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The Cage
Series: The Original Series
Written by: Gene Roddenberry
Directed by: Robert Butler
Production information
Episode no.: 0x01
Production no.: 6149-01
First aired: 4 October 1988
Date: 2254



One of the earliest missions of the USS Enterprise comes in the aftermath of its visit to the planet Rigel VII. Under the command of Captain Christopher Pike, the Enterprise sets course for Vega colony to undergo repairs, but is contacted by a mysterious distress signal.


A primitive radio wave distress signal emanating from the SS Columbia, a survey ship believed lost 18 years earlier, would normally persuade Captain Pike to alter course and investigate the signal. But the Enterprise's last mission has left him deeply troubled following the loss of three crewmen. He confides to the chief medical officer, Dr. Phillip Boyce, that he is contemplating resigning from Starfleet and return to his home town of Mojave on Earth, and possibly become a trader.

With the Enterprise seriously damaged, Pike's only concern is getting the starship to the Vega colony, but Lieutenant Spock speculates that there could be survivors from the Columbia still living on Talos IV. With this fact, Pike finally decides to alter course and head for the previously uncharted Talos Star Group.

After arrival in the system, Pike leads a landing party to the surface of Talos IV and discovers a group of old human scientists from the American Continent Institute, led by Dr. Theodore Haskins, alive. Haskins then introduces Pike to a beautiful woman named Vina, who was born shortly after the crash on Talos. Vina offers to reveal their secrets to Pike, and she leads him away from the rest of the landing party. Unbeknownst to Pike and his crew, they are being observed by the inhabitants of the planet, the Talosians.

Suddenly, Vina and the other crash survivors disappear, and Pike is rendered unconscious by a knock-out gas. The Talosians appear from below the surface and take Pike underground. When he regains consciousness, he finds himself locked in a cage and being observed by three Talosians. The Talosians are a telepathic race who have created the elaborate illusion of the crash survivors and the distress signal to lure Pike and the Enterprise to the planet.

Using Pike's memories, the Talosians create two scenarios for Pike. In the first scenario, Pike is a trader who, while negotiating a deal, observes Vina performing an erotic dance as an Orion slave girl. The second scenario depicts Pike's battle with the Kaylar on Rigel VII, but this time Vina is with him as a princess that needs saving. Pike resists the illusions, and instead tries to obtain as much information from Vina as possible.

Eventually, Pike discovers that the Talosians can't read primitive emotions such as anger and hatred, so he builds up a state of intense anger at the Talosians to block their control of his mind and halt Vina's advances. However, the Talosians read this as a lack of interest in Vina, and so transport Number One and Yeoman Mia Colt to the surface as new candidates to be "Eve" to his "Adam".

Pike's mission to escape finally pays off when one of the Talosians enters the cage in order to obtain the landing party's phasers. Realising that the Talosians have created the illusion that the phasers don't work, Pike holds a Talosian hostage and demands that his party is set free. However, Vina warns Pike that the Talosians have the ability to create illusions aboard the Enterprise which would lead the crew to destroy the ship.

Realising that the Enterprise could be at risk, Spock, in temporary command, orders the ship to leave orbit and move out of range, but the Talosians create the illusion of complete power failure and the Enterprise is stuck in orbit. Meanwhile, on the surface the stand-off between Pike and the Talosians continue and they reveal that Vina is a disfigured woman who crashed on the surface and was treated by the Talosians. Having no template to work from, they reconstructed her in her present form, but grant her the illusion of remaining beautiful.

The stand-off ends after the Talosians scan the Enterprise's computer banks and discover that humans would not be suitable as a race of slaves to help them rebuild their world, and that they would resist captivity. The Talosians allow Pike and his party to leave, but Vina must remain on the surface to maintain her image of beauty. Pike is at first concerned with leaving her alone, but the Talosians create an illusory Captain Pike to be her companion.

