CBS has chosen the weekend before the release of the new Star Trek movie to put out the remastered version of the original Star Trek pilot "The Cage" (check local listings). This is the last new episode to air in syndication for the Star Trek Remastered project, and so we now present you with our final TOS episode review.
REVIEW: THE CAGE
by Jeff Bond
[note: review and caps based on Season 3 Star Trek Remastered DVD]
Star Trek wouldn’t exist without “The Cage.” In fact, that applies right down to JJ Abrams’ new Star Trek, which takes one of its key characters not from the familiar Enterprise crew headed by Kirk and Spock, but by their predecessor, Captain Christopher Pike.
Pike was the captain of the Enterprise in the original Star Trek pilot—in effect, he was the lead character in a show that did not sell to the network and never got made. It was Gene Roddenberry’s second attempt at a Trek pilot, “Where No Man Has Gone Before,” written by Samuel Peeples, that sold the series. So Pike’s Enterprise might have been some obscure footnote to the Star Trek phenomenon had Roddenberry and his production team not been so short on time and money that they had to write a story around the “Cage” footage to create a special two-part episode, “The Menagerie,” in the original series’ first season.
In “The Cage,” Pike’s Enterprise picks up a distress signal from survivors of a spaceship wreck on Talos IV, and Pike takes the Enterprise to the planet to rescue them. Pike is a starship captain in the midst of an identity crisis—he’s weary of command, obsessed with what he sees as his own mistakes and flawed decisions in running the ship. He’s tired of getting people killed and wants to chuck the whole thing—as he tells kindly ship’s doctor Boyce, maybe he’ll retire to a peaceful life on Earth, or go into business on the frisky Orion colonies. Those Green Orion Slave women aren’t going to sell themselves.
Boyce makes a mean space martini
Once the ship arrives at Talos IV Pike and his landing party find a shipwrecked crew, mostly old men, but with one comely blonde woman named Vina. She tells Pike he’s a “perfect specimen” and after they both disappear into a rock outcropping Spock and the remaining landing party men realize “there are no survivors on Talos IV…this is all some sort of trap.” The trappers are the Talosians, classic big-brained aliens who communicate by telepathy, control illusions they can project into the minds of their subjects—and who are a dying race desperate to repopulate their world, even if their own race won’t be the future Talosians. Pike is set up with Vina to be the new Adam and Eve, and Pike experiences a series of illusions that take him back to his old life, to a high stakes battle he was involved in, and to the possibilities of an exotic new life—all to help him bond with the ultimately pathetic human woman Vina.
“The Cage” has always made fascinating viewing for fans. It’s Star Trek in fetal form, very different from what the show would become yet with most of the familiar elements in place: the Enterprise, transporters, warp drive, Spock… yet the differences stick out. The computer produces paper print-outs; a transporter technician wears glasses; a couple strolls through the corridors in bathing suits and Bermuda shorts. This is the Star Trek that was “too cerebral” for NBC, an oft-repeated description that’s a bit funny given the gigantic alien brains on display in every scene with the Talosians. Still, despite some moments of humor and character interplay, this Trek is notably colder, more closely related to Golden Age hard SF as well as its clear antecedant, MGM’s 1956 space opera Forbidden Planet. Less than 10 years after the C57-D’s flight to Altair IV, some things have changed: the Enterprise crew is co-ed if not yet quite multi-racial, although early on Captain Pike still grumbles that he’s not used to having a woman on the bridge. Roddenberry clearly loved the titillation factor of a mixed-sex crew, something that reverberated throughout the series to come. But Christopher Pike doesn’t have Jim Kirk’s mix of discomfort and appreciation for the opposite sex. He’s just uncomfortable. In retrospect, Jeffrey Hunter is better in the role than I’d remembered—he’s realistic and convincing as a commander, reticent yet believable unloading on his ship’s doctor. It’s only later when he has to start bellowing the Roddenberrian pronouncements about freedom and human nature that he comes off stiff and mechanistic. His earlier reticence seems derived from character—Pike is entirely bereft of Kirk’s sense of fun. He’s a reluctant commander ready to turn in his tunic and leave the service. You can see how Hunter might have worked for the first few episodes of the series, but it’s hard to imagine how he could have pulled off the wild theatricality required of Shatner in episodes like “The Enemy Within” or the freewheeling, sometimes rigid, sometimes playful quality Kirk had.
