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A question about "The Cage". Pilot episode of the show...

  • Avatar of MOSTCAPABLEONE

    MOSTCAPABLEONE

    [1]Oct 31, 2011
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    In the Pilot episode, "The Cage". I was always a little confused about something. Maybe someone here can clear it up for me.


    When Christopher Pike was shown Vina's true appearance towards the end of the episode, Vina stated that the Talosians found her almost dead as the solo survivor of her crashed ship and they were able to repair her physical damages. However, they had never seen a human before and had no basis of putting things back together correctly.


    The Talosians were masters of creating illusions. These illusions were derived from the Talosians reading your mind and generating illusions from the depths of your memory...even some things you probably had forgotten. If this is so, why couldn't they read Vina's mind to at least see how she looked prior to the crash and try to restore her back to that appearance? Also, why couldn't they read her mind to draw out all of the basic biological and physical science information that was in her brain from her school years to assist in their attempt to restore her back to her previous self?




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  • Avatar of archangelwho

    archangelwho

    [2]Nov 7, 2011
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    She was a baby and if I remember correctly less than a year old. Her parents was part of the crew and was killed along with the rest.

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    reversedunsel

    [3]Nov 9, 2011
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    First of all, IMHO "The Cage"is the single best episopde in the entire Star Trek series. But that point about Vina always bugged me, too. And for two reasons that I think make the explanation lame.


    1. Surely, the striking similarity in body structure between a human and a Talosian would have been apparent to the Talosians. So one would think that,when putting Vina together,they would err on the side of the most obvious, nearby guide ... themselves.


    2. I would also think that the Talosians would be intelligent enough to understand and appreciate aesthetics — particularly the concept of symmetry. But notice Vina's lopsided reconstructed face to see that they don't. And if only on the basis aesthetics alone, as it should have been present in the Talosians given that they're such an advanced race, Vina should have been put back together better than she was.


    I think what bugs me about it the most is that "The Cage" is soooo intelligent, and sustains that intelligence for the full hour, that the "we didn't know what a human looked like" argument sticks out like the proverbial (unintelligent) sore thumb.


    I understand that her real deformity is necessary in order serve the subplot. But the explanation was lame. I would have preferred if they had said, oh, I don't know ... "We didn't have enough viable raw materials — blood, bone, flesh — to reconstruct her any better." Or whatever. Something more plausible.


    That's my $.02


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  • Avatar of MOSTCAPABLEONE

    MOSTCAPABLEONE

    [5]Nov 9, 2011
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    reversedunsel wrote:

    First of all, IMHO "The Cage"is the single best episopde in the entire Star Trek series. But that point about Vina always bugged me, too. And for two reasons that I think make the explanation lame.


    1. Surely, the striking similarity in body structure between a human and a Talosian would have been apparent to the Talosians. So one would think that,when putting Vina together,they would err on the side of the most obvious, nearby guide ... themselves.


    2. I would also think that the Talosians would be intelligent enough to understand and appreciate aesthetics - particularly the concept of symmetry. But notice Vina's lopsided reconstructed face to see that they don't. And if only on the basis aesthetics alone, as it should have been present in the Talosians given that they're such an advanced race, Vina should have been put back together better than she was.


    I think what bugs me about it the most is that "The Cage" is soooo intelligent, and sustains that intelligence for the full hour, that the "we didn't know what a human looked like" argument sticks out like the proverbial (unintelligent) sore thumb.


    I understand that her real deformity is necessary in order serve the subplot. But the explanation was lame. I would have preferred if they had said, oh, I don't know ... "We didn't have enough viable raw materials - blood, bone, flesh - to reconstruct her any better." Or whatever. Something more plausible.


    That's my $.02




    First of all, thank you so much for your reply. This question has always bothered me as I too felt this was the best episode in the entire series by far. For years I have felt this way but I had no other Treky around me to discuss. I totally agree with all of your $.02. I kept saying to myself, why point out how advanced the Talosians were but put her back together in such a lopsided way when you know that you yourself as a Talosian (who bares a remarkable resemblence to humans)are not constructed lopsided??? Also, yes, her deformity was necessary in the writers minds in order to serve the subplot, however, I would have been comfortable with your alternate explanation "We didn't have enough viable raw materials - blood, bone, flesh" or why not just simply say "The materials used to repair her only naturally exist on Talos and if she leaves the planet, these rare materials would become inert and she would die??!!??

    Since they could read her mind, they should have been able to see in her mind her schooling. Especially the science classes that she had that clearly discussed human physiology and then use their advance technology to repair her damages correctly. And not for nothing, lol, when they found her, was her head completely off her body?
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  • Avatar of MOSTCAPABLEONE

    MOSTCAPABLEONE

    [6]Nov 9, 2011
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    archangelwho wrote:

    She was a baby and if I remember correctly less than a year old. Her parents was part of the crew and was killed along with the rest.



    She was not a baby. She was a senior member of the crashed ship. That is the lie she told Christopher Pike and his crew after they found her and she appeared to be too young to be a member of the original crew of the ship that crashed. In fact, towards the end of the episode, when the Talosians, asked Christopher Pike to choose between Vina or the two other women brought down from Pike's ship, feeling a little jealous, one of the women stated that they found a listing for a SENIOR female member of the crashed ship (Vina).
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    reversedunsel

    [7]Nov 9, 2011
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    [/QUOTE] or why not just simply say "The materials used to repair her only naturally exist on Talos and if she leaves the planet, these rare materials would become inert and she would die."[/QUOTE]


    I'm not sure if that explanation would logically work so well either.


    If they have the materials, albeit only viable if remaining on Talos, one would still expect then that Vina should have been properly reconstructed. The explanation, therefore, has to be such that it explains why the Talosianswere prevented from properly reconstructing Vina on Talos, and not what the consequences would be if she leaves. Although the conseqence would bereal and understandable enough, it still doesn't explain the poor reconstruction in and of itself.As I suggested the lack of material would be one possible options. I'm sure there are others.

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  • Avatar of MOSTCAPABLEONE

    MOSTCAPABLEONE

    [9]Nov 9, 2011
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    reversedunsel wrote:

    I'm not sure if that explanation would logically work so well either.

    If they have the materials, albeit only viable if remaining on Talos, one would still expect then that Vina should have been properly reconstructed. The explanation, therefore, has to be such that it explains why the Talosianswere prevented from properly reconstructing Vina on Talos, and not what the consequences would be if she leaves. Although the conseqence would bereal and understandable enough, it still doesn't explain the poor reconstruction in and of itself.As I suggested the lack of material would be one possible options. I'm sure there are others.

    [/QUOTE]

    Now on that, I disagree with you. In the episode "Metamorphosis", 237 year old Zefram Cochrane, looking about 35 years old, was found on the planet the shuttle craft Galileo crashed on. In the episode, an alien presence (The Companion) kept Cochrane alive through some sort of symbiotic relationship. In the end, to be human and to experience true love with Cochrane, the alien healed the sick diplomat that had Sakuro's disease by joining with her and Cochrane fell in love with her. He was told that if she leaves the planet, she will die as she was created from the elements that existed on that planet. He decided to stay with her.

    My point being, that same rationale could have been used in The Cage to repair the damage to Vina and there would be no reason to reconstruct her in such a deformed way to use that as the reason for having her stay.
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  • Avatar of MOSTCAPABLEONE

    MOSTCAPABLEONE

    [11]Nov 9, 2011
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    reversedunsel wrote:

    or why not just simply say "The materials used to repair her only naturally exist on Talos and if she leaves the planet, these rare materials would become inert and she would die."[/QUOTE]


    I'm not sure if that explanation would logically work so well either.


    If they have the materials, albeit only viable if remaining on Talos, one would still expect then that Vina should have been properly reconstructed. The explanation, therefore, has to be such that it explains why the Talosianswere prevented from properly reconstructing Vina on Talos, and not what the consequences would be if she leaves. Although the conseqence would bereal and understandable enough, it still doesn't explain the poor reconstruction in and of itself.As I suggested the lack of material would be one possible options. I'm sure there are others.

    [/QUOTE]

    They could have reconstructed her correctly given the rationale used in "Metamorphosi" and she still would have to stayed on Talos. That makes much more sense to me.
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    reversedunsel

    [12]Nov 9, 2011
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    I undertsand your argument but I still don't think it applies. (And another great episode by the way!)


    The Companion was of that planet and therefore, properly constructed (if you will)for and with (the raw materials from)that environment.When the Companion takes over the diplomat's body (as she was on the verge of certain and inevitable death) the Companion and the diplomat merge (mostly with the body of the diplomat but with the mind and personality of the Companion - notice how after the merger the "diplomat" talks in a voice that is "echo-y" like the Companion's was/is when they hear the Companion's voice for the first time via the universal speech translater. The catch, however, isthat the Companion/diplomat is still bound to the environmental restrictions applicable to the Companion alone, presumably because of whatever sustains the Companion inhabiting the body of the diplomat is only sustainable as long as the Comapnion stays on home turf. The other catch is that in opting for the merger, the Comapnion gives upher (virtual) immortality and consequently the ability to maintain Cochrane in that state as well. He says to her when he decides to stay that they will now grow oldtogether and eventually die (within a normal human lifespan).


    In Vina's case, she clearlyis not of Talos IV, and therefore, the raw materials from which a human being are constructed would (if youtakethe possibleexplanation I offered) not be available to the Talosians and thus, they would have been incapable of doing a more complete and proper reconstruction job. I think it's pretty clear that Vina could have leftTalos IVdid not want to leavethe planetbecause of her deformities; she wouldn't be able to maintain a very enjoyable life if she returned to human society - physical limitations/immobility, humiliation, etc,presumably being part of the problem.Staying on Talos IV allows her to keep the illusion of beauty and good health, which of course, in "The Menagerie" is why Captain Pike wants to return tothe planetso he, too, can have a life (albeit an illusion) of retored vim and vigour.


    Good discussion, mate!


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  • Avatar of reversedunsel

    reversedunsel

    [13]Nov 9, 2011
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    That one particular sentence should have read:I think it's pretty clear that Vina could have left Talos IV but did not want to leave the planet because of her deformities."


    Btw, how do you edit your posts on this site?Every timeI click on the "action wanted" window and select "edit message",I am sent to a page that says "invalid command"

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    MOSTCAPABLEONE

    [14]Nov 9, 2011
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    reversedunsel wrote:

    I undertsand your argument but I still don't think it applies. (And another great episode by the way!)


    The Companion was of that planet and therefore, properly constructed (if you will)for and with (the raw materials from)that environment.When the Companion takes over the diplomat's body (as she was on the verge of certain and inevitable death) the Companion and the diplomat merge (mostly with the body of the diplomat but with the mind and personality of the Companion - notice how after the merger the "diplomat" talks in a voice that is "echo-y" like the Companion's was/is when they hear the Companion's voice for the first time via the universal speech translater. The catch, however, isthat the Companion/diplomat is still bound to the environmental restrictions applicable to the Companion alone, presumably because of whatever sustains the Companion inhabiting the body of the diplomat is only sustainable as long as the Comapnion stays on home turf. The other catch is that in opting for the merger, the Comapnion gives upher (virtual) immortality and consequently the ability to maintain Cochrane in that state as well. He says to her when he decides to stay that they will now grow oldtogether and eventually die (within a normal human lifespan).


    In Vina's case, she clearlyis not of Talos IV, and therefore, the raw materials from which a human being are constructed would (if youtakethe possibleexplanation I offered) not be available to the Talosians and thus, they would have been incapable of doing a more complete and proper reconstruction job. I think it's pretty clear that Vina could have leftTalos IVdid not want to leavethe planetbecause of her deformities; she wouldn't be able to maintain a very enjoyable life if she returned to human society - physical limitations/immobility, humiliation, etc,presumably being part of the problem.Staying on Talos IV allows her to keep the illusion of beauty and good health, which of course, in "The Menagerie" is why Captain Pike wants to return tothe planetso he, too, can have a life (albeit an illusion) of retored vim and vigour.


    Good discussion, mate!




    Great discussion!!! For a change...

    I agree with what you are saying as being the one caveat that makes both healings different, however, I am saying forget about what was done in "The Cage". Use exactly what was done in "Metamorphosis" but restate what was said in "The Cage". For example. She was found nearly dead, and she was too close to death to be healed by normal Talosian methodology so they used something more drastic. They merged her body with a symbiotic organism from their planet made mostly of energy to repair all of her damages and at the same time to learn more about human physiology and psyche as they had never seen or encountered a human before. As this organism essence is derived from Talos IV, if she were to leave Talos IV, the organism would cease to exist within her and she would die from her initial injuries.

    This could also be applied to Christopher Pike in the "Menagerie" when he was returned to the planet by Spok after he was severely injured while rescuing several cadets from a battle plate rupture onboard a J-class training vessel, the delta ray radiation leaving him paralyzed, mute, badly scarred, and dependent on a brainwave-operated wheelchair. His only means of communicating was through a light on the chair: one flash meaning "yes" and two flashes indicating "no". Spok could have been aware of the symbiotic organism on Talos IV and could have felt that was the only way to give his old captain his life back. After Vina and Pike are reunited and fully healed, the Talosians could then use their powers of illusion to set up any fascimile of life Pike and Vina could have imagined for the rest of their life. I think that would have been a lot better reason and way to keep them both on Talos IV than what was done. What do you think?
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    reversedunsel

    [15]Nov 9, 2011
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    Ohhhh, I understand what you're saying. Okay, so now that that's clear, yes, I could see that working as a possibly better explanation. Good job!

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    MOSTCAPABLEONE

    [16]Nov 9, 2011
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    reversedunsel wrote:

    Ohhhh, I understand what you're saying. Okay, so now that that's clear, yes, I could see that working as a possibly better explanation. Good job!



    Thanks!
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