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
Number One's name likely stems from Historical Brittish Navy Traditions in which first officers were addressed as "Number One." On Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987), Captain Picard routinely addressed his first officer Riker as "Number One." See more »
The position of the landing party changes when the "mirage survivors" disappear. See more »
Captain Pike is the classic hero! He is courageous, intelligent, a gentleman, and oh so good-looking too. In my opinion, "The Cage" is the best Star Trek episode ever. I am glad that Paramount released it to the public in 1985. It is a pity that Jeffrey Hunter was unwilling to play Pike. Although I love William Shatner with all my heart, and am a serious fan of the original series, I cannot help to wonder what Jeffrey Hunter would have done with the role of Captain of the Enterprise. His Captain Pike is far more cerebral than Captain Kirk, and I think that makes him more interesting.
For those of you who have not seen "The Cage," I will not ruin the fun of finding out how Pike outsmarts his captors (it should not be a surprise to you that he does!).
A minor comment: One thing struck me as strange about Gene Roddenberry's commentary about the original cast of Star Trek. He said that he cast minorities in the original pilot against the wishes of the studio, but the original cast was almost all white (with the exception of one Asian actor). It was not until the second cast was put together that we see a starship crew that is composed not only of racial minorities, but people from different countries.
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