Leonard Nimoy’s Spock is, of course, only partially formed here. His makeup is haphazard—his hair strangely mussed, eyebrows bushy and angled sharply upward, his precise diction not quite worked out (you have to wonder if Zach Quinto’s performance in the new movie echoes this intentionally or accidentally). And he smiles. Majel Barrett’s Number One has some of his unemotional qualities, but she remains an opaque character that Roddenberry evidently preferred to leave mysterious. John Hoyt’s Philip Boyce too is little more than a typical Fifties-style rocketship scientist (a character type Hoyt played many times), with only his early “doctor/bartender” scene with Pike hinting at the dynamic Roddenberry would get from DeForest Kelley’s Bones McCoy. Laurel Goodwin’s Yeoman Colt is adorable—a wide-eyed teenager compared to Grace Lee Whitney’s worldly Yeoman Rand. But her character role is the same—an attractive young woman to distract and tempt an overworked starship captain. It is interesting, however, to see how Colt and Number One are kept strongly involved in the story’s final minutes, with Number One herself making the brutal decision to end all of their lives by overloading their laser weapons.
Spock isn’t Spock yet in "The Cage"
“The Cage” has always existed in truncated versions since its original “airings” at science fiction conventions before finally turning up in special showings in Star Trek’s syndication runs. The new “restoration” looks as gorgeous as any of the original series transfers, with fantastic color (for the first time I noticed that Number One has her nails done) and detail. Most of the “lost” footage is reinserted fairly seamlessly. There’s Pike’s first creepy sight of his fellow captives in the “zoo”—mostly Project Unlimited “bears” borrowed from The Outer Limits, although seen in color here for the first time. The tusked “wild boar” alien that Meg Wylie’s Keeper transforms into later in the show is sighted first, adding some context to its later appearance—there’s also a “bird man” (shown with the film running backwards to give it an odd, alien quality) and the shadow of a “spider-thing” mentioned in the script but not shown. There are also some interesting added bits of conversation—Spock theorizing that the Talosians are studying Pike to see “how human beings are put together”—another line that echoes in the story’s sickening payoff of Vina’s plotline. Another nice, mordantly amusing touch is Vina’s code talk about her “headaches” when Pike refuses to play by the script when he’s transported via illusion back to Old Earth—and Pike’s line that any children they might have would likely inherit the same headaches. And when power goes off on the Enterprise there’s Spock’s line explaining that “without batteries we’d lose gravitation.” It’s all the hallmarks of an exceptionally well-thought-out story and series concept, right down to the sly humor of the Talosians pointing out Pike’s “primitive fear/threat reaction” to their superiority. What “The Cage” ultimately lacks is the warmth and humanity that made the best episodes of the series to come such gripping drama. Vina’s situation is tragic, and Susan Oliver is effective at putting across the idea of a woman desperate to trade her freedom and dignity for companionship. But that’s just it—it’s an idea, and “The Cage” is more “fascinating” than dramatic.
This was the last Star Trek Remastered episode to be done and as such it has a strange, Moebius strip relationship to the final third season episode “Turnabout Intruder.” In that episode the Enterprise flies off into a picturesque magenta nebula, and that same nebula makes a cameo appearance here in a brand new, retooled and retro title sequence for “The Cage” (the original pilot didn’t have the conventional Sixties TV “teaser” but opened with its title sequence). The nebula adds color to the sequence, although the effects technicians behind the original title sequence could never have composited the Enterprise over a gauzy nebula with this kind of success. There’s a spectacular movement into the episode proper as a side angle of Pike’s Enterprise (nacelle spikes and all) slides into the familiar down angle shot zooming in on the ship’s bridge, with a beautifully smooth transition into the live action bridge, just as if the camera were moving through a clear dome on top of the ship. “The Cage” is not an effects-heavy episode but CBS-D makes some interesting contributions and decisions, including aspects they elect NOT to change. As Pike has his crew scan ahead, debris and asteroid rubble flashes past the screen—CBS-D handles this as well as a digital take on the odd screen “focusing” effect as the ship moves through a radio wave (which is a rather odd idea in itself).
