Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Star Trek: The Menagerie, Part I

Episode: "The Menagerie, Part I"
Series: Star Trek: The Original Series
Season 1, Episode 11
Original Air Date: November 17, 1966
via Wikipedia

"The Menagerie" was the only two-part episode of Star Trek's original series.  Roddenberry created the episode as a cost- and time-saving measure.  Consistently falling behind in the production schedule, Roddenberry hatched a plan to throw together two episodes on the cheap while also recycling material from the original, unused pilot, "The Cage" (reflection here).  "The Menagerie" incorporates footage from "The Cage" in a new adventure.  However, this new story is a lot more than just a convenient contrivance.  It is one of two original series episodes to win the Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation.  As it is a two-parter, I will wait to comment on the narrative until I've watched the second half.  I will say that it is shaping up to be the first truly great Spock story.

*****
via Wikipedia

Malachi Throne (Commodore Jose I. Mendez) was born December 1, 1928 in New York City.  A successful stage actor, most of his high-profile television work was in guest starring roles.  In addition to two different Trek series (original and The Next Generation), Thorne appeared in Batman, Lost in Space, Mission: Impossible and The Six Million Dollar Man among others.  An interesting twist for Thorne in this particular episode: he'd also been featured in "The Cage" as the voice of the Keeper.  For "The Menagerie," the voice was electronically altered so as not to match Mendez's.

12 comments:

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    1. I'm planning to watch part 2 tonight. I'm eager to finish.

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  2. Throne appeared in an episode of the Star Trek New Voyages fan series. "The Menagerie" remains one of my favorites for the simple reason of how it cleverly repurposed the original pilot.

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    1. Have you watched the fan series? I never have.

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  3. I'm not surprised it won the Hugo award. It's such a powerful story.

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    1. I'm really looking forward to finishing. It's a new one for me.

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  4. My favorite episodes of Star Trek.
    Plus I was a fan of Jeffery Hunter, he died so young.
    I noticed in your other review/comments you talked about House Of Cards, US or BBC version ? I saw the British series, and Ian Richardson is perfect for the role.
    This is leading up to the question have you watched the BBC series "State Of Play" 2003 It is a political thriller, David Morrissey, John Simm and Bill Nightly, who can do no wrong and just about stole the show. Plus Kelly Mac Donald the voice of Merida in Brave.
    When I saw it was so good that I bought the UK DVD.
    Maybe netflix has it ?

    cheers, parsnip

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    1. We have seen and enjoyed all three of the series you've mentioned! I'm still undecided as to whether I prefer the US or UK version of House of Cards. I really like Kevin Spacey a lot but feel that the UK story is tighter.

      Kelly MacDonald is one of my personal favorites.

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    2. I never had the time to watch the US version of House Of Cards. Maybe some day ? who knows. No one plays smarmy smiling baddie like Ian Richardson

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    3. Agreed! Have you seen Rosencrantz and Gildenstern Are Dead? Richardson plays Polonius and quite wonderfully.

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  5. The Cage as a pilot was considered 'too cerebral', and everything except Spock was scrapped (lucky for us!). I love how Roddenberry managed to get The Cage shown on TV anyway...he was a determined man.
    These are two great episodes.

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    1. Definitely a determined man! He certainly believed in his vision.

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