The Cage was a better pilot than WNMHGB

Discussion in 'Star Trek - The Original & Animated Series' started by Kaelef, Sep 16, 2019.

  1. Nyotarules

    Nyotarules Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Thankfully the The Cage did not set the tone for Star Trek, it would have ignored at least ten percent of the viewing population of the USA and countless others overseas audience since it comes across as basic 'future white people in space'. WNMHGB had a better story in my opinion and a much better cultural impact.
     
  2. BK613

    BK613 Commodore Commodore

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    I think one key difference is that Kirk is presented as actually having choices: In The Cage, the crew can only resist as the Talosians hold all the cards and the crew can leave only because the Talosians relent at the end.
     
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  3. Foxhot

    Foxhot Commodore Commodore

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    True. I remember NBC switched episodes around during the second or third year of HOMICIDE: LIFE ON THE STREET. And as a result, one of the original cast characters was revealed to have died in a passing brief comment before we were supposed to know...........and then we were treated to a full-blown death of Crosetti episode many weeks later. Thanks, NBC.

    Nurse Chapel Barrett never did much for me.....too much of a 1960s Barbara Bosson......yet Number One Barrett was surprisingly preferable for me. Obviously her continued presence would have sidelined the Spock we know and love.

    It's probably because I was a certain age when the first Kolchak film came out, but I'll still say you can make a case that THE NIGHT STALKER could be the greatest TV-movie ever made, excluding minseries. It's got a humorous JAWS vibe to it, even though it was made first. Kolchak and Dreyfuss's Hooper give me similar reactions.
     
  4. Maurice

    Maurice ATARI CX5200 Premium Member

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    Which is moving the goalposts to an entirely different stadium. What does that have to do with anything i said?
     
  5. tomswift2002

    tomswift2002 Commodore Commodore

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    They could’ve released it as-is.
     
  6. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    I think at the very least they would've added a longer main title sequence before releasing it in theaters. At the time, it was still common for movies to put all their credits at the beginning. They could've added another minute or two to the running time that way.

    Maybe they could've also filmed a few more shots of the Enterprise, for use during the travel sequence or as establishing shots of the ship in orbit. It's surprising how few shots of the ship there are in "The Cage." There are a few quick flybys in the titles, then the big swoop in to the bridge dome, and then we don't see the ship's exterior again until the closing shot and the end titles.
     
  7. Maurice

    Maurice ATARI CX5200 Premium Member

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    There were few shots of the ship because it took too long to design it and the hero model was only finished in time to get the big zoom in shot and they were forced to use the 3 foot study model for the other shots.
     
  8. The Old Mixer

    The Old Mixer Mih ssim, mih ssim, nam, daed si Xim. Moderator

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    On paper, during the early development of the series, April, Pike, and Kirk were just renames of the same lead hero character. It was what Shatner brought to the role that defined Kirk as a different character from Pike.

    And in the '60s, there were regular weekly TV series that ran in 90-minute slots, including The Virginian, Cimarron Strip, and one season of Wagon Train.
     
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  9. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    I did not know that.

    TV schedules used to be a lot more flexible. In the early days, as I think someone alluded to upthread, there were even some 15-minute shows. In fact, I once saw reruns on some cable channel (probably the Comedy Channel back when it was mostly old stuff and clips) of a five-minute TV series from the '60s, a detective show with really quick mysteries that the audience was challenged to solve during the brief commercial break. I can't remember its name.
     
  10. The Old Mixer

    The Old Mixer Mih ssim, mih ssim, nam, daed si Xim. Moderator

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    Reminds me of how my old MeTV affiliate years back used to run a local church program over the first 15 minutes of The Green Hornet on Sunday mornings....
     
  11. tomswift2002

    tomswift2002 Commodore Commodore

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    From 1937-1968 “The Guiding Light” was only 15 minutes long per day (it started on radio in 1937 with 15 minute shows and stayed like that for TV from 1952-1968).

    I’ve got the UPA cartoon “The Dick Tracy Show” From 1961-62 on DVD from Classic Media and all 130 episodes are 5 minutes in length. And I’ve also got a DVD that packages about 6 Liberace episodes as 1-half-hour program and the advertised it as “Aliberace Christmas”, but besides Christmas there’s also dancing skeletons (Halloween? the skeletons dance on Liberace’s piano and I’m not sure what song he’s playing), Thanksgiving, Easter bunnies, Harvest and a few other non-Christmas episodes.
     
  12. TREK_GOD_1

    TREK_GOD_1 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Not so cut and dry; the original Peeples story already had a captain more in touch with his humanity and spirit than anything written for Pike. It also needed a stronger, appealing actor to breathe life into it, and that's what the production received with Shatner. Kirk in any form was not the introverted, morose figure that Hunter's Pike was, so there was not a hard template from "The Cage" / Pike that was used and/or considered once a new captain was created. Logically, no one would recycle an entire character who failed to sell. He was the center of the pilot--the character meant to lead the audience, and he did not work, so the character in Peeples' story--for the demands of a change to build and sell Star Trek--could not be Pike by another name.
     
  13. Talos IV

    Talos IV Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    While "The Menagerie" two-parter remains my favorite episode(s) of TOS, I think WNMHGB was a better pilot film than "The Cage." Definitely a better way to launch a series. More action, more memorable dialogue, better character development.

    Some have said over the years that "The Cage" lost a lot of its impact when it was re-edited into "The Menagerie." For me, I think it got more effective.

    In "The Menagerie," the contrast between the old & new footage grabs me every time. High drama when Kirk asks Spock, "Do you know what you're doing? Have you lost your mind?" I can watch the whole 100 minutes over & over, and never tire of it.
     
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  14. JonnyQuest037

    JonnyQuest037 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    God, that is the perfect analogy for Majel Barrett on Star Trek. :techman:
     
  15. ssosmcin

    ssosmcin Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Sorry, didn't see this until now. I thought I read that in the Inside Star Trek book. I said "apparently" because it was from memory.

    Someone balked at any rate.
     
  16. XCV330

    XCV330 A Being of Pure Caffeine Premium Member

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    I think they both show different directions that Trek has continued to take. They're both very good, but one shows the more cerebral side of trek, the other more action oriented. Shatner was a better lead, though in his pilot.
     
  17. Maurice

    Maurice ATARI CX5200 Premium Member

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    @Harvey has looked through the production paperwork and it doesn't actually appear that anyone "balked". GR worked on terms for Hunter to come back and shoot some extra scenes. It looks like what happened was they got the 2nd pilot order and just abandoned the idea of making "The Cage" into a feature and that's all.
     
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  18. Foxhot

    Foxhot Commodore Commodore

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    It always makes me crazy when even the opening title is left until the film is over. I think up to 50 percent of the sci-fi flicks and thrillers do this now. Not that I don't know what I'm watching, but at least give us the courtesy of a title by the 15-minute mark. It's distracting otherwise. First four films I know of which did this, in reverse order, were THE LAST ACTION HERO, ROBOCOP 2, APOCALYPSE NOW and BRING ME THE HEAD OF ALFREDO GARCIA.
     
  19. Foxhot

    Foxhot Commodore Commodore

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    Every great show seems to have one. Even some of the not-so-great, SHEILA MATTHEWS.
     
  20. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    The 1956 Around the World in 80 Days had no opening titles of any kind, so that may have been the first film to do it.