THE CAGE > Audio Clips
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are sets from the last couple of Star Trek movies. You
were the ones who said it first. Star Trek lives. And live it does. For
over two decades it has. But now I want to take you back to a time when the
Enterprise and Spock and Kirk and all the rest were just part of an idea
I had. Back to the beginnings of "Star Trek". To the first pilot, a pilot
being a film that demonstrates to the network what a new series will
look like each
week. This 60
minutes you'll see is today considered
something of a television document. And some regard it as perhaps as
exciting as any "Star
Trek" that's since been filmed. When the network saw what you son will see, they rejected
it. From that day until now, the first pilot has never been seen in its
original form. This "Star Trek" pilot story is called "The Cage"."
Spock: "Check the circuit"
Tyler: "All operating, sir."
Spock: "It can't be the screen then"
Roddenberry: "It begins on the bridge of a recognizable starship
Enterprise, commanded by Captain Christopher Pike, played by the late
Jeff Hunter. So far so good, except that TV in those days was at the
peck of it's love affair with the western story. I wanted to sell my
series so I promised the network that my "Star Trek" idea
would be little more
space Western, a wagon train to the stars. Zap guns instead of
six-shooters, spaceships instead of horses. But as I began to start
writing that pilot, I suddenly realised that here was a chance to write
the kind of drama
I'd always dreamed of doing. I had seen science fiction movies before, but I always
thought, not enough characterisation, not enough motivation. Perhaps I
could use this as an excuse to go to those
far off planets, with little polka-dotted people, if
necessary. And to be able to talk about love, war, nature, God, sex,
all those things that go to make up the excitement of the human condition. Maybe the
TV censors would let it pass because it all seemed so make-believe. So instead of a space
Western I delivered a very different kind of story. One which dealt with
the strange dangers of illusion, the enormous power of imagination, with
whole worlds that could come from inside people's heads."
[Pike is in pain and
screams as he is burned in flames]
Roddenberry: "As if that wasn't enough,
back in those days before
the phrase Women's Lib was ever heard, I put a woman in second in command of our starship.
On top of this, my
script required our actress, Majel Barrett, to play this woman as having
a highly superior, computerised mind."
Pike: "She does a
good job, alright. It's just that I can't
get used to
having a woman on
might have thought that the ladies in our test audience would have
appreciated that. But instead their
comments were "Who does she
think she is?"."
offence, Lieutenant. You're...different of course."
had written in another character who wasn't even human, an alien who like
Satan himself, complete with pointed
ears. Was that all? No, I was uncooperative
in other ways too. For example no one onboard the USS Enterprise smoked,
and tobacco advertising was key to
networks profits in those days. Also,
I'd refused to cast our crew "sensibly", which meant all whites. When
the network finally saw
the pilot some of their executives were outraged. I can't
say I really blame them. For the considerable money they had put up, they
certainly didn't get
Western space opera. In fact nothing faintly like that. But this part
of the story isn't as simple as good guys versus bad guys either. The network's very
top program executive was impressed that this film made him feel like he'd
been flying in a spaceship. Something almost never done before, the network
ordered a second pilot, and this one had better be familiar
action-adventure, or else. So the second
"Star Trek" pilot was made, and
was accepted, and the
rest turned into our shared history. Well if
social fashions change, economics never do. By the time we got into the
series, a money crunch was on, and we folded our pilot into another
story which you know as "The
Menagerie". The two part movie.
Captain Kirk met
Christopher Pike and learned of his tragic fate. In the film that follows, parts are
in color, parts in black and white. The color footage was used in "The
Menagerie", the parts that are in black and white parts are all that is left from the
first pilot. Now we'll roll the story that Kirk never saw, our unseen
pilot "The Cage". And after it's over, come back - there's
more to tell."
Tyler: "All operating, sir."
Spock: "It can't be the screen then. Definitely something out there,
Captain, headed this way."
Tyler: "It could be these meteorites."
Number One: "No, it's something else. There's still something out
"It's a radio wave, sir. We're passing through an old-style distress
Spock: "They were keyed to cause interference and attract
attention this way."
Garison: "A ship in trouble making a forced landing, sir. That's
it. No other message."
Tyler: "I have a fix. It comes from the Talos star group."
One: "We've no ships or Earth colonies that far out."
Spock: "Their call letters check with a survey expedition. SS
Columbia. It disappeared in that region approximately eighteen years
Tyler: "It would take that long for a radio beam to travel from
there to here."
Spock: "Records show the Talos group has never been explored.
system similar to Earth, eleven planets. Number four seems to be Class
M, oxygen atmosphere."
Number One: "Then they could still be alive, even after eighteen
Pike: "If they survived the crash."
Spock: "We aren't going to go, to be certain?"
Spock: "Not without any indication of survivors, no. Continue to
the Vega Colony and take care of our own sick and injured first. You
have the helm. Maintain present course."
