...busting up my brains for the words

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

The cage

Back in December I mentioned that I purchased the Star Trek; The Original Series dvd package. There, I complain that the package is incomplete because the original pilot, The Cage, was omitted.

This dvd commodity is a beautiful thing. It's creative and it's nearly complete. I'm a little disappointed that I don't yet see The Cage included here. The Cage was the first pilot episode that was later recut to create the two part episode called The Managerie. I'd really like to have The Cage in its original form. At least The Managerie has some pop-up notes to explain its genesis. I would love to discover that The Cage is included as an easter egg. But I've only just begun to explore these weird boxes, so I don't know yet.

I was wise to cover my rear by explaining that I haven't thoroughly inspected the box yet. For, I am happy to say that I found not only the restored version of the pilot, but another version that illustrates how it was cut for the two part episode and called The Managerie.

The Cage is a classic science fiction tale in the Roddenberry vein. A nobel starship captain (played by the late Jeffrey Hunter) is weary of command in a universe fraught with troubles and pain. Then this captain and her crew stumble upon a distress signal in uncharted space. They discover a survivor camp which includes the lovely Vina (played by Susan Oliver). The tale is a bit lusty, as the aliens keep trying to get Captain Pike to join a fantasy world with Vina. In a sense, the imaginary world is analogous to a life on drugs. Pike discovers that his yearnings to a simpler life were not to be taken seriously. The key line that describes the story is, "You either take on life by the horns and lick it, or you begin to waste away."
By the end of the story the aliens, known as the Telosians, learn that humans are too stubborn and dangerous for their needs. And the crew of the Enterprise learn that the universe is a big place with plenty to explore.

I found these versions of The Cage on the last disk of the 3rd Season box. No wonder I couldn't find it an unlikely spot for the first pilot. But I'm not complaining. This box is a Trekkie's dream


  • At 9:20 PM, Blogger R-Five said…

    You have to rub it in again? I am so jealous.

    Actually, I'm very happy for you, as you have the original of "The Ultimate Computer" where Kirk outwits, outplays, and outlasts yet another overbearing computer. Here, it was the M-5 Multitronic Unit. My good friend Mark in college called himself M-5, and he dubbed me R-5.

    Now you know.

  • At 4:37 AM, Blogger pinkmonkeybird said…

    "I am great. You are great."
    Yes, that's a very good episode. And I learned just yesterday on one of the several loaded extras in my package, that James Doohan provided his voice as the M5 computer.
    I am sometimes known to others as Scotty. Now you know.


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