Star Trek Re-Watch: “The Cage”

The Cage
Written by Gene Roddenberry
Directed by Robert Butler

Original Pilot
Production episode: 1
Original air date: October 4, 1988
Star date: Unknown

Mission summary

Without any helpful narration over the opening credits, or even some kind of “captain’s log,” it’s hard to tell just what’s going on here. This ship, which is called U.S.S. Enterprise, seems to be on a mission in space. The duration of its voyage and its purpose is unclear, but my instincts tell me the crew is seeking out new life and new civilizations, or vice versa, as the case might be. But they’re certainly going where no one has gone before.

Anyway, whoever these people are, they’re disconcerted because an invisible something is heading right for them. They’re on a collision course with… a radio wave? “An old-style distress signal” to be precise, which has been altered to be really menacing, just to get their attention. It’s a message from a downed ship, the S.S. Columbia, which crashed in an unexplored star system eighteen years ago. There’s a chance that some of the crew survived if they made it to Talos IV, a Class-M planet that can support human life. The pointy-eared science officer seems eager to check it out, but the captain Spock-blocks him: unless they have evidence that the Columbia crew is alive, they aren’t going to waste any time on them. It’s more important to get to the Vega Colony to get medical help for the injured Enterprise crew members. Oh well, perhaps another time.

The captain excuses himself and heads to his quarters. He calls for Dr. Boyce and makes himself comfy on his bed to wait for him. The doctor enters a moment later with a medical bag and starts mixing him a martini while they have a friendly chat about what a disaster their last mission was. The captain whines about how hard his job is; he lost his favorite yeoman and two crew members in an ambush on Rigel VII, and seven others were injured.

CAPTAIN: I’m tired of being responsible for two hundred and three lives. I’m tired of deciding which mission is too risky and which isn’t, and who’s going on the landing party and who doesn’t, and who lives… and who dies.

He considers resigning and going back home to ride some horses and have a picnic, or become an Orion trader. Boyce is skeptical. But there’s no time for dreaming of different lives when Mr. Spock calls to inform him they’ve received another message: there are survivors on Talos IV after all. Awesome! Time for a field trip.

They head to Talos at “time warp factor 7,” which sounds pretty fast, implied by an overlay of stars zipping by while they stare at the viewscreen and wait for their arrival. Once the ship reaches orbit, the captain leaves his female first office, Number One, in charge while the boys head down to the planet’s surface to investigate. She’s disappointed, but he claims she’ll be more helpful onboard because she’s the “most experienced officer.” Whatever.

The members of the landing party equip themselves for the excursion, then stand on a platform in a room. Two guys operate a console and the people on the platform freeze then dissolve in a sparkling light. They reappear on a rocky terrain, somehow transported via this light beam to the planet’s surface. Nifty. Seems like the only way to travel.

They split up and wander around, because that’s always a good idea, poking at the only natural life: some odd plants that tremble and make tones. Spock is somewhat delighted by them. Then they discover an encampment of old dudes in rags, and one lovely young blonde woman who’s tarted up in a tight blouse and a grass skirt-thing.

While three pale humanoids with big heads and shiny silver robes observe the proceedings on a monitor, Captain Christopher Pike introduces himself and learns these guys are scientists from the “American Continent Institute.” He’s only got eyes for the woman though. The group’s leader, Dr. Haskins, presents her:

This is Vina. Her parents are dead. She was born almost as we crashed.

TMI? Pike’s congenial nature just provokes personal outbursts like that; Vina follows up with her best pickup line, “You appear to be healthy and intelligent, Captain. A prime specimen.” She probably says that to all the young men who visit her planet, but it works. Pike follows her to the top of a rock outcropping to learn their “secret.” He doesn’t get what’s so interesting about it until she vanishes and a hidden door in the rock appears. The big-headed aliens ambush the captain. They knock him unconscious with a weird ray and drag him inside. His crew rushes to his aid but the doors close and their laser guns are unable to blast through the rock. Spock calls up to the ship to report: “It’s a trap!”

Pike wakes up on a cushy bed and soon discovers he’s in a glass-enclosed cell in what appears to be an underground menagerie of strange creatures. His captors arrive to gawk at him. He understands everything they’re saying as they talk about him telepathically, but they don’t address him directly. The one with the biggest head, the Magistrate, treats him like nothing more than an interesting specimen to experiment on.

Back on Enterprise, Number One debriefs the landing party. Boyce has pretty much nailed the sitch and shares it with those having trouble following along:

It was a perfect illusion. They had us seeing just what we wanted to see, human beings who’d survived with dignity and bravery, everything entirely logical, right down to the building of the camp, the tattered clothing, everything. Now let’s be sure we understand the danger of this. The inhabitants of this planet can read our minds. They can create illusions out of a person’s own thoughts, memories, and experiences, even out of a person’s own desires. Illusions just as real and solid as this tabletop and just as impossible to ignore.

Spock cautions against antagonizing the Talosians. He knows his match when he sees it, and worries they’re powerful enough to “swat” Enterprise like a fly. Number One decides to try using more force to break into the hidden elevator in the rock.

Meanwhile, the games begin on Talos IV: the Magistrate creates an illusion for Pike based on his “recent death struggle”: the captain finds himself back on Rigel VII, just outside the nearest Medieval Times. Vina is there too, doing  a passable impression of a damsel in distress. Pike figures he’s probably just imagining all of this in his cage while she eggs him on. A big creature attacks them and as they fend it off, she urges him to kill it. He does so reluctantly–accidentally might be more accurate. And… they find themselves in his cell again. She’s slipped into something a little more comfortable and throws herself at him until she realizes those creepy eggheads are watching them. Always watching. Once they depart, Pike gets down to business.

PIKE: Why are you here?
VINA: To please you.
PIKE: Are you real?
VINA: As real as you wish.
PIKE: No, no. No, that’s not an answer. I’ve never met you before, never even imagined you.
VINA: Perhaps they made me out of dreams you’ve forgotten.
PIKE: What, and dress you in the same metal fabric they wear?
VINA: I have to wear something, don’t I? I can wear whatever you wish, be anything you wish.

She might be trying a little too hard, agitated and visibly anxious because Pike isn’t tearing her clothes off. Another captain might be all over that (cough Kirk cough) but not Pike–he’s only interested in pumping Vina (for information, you guys) about his keepers.

Up on the planet’s surface, Number One and her team set up a mighty laser cannon tied into the ship’s power. They fire on the door in the rock, but the fierce beam has no apparent effect. It should have blown the hell out of it, and Boyce suggests that they did but they can’t see it. Damn illusions!

Vina decides to ply Pike with exposition, and he plays along. If she answers some questions, maybe–just maybe–he’ll let her please him in other ways. No promises. He interrogates her about the Talosians’ abilities and she confirms they can’t directly control his mind, but they can influence his actions by punishing him. She also fills him in on how their heads got so big: they destroyed their planet centuries ago and retired underground to improve their minds to the point where they can build incredible illusions. But as they learned, it’s a trap!

VINA: Because when dreams become more important than reality, you give up travel, building, creating. You even forget how to repair the machines left behind by your ancestors. You just sit, living and reliving other lives left behind in the thought record.
PIKE: Or sit probing minds of zoo specimens like me.
VINA: You’re better than a theatre to them. They create the illusion for you, they watch you react, feel your emotions. They have a whole collection of specimens, descendants of life brought back long ago from all over this part of the galaxy.
PIKE: Which means they had to have more than one of each animal.

Pike now realizes his dark purpose: to breed with Vina and have lots of human babies to serve the Talosians. But he’s still convinced that Vina is an illusion, so he wonders where they’re going to find a woman for him. Vina tells him she’s real enough and then she says those magic three words: “Adam and Eve.” At that, her keepers decide she’s shared enough and she begins writhing on the bed and shrieking in pain as they punish her. She disappears, possibly to a cornfield, leaving only her shiny dress behind. That’s unusually cruel: wherever she is now, she’s bound to catch her death of cold.

But just when Pike thinks he’s getting a little peace and quiet, another Talosian shows up. This one wants Pike to consume “a nourishing protein complex,” or else. Just think about all those starving children in Miri’s neck of the woods! When this fails to persuade the captain to eat his vegetables, the Talosians send him to hell: literally. Writhing in pain surrounded by fire and brimstone, they force him to relieve a “fable” he once heard in childhood. (Trivia: This scene was later recycled for audience reaction shots to A League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.) Pike is not subdued, however, and the punishment just pisses him off further. He launches himself at the cell wall and startles the egghead. That’s weird. Something about the primitive emotion of hatred and anger seems to block their telepathic ability. This gets filed away for later.

But back on the farm–wait, farm? Pike appears in a pastoral setting with his old horse, Tango, and Vina, roleplaying his wife. He always wanted to go home, right? But it doesn’t sit right with him. It’s what he wanted, and yet he wants more. Then things start to get freaky when Vina starts talking about their prospective children, and feigning “headaches” whenever he asks her about reality:

PIKE: These headaches, they’ll be hereditary you know. Would you wish them on a child or a whole group of children?

