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
Jeffrey Hunter accepted the lead role of Captain Christopher Pike in "The Cage," the first pilot episode of Star Trek but declined to film a second Star Trek pilot, requested by NBC in 1965, deciding to concentrate on films. Footage from the original pilot was subsequently adapted into a two-part episode called "The Menagerie" and screened in 1966. It wasn't until 1988 that it was screened intact as a filler episode in the "Star Trek: The Next Generation" series due to a writers strike. See more »
The sound of The Keeper's voice constantly changes. This is because the video was put together from footage used in "The Menagerie" using Vic Perrin's voice, and 'rediscovered' footage with Malachi Throne's voice. Vic Perrin was used to dub the keeper in Star Trek: The Menagerie: Part I and Star Trek: The Menagerie: Part II because Malachi Throne appeared in The Menagerie in person as Commodore Mendez, and the voice would have confused viewers. Originally, the whole of "The Cage" used Malachi Throne's voice for the keeper. See more »
Captain Christopher Pike (Jeffrey Hunter) heads the U.S.S. Starship Enterprise in this pilot that the Powers that Be passed on, forcing Gene Rodenberry to make a second pilot with Wialliam Shatner as Kirk as well as making the new version more action oriented, less cerebral and ditching the idea of a woman as second in command. But that would all come later as this review is on the topic at hand. The unaired pilot deals with Pike being held captive in a glass cage by alien beings who possess the powers of mind illusions. It's in both black & white, as well as color (the parts that would be lated integrated into "The Menagerie" 2-part episode of Star Trek) It's more thought-provoking, less "action-packed" then the later series would end up being. And I throughly enjoyed it. This original version can be found as an extra on the Season 3 DVD set of Star Trak by the way.
My Grade: B+
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