I am doing a chronological watch too (Watched The Undiscovered Country today), and I remember the jump from Terra Prime to The Cage being really weird indeed.
It's a little difficult to reconcil the differences. I remember at one point someone hands Pike a paper read-out and I was like
Series: The Original Series – Season One
Episode: “Where No Man Has Gone Before”
Trek Installment # 95
Viewing Date: November 27, 2009
I confess to having some difficulty grading this episode. It is of course tosses us into Kirk’s Enterprise, which is quite different to Pike’s and, of course, Archers. I guess it might be because I used to watch this episode all the time (it was one of the few original series episodes I had on tape) and so I knew it so well.
But it does a very good job of dropping us into the action. Kirk’s in command, Spock’s his pal, Scotty’s Scottish, Gary’s a nice guy, Doc’s old, Dehner’s a walking freezer unit, and hey, there’s Sulu. Also, Kelso maybe kind of a loser. The mission of going outside the galaxy seems a little strange and was kind of “wha?” moment for me, but it seemed to get derailed pretty quickly as a result of the energy barrier. I wish that energy barrier would have been mentioned or seen later, as it would have been interesting to explore that a little more. Why is it there? Where did it come from? Is it a natural thing or something artificial?
The episode does a decent job of dealing with what mankind could face if given the powers of a super-human or something. Gary really flies off the handle and goes apeshit, but it’s a pretty fun ride.
A nice introduction to the concept of Star Trek, though it doesn’t really serve as an introduction to the characters as well some of the other pilots. But that’s okay, I can live with that. Overall, a strong showing and good opening for Kirk and crew.