Sunday, January 1, 2012

Recap: The Cage (1 of 4)

Recap: The Cage (part 1 of 4)

Back in late 2005, I decided to celebrate my acquisition of the original Star Trek on DVD by doing episode recaps which I posted to the alt.startrek and rec.arts.startrek.misc newsgroups. For reasons that I'm no longer clear on, I posted these recaps under the screenname Empok Nor. Now, as part of my policy of trying to post everything I've ever written on this blog, I now reclaim these recaps. I chose to recap the episodes in the order they were filmed rather than the order they aired, so that meant starting with the original Star Trek pilot, "The Cage".

Some background: In 1963 Gene Roddenberry was producing a TV series at MGM Studios called The Lieutenant that was airing on CBS. The suits at MGM figured CBS wouldn't pick up The Lieutenant for a second season, and they asked GR to come up with an idea for a new series. The series proposal he pitched them was one he had been working on since 1960: Star Trek, a science fiction series set on a spaceship. After several months went by with no reaction from the MGM suits, GR started shopping the series proposal around to the other TV studios. In April 1964, Desilu hired GR to produce TV pilots for them, on the basis of the Star Trek proposal and some other series ideas he outlined verbally. Within days, GR did a meeting with the suits at CBS to pitch Star Trek. They heard him out for two hours, then told him that they had already decided to go with Lost in Space.

Early the next month, the Star Trek proposal was sent to NBC, which liked the idea well enough to pay Desilu $20,000 to come up with three story outlines based on the series format. By the end of June, GR had cranked out the three outlines, and NBC picked the one called "The Cage" to be developed into a shooting script. GR spent the next several months writing the script, and also planning the design of the spaceship model, sets, props, costumes and so forth. At the end of September, GR submitted his script to NBC, which greenlighted the pilot. Preproduction required several more months, and in November construction of the sets began. Stephen E. Whitfield notes that the bridge set took six weeks and almost $60,000 to build. Filming of the pilot, now renamed "The Menagerie", began on 27 November 1964 (according to Memory Alpha) or 12 December 1964 (according to Whitfield).


We open with the first notes of the title theme and shots of the spaceship flashing across a starfield. This version of the title theme includes the "singing woman" motif. The first title appears, faintly blue: STAR TREK. The spaceship zooms across the screen again. Next title: STARRING JEFFREY HUNTER. Again the zooming ship. Next title: GUEST STAR SUSAN OLIVER. Next title: STAR TREK CREATED BY GENE RODDENBERRY as the spaceship cruises onto the screen from the left, and we approach the top of the saucer section. We linger momentarily over the words USS ENTERPRISE, then continue to close in on a bubble at the top of the saucer. A little window on top of the bubble opens into the bridge, which is done up in black and gray. Most of the stations (including the captain's chair) have small video receivers mounted on gooseneck supports. The crew wear black pants and tunics in muted colors.

Captain Christopher Pike, in a gold tunic, sits in the center chair. Number One, also in gold, sits at the helm position, while Lt. Jose "Joe" Tyler, also in gold, mans the navigation console. A crewman in a blue tunic stands by the turbolift doors. (In his novel The Rift Peter David states that this crewman's name is Valdini, and that he was killed in action on stardate 3619.2.) A crewman in a gold tunic mans the engineering station, while another blue-tunicked crewman stands to the right of the captain's chair holding a clipboard.

Mr. Spock, in a blue tunic, approaches the captain's chair from behind, then takes up position to its left. "Check the circuits," Spock orders. Spock's race hasn't been established at this point. The series format described him as "probably half-Martian". He was also supposed to look even more satanic than he already did, with a "heavy-lidded face" and a "slightly reddish complexion". The red makeup didn't work out, so they ended up making him slightly greenish.

"All operating, sir," Tyler responds.

"Can't be the screen, then," Spock remarks.

We cut to the main viewscreen, showing stars. A ripple blurs across it, accompanied by the bleep sound that will later become the prelude to operating the transporter.

A two-shot of Spock and Captain Pike. "Definitely something out there, Captain," says Spock. "Headed this way." He turns to look back at the screen.

A shot of the main viewscreen over the shoulders of Pike, Tyler and Number One. "Could be these meteoroids," says Tyler as several meteoroids shoot past on the screen.

"No, it's something else," says Number One. "There's still something out there."

Back to the two-shot of Spock and Pike as they stare at the screen.

A shot of the screen over Tyler's shoulder as another ripple and bleep shimmies across it.

A quick shot of Pike, then a shot of Tyler as his red navigation alarm starts flashing. The alarm sound is two alternating tones, rather that the one tone we're used to. It's actually kind of wimpy sounding.

Back to the two-shot of Spock and Pike.

A profile shot of Tyler and Number One as the former says, "It's coming at the speed of light. Collision course."

A quick shot of Pike looking unruffled.

Back to the screen over Tyler's shoulder as another ripple crosses it.

A quick shot of a guy in a pale pink tunic at Communications turning to look at his instruments. (In The Rift, the Communications Officer's name is Vincent. Jerry Oltion mentions another comm officer named Dabisch in his Christopher Pike novel Where Sea Meets Sky, but Dabisch is a Galamite, while this fellow is clearly human, so Vincent it is).

A wide angle of the bridge as the wimpy two-tone alert alarm continues to sound.

A shot of the screen as another ripple disturbs the stars.

Back to the shot of Tyler as he says, "Meteoroid beam has not deflected it, Captain."

A shot of Number One as she turns back toward Pike and says, "Evasive maneuvers, sir?"

Two shot of S & P. "Steady as we go," says an impassive Pike.

The screen over Tyler's shoulder: more ripples.

Wide angle of the bridge. A shot of Pike as he glances at Spock.

The screen over Tyler's shoulder: one last ripple blurs the stars. The alarm stops sounding.

Vincent peers at his instruments and listens to a steady beeping: "It's a radio wave, sir. We're passing through an old-style distress signal."

Two shot of S & P: a still-impassive Pike exposits: "They were keyed to cause interference and attract attention this way." That sly dog knew what was going on the whole time. Spock moves away from him, on his way to the library computer station.

Vincent: "A ship in trouble making a forced landing, sir. That's it, no other message."

Wide angle of the bridge as Tyler works his board and says, "I have a fix. It comes from the Talos star group." He seems to have a little trouble with the name. The guy with the clipboard approaches Pike with a piece of paper for his attention, but the Captain shakes his head.

"We've no Earth ships or colonies that far out," Number One notes.

Shot of Spock as he stands next to his library computer station: "Their call letters check with a survey expedition. S. S. Columbia."

Switch to a shot of Spock's back as he looks at a viewscreen showing the Talos star group, which looks suspiciously like an astronomical photo of the Pleiades. "Disappeared in that region approximately eighteen years ago."

Profile shot of Tyler and Number One as the navigator nods and says, "It would take that long for a radio beam to travel from there to here."

Back to Spock as he waves his hand over his library computer, causing the screen to shift to a drawing of a planetary system. The caption in the bottom right reads 092 07 5083 TALOS GROUP. There are two stars very close together, and five planets orbiting them. The fourth planet out has a highly inclined orbit, way out of the system's ecliptic. Spock says, "Records show the Talos group has never been explored. Solar system similar to Earth's. Eleven planets." During this exposition, we shift back to a shot of a still-impassive Pike. Clipboard Guy is still waiting next to him.

Spock in profile. "Number four seems to be Class M." Spock turns to give Pike a significant look as he adds, "Oxygen atmosphere." It should be noted that this is the first time someone says "Class M" on Star Trek. Much, much later, on Star Trek: Enterprise, this expression is retconned as an abbreviation of the Vulcan term "Minshara-class planet."

Shot of Number One as she also turns to look at Pike, saying, "Then they could still be alive, even after eighteen years."

"If they survived the crash," Pike notes.

A puzzled Spock says, "We aren't going to go? To be certain?"

"Not without any indication of survivors, no," Pike insists. Glancing at Number One and Tyler, he orders, "Continue on to the Vega colony and take care of our own sick and injured first."

A quick shot of Number One, looking back at Pike again.

"You have the helm," Pike says as he rises from his chair. "Maintain present course." From offscreen Number One says, "Yes, sir." Clipboard Guy watches in annoyance as Pike strides past him to the turbolift without so much as a glance, then shrugs and resumes standing next to the Captain's chair. Number One and Spock share a concerned look.


A ship's corridor. A casually dressed couple passes by, he in a blue striped shirt and white shorts, she in a sleeveless red top and white pleated miniskirt. They pass by Pike, who enters a door to the left. A sign next to the door reads CAP. PIKE.

We see a close-up of a telecommunicator (as it's called in the series format) as a pair of hands twist a knob and flip it open, resulting in the familiar TOS communicator sound. A metallic filtered voice says, "Boyce here." Pike's voice responds, "Drop by my cabin, doctor." The hands close the telecommunicator.

We follow Pike as he crosses his cabin and drops onto his bunk with a weary sigh. There's an odd-looking three-sided wooden cabinet in the middle of the cabin with a television screen on one side. sitting on top of the cabinet are a hand laser and a uniform cap. A niche in the wall across the room holds some bound volumes, what seems to be a trophy with four handles, a clipboard, and a few other unidentifiable odds and ends. A nightstand next to the bunk has another video receiver on a gooseneck mount.

We cut to the cabin's door as Doctor Philip "Bones" Boyce (as the series format calls him) enters, an elderly man wearing a blue jumpsuit with an Earth logo on the left breast pocket. He's carrying some sort of leather-bound case. He walks up to a counter, turns on an overhead light, and opens up the case. ( The Memory Alpha entry on "The Cage" notes that this scene between Pike and Boyce was the first to be filmed.)

Back to Pike, as he sits up: "What's that? I didn't say there was anything wrong with me."

Boyce spares Pike a glance as he continues to fiddle with the case. "I understand we, ah, picked up a distress signal." He removes some glassware from the case.

Back to Pike: "That's right," he says, as he rises from his bunk and crosses over to the wall niche. Picking up the clipboard and opening it, he continues, "Unless we get anything more positive on it, it seems to me the condition of our own crew takes precedence." Looking over at Boyce he adds, "I'd like to log the ship's doctor's opinion, too."

"Oh, I concur with yours, definitely," Boyce says as he continues to fiddle with his case.

Pike looks a little surprised at this, as though he were expecting Boyce to voice an objection. "Good, I'm glad you do," he says. Returning to sit on his bunk with the clipboard, he adds, "We're going to stop first at the Vega colony and replace anybody who needs hospitalization. We can also . . . " Pike trails off as he stares at Boyce. "What the devil are you putting in there, ice?"
Boyce smiles as he walks over and hands Pike a shot glass. "Who wants a warm martini?"

Well, Pike did tell Number One she had the helm, so I guess that means he's off duty. Taking the martini from Boyce, he says, "What makes you think I need one?"

Gesturing with a glass mixing rod, Boyce chuckles and says, "Sometimes a man will tell his bartender things he'll never tell his doctor." Picking up another shot glass, Boyce makes a little "cheers" gesture with it before sitting in a chair across from Pike's bunk. "What's been on your mind, Chris? The fight on Rigel Seven?"

Tossing the clipboard on his bunk, Pike says, "Shouldn't it be? My own yeoman and two others dead, seven injured."

"Was there anything you personally could have done to prevent it?" Boyce asked pointedly.

Pike isn't buying it. "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 sips from his glass during this exposition.

Shot of Boyce as he looks sorrowfully at Pike: "Chris, you set standards for yourself no one could meet! You treat everyone on board like a human being except yourself."

Shot of Pike, looking down at his drink, as Boyce continues, "And now you're tired, and you --"
Pike looks up suddenly and interrupts. "You bet I'm tired! You bet!" Reclining on his bunk, he continues. "I'm tired of being responsible for two hundred and three lives. I'm tired of deciding which mission is too risky and which isn't, and who's going on the landing party and who doesn't. And who lives . . . " glancing back down at his drink, "and who dies." Shaking his head and sighing, Pike adds, "I've had it, Phil."

Shot of Boyce: "To the point of finally taking my advice, a rest leave?"

Back to Pike: "To the point of considering resigning."

Boyce leans back in his chair in dismay. "And do what?" he says sarcastically.

Defiantly, Pike answers, "Well, for one thing, go home."

Boyce looks unconvinced.

Pike continues, "Nice little town with fifty miles of parkland around it." Another glance down, then up at Boyce. "Remember I told you I had two horses? We used to take some food and ride out all day."

Boyce takes another drink and snarks, "That sounds exciting. Ride out with a picnic lunch every day."

Back to the two shot of Pike and Boyce as a miffed Pike sits up again and insists, "I said that's one place I might go. I might go into business on Regulus or in the Orion colonies."

Boyce is incredulous. "You? An Orion trader, dealing in green animal-woman slaves?"

Gesturing with his hand, Pike says forcefully, "The point is, this isn't the only life available. There's a whole galaxy of things to choose from."

"Not for you," says Boyce.

Shot of the doctor as he leans back and ruminates. "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."

Shot of Pike as he smiles and says, "Now you're beginning to talk like a doctor, bartender."

Smiling back, Boyce says, "Take your choice. We both get the same two kinds of customers: the living, and the dying."

Shot of Pike as he briefly reflects on the doctor's words before being interrupted by the page whistle.

Close-up of the video receiver as Pike switches it on. Spock appears and says, "Mr. Spock here. We're intercepting a follow-up message, sir. There are crash survivors on Talos." Spock fades away again. (So now we know that this character is called Mr. Spock.)


Close-up on a control panel. We pull back a bit to reveal orange paper scrolling out of a printer. Two hands reach in to grab the paper.

Cut to the bridge, as Vincent reads from the paper. An auburn-haired woman in a pale pink tunic is seated at the station, Vincent and Pike are standing on either side of her. Number One and Tyler are at their stations, Spock is standing next to Number One, Valdini is still standing by the turbolift doors, Boyce is standing in front of them, and Clipboard Guy is back to the right of the Captain's chair. "'Eleven survivors from crash,'" reads Vincent. "'Gravity and oxygen within limits. Food and water obtainable. But unless . . .' The message faded at that point, sir." The woman had been staring straight ahead, but now she looks up at Vincent. As Pike takes the paper from Vincent, the Redhead's eyes shift to him. (We never see her again. I wonder who she is?)

Shot of Pike as he reads the message for himself, then we pan around as he makes his way to stand by the Captain's chair and Vincent returns to his station. For the record, there are fourteen people scattered around the bridge.

"Address intercraft," Pike orders.

Tyler presses a button and says, "System open."

"This is the captain," states Pike, his voice slightly reverbing. "Our destination is the Talos star group."

Medium shot of Pike with Boyce and Valdini behind him. Pike continues, "Our time warp, factor seven."

Side shot of Tyler, Number One and Spock as Tyler works his controls. "Course computed and on the screen," he announces. Number One adds, "All decks have acknowledged, sir."

Back to Pike: "Engage."

Back to Tyler and Number One as they both work their controls and Spock moves off.
Wide angle on the bridge as the engines hum and the title theme comes up. The bridge shot starts to fade in and out as a starfield comes up and starts sliding past. Pike moves forward to stand next to Tyler, who holds up seven fingers to indicate they've reached time warp factor seven. Pike nods, and the bridge fades out.

Starfield drifting to the right.

The bridge fades in. Pike is still standing next to Tyler, who says, "On course, sir."

In the background, the turbolift doors open to reveal Yeoman J.M. Colt, a pretty young woman in a pale rose tunic with bright coppery hair carrying a clipboard. (She's not the Redhead we saw earlier -- her hair was darker.) As Pike turns around he almost runs into her. "Yeoman," he barks.

"Yes, sir," says Colt, standing stiffly at attention.

"I thought I told you that when I'm on the bridge that I expect --"

"That you wanted the reports by 0500," she finishes for him, with a hint of fear in her wide blue eyes. "It's 0500 now, sir."

Pike blinks, then glares up at Clipboard Guy. Clipboard Guy turns and leaves. "Oh. I see," Pike mumbles as Colt hands him the clipboard. "Thank you," he mumbles again as he looks through the reports, and she turns and walks off. Pike glares after her, then turns back to Number One.

