15 thoughts on “The Menagerie, Part 1 – Episode 12”

  1. I have always been fascinated with the beautiful futuristic cities portrayed on Star trek. Most were matte paintings by Albert Whitlock. The reimagined versions are nice but his originals stand up very well. He even showed us that his cities were in a period of growth. We get to see construction cranes working on new developement.

    Note the City of Mojave behind the picknic scene. It is speculated that it grew around Mojave spaceport, established in 2012 (35 03 34 N, 118 09 06 W). You can make out a double arched structure that closely resembles the Theme building at LAX.

    J A

    1. The Chicken-Tuna is a genetic hybrid created during the eugenics wars of the late 1990’s. It looks exactly like you imagine a chicken / tuna hybrid would look like. It tastes like chicken.

  2. I love the show, but the price is too high. To get it on time is $5.00 for two 30 min episodes? I pay for several podcasts, and this one is by far the priciest, considering the limited amount of content. Even HPLLP is only $2.22 a month….a bargain I’ve availed myself of for years now)
    Not that many people have heard of RWST and you’re already requiring payment for comments shows? I think the $2 level should be enough to get episodes as they are produced and the comment show (make that one late maybe). The personalized stuff, callouts, request shows, guest benefits and live feed are the kind of things worth a higher level membership.

    1. This is definitely food for thought. The whole show is really an experiment, so we’re just trying to feel-out what is the right way to do things. One thing that is important to us is that the show is free. You don’t have to pay a dime and you get every episode for free. A week late, but free. The comments show was always intended to be something for the backers. We put a few out there so people could get a sense of what it was like, more loose, less structured.

      Not trying to be defensive, just trying to help you understand our thinking. At the end of the year, Rachel and I are going to have a talk about the whole project and see if there is anything we can do better. We’ll totally take your feedback into consideration.

      Thanks for taking the time to write!


    1. Though even Joyce Byers came up with a better solution for Will than Starfleet’s engineers – perhaps Kirk commandeered all the Christmas lights for the office party!

      1. Even when I was a child, I came up with better communication systems for Captain Pike. So today I have to justify the blinky chair another way…

        Perhaps he is not mearly paralized. Could he be in a coma? Here is an article that describes a similarly primative system of communicating to a comatose patient;


        Even this is a stretch though. How many comatose patients are trundling around beeping at people in the twenty-third century?

        J A

  3. Rachel, I think you might have been picturing Davros there (the horribly mutilated, torso-mounted-on-half-a-Dalek enemy of the Doctor) rather than K9 (the Doctor’s robot dog)!

    Fortunately TOS avoided the budget-saving horror of the recycled clip show, though TNG was not so lucky. They overspent on a number of episodes in the second season, and as a result were forced to end the season with a clip show, ‘Shades of Gray’ – even its writer thought it was an awful episode. In polls it tends to compete for worst Trek episode ever with fellow TNG ep ‘Code of Honor’ and ‘Spock’s Brain’ from TOS.

    Euthanasia has come up a few times in Star Trek. At least a couple of major species practice it: the Klingons have Hegh’bat, ritual suicide for warriors who suffer debilitating injury (TNG: Ethics), and in the Voyager episode ‘Death Wish’ Tuvok states that Vulcans who reach a certain infirmity with age practice ritual suicide. ‘Death Wish’ is actually a pretty good episode dealing with the topic of euthanasia, and it features John de Lancie as Q which is always a plus.

    1. Migo brain case…you can travel the universe and the case lets you actually manipulate things rather than randomly driving around like a Roomba desperately hoping people will ask you the right question.

      1. Roomba….. That chair does look suspiciously similar to one of those riding floor waxers. I wonder if they’ve got Pike working nights at Starbase Eleven keeping the linoleum shiny.

        J A

  4. I paused the moment when Kirk reads the file on Talos IV…it refers to “Captain Christopher Pike” and “Half-Vulcan Science Officer Spock”. Just in case anyone forgot.

  5. Hello once again Rachel and Chris,

    Although it seems silly by today’s standards that Pike has only one light that he can blink once for yes and twice for no, the point was to underscore how difficult it is for us to both understand and hook into the human mind. This double episode was definitely trying to make a “Johnny Got His Gun” type of point about the ability modern technology gives us to keep people alive, but our relative inability to really fix them in instances of catastrophic damage.

    Jim made a good point regarding the possibility of Pike being comatose, very close to what occurred to me during your commentary. I recently read an article in “New Scientist” about a doctor who is trying to find ways to communicate with people who are locked in a totally unresponsive state. There is a clear indication that at least a certain portion of the people in such states are actually fully conscious in spite of not being able to move or signal in any way. This doctor was using brain scanning technology to monitor the patient’s responses to questions and to requests to think of certain things, like imagining playing tennis.

    Ironically enough, the best level of communication achieved so far was a yes and no type of response. I think we are supposed to see Pike as someone whose condition is beyond paralyzed, more like someone who is comatose or in a vegetative state.

    Star Trek premiered in 1966, we are already 51 years down the road from that time, and yes and no is still the best we can do. Star Trek was set in a time roughly 200 years in the future from 1966, so that is only 149 years from now. We are really so far from even a basic understanding of the how the mind and personality really work, I can easily see us still not being there by 2166.

    But I think we might have separate lights for yes and no by then.

    A question that come up during the episode was “Why is there a death penalty for going to Talos IV.” The supposed answer to that came at the end of “The Cage” and will be reprised at the end of “The Menagerie Part 2.”

    After finding humans unfit to be a servant race because we like freedom too much, the Talosians let Pike and his crew go, lamenting that the human’s lack of fitness has doomed the the Talosians to extinction.

    When Pike offers help from the Federation, the “head” Talosian refuses, saying, “You would learn our powers of illusion and destroy yourselves too.” So we are supposed to believe that the rule is protect Federation cultures from being destroyed, thus the harsh penalty.

    As for Gene’s huge writing credit, you’d be proud too if you found a way, not only get the pilot that you originally intended for your show aired in spite of network rejection, but also to create two “new” shows for less than the price of one and get your show’s budget for the season back on track. Fake rock and sparkly fabric don’t come cheap.

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