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The Cage Page - Rare behind the scenes assets from Star Trek's first pilot

This webpage is dedicated to"The Cage", Star Trek's first pilot. For your perusal are recently restored clips, artwork, rare documents and deleted scenes.
For those of you unfamiliar with the plot and cast click here.

Lost and Found
"The Cage" never aired on television as it was a rejected pilot. As an already completed show the 35mm negative was cut and integrated into the two part episode, "The Menagerie" as a cost and schedule saving measure. The unused portions of the 35mm negative film were presumed lost or destroyed. In 1987, film archivist Bob Furmanek discovered the missing original 35mm color negative trims from "The Cage" in a rusty, un-marked can in a Hollywood film lab. It was in a vault of old, unclaimed material that was supposed to be destroyed. He approached Roddenberry's office at Paramount and arranged to acquire the material. *

"I can still remember the excitement when we realized what we had found. The 1000 can (a film can that can accommodate 1000 feet of film) was filthy (it was actually on the floor under a film rack) and had no identification whatsoever. When I opened the can, I could see the 35mm film was color negative. There was no leader on the film. All the trims had been rolled onto one small core by the editor. The first few feet of film that I un-spooled showed the Enterprise and a panning shot into the front window of the ship. I knew than that we had made a most important discovery! We were certainly in the right place at the right time. That vault was material that had been discarded and was designated for destruction".

- Bob Furmanek

Creating Star Trek
Gene Roddenberry, a writer/producer approaches Desilu studios in April of 1964 to pitch his idea to Herb Solow, head of the television development. A script development deal is made. The idea is eventually sold to NBC.

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Pre-Production: Costumes and Make-up
Shown here publicly for the first time is Western Costume's design for Spock's uniform. It included a black leather skull cap and appears to have been influenced by their costume design for Space Patrol. . Luckily, Roddenberry met costume designer Bill Theiss who was eventually hired to design the costumes for The Cage, Star Trek, the original series and later Star Trek:The Next Generation.

Space Patrol, circa 1953.
Uniforms created by Western Costume.

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Costume and Make-up Test Footage

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Talosian Make-up and Voice Effects

The Talosian aliens were large headed and frail looking. To achieve this look women of advanced maturity were cast for the part. Shown on the right is character actress Meg Wyllie, who played the Talosian known as the Keeper. Make-up included bulbous pulsating prosthetic craniums. The voices were done by male actors reading their lines with a slight falsetto.

The voice of the Keeper was done by actor Malachi Throne. When footage of "The Cage" was used in the two part episode "The Menagerie" the Keeper addresses Captain Kirk by name, so Throne was needed to reprise his voiceover role for the additional dialog. Throne was also cast as Commodore Mendez (most likely a cost saving measure). During post production it became obvious with repeated listening's of the audio track that the voice of the Keeper and Mendez were done by the same actor. Click play to hear Thrones additional dialog of the Keeper used in "The Menagerie".

To solve this problem the recording engineers changed the pitch of Thrones dialog. This of course meant the pitch of the original audio recordings of the Keeper's voice used in "The Cage" would need to be changed for the two part episode to match.


This not only solved the problem but had the serendipitous affect of making the voice of the Keeper sound more alien. Click play to hear the result.

Click play to see Ms Wyllle transform into the Keeper.

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To the right of Mendez (Throne) click on the Keeper to hear how he voiced the character for The Cage. Next is how the Keeper's voice was altered for "The Menagerie".

Throne also played a Romulan, Senator Pardek in a Star Trek The Next Generation episode.


The Cage Shooting Schedule - Production number 6149
A shooting schedule is a project plan of each day's shooting for a film production. It is normally created and managed by the assistant director, who reports to the production manager managing the production schedule. Both schedules represent a timeline stating where and when production resources are used.

Location: Desilu Culver Studios

Friday 11/27/64
Stage 14
Susan Oliver rehearses the Vina dance routine

Stage 16
Transporter room scenes
Additional personal include a rep. from Anderson effects.
Pike's quarters
Interior briefing room scenes
Enterprise passageway

Monday 11/30/64
Stage 15

Bridge scenes
Susan Oliver rehearses
the Vina dance routine

Tuesday 12/01/64
Stage 15

Bridge scenes
Orion Courtyard

Wednesday 12/02/64
Stage 16

Talos lV ravine scenes
Survivor camp scenes

Thursday 12/03/64
Stage 16
Vina on knoll scenes
Laser cannon scenes
Returning to surface on lift

Friday 12/04/64
Stage 16
Vina aging scene
Anderson effects to provide still camera for
positioning of Vina
Stage 15
Talosians watching viewing screen