Shot of Number One as she says with a smile, "She's replacing your former yeoman, sir."

"She does a good job, all right," Pike grudgingly admits to her. "It's just that I can't get used to having a woman on the bridge." (Pike has apparently not noticed that there were already two women on the bridge before Colt showed up.)

Number One looks up sharply at this.

Sighing, Pike says, "No offense, Lieutenant. You're different, of course."

Initially pleased, Number One frowns again when she realizes that Pike is implying she's not a real woman, then turns back to her console. (Presumably the Redhead is also different, somehow.)


Starfield, with the planet Talos IV approaching. We hear the opening notes of the title theme.
Shot of the main viewscreen, over the shoulders of Tyler and Spock. The screen is filled with a cloud-covered planet. "We've settled into orbit, sir," says Tyler.

Shot of Pike leaning on the bridge railing. Behind him, the turbolift opens to reveal a blue-tunicked crewman holding a sheet of white paper in a clear cover. The Star Trek Concordance identifies this man simply as "the Geologist". He hands Pike the paper, saying, "Geological lab report complete, Captain."

Spock steps up and hands Pike another paper, saying, "Preliminary lab survey ready, sir."

"Spectography?" says Pike as he skims the two reports.

"Our reading shows an oxygen-nitrogen atmosphere, sir," the Geologist responds. "Heavy with inert elements, but well within safety limits."

"Gravity?" Pike asks.

"Zero point nine of Earth," says the Geologist.

Shot of Tyler and Number One as the navigator reports, "Captain? Reflections, sir, from the planet's surface."

As Pike and Spock approach Tyler, he continues. "As I read it, they polarize out as rounded metal bits."

Back shot of Spock and Tyler facing the screen, which is still filled with a view of Talos IV. Tyler turns his head and adds, "Could be parts of a spaceship hull." From offscreen, Pike says, "Equip a landing party of six."

Shot of Pike looking at Spock and Tyler. "Do you feel up to it?" the Captain asks them.

"Yes, sir," says Spock.

"Yes, sir!" exclaims Tyler.

As the two men make for the turbolift, Number One looks put out as she rests her chin on the backs of her hands. Pike looks back at her and says, "Sorry, Number One. With so little information on this planet, we'll have to leave the ship's most experienced officer here covering it."

"Of course, sir," says a disappointed Number One.

Pike heads for the turbolift, where he joins Tyler, Spock, the Geologist, and a crewman in a pale rose tunic that the Star Trek Concordance identifies as C.P.O. Garison.


The transporter room. We see Tyler and Spock attaching equipment to silver harnesses worn beneath sparkly gray jackets. There's a loud, rhythmic humming sound filling the room. GR originally intended this scene to be the viewing audience's introduction to the transporter concept, so director Robert Butler and he made an elaborate production of the transporter's use here. As it turned out, the audience's first sight of the transporter process was when Kirk, McCoy and Crewman Green sparkle in out of nowhere at the beginning of "The Man Trap".

As Pike enters, we pan right as he passes Boyce and approaches Transporter Chief Pitcairn, a heavyset crewcut man in a khaki coverall. Standing next to Pitcairn is an Asian man, also in a khaki coverall. (In The Rift the Asian man is named Yamata.) Ever since I first saw this scene back in the mid-70s, something struck me as odd about it. Now I've figured it out: Yamata is wearing glasses, the only person we've seen wearing glasses on Star Trek (except for Kirk in The Wrath of Khan). Pike says to Pitcairn, "There's no indication of problems down there, but let's not take any chances."

In a deep voice, Pitcairn says, "Yes, sir. There's a canyon to the left. We can set you down there completely unobserved." Say, shouldn't the chief have given some cardinal direction rather than "to the left"? Oh well; I suppose he meant "to the west".

"All right," says Pike as he turns and steps up onto the transporter stage, where he joins Spock, Tyler, Boyce, the Geologist and C.P.O. Garison. The Geologist has various bits of equipment hanging from straps, and the noncom, of course, gets to carry a big, heavy backpack.

