I'm going to keep this one short, because I'm still running off of Jurassic Park energy and I'm sure I'll fall back into talking about that movie if I type for too long. I said I'd be fair to Star Trek, so let's see how I did.
Yeah, it's an old show. The primary-color costumes are bland, the ship interior is weirdly blocky. I'm going to have to get past that and accept that Star Trek won't be about showing me things. That's fine, really; I can use a break from incredible sights and sounds.
This was a good episode to get introduced to our cast of six characters. Captain Kirk is instantly likeable; the only thing that gets him out of joint is the death of the men in his command, and that's pretty valid. Beyond that he seems to have good relations with Dr. McCoy and, by inference, Mr. Spock. I'm going more by what Uhura (thank you Rachel) said there than anything I saw on screen but I'll give it time. McCoy's a classic older grump experiencing some nostalgia and starry-eyes, helped along by an illusion. Seems like a no-nonsense type, excepting when he's all about the creature's nonsense. Spock is a cold fish through and through, but I like that we get an immediate sense that he's an alien not just through the ears and the reference to his home planet being not Earth and having no moon, but also where the creature can't kill him because he doesn't have human blood.
The second string has Uhura, who it's interesting is called out not for her race but for her specific ethnicity or cultural group - the creature entrances her by speaking in her own language. It's implied earlier in the episode that she's new to the ship, and she tries making some flirtatious overtures to Spock, who's an alien but looks white. I feel like for the time that was a boundary being filed away. No clue what her job is (apart from the doctor and the captain I'm not sure of anyone at this point, though Mr. Spock seems like the first mate) but she's in the captain's area of the ship I know there's a word but I don't have it in my brain right now. Point is, I can see the strokes of the show trying to do better than the standards of the time, and I appreciate that.
Sulu and the blonde lady round out the second string. I know they gave her a name in the episode but I have no idea what it was. She's got an odd job, although going around delivering food trays might not be her actual job but instead something she was doing as a courtesy, I suppose. Sulu is an articulate Asian fellow without a trace of the ridiculous accents that I know Hollywood used to love slapping on Asian actors. I don't know what country he's from, but I thought he might be another human-looking alien like Spock when he said something about the Great Bird of the Galaxy and I'm sitting here thinking "that sounds like the stupidest thing, I hope he's from another planet." I don't know Asian cultures but I'm pretty sure galaxy birds appear in no religion on this Earth. He, too, has a job in the top floor, and given that out of six main characters two are nonwhite in this era of storytelling and are also not there to get stereotyped (that I've seen. Things could go sour) I'm optimistic that even if it won't look progressive from where I'm standing, I will at least be able to see how it was progressive given the circumstances.
Now let's talk show. The salt vampire is a weird plot, and its accomplice is a real twerp. The consistent gesture to show which person was playing the disguised creature was a good touch, but I was confused by how it had multiple appearances at the same time when they first ran into it, but later took on one appearance at a time like a shapeshifter. That's inconsistent. They made no bones about what was going on. It wasn't a mystery at all. The plot wasn't the most effective by any stretch of the imagination, but I appreciate that I was being treated to an idea of what the show wants to be - weird creatures, laser gunfights in exotic locales, a few character moments. What else it will be, I have no idea, but despite the cheesy qualities it was quick and fun. I'm a bit more optimistic now about boldly going where many Jeremys who are not me have probably already gone.
From here on through, I'll be doing just one post per episode. They definitely don't have enough meat on them to keep doing two; if I hadn't been talking about the characters this would have been one paragraph long.