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The Cage


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Report this Jul. 17 2010, 5:55 am

The Cage ( was Star Trek's original pilot episode, featuring Jeffery Hunter as Captain Christopher Pike and Majel Barret as the enigmatic "Number One."  The pilot was rejected by the studio on the grounds that it was "too cerebral" (and also too forward-thinking, with a female in a strong leadership role.  Or, as Spock aptly said, "THE WOMEN!!").

For all the elements in The Cage that made it into TOS, there were at least as many that didn't, making it a unique and intriguing glimpse into what Star Trek could have been.  So let's get the conversation started:  Do you think Star Trek should have stuck closer to The Cage, or are you glad it didn't?


Westward » A daily comic following the lives and adventures of deep space explorers.


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Report this Jul. 17 2010, 6:16 am

The first season of STAR TREK went through a lot of growing pains,
similiar to what's seen in THE CAGE. It took them a while to get
Spock's makeup right and characterisation. To get the costumes right.
Uhura was given more to do, to start, but that stopped. Bones wasn't
that important, to start ... What I'm saying is that while THE CAGE
introduced some elements that seem "fresh" retrospectively, even if
Pike stayed Captain, I don't see how the series could've retained
everything form the pilot.


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Report this Jul. 17 2010, 7:13 am

TOS started with a group of interesting (if somewhat stereotyped) characters, and for a variety of reasons, the Kirk/Spock/Bones trinity ended up forming a clear nucleus.

In a similar way, The Cage presented a cast of characters that had intriguing possibilities: The introspective and self-critical Captain Pike; Number One, torn between people's perspective of her and her perspective of herself; the inscrutable Mr Spock, more emotional than he would later be, but distinctly strange; the down-to-earth and paternal doctor, the conflicted Yeoman...

It would have been interesting to see how these relationships would have consolidated if they had been allowed to grow. The interplay in The Cage was there, but it was embryonic.

The Logician

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Report this Jul. 17 2010, 11:59 am

I would have liked to see more of Number One. She is a fascinating character. But that kind of smart and strong woman character was obviously too far ahead of 1964. Glad that she got a very good comic book with Byrne's "Crew".


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Report this Jul. 17 2010, 7:06 pm

I just watched this today. What a great episode.


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Report this Jul. 19 2010, 12:44 pm

I just watched it today( both B&W and color) for the very first time! What an interesting look at the earliest incarnation of Trek! I'm glad that Star Trek went the way it did, though. That Adam and Eve thing at the end was just funny!


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Report this Jul. 29 2010, 8:07 am

"The Cage" is one of my favorite episodes of Star Trek, with "The Menagerie" a close second for obvious reasons. If anyone's interested, I have created my own version of "The Menagerie" using all the footage from "The Cage" that wasn't used in that episode. You can watch it here:

Hope you enjoy. I also have an extended version of "The Trouble With Tribbles/Trials And Tribble-Ations". Check it out.

NuTrek sucks targ booty!


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Report this Jul. 29 2010, 5:05 pm

the Cage was a great episode, but it had too much of a western look. I understand that Gene wanted it to be a wagon train to the stars, but I believe that the version of Star Trek that the Cage represented would have eventually evolve into the Star Trek that we have now. I do wonder what Captain the Pike would have been. I still see similarities between Pike and Kirk, even in the Cage. All in all, I do not think that the Cage's Star Trek would have been popular as the Star Trek of today. How would Pike handle Balok? Would Pike followed Spock's advice and killed Gary Mitchell on the spot?

It would be interesting to see how Pike matched wits with the Romulan Commander in Balance of Terror or Khan in Space Seed. Finally, I would like to see what Chris Pike would have done if Matt Decker had tried to taker over the Enterprise under his command. that, I paid good money to see...

I always party at Starbase 63!



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Report this Aug. 02 2010, 2:18 pm

Quote: WestwardComic @ Jul. 17 2010, 5:55 am

Do you think Star Trek should have stuck closer to The Cage?

If they had, TOS would never have been made. And we wouldn't be here having this discussion! *laughs*



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Report this Sep. 07 2010, 7:38 am

Ha I remember when I first watched this episode, I saw Number One and, (because of her uncanny resemblance to Nurse Chapel OBVIOUSLY lol), I figured they were the same person and that this was her back in the day- and then went on to assume that this must explain Nurse Chapel's seemingly intense infatuation with Spock, having worked with him for a very long time, during Capt Pike's reign over the Enterprise.  So, so wrong  hahhaha


What a great episode though-I kinda wish TOS was more Cage'ish, although this is coming from a modern standpoint, and honestly the Cage seemed like it was a newer Star Trek episode when really it was definitely an oldy.  I don't know if the viewers would have been ready for it back in the 60's.  Perhaps it is good that TOS is what it is.  

"Vulcan has no moon, Uhura."


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Report this Sep. 07 2010, 9:55 am

By elements, are we just talking about the characters? Or other things like props and uniforms?

The Cage was filmed one year prior to Where No Man Has Gone Before, there were bound to be some changes. Some changes were demanded by the studio, they thought The Cage was too cerebral, they wanted Number One (a female first officer) replaced, etc. Jeffrey Hunter changed his mind about doing television after he filmed the pilot, had the original pilot been picked up, he probably wouldn't have signed on to the show, but had he, he might have left after the first season. Had he not left after the first season and completed all three, he wouldn't have been able to do the motion pictures or animated series, he died of a stroke in May of 1969. Spock's character might not have developed the way it did if Pike had remained Captain. Nimoy has stated that Pike was played by Hunter as a serious character, like Picard, this gave his character nothing to play off of. There was also no tension between John Hoyt's Dr. Boyle and Nimoy's Mr. Spock. I think things turned out for the best with Hunter leaving and Hoyt's character not continuing into the first episode. But i really do like Hunter's Pike and would have liked to see more of that character on screen.


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Report this Sep. 09 2010, 10:27 am



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Report this Sep. 12 2010, 3:16 pm

Pike and co have gotten some coverage in several ST novels,dating back to the early 90's, such as ''The Rift'', in which an Admiral Jose Tyler comes aboard the Enterprise(refit)to be part of a return mission to a world Pike and co visited before via the title anomaly, and herein we get some scenes aboard from back then. ''Legacy'' is a tale about a pirate that Spock and Pike encountered, and which he must face down in temporary command of Enterprise while severely ill.  Pike as done by Jeffrey Hunter was a different type of commander, but, his devotion to crew, and tendency to be hard on himself was echoed at times in Kirk. I know the comics have done some things with Chris in recent times, but, I don't keep up with those. I do now recall that not long ago there was at least one novel focusing on Pike, and in an alternate reality story a bout two years ago, one involving an older T'Pol and he.I'd say also, Susan Oliver was a lovely lady; she was the first iconic st female character.I'd like to develop something for she and the Abrams Pike perhaps in some fanfic.

''If I were captain, i'd open every crack in the universe, and peek inside, just like Captain Janeway does''-Kes, ''The Cloud''


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Report this Sep. 13 2010, 5:06 pm

I wonder what it would look like now if they did a remake of this episode

"In the valley of the blind, the one eyed man is king."

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Report this Sep. 29 2010, 11:19 am

I liked the guy who was excited that, "we broke the light barrier" or however he said it. I wanted one of the cast aways to say, "dude, we're not THAT old!"

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