We cut back to the transporter console, which has no less than two video monitors on gooseneck mounts. Yamata is no longer wearing glasses. The two men operate the controls as the transporter whine rises.

We cut back to the landing party as the transporter whine grows to a climax, and they all fade away accompanied by sparkles and a tinkly sound.

We cut to the surface of Talos IV as the landing party fades into view, accompanied by sparkles and a tinkly sound. They look around at Talos IV, which is a pretty desolate place full of jumbled rocks. Jagged mountains loom in the background, and clouds fill a green-tinged sky. The Geologist is inspecting one of the rocks.

Cut to a Pike's-eye view of the terrain ahead: more rocks, more jagged mountains, more cloudy green sky. There is a scrubby-looking plant on the right with red leaves.

Cut back to the landing party as they start forward. As they walk along, we become aware of a humming sound in the background. Tyler is in the lead, with a laser pistol in his hand. Spock follows him, also packing heat, and we notice his limp for the first time; his left leg was presumably injured during the fighting on Rigel VII. Pike is next, followed by Garison and Boyce, with the Geologist bringing up the rear. The humming becomes louder, and Pike and Spock approach a wiry plant with flat, shimmering blue leaves. Pike grabs a couple, and the humming dims. Spock grabs two more, and the humming dims even more. Spock grins briefly (yes, he does), then they release the leaves and Spock motions the others forward.

We dissolve to another shot of the landing party walking along, with the Geologist in the lead this time. He passes behind a boulder with more humming plants growing on it, leans on it, takes a look around, and spots something. Turning back to Pike, he whispers, "Sir," and looks forward again as Pike and Spock approach. Pike takes the lead and Spock stands just behind him.

A musical sting comes up as we cut to a Pike's-eye view of the survivors' encampment. There seems to be a still in the foreground and a ten-foot radar tower off to the left, along with makeshift shelters scattered about. A handful of white-haired people in ragged clothing move around in the background.

A shot of the landing party as they move forward.

A shot of two of the survivors. The one on the left, whose name we never learn, says, "They're men! They're humans!"

Pike and Spock lead the way into the encampment. Shaking hands with one of the survivors, Pike says, "Captain Christopher Pike, United Space Ship Enterprise."

"Doctor Theodore Haskins, American Continent Institute," says the survivor.

Shot of a group of six survivors, including Haskell: "Is Earth all right?" asks unnamed survivor #2.

Shot of Pike, Tyler, Boyce and Garison: "Same old Earth," Pike assures him."And you'll see it very soon."

"And you won't believe how fast you can get back," Tyler interjects. "Why, the time barrier's been broken! Our new ships can --" He breaks off, and stares past the survivors.

Back to the six survivors, who all turn around.

Shot of Survivor Vina stepping forward. She has unkempt blonde hair, and is wearing the frayed upper half of a blue coverall for a top and a burlap sack for a skirt. Her bearing is oddly distant, as though she's looking at everything through a telescope. She moves next to Haskins, who cheerfully introduces her. "This is Vina. Her parents are dead. She was born almost as we crashed."

As Haskins is speaking, we cut to a shot of a fascinated Pike. We pull back to see that Pike is being viewed on an irregularly shaped monitor.

A shot of the three beings watching Pike. These are the Talosians: frail, with big veiny heads, dressed in metallic gray robes. One of them, the Keeper, is wearing a gold medallion around his neck. The spooky Talosian theme is playing.

A shot of two Talosians flanking the monitor, on which we see the Enterprise crew and the survivors shaking hands and getting chummy.

A close-up of the Keeper.

A close-up of Pike on the monitor.

Another close-up of the Keeper. Yeah, his expression says, I got my eye on you, boy.

On the monitor, Pike and Survivor Vina are giving each other the eye.

The Keeper turns to look at the other two Talosians, nods, and off they go. The Keeper turns and peers out of the TV set at the viewer.

Cut to the survivors' encampment, as the landing party are helping the survivors pack up their stuff. Pike opens his telecommunicator and calls, "Enterprise." The voice of Number One replies, "Landing party, come in." As Pike moves offscreen, we see Survivor Vina following him.
We follow Survivor Vina as she joins Pike and Haskins. Pike is still talking to Number One: "We'll begin transporting the survivors and their effects up to you very shortly."

