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. feek61

    feek61 Captain Captain

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    A flawed masterpiece for me which I would rate as an 8. Just an amazing first try. I think some of the editing could have been tighter. Although it is fun to see the full version and a unique experience to see for the first time so many years after TOS ended; I prefer the cut in "The Menagerie" for the most part. For example the fight scene in "The Cage" with the Kylar (sp?) is cut MUCH better in "The Menagerie" IMHO. It still drives me crazy in "The Cage" when Vina and Pike stop to have a conversation while going up the stairs after Pike knocks down the Kylar: RUN!!!!
     
  2. Harvey

    Harvey Admiral Admiral

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    While it's important to have historical perspective, that includes remembering that I Spy premiered on September 15, 1965, and was probably piloted months earlier (around the time Star Trek's first pilot was being filmed). Also, "Where No Man Has Gone Before," which features Lloyd Haynes and George Takei in supporting roles, went before the cameras only seven months after "The Menagerie" was photographed.

    And yet, despite requests from NBC to have a multi-racial cast, the first pilot is one background actor away from being all-white. Even José Tyler, intended to be half-Latino, was played by an actor of western European descent (and, having read several casting memos for the first pilot, I can assure you that just about every other actor who was considered for the role was white).
     
  3. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

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    Same.

    Watching "The Cage" I miss some of those familiar shots of the ship in orbit like we'd see on TOS when scenes switched from planet to aboard ship. In "The Cage" we get only one decent look at the Enterprise and the rest are distance shots of the 3 footer. Mind you I know when the 1st pilot was shot the 11 footer was not yet lighted.

    This is what I thought of it a few years ago when I revisited the episode.

    This story also introduces the idea that "monsters" are not always what they seem. From a particular viewpoint the Talosians are a kind of monster and yet in the end we can see they're not inherently evil but desperate and somewhat misguided.
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2014
  4. BoredShipCapt'n

    BoredShipCapt'n Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I saw it on one of his college tours in 1982.

    Wish someone with contacts would make an inquiry to somebody in the know, because I think it deserves to be treasured and enjoyed as a work of art worthy of preservation with all its nuances for the sake of history. After all, it's 50 years old now.
     
  5. CaptPapa

    CaptPapa Commander Red Shirt

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    I really do not know . . .
    I just watched The Cage a couple of weeks ago; I rated it an 8. I actually enjoy it a little better with each viewing - it's an excellent standalone story, in my opinion.
    Regarding a few comments above, I think it's important to always watch these episodes with an historical eye - gotta remember when they were made, and what was going on that influenced their production/conception.

    ME
     
  6. AtoZ

    AtoZ Commander Red Shirt

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    "A flawed masterpiece". :techman:
     
  7. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

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    Well it does underline the surreality of the situation. Pike knows it can't be real despite experiencing it.
     
  8. TREK_GOD_1

    TREK_GOD_1 Commodore Commodore

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    I think you are projecting present day casting choices on an era where the packaged and sold image of the "spaceman"--such as real-world astronauts (and fictional counterparts) were your clean-cut white Americans (as presented to the public). Barrett's presense was bucking that packaging, but the former was the face of 99% of sci-fi during the Space Race.

    Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea is another example of that, and while the crew of the Seaview were not astronauts, the sci-fi show was first set in the then-future year of 1973--yet the crew was all white, all male.
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2014
  9. Commishsleer

    Commishsleer Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Yet within a year Star Trek were able to cast non-white people in astronaut roles.
    Even a 'Russian' who were the space race rivals.
     
  10. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

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    Could be while GR are wanted to push his multiracial idea he was hesitant to push it too much when shooting the pilot in hopes to sell the series.

    The only real dissonant note in "The Cage" for me is when Pike complains about Yeoman Colt's presence on the bridge. It's widely at odds with the established presence of Number One and other female officers already there. Pike's comments come across a simply too self-concious, as if GR is expressing the thought some male viewers might have yet spoken through Pike. If he had simply kept Pike's comments focused on Colt's behaviour rather than women in general it would have been fine.

    Admittedly it can also be a bit of a challenge to not see this through contemporary perspectives. Back in 1965 no one would have thought anything unusual in the casting of "The Cage" even if less than a year later we'd see more racial diversity in the 2nd pilot.
     
  11. Commishsleer

    Commishsleer Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Didn't someone here (at TREKBBS) say the the network was all in favour of a multi-racial cast (assuming they didn't kiss anyone) ;)
    Surely GR would have been more worried about the suits in his 2nd pilot.
    But really who knows what was going on at the time and how much GR made up to save face (understandably).

    TOS was still pretty good overall IMO. If Martin Luther King told Nichelle Nichols to stay in Star Trek as a role model then who am I to argue?
     
  12. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

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    A lot of things were being challenged in the 1950s, '60s and '70s. No matter how principled and moral something sounds in the real world you still have to deal with people's prejudices and preconceived ways of looking at things. From our contemporary perspective Uhura's role and Number One's don't seem like anything to talk about. Indeed Uhura isn't shown doing all that much (unfortunately), but her very presence was quite progressive for the time.
     
  13. Harvey

    Harvey Admiral Admiral

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    Compared to the all-white Lost in Space, Uhura was notable, but compared to I Spy ('65) or Mission: Impossible ('66) her role wasn't anything to shout about.

    Inside Star Trek: The Real Story definitely makes the point that NBC wanted a multi-racial cast from the beginning; I can consult the book a little later if someone is interested in a quote.
     
  14. Commishsleer

    Commishsleer Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Did "I Spy" or "Mission Impossible" have any non-white women as regular cast members? I don't remember I Spy (if I ever saw it) I get the impression Nichelle was also meant to be a role model to women.

    I'm also thinking "Land of the Giants" and even original BSG had non-white males but they were later series I suppose.
     
  15. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

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    That's the thing. Bill Cosby (I, Spy) and Greg Morris (Mission: Impossible) were men. Nichelle Nichols was the double whammy, black and a woman.
     
  16. EnsignHarper

    EnsignHarper Captain Captain

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    Very nicely put. It was AMAZING in 1966 to see people of color on American TV, who where not a maid....janitor...Pullman porter. Trek, I SPY, and M:I were IT. And the same for Asians who weren't running a laundry or a houseboy.
     
  17. Harvey

    Harvey Admiral Admiral

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    Land of the Giants started in '68, so it was a contemporary of Star Trek, but Battlestar: Galactica ('78) was definitely afterwards.

    In terms of roles for black women, they were certainly rarer in the '60s than roles for black men, but there were some of note. Most notable, of course, would be Diahann Carroll in the title role of Julia ('68). There was also Gail Fisher as Peggy Fair on Mannix ('67).

    Nichelle Nichols as Uhura predates both of those, although she was never a regular (either contractually or in billing).

    EDIT: Sir Rhosis kindly informed me of East Side/West Side ('63) (which I've never seen), which co-starred Cicely Tyson in a much more prominent role than Nichelle Nichols ever had on the original series.
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2014
  18. Sir Rhosis

    Sir Rhosis Commodore Commodore

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    ^^^Though the character was written out toward the end of the program.

    TVLand (iirc) used to show the occasional ep. Tame by today's standards, but it had to have been "in your face" in '63.

    SR
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2014
  19. Harvey

    Harvey Admiral Admiral

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    To be fair, this article claims that CBS offered to renew the program if Tyson's character was replaced with a white woman, so she certainly wasn't being embraced by the network executives at the time.
     
  20. Maurice

    Maurice Vice Admiral Admiral

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    So the one memo we know of re diversity was post-Cage.