Star Trek: Season 1, Episode 0

The Cage (24 Dec. 1988)

TV Episode  -   -  Action | Adventure | Sci-Fi
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Ratings: 7.7/10 from 2,654 users  
Reviews: 42 user | 5 critic

Capt. Pike is held prisoner and tested by aliens who have the power to project incredibly lifelike illusions.


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Title: The Cage (24 Dec 1988)

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Episode complete credited cast:
Peter Duryea ...
Laurel Goodwin ...


This is the pilot to the series that would star William Shatner. Only in this version there is different Captain, Christopher Pike, and with the exception of Mr. Spock, an entirely different crew. Now it begins when the Enterprise receives what appears to be a distress message. But when they get to the planet where the message was sent from, they discover that the supposed survivors were nothing more than illusions created by the inhabitants of the planet, for the purpose of capturing a mate for the one genuine surviving human, and Captain Pike is the lucky winner. While Captain Pike tries to cope with the experiments and tests that the aliens are conducting on him, his crew tries to find a way to rescue him. But the aliens' illusions are too powerful and deceptive (at first). Written by <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


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Parents Guide:





Release Date:

24 December 1988 (USA)  »

Box Office


$630,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


The first pilot was not aired on TV until 1988, when it was used as a filler episode for Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987) due to a writers strike. See more »


When Vina is tortured by the Talosians and disappears, in the next shot her shadow is still visible moving out of frame on the left. See more »


Captain Christopher Pike: Why would an illusion be frightened?
Vina: Because that's the way you imagined me.
See more »


Star Trek Theme (Original TV Series Version)
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User Reviews

The first and one of the best
5 December 2006 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

This is a great pilot episode and it's a real shame that it wasn't seen in its entirety until the 1980s. Instead, the smart folks at Paramount didn't want to let this first incarnation of the show stay on the shelf gathering dust, so they chopped it to pieces and made it the two parter, THE MENAGERIE. As a kid, I loved THE MENAGERIE for all of it's kitschy-ness. Seeing Jeffrey Hunter and the rest of the mostly unfamiliar crew (except for Spock with his larger than normal ears compared to later shows and Majel Barret in a role other than Nurse Chapel). However, even as a kid, despite liking THE MENAGERIE, the episode just didn't make much sense. BUT, in its pilot form, it was great--very entertaining and very original. I really liked Hunter and the rest of the gang and wish that perhaps they really had picked up the show as it was originally intended. The only serious negatives of the pilot was how Spock yelled all his lines (who told him to do this?) and how dull the uniforms looked without the red we have come to love and expect. Still, for Trekkers, Trekkies and the casual watcher, this is an exciting and almost movie-like pilot episode that is more exciting, in my opinion, than most later Star Trek shows.

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