"Quarters are being prepared, sir," we hear Number One respond. "Have I permission to send out scouting and scientific parties now?"

"That's affirmative on the . . . " Pike trails off as he becomes aware that Survivor Vina is staring at him.

A close-up of Survivor Vina, with her disconcerting blue eyes and disheveled blonde hair. She's giving Pike that far-end-of-the-telescope look, and as she speaks, the eerie Vina theme insinuates itself into the soundtrack. "You appear to be healthy and intelligent, Captain. A prime specimen."

Back to an uneasy-looking Pike as Number One says, "I didn't get that last message, Captain."

"Uh, affirmative on request," he mumbles distractedly into his telecommunicator. "Landing party out."

Back to a three shot of Pike, Haskins and Survivor Vina as Boyce moseys on up. "You must forgive her choice of words, Captain," says a jolly-looking Haskins. "She's lived her whole life with a collection of aging scientists."

Boyce says to Pike, "If they can, ah, spare you a moment, I'd like to make my medical report."

Another close-up of telescope-look Survivor Vina as she says, "I think it's time to show the Captain our secret."

Back to Boyce and Pike as Boyce says, "Their health is excellent. Almost too good."

A two shot of Haskins and Survivor Vina as Haskins says, "There's a reason for our condition. But we've had some doubt if Earth is ready to learn the secret." Y'know, in a sense, he's telling the truth. "Let the girl show you," Haskins continues. "We'll accept her judgment."

A shot of an uncertain-looking Pike, then back to Haskins and Survivor Vina. We pan left as she moves away from Haskins, and Pike follows her.

Survivor Vina leads Pike through the desolate landscape of Talos IV, still accompanied by the Vina theme. "You're tired," Survivor Vina tells Pike as she takes his hand. "Don't worry, you'll feel much better soon." She leads him up to a rocky outcrop. Pike stands there for a moment, not getting it. Survivor Vina moves around a bit, gesturing with her arms, looking for all the world like a shabbily-dressed Vanna White. "Don't you see it?" she says in a pixieish voice. "Here, and here."

Pike is still wondering what's going on. "Uh, I don't understand."

"You will," says Survivor Vina, and now her voice is all business. "You're a perfect choice." She ripples out of sight with a bwooby sound, taking the Vina theme with her.

A shot of the survivors' encampment, as the survivors and their effects suddenly vanish with another bwooby sound.

Back to the rocky outcrop. A hidden door in the rockface opens. Pike turns to look. The Keeper's two buddies emerge from the hidden door, along with an up-tempo version of the Talosian theme. The first Talosian points something at Pike, which produces a crackling sound and a stream of orange smoke, and Pike is down for the count.

Back at the area formerly known as the survivors' encampment, the five members of the landing party are looking stunned, until Tyler whips out his laser pistol and runs off, shouting "Captain!" The others follow, Spock having unholstered his own laser pistol. C.P.O. Garison leaves the heavy backpack lying on the ground.

Back at the rocky outcrop, the Talosians have managed to drag Pike into the hidden doorway, which turns out to be an elevator. They start moving down as the camouflaged doors close. The landing party finally arrives, and Tyler tries to force the doors open. When that fails, he leaps off the rocky outcrop, and he and Spock fire their lasers at it. They blast away some of the rock facade, but have no other effect. The Geologist then fires his laser, and more facade is blown away, but that's it. Tyler cranks up his laser to full power and fires another blast. More rock facade gets blasted away, but the doors remain undamaged. Tyler keeps firing at full power for sixteen seconds, but all he gets is a red glow from a small circle of door. When he stops firing, the glow quickly fades.

Spock activates his telecommunicator and says, "Spock here."

"Landing party, come in," says Number One.

"There is no survivors' encampment, Number One," says Spock. "This is all some sort of trap. We've lost the Captain. Do you read?"

(continue to part 2)

1 comment:

Big Bad Bald Bastard said...

Could anyone have predicted slashfic in this earlier, more innocent time?