Star Trek Orig. V.8
"The Menagerie, Parts 1 & 2," (Ep. 16) - Spock hijacks the Enterprise and risks death to help his former captain, Christopher Pike, who has been paralyzed and disfigured in a horrible accident. "The Menagerie" is "Star Trek's" only two-part episode, written to encompass footage from "The Cage," the unseen pilot episode produced a year earlier.
Volume 8 in the DVD series of original Star Trek episodes includes the fascinating two-part drama "The Menagerie." As if guided by the frugal wisdom of schlockmeister producer-director Roger Corman, Trek creator Gene Roddenberry found a clever way of using, instead of losing, extensive and costly footage from the then-unseen, discarded Star Trek pilot, "The Cage." Roddenberry's solution was to integrate pieces of "The Cage" into a whole new story context, and the surprisingly moving result was "The Menagerie." First, a bit of background: "The Cage" starred film actor Jeffrey Hunter (King of Kings, The Searchers) as Christopher Pike, the original captain of the Enterprise. Among Hunter's costars was Leonard Nimoy as Science Officer Spock, who eventually carried over, of course, into the reconfigured series starring William Shatner. Rather than write off "The Cage," Roddenberry conceived of a story line in which Captain Pike would re-appear on the show in a badly disfigured, paralyzed, and mute form--the result of a terrible accident in which the character saved a number of lives but took a pounding in the process. In "The Menagerie," Spock hijacks the Enterprise to transport Pike to a secret destination. During court-martial proceedings for this crime, Spock's defense is presented via archival footage of an old, pre-Kirk mission aboard the Enterprise. That footage, of course, is a re-edited "The Cage." A must-see for Star Trek fans, "The Menagerie" is a stellar example of Roddenberry thinking on his feet. --Tom Keogh
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Top Customer Reviews
I realize that the story needed a context for the present Enterprise crew to contemplate Pike's story but Spock could have kidnapped Pike and explained the back story to audience in flashbacks during the trip (as an example). Even a battle scene where Kirk has to stop Spock from landing on Talos IV would have been great (oops! sorry, no decent special effects then).
Only the confrontation between Kirk and Spock should have been left alone.
p.s. ST:TOS also played the lawyer card in Court-Martial, a lame excuse for a story. ST:TNG had at least four court-cases, played out to predictable endings.
1) Data is saved from a scientist who wants to dis-assemble him.
2) Riker is falsely accused of murder.
3) In The Drumhead an out of control witch hunt is stopped when the lawyer looses it!
4) A Society is freed from an alien posing as "their god".
Each case (no pun intended) was a better excuse than in "The Menagerie".
The MENAGERIE takes place 13 years after the events that occured in THE CAGE. Spock was a crew member aboard the USS Enterprise during Cpt. Pike's command. However now Pike is severely crippled from a freak accident when he was saving some children. He is still the same person he once was only trapped inside a useless body, a vegetable if you will. When they arrive on a planet Spock and Kirk meet up with Pike after many years. Spock kidnaps Pike and sets the Enterprises course to Rigel IV the forbidden planet. He is arrested and sent to court for a court martial for disobeying Kirk orders. Spock explains why he is doing this and during the court shows footage that occured 13 years ago. If Spock is not guilty he will be able to continue his assignment if he is Kirk will be forced to find him guilty and the Vulcan will be court martialed.
THE MENAGERIE was a wonderful episode that ranks as one of the series most complex plots. Partly because it is a two parter but the best thing about this was Roddenberry was finally able to put some of the unused footage from THE CAGE to use. Although the run of THE CAGE here is quite disjointed it gives you the basic jist of the plot. It also features the famous bulb head aliens that treat human like zoo animals.
Overall Volume 8 is a essential 2 part Trek episode that must be seen. It is great to see Cpt. Pike again even though he is terribly scarred and says nothing. Still this DVD is one of the collections finest. Highly recommended!
Gene Roddenberry needed a reason to take the already shot footage of the original pilot which (never aird) in the series now being broadcast. So in an effort to save money for two weeks, he wrote a very simples Court Martial Story around the original pilot.
Explaining what happened to the orginal captain and Starship named Enterprise. Since the series had been sold on the basis of the second pilot (WHERE NO MAN HAS GONE BEFORE) there had to be an explination of the cast changes, set changes and different "look" the show had.
The story is simple and the fact that the original Captain in the original pilot was not available (JEFFEREY HUNTER) they had to put another actor in an electronic wheelchair and cover him up in makeup.
It was a commercial trick, nothing more.
Susan Oliver as Vina, oh how beatiful she is. I have always been infatuated with green skinned slave girls anyway. I've made several bids for them, but always fall short cash wise (maybe a dylithium mine would help). Wathing Susan dance half-naked in her green body paint is much too seductive for 1960s and is possibly why the series was not picked up. I can see the producers now thinking "What the hell bloody show are you perverts trying to make? This is 1964 for crying out loud! Slave women who dance for their owners? Barbarians!"
Well I sit and watch Sweet Vina dance and dance and dance. I never get tired of her. If I was Pike I would have told Spock to fly off without me. I would have made sure the aliens kept her as the 'Green Illusion' and supplied them with a whole herd of slaves to do their manual labor. Sure when you saw her in her real state she was pretty messed up, but no worse than my ex-wife when she woke up with a hangover Sunday morning. I'm glad Pike finally got to be with her. Too bad it took for him to be as messed up as Vina for them to finally be together. Rock on Captain Pike! Even with lights to say 'yes' or 'no', you could still kick Pricard's butt.
Most recent customer reviews
This two part episode based on pilot #1, in which Spock is in the hot seat, is difficult to evaluate separately from 'The Cage. Read morePublished on Sept. 20 2003 by toby_tsang
The Menagerie-This two part episode based on pilot #1, in which Spock is in the hot seat, is difficult to evaluate separately from 'The Cage. Read morePublished on Sept. 8 2003 by toby_tsang
The only two part episode of TOS in which Spock goes on trial for kidnapping his old captain Christopher Pike to take him to the forbidden world of Talos IV.Published on June 15 2003 by McHenry John
this is one of the best original series episodes.it shows scenes from "the cage" star treks unscreened pilot episode which starred jeffery hunter as captain christopher pike. Read morePublished on June 16 2002
This show may have had the action all on the viewer, but really this was just boring. Sitting and watching it wasn't that good, but the plot had been written well. Read morePublished on Nov. 12 2001 by Johnathan Bogart
The idea of enveloping the first, unused Star Trek pilot "The Cage" with new footage (having the pilot act as a "flashback") was an interesting, but it did not... Read morePublished on May 31 2001 by Aaron Snyder
"There's a way out of any cage, and I'll find it!"
--Jeffrey Hunter as Captain Christopher Pike in "The Menagerie."
LIGHTS! CAMERA! ACTION! Read more
The original series pilot, The Cage, was a so-so episode that was rightly rejected. The story has been enhanced considerably by wrapping it with a superior story involving Spock... Read morePublished on May 3 2001 by Amazon Customer
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