Number One: "Yes, sir."
that? I didn't say there's anything wrong with me."
understand we picked up a distress signal."
right. Unless we get anything more positive on it, it seems to me the
condition of our own crew takes precedent. I'd like to log the ship's
doctor's opinion, too."
I concur with yours, definitely."
I'm glad you do, because we're going to stop first at
Vega Colony and replace anybody who needs hospitalisation and also. What the
devil are you putting in there, ice?"
wants a warm martini?"
makes you think I need one?"
a man'll tell his bartender things he'll never tell his doctor. What's been
on your mind, Chris, the fight on Rigel Seven?"
it be? My only yeoman and two others dead, seven injured."
there anything you personally could have done to prevent it?"
I should have smelled trouble when I saw the swords and the armour. Instead
of that, I let myself get trapped in that deserted fortress and attacked by
one of their warriors."
you set standards for yourself no one could meet. You treat everyone on
board like a human being except yourself, and now you're tired and you."
bet I'm tired. You bet. I'm tired of being responsible for two hundred and
three lives. I'm tired of deciding which mission is too risky and which
isn't, and who's going on the landing party and who doesn't, and who lives
and who dies. Boy, I've had it, Phil."
the point of finally taking my advice, a rest leave?"
the point of considering resigning."
for one thing, go home. Nice little town with fifty miles of parkland around
it. Remember I told you I had two horses, and we used to take some food and
ride out all day."
that sounds exciting. Ride out with a picnic lunch
said that's one place I might go. I might go into business on Regulus or on
the Orion colony."
an Orion trader, dealing in green animal women, slaves?"
point is this isn't the only life available. There's a whole galaxy of
things to choose from."
for you. A man either lives life as it happens to him, meets it head-on, and
licks it, or he turns his back on it and starts to wither away."
you're beginning to talk like a doctor, bartender."
your choice. We both get the same two kinds of customers. The living and the
is the captain. Our destination is the Talos star group. Our time warp,
computed and on the screen."
decks have acknowledged, sir."
Colt: "Yes, sir."
"I thought I told you that when I'm on the bridge..."
Colt: "But you wanted the reports by oh five hundred. It's oh five
hundred now, sir."
"Oh, I see. Thank you."
Number One: "She's replacing your former yeoman, sir."
"She does a good job, all right. It's just that I can't get used to having a
woman on the bridge. No offence, Lieutenant. You're different, of course."
Man: "They're men. They're humans."
Pike: "Captain Christopher Pike, United Space Ship Enterprise."
Haskins: "Doctor Theodore Haskins, American Continent lnstitute."
Survivor: "Is Earth all right?"
Pike: "The same old Earth, and you'll see it very soon."
Tyler: "And you won't believe how fast you can get back. Well the
time barrier's been broken. Our new ships can..."
(He's struck dumb by the sight of a lovely young woman)
Haskins: "This is Vina. Her parents are dead. She was born almost
as we crashed."
Number One (Over Communicator): "Landing party, come in."
Spock: "There is no survivors' encampment, Number One. This is all
some sort of trap. We've lost the Captain. Do you read?"
"Can you hear me? My name is Christopher Pike, commander of the space
vehicle Enterprise from a stellar group at the other end of this galaxy. Our
intentions are peaceful. Can you understand me?"
(the aliens communicate with their minds, not voices)
Talosian: "It appears, Magistrate, that the intelligence of the
specimen is shockingly limited."
"This is no surprise since his vessel was baited here so easily with a
simulated message. As you can read in its thoughts, it is only now beginning
to suspect that the survivors and encampment were a simple illusion we
placed in their minds."
"You're not speaking, yet I can hear you."
Magistrate: "You will note the confusion as it reads our thought
"All right then, telepathy. You can read my mind. I can read yours. Now,
unless you want my ship to consider capturing me an unfriendly act."
Magistrate: "You now see the primitive fear threat reaction. The
specimen is about to boast of his strength, the weaponry of his vessel, and
so on. Next, frustrated into a need to display physical prowess, the
creature will throw himself against the transparency."
"If you were in here, wouldn't you test the strength of these walls, too?
There's a way out of any cage, and I'll find it."
Magistrate: "Despite its frustration, the creature appears more
adaptable than our specimens from other planets. We can soon begin the
(Vina hugs her hero, then sees the Talosians watching them. The Talosians
"Why are you here?"
Vina: "To please you."
"Are you real?"
Vina: "As real as you wish."
"No, no. No, that's not an answer. I've never met you before, never even
Vina: "Perhaps they made me out of dreams you've forgotten."
"What, and dress you in the same metal fabric they wear?"
Vina: "I have to wear something, don't I? I can wear whatever you
wish, be anything you wish."
"So they can see how their specimen performs? They want
see how I react, is that it?"
Vina: "Don't you have a dream, something you've always wanted very
"Or do they do more than just watch me? Do they feel with me, too?"
Vina: "You can have whatever dream you want. I can become anything,
any woman you've ever imagined. You can have anything
want in the whole universe. Let me please you."