Later in Pike’s quarters we see the stars moving past the ship through the window next to the Captain’s bed. When Pike decides to go to warp and head for Talos IV we get the first, decidedly offbeat depiction of warp drive—with the bridge going “transparent” and giving us a view of the stars rushing past the actors and set to the tune of Alexander Courage’s theme music. There’s no digital manipulation here but it’s a fascinating visual idea that probably would have driven viewers crazy had it been employed in every warp drive scene over the course of the series. In the first cut to an exterior shot in the sequence the Pike Enterprise drifts close to the camera in profile, giving us a good view of the spiked engine nacelles with their oddly textured red forward domes.
Stars in window is a nice touch
Talos IV is depicted as a beautiful emerald world with gray and white clouds, much more in keeping with the banded, multicolored planets seen throughout the original series. This is no “Earthlike planet” as depicted so often by CBS-D yet it’s convincing, with viewscreen close-ups that seem to show impact craters among the geography. There’s a nice shot of the Enterprise sliding into orbit from an unusual angle, gradually tilting from left to right as it aligns itself with the planet’s equator. The planet exterior shows up in a well composited shot in the briefing room as Spock, Number One and their officers discuss the Talosians and Pike’s kidnapping. Interestingly, the signature effects shot in “The Cage”—and indeed one of the signature images from the Star Trek series, is not changed: Albert Whitlock’s spectacular castle painting of the surface of Rigel VII. If there’s any work done on this image it’s very subtle clean-up, and it’s great to see this beautiful sci fi planetscape retained.
Pike’s next illusion takes place on Earth near Mojave, and CBS-D does a great job of finessing the fairly simple backdrop painting used in the scene of his “picnic” with Vina. There’s a focus change and a great deal of rotoscoping with the set’s trees, and Jeffrey Hunter, placed very effectively in front of the digital matte painting.
Another great matte from CBS-D
While an early bridge data screen uses the original composites and information, CBS-D adds new material (much of it in color) for the late-in-the-game “fly swatting” scene in which the Talosians begin to rapidly draw information from the Enterprise computers (a sequence duplicated almost verbatim in Star Trek – The Motion Picture). It does look better but given the new schematics of space shuttles and other NASA equipment you’d think CBS-D could have thrown in at least one post-1978 piece of technology as an easter egg. It’s a nice touch, though, to end the episode with a reverse of the pull-in shot from the opening, this time pulling away from the bridge as the Enterprise sails away. There was a lengthy series of shots in the original presentation showing the Enterprise moving through space and we do get a few good shots of the Pike Enterprise making some final maneuvers before the retro end credits finish.
CBS-D also touches up a few of the Talosian illusion transitions, particularly late in the game where they add the rippling dissolve effect associated with these transitions over the monster the Talosian leader transforms into when Pike has it pinned down on the floor of the cage. There’s also work done on the final reveal of Vina’s actual appearance. Like McCoy’s healing from the plague in “Miri,” this was done the old fashioned way that can trace itself back to Dr. Jeckyll and Mr. Hyde and The Wolfman: makeup applications that are modified while the actor stands still, film is run, and the footage is later dissolved into each successive stage. It was the only way to do such effects before the age of latex bladder effects and later CG, and often the actors moved during shooting or the abrupt changes between makeup stages spoiled the illusion. Thankfully CBS-D avoids further dating the look with any outrageous CG morphs, instead carefully blending the transitions between shots to help the effect along.
