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"Star Trek: The Menagerie: Part II (#1.12)"
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Reviews & Ratings for
"Star Trek" The Menagerie: Part II (1966)

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23 out of 23 people found the following review useful:

Kirk Observes his Predecessor in Action - part two

Author: Bogmeister from United States
28 June 2006

This continues the plot of part one, with most of the episode consisting of Spock, Kirk, commodore Mendez and the crippled Pike (played by another actor, not Jeff Hunter) seated in a conference room watching movies of one of Pike's past missions. This may sound quite boring, but viewers had the opportunity to see how two separate suspenseful plots would conclude - the one with Pike in the past and the one with Kirk and Spock. This doubled impact was especially true if a viewer had never seen the original pilot "The Cage." Footage from "The Cage" dominated this second part, consisting of about 70% of this episode (whereas this was the case for the wraparound portion in the first part).

There was at least one unexplained delay during the showing of these space home movies as the 3rd act ended, as the images stopped being transmitted. This allowed the script to throw in some more jeopardy as Spock was found officially guilty by the 3 ranking officers as they waited for the show to continue. Yep, things still looked pretty grim at this point: Spock still seemed to have betrayed his current captain - Kirk - and faced a death penalty (I do wonder how it was done in the 23rd century - death by phasers? That would probably be painless). But, to Roddenberry's credit, he managed to throw in a little whammy towards the end of his wraparound tale which probably surprised the audience and made complete sense in view of what kind of aliens Pike had faced during his past mission. I think Kirk forgave Spock a bit too quickly as the episode ended and all the 'death penalty' threats evaporated too easily, but Pike's final scene and final fate here is about as good as science fiction gets.

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8 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

The original pilot revisited - Part Two

Author: Max_cinefilo89 from Italy
25 April 2009

When NBC turned down the original Star Trek pilot The Cage, which still had Leonard Nimoy but starred Jeffrey Hunter instead of William Shatner, many people assumed that episode was gone forever. They were wrong: not only can it be seen on the Season 3 DVD, it was actually incorporated into two other episodes of the series, as part of Gene Roddenberry's attempt to acknowledge the episode's existence on-screen. The merger comes to a head in the second part of The Menagerie, arguably one of the best Star Trek episodes, or at least as far as the first season is concerned.

Picking up from the end of Part One, Spock's court-martial continues, and the officers judging him (including Kirk) are offered a visual testimony of what happened 13 years earlier, when Pike was imprisoned on Talos IV, the now forbidden planet Spock is trying to bring him back to. As the images, which are revealed to be mental projections coming from the Talosians themselves, progress and the truth about Pike's harrowing experience is revealed, Spock's motive becomes clearer and the mystery gets closer to its rather surprising conclusion.

The main interest of the episode lies in the fact that it features very little of the regular cast: about 70% of the footage is archive material from The Cage, featuring Jeffrey Hunter as Pike and Leonard Nimoy as a more "human" Spock (yes, you read that correctly). This extended flashback is a clever trick used by Gene Roddenberry to tie his two visions of Star Trek together, uniting what could have been with what actually came to be. Remarkably, from what can be seen here, the "first draft" turned out to be every bit as riveting as the final version, except for the absence of one James T. Kirk.

As a standalone mystery story, The Menagerie holds up beautifully. It's the heartfelt inclusion of the previously unaired footage, however, that lends it that extra emotional punch. In fact, it's a bit of a shame Captain Pike wasn't brought back in some other form when Roddenberry rewrote the pilot script: it would have been fun to see the character interact properly with Kirk.

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8 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

A spectacular conclusion to an award winning episode

Author: russem31 from United States
5 April 2006

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

ST:TOS:16b - "The Menagerie Part II" (Stardate: 3013.2), continues where The Megagerie Part I left off (the 16th episode to be produced but the 12th episode to be shown on TV) - this continues the adventures of former Enterprise captain Christopher Pike and his science officer Mr. Spock (events that are 13 years prior to the present day - as seen in this episode), about how they came upon Talos IV and the forbidden secrets that it holds, and as to why Mr. Spock would seemingly betray his current captain James Kirk's trust and that of the current Enterprise to bring a crippled Pike back to Talos IV. Watch out also for Majel Barret as Number One (she would later play Nurse Chapel and the Enterprise Computer, whereas the title would be adopted by William Riker in Star Trek: The Next Generation). All in all, a brilliant two part episode, which was honored with a Hugo Award for Best Television Sci-Fi Program.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Pike's incredible odyssey

Author: bkoganbing from Buffalo, New York
6 December 2014

A bit more of the Jeffrey Hunter pilot is used in this second part of Menagerie. With William Shatner, Malachi Throne, and Sean Kenney as the crippled and broken Captain Pike sit in judgment of Leonard Nimoy the viewing screen on the Enterprise is telling more of Jeffrey Hunter's incredible odyssey.

It turns out that Susan Oliver is the only survivor of that spaceship wreck that was not an illusion. In fact illusion is the Talosian stock in trade. They can make you see and feel just about any experience they care to give you. It's how they can hold prisoners.

What they want is for Hunter to find Oliver really attractive and get down to the business of mating. Even with creating things out of pure thought there is certainly physical work to do that the Talosians have just forgotten how.

How Hunter overcomes this is for you to watch the episode for. But it's quite the story and we certainly know why Captain Pike wants to get back to Talos IV and why the ever loyal Leonard Nimoy risks his career in Starfleet to help him.

It certainly is one incredible odyssey for Jeffrey Hunter.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Part Two of the Original Pilot (Re-edited)

Author: mike48128 from United States
16 July 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Better than Part One, as about 70% of the episode is re-edited stock footage from the Star Trek Jeffrey Hunter pilot known as "The Cage." Wisely spit into two parts, because it all couldn't possibly fit into only 50 minutes. The story-within-a story fake court martial continues, finishing the story of Capt. Christopher Pike and "Vina" (Susan Oliver) the only survivor of a previous crash landing, several decade before, by a Federation ship. Commodore Mendez is an illusion and the visual record has such detail that "it surpasses normal Federation records" of such events. Both are being "streamed" from Talos IV. It turns out that Vina's appearance is also an illusion, as the Talos IV aliens "put her together" wrong, having never seen a human before. In reality, she is lop-sided, hunch-backed, and extremely old. Poor paralyzed Captain Pike and Vina have their illusion of perfect bodies, health and youth, and scamper off into the sunset (or into the underground compound, in this case.) "Capt. Pike has his illusion and you have reality. May you find your way as pleasant". (The Keeper's kind statement) The fairy tale ending is what makes this two-parter really work. It is a standout in a three-season series that truly has both great and terrible episodes!

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Good story, but a bit unexplained

Author: intp from United States
25 May 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

"The Cage", the original and unaired pilot for this series, was a great episode. The episode didn't go to waste, as the producers found a way to 'splice' most of that episode into a two-part story, "The Menagerie". This story has one of the best and most uplifting endings of any Star Trek episode-- a way is found to help a crippled officer live a (relatively) normal life.

Having seen "The Cage", I learned there are some parts that were deleted for this version, including the memorable line that "Number One" (Majel Barrett) has secret fantasies about Captain Pike! That was one of my favorite lines that didn't make it to this version.

There's a fair amount of padding in these two episodes to make them "fit" into a two-episode slot, but that was reasonably well done. The fiction of the court-martial doesn't quite make sense, but it served its dramatic purpose of creating tension and consuming time.

Unfortunately, I felt like I had to downgrade the episode somewhat due to one major problem with the story: the total failure to explain just WHY the Talosians would want to help Pike. In the original "Cage" script, of course, Pike never got crippled and never returned to Talos, so there was no need for any such explanation. And it's pretty hard to come up with a reason that they would help him.

What did they get out of it? Why would they suddenly be benevolent and helpful to a man who was now totally incapable of producing any children? Not to mention the fact that Vina was probably in her 50's by that point and past childbearing age (an "adult" when she crash landed, as stated by Number One; 18 years before Pike first met her, which was 13 years prior to the events of "The Menagerie"). And the Talosians didn't seem particularly "altruistic" nor did they owe any debt to Pike; just the opposite. It is rather difficult to think of a rationale for the Talosians to act in that way, which is probably why the writers didn't even try to fashion some excuse.

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Trek's First "Facepalm"

Author: XweAponX from United States
21 October 2013

Normally, it's Picard with the Facepalms. But in this episode, it was done by the beautiful Susan Oliver.

How beautiful is she, is she really, pound for pound, more beautiful than any other woman Captain Pike had seen? Or are The Talosians reading his mind and giving Pike what Pike wants to see?

How much do The Talosians want Pike back? What will they do, what will his friends do for him? What CAN be done for him? Starfleet Medical if it existed back then, can't do a damn thing.

This is a man with only his thoughts to keep him company, he is just as alive as anyone else, he just doesn't have arms, legs, or a mouth. He can't even SPEAK to anybody to tell them what he wants.

This is the Christopher Pike that we met in the first part of this, Kirk's Predecessor and Spocks' previous Boss. But this Video we are viewing, which Spock is using to explain "Why" he Kidnapped Pike and stole The Enterprise, shows a Different Pike than the one who looks like Professor X in a Mechanized Wheelchair. We see a Vital Pike, even though he has come to a precipice of his own and is questioning his own Command abilities, as we see when the earlier Pike has a discussion with his "bartender", John Hoyt. In fact that discussion mirrors one Bones had with Kirk in Star Trek II, and it is also most probably the basis of bringing Woopi Goldberg in to The Next Generation to be a Bartender and "A Listener".

But to visit Talos IV is the only Death Penalty on Starfleet's Books, Spock not only jeopardizes himself but Kirk as well.

They have the ability to create Illusions for anyone they come in contact with, and this is why their planet is off limits. At least Starfleet thought this was the only solution 13 years prior to when this happened.

