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Star Trek: The Menagerie Parts 1 & 2
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Paramount has simply outdone itself in the remastering of this episode. The flashback elements date back to 1964, yet they look so fresh they could have been filmed yesterday. It is also interesting to see the great care the original cinematographer took with lighting--most of the compositions are simply beautiful--and far superior to today's more flatly lit approach. The sound has been remarkably enhanced, with both the sound effects and score in stereo.
It is interesting to compare "The Cage" with the original series. Although it is very impressive as science fiction, there is very little chemistry between the characters (similar to "The Next Generation"). Leonard Nimoy, DeForest Kelley, and the consistently underrated William Shater made a far more effective team in that respect.
This is a must for all Star Trek fans.
Recall the scene on Talos IV when Spock finds those blue musical wind leaves and tests them out by holding them? In the original version, you hear the sharp contrast as the loudest of the eerie vibrations disappear abruptly, and then come back (in synch with Spock clasping and releasing the leaves).
All that is lost in the transfer to DVD. The "musical leaf" sound track has been beautifully dubbed on in full Dolby Surround - but with no break! Spock plays with the leaves to no effect; and the whole point of that little scene has been remastered out of existence!
Did anyone else notice?
But, aside from this quandary, 'The Menagerie' is a wonderful showcase of the classic Trek producers' efforts to make the most of their budgetary limits. By framing the first (then-unseen) pilot 'The Cage' around a story involving the present Enterprise crew, Desilu managed to shave a couple bucks off of production expenses. It's also interesting to see who might've composed the original 'Trek crew had the first pilot been greenlighted into a TV series. Ah, what might've been...
Here we get to see the ORIGINAL Captain of the Starship Enterprise, Jeffrey Hunter, who played the role of Captain Pike. Hunter wasn't nearly as theatrical and overdramatic as William Shatner, who ended up in the role of Captain James T. Kirk, but would have, in my opinion, been equally great for the entire series had he stayed on board.
Part one of the two-part episode was broadcast on November 17, 1966 with the second part broadcast a week later on November 24, 1966.
Here, Spock has to trick Captain Kirk and essentially commit treason in taking the Enterprise to the forbidden Planet, Talos IV. At his trial for that infraction, Captain Pike, a man unable to move or speak except through an electronic device, ultimately reveals the story behind Spock's bizarre deception.
New filming took place for the framing story for "The Cage," the Star Trek pilot film which Gene Roddenberry shrewdly utilized in the production of this episode. Since actor Jeffrey Hunter was unavailable to reprise his role as Captain Pike, a look-alike actor, Sean Kenney, played the injured captain in the new scenes of "The Menagerie".
Sadly, in 1969, while flying back to the U.S. from Spain after filming "Viva America!," Jeffrey Hunter suffered the signs of a stroke. After recovering at a hospital in Los Angeles, he suffered another stroke while at home, causing a fall and a skull fracture.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Great story. Too bad that it wasn`t pieced together better. Since the show was under budget, the ratings suffered after the second season. Read morePublished 5 months ago by David
I needed this edition to fill in a missing tape. I enjoy all of the original series Star Treks. This is one of the better ones. The price was right and it was a brand new video.Published 10 months ago by Bill Hess
Of all the Star Trek series, this one is the most memorable one for me.Published 11 months ago by Dennis W Wong
I have been a fan of Star Trek since this episode first aired in 1966. The Menagerie ranks among the very best of the entire 79 episode series. Read morePublished 14 months ago by Robert Williams
"The Menagerie" is the finest, most satisfying "Star Trek" episode, having more plot, subplot, backstory, characterization, and BUDGET (in the footage from the... Read morePublished 14 months ago by Especially For You