Discussion in 'Star Trek - The Original & Animated Series' started by Warped9, Aug 1, 2015.
It's interrupted by Kirk et al's scenes.
See my comment just before yours. Putting the story on pause does not interrupt the flow but adds to it. The pauses actually expands on the crisis of Pike by mirroring Kirk's crises in "present day"
Mostly for the commercial breaks. You must have a word from the sponsors ($$$), after all. (I believe the Cage was originally shot with no commercial breaks. Please correct me if I'm wrong.) Once back from the commercial, we get a quick summary/update and/or voice-over to explain what we the audience has seen so far or are seeing now. I feel that this enhanced the Menagerie storyline (even at the expense of the Cage). YMMV .
What I remember from renting the VHS from my local store mostly was the black and white straight-line font credits that felt so unique and rare and the cutting out of B& W to color and back and thinking "Wait why was THAT in B & W and not in color because THAT was in the Menagerie?"
I then did a compare and observed that the shots that were in Menagerie and bordered by Kirk's Enterprise viewscreen were still B & W even though shown in Menagerie.
Anyways, no one should take from my summary that I am anti- "Cage" or did not share the same experiences. Cheers!
All true. Even more than that, the pause leading to "end of Part One" has a dramatic scene with Kirk dealing with the same type of crisis of duty that Pike "is going through" during the Cage flashbacks.
KIRK: Do you know what you're doing? Have you lost your mind?
SPOCK: Captain, Jim, please don't stop me. Don't let him stop me. It's your career and Captain Pike's life.
(^^ That is deeper than just it's time for break here per TV rules imo)
and at the beginning of Part Two:
KIRK: Why? Why does Spock want to take to that forbidden world his former captain. Mutilated by a recent space disaster, now a shell of a man, unable to speak or move? The only answer Spock would give was on the hearing-room screen. How Spock could do this he refused to explain,....
[[ BUT in that subtext Kirk WANTS deperately to give Spock the benefit of the doubt while feeling disappointed - a bit betrayed - that Spock didn't include him fully from the beginning.]]
KIRK: Mister Spock, even if regulations are explicit, you could have come to me and explained.
SPOCK: Ask you to face the death penalty, too? One of us was enough, Captain.
[Long, thoughtful pause]
"Kirk's scenes et al" did an excellent job of framing the flow back and forth with Pike and Kirk going through a crisis. They did not nor COULD not interrupt the flow of the 2 parter
BUT some argue it interrupts the flow of the pilot itself. Maybe so, but I truly do not think so.
Not when all scenes are working in tandem for service of the themes at hand and expanding and filling those themes out so fully that the "interruptions" are not "out of place" but fulfill the very spirit of the pilot episode that is being told. Cheers!
Here's something that will really cook your noodle.
Yes at the end of The Menagerie we see Vina and Pike entering they still destroyed Talosian entrance via the elevator.
Now was that mental projection to the screen a concurrent scene happening and being displayed to Kirk has it happens...OR...
Is it just a replay for Kirk of what happened 13 years prior? It's a fair question because remember the screen goes dark and that scene appears with the Telosian Keeper telepathically telling Kirk "Pike has illusion and you have reality..."; yet that all occurred A few seconds after Spock and Pike left the Conference Room for the Transporter Room - so realistically there's no chance that Pike could have been on the surface and with the Telosians at the time that the Keeper communicated that telepathic image to Kirk.
Thus yes, I believe he was showing Kirk a replay of what they did for vina 13 years ago after Pike left; and it's unknown whether or not they bothered to tell her that the real Pike had returned, and joined their fantasy bodies together in one shared illusion; or just gave Pike a fantasy illusion of Vina In the same way they gave Vina a fantasy illusion of Pike 13 years earlier.
In fact given her age and medical condition 13 years prior; How do we know the original Vina didn't pass away by the time Spock and Co. Delivered to Pike back into the Talosians hands.
(And why wouldn't the Talosians be honest about this to Spock or Pike? Because they would want Pike to be happy; and telling him that Vina had passed in the intervening years between the time he left and returned would serve no useful purpose to that end.)
So bottom line: No matter how you look at it; there really is no contradiction between the actual end of "The Cage" itself as originally presented, and of "The Menagerie II"; as in both cases, for whatever reason, the Keeper is "faking out" both Vina and Kirk respectively. )
Could not agree more. I have heard the "beam down too fast so Keeper is giving an illusion" hypothesis before.
One thing I will say is IF Vina is still alive then they SHOULD tell her Pike is really coming down or else they will be in for a real shock when they discover human minds change over years and she will be able to pick up the differences between her fantasy Pike and the real Pike pretty fast I'd say.