Monday 12/07/64
Stage 15

Captain in cage set
Vina in cage with captain

Tuesday 12/08/64
Location: Exterior Desilu 40 acres and Stage 15

Rigel fortress exterior scenes
Back to Stage 15, cage interiors

Wednesday 12/09/64
Stage 15

Cage interior - Match action for hell scene
Cage interior Number 1 & Colt scenes

Thursday 12/10/64
Stage 15
Cage interior - capturing Talosian
Match effects shot for monster
Replace glass wall with jagged hole glass wall

Notice that the working title of the pilot is "The Menagerie" and would eventually be changed to "The Cage". The working title would be used later in the series when footage from "The Cage" was used in the episodes, "The Menagerie", parts 1 & 2.

Courtesy G.Rutter Colleciton

"The Cage" was scheduled for eleven days of filming but ran over totaling 16 days. NBC would pay for the budgeted amount, but Desilu would be responsible for any overages.

The Cage's budget was $451,503 but came in at $615,751. In today's dollars that cost would exceed $4,000,000.

Friday 12/11/64
Stage 16

Orion courtyard hallway scene
Hell scene
Parkland scene
Post Production - miniatures and opticals
Zoom into model to match with bridge footage
Ship fly by's
Optical paintings of Talos IV
Montage of scenes for library computer scan
Record Talosians voice-over's

Cut Scenes - Pike's Fantasy Illusion
This script excerpt and series of clips is from an extensive scene which was cut from the Vina dance sequence.

From Roddenberry's script FINAL DRAFT, November 20, 1964:

VINA (continuing)
. . . he must wonder what it would be like to forget all that.

EXT. ORION COURTYARD - NIGHT - MATCHING Pike The transition catching him still seated. He's startled by the SOUND of strange music and wild merriment. He is now on a pillowed floor at a long low table piled high with exotic foods. His attire is rich silk robes, almost like those of an Oriental potentate. And he becomes aware he is being anxiously attended, even fawned upon, by two who have something of the "slave" in their garb and manner. Their skin has a color like
Mr. Spock.

You used to be Captain of the Enterprise, didn't you?

CAMERA PULLS BACK to reveal the speaker is a uniformed space officer (not from the Enterprise) seated at the table. The other man is an Earth trader dressed similar to Pike but less luxuriously. Each of these men is being served by a slave woman. Around all this, a scene of barbaric splendor with an almost Oriental flavor. The MUSIC comes from a quartet seated near a fountain pool, playing unusual instruments. Here and there in the courtyard are richly exotic plants with unusual shapes.

Matter of fact he was. Used to stop here now and then. . . (smiles at Pike) . . . and then send Earth a blistering report. . . (pretended report) "the Orion traders taking shocking advantage of the natives. . ".

Good-natured laughter interrupting this.

Do any of you have a green one? They're dangerous, I hear. Razor claws, and they attract a man like a sensation of irresistible hunger. . .
Pike is perceptible startled by the familiar term: "Irresistible hunger". And why had Space Officer emphasized the words, and why is he giving Pike that searching look? The Earth Trader is also giving Pike a knowing look. He indicates Pike to the Space Officer.

Now and then comes a man who tames one. (to Space Officer) He'd stumbled into this dark corridor, and then he saw flickering light ahead. (to Pike) Almost like secret dreams a bored ship captain might have, wasn't it? There she was, holding a torch, glistening green. . .

Aware now the Talosians are definitely baiting him through the images of these two men, Pike angrily rises. But his female servant has moved to sound a NOTE on a hanging cymbal.

Get out of my way, blast you!

The MUSIC changes now, louder, a slow throbbing rhythm. Pike's attention is attracted by an exclamation of astonishment from the seated space officer. He turns to see:
ANGLE - VINA Wild! Green skin, glistening as if oiled. Her fingertips are long gleaming razor-edged scimitars, her hair not unattractive but suggesting a wild animal mane. She is moving out to the open rectangle in front of the table, eyes wild. We feel she's larger than before, immensely strong. The female slaves have hurried off, frightened. But one is slower and Vina suddenly pivots with a CAT SOUND, bars a frightened female slave's escape. Pike's male servant has grabbed a whip, leaps out to intercede and Vina turns, snarling at him. The man slave swings back to lash at her.

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Vina turns at the voice, eyes Pike for a long moment.

CLOSE SHOT - Pike returning the look, fascinated.
ANGLE - VINA Now, her gaze riveted on Pike, she moves to the center of the rectangle, lets the slow-powerful beat of the MUSIC reach her, the slow surging beat forcing movement out of her as a reed flute takes possession of a cobra. She SHRIEKS (dubbed wild animal cry) and the rhythm moves faster, her movements following the barbaric MUSIC.

