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The Cage

Star Trek ClassicStardate not given: The starship Enterprise, commanded by Captain Pike, runs across a distress signal which Pike discounts as being outdated, but when a follow-up message concerning survivors of an Earth ship is picked up, Pike follows the signals to Talos IV. Pike and a landing party find a group of almost-too-healthy survivors there. Among them is a young woman named Vina who catches Pike’s eye and then leads him into a trap while showing him the crash site. Pike is captured by Talosians, aliens with much larger brains than humans, and is subjected to illusions which are designed to compel him to mate with Vina, who turns out to be a human in captivity. The rest of the crew, meanwhile, struggles to recover Pike, aware that the Talosians’ power of illusion is an effective weapon.

Order the DVDsDownload this episode via Amazon's Unboxwritten by Gene Roddenberry
directed by Robert Butler
music by Alexander Courage

Cast: Jeffrey Hunter (Captain Christopher Pike), Leonard Nimoy (Mr. Spock), Susan Oliver (Vina), Majel Barrett (Number One), John Hoyt (Doctor Boyce), Peter Duryea (Lt. Tyler), Laurel Goodwin (Yeoman Colt), Meg Wylie (The Keeper)

Originally broadcast: October 1988 – the original pilot was never broadcast as part of the series run, with portions of it instead being incorporated into the two-part story The Menagerie as a desperate measure when production fell behind schedule. The Cage was released on video in 1986 with a special introduction by Gene Roddenberry, and was finally aired in its restored original color print during a special aired in late 1988 to bridge the gap between the first season of Star Trek: The Next Generation and the second, which had been delayed due to a Writers’ Guild strike.

LogBook entry by Earl Green

The Menagerie – Part I

Star Trek ClassicStardate 3012.4: The Enterprise is summoned to Starbase 6, apparently by Captain Pike, who commanded the ship before Kirk. Commodore Mendez shows Kirk, Spock and McCoy, however, that Pike was recently paralyzed in an accident and could not have signalled the Enterprise. Spock creates false messages from Kirk and sends them to the ship, instructing the crew that Spock and Pike will beam up immediately, the Enterprise will be piloted by computer to its next destination, and that Kirk will be staying behind. Kirk and Mendez follow the Enterprise in a shuttle, which runs out of fuel when Spock refuses to slow the Enterprise down so the shuttle can come aboard. Spock finally allows Kirk to catch up and then places himself under arrest. Kirk is unable to disconnect the computer from the helm, and Spock’s court-martial begins. Spock offers, as evidence, visual records of a voyage on the Enterprise on which Spock and Pike served 13 years earlier. The bridge then informs Kirk and Mendez that the recording is being sent to the Enterprise from Talos IV – a planet that, according to Starfleet regulations, is absolutely off-limits to all vessels, punishable by death.

Order this episode on DVDDownload this episode via Amazon's Unboxwritten by Gene Roddenberry
directed by Marc Daniels
footage from The Cage directed by Robert Butler
music by Alexander Courage

Guest Cast: DeForest Kelley (Dr. Leonard McCoy), James Doohan (Mr. Scott), George Takei (Lt. Sulu), Nichelle Nichols (Lt. Uhura), Sean Kenney (Captain Pike), Malachi Throne (Commodore Mendez), Hagan Beggs (Ensign Hansen), Julie Parrish (Miss Piper)

Appearing in footage from The Cage: Jeffrey Hunter (Capt. Christopher Pike), Susan Oliver (Vina), Majel Leigh Hudec (Number One), Peter Duryea (Lt. Tyler), John Hoyt (Dr. Boyce), Meg Wylie (The Keeper), Adam Roarke (CPO Garrison)

LogBook entry by Earl Green

The Menagerie – Part II

Star Trek ClassicStardate 3013.1: Spock reveals that the Keeper of Talos IV has control of the viewscreen and the evidence being presented. The screen shows the events that occurred during Pike’s visit to Talos IV in great detail, but Spock has difficulty convincing Kirk and Mendez of the validity of what they are seeing as well as the tremendous power of the Talosians. When the evidence suddenly stops, Mendez orders Kirk and Pike, the ranking officers forming Spock’s trial board, to make their verdict, and all find Spock guilty. The final part of the record of Pike’s adventure then continues, and then Commodore Mendez vanishes from the Enterprise. The Keeper himself tells Kirk that the Mendez that accompanied him in the shuttle and the trial was an illusion projected from Talos IV, and that Pike is welcome to return to the planet and be restored, as Vina was, to his former strength and health.