Oh right, the whole breeding a race of slaves thing. Pike won’t let this go, though, and tries to find out why that Talosian was startled by his outburst. Vina admits, reluctantly, that “primitive” emotions can block the Talosians’ powers. But she warns him that he can’t keep it up for long, and year after year, they beat you down until you have nothing left in you to fight them.

This isn’t really getting Pike “in the mood,” so Vina rethinks her tactics:

VINA: I’m beginning to see why none of this has worked for you. You’ve been home, and fighting as on Rigel. That’s not new to you, either. 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 must wonder what it would be like to forget all that.

And suddenly, Pike is reclining and eating in a hedonistic paradise, as Vina, this time a green-skinned Orion slave girl, dances for him. Mildly interested, Pike watches her for several minutes before heading into a side chamber to look for an exit. No time for love, green goblin: he’s only got one thing on his mind, and it’s escape.

Meanwhile, Number One is leading an away team to beam into the Talosian compound. She, a female yeoman, and four men prepare to beam down. But once they engage the transporter only the women disappear! They have beamed directly into Pike’s little cell, and Vina is outraged. She was so close! The female crewmembers quickly find that neither their phasers nor their communicators work here beneath the surface. The Magistrate returns and explains that because Pike is taking it a little slow, he now has a choice of women. Number One is intelligent and has fantasized about him; the yeoman is young, with “strong female drives”; and then there’s Vina, who was an adult 18 years ago when the ship crashed, so now she must be…

Pike won’t play that game. He fills his mind with images of violence and hatred to try and break through them. But again, the eggheads inflict physical pain until he collapses to the floor.

Later that evening, when they appear to be sleeping, the Magistrate sneaks in through an air duct to try and collect their phasers. But Pike sleeps with one eye open and grabs the Magistrate by the neck. A-ha! The Magistrate projects himself as a poorly costumed monster, but Pike threatens to kill him if he keeps that little game up. Unfortunately, the Enterprise in orbit has completely lost power in its attempt to escape the star system, and is now at the mercy of the Talosians, just as they are. Will Pike put his ship at risk? The Talosians use his delay in mulling everything over as an opportunity to scan the ship’s computers and download a backup of the entire history of the human race.

Relenting a bit, Pike loosens his grip… But why would they want the phasers? Unless… Pike shoots through the wall. The gun doesn’t seem to have done any damage, but he demands the Magistrate show him what is really before him: a huge, busted hole in the wall. Victory! They escape, with the Magistrate as a kind of prisoner, and head up above where Number One did in fact blow an enormous size of wall off from the complex with her laser cannon. It had been open the whole time and they never knew!

On the surface, Number One makes contact with the ship. Pike offers to stay with Vina if the egghead will let the other two women go, but Number One is completely squicked by the idea of breeding an (inbred) race of slaves and sets her phaser to overload. In moments, it will explode, killing them all. They’d rather be dead than taken prisoner. Vina realizes that they’re serious and decides to join them–if the Talosians had even one human, they might try again.

The Magistrate is absolutely stunned. He assimilates the ship’s databanks and makes a startling discovery:

MAGISTRATE: We had not believed this possible. The customs and history of your race show a unique hatred of captivity. Even when it’s pleasant and benevolent, you prefer death. This makes you too violent and dangerous a species for our needs.
VINA: He means that they can’t use you. You’re free to go back to the ship.
PIKE: And that’s it? No apologies? You captured one of us, threatened all of us.
TALOSIAN: Your unsuitability has condemned the Talosian race to eventual death. Is this not sufficient?
MAGISTRATE: No other specimen has shown your adaptability. You were our last hope.
PIKE: But wouldn’t some form of trade, mutual co-operation?
MAGISTRATE: Your race would learn our power of illusion and destroy itself too.

Point. Well, at least they can all go home. All except Vina. The Talosians transform her into a misshapen, scarred, and wretched older woman. Her true face. She was horribly scarred in the crash and the Talosians, having never seen a human being before, did not know how to put her back together. Vina looks ashamed and heartbroken, and Pike can’t bear to see her suffer. He asks if they’ll give her back her illusion of beauty, and the Magistrate agrees. He creates from Pike a new Pike–a double, exactly like himself, in love with Vina. She and the illusory Pike run up the crag and disappear happily into the complex.

