Episode of the Week : The Cage

Discussion in 'Star Trek - The Original & Animated Series' started by Botany Bay, Jan 6, 2014.

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Rate "The Cage"

Poll closed Jan 13, 2014.
  1. 1

    1 vote(s)
    3.1%
  2. 2

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  3. 3

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  4. 4

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  5. 5

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  6. 6

    3 vote(s)
    9.4%
  7. 7

    6 vote(s)
    18.8%
  8. 8

    12 vote(s)
    37.5%
  9. 9

    6 vote(s)
    18.8%
  10. 10

    4 vote(s)
    12.5%
  1. Botany Bay

    Botany Bay Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
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    shores of Australia
    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
     
  2. mach7

    mach7 Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2012
    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
     
  3. Harvey

    Harvey Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    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.
     
  4. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

    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?"
     
  5. Maurice

    Maurice Vice Admiral Admiral

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    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.

    I assume you mean fleshed out. Flush out is what you do to drive people/animals out of hiding. :)
     
  6. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Admiral Admiral

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    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.
     
  7. Harvey

    Harvey Admiral Admiral

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    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.
     
  8. Lance

    Lance Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    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. :techman:

    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?
     
  9. Odona Kirk

    Odona Kirk Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    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.
     
  10. BoredShipCapt'n

    BoredShipCapt'n Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    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: Jan 6, 2014
  11. mb22

    mb22 Commander Red Shirt

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    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.
     
  12. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    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?

    :)
     
  13. mach7

    mach7 Commander Red Shirt

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    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! ;)
     
  14. BoredShipCapt'n

    BoredShipCapt'n Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I wish they'd just release the print and give us the opportunity to try it...
     
  15. Commishsleer

    Commishsleer Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    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. :lol:

    I still like the Cage but glad they changed the cast
     
  16. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    The original print is out there, I saw it years ago (VHS tape), it was in black & white and apparently uncut.

    :)
     
  17. Lance

    Lance Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    The navigator, "Jose" Tyler, is supposed to be of a mixed race. But there's no indication of it, he just looks like any old hot-shot All American Boy. His casting went a bit wrong IMHO.
     
  18. BoredShipCapt'n

    BoredShipCapt'n Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Commercially released tape? That's news to me. Now if they'd only put it on DVD...
     
  19. Stompy

    Stompy Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    As far as I know Roddenberry had the only surviving B&W print. I saw it in the 70's when he did college tours and it was wonderful.

    I wonder if Rod Roddenberry has his dad's copy? Susan Sackett might know too as she wrote his college speeches and set up a lot of his travel back then.

    I'd love to see it again.
     
  20. scotpens

    scotpens Vice Admiral Admiral

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    What did you expect? It was made in 1964, for goodness' sake.