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I may have mentioned once or twice that Star Trek was a pretty huge part of my childhood. A large part of our family time when I was a kid was spent watching the various series that were one when I was a kid (The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, and Voyager), and my mom used to watch the original series when she was a kid.
I do have to admit, however, that I actually haven’t watched very much of the original series, and it’s actually been quite a long time since I’ve watched any of the others. That (along with listening to the podcast Women At Warp which you should all be listening to because it’s amazing) has spurred me towards this little project.
Once a week, for the foreseeable future, I will be recapping one episode of Star Trek, beginning with the original series, and going straight through to Enterprise. I will be including the animated series, and I may cover the movies (I’m undecided on this point).
To that end, I will start with the TOS unaired pilot episode, “The Cage.”
A few tidbits before we go into the recap proper: the main reason the pilot was unaired is that the execs at NBC didn’t like it. According to the Memory Alpha wiki entry on the episode, they felt it was “too cerebral.” They ordered a second pilot, which ended up being the episode “Where No Man Has Gone Before.” Because of this, there are a lot of differences between this pilot and the series proper.
Most notably is the fact that the only crewmember in the pilot who we see in other episodes is Spock. The character is also different from the Spock we see later in that he emotes a lot more. The traits we come to associate with Spock (logic and emotional distance) are shown by the first officer (who is only known as Number One), and was interestingly played by Majel Barrett. Rather than Captain Kirk, we get Captain Pike. I…don’t really like Captain Pike. I think he’s sort of a giant dick. I do, however, really like Number One and am sad that we didn’t get to see more of her in the rest of the series. She’s fucking awesome. Another difference of note is that there is not a miniskirt in sight: female crewmembers and male ones wear similar uniforms, with the only difference being in the collars.
We open on the bridge of the Enterprise, where something odd is going on. Spock notes to Pike that “there’s definitely something out there,” to which a crewmember points out that it could be the meteorites that are going past the ship. Of course, it turns out to be something else entirely: radio waves that apparently come from an old style distress call, coming from the Talos star group. Number One notes that Starfleet doesn’t have a presence there. As Spock states, the call letters from the signal belong to the Columbia, a survey ship lost in the area about 18 years ago.
Number One points out that the crew of the Columbia could still be alive (since there is a class M planet in the system), and Pike (rather pessimistically) adds, “If they survived the crash.” Spock questions this, and Pike reiterates that they’re not changing course unless they get proof that there were survivors. He then gives command of the bridge to Number One, and heads to his quarters.
Pike heads to his quarters, and calls for the ship’s doctor, Boyce, to join him. Boyce comes in with some booze and notes that he’s heard they received a distress call. Pike confirms this and states that they have their own wounded to deal with, and asks Boyce his opinion. Boyce agrees as he mixes a martini for Pike, pointing out “Sometimes a man’ll tell his bartender things he’ll never tell his doctor” when Pike asks why. They talk for a while about an altercation on Rigel Seven that left 2 crewmembers (including Pike’s yeoman) dead, and seven more injured. Pike feels guilty about what happens, and Boyce reasonably asks what he could have done to prevent it.
Pikes responds, “Oh, I should have smelled trouble when I saw the swords and the armor. Instead of that, I let myself get trapped in that deserted fortress and attacked by one of their warriors.”
Boyce points out that Pike has a tendency to hold himself to a ridiculous standard that no one could ever hope to meet. Pike responds by saying he’s tired of the responsibilities of being captain, of “deciding who lives, and who dies,” to the point that he’s actually considering resigning. Boyce responds by asking what he plans to do, and Pike responds that one option would just be to go home.
This…is actually a fairly reasonable reaction to have, considering what had happened on Rigel Seven and that it likely wasn’t the first time something like this had happened. I can imagine having that level of responsibility can be exhausting, and Pike does come off somewhat sympathetically here.
Aaaaand, then he mentions the possibility of going into business on Orion. For those who may be unfamiliar with the franchise, Orion women are frequently sold into slavery. In particular, sex slavery. So, yeah, Pike just expressed an urge to become a slaver. Boyce somehow manages to make this worse by saying, “You, an Orion trader, dealing in green animal women, slaves?” Wow. Thanks for comparing women to animals; that’s super endearing. (Note: according to Memory Alpha, Orion men are actually slaves to the women, and they sell women on the market to maintain a ruse that the women are actually enslaved, but others don’t know this. Also, that really doesn’t make it any better).