Order this episode on DVDDownload this episode via Amazon's Unboxwritten by Gene Roddenberry
directed by Marc Daniels
footage from The Cage directed by Robert Butler
music by Alexander Courage

Guest Cast: DeForest Kelley (Dr. Leonard McCoy), James Doohan (Mr. Scott), George Takei (Lt. Sulu), Nichelle Nichols (Lt. Uhura), Sean Kenney (Captain Pike), Malachi Throne (Commodore Mendez), Hagan Beggs (Ensign Hansen)

Appearing in footage from The Cage: Jeffrey Hunter (Capt. Christopher Pike), Susan Oliver (Vina), Majel Leigh Hudec (Number One), Peter Duryea (Lt. Tyler), John Hoyt (Dr. Boyce), Meg Wylie (The Keeper), Adam Roarke (CPO Garrison)

Notes: Both parts of The Menagerie used footage of the original series pilot The Cage as the visual evidence of Pike’s early mission; in truth, the framing story was hurriedly written by Gene Roddenberry and was designed to be shot quickly so the re-use of the already-produced (and already paid for) pilot episode could fill a critical gap in the schedule caused by production delays.

LogBook entry by Earl Green

The Gladiators

Planet Of The ApesAs Virdon, Burke and Galen explore their world, stopping to sample the local fruit until the hear the sounds of fighting nearby. The two astronauts intervene when they find two men apparently intent on beating each other to a pulp. Burke intervenes, but instead of finding a victim grateful that his attacker has been beaten off, he finds himself targeted by both combatants. Virdon joins in until the sound of approaching ape soldiers drives the astronauts into hiding. Virdon realizes that his most prized possession – a disc from the spaceship’s flight recorder that might prove useful in reconstructing the events leading up to the time warp – was dropped during the fight, and is now in the hands of the local ape prefect. Virdon, Burke and Galen go to retrieve the disc, and Galen offers to take the point, as he’ll have less trouble blending into an ape community. Virdon and Burke, on the other hand, are arrested for trying to steal horses. Burke is singled out to participate in gladiatorial games against another human – Tolar, the older of the two men they spotted fighting before. Burke beats Tolar in hand-to-hand combat, but refuses to kill him when a sword is thrown into the arena. Rather than inspiring humans and apes alike with this act of mercy, Burke has merely made a new human enemy by violating a primitive code of honor – and they’re no closer to retrieving the disc.

Order the DVDswritten by Art Wallace
directed by Don McDougall
music by Lalo Schifrin

Guest Cast: William Smith (Tolar), John Hoyt (Barlow), Marc Singer (Dalton), Mark Lenard (General Urko), Pat Renell (Jason), Andy Albin (Man), Eddie Fontaine (Gorilla Sergeant), Nick Dimitri (A Gorilla), Ron Stein (1st Gorilla), Jim Stader (2nd Gorilla)

Notes: A number of past and future SF TV veterans appear here, most notably Mark Lenard – best known for playing the part of Spock’s father Sarek in the original Star Trek – shows up again as the astronauts’ recurring arch-rival General Urko. John Hoyt also puts in an appearance; he had played the part of the Enterprise’s original chief medical officer, Dr. Boyce, in the Star Trek pilot The Cage. And future V veteran Marc Singer can be seen here as well, putting in an early-career guest appearance.

LogBook entry by Earl Green

The Horse Race

Planet Of The ApesDuring a visit with the ape prefect of an outlying town, General Urko is irked when his rider loses in a seemingly friendly horse race – one which Urko was clearly expecting his rider to win (so he could win the bet). But Urko doesn’t know that the local prefect has two new humans working in his stables: Virdon and Burke. When Galen is stung by a particularly venomous scorpion, the son of the blacksmith with whom the refugees are staying offers to ride into town to the clinic for an antidote. But the prefect has made it a crime for humans to ride horses, and the boy is spotted by an ape patrol and followed back to the stables, where he surrenders to save Virdon’s life. Galen knows the prefect of the town from where the boy was pursued, and goes to barter with him: Virdon, an expert horseman, will saddle-break and ride a particularly troublesome but promising horse in the next race. The prize for crossing the finish line is freedom – but when Urko takes that bet, the race is sure to be anything but fair.

Order the DVDswritten by David P. Lewis and Booker Bradshaw
directed by Jack Starrett
music by Lalo Schifrin

Guest Cast: Morgan Woodward (Martin), John Hoyt (Barlow), Richard Devon (Zandar), Henry Levin (Prefect), Russ Marin (Damon), Meegan King (Gregor)

Notes: More well-known Star Trek guest stars show up here; John Hoyt was the original Enterprise doctor in the first Star Trek pilot, The Cage, and he appears here under ape makeup, reprising the role of Barlow from the second Planet Of The Apes TV episode, The Gladiators. Morgan Woodward was a staple of ’60s and ’70s TV guest spots, including multiple episodes of the original Star Trek and the TV spinoff of Logan’s Run. Just before the final race begins, Virdon winds up covered with mud – which conveniently hides that fact that the stunt rider in the race scenes clearly isn’t Ron Harper.

