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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
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.