So Kirk, McCoy and a lower ranking crewman beam down to a planet, go who isn’t going to make it? They landing party was supposed to check on scientist and overall grumpy guy Dr. Crater and his wife Nancy ( a friend of McCoy) to see if they needed more supplies. Turns out each member of the landing party was seeing Nancy as a different woman. The third crewman Darnell gets killed and has weird markings on his face like someone put a bunch of hot pennies on him. McCoy can’t find a cause of death at first although Nancy insists he ate a poison berry. Yeah, right, shape shifting liar. Turns out all the salt was sucked out of Darnell. Other crew members go down to the planet and this time Nancy/creature kills a crew member named Green and takes his identity. What’s worse is this fake Green beams up to the planet-oh no I see trouble a brewing on the Enterprise. So the creature spooks Yeoman Rand and Sulu (who deals with a gloved hand posing as an alien pant) and tries to get Uhura before settling for a silver suit clad extra. Meanwhile Kirk and Spock try to figure out what the heck is going on. They beam down to the planet and find Green’s body. Combined with the fact that they only locate one other person on the planet and they hear Dr.
crabapple Crater – Kirk and Spock suspect Nancy is not who she appears to be. They have a brief phaser battle with Crater and then capture him. He tells them that it is an alien shape shifter who-
A)killed his wife
B)is the last of it’s kind
C)sucks salt from people
D)puts up with his attitude
They take him back to the ship. Meanwhile Nancy take McCoy’s form while he sleeps. Kirk and Spock try to get Crater to tell them what form the salt vampire has taken. He refuses so the fake McCoy and Spock go to give him something to make him cooperate. The fake McCoy attacks Spock but can’t kill him because of his doggone non-salt containing green Vulcan blood, but it does kill Crater. The creature changes back into Nancy and goes to McCoy for protection. Kirk is hot on her heals, but McCoy isn’t yet convinced and Kirk almost gets killed. Spock shows up and gets knocked around by the slat vampire. McCoy eventually realizes what is going on and they kill the vampire – buzzzzzz-pow-boom. The creature dies so roll the credits and ahead warp factor three.
The negatives-Much more an action episode then a deep sci-fi plot heavy episode of Trek. Being the first episode shown the characters were not yet as established as they would become as Spock and Kirk are not yet close and Sulu is shown working with plants.
The positives-The episode flows along well. We see something abut McCoy’s past. Kirk and Spock show how they work out and approach problems. The guest characters play their parts well. The planet set is fairly well done considering the lack of budget we know they had.