Star Trek: Season 1, Episode 0

The Cage (24 Dec. 1988)

TV Episode  |   |  Action, Adventure, Mystery
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Ratings: 7.7/10 from 2,917 users  
Reviews: 43 user | 6 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:
Number One (as M. Leigh Hudec)
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:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


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 »


When Captain Pike is abducted, remaining crew members fire a barrage of phaser weaponry at the portal; in each of the three attempts, the exact same effect results. Parts of the entryway get blasted out, and then with each succeeding blast, the exact same thing happens to the "door." In addition, though one of the crew fires his phaser from a different location than Tyler and Spock, his shot appears to be coming from the same location as Tyler's. See more »


Mr. Spock: They're collecting all the information stored in this fly. They've decided to swat us.
See more »


Referenced in Star Trek New Voyages: Phase II: Come What May (2004) 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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