The Menagerie, Part 2 – Episode 13

Rachel and Chris go back to Talos IV to get their wildest dreams made reality!

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Special thanks to Chad Fifer for our theme tune and to Greig Johnson for his vocal stylings!

Next episode: The Conscience of the King!

5 thoughts on “The Menagerie, Part 2 – Episode 13”

  1. I don’t believe the Talosians.
    “We wont accept assistance from the Federation because daydreaming might be contagious” ?? Wouldn’t the same thing have happened to the human surface population if they succeded with the original plan?

    They could have opened up a luxury resort, called it Fantasy Island, and got Khan to run the place. Win-win.

    “What happens on Talos IV, stays on Talos IV”

    J A

  2. The Keeper’s fly bling tells me two things:
    1). He’s the Rap-King bustin’ rhymes on Talosian karaoke night.
    2) somewhere on Talos IV there’s a luxury sedan missing its hood ornament.

    J A

    1. Of course, The Keeper is an intergalactically-renowned rapper – the real reason Talos is interdicted is because of his lethal rhymes. I mean, just look at his Latinum-selling albums:

      Straight Outta Talos
      Fear of a Bald Planet
      Mama Said Knock You Out (and then imprison you in an illusory reality so that you will mate for… reasons)

  3. Hello again,

    In my comment on Menagerie Pt 1, I mentioned that Roddenberry got to air his original pilot almost in its entirety by using the footage to create the two Menagerie episodes. It is actually notable, I think, that because of this Roddenberry was able to actually present, on air, the female first officer he originally wanted to have on his show. A small victory for gender equality at the time.

    In the original pilot, the Talosians allow Vina to believe that Pike stays with her. Good thing that in the revised edit for the Menagerie, when Pike asks, “You’ll give her back the illusion of beauty,” and the Talosian answers, “And more.” They just show her looking beautiful again, rather than her walking off with Pike. If she’d been living with an imaginary fantasy (that’s phantasy for HPPodcraft listeners) man all this time, having to suddenly live with a version of him that actually had a mind of his own, might have caused some problems.

    In the commentary for the episode, you both seem to discuss the resolution of the episode as if the Talosians are getting their human slaves in the end because they now have two humans. Maybe I misinterpreted what you were saying, but I have never thought of it that way at all. It doesn’t seem like the two humans they have represent a viable mating pair, so I have always believed that the Talosians were just doing this because they were actually awesome guys, who just wanted the pair to be happy.

    That and to be creepy voyeurs, constantly looking in on Vina and Pike’s fantasy life and probably getting off on it.

  4. Sean Kenney did quite well out of this episode – picked for his resemblance to Jeffrey Hunter (particularly the eyes), this was his first TV role. Forced to endure sitting in a chair beeping for days, eating soup through a straw, he was rewarded for his efforts with the part of Lt. DePaul in two later episodes.

    Speaking about The Menagerie in interview, he mentioned how proud he was of portraying Captain Pike, “Who was almost the first physically challenged person anyone saw on TV in a major part.” The Menagerie certainly predates Ironside, and from a little digging other than a couple of minor soap opera characters and Commander Sam Shore from Stingray, Kenney may well be correct.

    It did make me think about how disability is presented in The Menagerie, and whilst it may be another example of Trek being more forward than other shows of the period, it’s a bit problematic by today’s standards. Pike is shown as an object of pity at several points, and is then ‘cured’ of his disability at the end.

    There is another representation of disability in TOS (in “Is There In Truth No Beauty?”) that’s something of an improvement, but it’s not until TNG, DS9 and Voyager that more positive examples occur, where there are characters whose disability is a part of their strengths, part of who they are (to the extent that more than one refuses a ‘cure’). They also show characters suffering from and receiving support for mental illnesses including anxiety, depression and PTSD, and still being valued members of the crew. Heck, even the Starfleet Engineers have got their act together – on Voyager, when Tuvok is blinded we find out the ship’s consoles are equipped with a tactile interface for sightless crewmen.

    There’s also a nice counterpoint in TNG in the form of the Borg, who see other species as inferior to them and want to help them reach perfection by assimilating and thus ‘fixing’ them – which of course is violently resisted.

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