If she had DIED, then Pike would have no way of knowing the deception as far as I can tell.
It's hard for me to see that in my mind though. I grew up reading the hell out of this issue (DC Comics Annual # 2, 1984):
It's for sale at mile high comics: Mile High Comics - STAR TREK ANNUAL (1984) #2 - Page 1
FYI. the forum rules are linked to in a pinned thread at the top of every forum, like here (link). And the rules proper are here (link).
In "The Galileo Seven," McCoy and Mears seem to enter the shuttlecraft through an unseen secondary rear entrance, whose access entails the same sound effects that the main forward portside doorway triggers. McCoy's line after he's entered through the rear section is "Mister Spock! Something's happening outside."
Yup. Then again, the craft probably has a toilet somewhere, complete with a door that says swoosh, and the aft compartment portside is a logical place (indeed the only one possible). It would also be against the outer hull, allowing occupants to hear things two guys lying in the middle of the floor of the main compartment might not.
So the question becomes, what were McCoy and Mears doing there exactly - with hand phasers drawn?
I appreciate everyone's thoughtful responses to my comments, but my comments might have been misinterpreted. The Menagerie was a brilliant script on its own that also used The Cage as a basis and created something larger. I enjoy it immensely.
I was responding to the comments about whether one should watch The Cage alone, or whether watching The Menagerie is enough. I enjoy watching The Cage because it's a self-sufficient story on its own without Kirk's Menagerie scenes wrapping around it. Both are worthwhile.
And, my comment was that the flow of The Cage's scenes is interrupted when watching The Menagerie, not the other way around.
In the history of TV, "The Menagerie" should go down as one of the greatest "clip shows" ever imo.
"Shades of Grey" on the other hand ...
Exactly that. TOS had the captains log recaps; not to "insult the audience" the way some youtube channels love to chant, but also or instead because there were no home recording devices and if someone tuned in 8 minutes 47 seconds late as what's on channel 3 was more important when seeing what show in that time slot was best or getting home late from beinging home the kiddies from detention or whatever, then getting filled in helps them to catch up. Unless they were meant to insult the audience, if not another reason. Such as some casual viewers going to fetch milk and cookies and/or vodka and/or go potty because they were jonesing and having that little narrative recap helps. In one way or another and many, the 1960s were a different time. /preachToChoir
"Menagerie" was brilliant both as a a cost-cutting venture, to re-use said pilot, but did flesh out the lore a little. Especially when "Cage" had a few things that are at direct odds (e.g. Spock's behavior on a number of occasions. In comes yet another inevitable pie-fling over what's canon and what isn't. )
One way of looking at "The Menagerie" that makes me laugh is that they basically gave us a story about a bunch of peoples sitting around watching TV and got away with it.
I'm not dissing the two parter at all, all around it wa such a good idea and they did an extremely good job integrating the two stories.
One of the transitions that always touched me was when Pike's battle with the Rigellian was over, the Talosians temporarily stop their transmission to give crippled Pike a rest; the poor guy was evidently drained by reliving that experience.
It's a tough act to pull off, and basically impossible to get the timing right. Spock speaks of a trip of six days; in that time, the heroes usually can defeat gods and reverse the fate of the universe, but here they can't even turn off their own autopilot. Also, being glued to the screen seems to deprive every character of initiative, including those who aren't actually shown watching; time only proceeds in that one room, and haltingly at that.
But one can say that's part of the charm: Talosian television magic turns even the greatest of heroes into paralyzed idiots who won't notice the passage of time.
There is a big difference between convincing Apollo in a few hours that humans do not worship anymore and cracking an encryption code Spock put on the Enterprise computer.
Star Trek is full of charm that withstands even the most pedantic of nitpicking imo.
Yes. This. Exactly. With Kirk echoing the early audience's confusion "So they CARE about Captain Pike?"
Engaging writing all around.
Great story, and one that's absolutely in my headcanon.
That was an outstanding article - not only the wraparound piece but also the embedded article with Nicest Guy Ever Dee Kelley humbly acknowledging his good fortune - and that was before the show became a worldwide phenomenon! Pretty sure I had seen that before somewhere but I loved it. Thanks.
In other news, a rewatch of The Tholian Web today - which I watched unabbreviated and would certainly never attempt to reduce to a challenging acronym - revealed a woman operations division lieutenant commander among the attendees at Kirk's service. She's only visible for a moment (at least clearly with the braid-and-a-half showing), but I thought she looked a bit uncomfortable in the uniform. I assume it was Anne Mulhall's.
IIRC they removed the braid and badges every time the uniforms were sent out to be cleaned. If so there's no reason they'd necessarily have stuck to a given rank that was on there previously.
Separate names with a comma.