Sunday, May 26, 2013

The Menagerie: TOS Season 1 Episode 11 & 12

Plot Synopsis

This is certainly an interesting episode, the original pilot "the cage" was only shown to the television executives. They wanted to repackage that episode and deliver it to the public, so they combined it with another story and made it a two-parter. According to the wikipedia page, with all of their special effects they were having trouble getting things done on time, so this not only kept them from wasting the footage of the original pilot, but it also gave them some breathing room.

We start the episode with the enterprise coming to a starbase, which is apparently an unscheduled visit. Kirk insists that they were called there and the guy in charge of the starbase insists that it didn't happen. Kirk says the only possibility is that Spock lies, which is impossible since he's Vulcan. Of course, he's half human, but that part of him is repressed so it still seems impossible. We soon find out that indeed Spock is behind all of this as he sneaks around and uses recordings of various voices to take control of the Enterprise.

The reasons for doing this are not immediately clear, but we do know that it has something to do with Captain Pike and the forbidden planet Talos 4. Breaking the quarantine is the only thing left that still holds the death penalty. Captain Pike was seriously injured in an accident, he was saving children from a fire, or building collapse, or...something, I forget. The point is, he helped a bunch of people but got really hurt in the process. He is confined to a wheelchair and can only communicate through beeps (one for yes, two for no) but his mind works perfectly.

Shortly after Spock has taken the Enterprise and is en route to Talos 4, Kirk figures out what is going on and follows in a shuttle, he won't be able to catch up, but once he runs out of fuel and is stuck Spock goes back to pick him up and submits for a court marshal. But he has the computer set to autopilot to go to Talos 4, and he somehow tied the engines in with life-support so it can't be canceled. We proceed with the trial in which Spock shows evidence which basically consists of showing The Cage interspersed with scenes of the trial. 

The rest of it was pretty much the same except for the ending. In the Cage, when they let the Enterprise crew go and the girl stayed, a copy of Pike was left there for her to love. In this episode, they seemed to just let the Enterprise crew go and she stayed there, apparently alone. Then they cut back to the ship and Pike was sent down the the planet to be with the Talosians who could give him the illusion of having a body, and effectively escape the confines of his broken body. Then they cut to the same scene with Pike and the girl. I like this ending much better, as the illusion of Pike staying behind always made me a bit uncomfortable.


Spock: This may or may not be the first time we've seen this, but they talked about how Vulcan's can't lie and therefore Spock shouldn't be able to, but he might be able to break this as he's half human. (Episodes 4 and 5 mentioned that he was half human, but I don't think it has mentioned that Vulcans can't lie yet)

Enterprise: Again, not exactly a character, but learning things about the ship sort of fits in the same category. We learn that the events of The Cage happened 13 years ago, but the opening credits say the ship is on a 5 year mission. I never really thought about it before, but I guess the ship had been around longer in the past, and it is just embarking on this particular 5 year mission recently. I had always assumed that the 5 year mission started when the Enterprise was first built, apparently not.



Intense Debate Comments

I've decided to remove intense debate and go back to the default blogger comments. Of course, ID holds your comment threads hostage so you will stay with it, but luckily I don't have too many. I have taken screenshots and edited them into the bottom of their posts so they won't be lost.

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