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Star Trek - The Menagerie

episode 1.11, 1.12
Raumschiff Enterprise - Talos IV - Tabu

USA 1966
produced by
Gene Roddenberry for Desilu, Norway Corporation/NBC
directed by Marc Daniels, Robert Butler
starring Jeffrey Hunter (archive footage), Susan Oliver (archive footage), Meg Wyllie (archive footage), Majel Barrett (archive footage), Leonard Nimoy (archive footage and new footage), William Shatner, DeForest Kelley, Sean Kenney, Malachi Throne, James Doohan, Nichelle Nichols
written and created by Gene Roddenberry, music by Alexander Courage

Star Trek, Classic Star Trek, Star Trek (original crew)

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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The unbelievable happens: Spock (Leonard Nimoy) starts his own private mutiny by taking over the starship Enterprise and kidnapping his old commander Pike (Sean Kelley), who is now nothing more than a disabled wreck anyways. But as if al that wasn't bad enough, he takes the Enterprise to Talos, a planet so forbidden to fly to that an action like this is punishable by death ... and soon enough, Spock and the Enterprise are overtaken by Captain Kirk (William Shatner) and Star Fleet Commodore Mendez (Malachi Throne) and Spock - who still refuses to change course - is court martialed.

As his defense, Spock plays a tape of what happened on Talos IV the last time he was here with his former commander Pike (in the flashbacks played by Jeffrey Hunter) - and the episode eventually becomes a retelling of Star Trek's original (but then unaired) pilot The Cage: The Enterprise is lured to Talos IV by (faked) SOS messages, and Pike and crew are made to believe that humans have actually settled on Talos IV ... until the actual inhabitants of Talos IV, big brained aliens, have taken Captain Pike hostage and put him through a variety of tests (actually some exhilarating fantasy scenarios) to test his strength, his endurance and his intelligence - and to make him falling in love with a blonde called Vina (Susan Oliver), successfully, I might add. Eventually though, Pike becomes too good t this kind of game and looks through his captors illusions, and ultimately the aliens, who turn out to be benign after all, let him go back to his spaceship - but unfortunately, he can't take Vina with him, because she is actually a disfigured old hag only made beautiful by the hypnotic powers of the Talosians.

Back in the now, Spock concludes that Pike, in his current condition, can only lead a good life on Talos IV, where the Talosians can give him back his health, youth and virility ... and an attractive blonde as well.

Now Spock's whole trial turns out to be a charade conjured up by the Talosians to divert Kirk and give Spock enough time to reach Talos, and ultimately even Star Fleet command agrees to Spock's decision.

And in the end, we see Pike and Vina happily strolling through their world ...


Star Trek fans will of course know, this episode was actually little more than an attempt to make some money off the over-expensive and unaired pilot of the series after all. In this respect, the old scenes and the newly shot scenes don't fall together too well. However, the original footage of The Cage shows some wonderful and wonderfully cheesy and unconvincing studio sets that just have to be seen to be believed, and a story that in the course of events gets so silly it's almost exhilarating. So yeah, this episode is fun, not as much fun as the actual episode The Cage probably, but still, fun.


review © by Mike Haberfelner


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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner


Out now from




On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide


A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD