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Podcast Enterprise: S1E12: Menagerie


Space, the final frontier. These are the podcasts of the Podcast Enterprise. Its only mission: to explore story structures, to analyze our favorite characters and plotlines, to boldly talk what everyone has seen before

We will analyze all episodes of Star Trek: The Original Series or TOS for short using the following guiding structure:

  1. Synopsis or summary of the episode
  2. Story structure
  3. Character analysis
  4. Our likes and dislikes

The synopsis:

The menagerie is actually a story split into two parts. So this particular story has two episodes, but the story is quite simple. Basically what you have here is when the episode opens the USS Enterprise arrives at Star Base 11, because they received a message that Kirk says is from Captain Pike.

In charge of the base is commander Commodore Jose Mendez tells Captain Kirk, that it’s not possible for Captain Pike to have sent such a message because Captain Pike, as the crew discovers is in very, very bad shape. He cannot move. He’s basically paralyzed and he’s encased in this strange contraption type wheelchair.

He cannot speak. He can barely see, and he cannot say anything without press his thought ways translate into either yes or no, that shows up as flashlights on the wheelchair type thing. And that’s about all he can do. So there is no way that he could have sent this message.

This is where these two episodes begin, and there’s a mystery here, but as we move along, we find that it was Spock sending this message and it was Spock manipulating the Enterprise’s orders. It is Spock who goes on to reprogram and reconfigure the ship’s computers, so that it goes into autopilot that nobody can come out of.

The reason for this is he served under Captain Pike 13 years ago. He wants something for Captain Pike that he will only get on Talus IV. This is the planet that was featured in the pilot. And he basically, what he does is mutiny.

There’s a court martial. They are given this video, which basically replays all the scenes from the pilot episode of Star Trek, the original series. And as the court martial progresses, you find the Talosians making a reappearance. They’re a bit, more benevolent this time than we saw on the pilot and they agreed to take in Captain Pike and there’s a lot of illusions, there are fake messages coming in and it’s a really long draw out story this way. Eventually everything comes together and Captain Pike is allowed to disembark on Talus IV, in spite of there being a death warrant for anyone who enters that star cluster. That’s what it is. I think because this is a two part episode, we can talk about it in detail and elaborate what the stories about.

That brings us to the end of this episode. Thank you for listening to the Podcast Enterprise. Please do share your reviews with us and please share this podcast with any of your writing friends or trekkies. Live long and prosper!

Stay tuned in for our next episode! Enjoy!

The link to the *Spotify* podcast is


  1. Intro music: Music from
  2. Shotcut for editing the podcast
  3. References:
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