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The Cage

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EPISODE
The Cage
Talosians
Attribution
Series: The Original Series
Written by: Gene Roddenberry
Directed by: Robert Butler
Production information
Episode no.: 0x01
Production no.: 6149-01
First aired: 4 October 1988
Chronology
Date: 2254


One of the earliest missions of the USS Enterprise comes in the aftermath of its visit to the planet Rigel VII. Under the command of Captain Christopher Pike, the Enterprise sets course for Vega colony to undergo repairs, but is contacted by a mysterious distress call.

SummaryEdit

A primitive radio wave distress signal emanating from the SS Columbia, a survey ship believed lost 18 years earlier, would normally persuade Captain Pike to alter course and investigate the signal. But the Enterprise's last mission has left him deeply troubled following the loss of three crewmen. He confides to the chief medical officer, Dr. Phillip Boyce, that he is contemplating resigning from Starfleet and return to his home town of Mojave on Earth, and possibly become a trader.

With the Enterprise having suffered losses, Pike's only concern is getting the starship to the Vega colony, but Lieutenant Spock speculates that there could be survivors from the Columbia still living on planet Talos IV. When a follow-up message confirms this as fact, Pike finally decides to alter course and head for the previously uncharted Talos star group.

After arrival in the system, Pike leads a landing party to the surface of Talos IV and discovers a group of old Human scientists from the American Continent Institute, led by Dr. Theodore Haskins, alive. Haskins then introduces Pike to a beautiful woman named Vina, who was born around the time of the crash on Talos. Vina offers to reveal their secrets to Pike, and she leads him away from the rest of the landing party. Unbeknown to Pike and his crew, they are being observed by the inhabitants of the planet, the Talosians.

Suddenly, Vina and the other crash survivors disappear, and Pike is rendered unconscious by a weapon. The Talosians appear from below the surface and take Pike underground. When he regains consciousness, he finds himself locked in a cage and being observed by three Talosians. The Talosians are a telepathic race who have created the elaborate illusion of the crash survivors and the distress signal to lure Pike and the Enterprise to the planet.

Using Pike's memories, the Talosians create two scenarios for Pike. In the first scenario, Pike is a trader who, while negotiating a deal, observes Vina performing an erotic dance as an Orion slave girl. The second scenario depicts Pike's battle with the Kaylar on Rigel VII, but this time Vina is with him as a princess that needs saving. Pike resists the illusions, and instead tries to obtain as much information from Vina as possible.

Eventually, Pike discovers that the Talosians can't read primitive emotions such as anger and hatred, so he builds up a state of intense anger at the Talosians to block their control of his mind and halt Vina's advances. However, the Talosians read this as a lack of interest in Vina, and so intercept the transporter beams of Number One and Yeoman Mia Colt to his cell as new candidates to be "Eve" to his "Adam".

Pike's mission to escape finally pays off when one of the Talosians enters the cage in order to obtain the landing party's laser pistols. Realizing that the Talosians have created the illusion that the pistols don't work, Pike holds a Talosian hostage and demands that his party is set free. However, Vina warns Pike that the Talosians have the ability to create illusions aboard the Enterprise which would lead the crew to destroy the ship.

Realizing that the Enterprise could be at risk, Spock, in temporary command, orders the starship to leave orbit and move out of range, but the Talosians create the illusion of complete power failure and the Enterprise is stuck in orbit. Meanwhile, on the surface the stand-off between Pike and the Talosians continue and they reveal that Vina is a disfigured woman who crashed on the surface and was treated by the Talosians. Having no template to work from, they reconstructed her in her present form, but grant her the illusion of remaining beautiful.

The stand-off ends after the Talosians scan the Enterprise's computer banks and discover that Humans would not be suitable as a race of slaves to help them rebuild their world, and that they would resist captivity. The Talosians allow Pike and his party to leave, but Vina must remain on the surface to maintain her image of beauty. Pike is at first concerned with leaving her alone, but the Talosians create an illusory Captain Pike to be her companion.