MAGISTRATE: She has an illusion and you have reality. May you find your way as pleasant.

Back on the ship, Pike seems rested and happy, as if he’s just had a long vacation and not been physically and psychologically tortured by twisted aliens. Number One has returned to her station but the yeoman has a lingering question.

COLT: Sir, I was wondering. Just curious. Who would have been Eve?
ONE: Yeoman! You’ve delivered your report.
COLT: Yes, ma’am. Yes, sir.
TYLER: Eve, sir? Yes, sir.
BOYCE: Eve as in Adam?
PIKE: As in all ship’s doctors are dirty old men. What are we running here, a cadet ship, Number One? Are we ready or not?
ONE: All decks show ready, sir.
PIKE: Engage.


Watching “The Cage” is like watching Star Trek in some kind of mirror universe. This is the show that could have been, and almost was, if not for the executives at NBC who rejected it as “too cerebral” and greenlit a second pilot that was much closer to the show we’re all familiar with. Though Jeffrey Hunter is superb as Captain Christopher Pike, I imagine the show would have been much different in tone and execution had this version been developed into a series. Could you picture Pike in “The Trouble with Tribbles”? NBC may have done the franchise another favor in the long run, given that Hunter sadly died in 1969, just as the original series was limping off the air.

We covered portions of “The Cage” pretty thoroughly in our review of “The Menagerie,” so I’ll try not to repeat everything I said there. But I would have loved to see more adventures with this Enterprise crew. Dr. Boyce and his friendship with Pike is terrific, and it’s a shame we lost Number One. I used to read Star Trek novels when I was just getting into the show, and I remember one of them established that Number One had programmed the voice interface of the Enterprise computer–which explains why it sounds like her. I don’t think that’s in the canon, but it should be.

I think “The Cage” is probably one of the best episodes of Star Trek, and of televised science fiction in general, right down to its bittersweet, Twilight Zone-ish surprise ending. It’s smart, thrilling, still has some great special effects and direction (I love that push into the dome of the ship at the beginning), and it seems very cinematic. I was repeatedly impressed with how subtle the script is: Pike’s ruminations on alternate career paths is a perfect set up for the later Talosian temptations; the events on Rigel VII are largely implied through dialogue and the fact that crew members are wearing bandages throughout the entire episode; and this time around, I realized that when Captain Pike threw down the laser guns by the food hatch in his cage, while thinking angry thoughts, he was laying bait for the Talosians. That guy is brilliant. My favorite bit was Vina reminding Pike of her “headaches” and his comment that it’s hereditary. The writing is marvelous, and I loved conversations where characters speak at each other instead of with each other, and somehow the scenes work.

The show is also improved in some ways over what we later got in the series proper. The bridge and her officers seem more military and realistic somehow, mostly thanks to Spock’s habitual shouting, and the gray color scheme of the set. The brightly colored bridge of Kirk’s ship is iconic, but ridiculous, which is what happens when you make set design decisions based on what will sell more color televisions. Spock’s original station may have been more advanced than the later design–there’s no hood for him to hunch over, and he controls the display with hand gestures, which is still cutting edge even today. I’d never noticed that before. On the other hand, despite all their technology, they still use paper! I think I also glimpsed a television set in Pike’s quarters. And the red alert sounds even more annoying than the klaxon of the series.

Some other surprises I picked up on this time included people in normal clothes wandering the corridors, the special jackets for the landing party (and a weird backpack for one guy), and the absence of tricorders and red shirts.The overlay of passing stars while traveling in warp was rivaled in strangeness only by Tyler’s non-verbal confirmation of the warp speed by holding up seven fingers. What, you can’t talk while at warp? We already know the TNG creators were referencing “The Cage” when they made “Engage” and calling Riker “Number One” part of his routine, but I started to wonder if Pike’s longing for a peaceful life with his horses didn’t also influence Kirk’s Nexus fantasy in Star Trek Generations. Obviously many elements of Pike’s character manifested in Kirk’s. Shatner would have definitely played Pike differently, but I appreciate the fact that Roddenberry didn’t simply recast these roles with different actors; the history of the series is certainly richer for it.

Many themes were also recycled in the series, aside from more directly recycling the episode itself. Illusion, Adam and Eve, loneliness, freedom, creativity, the human struggle and capacity for destruction…these were all explored in many episodes of Star Trek, a bit too often in some cases.