All in all this is marvelous, subtle work, likely done in a rush as the Trek Remastered project came to a close. While many people will have seen this episode on the Remastered DVDs, it’s interesting to put the episode out in syndication now, so close to the premiere of the new film—a film that, amazingly, features Christopher Pike in action again.
Remastered v Original
Looks Good! No detail is too small. First?
So, now that TOS-R is finished, what’s next?
I just want to thank Jeff Bond for all the great reviews over the years…I always learn something and see things from a new light through his eyes.
And I want to thank all the other reviewers, like Daren, Mark, Jason, Dennis and all the others
And thanks to Matt for all the work putting these articles together and to Kelvington for the vid caps and anyone else I am forgetting.
And the TOSR coverage isnt completely over…there are still more blurays to do!
Oh and I konw there is some audio sync issues with the video…my fault…will try and get matt to help fix that
I just can’t but the CG Enterprise they use. it just looks too smooth and clearly computer generated. The Defiant in Enterprise (In a Mirror, Darkly) looks better to me.
I like the clean up
I would have liked to see a few eps with Hunter in charge then maybe Season 2 starring The Shat. Would have made for a great five year mission.
Those red domes are the Bussard Collectors. Why the spikes? Dunno. Dumb Idea.
For those that don’t know: Bussard Collectors are huge electromagnets that create a magnetic field similar to the Van Allen belts that protect the ship from radiation while collecting Hydrogen/Deuterium/Tritium for the matter/antimatter collectors.
This is why the engines are not rockets…
#6 So, the nacelles pull from the Enterprise instead of pushing it forward?
Dang, I wish I could see this full episode on TV, but the local TV station here shows the remastered episodes at “random”, some weekends they show it, some they don’t, more often they don’t, even though TV Guide lists it at 12 midnight on that channel every Saturday night…
Maybe we will start seeing TNG-R….
I’m not so sure about the stars in the window. From what I see on the compared pictures the hull might have been that thick – that is why you can’t see stars from that angle.
There’s one error that no amount of remastering is going to fix: Vina claim that “They found me in the wreckage, dying, a lump of flesh. They rebuilt me. Everything works. But they had never seen a human. They had no guide for putting me back together.” It’s an interesting idea–but it made sense only in Roddenberry’s original script, where the Talosians were supposed to look like crabs or spiders. Having this kind of alien on a 60s TV budget would have been too expensive, so they went with the humanoid Talosians we know today. But the Talosians are put together basically the same way as humans, so they really shouldn’t have been confused about how to fix Vina, should they? Moral of the story: revise carefully.
On the other hand, maybe she meant that the Talosians had never seen a human as drop dead gorgeous as Susan Oliver’s Vina, and they couldn’t help botching the job . . . :-)
Would have been great to see a photo of Captain Archer (around 5 minues into the FX clip) when the Enterprise’s computer records were being scanned.
Guy Walking into Turbolift: played by C.G. Iteration.
Now, we just need a few Trek novels about his back story.
It looks that, from the dome shot of the bridge, that the bridge stations are too “centered”…note the position of the turbolift doors thru the dome, and the position of that little addition to the back of the bridge dome on the ships exterior. Makes more sense (to me) that the ‘lift doors on the interior should be aligned with this exterior landmark…
Yeah, that actually would’ve been a nice touch.
#6. He Who Shall NOT be Named
Why the Spikes on the Nacelle Caps???, I believe Khan said it best when he said “It is very cold in Space.”
“I like this ship, it’s Excited!!”
Sometimes i laugh when i think of G Roddenberry as a visionary. The Trek concept was fantastic, the communicator/cell phones, big report pads that Kirk was always signing/ laptops, transporters, etc. but he couldn’t for see that the military would give the XO position to a woman in under two hundred years, there’s even a third season episode where someone sais Star Fleet dosn’t allow for woman CO’s. Seems a bit odd for someone who has the rep of being such a great visionary.
Where is the remastered shot of the Phaser Cannon trying to blast thru the doors?