Returning to the Enterprise, Pike realises that, although he has his dreams and fantasies, his place is being in command of a Federation starship.




Phillip BoyceJ. Mia ColtGarrisonTheodore HaskinsKeeperMagistrateNumber OneChristopher PikeNils PitcairnSpockTangoJosé TylerVinaYamata
Referenced only 
Dwight D. Eisenhower

Starships and vehicles

SS ColumbiaUSS Enterprise (Constitution-class)


Alpha QuadrantTalos IVTalos Star Group
EarthMojave • Orion colony • Rigel VIIRigel system
Referenced only 
Vega colonyVega system

Races and cultures


States and organizations

American Continent InstituteStarfleet


Class Mhorsehyperdrivelaser • laser weapon • martini •nitrogennuclear weaponOrion slave girloxygenradio • radio-interference distress call • Talosian singing plant • time barriertime warp factorwarp driveyeoman


Related Stories

  • The Menagerie (TOS episode) - Pike is returned to Talos IV to live out a life of illusion.
  • Burning Dreams (TOS novel) - The life story of Captain Pike, explaining the long-lasting effects of Pike's encounter with the Talosians and Vina.
  • Star Trek: Early Voyages - A comic series set on the Enterprise under Pike. In addition to the general setting a number of issues make specific references to this episode:
Stories featuring Christopher Pike
Comics Early Voyages "Flesh of My Flesh" • "The Fires of Pharos" • "Our Dearest Blood" • "Nor Iron Bars a Cage" • "Cloak and Dagger" • "The Flat, Gold Forever" • "Immortal Wounds" • "One of a Kind" • "The Fallen" • "Futures, Part One" • "Future Tense" • "Futures" • "Now and Then" • "Thanatos" • "Nemesis"
other "All Those Years Ago..." • "To Walk the Night" • "Door in the Cage" • "Return to the Forbidden Planet" • "A Prelude to War" • "Alien Spotlight: Vulcans" • "Alien Spotlight: Orions" • "Mirror Images, Issue 1" • "Mirror Images, Issue 2" • "Mirror Images, Issue 4" • "Mirror Images, Issue 5" • "Shadows of the Past" • "The Ends of Eternity" • "Spock: Reflections, Issue 2"
Novels Enterprise: The First AdventureVulcan's GloryLegacyThe RiftWhere Sea Meets SkyBurning Dreams • "A Less Perfect Union" • The Children of Kings
Short stories "Conflicting Natures" • "A Private Anecdote" • "Sins of the Mother" • "The Greater Good"
Episodes "The Cage" • "The Menagerie" Movie Star Trek


published order
Previous episode:
First Episode (Pilot)
TOS episode produced Next episode:
Where No Man Has Gone Before
Previous episode:
Turnabout Intruder
TOS episode aired Next episode:
Last Episode Aired
chronological order
Previous Adventure:
Star Trek V: The Final Frontier
Chapter 14 - McCoy flashback
Pocket Next Adventure:
Burning Dreams
Chapter 15, Sections 10-12; Chapter 7, Section 10; Chapter 15, Section 13
Previous Adventure:
Nor Iron Bars a Cage
The Early Voyages of the
USS Enterprise (NCC-1701)
Next Adventure:
The Rift


External link

This article uses material from the "The Cage" article on the Memory-beta wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.


Up to date as of February 04, 2010

From Wookieepedia, the Star Wars wiki.


The subject of this article only appears in a Star Wars Tales (#1–#20) story that has not been referenced elsewhere; therefore, its level of canonicity is ambiguous.

Please see the relevant discussion on the talk page.

The Cage.

The Cage was a racing area of Tatooine, where speeders would race up and down the wire mesh of The Cage's dome.

This article is a stub about a general location. You can help Wookieepedia by expanding it.


  • Luke Skywalker: Detective
The interior of The Cage.

This article uses material from the "The Cage" article on the Starwars wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.


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