Star Trek

Season 1 Episode 12

The Menagerie - Part II

Aired Unknown Nov 24, 1966 on NBC
out of 10
User Rating
208 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

Spock's court-martial continues as he attempts to justify his abduction of Pike, the theft of the Enterprise, and his heading for a planet declared forbidden by Starfleet.

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  • Spock, facing a court martial, invents the television show Lost by incorporating flashbacks into the narrative.

    Mostly made up of footage from the original pilot, which at a cost of more than $600,000 was the most expensive thing the original series ever did, The Menagerie Part II is probably the most amazing looking original series episode ever, and the story itself is mezmorizing. This time, the focus is primarily on Pike's adventure on Talos IV in the past with only a little bit of Kirk and company from the present. (In fact, most of the Star Trek regulars, apart from Kirk and Spock, don't appear). That puts the episode firmly on Jeffrey Hunter's shoulders, and the actor (through the archival footage) delivers, dominating the screen with a cerebral but tough captain that's quite different than Captain Kirk.

    Pike's adventures, of course, are all foreshadowed by his conversation in his quarters Dr. Boyce, the first scene to be shot in Star Trek history. Unfortunately, this conversation, which was originally supposed to appear near the beginning of the story, instead appears three quarters of the way through "The Menagerie Part I', where it can easily be forgotten by the time it begins to pay off in Part II. But with Star Trek fans watching the episodes over and over again, viewers probably enjoy the conversation all the more the second time around for knowing what it leads to.

    The pilot footage also includes Susan Oliver's splendid performance as Vina, and she works particularly well with Hunter; their onscreen chemistry is evident and builds with each subsequent scene. Meanwhile, Malichi Throne pulls double duty, playing Commodore Mendez as well as the voice of the alien leader, though the latter has been electronically modified to set it apart.

    It all adds up to must-see Star Trek, a perennial top ten episode and (with Part I) winner of the 1967 Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation.

    Remastered Version: With so much money spent the first time around, there's not much to fix here. CBS Digital, of course touches up the matte paintings, upgrades the Enterprise, and gives us a more realistic planet; but beyond that the only notable change is Vina's transformation at the end, which has been touched up to look a little smoother.moreless
  • In part two of a two part episode, Spock's court martial continues as Enterprise heads to the forbidden world of Talos IV.

    As with part one I found this episode to be quite entertaining. Seeing the rejected pilot episode play out makes this episode all the more worth while. However that does not mean this episode is perfect. Having seen "The Cage" and having that to compare this with, "The Cage" has the advantage in the fact that it contains a number of scenes that were cut to fit time constraints. Those scenes help to make "The Cage" great. Though it's understandable why they were removed, they were essential scenes and not just filler. Finally, when it was revealed at the end the Commodore Mendez was an illusion, I had trouble buying the fact that the Talosians could project their mental powers over trillions of kilometers through space. Come on. That aside, this is a very good conclusion to a strong episode.moreless
  • Spock shows old home movies of the Enterprises but gets court martialed for not serving popcorn

    As we all know, this was just an excuse to get "The Cage" aired and part of the series. And I guess it worked although the whole set up of the fake court martial was pretty far fetched just so they could make it work. I'm supposing they had those last few scenes re-shot just for "The Menagerie"? I'm talking about the Keeper talking to Kirk and the shot of Pike walking back with Vena to the elevator? Or perhaps they were taken from footage not used or a combination of both.moreless
  • Spock's court martial continues. Pretty much the same as Part I...

    Not much more to say than on Part I; the episode was designed so that the original 1964 pilot, "The Cage", could be shown as part of the regular series.

    This part relies much more on old footage from "The Cage". That is both good and bad; Good in that "The Cage" was a great story, but bad in that there is relatively little new material, and does very much have the feel of a recycled episode.

    Without giving anything away, I did feel that the conclusion of the story, with the revelations about Spock's trial, to be slightly questionable, and causing a couple of plot contradictions from earlier scenes.

    This is by no means bottom-of-the-barrel material, but there are episodes that I enjoy far more than this one.moreless
  • I see no reason to insult me, sir

    What a shame, I now remember why I didn't favour this part as much as the first. You see, where part 1 managed to balance the plot of Spock and Pike with the footage from the Cage to a interesting and thought-provoking level, part 2 just seems to be 'The Cage' with about 10 minutes of unimportant filler. In fact, if it wasn't for The Cage's well told story, 'The Menagerie' would have surely fallen flat on its face.

    On the other hand however, part 2 does have its significant moments, even if most of them occur inside the pilot episode. Possibly most striking is the establishment of the death penalty, which I genuinely thought Roddenberry would have envisioned as out-ruled in his utopian future. However, it is clearly stated here that Spock is indeed in line for such a penalty, and I have to say I was quite disappointed in this rather strange exception to an otherwise functional society. I mean could a utopia really develop in a world that still clinically kills for revenge and justice? Didn't we see in a couple of episodes back, 'hospitals' for criminals? It should be interesting to see where this goes in subsequent series. In other less important but nonetheless culturally significant establishments for Trek is the introduction of the famous Green Orion Slave Girl and the ever intriguing themes on illusion. I particularly enjoyed (and it will probably always stick with me) the scenes where Pike discovers that he had indeed blasted a hole in his cage after threatening a Talosian with the same phaser. I also found the final twist involving the commodore being an illusion to be quite surprising and suitably executed to tie in with the 40 minutes of Cage footage. At least they got something right.

    However, this episode has major plotting problems that I just can't overlook. As I mentioned above, the vast majority of the show is spent observing Pike on the view screen in court. The problem with this is that as a viewer, my attention is slowly brought around fully to the adventures of Pike, rather than caring for what happens with Spock. So, by the time we reach the conclusion of the court case, I have very little interest in what was going on, since it was last developed over an hour ago (or if I had watched it back in the 60's, a week ago!). The one benefit it has is that the footage that we see from 'The Cage' obviously becomes more relevant and engaging to watch, which wasn't the case with part 1. Thankfully it also helps that the story in 'The Cage' that we're forced to watch unfold is actually well written and so at least redeems the episode in some respects. In the end what you essentially end up with is two episodes that separately could have worked fantastically (why didn't they just show 'The Cage' and have Spock introduce it as a kind of memory?) but unfortunately cancel each other out due to terrible pacing and awkward editing that brings both down.

    You may also note that I was hoping for more development of Kirk and his personal feelings on the court case- on his moral indecisiveness and sense of duty. Alas, there's virtually none of it to be seen here and instead we get treated to a shallow, loose tie-up that simply does not work: An unfortunate ending to an otherwise promising premise. Well, that's TV budgeting for you.moreless
Susan Oliver

Susan Oliver


Guest Star

Malachi Throne

Malachi Throne

Commodore Jose I. Mendez

Guest Star

Majel Barrett

Majel Barrett

Number One

Guest Star

Nichelle Nichols

Nichelle Nichols

Lt. Nyota Uhura

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (3)

    • At the very end of the episode, Spock wheels Pike out of the hearing room to take him to the transporter room and beam down to the planet. However, two seconds after the doors close behind Spock, Pike is shown "walking" on the planet on the view screen. There's no way there would be sufficient time to have gotten to the transporter room, get Pike on a transporter pad, engage the transporter system, have it cycle through, and have him materialize on the planet surface - much less be transformed by the Talosians.

    • In part 1 the computer was turned on to record the trial proceedings. In part 2 nobody bothers to turn it on.

    • At the end of part 1, Starfleet relieves Kirk of command and tells him and everyone else to stop viewing the Talosian transmissions during the court martial. At the beginning they say they can't stop the transmissions, go back into the courtroom, and watch them anyway. Why don't they just go to a different room, or cover the screen with a cloth?

  • QUOTES (7)

    • Pike: Now, unless you want my ship to consider capturing me an unfriendly act--
      Magistrate: You now see the primitive fear/threat reaction. The specimen is about to boast of his strength, the weaponry of his vessel, and so on.
      (Pike prepares to throw himself at the glass)
      Next...frustrated into a need to display physical prowess, the creature will throw himself against the transparency.

    • Vina: A person's strongest dreams are about what he can't do. Yes, a ship's captain, always having to be so formal, so decent and honest and proper. You (Pike) must wonder what it would be like to forget all that.

    • Vina: You're a fool.
      Pike: Since you're not real, there's not much point in continuing this conversation, is there?

    • Pike: I'll gamble (the Talosians are) too intelligent to kill for no reason at all. On the other hand, I've got a reason.

    • Pike: I bet you've created an illusion this laser is empty. I think it blasted a hole that you keep us from seeing. Want me to test my theory out on your head?

    • Kirk: Mr. Spock, when you're finished, I want to talk to you. This regrettable tendency you've been showing lately towards flagrant emotionalism...
      Spock: I see no reason to insult me, sir.

    • The Keeper: Captain Kirk. Captain Pike has an illusion, and you have reality. May you find your way as pleasurable.

  • NOTES (4)

    • When Pike asks the Keeper to restore Vina's illusion of beauty, the Keeper told Pike "and more". Pike looks at Vina and sees that her appearance was restored. In the pilot, "The Cage," Pike would not only see Vina's beauty restored but that they gave her an illusion of him and they entered together.

    • Jeffrey Hunter is billed as Special Guest Star.

    • Leonard Nimoy (Spock) and Malachi Throne (Commodore Mendez) are the only actors to appear in both "The Cage" and the newly shot portions of this two-parter.

    • DeForest Kelley (Dr. McCoy), James Doohan (Scotty) and George Takei (Sulu) do not appear in this episode. Nichelle Nichols (Uhura) does not appear on screen but has several voice over lines.