✯✯✯ The Cage: Where No Man Has Gone Before

Wednesday, August 04, 2021 10:47:54 AM

The Cage: Where No Man Has Gone Before

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When the Enterprise encounters a strange force field at the edge of the galaxy, helmsmen Gary Mitchell Gary Lockwood and psychiatrist Elizabeth Dehner Sally Kellerman get walloped by a blast of cosmic energy that gives Gary some freaky and really painful looking silver contacts, but leaves Elizabeth initially unaffected. Before encountering the field, the Enterprise recovered a black-box type recording from the missing SS Valiant, and as Gary develops increasingly unnerving powers including speed reading, psychic abilities, and Trumpy's knack for doing magic things , that recording provides the only clues as to what comes next.

The Valiant, it seems, had its run in with the force field, and as far as Spock can tell, when one of its own crew started making rapid jumps up the evolutionary ladder, the captain of the ship ordered a self-destruct. So the question isn't what's happening to Gary as much as it is, what does that mean for the rest of us? Spock, always the reasonable one, advocates marooning the freak, or else killing him while they still can, but Kirk goes all Hamlet and starts in with the hand-wringing.

Given his friendship with Gary, will he make the right choice-if there's even a right choice to be made—and can he do it before it's too late? Like a lot of pilots, "No Man" is most interesting for what it lacks. McCoy, we've got the genially dull Dr. The production design isn't quite finished yet, either; the show's look was always more about impressions and thrift than functionality, but that bridge looks awfully empty, and the brown sweater-shirts that Kirk, Spock, and a good portion of the crew wear are depressingly flat and washed out.

As for Kirk and Spock, the relationship is nearly there; the friendship between the two would give the franchise some of its best moments, but while Kirk is much the same as he'd ever be I've gotten so used to Shatner's over-acting in the role that I can't really imagine it otherwise; even the snicker-worthy moments near the end of the ep when he's being "tortured" by Gary don't seem that ridiculous , Nimoy's Spock is aggressive and kind of pissy, a far cry from the even-tempered sage he would eventually become. He's criticized more than once for his "lack of emotion," but that criticism seems thoroughly misplaced; apart from his ears and his occasional mentions of logic, he's not any different from the rest of the crew.

As for the episode itself, it drags in places, and spends more time with Gary and Elizabeth than it really needs to-inevitably Elizabeth starts developing her own mental hoodoo, and there's only so much "Come with me and we can rule the galaxy as dude and dude's sort of girlfriend" dialogue you can take before it gets dull. The sexual politics are hilariously and embarrassingly dated, but we'll save that for another installment; suffice to say, Elizabeth's "Women professionals do tend to overcompensate" is not meant ironically.

To a modern audience, raised to expect a certain degree of realism in its genre offerings, "No Man"'s approach is exceedingly simplistic; the force field at the edge of the galaxy is about as blatant as sci-fi MacGuffins get, and there's no effort made to explain why Gary gets so powerful so fast, apart from his high ratings as an "esper" the ep presumes the existence of ESP, a development I can't remember ever coming up again.

Plus, the speed with which the crew jumps from, "Hey, Gary's okay! No one ever discusses trying to reason with him, or cure him; odds are neither would've worked, but just skipping to the end is a bit like cheating. But that might be missing the point. In addition to giving Gary and Elizabeth The Touch, the magic force field also wrecks the Enterprise's engines, making the nearest star-bases "years in the distance" instead of just weeks. The engine problems are ultimately fixed without a whole lot of hand-wringing, but that one line, and all the weight behind it, throws the rest of the episode into sharper focus.

One of the things that makes the original Trek so exciting to watch, for all its clumsiness, is its sense of dangerous exploration; the whole thing is run without a safety net, and every decision becomes life and death, filled with consequences impossible to foresee, let alone plan for. The spin-offs would have better effects and better attention to detail, but none of them ever captured the original's knife's edge intensity. It's a show of over-sized emotions, and often all the crazy hormone-driven monologues skirt close to camp; but maybe those passions aren't that unreasonable, given the circumstances.

By the end of "No Man," Kirk is forced to decide between loyalty to his friend and loyalty to his ship, and to no one's surprise, he chooses the latter; for all the jokes about his libido, Kirk's only true love is the Enterprise, and along with his friendship with Spock, it's the character's defining trait. So we get some decent cat-and-mouse stuff, with Kirk attempting to strand Gary on a human-free mining planet before realizing that, given Gary's exponential development, that might not be a wise choice. Gary kills a crew-member and forces Kirk to follow him and Elizabeth out into the planet's soon-to-be-very-familiar rocky landscape. While G and E get their god thing on, a hopelessly outmatched Kirk stalks them with his laser rifle; all appears lost, but in the final scenes, Kirk manages to remind Elizabeth of her obligations to humanity, and the whole thing ends with a charmingly goofy fistfight between man and Superman.

In some ways, this is an awkward episode, bridging the gap between concept and what the series would ultimately become, but it's not without its charms. And for whatever it may lack, "No Man" does have, at its heart, what would be Trek 's biggest concern: the lure of unknown, and how we deal with what we find there. It also has pointy ears, plastic plant-life, and clumsy brawls on less-than-sturdy sets.

As any dad could tell you, those are pretty important too. See you next week! Enterprise set The Star Trek and Dr. Next: Jonathan Frakes directing two episodes of Picard. Streaming More Netflix News ». More Amazon News ». View all Streaming Sites. More Movie News ». More FS Movie News ». View all Movies Sites. More TV News ». More FS Entertainment News ». View all TV Shows Sites. More Reality TV News ». View all Celebrities Sites. More Fantasy News ». More Gaming News ». More ESports News ». More Food News ». More Dog News ». View all Lifestyle Sites.

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Nine crewmembers die in the encounter, and two others are badly injured—psychiatrist Dr. Pike's Punishment Alexander Courage. Thus for a period some may wear old style uniforms The Cage: Where No Man Has Gone Before others may wear new The Cage: Where No Man Has Gone Before Critical Chain Project Management Case Study.