Eric, look at the age Gene was writing from. Women were just barely entering the work force, and to great resistance. They were making smaller wages and doing, more or less, secretarial jobs. There were still very strong feelings about black and white people being integrated. Racism and sexism was rampant. It was time when Number One, Lt. Uhura, and Janice Lester were outlandish concepts. Gene knew that, challenged it, but at the same time knew that wouldn’t change overnight.
His statements that women were still not starship commanders could be taken as a dig at current society, just like the various Vietnam parables made during season two.
Of course, then Enterprise had to screw that up and make Archer’s ex girlfriend a captain. But what didn’t Enterprise screw up?
Not a fan..the new effects seem out of place and weird…I don’t like remastered stuff, gimme the orignal
5 DAYS!!! Huzzah!!!
17 – Star Trek was a product of its time, not our time. 19 touched on that. Moreover, Turnabout Intruder, while bear Gene’s name in the credits, was produced on Fred Freiberger’s watch as line producer and was designed to tell a specific story. There is no evidence necessarily that women as a whole were excluded from starship command duty, but it’s definitely indicated that Janice Lester’s self-destructive personality may have occluded her from serving in Starfleet altogether.
In fact, one of the fights Gene had with NBC in pitching this first pilot was that they demanded that he get rid of both Number One as XO and Mr. Spock. And, as Gene put it, “I couldn’t save both of them, so I gave Mr. Spock the woman’s logical, unemotional qualities, created the Vulcan bac kground and so on and Leonard Nimoy stayed on the show. I then married the woman, but I obviously couldn’t have done it legally the other way around.”
16 – Nacelle cap spikes, the higher bridge dome, larger deflector dish and no sparkles on the ramscoops were part of the original Enterprise’s pilot design. You’ll also see that in the “Where No Man Has Gone Before” Enterprise.
6 – there was some deliberate vagueness about which part of the ship was the “rocket engines” Spock referred to when trying to blast the ship out of orbit to escape Talos IV. But yes, the original Enterprise model was shot in 1964 and some of the later special effects or nacelle cap designs may not have been available. I do agree, though, that putting the same antenna spikes on an engine component that was in the center of the big dish was somewhat strange. “Spike TV” anyone?
Personally, the other thing I like about moving from both of the pilots into the regular season was the fact that the crew got even more diversified ethnically by the time the first episode hit the screen. Other than Number One and Spock, the crew of the Enterprise – other than boasting an Irish/Hispanic character in Jose Tyler – was still largely white. Montgomery Scott and Mr. Sulu were added in the second pilot and Lt. Uhura made it onboard during the makeover phase when more color was added to the bridge and season 1 got into full swing. Still, more of the more “colorful” supporting characters in the second pilot all came from the ship (maybe a budgetary concern) and were decidedly anglo with Gary Mitchell, Dehner, Lee (I’m being strangled by a piece of the Lost in Space set) Kelso and the precursor to Janice Rand, Yeoman Smith.
Of course, just having Uhura, Sulu, Scotty, Spock and later on, Chekov, was ground breaking… and a far larger endorsement of diversity than anyone in makeup or a rubber suit could ever be. Although, my heart still goes pit a pat for Yvonne Craig in the green body paint.
CHECK THE CIRCUIT!
CANT BE THE SCREEN THEN!
lol shouting Spock….
#19 :: “…Of course, then Enterprise had to screw that up and make Archer’s ex girlfriend a captain. But what didn’t Enterprise screw up? …”
Hey, I don’t think that’s particularly fair. I personally loved the fact that Hernandez commanded the NX-02 Columbia even if it did violate one… small… canon… detail. And Enterprise as a whole had some really fine moments. Season four was excellent, if you ask me, and the special effects and CGI were second to none in the franchise.
#12 :: Haha, yeah, that would’ve been somethin’. xD A little nod to those who were brave enough to watch both TOS and ENT. (I personally adored both to death.)
‘Visionary’ does not imply perfect foresight.
Would love to see a TNG-R.
