Star Trek pilot filming begins

Star TrekAt Hollywood’s Desilu Studios, filming begins on The Cage, the unaired first attempt at a pilot episode of Gene Roddenberry’s science fiction series Star Trek. Starring Jeffrey Hunter as Captain Christopher Pike and Leonard Nimoy as the exotic-looking alien science officer Spock, filming proceeds at a brisk pace, despite numerous delays due to the show’s then-novel special effects, set and costuming requirements. Though the result is viewed enthusiastically by all involved, the completed pilot stirs little enthusiasm at the television networks. NBC thinks the series premise has promise, but that as it stands, The Cage is “too cerebral” for prime time. Ironically, exactly two years later, most of the footage from The Cage is broadcast anyway, as part of The Menagerie – a fast favorite among the viewers for whom it was deemed to be too brainy.

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