"Yes. Yes, you can please me. You can tell me about them. Is there any way I
can keep them from probing my mind, from using my thoughts against me? Does
that frighten you? Does that mean there is a way?"
Vina: "You're a fool."
"Since you're not real, there's not much point in continuing this
conversation, is there."
One: All circuits engaged, Mister Spock.
Spock (Over Communicator): Standing by, Number One.
Number One: Take cover.
Spock (Over communicator): Ten, nine, eight, seven, six, five,
four, three, two, one.
(The laser cannon blasts away.)
"The vial contains a nourishing protein complex."|
Pike: "Is the keeper actually communicating with one of his
Magistrate: "If the form and the colour is not appealing, it can
appear as any food you wish to visualise."
Pike: "And if I prefer."
Magistrate: "To starve? You overlook the unpleasant alternative
"All right, all right, let's talk about the girl. You seem to be going
out of your way to make her attractive, to make me feel protective."|
Magistrate: "This is necessary in order to perpetuate the
Pike: It seems more important to you now that I begin to accept
her and like her."
Magistrate: "We wish our specimens to be happy in their new life.
Assuming that's a lie, why would you want me attracted to her? So I'll
feel love in a husband-wife relationship? That would be necessary only
if you intend to build a family group or perhaps a whole human
Magistrate: "With the female now properly conditioned."
Pike: "You mean properly punished! I'm the one who's not
co-operating! Why don't you punish me?"
Magistrate: "First, an emotion of protectiveness. Now one of
located a magnetic field that seems to come from their underground
that be an illusion too?"
you all know the situation. We're hoping to transport down inside the
our measurements and readings are an illusion also, one could find oneself
materialised inside solid rock."
will be said if any volunteer wants to back out."
(Pitcairn energises but only Number One and Yeoman Colt dematerialise)
not fair. I did what you asked."
you resist the present specimen, you now have a selection."
break out of this zoo somehow and get to you. Is your blood red like ours?
I'm going to find out."
of the two new specimens has qualities in her favour. The female you call
Number One has the superior mind and
produce highly intelligent children. Although she seems to lack emotion,
this is largely a pretence. She has often has fantasies involving you.
I want to do is get my hands on you. Can you read these thoughts? Images of
other new arrival has considered you unreachable but now is realising this
has changed. The factors in
favour are youth and strength, plus unusually strong female drives."
find my thoughts more interesting. Thoughts so primitive you can't
understand. Emotions so ugly..."
(stricken by pain)
thinking is punishable. Right thinking will be as quickly rewarded. You will
find it an effective combination."
No, don't help me. I have to concentrate. They can't read through hate."
Garison: "Open, sir."
Spock: "This is the acting captain speaking. We have no choice
now but to consider the safety of this vessel and the remainder of the
crew. We're leaving. All decks prepare for hyperdrive. Time warp
Tyler: "Mister Spock, the ship's controls have gone dead."
lights go out)
Spock: "Engine room!"
Spock: "Mister Spock here. Switch to rockets. We're blasting out.
Pitcairn (Over Comm): All systems are out, bridge. We've got
Tyler: "There's nothing. Every system aboard is fading out."
contact, Number One."
kept us from seeing this, too. We cut through and never knew it.
(The communicator isn't working)
you see, your attempt to escape accomplished nothing."
want to contact our ship."
are now on the surface where we wished you to be. With the female of
your choice, you will now begin carefully guided lives."
start by burying you?"
is your choice. To help you reclaim the planet's surface, our zoological
gardens will furnish a variety of plant life."
I'll make a deal with you. You and your life for the
of these two Earth women."
our lifespan is many times yours, we have time to evolve you into a
society trained to serve as artisans, technicians..."
you understand what I'm saying? You give me proof that our ship is all
right, send these two back, and I'll stay with Vina."
Number One and Spock enter)
on a minute."
I feel fine, just fine."
look a hundred percent better."
recommended a rest, a change of pace, didn't you? I've even been
home. Does that make you happy? "
into Colt again)
thought I told you that when I'm on the bridge I..."
(She hands him a clip-board stuffed with papers for his
Oh yes. The reports. Thank you."
I was wondering. Just curious. Who would have been
You've delivered your report."
ma'am. Yes, sir."
sir? Yes, sir."
as in Adam?"
in all ship's doctors are dirty old men. What are we running
here, a cadet ship, Number One? Are we ready or not?"
Number One: "All
decks show ready, sir."
"I just wanted to share with you something that may lift your spirits
as it did mine many years ago. All that nonsense about the
dangers of mixed races living together on a spaceship, or
anywhere and how some of our country were certain to refuse to
televise "Star Trek" because we showed that, we showed such
things. The hatred that would flood our mail, turning sponsors
against us. In all the years of of "Star Trek" we never
received not one such letter. Not one."
Roddenberry: "Human's are capable of so much than we
yet understand. We're really something. ""Star Trek fans believe
that. And so do I. For us, no limits."