And at the risk of getting my teeth kicked in, a TAS-R.
19. Telly1138 – May 2, 2009
Of course, then Enterprise had to screw that up and make Archer’s ex girlfriend a captain. But what didn’t Enterprise screw up?
Hey, Enterprise didn’t screw up when it came to picking a theme song! ;)
(*tongue planted firmly in cheek*)
Actually they could get two birds with one stone, and make TAS-R into that animated series from about 10 years ago that never got off the ground.
It makes far more sense to take Janice Lester’s comments as part of her delusional rage.
“You’re not being accepted for Command Training.”
“WHY, because I’m a woman?!”
“No, because you’re nuttier than an Andorian Fruit Cake…”
Pause…”It’s because I’m a woman isn’t it!”
Enterprise didn’t screw that up…it just confirmed why Lester wasn’t accepted for Command Training…because she has what doctors would call…issues…
I’ve always figured that the Enterprise’s nacelle spikes were some kind of early sensor equipment for that particular mark of Warp Nacelle. Later on, as the technology improved, they were no longer needed and removed.
Could also be a test flight rig, left over from the days when the Enterprise was one of the two Constitution prototypes…
#26 :: “…Hey, Enterprise didn’t screw up when it came to picking a theme song! ;)
(*tongue planted firmly in cheek*) …”
Pfffft. Believe it or not, I absolutely loved that song, especially the Season 3-4 remix. And I loved the end credits song. And I keep hearing my mom humming along when I watch it at 4 PM after school every day, hahaaa.
17. Eric: I suspect that’s because Gene Roddenberry was doing these things less as some great ‘vision’ than out of devilment. It would make waves and get him noticed!
You gotta be kidding
One thing that very few people ever focus on when assessing “The Cage” is Susan Oliver’s performance.
Jeff gives her a nod when he says that “Susan Oliver is effective….” but it goes far beyond that; she’s what makes the whole show work. Her Vina is very intelligently played, and very human: by turns vulnerable, devious, seductive, playful, frustrated, despairing, and sometimes just downright petty (her hissy fit when confronted with Number One and Colt is hilarious), she’s the only character in the story we can truly feel for and empathize with. (I dare anyone to remain unmoved when, during the Mojave dream sequence, she bursts into tears, unable to carry her burden any more.) She’s also surprisingly good at taking the enormous chunks of plot exposition that Roddenberry stuffed into her mouth, and making them work as believable dialogue spoken by a human being. (Gene had his brilliances, but I’m afraid this was always one of his failings — a great drinking game for STAR TREK: THE MOTION PICTURE would be counting how many times Bill Shatner simply STOPS to explain the plot to the other characters. “We’re locked in an alien vessel, three hours from Earth orbit…”)
Pike is the hero, and “The Cage” is supposed to be about his journey back from disillusionment, but Hunter is (as Jeff noted) simply not a strong enough actor to carry it off….and while the rest of the cast tries very hard, they’re simply not given much to do beyond keeping the plot moving forward. In the final analysis, “The Cage” is Vina’s story, Vina’s tragedy, and Susan Oliver’s triumph. She was a hell of a lady, a hell of an actress, and she died too young.
To me the Cage is a great show. It gives us a bit of insight into Spock and his early years. I ca see that maybe Quinto and Nimoy used elements of that episode in the new Movie. With Spock smiling or being angry and of corse in those years he was just getting hi emotions under control. Should be interestijg to see how quinto does this in the Movie.
#34 :: That’s a thought, but also keep in mind that over the course of TOS, especially in later episodes, a flash of embarrassment would always cross his face whenever his emotions would show. We don’t really see that in The Cage.
“Hey, Enterprise didn’t screw up when it came to picking a theme song! ;)
(*tongue planted firmly in cheek*)”
Without that song, ENT might have gone 7 seasons. I’ve heard many complain that “Faith of the Heart” was a real channel-changer for those looking for real Star Trek.