But now we see evidence that Galactic Distances are not a deterrent for their power. In fact the whole second part of this is a trick, a trick for Captain Kirk's benefit, for Spock's benefit, and mostly for Pike's.

They had their eyes on Pike 13 years ago, and that focus never wavered- They still want him, it seems that The Talosians did not need any Human, they needed Pike, Pike was the only one that could do what they needed him to do. Because he was the kind of man Vina wanted, the only man in the galaxy for her, despite the ruin of her body.

And Vina is apparently still there. It really doesn't matter what a person looks like, or even what they can or can't do. What is most important is what's in their Heart, and The Talosians are the only ones who can do anything for Pike- And for Vina.

But the Vital Pike was not ready to do this in the 13 year old Video The Talosians are transmitting, he fights them, tries to keep them out of his mind by keeping violent thoughts. And he fails, this is where Vina gives the Facepalm.

Now that I have seen The Cage several times on its own, and The Menagerie a few times, what makes it is not just The Cage on its own, it is The Cage being Inserted into the Framing Story of The Menagerie that makes it a much better story.

And the Style of The Cage is Early 60's while The Menagerie is late 60's, actually The Cage was filmed in 50's Cinematic Style, this is what made it look like one was 13 years earlier than the other.

Watching these today is almost like watching Tom Paris from Voyager's "Captain Proton" serials- This is how The Future was envisioned in the 60's- You'll see that Spocks' Library Computer Station was controlled by Hand Gestures.

In 2013, there are now hand devices that can be operated with hand movements, computers that have Touch Screens, even "Communicators" that are not much larger than those on this show, some of them even flip open.

Would we have thought of these things without Trek?

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Too much reliance on The Cage

Author: gjenevieve from United States
28 November 2015

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I think that they really missed an opportunity here. I think that they could have easily aired The Cage as it was originally with a short explanation that it was going to give a bit of information about Spock's past. They could have done a couple of show with that premise, the first being The Cage and the second one a continuation showing how Spock got to be aboard the Enterprise with Kirk.

Then, they could have done The Menagerie (although I still do not really understand the title) parts 1 and 2 but using a lot less of The Cage and more new content. I realize that they were trying to find a way to use that original pilot which never actually got to be used as a pilot, but had they done it as I suggested, it would have worked fine plus they would have had more episodes altogether.

It would have been nice if a bit more had been explained as to how the Talosians knew that Captain Pike had been injured, how they were able to make contact with Spock, and why they even wanted to have Pike back.

Aside from the fact that they used too much The Cage footage and not enough new content, it was still a good episode. The acting was done well and the little twists were nice. It also ended on a very happy note.

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The reason Spock risked everything to go to Talos IV

Author: Tweekums from United Kingdom
11 September 2015

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This, the second of a two part story, concentrates on what happened to Captain Pike after he had been captured by the Talosians. In scenes that will be familiar to anybody who has seen the original pilot episode, The Cage, we see Pike subjected to various mental tests. He is joined by beautiful blonde Vina who he assumes is another of the Talosian illusions. They put him in various situations where he is tested in various ways. Eventually it emerges that Vina is real; the sole survivor of a crash that took place eighteen years previously and the Talosians have lured Pike there hoping that he will breed with Vina. Of course her appearance is one of the illusions they created; in reality she is old and disfigured… it is this that Spock wanted to show; if the Talosians can make her young, healthy and beautiful they can make Pike believe he is young, fit and able-bodied again.

Having decided against going ahead with the version of 'Star Trek' featuring Captain Pike this story, and particularly this episode, does a fine job of ensuring the filmed material didn't go to waste. The idea of having a crippled Pike taken back to the one world where he could live like a fully able bodied person provided a good excuse to show us the story from 'The Cage' and the Talosian's ability to create illusions nicely explained why we can see 'footage' from places their wouldn't naturally be cameras. Whether one likes this episode does of course depend on what you think of 'The Cage' and whether you mind the main cast, with the exception of Spock, taking a back seat or not appearing at all. Overall I thought this was a really good episode that nicely used the old footage from 'The Cage'.

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A Worthy Conclusion

Author: Hitchcoc from United States
26 April 2014

As the first half ended, Spock asked to have the second tape played. He doesn't care if he is vindicated, only that his former Captain be given piece. We now focus on Jeffrey Hunter who was Kirk's counterpart in "The Cage." We are let in on the secret of his adventures on Talos IV. It is about an effort of a dying race of superbrains who need to repopulate the planet. They are able to create incredible illusions, offering Pike anything to mate and be the new Adam. Unfortunately, Starship Captains don't always go along with someone else's agenda. Beautiful women (illusions) are offered up but Pike wants to understand what is going on. The joy of this is that he thoughtfully unravels things. Not to spoil this, it really works. The conclusion is quite satisfying. This also is Leonard Nimoy's opportunity to get beyond the "weird looking guy with the pointy ears." I recommend this.

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