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
Majel Barrett would return in the series as Nurse Christine Chappel. And would later play Lwaxana Troi in "Star Trek: The Next Generation" and provide computer voice in "Star Trek: The Next Generation", "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine" and "Star Trek: Voyager". See more »
The position of the landing party changes when the "mirage survivors" disappear. See more »
This is one of my very favorite episodes, and I've always wondered what a Star Trek with Captain Pike would have been like. It has excitement, suspense, and even a thinking plot. It definitely works much better as a stand-alone episode than it does as a backdrop for "The Menagerie". In that capacity, it is used as a flashback to propel a very odd story where Spock commandeers the Enterprise to deliver a badly injured Pike to what appears to be a morally bankrupt race so he can live out an illusion of a normal life. Very un-Spock like IMHO.
That said, it seems apparent to me that Gene Roddenberry lifted some very obvious plot ideas for this pilot from the Twilight Zone episode "People Are Alike All Over". He even borrowed actress Susan Oliver who appeared in that episode in a similar role and a with a similar name ("Teenya" vs "Vina").
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