Pike says that that’s not the point; the point is that there are a number of other paths he could choose if he wants to. Boyce responds, “Not 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.” The conversation is interrupted by Spock hailing them on a monitor, stating that they’ve found evidence of survivors on Talos 4.
We go back to the bridge, where a crewmember reads the message off to Pike stating that there are about eleven survivors, the planet’s gravity and oxygen levels are within acceptable limits, but cuts out after mentioning food and water. Pike orders to go ahead at warp seven, and the theme song plays as the scene fades to a star field.
After this interlude, the captain’s new yeoman, Colt, enters the bridge. Captain Pike turns around and bumps into, which he of course begins to immediately berate her for. She points out that Pike had ordered her to give him the reports at 0500, and wow look at the time. To his credit, he at least thanks Colt for the reports before she leaves. During a conversation with Number One, he says, “It’s just that I can’t get used to having a woman on the bridge.” Number One gives him a fairly significant look before he amends that Number One is “different.” She doesn’t look particularly mollified by this.
A little later, Spock and other officers give Pike a rundown on the planet’s conditions. Captain Pike orders that a landing party of six (including himself and Spock) be beamed to the planet’s surface. As the only uniform colors are this point are blue and gold, there are no redshirts to be found.
They beam down to the planet and look around a bit, and my favorite part of the episode happens. Pike and Spock come across some odd-looking blue plants and immediately start touching them, with Spock grinning like a dumbass.
After wandering about for a while, the away team comes across a crude settlement, that turns out to have been built by the crash survivors. We cut to two old men watching them approach; one of them points out to the others that they’re human. Well, except for Spock, at any rate, but we’ll cut them some slack since they’ve been stranded for almost two decades. Pike introduces himself to the leader, who in turn introduces himself as Dr. Theodore Haskins. One of the survivors asks if the Earth is all right, and Pike responds that it is. Another member of the away teams starts talking about how ships can travel faster than light now, when he sees a sight that strikes him dumb: a hot chick.
Haskins introduces her as Vina, a young woman who was born just before the crash and was subsequently orphaned. We then cut to the scene we’ve been viewing on a monitor, and we get our first glimpse of our bad guys for this episode. Their distinguishing feature: giant, veiny, bald heads.
We cut back to the camp, where the away team is helping the shipwreck survivors gather their belongings. Pike hails the Enterprise using his communicator, and lets Number One know that they’re about to begin beaming the survivors on board, and she assures him that quarters have been prepared for them, and asks if she can start sending down scouting and scientific teams. He is about to give her the OK on this when Vina comes up to him and says, “You appear to be healthy and intelligent, Captain. A prime specimen,” in a way that is totally not extremely creepy. Number One states that she didn’t quite get that, and he repeats his last statement approving her request and ends the transmission.
Haskins asks the captain to excuse her word choice, since “[s]he’s lived her whole life with a collection of aging scientists,” which may explain the word choice, but not the creepy stare. Boyce approaches Pike and tells him that he would like to make his medical report, and Vina says she thinks “it’s time to show the Captain our secret.” That doesn’t sound ominous at all.
Boyce makes his report, and states that everyone’s health appears to be a little too good. Haskins says there’s a reason for that, and asks Pike to follow Vina so she can show him. I think we know by this point that something incredibly weird is going on, and that this really isn’t going to end well.
Pike follows Vina onto a ridge, and she grabs his hand and (rather creepily) tells him, “You’re tired, but don’t worry. You’ll feel much better soon. Don’t you see it? Here and here.” Pike tells her that he doesn’t understand, and she says that he will, and that he’s “a perfect choice.” At this point she and the rest of the survivors vanish. This is immediately followed by the bigheads coming out from a rock face, zapping Pike, and carrying him away.
The rest of the away team go to where Pike was taken, and try to blast the door with their phasers. Naturally, this doesn’t work, and Spock has the unenviable task of telling Number One that they’ve lost the captain. And here we have the prime reason for why captains shouldn’t go on away missions.
We then cut to Pike waking up in some kind of cell with a clear wall. Around him are other cells containing aliens, like an ape man and a bird dude. Then the aliens (they’re not really given a name in the episode, but Memory Alpha calls them Talosians, so I’m going to go with that) decide to pay him a visit.
Pike introduces himself as captain of the Enterprise, and states that their intentions are peaceful. They then begin to communicate with each other telepathically, and one of them tells another (the magistrate) that “the intelligence of the specimen is extremely limited.” Ouch.