CLOSE SHOT - Pike unable to tear his eyes from her.

ANGLE - VINA now dancing wildly, animal beautiful.
EMPHASIZING Pike as the Earth Trader looks up toward Pike, again meaningfully:

Wouldn't you say that's worth a man's soul?
Space Officer turns to eye Pike similarly.

It makes you believe she could be anything. Suppose, you had all of space to choose from, and this was only one small sample of. . .

Pike tears himself from these words, turns and brushes past his retainers, hurrying into the exit door behind. . .

Additional deleted scenes

Nothing will be said if any volunteer wants to back out.

The group turns to the cubicle, as Number One turns to Colt.

Colt, you're new to our ship. . .

I've had the same training as anyone. And I'm his yeoman.
Number One hesitates, then she and Colt move with the group into the transporter cubicle. The Transporter Chief moves to his control panel.

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Here's an excerpt from the script that starts at the end of the "therapy/bartender" scene with Dr. Boyce and Pike in Pike's quarters. The unused clip is Pike crossing into the scene from the turbo-elevator.

where we can see Mister Spock seated at his bridge position. Over which we synch part of the following:

We're intercepting a follow-upmessage. There are crash survivors on Talos, sir.

as he hears and acknowledges the message, snaps off the viewing screen, exchanges a look with Doctor Boyce, then turns and quickly exits the room.

where First Crewman has switched to a message-printing device which is now CLATTERING. Pike crosses into scene from the turbo-elevator, just as the message stops. CPO Garrison, still holding down the communications station, rolls the message up into view, reads to Pike:

From there the act plays as broadcast. There is no explanation in the film on how Dr. Boyce gets to the bridge or when he changed clothes. This is known as a continuity error. Notice the green translucent prop in the foreground. More about that later.

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Additional Scenes and Film Elements

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The raw footage shown here is what the producer, director and cinematographer would look at usually the day after it was shot. Called dailies as they are seen the next day. They are also called rushes, and are sometimes shown as black and white footage as the development time for black and white prints is shorter then that of color. The footage is spliced in no particular order and without sound.

The superimposed numbers running through the middle of the frame is what is called time code. This is recorded electronically when transferring to video tape and used for off -line editing. It is not on the original film.

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Post-Production - Special Effects

This is a representation of the first version of the beam down special effect. This animation is based on salvaged, individual frames. Although not perfect it does give us an idea on what this effect looked like.

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An example of the above effects used in the transporter chamber.

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So why was this version of the transporter effect not used? A memo from Roddenberry to the optical effects company explains it all:


Appearances and disappearances of crew:
Eliminate the thick line around the crew members as they are transported. Have a subtle suggestion of sparkle rather than the Peter Pan sparkle being used. Get rid of the colored outline. Have crew members slowly dissolve. Maintain whole image with slight flickering of color instead of present solid color. All the actors should have the same color effect instead of the present individual assortment of colors.
- G. R.

Roddenberry's feelings about the effects shots for the laser cannon appear to be the opposite. The first picture on the left shows a subdued, less colorful version. The effects were redone with a more vibrant, colorful version.


Planet Creation
Anderson Effects testing rear screen projection of the Talos IV planet. On closer examination Talos IV appears to be a colorized picture of the moon with airbrushed clouds.

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The B&W clips are from what are referred to as dailies or rushes and are quickly cut together from the previous days work. The creation of a dissolve or special effect is time consuming and as rushes are needed to be viewed in a timely manner grease pencil marks are used to indicate where dissolves and effects are to be placed. The marking on this trim is known as a streamer, called so because when projected it resembles a paper streamer moving across the screen. The streamers indicates where the dissolve takes place preceding the Vina dance sequence.

This is the scene with Vina (Susan Oliver) being punished by the Talosians. This is pre-effects footage showing Oliver doing her being tortured bit, then leaving the camera frame. In the finished effects sequence she dissolves via a special effect and all that remains is her clothing. You can still see her shadow after she sits up.

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Evolution of a matte painting
All of Star Trek's matte paintings were the work of Albert Whitlock. Shown here are some of the steps taken creating a matte painting combined with live action.

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Production Photos

Restored promotional picture featuring Vina.

Click here to view a larger version.

Restored picture featuring Spock.

Click here to download a 1064x768 picture of Mr. Spock.

Photo Collage

They Decided to Swat Us.

Susan Oliver Interview

Starlog Magazine

"It was very nice company" Oliver recalled of the filming of "The Cage". S.Oliver "All of us in the production enjoyed doing it. We went to Gene Roddenberry's house several times and just sat around the kitchen, had coffee and talked. Gene was very much present on the set during filming".

