponed scenes, but identifies only one — Cushman and Osborn were wise to omit this sentence. As previously mentioned on this blog, Bruce Hyde isn't in "The Man Trap" at all.

Unfortunately, just about everything the authors have left intact in this passage is wrong, too. Cushman and Osborn claim that the second day of production on "The Man Trap" — Thursday, June 23, 1966 — was spent shooting on the bridge, but this is incorrect. Per the daily production report, this day was actually spent filming in the botany section, the transporter room, the corridor, and in McCoy's quarters. Scenes on the bridge were taken on the first and fourth days of filming (Wednesday, June 22, 1966 and Monday, June 27, 1966).

Moreover, although the June 23, 1966 shooting call was at 8 o'clock in the morning, the first shot wasn't taken until 8:15. George Takei, Garrison True, and three unidentified extras were not dismissed until 7 o'clock at night, not 6:50.

Regarding the supposed pick-ups done a week later for the teaser, the first place I looked was the shooting script — revised on June 17, 1966 — which reads as follows:





Rotates in space...



ESTABLISHING Planet M-113. The planet largely barren, some unusual low vegetation. The Crater campsite is a crumbling remains of what might once have been a weird sort of temple. There is considerable sign of archaeological digging around it. In the far distance, barely seen, are other crumbling remains of a civilization which must have existed here once. Also a shed, a heaping of tools, supplies and archaeological artifacts, statues, carvings, and so on, leading to a doorway in the temple, a room of which has obviously been converted to Crater's living quarters. (TRANSPORTER EFFECT) as CAPTAIN JAMES KIRK, DOCTOR McCOY, and a Crewman DARNELL SHIMMER into existence. They look about them, reacting to the surface of this new planet. As they move toward the stone door opening to the living quarters:

                                       Shall we stop to pick some
                                       flowers, Doctor? When a man
                                       visits an old girlfriend, she
                                       usually expects something like

Still from "The Man Trap" (1966)
As evident from this excerpt, no shots on the bridge were scripted for the opening scenes of "The Man Trap" —  or the rest of the teaser, for that matter — at least in the shooting script associate producer Bob Justman donated to UCLA, along with many other production files from the show.

By the time the episode's shooting schedule had been prepared (June 20, 1966), the earliest scenes on the bridge planned to go before the cameras were numbered 32-34. These moments were described in the shooting schedule as, "Kirk [sic] & Uhura argue-announcement from Landing Party re: death stuns Uhura-she exits." They were far removed from the episode's teaser. After examining the daily production reports for both "The Man Trap" and "The Naked Time," I found no evidence that any shots from the former were delayed and picked up during the filming of the latter.

When, then, were these shots aboard the bridge added? Post-production. On August 1, 1966, (Cushman and Osborn incorrectly date this as August 10, 1966) Bob Justman wrote to Gene Roddenberry about the state of the episode's teaser:
After viewing "THE MAN TRAP" with Sandy Courage this afternoon, I am of the opinion that we need Narration for the opening of the TEASER. The TEASER starts out with a shot of the Enterprise orbiting about a planet and then we DISSOLVE FROM that to an ESTABLISHING SHOT of planet surface and then from that to a shot of Kirk and his companions materializing on the surface of the planet. These three shots take quite a bit of time on the screen.
And since this is liable to be our first or second show on the air, I think it would be wise to establish where we are and what we are doing, over these opening shots. Therefore, feel free to write a lengthy narration for Captain Kirk. It could run as much as half a minute, if you wished it. 
Roddenberry's hand-written response was simple, "Agree. Am writing it." Justman's memo makes one thing clear: as of August 1, the beginning of the episode's teaser still matched the shooting script, dissolving directly from an optical of the Enterprise to an establishing shot of the planet surface. On August 4, 1966, seven pages of editing notes were delivered, and the newly revised teaser was scripted for the first time:
Teaser voice over begins over SHOT of ship in orbit.
                                                        KIRK'S VOICE OVER
                                       Captain's log Star Date 1513.1. Our
                                       position...orbiting Planet M-113, the
                                       home of an ancient and long-dead
                                       civilization. On the Enterprise,
                                       Mister Spock temporarily in command
                                       while ship's surgeon McCoy and
                                       myself beam down to the planet
Voice over will carry through ESTABLISHING SHOT of Bridge, CLOSER ON MISTER SPOCK as he eyes the ship's viewing screen, ANGLE ON SHIP'S VIEWING SCREEN showing the planet slowly rotating there; then to ESTABLISHING SHOT of the planet surface which leads to materialization of the landing party.
These revisions were scripted at some point during the period of August 1-4, 1966. Marc Daniels simply couldn't have filmed the suggested pick-ups during "The Naked Time," which was shot from June 30-July 11, 1966. At that point, the revised teaser hadn't even been scripted.

When, then, were these pick-ups shot? As it turns out, they weren't pick-up shots at all, but editorial lifts from other episodes. The wide shot is from "The Naked Time," as Cushman and Osborn point out. The close-up, however, is from "What Are Little Girls Made Of?" (which was filmed from July 28 to August 9, 1966, with the bridge material already in the can by the time Roddenberry and Justman were tweaking "The Man Trap"). The camera framing in "The Man Trap" is a little different than in "What Are Little Girls Are Made Of?" — suggesting it's an outtake — but the lighting, the folds on Spock's shirt, and the position of his hands all strongly suggest it's the exact same set-up. Compare the shots for yourself below.

Still from "The Man Trap" (1966)
Still from "The Naked Time" (1966)
Still from "The Man Trap" (1966)
Still from "What Are Little Girls Made Of?" (1966)
Images courtesy of Trek Core.

Thanks to Neil B. for suggesting this post, and identifying the close-up of Spock in "What Are Little Girls Made Of?" His suggestions helped improve this piece; any errors that remain are entirely my own.


The Gene Roddenberry Star Trek Television Series Collection (1964-1969)

The Robert H. Justman Collection of Star Trek Television Series Scripts (1966-1968)

These Are The Voyages: TOS, Season One (Marc Cushman with Susan Osborn, August 2013)

These Are The Voyages: TOS, Season One [Revised and Expanded Edition] (Marc Cushman with Susan Osborn, December 2013)


  1. It's been pointed out to me that another shot in "The Man Trap" was lifted from "The Naked Time". TrekCore makes ID'ing these very easy.

  2. I wouldn't be surprised if the shot of Spock used in The Man Trap if it was cut just before Nimoy's son came out wearing Vulcan ears, as seen in the blooper reel. :)