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Melakon July 16 2013 09:10 AM

The Menagerie/The Cage
 
I got a copy of "The Menagerie" recently, have watched it several times, and it's on pause right now to write this post.

In "The Menagerie" framing story, Kirk and the Talosian illusion of Mendez beam aboard the Enterprise from the shuttlecraft. Wouldn't the transporter only detect Kirk aboard? Were the Talosians already controlling the Enterprise crew to make them think there were two people aboard? And then I wondered about whether injured Captain Pike must be screaming his heart out inside because he needs his nose scratched.

In "The Cage", Pike learns from Vina that the Talosians can't read through strong emotions. She is later punished and disappears, apparently leaving behind her clothing. Her disappearance looks like the same ripple effect for the mental illusions. Was she, or is she, ever really with Pike in his cell? Or did the Talosians maintain an illusion of her the entire time, even when Number One and Colt were captured? Or do they also have a telekinetic ability or a device we're never told about?

ZapBrannigan July 16 2013 09:35 AM

Re: The Menagerie/The Cage
 
The Talosians definitely had to deceive the transporter technician, and they put the whammy on Kirk before he even left Starbase 11. It's a shortcoming in the story's plausibility, because their mental power is stretching across many lightyears of space-- and without a time lag, to boot.

It's hard to say whether Vina was really in Pike's cell. They could have been in separate cells, with their illusions rigged like a conference call. Or Vina could have really been in Pike's cell and she only seems to disappear from his point of view.

Mario de Monti July 16 2013 09:44 AM

Re: The Menagerie/The Cage
 
Interesting question(s), I never really thought about that. But since, as you pointed out, we know of no telekinetic power and/or transporter technology that the Talosians possess, IŽd go with the assumption that whenever someone just disappears, they were merely Talosian illusions.

As to the question of beaming the illusion of Mendez aboard, the Talosians probably influenced the transporter operator into thinking, the transporter had actually locked on to two people.

However, to me this whole thing is quite a stretch of believability, that the Talosian influence can actually reach that far.

Robert Comsol July 16 2013 11:23 AM

Re: The Menagerie/The Cage
 
I presume the key to unlock these mysteries is Spock.

If I remember correctly, the Talosians lured Pike and his Enterprise to their planet with a fake (mind produced) distress call, this already established their capability to have telepathic influence over great distances.

Apparently, the one who was the most susceptible to go to Talos IV was Spock. Notice his unusual expression of disappointment when Pike tells him they will first take of their injuries (small and insufficient sickbay aboard Pike's ship?).
This is in line with Spock's capability to establish telepathic mind links over great distances (e.g. V'ger's call in TMP).

Spock had been on Talos IV (close enough for the Talosians to get a full analysis of his brain patterns) and somehow - through Spock - the Talosians must have learned of Pike's accident, inspiring them to sent Spock an invitation to bring Pike to their planet and let him spend the remainder of his natural life there.

Thus and during the entire feature-length episode "The Menagerie" Spock was apparently working together with the Talosians who probably used Spock as an "amplifier" to project their images over great distances. :)

Bob

Mario de Monti July 16 2013 11:38 AM

Re: The Menagerie/The Cage
 
That makes sense to me ... except for the "amplifier" part ;)

But OTOH, this whole story was just fabricated, so Roddenberry & Co. could put the footage from The Cage to good use and buy themselves some desperately needed extra time in the production schedule. With that in mind I think they did a very good job in creating a more than decent episode (or rather: two episodes) in which I gladly overlook this little stretch of believability :techman:

Redfern July 16 2013 01:29 PM

Re: The Menagerie/The Cage
 
I think as originally written in 1964, the Talosians probably had powers that likely did not reach much beyond high orbit of the fourth planet.

"But the signal the Enterprise received some 18 light years distant?" you ask.

I don't think that was originally intended to be a telepathic illusion. The Keeper and the Magistrate later discuss how easy it was to lure them to their planet with the radio signal. I suspect shortly after the SS Columbia crashed and the Talosians retrieved the lone survivor, they probed her mind ans tricked her into sending a distress call using conventional radio traveling at 186 KM per second. 18 years later, the intercepts the signal.

Obviously, the framing story greatly increases the power of the Talosians, so what Pike's crew some 18 lightyears distant of the Talos system may very well have been a telepathic illusion sent moments earlier. But as originally written, the Talosians sphere of influence was limited to orbital distance and the General Order No. 7 was feasable exercise. But as depicted in the framing narrative, the quarantine is futile. We don't know how far StarBase 11 is from Talos, but I'm getting it's a lot more distant than 18 lightyears. This makes the Talosians a far, FAR greater threat!

Sincerely,

Bill

alexianyc July 16 2013 03:29 PM

Re: The Menagerie/The Cage
 
Quote:

Robert Comsol wrote: (Post 8386234)
I presume the key to unlock these mysteries is Spock.

If I remember correctly, the Talosians lured Pike and his Enterprise to their planet with a fake (mind produced) distress call, this already established their capability to have telepathic influence over great distances.

