The Cage

Captain Pike and his crew are lured to Talos IV by a race capable of creating powerful illusions.

Star Trek title

The Keeper (TOS-00)

Pike (TOS-00)

Vina (TOS-00)

  • Stardate Unknown
  • Unaired

The U.S.S. Enterprise is en route to the Vega Colony for rest, recreation, repairs, and replacement of personnel lost during an incident on Rigel VII two weeks earlier. Despite the status of his ship, Captain Pike decides to investigate signs that a ship may have crashed on the fourth planet in the Talos Star Group. A landing party, including Pike, Spock, and Tyler, beams down and is startled to find an encampment created from makeshift tents and old spaceship parts. A band of ragged survivors comes forward, led by a man who introduces himself as Dr. Theodore Haskins. He explains that they are scientists who have been marooned on Talos IV since their ship, the SS Columbia, crashed eighteen years earlier.

A young woman comes forward and is introduced as Vina, who was born “as they crashed.” Captain Pike is very much attracted to her. Several Talosians, concealed underground, watch the exchange on a monitor. When Vina lures Pike to a rock formation to show him the secret of how the old scientists have survived in such perfect health, the Talosians emerge from a concealed elevator, render Pike unconscious, and drag him into their underground chamber. Spock and Tyler reach the scene too late to help their captain. Meanwhile, the survivors and their encampment have vanished.

Pike awakens in a samll enclosure, sealed off by a transparent, shatterproof material. The Talosians, led by their Magistrate, whom Pike refers to as the Keeper, approach his cage and converse with him telepathically, angering Pike by their references to him as a member of an inferior species. Pike is transported, by the Talosians’ power of illusion, back to Rigel VII, where he once again sees Vina and must defend her from a Kaylar. When that illusion ends, both appear in his cage again, where Vina tells Pike that she is the lone survivor of the Columbia crash.

When Pike refuses to perform as the Talosians wish, they try to arouse his interest in Vina by presenting her to him within various illusions designed to spark his masculine instincts: a medieval princess on Rigel VII, a green-skinned Orion slave girl, and his “wife.” The Talosians have lured the Enterprise to their planet so that Pike can serve as a mate for Vina, enabling the Talosians to breed a race of humans they can use as slaves.

Meanwhile, an Enterprise landing party prepares to have itself underground. When the transporter is activated, however, only Number One and Yeoman Colt beam down. The two females materialize within Pike’s cage. The Talosians reason that perhaps the captain would be more attracted to one of his crewmates.

Examining Number One’s laser pistol, Pike finds it completely drained of power, but suspects that this is merely an illusion and that the weapon is actually functioning. He has discovered that the Talosians cannot probe into hostile emotional moods, and deliberately assumes an attitude of mindless anger. Throwing the lasers to the floor near a concealed door in his cage, Pike sits and waits. As he anticipated, the Keeper attempts to remove the pistols. Pike quickly grabs the Talosian, and as Number One holds their captor, Pike tries to shoot a hole through the transparent wall of the cage. He threatens to shoot the Keeper, and a hole instantly appears in the wall. The Talosians have been keeping the Enterprise crew from seeing the destruction that their weapons had caused. Using the Keeper as a shield, Pike and the others ascend in the elevator to the surface of the planet. Centuries before, the Talosians had all but destroyed the surface of their world in a nuclear war and were forced to move their civilization underground, ultimately resulting in their increased mental abilities and their inability to reproduce. After Number One threatens to commit suicide by setting her pistol to overload and explode, the Talosians confide to Pike that they never wanted slaves; they only wished to perpetuate their heritage in the offspring of Pike and Vina.

Number One and Colt are returned to the Enterprise, and the Talosians reveal the truth about Vina. She had actually survived the crash of the Columbia as an adult, but was horribly injured and disfigured. Without the aid of the Talosians and their illusions, Vina is a deformed, middle-aged woman. Pike sympathizes with her and asks the Talosians to give her back her illusion of beauty. Standing alongside the Keeper, Pike watches the full illusion that is the Talosians’ gift to Vina: she is apparently walking happily away with an illusion of himself keeping her company. Back aboard the Enterprise, Pike refuses to discuss what had happened, and the Enterprise resumes course for the Vega Colony.

Written by: Gene Roddenberry
Directed by: Robert Butler


Guest Cast:

Wednesday, May 20th, 2009 Early Voyages, Logs, Original Series, TV/Film

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