Recommended Posts

In this pilot episode of The Edge of Forever, Dan Toland and Michael Sims discuss "The Cage," the original Star Trek pilot from 1965. Topics of discussion include the many differences between this episode and what would become Star Trek, Gene Roddenberry's wandering eye, and the influence of color television on the design of the Starfleet uniforms. Please come back on 25 May for the first official episode of The Edge of Forever. [ 1:13:35 || 35.8 MB ]

To listen, click here: http://www.earth-2.net/podcasts/theedgeofforever/episodes/theedgeofforever_000.mp3

Link to post
Share on other sites

Great opening episode. Looking forward to the show proper.

If you are interested in reading more about the making of the show with an uncompromising view of all of Gene Roddenberry's best and worst qualities then I would thoroughly recommended the book Inside Star Trek by Herb Solow and Robert H Justman. They are the two men who worked closest with Roddenberry to make the show and it is a fascinating read. It's definitely a warts and all behind the scenes book and the authors are very honest about their time working with Roddenberry. They clearly liked the guy but he could also be something of a nightmare.

For instance Trek lore says that the character of Number One was removed because the studio thought that a female second in command wouldn't play with audiences. In reality the network had no issue with a woman first officer but they didn't like Majel Barret in the role. They were somewhat annoyed when Roddenberry managed to sneak her back into the show as Nurse Chapel.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Great opening episode. Looking forward to the show proper.

If you are interested in reading more about the making of the show with an uncompromising view of all of Gene Roddenberry's best and worst qualities then I would thoroughly recommended the book Inside Star Trek by Herb Solow and Robert H Justman. They are the two men who worked closest with Roddenberry to make the show and it is a fascinating read. It's definitely a warts and all behind the scenes book and the authors are very honest about their time working with Roddenberry. They clearly liked the guy but he could also be something of a nightmare.

For instance Trek lore says that the character of Number One was removed because the studio thought that a female second in command wouldn't play with audiences. In reality the network had no issue with a woman first officer but they didn't like Majel Barret in the role. They were somewhat annoyed when Roddenberry managed to sneak her back into the show as Nurse Chapel.

Thanks, Dave!

I've wanted to read Inside Star Trek for years. It's been out of print for well over a decade now, and tends to be hellishly expensive. I will definitely keep an eye out for a reasonably priced copy, though.

I really don't want to harp on this, especially since in all fairness she's not the only one in the cast, but Majel Barrett was truly a mediocre actress on the best day she ever had. If she had been in a more visible role for the long term it would have been truly grating.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks, Dave!

According to Nichelle Nichols, she and Roddenberry had an affair before Star Trek (while Gene was married to his first wife), and they only broke it off because he was also sleeping with (and had fallen in love with) Majel. Some time later, when he was producing Star Trek, he cast Nichols because he fondly remembered her.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Just so you know Dan, I'm on the opposite side of the Majel Barrett issue. When I was younger I disliked Mrs Troi immensely but when I bought the DVDs about 5 years ago I completely flipped, purely because it brings out a different side in the crew. Deanna is more multifaceted in those encounters and I really enjoy uncomfortable Picard. I honestly think the three greatest fears of Picard are the Borg, children and Mrs Troi and the list priority is purely determined by proximity.

As for her acting I've not had an issue just because in the pantheon of terrible actors in the franchise she's nowhere near the bottom.

Anyway, good show guys! This one should keep you going through to your pension.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh, Lwaxana Troi is hilarious. Make no mistake. The fact that Picard is absolutely terrified of this woman and actually physically hides from her is possibly the greatest thing that's ever happened in the history of the franchise.

Link to post
Share on other sites

See, that's the thing. I don't think Majel is in any way "bad" as Chapel or Lwaxana; I think she's actually good considering the characters she's playing. Chapel is a very "normal" person in a sea of slightly bizarre characters, while Lwaxana is an OTT cartoon character. In both cases she's just playing what she's given, and I think she gives Lwaxana in particular a spark that a lesser actress couldn't pull off.

Link to post
Share on other sites

The beauty of Lwaxana Troi is that she shows that Starfleet Officers aren't as peaceful and utopian as they seem. I honestly wish there were more characters like her on TNG, to shake things up sometimes, because it got to be too much of a love-fest after a while. (I think that's why I love DS9 the most. Even by the end of the series, when the crew had grown into a family, they still annoy the shit out of each other from time to time.)

Getting back on Lwaxana (eww), I've long thought there was untapped potential in a Lwaxana / Riker relationship. Not sexual, 'cause, eww (again). What I mean is, he came ever so close to becoming her son-in-law long before he joined the Enterprise crew. With that in mind, I would have liked to have seen either some playful / familiar banter between the two, or some resentment on her part over Will dumping Deanna.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Having watched this for the first time on Netflix in prep for the podcast, I didn't think the acting was all that Godawful. Maybe it was because I was fairly wrapped up in what I was seeing that I didn't let any overt goofiness distract me. I actually kind of like Majel Barrett as Number One, although that might be more for the idea of her character than her acting. Susan Oliver certainly did go over the top at times tho, that cannot be denied.

A lot of this is coming in new for me as I've seen so little of the classic series. The sexism in the episode struck me more as a character trait of Pike and even Vina moreso than a narrative for the show itself, although I've no doubt more is coming. I liked the scene where Number One gives Pike a death stare when he whines about women on the ship (or something), although it seriously begs the question that if a woman in such a high state of command is normal in the future why he would have such an attitude about it in the first place. It did get really bad when it was revealed that the aliens solution to keeping Pike on their planet was by throwing him Vina. It made sense for plot reasons, but the character acted like hooking up with a man was so much her end all-be all purpose in life.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I liked the scene where Number One gives Pike a death stare when he whines about women on the ship (or something), although it seriously begs the question that if a woman in such a high state of command is normal in the future why he would have such an attitude about it in the first place.

One of the weird aspects of TOS's social commentary is that it simultaneously shows a future where certain social faux pas are commonplace (i.e., a woman in command), but also tries to tackle those issues from time to time. So it has Number One in her position, but also tries to make a point about sexism being stupid when that doesn't make sense to even be a topic for TOS's future setting.
Link to post
Share on other sites

The first time I saw this was in "The Menagerie" and recognized it for showing the original pilot.

I recently saw the pilot a couple of months ago and now see how the set was very similar to the 1956 movie "Forbidden Planet" I am glad the aesthetics of the later episodes changed to become its own thing.

http://startrekfactcheck.blogspot.com/2013/07/gene-roddenberrys-cinematic-influences.html

fp-poster-star-trek-pilot.jpg

Link to post
Share on other sites

I just sent in my first email so I'll try not to repeat too much of what I said there. By the way, I had a lot to say and not a lot of time to write it so forgive me if there are errors and such in the email, I didn't have time to proofread. Anyway I'll just briefly tell you my thoughts on the pilot, I really enjoyed it. I have a few minor suggestions that I put in my email but by and large it was a fantastic start off.

I actually recommended “He’s dead, Jim” and “I’m a doctor, not a” counts in my email as well as a couple others I'll be interested in hearing.

The one last thing I'll bring up here is about your decision to read emails at the end. Maybe I'm wrong but wouldn't the incoming emails be in response to your comments on the episodes you discussed last time not the ones you'd be yet to discuss? I'm not opposed to you guys reading emails at the end, it just doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I think it depends. On Shake and Blake we would split feedback into stuff about the podcast and show in general but any feedback for the episodes we were talking about we would leave until the end of our discussion of each episode. It often threw up subjects we hadn't discussed or reminded us of things we were going to mention.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 4 weeks later...
  • 1 month later...

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.