The Cage Poster by Michael Schuh

In case you’re not aware, The Cage was the first pilot for Star Trek in 1964 for the NBC network who thought it too cerebral for their viewers. But they liked the concept of the show, so commissioned another pilot – Where No Man Has Gone Before. The Cage was never aired and fans had to wait until 1988 before it was first shown to the public. Parts of that pilot were used in The Original Series episode, The Menagerie.

Star Trek Pilot: The Cage

Two versions of The Cage exist – a black and white version (only available on the remastered Season 3 disk and the Star Trek The Original Series: Origins disk) and a color one.

Here is some footage of Gene Roddenberry introducing the color edition of The Cage:

Around about 1999, the Sci-Fi Channel acquired syndication rights for the original Star Trek television series. For years, the shows had been cut down to fit the amount of commercial time needed for current day programs (there was less commercial time during the original 60’s run and in re-runs, 50-minute episodes were cut to fit a 42-minute airtime). Sci-Fi fixed this problem by making the time slot a full hour and a half. Dubbed “Star Trek The Sci-Fi Channel Special Edition“, the episodes were supplemented with original interviews with the cast and crew discussing each episode. The interviews and extra bits were especially entertaining since they featured more than just the standard cast but also highlighted guest actors, writers, etc.

This is one of those segments, looking at the production of The Cage:

When the remastered editions of Original Star Trek were being made, The Cage was included in the upgrade. This video shows a comparison between the original effects in the pilot and the remastered special effects. On the left side you see the original scene as it was created in 1964. On the right side you will see the same scene as how it looks in the 2008 “digitally enhanced” edition. This new edition features brand new all-CGI special effects. Both versions can be seen on the 2009 Blu-ray on the TOS Season 3 release.

This is the original intro for the Black and White version of the pilot:

And here, Leonard Nimoy talks about he got the role of Spock…

Top image credit: The Cage poster was created by Michael Schuh at FOTOschuh.

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