The magistrate responds that it’s not surprising, since it didn’t really take that much to lure their ship to the planet. Pike points out that he can hear them, even though they’re not actually speaking, to which the magistrate points out, “You will note the confusion as it reads our thought transmissions.” Pike’s all like, OK, telepathy, I get it, but you’ll all be screwed if you don’t let me go back to my ship. The magistrate is not impressed, and says that he’s probably going to throw himself against the wall next. Which Pike immediately does. Way to prove them right, captain.
After getting some rather smug looks, Pike asks them if they wouldn’t do the same thing if they were in his place, and that he’s eventually going to find a way out. The magistrate pragmatically responds, “Despite its frustration, the creature appears more adaptable than our specimens from other planets. We can soon begin the experiment.” Pike, quite rightly, doesn’t like the sound of that.
We then cut back to the ship’s briefing room, where Number One, Spock, Boyce, and another crew member are discussing what happened. Spock points out that, since the planet is too barren to support life on the surface, the Talosians likely live and cultivate food underground. Number One says that they only thought they saw survivors here. Boyce points out that the illusion was basically perfect, and the Talosions had them believing exactly what they wanted to believe.
Number One wonders what the Talosians want, and Spock suggests they kidnapped Pike in order to study humanity. Another asks why they’re not rescuing the captain, considering that the Enterprise has some pretty powerful weapons on board. Spock points fuck their shit up if they tried to land. Number One says that she’s going to have engineering try and rig up something to blast through the metal door.
Back on the planet, Pike is still pacing around his cell while the Talosians watch. One of them notes to the magistrate that they’ve been scanning Pike’s thoughts and find out about the incident on Rigel Seven, which seems like a good place to start experimenting. Pike then finds himself in yet another illusion.
At this point, a woman runs up to him. Surprise, surprise, it’s Vina.
She tells him, in a far more emotive fashion than before, that they need to hide inside of the castle. Pike notes that he’s back on Rigel Seven, and that before he was in a cell. Vina reiterates that they still need to hide because a killer’s on the loose. Pike says that this is exactly what happened before, except Vina wasn’t there.
Vina runs into the castle and Pike follows. So, I have a bone to pick here: if Rigel Seven’s supposed to be an alien world, why does it look like an abandoned Renaissance Festival? I know that Star Trek has a bit of a thing for period costumes (and this isn’t the last time we see worlds like this), but it still doesn’t make that much sense. Did the studio just have a bunch of random medieval costumes and props lying around and they just decided to use them? I have so many questions.
Anyway, Pike confronts Vina again, thinking she’s an illusion and wondering why the Talosians didn’t just create someone else. This is interrupted when we see the villain in this scenario and oh my god:
This is just ridiculous. I think it’s mostly the hat, but the rest of the outfit has its high points as well.
Anyway, the white dude’s idea of a Mongol warrior starts stalking around looking for them. Vina states that Pike has to kill him, and Pike says he’s not cooperating with the Talosians, since none of this is actually real. Vina says that means fuck all in this situation, and what matters is the fact that he’ll still feel it if Ghengis decides to get a little stabby.
Pike picks up a mace and shield, and the two proceed to have one of the most awkwardly-choreographed fight scenes in history, starting a grand Star Trek tradition. It ends with Pike throwing his mace at Fluffy, which knocks him down. Pike then asks why Vina’s scared if she’s just an illusion and Vina says it’s because he imagined her that way. Spoiler alert: Vina’s actually not an illusion.
The killer gets up and starts stalking after them again, which leads to Vina and Pike throwing things at him. Pike gets knocked back down into the courtyard, and Fuzzball begins to attack Vina. Pike throws a sword at his back, while Vina hits him with a morning star. He then turns his attention back to Pike and jumps down, right into another sword that Pike found. Thus does the illusion end, to Vina’s relief as she hugs the captain.
Captain Pike watches the Talosians leave, and then asks Vina why she’s here. Vina responds it’s to please him (bleeeeeeeeeeeeeergh), and that she’s as real as he wants her to be. Pike is not buying this and points out that she’s dressed in the same type of fabric the Talosian’s robes are made from, and Vina points out that she has to wear something, and can be dressed any way he wants her to. The conversation continues in this vein until Pike realizes that she can tell him about the Talosians, and Vina calls him a fool. He says there’s no point to continuing this conversation since she’s not real (again, she actually is).
