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Go Back   The Trek BBS > Star Trek TV Series > Star Trek - Original Series

Star Trek - Original Series The one that started it all...

View Poll Results: Rate "The Cage"
1 1 3.13%
2 0 0%
3 0 0%
4 0 0%
5 0 0%
6 3 9.38%
7 6 18.75%
8 12 37.50%
9 6 18.75%
10 4 12.50%
Voters: 32. You may not vote on this poll

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Old January 6 2014, 04:29 AM   #1
Botany Bay
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Episode of the Week : The Cage

Each week we'll have a look at a TOS episode, going through in production order. Please rate the episode out of ten, and have your say below.

If you're new to TOS thanks to JJ-Trek, please watch with us and ask anything you like about the episodes. TOS veterans, feel free to add any bits of trivia, or stories about the production of the episode as well. Some key websites :

Memory Alpha
Episode transcripts
Unseen elements of the Original Series
Star Trek Fact Check

Happy watching and reviewing!

This week : The Cage
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Old January 6 2014, 05:49 AM   #2
mach7
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Re: Episode of the Week : The Cage

A very good first try. the concept is still being flushed out.

Good points:
story
very high production values
sets
Acting

Bad:
Spock's character is not flushed out
Number one is flat, I know, but she is way too 1 dimensional
Goofy exhibits in the "zoo", ie the chicken man
A little too derivative of Forbidden Planet

I watched it again last week and it is still entertaining.

I gave it a 6
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Old January 6 2014, 06:28 AM   #3
Harvey
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Re: Episode of the Week : The Cage

Two other key websites:

Birdofthegalaxy's Photostream ("The Cage" photographs)
Star Trek History ("The Cage" page)

--

Filmed: November 27 - December 18, 1964 (16 days)
Cost: $615,781.56 ($4,629,664.27 in 2013 dollars)

This was the most expensive episode of the original Star Trek. For the most part, I think it shows up on screen, and it looks terrific. I prefer the more colorful cinematography that would characterize the series going forward, but the grayer aesthetic of the first pilot has its virtues.
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Old January 6 2014, 07:41 AM   #4
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Re: Episode of the Week : The Cage

Solid 7.

I think the thing that hurts the episode more than anything is how wooden Hunter and Barrett were. I love Shatner but the series with Hunter as the star is an interesting "what if?"
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Old January 6 2014, 07:55 AM   #5
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Re: Episode of the Week : The Cage

The characterization is weak and most of the acting from the secondary characters is flat. But it has overall good production design and an okay script. For what it is and when it was made it's very good.

7.

mach7 wrote: View Post
...the concept is still being flushed out.
...
Spock's character is not flushed out
I assume you mean fleshed out. Flush out is what you do to drive people/animals out of hiding.
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Old January 6 2014, 08:56 AM   #6
CorporalCaptain
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Re: Episode of the Week : The Cage

Harvey wrote: View Post
This was the most expensive episode of the original Star Trek.
This is an interesting tidbit that I didn't know. To what degree can this be attributed to start-up costs?

Six is fair. Though it clearly reached for greatness, I think its reach exceeded its grasp.

I found Vina to be the most interesting character. Unfortunately, Pikard turned out to be pretty boring.

It's probably really good a) that Roddenberry didn't write the other pilot and b) that, for whatever reason, most of the characters were jettisoned.
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Old January 6 2014, 09:24 AM   #7
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Re: Episode of the Week : The Cage

CorporalCaptain wrote: View Post
This is an interesting tidbit that I didn't know. To what degree can this be attributed to start-up costs?
Much of it was start-up costs, I believe (the bridge set and the standing planet set couldn't have been cheap). There's also the fact that it took 16 days to shoot, 8-10 days longer than it took to photograph a typical episode of the series, which added plenty of expense.
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Old January 6 2014, 11:34 AM   #8
Lance
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Re: Episode of the Week : The Cage

I agree with what Harvey says above. The money is all on the screen and it looks magnificent. "The Cage" could very easily have been exhibited theatrically at the time. It's that well made.

It's clear that some of the concepts are still on the drawing board. But at other times it is oddly precient of later incarnations of the franchise. I do wonder if maybe "The Cage" represents the Star Trek concept at it's most raw and 'pure', entirely undiluted by the changes to the format that were sometimes forced on them as time progressed?
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Old January 6 2014, 01:46 PM   #9
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Re: Episode of the Week : The Cage

A thought-provoking episode. However IMHO AbramsTrek's Pike is much more interesting than "The Cage"'s Pike (and I am no fan of AbramsTrek). Anyway, I give it a 7.
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Old January 6 2014, 01:47 PM   #10
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Re: Episode of the Week : The Cage

Sadly we can't judge the pilot exactly as it was because it's not available in its original form. I'm referring to the surviving black-and-white copy of the pilot, which has yet to be released intact on DVD.

Obviously the lack of color means the B&W copy itself is not "exactly as it was," but it should be made available to help us form a complete picture of what the original was like. The main differences are the original voice of the Keeper and the pacing of various scenes (in the making of The Menagerie, pregnant pauses between lines of dialogue were edited out in many places to save time and those have never been restored).

Last edited by BoredShipCapt'n; January 6 2014 at 02:34 PM.
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Old January 6 2014, 06:10 PM   #11
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Re: Episode of the Week : The Cage

I recall other "Cage" threads on this board on the viability of combining the soundtrack-less color footage, "Menagerie" footage, and the black and white print.
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Old January 7 2014, 02:55 AM   #12
T'Girl
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Re: Episode of the Week : The Cage

BillJ wrote: View Post
I think the thing that hurts the episode more than anything is how wooden Hunter and Barrett were.
In Hunter's case, I wonder how much of that woodenness was a result of the director's stage direction, and how much was Hunter himself?

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Old January 7 2014, 04:14 AM   #13
mach7
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Re: Episode of the Week : The Cage

Maurice wrote: View Post

mach7 wrote: View Post
...the concept is still being flushed out.
...
Spock's character is not flushed out
I assume you mean fleshed out. Flush out is what you do to drive people/animals out of hiding.
I would say you are correct. I'm not fluent in English, it's my native language (and the only one I speak), but It still trips me up!
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Old January 8 2014, 04:19 AM   #14
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Re: Episode of the Week : The Cage

mb22 wrote: View Post
I recall other "Cage" threads on this board on the viability of combining the soundtrack-less color footage, "Menagerie" footage, and the black and white print.
I wish they'd just release the print and give us the opportunity to try it...
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Old January 8 2014, 10:06 AM   #15
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Re: Episode of the Week : The Cage

BillJ wrote: View Post
Solid 7.

I think the thing that hurts the episode more than anything is how wooden Hunter and Barrett were. I love Shatner but the series with Hunter as the star is an interesting "what if?"
In retrospect it was way too serious/humourless for me.

And I know people might not understand what I'm saying but is has too many white handsome all American boys for me. The crew is too good-looking, too gun-ho. Sort of like the crew in 'Forbidden Planet'. But they had some slackoes in the lower ranks so that made Forbidden Planet acceptable.

I still like the Cage but glad they changed the cast
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