''The Cage'' - to watch, or not to watch?

Discussion in 'Star Trek - The Original & Animated Series' started by ToMaHaKeR, Jan 15, 2011.

  1. Mr.AtoZ

    Mr.AtoZ Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    He sure seems to think that he is. A self proclaimed God protégé? That kind of says it all.

    I guess there is not much more to say about whether or not to watch The Cage, as the conversation has gotten lost on this triviality of the bridge. I will chime in and agree that the episode is most deserving of being watched on its own. We are so fortunate that the additional archival footage was recovered and talented people were able to remaster it. When I first saw it I had this uncanny feeling, the feeling of seeing an original Star Trek episode for the first time. It was quite a treat. I just wish there was more.
     
  2. Captain Robert April

    Captain Robert April Vice Admiral Admiral

    They could've changed it with the CGI. The only thing they changed was the angle of the ship to match the camera angle on the set, to make it even clearer that the bridge faces forward.
     
  3. scotpens

    scotpens Professional Geek Premium Member

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    I should have known better than to mention the bridge angle in the first place. Honestly, I didn't mean to start a war.
     
  4. Kirk here

    Kirk here Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

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    Something no one has mentioned yet about why you should watch "The Cage"; there is an excellent twist to the ending that is different than "The Menagerie".
     
  5. Winterwind

    Winterwind Commodore Commodore

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    There's an even further twist when you discover that the Talosians created an illusion of the bridge angle and that it actually faces backwards.

    Seriously though, watch the Cage. I can't imagine not watching it, personally.
     
  6. Pauln6

    Pauln6 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Definitely watch both. The Cage actually stands up incredibly well as a piece of sci fi. The Menagerie has dated a little bit more, with the dodgy death penalty trial, but both are very entertaining and can complement each other.
     
  7. ssosmcin

    ssosmcin Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Yes, watch both. The Cage flows better watching it straight through rather than being inturrupted by the part split and regular cast commentary. Also, the ending is great. It's a nice look into the Trek that Could Have Been.

    However, to discount The Menagerie is a mistake. I rarely sit through The Cage portions, or even the second itself, but the first 40 minutes of The Menagerie are really good. The tone is so grim and serious with great dialog and performances. It feels like the last of the pure Roddenberry scripts, as his stuff was a lot more serious overall than Coon's. The stuff between Kirk and McCoy is outstandingly written and acted, with the awesome turnabout of McCoy taking a stand defending Spock againt Kirk. It's also beautifully ironic because Bones is wrong.

    The ending raises more questions than it answers (the Mendez illusion and so on), but the last minute of Kirk watching Pike restored to happiness via illusion is very touching. The endings of both can be reconciled without much effort (Pike saw Vina leave with his illusional doppelganger; 13 years later, he returned to live the scene himself) and they both add to the rich historical Trek tapestry.

    Do you have something to show that Jeffries felt this way? Because then by your own admission you have no more credibility than anyone else not working on the series. You can believe what you want, but don't try to pass it off as fact.

    Honestly, I have no idea if the bridge is angled and that structure is the turbolift, but if it is, then there was no "'tween hull" designed beyond the controls and the turboshaft. No room for machinery or hull protection. So then the viewscreen butts up against the front wall, just to the right (or left depending on what direction you're looking) or that little white rectangle on the outside. Not that the rectangle is supposed to be anything other than a white rectangle, but why create the illusion of a window/screen up front if it's not going to be there? It's more likely that there wasn't that much thought given to where everything sits in relation to the miniature, and if they did spot a discrepancy, then they probably figured nobody would notice. It's not like they focused on that part of the hull. This happens on TV a lot, especially when dealing with special effects and miniatures. See the Jupiter 2 and Seaview sets for some vivid examples of this, and the designers were no less talented than Jeffries.

    I always thought it was pretty stupid to put an elevator shaft sticking out of the hull like that. It's not even a scenic elevator, so what's the point?

    So unless you can provide something from Jeffries or Roddenberry stating that the structure is the turbolift and that the bridge is weirdly angled, and that Jeffries just tolerated it, your fan speculation is just as valid as any other.
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2011
  8. Shaw

    Shaw Commodore Commodore

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    Never attempted to... and I never will.