“The Cage” is a fantastic pilot for introducing the show’s premise, mostly through context, as if the creators trusted their audience to catch on; for instance, they never stop to explain how transporters work. But it’s terrible at introducing characters. Most of the characters aren’t even named onscreen, so I suppose we only know them through the original script. But it did its job. Had it been given the chance, it would have intrigued enough people to get them to watch the second episode–or, at least, it left me wanting more.

One other thing–for all the sexism you could read into this episode, Number One effectively saves the day with the old “setting the laser to overload” trick. (Although I suppose it was new here, since this is the first time anyone thought to do that.) Bravo.

Eugene’s Rating: Time Warp 6 (on a scale of 1-6)

Torie Atkinson: So different and yet so much the same, “The Cage” communicates a clear vision of the show that we know and love.  It’s bold and unafraid of tackling difficult philosophical subjects. It’s sincere, creating people who seem real in situations that feel authentic. And most of all it’s smart, refusing to take the easy shortcuts with happy endings and moral judgments. The Talosians are bastards, but they made the best of a fate they could not alter and come across in the end as more sad and lonely than the creatures they capture. Vina cannot be fixed with a wave of the wand; her damage is irreparable and to pretend that the illusion were reality would be madness. And Pike simply has to accept that risk is his business, and that means losing crewmen, but it also means a world of possibility at his fingertips and that’s the tradeoff of a new frontier.

I have a little secret about “The Cage,” though. I don’t like Christopher Pike. There, I said it.

It’s hard to go back from The Shat and I know I liked Pike a lot as a potential captain in “The Menagerie,” but Jeffrey Hunter seems staid, boring, and monotonous. I can’t imagine trying to watch him week after week. There’s no conviction, no burning passion until the aliens push him over the edge. As a captain, he’s toothless. I know he’s going through a moral crisis and questioning the path he’s chosen, and I actually really like that as the starting point to the series. But his Spock-like emotionlessness, problem-solving through violence, and uninspired delivery of (sincerely moving) dialogue are like a vortex that the rest of the characters seems to tiptoe around. This is kind of like first season Babylon 5–all of the supporting elements are good, the themes are thought-provoking and serious, the intellectual engagement is all there–but the main guy’s square jaw can’t make up for the personality vacuum.

Kirk does his share of man-fighting and can feel distant and lonely, too, but there’s a kind of curiosity brewing beneath the surface that acts as an internal engine. It doesn’t matter if there’s great risk involved or little apparent benefit–the benefit is in needing to know, in the pursuit, and discovering a solution. Pike has no curiosity. The only information he wants is that which will serve his immediate goal: in this case, escape. He doesn’t seem very curious about the aliens or why they would do this. He shows little sympathy at the end when they make it clear they are desperate people and this was the best idea they had. He feels much more like a pulp hero: kind of blank and everyman. It doesn’t work for me.

Thematically everything was recycled in “The Menagerie,” so I don’t want to repeat myself on that front, but there are two things I can’t help but mentioning: the costumes and the women. The turtlenecks were not a good look; it’s a little Mr. Rogers In Space. But nothing really approaches the gaudy awfulness of those sparkle sweaters. It’s like some kind of awful bolero jacket that your great-Aunt wore to your cousin’s wedding, if your great-Aunt were Wesley Crusher and the wedding were disco-themed. On the other hand, the women got to wear pants. Boo-yeah. Small victories.

As for the women, though the show has a Number One, she has no name. The yeoman doesn’t either. There’s Spock, Bryce, and… the women! Number One is capable and confident, but she’s got a little bit of personality vacuum going on, too. All of this is “explained” by the implication that we’re in some sort of transitional period vis-a-vis gender relations, and that was the only cheap shortcut I felt the show took. We get Pike’s remark that he’s not “used” to women on the bridge, but the way he snaps at the yeoman seems uncalled for. He comes across as a dick, really. What kind of future is this if women can be first officers, but only if they have no names and are barked at like children? It felt incoherent, to me. Lip service to the network? Genuine ambivalence about their role in the show? Anyone know? Not to mention the fact that the bridge is extremely white, and the show ends with a moral lesson about how someone physically deformed/disabled/ugly would never ever be welcome in this world or in this future. It just all feels off to me, un-Roddenberryesque (it’s a word, I said so), and disappointing. You can see the seeds germinating but it’s still the same old field.

For now.

Torie’s Rating: Time Warp 6

Best Line: VINA: It’s a trap, like a narcotic. Because when dreams become more important than reality, you give up travel, building, creating. You even forget how to repair the machines left behind by your ancestors. You just sit, living, and reliving, other lives left behind in the thought record.