#35… Agreed. Nimoy has stated several times that Spock’s character wasn’t really locked down when the pilot was shot; most of his backstory was not established until the show went into production. Nimoy has told the story, many times, of how he first got a handle on how to play Spock while shooting the first episode to go into production, “The Corbomite Maneuver.”
Even then, throughout the early part of the first season you can see Nimoy trying various approaches, and he even smiles noticeably several times without any sign of embarassment. (Check him out during Uhura’s musical number in “Charlie X,” and catch the sardonic grin on his face when he ushers Harry Mudd and his women into Kirk’s quarters…)
Have I mentioned I miss the days of this part of the site? Looking forward to the new stuff and Jeff’s good reviews. You always do a great job.
And after having watched this again recently….I realize how much great music Alexander Courage wrote inside this episode. We always cite his theme….. but man! He wrote some great cues in this one. That far out tuba puffing out those 16th note runs as Pike fights the alien to save himself and Susan Oliver. Who would have thought of using that instrumentation in a fight scene? And so effectively. All of his eerie cues also. They re-used a lot of Courage’s music from this episode. I never realized. He did good work.
TOS-R gave the Pike Enterprise something it didn’t have before.
The model used in the first pilot was not wired for lighting.
Not that the people at CBS didn’t do a fantastic job, I wonder if ILM would ever consider opening up a studio to work on television, think of how mind blowing some of those fx would be.
I cant wait to see this on blu-ray. As a teenager I used to find TOS boring as well especially The Cage, but I love it so much now, probably my favorite of the all the series. I am not sure how they are doing it this round but I wish it were on the season one disc set and not season three, in my opinion this should be the first episode #1 on season one, regardless of the fact the pilot was canceled, regardless of the fact TOS is the missions of captain Kirk, the Cage should be the first episode on disc one season one.
@ 2. P Technobabble. Lol TNG is next up. After watching season 1 of the original series on blu-ray may god I could not belive how “rich” it is, the color, sound, graphics. I could only imagine what TNG would look like with the million-dollar upgrade. DS9 and Voyager still look great and so does most of TNG, but still could use some cleanup. Mainly it is some of the planets that look terrible, very blurry. The thing I hate to loose is the model shots of the ship updated to all CG. The 1701 D looked great in the final episode of Enterprise but the scene of realism was missing because there was no model used. I know it is no longer practical, I mean with a model you still need to build it, set it up in a room, film it, edit it, where CG all that is done right on the computer screen but I still say using a model and throwing a layer of CG over top is the most realistic. I am expecting the new movie to change me opinion on that.
After watching Star Trek on DVD it’s hard to watch it on cable because so much quality is lost. Then I saw what Star Trek looked like when it was broadcast in the 60’s and 70’s and could not belive how horrible it looked compared to today’s cable broadcasting. But the step up to blu-ray, the people at CBS did a wonderful job.
I’d like to reiterate Anthony Pascale’s sentiments and say what a great job his writers and team does on this website. Maintaining any website is hard enough, and when you consider all the content that goes into Trekmovie… well, you should simply be blown away (and if you’re not, there’s definitely something wrong with you).
I have to disagree with those who call for a TNG-R. First, I believe that the nature of how it was originally shot prohibits the possibility. Also, I don’ t think there is any reason to tamper with the FX shots in TNG. For TOS, it was justifiable, because the keepers of TOS wanted to upgrade the look for a younger audience who was already used to those big Hollywood blockbuster FX in movies like Transformers, and it was apparent that the 60’s-era FX were hardly very far ahead of stone knives and bearskins…
As for an animated Trek, I think the recent Star Wars animated series is the kind of animation I prefer over the TAS-style animation… but that’s just me…
I think Quinto plays young Spock as emotional, as well he should.
The fact that Nimoy’s Spock in “The Cage” and “WNMHGB” is emotional plays well into his character arc as a whole. He struggles for years, endures and fails the Kolinahr, and finally realizes after contact with V’ger, that emotion is a central part of who he is.
