Made in 1964, the original pilot episode of Star Trek
, "The Cage", was rejected by NBC executives because it was just "too cerebral": with well-developed characters, groundbreaking (for the time) special effects and a screen play that spoke eloquently of its creator's compassionate, liberal humanism, science fiction of this quality had simply never been seen on the small screen before. Jeffrey Hunter's stoical Captain Pike is at the helm of the Starship Enterprise, Leonard Nimoy's Spock has the ears but not the familiar reserved demeanour; and Majel Barrett's Number One is a remarkably frosty female lead. The "cerebral" story is reminiscent of Forbidden Planet
, as a group of super-intelligent aliens manipulate Pike for their own mysterious ends. But instead of simply dropping Gene Roddenberry's ambitious idea, in an unprecedented move the network requested he make a second pilot. Jeffrey Hunter stepped down from the captain's chair in favour of William Shatner for "Where No Man Has Gone Before" in 1966 and, well, everyone knows the rest. "The Cage" did not quite disappear, however, as it was cannily recycled in the two-part episode "The Menagerie". This is where it all began. --Mark Walker
Three episodes from the original series of the classic television series. 'The Cage' was the original pilot episode that did not feature Captain Kirk, but a Captain Pike instead. 'Where No Man Has Gone Before', stardate 1312.4, was the first episode featuring the regular cast, and it follows the story of the Enterprise travelling beyond our own galaxy when they receive a warning from a ship that was lost over two-hundred years before. In 'The Corbomite Maneuver', stardate 1512.2, Kirk and the Enterprise are pushed further into deep space where they encounter a spinning cube in space. Kirk must decide whether to withdraw or find another way around it.