Apparently, the one who was the most susceptible to go to Talos IV was Spock. Notice his unusual expression of disappointment when Pike tells him they will first take of their injuries (small and insufficient sickbay aboard Pike's ship?).
This is in line with Spock's capability to establish telepathic mind links over great distances (e.g. V'ger's call in TMP).

Spock had been on Talos IV (close enough for the Talosians to get a full analysis of his brain patterns) and somehow - through Spock - the Talosians must have learned of Pike's accident, inspiring them to sent Spock an invitation to bring Pike to their planet and let him spend the remainder of his natural life there.

Thus and during the entire feature-length episode "The Menagerie" Spock was apparently working together with the Talosians who probably used Spock as an "amplifier" to project their images over great distances. :)

Bob

I agree that in The Menagerie the Talosians had to be in contact with Spock somehow.

But in The Cage, I think Pike decides to take care of his own crew before investigating the possibility of survivors on Talos because he's feeling so guilty that they were injured at all. And we were supposed to see that as an unusual decision, out of character, because Number One also looks surprised when Pike says they're heading to the Vega colony.

Robert Comsol July 16 2013 04:14 PM

Re: The Menagerie/The Cage
 
@ alexianyc

I might be reading more into it than what's there, but still:

ONE: Then they could still be alive, even after eighteen years.
PIKE: If they survived the crash.
SPOCK: We aren't going to go, to be certain?
PIKE: Not without any indication of survivors, no. Continue to the Vega Colony and take care of our own sick and injured first.

...

SPOCK [on monitor]: Mister Spock here. We're intercepting a follow-up message, sir. There are crash survivors on Talos.

Spock is not the XO under Captain Pike, that's Number One. Maybe it's still the producers looking for Mr. Spock's identity in this pilot film, but his question is somewhat out of line for somebody who is just a member of the Bridge crew, IMHO.

Bob

Shawnster July 16 2013 04:40 PM

Re: The Menagerie/The Cage
 
Quote:

ZapBrannigan wrote: (Post 8386087)
It's a shortcoming in the story's plausibility, because their mental power is stretching across many lightyears of space-- and without a time lag, to boot.

Quote:

Mario de Monti wrote: (Post 8386114)
However, to me this whole thing is quite a stretch of believability, that the Talosian influence can actually reach that far.

It appears from this and other episodes that thought is not limited by the speed of light. Consider the following:

Quote:

ZapBrannigan wrote: (Post 8386087)
The Talosians definitely had to deceive the transporter technician, and they put the whammy on Kirk before he even left Starbase 11.

Quote:

Mario de Monti wrote: (Post 8386114)
As to the question of beaming the illusion of Mendez aboard, the Talosians probably influenced the transporter operator into thinking, the transporter had actually locked on to two people.

As established, the Talosians had to influence Kirk and the Enterprise crew over a vast distance. Everyone was convinced Mendez was there. I know, I know, this is the framing story. There are other clues from The Cage that support this however.

Quote:

Robert Comsol wrote: (Post 8386234)
If I remember correctly, the Talosians lured Pike and his Enterprise to their planet with a fake (mind produced) distress call, this already established their capability to have telepathic influence over great distances.

Quote:

Redfern wrote: (Post 8386402)
I think as originally written in 1964, the Talosians probably had powers that likely did not reach much beyond high orbit of the fourth planet.

"But the signal the Enterprise received some 18 light years distant?" you ask.

I don't think that was originally intended to be a telepathic illusion. The Keeper and the Magistrate later discuss how easy it was to lure them to their planet with the radio signal.

Yes, it could be as easy as the Talosians using the radio signal and not telepathy. However, we have this:

Quote:

Robert Comsol wrote: (Post 8386942)
ONE: Then they could still be alive, even after eighteen years.
PIKE: If they survived the crash.
SPOCK: We aren't going to go, to be certain?
PIKE: Not without any indication of survivors, no. Continue to the Vega Colony and take care of our own sick and injured first.

...

SPOCK [on monitor]: Mister Spock here. We're intercepting a follow-up message, sir. There are crash survivors on Talos.

So, after Pike decides to continue to Vega colony, the Enterprise receives a follow-up report that there are, indeed, survivors on Talos. Now, either this is a coincidence and the Talosians planned all along to send the follow-up; or, the Talosians could read Pike's thoughts and determined that they needed to do something else to lure the Enterprise to Talos. Personally, I never believed it was a coincidence and I always took it as the Talosians reacting to Pike's decision.

You're mileage may vary, of course.

However, this is not the sole evidence that in the Trek universe thought can travel faster than the speed of light. Consider:

Quote:

Robert Comsol wrote:
This is in line with Spock's capability to establish telepathic mind links over great distances (e.g. V'ger's call in TMP).