    This subject pops up... what, twice a week?

    I only stepped in when CRA brought up the term official.

    Frankly, I don't care what you guys think... :techman:

    You've got two choices... either you work with the geometry or TOS was an Irwin Allen production.

    Besides, people don't state many things... but I'll hold Jefferies' illustrations as fact of his intent. What is the old saying... a picture is worth a thousand words.

    But you are invited to fully ignore anything I have to say on the subject. My research on these things is, in the end, for me. I don't make anyone respect my opinion, I don't need anyone to respect my opinion. But in the end, I know that there is someone who will not stand for my taking shortcuts in my research... and that is me.

    There is no substitute for doing your own research on this stuff, and having as much raw data as possible will help you reach your own conclusions... and you won't need to worry about anyone else's after that. :techman:
     
  9. Klingon Empire

    Klingon Empire Captain Captain

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    The Cage definitely before The Menagerie. The Cage has a lot of great trek instances and a lot of Cerebral and plot action. It's also just a ton of fun period.
     
  10. Piper

    Piper Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I can't think of a single reason not to watch The Cage first, mainly because it's brilliant. :bolian:
     
  11. Mr Awe

    Mr Awe Vice Admiral Admiral

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    The Cage is must see! It is my favorite episode of the original series. Brilliant and ahead of its time. The extra parts in The Menagerie are mainly filler and don't add much, if anything.

    Mr Awe
     
  12. scotpens

    scotpens Professional Geek Premium Member

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    “The Menagerie” has dated more than the show’s original pilot, filmed two years earlier? How so?

    Actually, there’s plenty of room between the bridge proper and the outer hull. (To be truthful, Franz Joseph’s plans show the bridge just a bit bigger than the actual set.)

    [​IMG]

    There’s certainly every reason to believe Matt Jeffries meant the bridge to face forward. But on the set, the turbolift alcove was offset 36 degrees clockwise for production reasons, mainly so the camera could take in Kirk (or whoever was sitting in the command chair), Uhura at her communications station, and someone entering or leaving the bridge via the elevator all in one shot for easy visual reference. That threw a monkey wrench into the works, as it were.

    AFAIK, purely for visual interest and to give the viewer a visual frame of reference as to the size of the ship.
     
  13. Captain Robert April

    Captain Robert April Vice Admiral Admiral

    The windows would provide the scale reference. The cylinder on the back of the uppermost dome, besides providing some extra surface detail, would also keep the thing from looking like a giant nipple.
     
  14. Shaw

    Shaw Commodore Commodore

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    :wtf:

    But the original design had no windows. The addition of windows was forced onto the design by Roddenberry after the 33 inch model had already been started.

    There is more evidence that Jefferies hated the idea of windows on the Enterprise than there is of him having any opinion on an angled bridge. It was something that really did bother him, and he made sure he was on the record about it in later years.
     
  15. Captain Robert April

    Captain Robert April Vice Admiral Admiral

    And the reason Roddenberry forced the windows was to give the ship some sense of scale at first glace. Jefferies' objections were technical (windows are a weak point in the hull, as well as being totally unnecessary for a ship with viewscreens all over the place), while Roddenberry was concerned with having to sell this ship to the viewer within the first few seconds it appears on the screen. And, don't forget, GR was the boss, so we got windows.
     
  16. Shaw

    Shaw Commodore Commodore

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    Again, it helps to know the order of events (and I know you know them). The original plan was to sell the audience on the scale with the bridge zoom in shot. The live action element for that shot was filmed before the 11 foot model was started, and that was the only shot in which the 11 foot model appeared in The Cage for that very reason.


    ... and an angled bridge.

    Jefferies was an assistant art director at the time, and had a number of people above him he had to answer to. And any one of them could have changed his bridge design without him being able to do anything about it.

    His intent was over ridden... just as it was with the windows.

    You said his objections to windows were technical... I'm sure that if he had objections to an angled bridge they were technical as well.