I haven’t seen the film, but the clip with Kirk and Scotty shows him seething with rage. This will obviously lead to the fight with Kirk that will have him relieved of duty.
Surprisingly enough, I think ‘Enterprise’ did a lot to reveal that even pure Vulcans struggle with their emotions. T’Pol was the only one in the show who seemed to have emotions, and her compatriots all seemed quite conflicted.
Spock’s dad, as portrayed so well by Mark Lenard, also was quite a train wreck at times, so it makes sense for Spock to have a head full of conflict.
ILM did work on TNG.
I understand you folks that get the remastered series at inconvenient times. The Cage airs here Sunday morning at 4AM … a week late. I have to tape it.
I’m hoping after the movie is released to great success , they will air is a much better time.
As a hardcore fan of the original Starship Enterprise,,, I’d like to add a couple of observations:
I know i mentioned this before, but i’m surprised no one else has commented on the see through ‘neck’ dorsal, and the fact that you can see the rear edge of the saucer through it as the Enterprise does that otherwise nice approach to the nose over into the bridge dome. Maybe it only bugs me, but i find it distracting…especially since that ‘nose-over’ shot was first seen clearly ( reworked with Kirk’s Enterprise ) at the beginning of “The Corbomite Maneuver”, and the dorsal looked perfectly opaque in that shot. I wonder what happened and how it slipped past the CG team?
Another nice detail that Jeff doesn’t mention, is that you can see the original rectangular details on the rear nacelle caps recreated on the CG version ( see the last shot of the original model above ). However, one nitpicky detail I noticed on both the the “Cage” and “Where No Man…” versions of the ship, which was not faithfully recreated in the CG versions, is the fact that the two “NCC-!701” registry numbers on the underside of the saucer were original facing the opposite directions than they would appear when the model was redetailed for the series ( they were switched to make them more readable from the most commonly used camera angles ). The CGI versions of the ship have them facing the way they later appeared.
And if you REEEAAALLY want to get nitpicky, in “Where No Man…” the navigation lights on the underside of the saucer were originally further back ( where the three dots appear on the model ), and not next to the two “NCC-1701″s ( there was also a third nav light that blinked in time with the others on the front of the bow…where the three round ports are ) To see what I’m talking about, just look at any – non-cgi – second season opening credits sequence, which oddly enough, only uses stock footage shot of the “Where No Man…” version of the model.
I know…”obsessive much?”
40. Chadwick – May 2, 2009
Also, cleaning up TNG would be a much larger task since TNG was transfered to video and all the editing was done there. They would have to locate all the original negatives, scan them, clean them up, re-edit the epsidoes, insert the music again, and put all the effects back in. Oy. It would be like completely redoing the show again. They could never do it on the budget they had for TOSR. In order to do all 7 seasons, they would need to increase the budget by 2 1/4 what TOSR had, right off the bat, and then double that to do all the extra work. Well, if they intend to do it properly that is.
Cool, new effects look great!
Perfect timing as well with the new movie coming out in a week. I’ve always thought Captain Pike deserved more than just a one episode cameo which is why I think it was a great idea to use the character in the new movie! I think I might get out the DVD of “‘The Cage” an watch it before I go to see Star Trek! :)
#19, 28, etc
Rodenberry admitted the line was simply sexist. But he also didn’t write Turnabout Intruder, and was barely involved in the show at that point. The script he *did* write included a female XO, though even The Cage had Pike saying he couldn’t get used to a woman on the bridge. Star Trek, like anything else, was a product of the time.
One thing that always bothered me about this episode was the beginning with the radio waves. Treating them as such exotic material that even an advanced starship could mix them up with a solid object was just absurd. For goodness sake, certain STARS emit radio waves. Were they going into Red Alert every 5 seconds at warp? Totally minor and insignificant nitpick, but for some reason it gets me every time.
That looked good and all, but did they restore the Keeper’s original voice?
Malachi Throne supplied the voice, and it was altered for the Managerie. They need to restore the voice.
I am wondering are the events of The Cage before or after the timeline change in the movie?