LogBook entry by Earl Green

The Sentry

Night StalkerA scientist’s discovery of a node containing strange blue nodules triggers a series of grisly deaths at an underground archival facility. Each victim is badly mauled, and the autopsy report indicates that they were bitten by some large animal. Sneaking into the facility, Kolchak discovers that the staff are leery of strange occurrences, and the military has taken in security. He himself witnesses a strange two-legged lizard creature and narrowly escapes. He is evicted from the facility, but does some research to discover that the lizards are phototropic (afraid of light). Realizing that the nodules are in fact eggs, Carl sneaks back in to the facility. The “sentry” has killed more people in its search, and Kolchak must return the eggs by risking his own life.

Order the DVDswritten by L. Ford Neale & John Huff
directed by Seymour Robbie
music by Gil Mille

Guest Cast: Tom Bosley (Jack Flaherty), Albert Paulsen (Dr. James Verhyden), Kathy Brown (Lt. Irene Lamont), John Hoyt (Dr. Lamar Beckwith), Frank Campanella (Ted Chapman), Frank Marth (Colonel Brody)

Notes: This episode bears a very strong resemblance to the Star Trek episode Devil In The Dark. Kathy Brown is Darren McGavin’s wife. Other than Simon Oakland as Vincenzo, no other regular cast member is present in this episode.

LogBook entry by Steve Crowe

Baltar’s Escape

Battlestar Galactica (original)The Council of Twelve is infuriated with Adama’s command decisions involving the six Terrans, and he is reined in, relieved of all but military command – and even military orders must be filtered through an appointee of the Council. The Council then votes to open a dialogue with the Eastern Alliance hunters who have just been captured by Adama’s crew. But the Alliance prisoners have no intention of staying put – and they enlist the help of Baltar, who has a personal score to settle with the Colonials. The Council, without Adama’s advice, is taken hostage, and Baltar stands ready to deliver the fleet into the waiting hands of the Cylons.

Order the DVDsDownload this episodewritten by Donald P. Bellisario
directed by Winrich Kolbe
music by Stu Phillips

Guest Cast: Ina Balin (Siress Tinia), Lloyd Bochner (Commandant Leiter), John Hoyt (Sire Domra), Robert Feero (Bora), Anthony deLongis (Taba), Lance Le Gault (Maga), Bruce Wright (Guard), Ron Kelly (Security Officer Reese), Mitchell Reta (Prison communications officer), Paul Tinder (Guard), Paul LeClair (Guard)

LogBook entry by Earl Green

The Power Pirate

Super FriendsPower failures wreak havoc around the world, and Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, and superheroes-in-training Marvin and Wendy (and their faithful pet Wonder Dog) gather at the Hall of Justice to try to keep on top of all of the incidents. Everything from electrical power to steam power is likely to fail, and nearly everywhere any of the Justice League members go, the dapper Sir Cedric Cedric of Scotland Yard is already on the case, investigating the power problems for himself. Or is he? Is his presence at almost every incident a mere coincidence…and is he even who he claims to be?

story by Fred Freiberger, Bernie Kahn, Ken Rotcop, Art Weiss, Willie Gilbert, Henry Sharp, and Marshall Williams
directed by Charles A. Nicholas
music by Hoyt Curtin

Super FriendsCast: Sherry Alberoni (Wendy), Norman Alden (Aquaman), Danny Dark (Superman), Shannon Farnon (Wonder Woman), Casey Kasem (Robin), Ted Knight (Narrator), Olan Soule (Batman), John Stephenson (Sir Cedric Cedric / Alien), Frank Welker (Marvin / Wonder Dog)

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Too Hot To Handle

Super FriendsRising temperatures wreak havoc around the world, and Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, and superheroes-in-training Marvin and Wendy (and their faithful pet Wonder Dog) gather at the Hall of Justice to try to keep on top of all of unfolding ecological disasters. They deal with everything from melting glaciers and rising sea levels to farmland becoming parched desert, and nearly everywhere any of the Justice League members go, a mysterious figure dressed for cold weather is witnessed. Is his presence at almost every incident a mere coincidence? And if the astronomer at the Gotham City Observatory is correct about Earth plummeting out of its orbit and closer to the sun…can any of the members of the Justice League do anything to put Earth back in its place?

story by Fred Freiberger, Bernie Kahn, Ken Rotcop, Art Weiss, Willie Gilbert, Henry Sharp, and Marshall Williams
directed by Charles A. Nicholas
music by Hoyt Curtin

Super FriendsCast: Sherry Alberoni (Wendy), Norman Alden (Aquaman), Danny Dark (Superman), Shannon Farnon (Wonder Woman), Casey Kasem (Robin / Prof. Von Noalot), Ted Knight (The Flash / Narrator), Olan Soule (Batman), John Stephenson (Kobar / Lupis / Dolphin 1 / Dolphin 2), Frank Welker (Marvin / Wonder Dog)

LogBook entry by Earl Green