Returning to the Enterprise, Pike realizes that, although he has his dreams and fantasies, his place is being in command of a Federation starship.

ReferencesEdit

CharactersEdit

Phillip BoyceJ. Mia ColtGarrisonTheodore HaskinsKeeperMagistrateNumber OneChristopher PikeNils PitcairnSpockJosé TylerVinaYamataValdiniunnamed USS Enterprise personnel
Referenced only 
AdamBuzz AldrinMontgomery BlairSalmon P. ChaseDwight D. EisenhowerEveStonewall JacksonLyndon JohnsonJohn F. KennedyJacqueline KennedyRobert E. LeeAbraham LincolnMosesSam RayburnWilliam H. SewardCaleb B. SmithGeorge WashingtonGideon WellesHumans (illusory)Starfleet personnel (illusory)

Starships and vehiclesEdit

USS Enterprise (Constitution-class heavy cruiser)
Referenced only 
Apollo spacecraftUSS Baron de KalbUSS Black Hawkcadet shipUSS CincinnatiSS Columbia (survey ship) • USS LouisvilleUSS Monitor (ironclad)space shuttleCSS VirginiaWright Flyer

LocationsEdit

Referenced only 
Hell

Shipboard areasEdit

USS Enterprise 
bridgebriefing roomcorridorengine roomquarters (Captain Pike's) • transporter room

Planetary localesEdit

Earth 
AfricaAlaskaAleutian IslandsAnchorageAntarcticaArabian SeaArctic CircleAsiaAtlantaAtlantic OceanAustraliaBeijingBering SeaBering StraitBikini AtollBristol BayCanadaCentral AmericaDelawareEuropeFairbanksFort HindmanGulf of AlaskaHawaiiHimalayasHokkaidoHong KongHonshuHoustonInternational Date LineJapanJuneauKoreaKyotoKyushuLos AngelesMarylandMexicoMidway IslandNew OrleansNorth AmericaNorth PoleOsakaPacific OceanPoint BarrowPortlandSan FranciscoSeattleMojaveSouth AmericaSouth PoleTokyoTropic of CancerVirginiaWake IslandWashington, DCWhitehorseYosemite FallsYukon River
Rigel VII 
Zemtar Fortress

Planets and planetoidsEdit

Talos IV
Referenced only 
EarthLunaMarsMercuryRigel VIIJupiterSaturnVega colonyVenus

Stars and systemsEdit

Talos Prime
Referenced only 
NGC 602RegulusRigelSolVegaV838 Monocerotis

Astronomical regionsEdit

Alpha QuadrantMilky Way GalaxyTalos star group
Referenced only 
Andromeda GalaxyPleiades ClusterSmall Magellanic Cloud

Races and culturesEdit

HumanKaylarOrion (Orion slave girl) • Rigellian (Kaylar) • TalosianVulcan

States and organizationsEdit

American Continent InstituteConfederate States of AmericaFederationOrion ColoniesStarfleetSoviet UnionUnited States of America

LifeformsEdit

AnimalsEdit

anthropoidavianchickenflyfox squirrelgnugreat egrethorsekudulionfishtunawildebeest

PlantsEdit

daisyflowermapleroseTalosian singing plantviola

Technology and weaponsEdit

altimeterarmoratomic bombbatterycannoncircuitcommunicationscommunicatorcomputercomputer bankdeflector shieldgamma-ray spectrometerhyperdrivelaserlaser cannonlaser pistollaser weaponmacemeteoroid beammicrorecordnuclear weaponpenpistolpower generatorradioradio-interference distress callreflex hammerrocketswordstarshiptapetelevisiontransporterviewscreenwristwatchUSS Enterprise (NCC-1701) library computerwarp drive

Space probes and satellitesEdit

Atlas-AgenaExplorer S-55Mariner 2Nimbus 1Orbiting Geophysical ObservatoryOrbiting Solar ObservatoryPioneer 5RangerRanger 5Ranger Block IRanger Block IIInternational Space StationSaturn VSoyuzVostok 1

