Tuesday, January 1, 2013

TOS: The Cage

I don't actually remember a time when I didn't know about Star Trek. I don't remember not knowing what warp drive or transporters were. I don't remember the first time I made the Vulcan salute. I don't remember. But I can imagine it.

I imagine that my Dad took my tiny hand and separated my fingers and thumb just right until I could hold it on my own. I imagine that I held it up for my parents while an old episode of Star Trek: TOS was playing in the background. It's an almost memory. It's nice but it's not concrete.

I have a real memory of the Star Trek pilot, "The Cage."

I've watched and re-watch most of Star Trek throughout my life but I'd only ever seen the pilot once.

My parents had already divorced and I was staying with my Dad for the summer when he called me in to check out a chance Sci Fi Channel showing of it. The thing that stuck with me into adulthood were the aliens which I then referred to as, "The Butt-heads."

Even less pretty when they turn around, I promise. 

This New Year's Eve, I re-watched "The Cage" with my Dad.

The pilot is pretty surreal. It's Star Trek without exactly being Star Trek. Kirk, Bones and the rest of the iconic crew didn't exist. Spock isn't really Spock yet but there is an Orion Slave Girl. Majel Barrett is kind of amazing as the science-minded, stoic Number One and it's strange to see her play someone so distinctly different from Lwaxana Troi.

There were still plenty of Butt-head jokes to go around but after we ran out of material, I realized how great and Trek-ey this plot is. The aliens feed off the memories and dreams of other speicies.

As Vina says, "It's like a narcotic."

You can go anywhere or anytime not just in your memories, but your dreams too--anything you can imagine. The Butt-heads will facilitate it. Pike doesn't like this and he's certainly not going along with it. I wouldn't either--if I were stuck in a cage on an alien planet.

However, if a Butt-head were to knock on the door tomorrow and ask if I wanted to go back to any place or any time I remembered or imagined, I might just say, "Take me to the day when I first saw Star Trek." or, "Take me to the day I first learned to make the Vulcan salute."

Until then, I'm pretty happy to just re-watch "The Cage" with my Dad.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...