Back on the planet’s surface, Number One is leading an away team to try and rescue Pike. They try to blast through the door with what looks like a large laser. Of course, because there’s still 30 minutes left in the episode at this point, they only manage to cause it to overheat and have to shut it down. Number One says that it should have taken the door out in one second, and Boyce points out that it for all they know it was, but no one can tell because of the Talosians’ abilities.
Back in the cell, Vina says that maaaaaaaybe she can answer some question for Pike. He asks how far they would be able to control him; Vina says that they can trick him and punish him if he refuses to cooperate, but can’t actually control his mind. It’s also revealed that the Talosians did live on the surface at one point, but were forced underground when a massive war rendered the surface uninhabitable. They began to develop their mental powers, but eventually became addicted to their own illusions and gave up building. She also states that creating illusions and seeing how different species react is basically like TV for them. Pike also begins to realize that Vina’s not an illusion, and that the Talosians want them to get it on. Meanwhile, the magistrate walks in. Apparently, he’s not too happy with Vina, as she starts writhing in pain before vanishing.
There’s a cut, and we then see Pike walking along a wall, trying to find a weakness. A hatch opens and a glass with green liquid is placed on the floor, which, according to the magistrate, contains a “nourishing protein complex.” Pike sarcastically notes that the magistrate is actually talking to him, instead of about him, and the magistrate responds that if he doesn’t like it, the liquid can appear as any food he wants. Pike indicates that he would rather starve, and is punished thusly:
Seriously, the overacting here is legendary. The magistrate then basically tells him to drink his dinner, and Pike wonders why he doesn’t just make him hungry, and comes to the conclusion that they can’t. The magistrate points out he can do far worse, and Pike reluctantly drinks it before launching himself at the wall. The magistrate steps back in surprise, which Pike finds very interesting. Pike realizes that “primitive thoughts” block their mind-reading powers: basically they can’t read someone who’s pissed off. It’s then revealed that a ship had crashed 18 years ago, but there was only one survivor, who they treated. They “found the species interesting,” and decided to set about getting more. He asks about Vina, and why they punished her for his lack of cooperation, and the magistrate notes this reaction with satisfaction before throwing Pike into another illusion.
Vina’s there too with a picnic and two horses, and asks Pike if he wants coffee, calling him “dear.” They are basically supposed to be married in this scenario He goes over to a horse, which he fondly refers to as Tango (tying into the conversation with Boyce where he said he had two horses back home). He starts to apologize for not having sugar cubes before reaching into his pocket and finding some, saying to VIna, “They think of everything, don’t they?” Vina is acting like all of this is real. Eventually, Pike manages to break through Vina’s act and they start talking about their situation. He asks Vina to confirm that keeping hate in their minds blocks the Talosian’s telepathy, and she says that it does. She says that he must hate her because the Talosians broke her down, and Pike says that he doesn’t, because he can imagine what it was like for her. Also, apparently Pike was chosen because he’s Vina’s type, and Pike admits he’s attracted to her to. We cut briefly to the monitoring room, where a Talosian notes that humans seem to be pretty good at lying to themselves.
After Vina notes that Pike must be wondering what it must be like to forget the responsibilities of being a captain, we switch to another illusion, this time of Pike as an Orion trader with an Orion slave dancing for them. Two notes: one, holy shit this scene is orientalist as fuck. And two, Pike’s outfit beats the one worn by the guy on Rigel Seven in sheer ridiculousness.
A dude in a Starfleet uniform compliments Pike on his digs, and Pike realizes that the dancing Orion is actually Vina.
Another of the patrons points out that this seems “like the kind of dreams a bored ship captain might have.” Well, that got kind of meta. Vina dances around some more, and the officer notes that Orion women “actually like being taken advantage of.” And I just threw up in my mouth a little. The other patron says, “Wouldn’t you say this is worth a man’s soul?” Pike basically has the same reaction I would at this point and leaves. He ends up in a stone corridor, and Vina shows up with a torch, looking at Pike like she’d like to eat him.
Back on the ship, the away team is preparing to go on another mission. Spock says that they’ve located a magnetic field that might come from a generator. Another crewmember points out that it could be another illusion as they enter the transporter room, where Number One is giving a briefing. They’re going to try and transport directly into the Talosian’s lair. Spock notes that it’s entirely possible that they could end up inside solid rock if the readings are incorrect, but hey, no pressure. Number One says that anyone who wants to back out is free to do so. No one does, and they go onto the transporter. They start it up, but what ends up happening is that Colt and Number One end up getting transported down, but the rest are left behind.
