Wednesday, July 08, 2009


From Wikipedia:

"The Menagerie" is the only two-part episode of Star Trek: The Original Series. It is episodes #11 and 12, production #16. Part one of the episode was broadcast on November 17, 1966 with the second part broadcast a week later on November 24, 1966. NBC repeated the two shows on May 18 and 25, 1967. The episode's screenplay was written by Gene Roddenberry. Since the true 1965 pilot episode, "The Cage", was not shown on television until 1988, and The Original Series began with a second pilot, "Where No Man Has Gone Before", Desilu, the show's production company, made a decision on what should be done with the wasted footage from the unused pilot movie.

Gene Roddenberry decided that in order to utilize "The Cage" footage, he would write an entirely new bookend story, so that "The Cage" would serve as a back story for the Starship Enterprise's early history. New footage would be combined with the old and placed into the continuity of the overall Star Trek storyline.

"The Menagerie" won a Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation. The other episode with such an honor is "The City on the Edge of Forever".

Overview: Spock kidnaps his former commander Christopher Pike, locks the Enterprise on a course to the forbidden planet Talos IV, and turns himself in for court-martial.

More here.

This one's brilliant. Just fucking brilliant. I actually prefer it to watching "The Cage" as a solo episode. Indeed, all the awkwardness I've mentioned for some of the earlier episodes works very nicely in flashback, making it feel very much like an earlier era in the Trek universe when juxtaposed against the familiar Star Trek feel the show finally fell into.

Spock, as close to desperation as ever seen, is at his best here, risking all to help out his old captain. The framing sequences, mostly court martial scenes, but also some Spock plot stuff, are arguably more dramatic and compelling than the footage from the original pilot. Fucking great aliens with enormous brains and psychic powers. And the most beautiful actress in all of Star Trek, Susan Oliver, as Captain Pike's love interest, and as the first and best Orion slave girl. Lots of freaking out and shit.

Really, I can't do this one justice. Go watch part one right now: