Where No Man Has Gone Before
E2 Star Trek episode guide : Original Series
Captain Christopher Pike
… Jeffrey Hunter
First Officer Number One
… Majel Barrett
… Leonard Nimoy
Chief Medical Officer Dr. Phillip Boyce
… John Hoyt
Navigator José Tyler
… Peter Duryea
… Laurel Goodwin
Perhaps it’s the romance of the unknown, but whenever I watch this, the pilot
episode of Star Trek
, I can’t help but think that it would have been a far better show with the original cast. The best character of Star Trek, Spock, is here, and the seeds of the other characters already exist in this bunch. The sexism ("I’ll never get used to women on the bridge") is there, but here the women wear pants instead of short skirts and go go boots
, and the first officer is a woman, and a stronger character than any woman that would appear in the original series.
The pilot strikes me as more realistic, intelligent, and exciting than the original series. The USS Enterprise
is lured by a false distress signal
to Talos IV
, home of a race of skilled telepaths who can create powerful illusions. The Talosians, the product of some of the best makeup jobs on the original series, were played by women, but the voices of men were dubbed in, creating a very eerie and disconcerting effect. They capture Captain Pike in an attempt to breed him with Vina (Susan Oliver
), the lone survivor of a crashed ship, to create a race of slave laborers. They later capture Colt and Number One, but the first officer sets her weapon to overload, preferring to kill herself and her crewmates ("It’s wrong to create a race of slaves"). The Talosians realize that humans are too damn stubborn to be slaves, and let the crew warp home safely.
In February 1965, The Cage was promptly rejected by NBC
as "too cerebral". Too much intelligence, not enough action or hot chicks in short skirts. Gene Roddenberry
went back to the drawing board and eliminated all of the original crew except for one character, Spock. NBC wanted the satanic-looking pointy-eared guy gone, but Roddenberry insisted he stay.
The Cage never aired as part of the series, though I believe it’s been shown on TV a couple of times as part of an "anniversary special" or somesuch. The footage from The Cage was recycled as part of a two-part regular series episode, The Menagerie
, where viewers were shown the fate of Captain Pike and learned that Talos IV
was off limits to Federation citizens, upon penalty of death.