And also, from Errand of Mercy
Quote:

SULU [OC]: Every control on our ship became too hot to handle.
(Then it all goes dark, and he can touch the consoles again)
SULU [OC]: Our power's gone. Our phaser banks are dead.
KIRK: Stand by, Sulu.
KOR: My fleet, it's helpless.
KIRK: What have you done?
AYELBORNE: As I stand here, I also stand upon the home planet of the Klingon Empire, and the home planet of your Federation, Captain. I'm putting a stop to this insane war.
KOR: You're what?
KIRK: You're talking nonsense.
AYELBORNE: It is being done.
KIRK: You can't just stop the fleet. What gives you the right?
KOR: You can't interfere. What happens in space is not your business.
AYELBORNE: Unless both sides agree to an immediate cessation of hostilities, all your armed forces, wherever they may be, will be immediately immobilised.
Ayelborne had the mental power to appear simultaneously on Earth and Q'onos while he was still on Organia. Further, he said that he had the ability to immobilize ALL of the Klingon and Federation armed forces wherever they may be. So, his reach extended far beyond Organia.

Granted, the Organians are not Talosians, but the ability to project and manipulate events via telepathy across light years is inherent to both, it appears.

scotpens July 16 2013 04:41 PM

Re: The Menagerie/The Cage
 
Quote:

ZapBrannigan wrote: (Post 8386087)
The Talosians definitely had to deceive the transporter technician, and they put the whammy on Kirk before he even left Starbase 11. It's a shortcoming in the story's plausibility, because their mental power is stretching across many lightyears of space-- and without a time lag, to boot.

It also raises the question of just when and how the real Commodore Mendez was replaced by the illusory Commodore Mendez. You'd assume that Kirk and Mendez went to the shuttlecraft and boarded it together. Did they become momentarily separated at some point? Maybe Mendez said, "Excuse me for a minute, Jim, but I really have to take a leak!"* and the Talosians somehow delayed his return while replacing him with their illusion.

It's a plot hole that's best dealt with by ignoring it.

*(The Talosians apparently can't put irresistible hunger into Capt. Pike's mind, but they could be quite capable of inducing an intense need to pee.)

HarryM July 16 2013 05:07 PM

Re: The Menagerie/The Cage
 
I think the easiest way to 'fix' the Mendez plot hole might be something like:

Have the Enterprise threesome arrive in the shuttlecraft, have a line about bringing along some "transporter sensitive cargo", an exotic plant or something as a starbase crewman unloads it. Rest of episode proceeds, then after Spock steals the Enterprise, Kirk takes the shuttle (alone) and goes after it. Since it is the Enterprise's shuttle, he is not stealing it. He ignore's Mendez orders to return, "Spock is my responsibility". After awhile, Kirk is hailed again by Mendez, who is chasing him in some sort of one-man fast shuttle, (courier pod?) but it doesn't have much range, and he is about out of air. Mendez's shuttle has a small emergency transporter that he uses to beam to Kirk's shuttle. Rest of story proceeds as normal.

Anwar July 16 2013 06:57 PM

Re: The Menagerie/The Cage
 
The biggest plot hole in this episode wasn't Mendez, it was how everyone forgot about Morse code and didn't think of getting Pike to communicate that way.

Shawnster July 16 2013 07:29 PM

Re: The Menagerie/The Cage
 
Quote:

scotpens wrote: (Post 8387035)
Quote:

ZapBrannigan wrote: (Post 8386087)
The Talosians definitely had to deceive the transporter technician, and they put the whammy on Kirk before he even left Starbase 11. It's a shortcoming in the story's plausibility, because their mental power is stretching across many lightyears of space-- and without a time lag, to boot.

It also raises the question of just when and how the real Commodore Mendez was replaced by the illusory Commodore Mendez. You'd assume that Kirk and Mendez went to the shuttlecraft and boarded it together. Did they become momentarily separated at some point? Maybe Mendez said, "Excuse me for a minute, Jim, but I really have to take a leak!"* and the Talosians somehow delayed his return while replacing him with their illusion.

It's a plot hole that's best dealt with by ignoring it.

*(The Talosians apparently can't put irresistible hunger into Capt. Pike's mind, but they could be quite capable of inducing an intense need to pee.)

Or Mendez said "Hell no, we're not going after the Enterprise and that's an order." Which would mean that the real Mendez has an illusion of Kirk around the whole time.

Shawnster July 16 2013 07:35 PM

Re: The Menagerie/The Cage
 
Quote:

Anwar wrote: (Post 8387683)
The biggest plot hole in this episode wasn't Mendez, it was how everyone forgot about Morse code and didn't think of getting Pike to communicate that way.

Quote:

From Menagerie:
MCCOY: We've learned to tie into every human organ in the body except one. The brain.
Except that McCoy's able to quickly rig a remote control for Spock just 2 years later in Spock's Brain.

Morse Code. Or the computer system Hawking uses. Granted, Hawking's tech wasn't available in the 60s, but Morse Code was. Johnny Got His Gun, anyone?

Yeah, that gets my vote for biggest plot hole or oversight.

Mario de Monti July 16 2013 07:57 PM

Re: The Menagerie/The Cage
 
OTOH, if Pike had been able to properly communicate - which I think is safe to assume he should be in the 23rd century - there wouldnŽt have been much of an episode, now would there ;)


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