The Cage & Captain Pike

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

  1. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

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    Some damn fine stories have been done in comics and some of it has been adapted into other media such as film.
     
  2. EnriqueH

    EnriqueH Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I should probably clarify that the intention is NOT to invite comparisons to the TOS that we all know and love.

    Clearly TOS had the magic, but that's not in dispute.

    This was intended as a discussion of The Cage and Captain Pike in and of themselves.

    I would love to watch a few more episodes to get a better idea of who those characters were.
     
  3. BillJ

    BillJ Admiral Admiral

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    Okay? Doesn't change the point that comics, as an overall medium, is wildly inconsistent. With rapidly changing writing and art teams, some that go for the more far-fetched than others.

    It isn't a slam, just a realistic assessment of the medium.
     
  4. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

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    Every medium is wildly inconsistent.
     
  5. BillJ

    BillJ Admiral Admiral

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    I think comics are more so because you can go from a great artist to a poor artist in the span of thirty days and it can really affect the feel of a given book/story. For the most part, when dealing with TV and movies, the look is usually consistent for the duration of a story/series.
     
  6. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

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    That's the thing. We have little to no idea how things would have panned out if NBC had gone with "The Cage" version of Star Trek. The characters would have been fleshed outand more detail and nuance would have come forth. As is we can only speculate.

    It's interesting to consider how it might have played out with a different director. Was the cast of WNMHGB really so much better or was it possible the director got more out of them? One can see all the essential concepts present in "The Cage," but in many instances it's not fully realized whereas in WNMHGB everything seems to have an added dynamic to it.

    Of course, part of it is the production's second time around so they were able to finesse things they hadn't gotten quite right the first time around.


    Pike could or might have been more Picard like in overall character if Jeffery Hunter had stayed and NBC had gone forward from "The Cage." Indeed all the characters might have benefitted. As is I think Pike and Boyce were the only ones who seemed most three dimensional. John Hoyt had a naturalness to his performance that would have fit right into WNMHGB.

    For me the strength of "The Cage" is its story, its overall execution and the ideas it put forth. It sells the idea Roddenberry had by about 90 percent. In some measure it presages what eventually happened in TMP--the ideas are all there, but something extra is missing.
     
  7. Marsden

    Marsden Commodore Commodore

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    I liked Dr Boyce. John Hoyt was good in that role and he seemed to be really more than just the doctor, he was in on decision making and seemed to represent at least part of the science division as well.

    I heard that they didn't want #1 because Majel wasn't a good enough actress, I didn't think she was so bad, but she and Pike were somewhat flat and even to the point of someone interpreting them as bland. I didn't see it that way myself, but the dynamic that Hoyt or Nimoy had when they had their lines is missing with them. Now, if you're playing a flat emotionless character, that's fine, but it can confuse people that don't realize it's supposed to be that way and think it's just bad acting. But that's a serious drag on a show if two of the leads seem to be sub par.

    Most of the other characters didn't get enough to really say too much, but I liked Tyler and Colt, and the other bridge and landing party people seemed competent. That is an important point, I think, though, even though they are background characters/extras if they appear foolish or not believable it doesn't matter how good your leads are, the whole setting is damaged, and setting is extremely important to science fiction.

    There are other things, art direction, set design, effects work, these are all independent of the actors but are still important, I thought they were all good for The Cage.
     
  8. mos6507

    mos6507 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    And yet the studio thought she couldn't act, and some on this board come across as though they also believe she couldn't (maybe because of the underlying nepotism that seemed to be at play in her getting the role).

    The truth is probably somewhere in the middle. It's been stated many times that Number One was intentionally meant to be rather cold and distant, even more than Spock is presented really. And maybe that was interpreted as "she can't act" because they were expecting a warmer, more feminine presence. If so, that would still fall in line with certain chauvinistic attitudes.
     
  9. DonIago

    DonIago Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    "The Cage" reminds me a great deal of TMP. Both of them are essentially trying something new, and both of them go for a cerebral aspect that has the potential to be alienating (no puns intended). And, for me anyway, both of them are overshadowed by the following installment.
     
  10. EnriqueH

    EnriqueH Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I prefer The Cage vastly over Where No Man as a story.

    Number One and Pike were both reserved people, so I definitely think Marsden and Mos have a good point where you had the two leads being reserved. They would've had to change that a bit.

    In "Where No Man...", I definitely loved Shatner and Nimoy's chemistry: it was alive and you can definitely see the vitality between these two compared to Pike-Number One.