So, remember how I mentioned that Spock and Pike molesting my plant was my favorite part of the episode? I lied. My favorite part of the episode is Spock’s reaction to what just happened, which I find highly amusing. Mere words or even images don’t do it justice. I have to post the video:
Are you not entertained?
Of course, the two end up being transported directly to Captain Pike’s cell, where Pike is staring off into space with Vina holding onto him. Vina is displeased by the interruption, shouting, “No, let me finish!” as she stalks off. Number One and Colt express confusion about being the only ones transported, while Vina says, “It’s not fair. You don’t need them.” I’m presuming she’s talking to the Talosians, since she doesn’t seem to be talking to anyone present. Pike takes Number One and Colt’s phasers, but they’re both empty, even though (as Number One states) they were fully charged before they left. She finds her communicator doesn’t work. Pike basically tells her not to distract him, because he’s “filling my mind with a picture of beating their huge, misshapen heads to a pulp.” He explains that they can’t get past primitive emotions, while Vina asks how long he can keep it up. Colt tells her to leave him alone, and Vina says Pike doesn’t need them, he’s already chosen her. Colt has no clue what she’s talking about, and Vina retorts, “Now there’s a fine choice for intelligent offspring.”
Number One figures out what she means by this, in that they’re trying to get them to breed. Vina insults her next saying “They’d have more luck crossing him with a computer.” Number One points out that the Vina on the expedition was listed as an adult crewmen, so she’s obviously older than she looks.
The magistrate interrupts this little tete-a-tete to let him know that they’ve decided to give him a little more choice. Pike responds by threatening the magistrate, to absolutely no one’s surprise. The magistrate just responds by pointing out that both are good choices, since Number One is highly intelligent and Colt has youth and strength in her favor, and hey, apparently both are hot for Pike. For some reason.
Pike reacts to this by pointing out that he’s blocking their thoughts with hate, until he’s punished again by the magistrate. The magistrate then points out that he’ll be punished for wrong thoughts, and rewarded for right ones, so it would be best if he just gave in before leaving. Number One expresses concern, and Pike waves her away saying he needs to concentrate.
We then cut to the bridge. Spock, who is acting captain with Pike and Number One gone, announces that they’re cutting their losses and leaving. Unfortunately, right after that announcement, all the systems go dead.
On Talos 4, Pike, Number One, Colt, and Vina appear to be sleeping. This is, of course, a trick, since when the magistrate uses the hatch from earlier to retrieve the phasers, Pike grabs him and pulls him into the cell. Pike wraps his hands around the magistrate’s neck, and tells him he’ll break it if he doesn’t stop moving. Vina tells Pike to stop, that the Talosians “don’t mean to be evil,” but Pike calls bullshit on that. The magistrate briefly turns into the ape creature from earlier, until Pike tells him to stop before he twists his head off. The magistrate drops the illusion, and tells Pike if he doesn’t release him, he’ll destroy the Enterprise.
Meanwhile, the crew has opened consoles, trying to get to the root of the issue. Suddenly, a monitor lights up, flashing various entries in the ship’s database. A crewman notes that they can’t turn it off, and that it looks like the Talosians are going through everything stored. Spock then notes that “[t]hey’ve decided to swat us.”
On Talos, Vina tells Pike that the magistrate is not bluffing, and that they “can make your crew work the wrong controls or push any button it takes to destroy your ship.” Pike says that he’s willing to take the chance that the Talosians are too smart to kill a bunch of people in cold blood, and turns him over to Number One while he retrieves the phasers and fires then at the transparent wall before putting one to the magistrates head. Pike says that he thinks the phasers being empty is an illusion as well, and that the wall now has a gigantic hole in it that they can’t see. The magistrate drops the illusion, and Pike is absolutely correct.
The four of them exit with their hostage, and make it up to the surface of the planet. It turns out that Boyce was also right about the laser working on the metal door: that has a gigantic hole in it too. Pike tells Number One to contact the ship, but the communicator still isn’t working. Pike points his weapon at the magistrate and tells him that he wants to contact his ship. The magistrate, the smug bastard, says that they’re exactly where he wanted them: the planet’s surface.
