December 9, 2015
So I guess you could say this is a landmark of sorts: Star Trek’s first clips episode. Two landmarks! It’s also the first two-parter. In The Menagerie, the Enterprise is called to a starbase (via a message no one can verify and may have been faked) where we’re re-united with Captain Christopher Pike of unaired original series pilot, The Cage. Due to a terrible accident Pike is now disfigured, confined to a hoverchair, and unable to communicate except for a blinky-light that only allows him to say “yes” or “no.” But don’t worry, Captain Pike. Spock has a plan. He’s going to steal the Enterprise and kidnap you on a mutinous six-day interstellar road trip!
Mostly this episode is a contrivance to allow the writers to fill space and catch up a production gap, and this two-parter is principally composed of an onboard court-martial where Spock explains exactly why he’s stolen the flagship and how the whole thing was really the only logical course of action by screening records of that long-ago mission that resulted in the ship’s destination, Talos IV, being marked as forbidden to Starfleet vessels.
The setup is, of course, a little contrived, but it does a surprisingly good job of feeling like a solid, genuine episode despite being an obvious clips vehicle. Also: Spock is the best at mutinous starship theft. This plan is amazing. Spock thought of everything, up to and including the fact that Jim Kirk is definitely stupid enough to hop into a shuttle and follow them despite the laundry-list of obvious reasons why this is a terrible idea more likely to end in his terrible suffocating demise, adrift in space, than actually catching up to the Enterprise.
It also allowed us to fast-forward through a good 75% of the episode, which we all agreed is the best way to watch The Cage.
June 23, 2017
June 14, 2017