Syndication Edits: Never syndicated, but in the remastered CGI syndication, Spock’s emotional scenes were edited out: his smile, and his panicked outburst, “The women!”

Trivia: Other names considered for the first captain of the Enterprise were Robert M. April and James Winter.

Malachi Throne, the voice of the Talosian Keeper, also appeared in “The Menagerie” as Commodore Mendez. His voice in footage from “The Cage” was altered to prevent confusion. Throne also guest starred with Leonard Nimoy in TNG’s “Unification, Part II,” thus sharing Nimoy’s first and last TV appearances as Spock.

All the Talosians were played by women, though male voices were dubbed in.

At some point, the episode’s title was supposedly changed to “The Menagerie,” but it was changed back to “The Cage” once the two-part episode went into production.

Roddenberry’s original concept for the Talosians were crab-like creatures, hinted at by a shadow in the last cage of the Talosian zoo. This was too expensive so they became humanoid, like most Star Trek aliens, but would have explained why the Talosians had no idea how to put Vina back together again.

In Mind Meld, Nimoy commented that he played Spock as more animated to balance Hunter’s reserved performance as Pike; this was reversed with Shatner, who showed plenty of energy. Plenty.

NBC wanted Roddenberry to ditch “the guy with the ears” and the woman character. He later joked that he kept the alien and married the woman, saying “I couldn’t have legally done it the other way around.”

Tyler implies that faster-than-light travel is fairly new, having been developed sometime in the eighteen years since the Columbia crashed.

The footage of Susan Oliver as the Orion slave girl version of Vina kept coming back without her green skin visible, no matter how many shades of green makeup were used. It turned out that the film processing lab was color correcting her because they didn’t know she was supposed to be green. Or maybe they just liked her better that way.

The matte painting of the fortress on Rigel VII reappears many times in the series, including in the third season “Requiem for Methuselah.” It’s also referenced as a song title in Star Trek V: “Moon Over Rigel VII.”

The process of editing footage from “The Cage” into “The Menagerie” lost some of the original film negative, making Roddenberry’s private 16mm black and white reel the only available version. It was edited with color footage from “The Menagerie” for Betamax and VHS releases, until a complete 35mm color print was discovered by a film archivist in a Hollywood vault and returned to Roddenberry’s company. This version was finally aired on television in 1988.

Reportedly, director Robert Butler wanted the sets to show some age and wear with dirt and rust, but Roddenberry vetoed the idea in favor of a bright and shiny future. Butler also thought Star Trek was a pretentious title.

Unfilmed scenes showed Pike criticizing the youth of some of his new crew members, seeing off some injured crew, and dismissing a crewman in disgrace for firing on friendly aliens.

CBS turned down Star Trek in favor of Lost in Space. Suckers. Though the oddities of television gave them control of the series after all…

Other notes: Bob Johnson’s voice was dubbed over Clegg Hoyt (Pitcairn, the transporter chief). Johnson also provided the voice of the recordings on Mission: Impossible.

Two of the creatures in the Talosian zoo were creations of Janos Prohaska, recycled from episodes of The Outer Limits: “Fun and Games” and “The Duplicate Man.” Spock’s pointed ears were created using the same process as another episode, “The Sixth Finger,” and an ion storm from “The Mutant“–a light shining through a container of gold glitter suspended in liquid–was adapted for the transporter effect.

Susan Oliver (Vina) appeared in many films and TV shows in the 1950s and 60s, including a role The Twilight Zone episode “People Are Alike All Over,” in which she seduces Roddy McDowell, who discovers the apartment the Martians have prepared for him is actually a cage and he’s an “Earth creature in his native habitat” in their zoo. (Sorry for the spoiler.) I love this episode. Too bad and Hulu pulled it from their online libraries or I could share it with you.

Robert Butler has been directing television episodes since 1960. Some of the genre series he worked on include The Twilight Zone, Batman, and Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman.

Next week: the Series Wrap-Up.

About Eugene Myers & Torie Atkinson

EUGENE MYERS has published short fiction in a variety of print and online zines as E.C. Myers. He is a graduate of the Clarion West Writers Workshop and a member of the writing group Altered Fluid. When he isn’t watching Star Trek, he reads and writes young fiction. His first novel, Fair Coin, is forthcoming from Pyr. TORIE ATKINSON is a NYC-based law student (with a focus on civil rights and economic justice), proofreader, sometime lighting designer, and former blog editor/moderator. She watches too many movies and plays too many games but never, ever reads enough books.