Mission Log #1: Episode 001- The Cage

Is there anything better than sitting in a cave and watching TV? If it means giving up a large portion of your freedom, then according to Captain Christopher Pike of the starship Enterprise, you’re damn right there is!  Relive Star Trek’s mysterious, never-aired first pilot, “The Cage.” Learn about who was No. 1 before No. 1. Find out where the show really began, plus more on the premiere of Mission Log!

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  • Great job! Good discussion, and fun to listen to. I’m excited to re-watch the series along with the podcast.

    But please, please, please, ditch the Siri voice. It’s embarrassing.

  • Dude! So glad this is coming out! When I heard about it, for some reason it had a “distant future” vibe to it. I am SO excited to watch the entirety of Star Trek this way. BOOM!

    …I say “BOOM!” sometimes.

  • dont let any naysayers keep you down, this is a wonderful concept,since there is no new(or at least any good) star trek they least we as trekkies can do is sit back down,revisit every wonderful,and not so wonderful episode. Ill be listening every week, keep it up!!!

  • One of the good things about Star Trek is that you can have these kinds of discussions, ranging from TV culture to race to how religion was portrayed in the 60s versus now. Good job on this first episode, and I look forward to listening to more.

  • i love this, just finished watching all of star trek tv shows begining to end(?). it took quite awhile. i don’t believe the religious implacations of heaven and hell would have been that big of deal until the late 70’s and the start the “religous right”.

  • Great first podcast and an additional thought: there’s a line that caught my attention when the doc is talking to Pike over drinks. He says something like “A man will tell his bartender things he wouldn’t even tell his doctor”. I wonder if this line or this idea ended up being the inspiration for Guinan in TNG. Just a thought.

  • Nicely done. Congratulations! I will defiantly make this a regular listen. I too saw “The Cage” when Gene was traveling the country and I was most impressed. One thing that I did like was how much of the original pilot survived in the making of “The Menagerie”, not too many story points were lost.

    Another carry over from this first pilot to STNG, in addition to the first office “Number One” monicker was the order “Engage” from the captain to “set sail” so to speak.

    Also I was impressed by your analogy to TV watching and its increasing voyeuristic nature, I never saw the Talosions (SP?) as being hooked on their monitors, I always thought they experienced their specimen’s thought inside their heads. I thought the monitor was only a visual provided to show the audience that Pike and company were being watched.

  • Looking forward to following this. Just do like everyone else is saying and get rid of the computer voice.

    I always thought that the movie Generations took a litte inspiration from The Cage. Basically your deepest fantasy coming to life.

  • Great first podcast, and thank you for starting with The Cage. It’s one of my favorite episodes. Out of curiosity, did you guys decide right away you would go through the broadcast order of the show, or did you at all consider using the production order? Since the second pilot, Where No Man Has Gone Before, would’ve been next, I hope we’ll hear an analysis of the different approaches each pilot took in presenting the concept of the show.

    I’ll be tuning in next week!

  • This was so good. Intelligently an entertainingly discussed. I really enjoyed this and am looking forward to more. Thanks for this, Nerdist! I would like to learn a bit more about our hosts, and look forward to that. Will there be guests? I know Matt Mira would be a great occasional inclusion.

  • And a thought on the hate for the robot voice – I kind of like it as segment bumpers but agree the voice itself could be nicer. What about Katie Levine, who does so much other wonderful work on the Nerdist podcasts? Or mystery celebrity guest bumpers! Don’t reveal the identity until the end so we can guess the voices!

  • Great episode guys, thanks a billion.

    Your thought about “The Cage” having a frontier/Western feel to it is not far off. Recall that Gene Roddenberry’s concept of Star Trek was “Wagon Train to the Stars” (

    Also, as to your idea that themes in this pilot appear later in the Star Trek Universe, I offer this one: Pike’s decision to rescue or ignore a distress call is quite similar to the Kobayashi Maru scenario.

    Thanks again.

  • Hey guys, great job on the debut podcast! As an old-skool Trekker (not Trekkie), I will definitely be keeping up with the show.

    I’m actually surprised you didn’t cover this, but in Gene’s original script (or at least the original outline, I forget where it changed), the Talosians were squat, crab-like creatures with no resemblence to a human being at all. At a certain point it became obvious that this was going to be prohibitively expensive to film, and the Keepers were switched to the humanoids we now know and love. This is obviously the basis for the “we had no idea how to put her back together” bit with Vina, a holdover from the original script that does end up looking a little silly. :)

  • Thankyou for doing this show!
    I actually never watched the original series, I’m really enjoying your episode analysis :) I’ve been going back after each podcast and watching the shows on streaming (I’m using amazon prime, pretty sure its on netflix too).

    Anyways I’m loving it, thanks guys keep up the awesome work :)

  • I actually originally didn’t realize this was from its own pilot episode. I originally viewed the The Menagerie, which I thought was very in-depth history containing its Captain Pike story line. It wasn’t until later when I actually realized my error from internet lore, and went back to watch “The Cage”. To be honest though, I liked “The Menagerie” re-visiting that timeline than I cared for “The Cage” episode. The ending of “The Menagerie” was touching, and the story pretty great as far as developing the star trek’s infant universe.

    I really loved the early analysis on Spock’s character, because imagine Spock’s storyline being depicted in this early year of his star fleet service. Spock whom you get to follow through different generations and mediums of the startrek universe has his character lightly undefined at this point, and even so they use this early episode to depict him as an extremely loyal first officer. Also the comments of the sampling of ST-TNG concepts taken from OST is well pointed out with the LCAR computer and many other concepts TNG uses to bridges two series very well.

    But, i could go on all day about this :P