    In fact, you can sense the energy even from Doohan and Takei, despite their very limited screen time.

    Like Marsden, I too liked Boyce a lot. I would've enjoyed seeing a bit more of him with Pike. It was similar to Kirk-Bones, but it was also different in a way.

    As for Majel's acting ability, I'm not so sure it was her acting as it was the role itself. I thought she did a fine job in "What Are Little Girls Made Of", but in The Cage, something was missing. I think it may have been the role: cold and detached. It sounds good on paper, but didn't work as well on screen. I don't think it's Majel. I just think you had a detached captain and a detached Spock. Everyone was detached and to themselves in a way. If Nimoy couldn't find his way around Pike, then how could Majel?

    But as a story, I thought The Cage looked and felt more polished as well as elegant. Where No Man, feels a bit clunkier to me despite having a more energetic cast.
     
  11. BillJ

    BillJ Admiral Admiral

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    I tend to think you can get away with more with a more energetic cast. Could you see Hunter and Nimoy fighting to the death with lirpas? Or Hunter playing the crazed ex-girlfriend inhabiting Pike's body?

    There was a boldness about Shatner that allowed him to convincingly sell the most outlandish material.
     
  12. EnriqueH

    EnriqueH Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I agree with you.

    I don't think you and some others understand.

    I love Shatner.

    Shatner is not really figuring into this discussion.

    This is about The Cage and Pike and maybe a little "Where No Man" vs "The Cage thrown in.

    I'm not criticizing Shatner or even suggesting someone else should've played the lead. That would be sacrilegious.

    What I am saying is that I thought The Cage was a better story and was executed better even though Where No Man obviously had a better cast.
     
  13. BillJ

    BillJ Admiral Admiral

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    I like both, but if I to pick one to be stranded on a desert island with? It would easily be "Where No Man..."

    So much of the acting in "The Cage" comes across as awkward and I'm not sure it is something that would've improved. The cast of "The Cage" just didn't have any real chemistry. I think the story is solid with some big ideas, but "Where No Man..." also is solid with big ideas.
     
  14. EnriqueH

    EnriqueH Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I can see that.

    I think The Cage is better, but I'd probably pick Where No Man based on Shatner alone.

    Kinda how like I think Rocky I is the "best" Rocky film, but Rocky II is my "favorite" and would rather own Rocky II.
     
  15. BillJ

    BillJ Admiral Admiral

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    Rocky IV!

    [yt]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ygQvB6OjHOU[/yt]
     
  16. EnriqueH

    EnriqueH Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Ha!

    I like Rocky IV too.

    I think everyone feels the same about the Rocky series, "Yeah, Rocky I is the best but ___is my favorite."
     
  17. Hober Mallow

    Hober Mallow Commodore Commodore

    I disagree. No version of "The Cage" I've seen flows particularly well, and the ending ("Oh, well, I guess we can't use you after all") is pretty anti-climatic. What I like about "The Cage" is that the captain's character arc is tied to the main story in a sophisticated way that we rarely saw later on.
     
  18. AtoZ

    AtoZ Commander Red Shirt

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    In my perfect little TOS fantasy world, they would have retained Jeffrey Hunter, the supporting cast and Majel Barret's brunette wig, the sets and props, and given us a dozen or so episodes or significant flashback sequences of that "Cage era" Trek. I go back to The Cage annually it seems. I love the look, the feel and the differences....even if they aren't perfect or rough around the edges.

    On that note, there is one change I would make.....tone down Spock's eyebrows to regular TOS standard.

    :techman:
     
  19. EnriqueH

    EnriqueH Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    AtoZ, you just gave me a wonderful idea.

    Can you imagine if we had a Season 1 of Star Trek from 1964-1965 with Captain Pike and The Cage cast similar to the way we have the first season of Mission: Impossible with Steven Hill?

    And then we could start 1966 in the exact same way with "Where No Man..."

    Four seasons of Star Trek TOS!
     
  20. Commishsleer

    Commishsleer Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Pike was boring.
    Number One was boring.

    The crew were too WASP and serious for my liking in retrospect.

    But in regular episodes who knows how they might have turned out. Number One had potential if she had seem less depressed or something. I sort of can see Hunter in the first couple of episodes of TOS but I just can't see Shatner in the Cage. He would have been winking at the camera or something.

    But I agree with ATOZ that there was a certain look and feel to the Cage. I wish they had tried to recreate it in the newer movies with a modern twist.
     

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