Star Trek

Season 1 Episode 12

The Menagerie - Part II

Aired Unknown Nov 24, 1966 on NBC

Episode Fan Reviews (8)

out of 10
208 votes
  • 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.
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