On stardate 3012.4, the Federation starship USS Enterprise arrives at Starbase 11, in response to a subspace call First Officer Spock reported receiving from the former captain of the Enterprise, Christopher Pike, whom Spock had served under. Captain Kirk and Spock meet the starbase commander Commodore Mendez, who doubts that Pike had sent the message, given that Pike was in a severe burn accident just recently and will be confined to a wheelchair for the rest of his life, and unable to communicate save through answering yes/no questions with the aid of a device in the wheelchair that is operated by his brainwaves. Pike refuses to communicate with anyone except Spock, and Kirk and Mendez leave to discuss the situation; once they are gone, Spock informs Pike he will be taking him regardless of Starfleet's orders. He overwhelms Pike's guards and takes him aboard the Enterprise, and through a series of deceptions, he convinces the crew to set a new course on Starfleet's orders.
Meanwhile, Mendez and Kirk are concerned with Spock's behavior, and find that there was no record of Spock receiving any message. Mendez provides Kirk with classified information on Talos IV, a planet that was visited by the Enterprise previously under Pike's command, and now under a strict "no contact" Starfleet regulation. They are made aware of the departure of the Enterprise, and the two give chase in a Starbase shuttlecraft. When Spock detects them trailing the Enterprise, he has them brought aboard and then willingly gives himself up, professing to committing mutiny. The crew finds they are unable to stop the current course of the Enterprise, which Spock affirms is heading towards Talos IV. Mendez demands a preliminary hearing be held, which requires three command officers. Kirk objects that only he and Mendez are present, but Spock notes that Pike also is a command officer still listed for active duty. The tribunal begins, and Spock offers as his testimony video footage of the Enterprise's earlier visit to Talos IV.
In the original mission, the Enterprise traveled to Talos IV in response to a distress call from the survey ship Columbia, reportedly lost 18 years previously. Pike, Spock and an away team beam down to the planet, and find a number of survivors including a young Vina, a child born shortly after the crash of Columbia. Dr. Boyce, Pike's chief medical officer, finds the survivors in excellent medical health, a fact that he believes belies the living conditions of the survivors. Before Dr. Boyce can alert Pike, Pike is lured away from the rest of the team by Vina into a cave which closes off; the remaining survivors and their camp suddenly disappear. Pike finds that he has been trapped by the Talosians, humanioid aliens that have been monitoring the away crew and able to mass-project illusions such as those of the survivors.
In the present, Kirk learns that the video source that Spock has been showing is not from data archives, but instead is being broadcast to them from Talos IV. Starfleet has learned of the intended destination of the Enterprise, and Mendez orders Kirk to stand down as the captain is responsible for all members of his crew. Kirk demands Spock end the transmission, but Spock respectfully refuses, and the episode ends as Spock is sent to be locked up and the tribunal ends in recess.
Errors and ExplanationsEdit
The Nitpicker's Guide for Classic TrekkersEdit
- Miss Piper being present while Kirk reads the secret file. She would need to have a high security clearance in order to work with Mendez.
- Pike’s infirmary room having a hinged door. See my comment re the neutralizer room in ‘Dagger of the Mind'.
- Turning the neutralizer control panel into a comm panel. It must have been quicker and easier than to make one from scratch.
- Pike’s battery powered heart. Either the Talosians are being able to give Pike the illusion of having a biological heart or someone rigs up a self regenerating power source.
Continuity and Production ProblemsEdit
- Lack of hailing whistle for Mendez's incoming call. Mendez might have a vibrating device in his pocket to warn about incoming hails, similar to the vibrate function on modern mobile phones.
- Chapel’s resemblance to Number One. They could be related.
Internet Movie DatabaseEdit
- Spock is referred to as a lieutenant commander, rather than his actual rank, as shown by the braids on his sleeves, of full commander. His change of rank has only just occurred, meaning that some individuals may not be aware of it.
- Just before their first visit with the injured Capt. Pike, Commodore Mendez asks Kirk if he knows Pike. He then states that Pike was about Kirk's age. However, the plot is about an incident that happened 13 years before, when Spock was Capt. Pike's science officer. This would make Pike a 21-year-old starship captain. Mendez may have been referring to Pike's age at the time of the incident under discussion.
|The Original Series Season 1|
|Pilot episodes: The Cage I Where No Man Has Gone Before|
|Regular episodes: The Corbomite Maneuver I Mudd's Women I The Enemy Within I The Man Trap I The Naked Time I Charlie X I Balance of Terror I What Are Little Girls Made Of? I Dagger of the Mind I Miri I The Conscience of the King I The Galileo Seven I Court Martial I The Menagerie Part 1 I The Menagerie Part 2 I Shore Leave I The Squire of Gothos I Arena I The Alternative Factor I Tomorrow Is Yesterday I The Return of the Archons I A Taste of Armageddon I Space Seed I This Side of Paradise I The Devil in the Dark I Errand of Mercy I The City on the Edge of Forever I Operation: Annihilate!|