    You can't have it both ways just because you like the forward facing bridge idea... unless you are creating your trek stuff for yourself and others who share your views (in which case it is a perfectly valid point of view).

    I have never had a problem with you (or anyone else) wanting/believing in a forward facing bridge... but it would be nice if you would stop your constant evangelizing of the idea. We know where you stand on this (you've been arguing it for at least six years that I know of), you should be comfortable enough in your position that you shouldn't need to restate it over and over again. Soon you'll have your plans with a forward facing bridge, and you'll be able to make a case for how it could be done (hopefully without too many compromises along the way... I'd hate to see you go JJ on us trying to make this one element fit).

    No matter how much you want to believe that you have a more valid argument than anyone else on this topic, neither side actually has the upper hand. If you want to win converts, do an excellent job on your plans. :techman:
     
  17. The Lensman

    The Lensman Commodore Commodore

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    The Cage is awesome for reasons already stated. It's look and feel keep it fresh for me...although as a kid, I was both annoyed and intrigued by this "Trek that wasn't Trek". I tended to prefer my regular series look, but was still fascinated by it on some level. Now, the pilots rank as some of my faves because of that "Trek that could've been" vibe.

    Sometime this year, I plan on watching the entire run of ST again. But I think I'll watch "The Menagerie" somewhere near the end of Season 1 so I don't feel like I just watched it again. Maybe in Season 2....
     
  18. ssosmcin

    ssosmcin Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    First, having reread my post, I see it came off as kinda snarky. I apologize for that, I was in such a bad mood yesterday, caused by nothing so small as TV. :-)

    Well, to be fair, a short budgeted 5 or 6 day shoot sci-fi TV series is a short budgeted 5 or 6 day shoot sci-fi TV series. Star Trek's big strength was in the word. Irwin Allen's shows had the edge in effects. The ship design was excellent and the Lydeckers, Bob Kinoshita, and Bill Creber were truly top grade. My point, I guess, was that set design and filmed episodes don't always match. If we go as far as the movies, the turbo lifts changed position with each film. To be honest, until I spotted this thread, I never made the connection about the whole "slanted" aspect because so often things didn't match up. When Chekov was zapped into a styrofoam decahedron in "By Any Other Name," the helm/nav console was facing in completely the wrong direction. In "Spock's Brain" the viewscreen did not allign with the rest of the positions. Those were probably more easily fixable before shooting, but they figured nobody would catch them.

    Was it truly slanted? In practical, real life terms, I guess it would have to be. As far as the show is concerned, it felt like the intention was to face straight ahead. However, since it's a viewscreen and not a window, it doesn't really matter.

    Well, I do respect your opinon, whether or not I am convinced of it myself. Sorry if my crabby mood didn't illustrate that.

    I worry about nothing except my mortgage and my pugs. Everything else is detail. :)
     
  19. Captain Robert April

    Captain Robert April Vice Admiral Admiral

    I don't think even Roddenberry saw the bridge as facing thirty-six degrees to port during the series' production. And it's not like they were going to do a zoom-in on the bridge in every episode. So even assuming the pilot was aired, which was not a given (many pilots to successful shows have never been aired, because of the changes made before regular production), you'd still have to sell the size of the ship to that person who didn't see the first episode, or the third, etc. Like Joss Whedon said, your first six episodes are your pilot, at least as far as the audience goes.

    The Enterprise needed to look big and powerful just sitting still. One way to do that is lots of little windows.

    According to your preliminary findings, the pilot dome is more than big enough to accommodate a forward facing bridge, even bigger than I originally estimated it to be, so on that count, you've already made my case for me. Congrats. :D
     
  20. Shaw

    Shaw Commodore Commodore

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    My results weren't any different from MGagen's results... and he provided those for you and showed that it didn't work for a forward facing bridge years ago. I haven't said anything because he made all the points perfectly clear to you then, and there is no reason to repeat them.

    Not sure what you think is different now, so it is odd that you are expecting a different result... but you are more than welcome to keep trying. Just keep in mind, the math isn't on your side here.

    Knock yourself out! :techman:


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