Saturday, April 18, 2015

Gene Roddennberry's intro to "The Cage"

[VIDEO] Star Trek's 50th anniversary is coming up next year. So hard to believe it's that old as I remember the 30th anniversary - a program aired on TV in 1996 that had been recorded on VHS tape at home. Even better hopefully a new Trek film will be ready to go by next year.

In the above video Trek creator Gene Roddenberry gives us the rundown on the first pilot "The Cage". Little did I know that not only this pilot never aired on TV in the 1960s (it first aired in 1988 according to the Trek wiki) it had also been shown in black & white. Although when I've seen this episode it was always in color.

Most of what Roddenberry said isn't entirely unfamiliar to me. The idea of a TV pilot, his concept of the series, and perhaps the network's expection. That network being NBC who did air the series between 1966-1969. It's recognized that the series from this pilot to it's eventual cancellation was very different from not only other series from it time but also the sensibilities.

Of course there were other concerns such as advertisers. Tobacco companies advertised in those days. These days well we want to really discourage smoking and that means we won't see many smoking ads on TV now.

Judging by some of the effects and the sets Roddenberry was walking around this had to have been taped at least in the early 80s. According to the video description this came from a DVD featuring a color version of this pilot episode. And that seems to contradict Roddenberry who said there had been only black & white footage of this episode. Even though we see here both color and black & white footage.

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