For the Orion Slave Girl sequence, Oliver would be required to dance very well - and seduce 'Captain Pike' "One of the unique things about this job was I wasn't really a dancer" she admited "They had a choreographer work with me a solid week, every day, before I begin filming. There were different faces in this role, and the green girl was the most challenging".

"There were many experiments in make-up" she said "Fred Phillips, head of the make-up department, couldn't get the green girl's make-up. They couldn't find any green make-up that would stick to skin, so they tried many things, many things on me until they finally sent for help from New York where they found what they wanted".

"I think STAR TREK certainly rates very high on my TV roles" she said "Amazingly, people have that episode as their strongest identification for me".

Oliver's other genre forays include two episodes of THE INVADERS, THE TWILIGHT ZONE and NIGHT GALLERY. Her most rewarding job was as an aviator. Her solo voyages on a Lear Jet in 1967 took her around the world on a transoceanic journey, which she chronicled in her 1983 book "Odyssey: A Daring Transatlantic Journey". She set five world records for men and women pilots. She was nominated for an Emmy Award for her portrayal of Amelia Earhart in the TV movie AMELIA.
     She died of cancer May 10, 1990, at the age of only 53.

Jeffrey Hunter interviews and obituary

Los Angeles Citizen News
January 30, 1965

Male Call
by Joan Schmitt

Jeff's big enthusiasm at the moment is a pilot he's just finished for a new Desilu television series that will hopefully be on the air in the fall. It's a science fiction show -- year 2000, with Jeff playing an American cosmonaut who patrols the galaxy in a 190,000-ton space city. The 'ship' carries a crew of 203 people, who visit American colonies in space as well as unexplored planets". We run into pre-historic worlds, contemporary societies and civilizations far more developed than our own," he said. It's a great format because writers have a free hand -- they can have us land on a monster-infested planet, or deal in human relations involving the large number of people who live together on this gigantic ship". We should know within several weeks whether the show's been sold. It will be an hour long, in color with a regular cast of a half-dozen or so, and an important guest star part each week. They're calling it 'Star Trek. ' The thing that intrigues me most about the show is that it is actually based on the Rand Corp projection of things to come. Except for the fictional characters, it will almost be like getting a look into the future and some of the predictions will surely come true in our life-time". With all the weird surroundings of outer space the basic underlying theme of the show is a philosophical approach to man's relationship to woman. There are both sexes in the crew, in fact, the first officer is a woman".

Sex in orbit? How intriguing. It's comforting to know there are some things that just won't ever change!


The Milwaukee Journal
July 4, 1965

Happy In Hollywood
by J. D. Spiro

Milwaukee's Jeffrey Hunter recently appeared with Tippi Hedren on a "Kraft Suspense Theater" play "Trains of Silence," and made a "pilot" film for a possible new television series.
The TV pilot film bears the title "Star Trek" and it is an hour science fiction fantasy in color. Produced by Gene Roddenberry in association with NBC at Desilu, it was aimed at the 1965-66 market, but did not make the fall schedule. An unusually costly pilot with a budget of approximately $500,000, it is now being held for the 1966-67 season, and another segment for the projected series is soon to be filmed. The cast of this will not, however, include Hunter, who says he has bowed out of the venture". I was asked to do it," he said, "but had I accepted, I would have been tied up much longer than I care to be. I have several things brewing now and they should be coming to a head in the next few weeks. I love doing motion pictures and expect to be as busy as I want to be in them".

Hunter has a new home at Huntington Palisades in the Santa Monica area that he and his family moved into last summer. It's a two story, five bedroom stucco house of Mediterranean design surrounded by an acre of ground and many oak trees.

He now lives there with his wife, the former Joan Hamilton Killian Bartlett, and four sons ranging in age from 2 years to 13. The oldest, Christopher was born to him and his first wife, actress Barbara Rush. They were divorced in 1955 after five years of marriage. Next is Steele, 11, a son of Mrs. Hunter by a previous marriage. The other two boys are Herman Henry McKinnies III, age 6, named after Hunter's father and Scott, 2.

Hunter attended Whitefish Bay high school, where he was president of the student body in his senior year and co-captain of the school's first suburban championship football team. His parents, Mr. and Mrs. Henry H. McKinnies, live at 7450 Skyline Lane, River Hills, Milwaukee.