Substances and phenomenaEdit

alcoholelementgasicelightliquidmetalnitrogenoxygenradio wavemagnetic field

Food and beveragesEdit

alcoholdaisymartinisugarcoffeesandwichchickentunachicken tuna sandwich

EventsEdit

American Civil WarAmerican RevolutionBattle of Fort HindmanBattle of Hampton Roads

Ranks and titlesEdit

cadetcaptainchief medical officerchief petty officercommanding officercrewmandoctorenlistedhelmsmanlieutenantnavigatorofficerpresidentPresident of the United States of Americascience officertechniciantransporter chiefyeoman

Other referencesEdit

22362254Adam and EvealienanimalApollo programassassinationastronomyatmospherebartenderThe Blue Marblebraincanyoncaveclass M planetclipboardclothingcolonydiaphragmdistress calldrinkEarthriseEmancipation Proclamationemotionevasive maneuverseyeFederation Starfleet ranksFederation Starfleet ranks (2240s-2260s)first contactFirst Reading of the Emancipation Proclamation of President Lincolnfoodforced landinggall bladdergeologygeological lab reportgeologistglassesgovernmentGray's Anatomyhathateheadachehearthelmhullhumanoidintestinelanding partyThe Last Meeting of Lee and Jackson at ChancellorsvillelifeformliverlunglunchmeteoroidmileMoses Showing the Tables of the Law to the Peoplemusclesnation-stateoptic nervepicnicplanetplanetary classificationplantpolar orbitproberaces and culturesrankred alertreportregistryribsciencescientistshore leaveskullspeed of lightspectrographystarstar chartsatellitestar groupstar systemStarfleet uniformStarfleet uniform (2240s-2265)stomachsuicideTangotelepathytechnologyTen Commandmentstime barriertime-warp speedtime warp factortitleuniformUSSuniversewarp factorweapon

AppendicesEdit

Related StoriesEdit

Stories featuring Christopher Pike
Comics Early Voyages "Flesh of My Flesh" • "The Fires of Pharos" • "Our Dearest Blood" • "Nor Iron Bars a Cage" • Cloak and Dagger (12) • "The Flat, Gold Forever" • "Immortal Wounds" • "One of a Kind" • The Fallen (12) • "Futures, Part One" • "Future Tense" • "Futures" • "Now and Then" • "Thanatos" • "Nemesis"
other "All Those Years Ago..." • "To Walk the Night" • "Door in the Cage" • "Return to the Forbidden Planet" • "A Prelude to War" • "Alien Spotlight: Vulcans" • "Alien Spotlight: Orions" • Mirror Images (1245) • "Shadows of the Past" • "The Ends of Eternity" • "Spock: Reflections, Issue 2" • Star Trek Movie Adaptation (23456) • "Captain's Log: Pike"
Novels Enterprise: The First AdventureVulcan's GloryLegacyThe RiftWhere Sea Meets SkyBurning Dreams • "A Less Perfect Union" • The Children of Kings
Short stories "Conflicting Natures" • "A Private Anecdote" • "Sins of the Mother" • "The Greater Good"
Episodes "The Cage" • "The Menagerie" Movies Star TrekStar Trek Into Darkness

TimelineEdit

published order
Previous episode:
first episode (pilot)
TOS episode produced Next episode:
Where No Man Has Gone Before
Previous episode:
Turnabout Intruder
TOS episode aired Next episode:
last episode aired
chronological order
Previous Adventure:
Star Trek V: The Final Frontier
Chapter 14 - McCoy flashback
Pocket Next Adventure:
Burning Dreams
Chapter 15, Sections 10-12; Chapter 7, Section 10; Chapter 15, Section 13
Previous Adventure:
Nor Iron Bars a Cage
The Early Voyages of the
USS Enterprise (NCC-1701)
Next Adventure:
The Rift


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