OK, Animated series segue. I hate the Animated Series. I think they are awful, Rich.
So that means once we’re done with the regular seasons of TOS re-watch, we won’t jump to the Animated series? We’ll go instead to either the games (25th Anniversary, Judgement Rites) or the movies (TMP, Wrath of Khan, Search for Spock, The Voyage Home, The Final Frontier, Undiscovered Country, Generations). We can decide which when we get closer to that date in 2020.
I would consider watching the Animated Series after the main run is over. How many are there? I only barely remember these from my childhood.
Oh, I’ll do it. There are a few that I dig. This is just carryover from a discussion Rich and I had that was veering into Star Trek TOS geek land in another thread.
Like 16ish. 20 minutes a pop.
Apparently there’s 22 of them.
That’s nothing. I vote we do it.
Absolutely. They are bite sized. And on the whole, really cheesy.
And were the original series casts only Emmy!
Seriously, that floors me.
Pure snobbery. It’s why The Cage wasn’t picked up. IMO. Anti-Sci Fi bias.
Now I want Cheetos.
Menagerie Part 2.
Like I said last week, my only quibble with how they framed this episode is that they revealed too much at the end, so I wasn’t exactly waiting with bated breath for Part 2. I already knew that basically mind-altering aliens had a hold of Captain Pike, and that going back to the planet was somehow going to let him get his life back.
But I have to admit, what unfolded in Part 2 was quite a nice episode. The framing of the court martial lets you care about the fate of Spock, even if you’re no longer as curious about what happens to Captain Pike. However, Captain Pike’s captivity immediately turns pretty interesting as the episode starts. As his mind is manipulated, he fights back against his captors as best he can.
One thing I failed to mention last week that really caught my attention is that Spock was the Science Officer on the Enterprise back then, and the first officer was this lady who showed even less emotion than Spock. Captain’s going down to the colony? No.1 doesn’t care. Sure, I’ll watch the ship. Whatever. Colony was fake? Whatever, honey badger don’t care. This week, she transports down and is presented as a potential mate for the Captain, to propagate the human species in captivity. Whatever. No. 1 don’t care. Oh hey look, I have a phaser in my hand? I’m going to overload it and kill us all rather than live in captivity. No.1 don’t care stupid aliens.
We’ve never had a character like that on Star Trek before, and I mean, going forward all the way to Voyager and Enterprise and Discovery. So I was quite intrigued. In a way I’m glad that original pilot wasn’t picked up, because you know they would have changed her character over time. They would have shown her smile at some point, or pay attention to the people around her more, and it would have ruined everything. All the uniqueness of the character would have been gone. She’d be a human like any other.
A couple of other things of note. In order to get the Captain horny, the aliens tried a few things, and when it was time to pull out all the stops, they chose to entice him with a green dancer. A particular quirk they picked up from his brain? Pike is turned on by green women!
The other scene that really made me laugh out loud was when the away team from the Enterprise was beaming inside the rock that they couldn’t penetrate. And only two of them were able to successfully go down. I was thinking “oh, I wonder if the aliens blocked the others?” but before I could even finish that thought, Spock jumps forward and with great emotion shouts “THE WOMEN!” Oh shit, that’s right, they blocked only the men from transporting down. I guess the show really wanted to make that clear right away. :)
Overall a good two-part episode. I’m not sure if I would have cared as much with the original pilot, but with the framing device they came up with, it was always an intriguing episode throughout and I really enjoyed it.
And it warms my heart that No. 1 is out there somewhere, perhaps Captain of her own vessel, not giving a shit, and taking names.
All right kiddies, on with part 2! I see The Rock(8) got the jump on me so let’s keep the ball rolling.
It may be worth pointing out that I’ve never seen The Cage, so I don’t know what else remains of that episode that didn’t make it into this one, but I’m going to speculate that I wouldn’t have liked it nearly as much as The Menagerie. The whole alien captivity thing would probably have worn out its welcome as the sole A plot, but being part of the mystery of what happened with Pike and the Enterprise years ago, and why it was so important that Spock get them back to Talos IV, it’s interesting. Perhaps that speaks poorly of my attention span that I need various simuli to keep me going in the episode but I feel like it was an improvement.
But part 2 just continues to flesh out the captivity of Captain Pike, and the reason why the Talosians imprisoned him in the first place. We find out more about Vina, the girl that Pike reasonably deduces is an illusion of the Talosians designed to keep him pliable, but turns out to be a real girl that the Talosians hoped to mate with Pike to, uh, I don’t know exactly! Were they planning to rebuild a society with two breedable adults? I don’t think the Talosians understand genetics very well!
So they send Pike and Vina down a funhouse memory lane, first going to Baldur’s Gate to get attacked by a Kaylar, which roars like a giant monster but just turns out to be a dude in furs and bad teeth. Hey, budgets, I get it. Then Vina gets to pretend to be an Orion slave girl, where apparently green body paint doubles her seductivity modifier. Meanwhile the crew of the Enterprise brings down a big phaser cannon and fails to destroy the door to the alien zoo. Or do they?
Meanwhile in the future, or the present, the current Enterprise crew are enjoying watching The Cage. Finally the episode wraps without credits, which has to be some kind of violation of SAG or DGA rules, and naturally enough ask Spock what the deal is, and where’s the goddamn popcorn the Commodore ordered a half hour ago? Then we find out the Commodore was NEVER EVEN THERE. Kinda spooky! Then everything wraps up conveniently, when the Commodore was actually able to see the whole thing on his TV back at starbase whatever, and you know what, never mind the court martial and death penalty, just do whatever the heck you want, I’m going to bed. So Pike and Vina get to live happily ever after as imaginary not-ugly people.
I don’t think I’ve ever seen an episode that was in such a hurry to just be done already. I mean I liked it overall, but once you realize the Talosians can pretty much do anything because they can make you see and hear and feel whatever they want, there go the stakes. And I’m left with so many questions! How did they make the Commodore illusion act convincingly enough that nobody ever suspected? Just from fishing through Kirk’s memory of the man? How well did they know each other? Also, why did Captain Pike struggle so much with going to Talos IV in the first episode, answering “no, no” to every question asked, then at the end of this one when asked if he wants to go back to the planet, responds “yes”? Was he just worried about Spock potentially getting the death penalty for smuggling him back? Also, even if Spock had good intentions, he totally went AFK and stole a Federation starship, and everyone’s just like, Spock, you old scamp!
Anyway, I feel like they bobbled the resolution a bit but I still liked the episode overall. Speaking of Commodore Mendez, I still think about Kirk mentioning back in the first episode that they’d have to delay getting “jose” his “hot peppers” while they went down to wrestle with the salt vampire. I like that they maintained the character continuity into this episode.
P.S. oh yeah, the Talosians are literally buttheads -
LOL. Well done Sir. Great summary of that scene.
I guess I don’t really know, but I thought they used all of the Cage pilot to make The Menagerie. I’ve seen the standalone pilot and I don’t recall anything in it that doesn’t show up in the latter.
Also, too, why commodore? I mean, they can do what they want, but commodore isn’t really a rank; it’s a title given to the senior ship’s captain in a detachment of ships without an admiral to command them. Maybe they thought it sounded more exotic than Admiral Pike?
He went with Fleet Captain Robert April in notes even earlier.
Hornblower. Pure Hornblower, Scott. That’s why.
Sure, but Hornblower was a commodore in circumstances where you have a commodore.
Am I my Roddenberry’s Keeper?
“Your agonizer, Mr. Roddenberry.”
Though I admit it’s nowhere near as wacky as the ranks in BSG.