The Cage & Captain Pike

Discussion in 'Star Trek - Original Series' started by EnriqueH, Aug 20, 2014.

  1. EnriqueH

    EnriqueH Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    How do you guys feel about The Cage?

    I find that the episode has grown on me considerably over the years. I love it.

    I would love to have seen a few more adventures with this cast. I find that it lends itself to multiple viewings. I liked the relationship between Pike and Boyce, particularly.
     
  2. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

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    If you're interested, there are a number of novels about Pike and his crew:

    Vulcan's Glory by D.C. Fontana
    Where Sea Meets Sky by Jerry Oltion
    Burning Dreams by Margaret Wander Bonanno
    The Rift by Peter David
    Children of Kings by Dave Stern
    Legacy by Michael Jan Friedman

    Plus plenty of comic books . . ..
     
  3. EnriqueH

    EnriqueH Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Thanks, Greg.

    Yeah, I own all of those.

    I read The Rift years back and enjoyed what they did with that story.

    I'm actually getting ready to read all those books.
     
  4. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

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    I read the Oltion on the plane the other day. Fun book.
     
  5. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I thoroughly enjoyed Star Trek: Early Voyages. A series cancelled far too soon.
     
  6. Lance

    Lance Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I've always been fascinated with Jeff Hunter's performance as Captain Pike since I first saw it 20 years ago. It was such a very different take on the lead role than Shatner's. We must remember that we never really saw Pike handle a regular situation. When we meet him he's just coming off the back of a landing party gone disastrously wrong, he's lost his closest confidant (his old Yeoman) and it's hurting him badly deep inside. It's such a raw performance from Hunter. Until maybe the movies, I don't think we ever quite got under the skin of Kirk in quite the same way as we see Pike's vulnerabilities laid bare in "The Cage".

    As for the rest of the cast, they're pick and mix. Jose Tyler is likeable but nothing really more than that. Same for Dr Boyce, his scene with Pike is cute but it doesn't have a implicit chemistry that Bill Shatner and DeForest Kelley have in the series. The Yeoman certainly isn't on a level with Janice Rand. Even Nimoy is limited: he gives a good performance, but its obvious there's nothing there in the script to work with other than "This guy's an alien", and by his own admission Leonard basically just read the lines as they were written. It's Spock, but it's not Spock, if you get my drift. ;)

    But I *do* actually like Majel Barrett as 'Number One'. I think she was a bold character for the time this was made. Lest we forget, it's she who ultimately resolves the whole damn plot. When Captain Pike seems to be in a daze and is actually willing to stay behind on Talos with Vina, it's Commander Majel (heck, we gotta call her something, right?! :D) who plays poker with the aliens by setting her weapon on over-load, forcing them to back down. It's almost a shame the network made them drop her from the series, because she would have been a hell of a strong character to add to that ensemble - although maybe she wouldn't have worked as well alongside Kirk, she pretty much functions so well here precisely because Pike's strength is downplayed so considerably.
     
  7. BigJake

    BigJake Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I've always felt that if Jeffrey Hunter's departure and death hadn't happened, Trek would've been a very different series... but just as iconic and ground-breaking, nigh-impossible as it is now to imagine it now without The Shat.
     
  8. Maurice

    Maurice Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I was never taken by Hunter or the rest of the cast. I see exactly why NBC thought the show "could do better".
     
  9. Disco

    Disco Commodore Commodore

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    I wold largely agree with the sentiments above. I found Jeffrey Hunter's Captain Pike really interesting to watch; perhaps because Pike was so different to Kirk, much more like a normal person. I was very young when I first watched the epiosde and got confused watching Spock and seeing him smile. Number 1 was strong but didn't seem to have much depth (hard to establish in one episode) but the rest of the characters never left much of an impression on me.
     
  10. Ithekro

    Ithekro Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I wonder, did we ever get a replacement for Number One? In any series?
     
  11. Melakon

    Melakon Admiral Admiral

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    I sometimes prefer watching "The Cage" over "The Menagerie". There's a little more footage, and it's useful as a historical document for Roddenberry's attempt at getting his idea sold.

    In terms of a super-smart, logical first officer, Spock and T'Pol. In terms of a female first officer, the closest things are Major Kira and T'Pol.
     
  12. Ithekro

    Ithekro Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    So to fit both profiles...T'Pol?
     
  13. Melakon

    Melakon Admiral Admiral

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    Depends on how you interpret replacing Number One. I almost mentioned Riker, since he gets called that.
     
  14. Disco

    Disco Commodore Commodore

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    Wasn't Number 1's redeeming traits her knowledge, single mindedness and focus? Seems to me she was merged into Spock.
     
  15. Robert Comsol

    Robert Comsol Commodore Commodore

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    Considering that "Forbidden Planet" was a major inspiration for Star Trek but featured a caricature of a captain, I can't help but feel that Roddenberry immensely improved this basic concept with the character of Captain Pike.

    Of course, a substantial inspiration was the character of Horatio Hornblower. But in the C.S. Forrester novels we could only read what was going on in Hornblower's mind, so the addition of the doctor, the captain would talk to (and thus enable us to learn what was on his mind) was such a good concept that it was kept for Kirk and McCoy.

    Which brings me to one question: Patrick O'Brian started his Aubrey-Maturin novel series (visualized in "Master and Commander") in 1969, after Star Trek had aired.

    Had he been inspired by Star Trek, i.e. give the captain (Jack Aubrey) a doctor / naval physician (Stephen Maturin) so the audience would learn what was on Aubrey's mind?

    That would be something: Pike and Kirk were inspired by a fictional Royal Navy character and in return would give birth to other fictional Royal Navy characters...

    Bob
     
  16. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

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    Me, too. But the art started getting sloppy at the end (they already knew the title was cancelled). I also didn't care for the time traveling story sending Yeoman Colt to the movie era--way too fannish.

    But prior to that I quite liked it and I have all the issues.

    A few years ago I began writing a Pike era story that picks up shortly after "The Cage." I called it Neverland and it was a first contact story where they first encounter the Vedala. The mysterious Vedala were first seen briefly in TAS' "Jihad." The story also featured a younger Councillor Sarek.

    I also touched on some early world building ideas: there weren't yet "twelve like her" in the fleet, Spock's burgeoning loyalty to Pike and Sarek's more overt disapproval of a much younger Spock, a female captain of a Constitution-class starship and a few other things. I also gave Number One a name.

    I also did some photoshopped images for it.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2014
  17. Ithekro

    Ithekro Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I was thinking in terms of another female officer with Number One's qualities. Did we ever get one?
     
  18. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

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    I thought it was dull, and the characters cold. I much prefer the colourful characters of TOS.
     
  19. Melakon

    Melakon Admiral Admiral

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    Exactly. Nimoy didn't have much material to work with for Spock in "The Cage", and he was just a weird looking dude with a personality not much different than the human male crewmembers. With Spock 1.5, Number One's characteristics were added to him, and Nimoy has said Shatner's lively approach gave him the opportunity to make Spock more subdued compared to 1.0 Spock.
     
  20. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Meh. They were comics. Kind of what you get into when consuming that type of media. :techman: