Sunday, March 31, 2019

The Cage

TOS Original Pilot
Air Date: October 4th, 1988


Captain Christopher Pike, is having doubts about being a star ship captain and is thinking of settling down. As he is thinking of this the Enterprise receives evidence that a ship that has been missing for decades may have crashed onto the planet Talos IV. When they get there, they find the survivors but it all turns out to be an illusion. The people of Talos IV live deep underground and have the ability to make you see anything.

We learn that their planet surface was destroyed during war thousands of years ago and now that the planet is starting to recover they are looking to repopulate their planet. There was one Survivor, a woman named Vina. But Pike is able to eventually convince the Talosians that human's don't like being captive and are willing to die to prevent it. The Talosians morals didn't allow this (though they were fine with torture) and let Pike. Vina decides to stay as she is terrible disfigured from the crash and it is the illusion that makes her appear normal. The Talosians create an illusion of Pike so she can be happy.


This episode was the first Star Trek episode ever made. It was shown to executives at NBC, but they didn't like the characters and asked for a new pilot with a new captain. This episode was then buried and only shown on occasion until it was released in 1986 on VHS. Since this wasn't an air date and it was limited, I decided to watch it when I got to episodes from 1988.

In the first season of The Original Series, Roddenberry was unable to keep up with the demand the network put on him and the quality of the episodes was slipping because of this. In order to save some time, he re-cut this episode and created the only two part episode of The Original Series called The Menagerie. I was expecting that this episode would have contained many more scenes, but other then a few scenes at the end where Pike returns to the Enterprise, the entire episode was contained in The Menagirie.

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