Discussion in 'Star Trek - The Original & Animated Series' started by Methuselah Flint, Oct 11, 2019.
I thought I had read the whole script. Are there two parts?
"The Menagerie" is in two parts, ergo...
It may very well have been then. Its been a while...
I've only read the second part. Where did you read the first part? Do you have it?
EDIT: Sorry, missed a few posts there. Yeah, it was an early iteration of what became the two-parter, "The Menagerie." Roddenberry didn't like Black's take on the material, or maybe just wanted the sole writing credit, and did his own take on the material. There was arbitration, and Roddenberry was award full "written by" credit, despite Black's work. Only the second part of the teleplay is on file at UCLA, I've never seen the first part turn up anywhere.
Just checked - I only have part two.
It's not hard to see why Sean Kenney got the part. The starboard side of his face could BE Jeffrey Hunter.
Have you read the entire script? I could only get the second half.
No - only the second part.
I wish someone would find the first. I find it hard to figure out what exactly was happening.
I prefer The Cage as I rather like a lot of the elements to it. The Menagerie is fun but I'm not really interested in watching the characters sitting around watching Star Trek reruns.
Yeah I've often thought the same. They aren't identical, but they have got very similar face structures and eyes. It was a pretty good match, all things being told.
So I picked up a 1981 first edition. It does have the script draft and shooting dates, and some expanded behind-scenes sections on the pilots and regular series. It has much less episode cast info, and nothing on TAS. Both are about the same length, which I'm guessing was set by the publisher, so some content had to be removed to make room for TAS and more movie stuff. Asherman has less inside information in the first one, but there are quite a few behind-scenes photos which are dropped from the '86 edition. Overall, the '86 edition is more useful as a reference book, but the first edition definitely has some strong points and it's interesting to compare the two.
I prefer the 1981 edition, honestly. I would think a combination of the original and later editions would be cool, but there's something really "grassroots" about it that appeals to me. It has some info missing from later editions (don't ask for specifics, it's been awhile since I've read them). I do remember the comparison between What Are Little Girls Made Of? and a Voyage to the bottom of the Sea episode, The Cyborg, was taken out of later editions.
Back on topic, some of the things about The Cage that kinda don’t work for me are some of the Enterprise scenes which were cut out of The Menagerie version. While the opening sequence is pretty great, the “time warp speed” sequence is really corny with the Star Trek Game Show theme cranked up so loud that Navigator Tyler has to use hand signals to tell Pike they’re at time warp factor 7. The scenes with Yeoman Colt are pretty poorly acted as well. The Menagerie version, is tighter and much stronger. As a pilot, I’m not sure it works, since we don’t get to see Pike at his best. As a second season premiere, it would be fantastic.
What does work very well, though, are the initial Talos IV scenes with the singing plants. Also, I really loved the moment we see the survivors. The music is beautiful a d the elderly actors really sell it. Especially that first guy, “they’re men….they’re HUMANS!” Well, except for Spock, but what a great moment. The Rigel VII sequence is also a favorite. Majel is fine except when it came to the ADR. Her dubbed stuff is very flat. John Hoyt is John Hoyt. Really bland. Tyler would have been fun to spend time with, but everyone comes off as very white bread. The Cage, on its own, feels very 50’s, but played against the series cast and style, it absolutely works as a look into the past.
I know some folks don’t think it’s interesting to see “our cast watching an episode of Star Trek” in part two, the reality is we don’t see that much of them actually looking at the screen.
What I would love is a really accurate assembly and restoration of The Cage. They restored the missing stuff so well, I wonder why they switched back and forth (you can see the little edits). The opening shot of the Enterprise on the blu ray (original effects) is in Black and White but color on the earlier DVD version. Restoring the “wild little animal” line would be great too. But having the original pacing and the reaction shot of Pike without the music from The Man Trap would be nice to see. This is just carping, they did a splendid job putting it back to together – better than the Talosians did on Vina, thankfully.
Indeed! I am creating an extended edit of the Menagerie which incorporates much of The Cage elements that have been removed, as I have the original workprint as reference - so watch this space!
Interesting. How do you define "original workprint"? And how do you know you have the original?
Well it's the complete b/w version, which I can only assume is a copy of GR's 'workprint' (a term that has been used to describe his copy), that was used for the first Portuguese VHS. We know the only other known copy of The Cage - the full colour master print - was sliced up for The Menagerie, and thus all copies of The Cage (with the exception of the Portugese VHS) have had to be sewn back together.
It used to be The Cage, but after watching Star Trek: Discovery season 2, I think I prefer The Menagerie now. I have a newfound respect for Pike and his story.
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