Jeffrey Hunter Obituary
November 25, 1926 - May 27, 1969
Jeffrey Hunter was born Henry Herman McKinnies Jr. (nicknamed Hank McKinnies), on November 25, 1926 inJ.Hunter New Orleans, Louisiana.
The only child of a sales engineer and his wife, Hunter was raised in Milwaukee, WI. While still in high school, Hunter acted on Milwaukee radio station WTMJ; this led to summer stock work. His career was interrupted by service in U. S. Navy at Great Lakes Naval Station, Illinois, 1945-46 until his medical discharge.

He then attended Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois where he received a bachelor’s degree from the School of Speech. He continued his stage appearances and was featured in the 1949 film version of "Julius Caesar", which starred Charlton Heston. Attending UCLA on a scholarship, Hunter was spotted by Hollywood talent scouts while appearing in a school production of "All My Sons" in May of 1950. He made a screen test at Paramount, but was hired by 20th Century Fox where he made his first "mainstream" film appearance in Fox's "Fourteen Hours", a film which also served as the debut for Grace Kelly. His movie career gained momentum after he co-starred with John Wayne in the Western classic The Searchers (1956).

Hunter was married to actress Barbara Rush on December 1, 1950. They had one child, a son Christopher. Although they were divorced on March 29, 1955, Rush would remember him fondly and said she considered him to be the handsomest man she ever met. On July 7, 1957 Hunter married Joan "Dusty" Bartlett a former model. They had two sons, Todd and Scott. He also adopted Steele, Dusty’s son from a previous marriage. This marriage ended in divorce in 1967.

In 1961, Hunter was cast in the difficult and challenging role of Jesus Christ in "The King of Kings". His reverent performance earned Hunter considerable praise, although the actor's youthful appearance prompted industry wags to dub the picture "I Was a Teenaged Jesus,” while in fact Hunter was 33 at the time.

In 1963, Hunter signed a two-year contract with Warner Brothers. At Warners, he starred in the western TV series "Temple Houston". Nearly 30 episodes of the hour-long series were filmed before the series was canceled in 1964. Hunter’s 1963 film "The Man From Galveston" was originally the pilot episode of this television series. Hunter was cast as Captain Christopher Pike of the U. S. S. Enterprise in the original "Star Trek" television pilot in 1964, but turned down the option to continue the role in the series. The pilot was later incorporated into a two-part episode in "Star Trek’s" first season.

During the next several years, he acted in several films in Europe and Asia. After a whirlwind courtship, Hunter married actress Emily McLaughlin on February 4, 1969. She is best known for her role as Nurse Jessie Brewer on the ABC soap opera "General Hospital".

With his career on hold, Hunter desperately lobbied to be cast as Mike Brady for the TV series "The Brady Bunch". Producer Sherwood Schwartz would not consider him as he thought him to be "too good looking to be an architect". Ironically, Hunter died just months before the show premiered in 1969.

While in Spain to film the Chicago Mafia story, Viva América! (1969), Hunter was injured in an on-set explosion, suffering facial lacerations from broken glass and powder burns. Later, an old friend, a former British Commando, accidentally hit Hunter on the chin with a Karate chop when Hunter, who knew judo, failed to defend himself in time. Then, while on the plane with his wife returning to the United States, Hunter's right arm suddenly became semi-paralyzed and he lost the power of speech. He was taken directly off the plane upon landing, to a hospital in Los Angeles. An examination showed that a vertebra in his neck was out of place. He was released after a couple of weeks. Shortly after signing to co-star with Vince Edwards in The Desperados (1969), Hunter suffered a cerebral hemorrhage while on a short flight of steps in his living room, and collapsed, injuring his head in the fall. He was found unconscious an unknown length of time later. He died, without regaining consciousness, the following day, following surgery to repair the skull fracture, at age 42.

From the pages of Desilu's 1965 annual report, a rare second pilot is ordered–and history is made



Many thanks to contributors Dave T. of North Carolina and Jason M. of Rhode Island for providing the Pike's fantasy clips. These clips were on the cusp of being lost forever. An enormous amount of image manipulation was needed to restore these pictures.
Thanks to Christopher B. for the Vina "cat" clips and matte painting clips.
Thanks to Dave E. and Audrey A. for providing the script excerpt.
Thanks to Dave T. for the deleted transporter room scene and the Talos IV effects clip.
Thanks to Audrey A. for the for providing us access to the Western Costume artwork.
Thanks to Dave R. for Desilu's annual report
Thanks to J. J. for the dailies.
Cage/Menagerie shooting shedule courtesy George Rutter collection.


*During the 1970's Gene Roddenberry lectured throughout the united states where part of his presentation included showing his personal 16mm black & white film version of The Cage. Portions of his film and the color footage used in the production of The Menagerie were edited together and marketed as the restored 1st pilot during the 1980's.

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