Tuesday, September 13, 2016

To boldly walk where no one has walked before...!

Heh.  Well, I didn't keep up with THAT blog, did I?  Last posted 6 years ago, for all of 1 post.  Let's see if I can do better this time.

Tonight, I'm trying to start a new habit -- watching one episode of Star Trek a day, and walking on the treadmill during it.  Starting with ST: TOS's pilot "The Cage" and working my way toward the most recent.  And logging my walking time against the Walking to Mordor challenge -- two nerdy quests at the same time.  (More on that some other time.)

This is sheer bribery -- convincing myself to get off the couch and move by tying some fun viewing to it.  (And yes, I know there will be some *awful* episodes in there.)  Don't have to walk the WHOLE time, because it's a little disheartening to tell myself that I have to walk for an hour right at the beginning; though I hope that I'll work up to that being a normal part of my routine. So today, I walked half the episode, and I'm spending the rest setting up a place to post about it -- here.

30 minutes walking
1.24 miles
2.5 mph
"The Cage"
(+ another 3,788 steps on S Health during the day = 1.58 miles)

I think I must have seen "The Cage" before, but it's been a damn long time.  The production values are ... not high, though better than old-school Doctor Who.  The story is surprisingly good, though -- messing with the Captain Pike's mind, leaving him in a position of very little power.  That's always more interesting than when the Enterprise can just swoop in and rescue a situation.

Summary:  The Enterprise is lured to an unexplored planet by a distress signal, sent 18 years ago from a long-lost vessel.  Once they arrive, they find a group of survivors, but this is just an illusion -- Captain Christopher Pike is taken captive by the natives, who are able to get inside minds and cast illusions.  They want Pike to be a specimen in their zoo, and they provide him with a lovely companion, Vina, the only actual survivor, so that they can be a mating pair.  They offer Pike all sorts of inducements to stay, all sorts of fantasies-come-true, even capturing two of his female crew members in case they'd be more appealing.  But when Pike and his crew choose self-destruction over luxurious captivity, they're released.  Vina stays behind -- turns out that she's not the 18 year old nubile blond she seems.  She's instead a scarred 60 year old, damaged and disfigured by the crash two decades before, rebuilt by aliens unfamiliar with standard human anatomy -- and she chooses to stay, safe in the illusion of being young, healthy and beautiful.  (Oh, and she gets to keep an illusion of Pike staying behind to keep her company, too.)

There are shades of Doctor Who in that ending for me -- with the Ten clone that got to stay with Rose on the alternate earth.  And I feel like I've seen this basic plot in a million places since.  But that's what happens when you go back and watch groundbreaking shows; you then discover the acorns that grew into better known (and better produced oaks) in the decades to come.

This episode is more progressive and interesting than I expected it to be, for 1967.  Number One (played by Majel Barrett, who will become both Majel Barrett Roddenberry AND Lwoxanna Troi) is a competent and respected first officer, even though she seems to have given up her femininity in trade -- Pike can't get used to the idea of a woman on the bridge though "of course you don't count, Number One".  <sigh>

SO many differences compared to the Trek that is to come!  Pike is captain, not Kirk.  Number One is the first officer and helmsman, Spock is seemingly still on science -- and he SMILES a few times.  No McCoy -- it's Dr. Boyce instead who breaks out the drinks in order to make the captain talk.  (A ship's doctor is always a dirty old man and a bartender, it seems.)   It makes me wonder what this Trek would have been like.

A better episode than I expected.  I don't expect that to last.

But at least I got started!  TO MORDOR!

No comments:

Post a Comment