See, it turns out that they didn’t bring Pike, Number One, and Colt down to the planet for scientific curiosity. See, they wanted to use them to breed “a society trained to serve as artisans, technicians” in order to reclaim the planet’s surface. In other words, they wanted to use them as slaves. Pike tells them that if the magistrate can prove that the ship is all right, he’ll stay with Vina and the other two will go back to the ship. Number One gives a rather exasperated look and, because she’s a stone-cold badass, sets her phaser to overload while pointing out the ethical issues with what the Talosians plan.
The magistrate is confused by their actions, and asks if they intend to destroy themselves. Vina asks what’s going on, and Pike explains to her what Number One just did, and how it’s going to blow them all to hell. He then tells Vina to run back underground and even pushes her, even going so far as to tell the magistrate to go with her, to “show you how primitive humans are.” Vina, to her credit, says she’s staying, since they may pull this again if they still have her.
At this point more Talosians arrive on the scene, and Pike tells Number One to turn the phaser off. They tell the magistrate that they’ve finished looking through the Enterprise’s records, and ask if he wants to see it. He assents, and then realizes something that is apparently an alien concept to Talosians: humans have a “a unique hatred of captivity,” which makes them too dangerous for what the Talosians intended them for.
Yeah, I call bullshit. Not the part about humans preferring death to captivity, but the part about it being unique to humans. Magilla Gorilla and Harvey Birdman obviously weren’t human, and they didn’t look too pleased to be there either.
Anyway, Vina clarifies for the captain that this means that they’re not useful to them and that they can go. Pike angrily says, “And that’s it? No apologies? You captured one of us, threatened all of us.” One of the other Talosians says that it’s enough that the humans’ unsuitability has condemned them to a slow demise, since no other species had shown the kind of adaptability that they have. Pike asks if some kind of alliance would be possible, but the magistrate says that they’d just learn the Talosians’ abilities and destroy themselves as well. Number One is able to contact the Enterprise and Pike suggests that they go, but Vina says that she can’t.
So, Number One and Colt are beamed back to the ship. And, at this point, Vina transforms into an older, horribly disfigured version of herself.
See, when the Columbia crashed, Vina survived and was horrifically injured. The Talosians tried to help her, but had never seen a human before and weren’t sure what they were supposed to look like. And that’s why she can’t go back with them. Because she’s not hot.
There were parts in this episode that irritated me. But this part made me want to throw my fucking monitor against the wall. Seriously, episode? That’s the reason we’re giving here? She’s too ugly to go back to humanity? I though part of Gene Roddenberry’s vision was that appearances wouldn’t fucking matter anymore.
Enough ranting, back to the episode. Vina starts heading back towards the underground entrance, and takes a last look at Pike. The magistrate says it was necessary to convince Pike that she really wanted to stay there, and Pike asks if they’ll give her back her illusionary appearance. The magistrate nods and says “and more,” and it turns out that they’ve given her an illusionary Pike as well. And this is apparently supposed to be a happy ending.
Pike is beamed back to the ship, and Number One and Colt ask if Vina is coming with them. Pike says that she’s not, and that he “agreed with her reasons.”
Pike, Spock, and Number One go onto the bridge, and Boyce tells the captain that he looks a lot better. Pike points out that Boyce recommended a change of pace, and that’s certainly one way of describing this adventure. Colt comes onto the bridge again, and Pike bumps into her again. He starts to berate her, but stops when she hands him the reports to sign. She asks him who he would have chosen to be “Eve,” and Number One snaps that she’s delivered her reports, and she leaves. Another crewman and Boyce express confusion on this, but Pike rebuffs them and asks Number One if they’re ready to go. She responds that they are, and Pike gives the order to engage. Thus ends the episode.
Star Trek is often lauded for being rather progressive for it’s time. This episode…is not so progressive. The way Pike says he “can’t get used to having a woman on the bridge” as well as the charming little aside about possibly becoming a slaver makes me long for Kirk. Also, I would like to point out that except for a transporter operator with no lines, the cast of this episode is entirely white. At least the series proper had a couple of cast members of color.
For the episode itself, I can see why they ordered a new one. There were some rather amusing moments, but for the most part it as a slog to get through this one. I wouldn’t necessarily say it was too cerebral, but with the mountains of exposition it was just dull. Not to mention the whole I-can’t-go-with-you-‘cause-I’m-ugly thing with Vina at the end.
I wish they could have kept Majel Barrett as Number One, though. She was badass.
Next week I look at the first aired episode, amusingly titled “The Man Trap.”