May 12 2009 2:21pm

Star Trek Re-watch: “The Menagerie” Part I

“The Menagerie” Part I
Written by Gene Roddenberry
Directed by Marc Daniels

Season 1, Episode 11
Production episode: 1x15
Original air date: November 17, 1966
Star date: 3012.4


Mission summary
The Enterprise is diverted to Starbase 11 after supposedly receiving a request from Fleet Captain Christopher Pike, the previous captain of the Enterprise and Spock’s former commander. But when Kirk, Spock, and McCoy beam down, Commodore Mendez informs them that such a transmission was never sent. In fact, it’s impossible for Captain Pike to send any messages, as he was recently the victim of a terrible accident that exposed him to dangerous delta rays. Instead of gaining amazing new superpowers, he was paralyzed and deformed. Pike is now restricted to a wheelchair, his communication limited to blinking lights that signal “yes” and “no.”

Spock talks to Pike alone and indicates that he’s planning something that is tantamount to treachery and mutiny, against Pike’s orders. While Spock puts his plan in motion and nerve pinches a computer technician on the Starbase, Kirk tries to get to the bottom of the mystery. Unwilling to believe Spock capable of deception, he insists that the record tapes must have been forged. As it happens, this is exactly what Spock is working on: manipulating computer tapes to issue false orders to the Enterprise and provide them with a computer program to autopilot the ship to unknown coordinates.

Kirk is beginning to suspect Spock is up to something, but McCoy talks him out of it, claiming that Vulcans are incapable of lying. After McCoy is recalled back to the ship for an unspecified medical emergency, Commodore Mendez releases top secret information to Kirk concerning the planet Talos IV, a location that is completely quarantined under threat of the death penalty. Coincidentally enough, the only ship that has ever visited Talos IV is the Enterprise under command of Captain Pike thirteen years before, with Spock serving as science officer. Just as the pieces of the puzzle click into place, the wheelchair-bound Pike disappears and the Enterprise warps away shortly thereafter.

On the ship, Spock informs the crew that he has been placed in command, demands they maintain radio silence, then takes McCoy to see Captain Pike. McCoy is suspicious of Spock’s actions, but fortunately the Vulcan has a tape for every situation; he plays a recording of Kirk’s voice, instructing the doctor to take care of Pike without questioning him.

Kirk and Mendez follow the Enterprise in a shuttlecraft, certain that Spock is heading for Talos IV. When their shuttle finally runs out of fuel, Spock relents and locks onto the shuttle with the Enterprise’s tractor beam. He turns himself in to McCoy for mutiny and is confined to quarters as Kirk and Mendez beam aboard. Though Spock is no longer in command, the ship is still locked into computer control, unable to change course, which causes Scotty to grumble and rush out of the transporter room.

Facing a preliminary hearing, Spock requests an immediate court-martial and pleads guilty to the charge of mutiny. But much more than his career is at stake; if the ship reaches the Talos stargroup, Spock faces death. A court-martial proceeds with Kirk, Mendez, and Pike (still on active duty out of the pity of Fleet Command) presiding. Mendez asks Spock the reason for his actions, and Spock requests permission to use the monitor to present his evidence: a series of images of unknown origin which accurately recreate Pike’s mission to Talos IV years ago, more perfectly than any ship’s recorder. Indeed, they look so good, they could easily be clips from an unaired pilot for a science fiction series.

Onscreen, we see that Pike is beginning to question his career decision, tired of being responsible for the lives of his crew. When the ship detects a distress signal from Talos IV, he joins a landing party to recover what they believe to be survivors of the S.S. Columbia, a science vessel that crashed there. Among the old men from the original crew, there is one beautiful young woman (isn’t there always?) named Vina, who takes an unusual interest in Pike: “You appear to be healthy and intelligent, Captain. A prime specimen.” She then takes him off alone to show him their “secret”. In a flash, Vina vanishes along with the supposed survivors and their camp, and a hidden door opens in the side of a hill. A group of cerebral-looking Talosians, with enlarged pulsating heads, emerge from the opening and subdue Pike, dragging him back through the door which disappears. The rest of the landing party attempt to gain entry to the door, but their phasers have no effect.

Back in the conference room at Spock’s court-martial, Starfleet Command informs the Enterprise that the images they’re seeing are transmissions from Talos IV, a big no-no according to General Order 7. Kirk is relieved of command and Mendez is placed in charge. With Kirk’s life now on the line as well, Spock still refuses to return manual control of the ship until they have seen all of the images. The court goes to recess and Kirk asks Spock if he’s lost his mind. Spock pleads with him: “Captain, Jim, please don’t stop me. Don’t let him stop me. It’s your career and Captain Pike’s life. You must see the rest of the transmission.” But Kirk is done being a patsy and he has Spock locked up.

This Hugo Award-winning episode is so good, it couldn’t fit in a normal hour. The “Menagerie” is the only two-part episode of Star Trek, which is natural because it really is two episodes in one. As many are probably aware, these episodes are a reworked version of the unused series pilot, “The Cage,” which featured a different crew under the command of Captain Christopher Pike, originally portrayed by Jeffrey Hunter. The old footage is cleverly framed by the story of Spock’s mutiny, allowing Captain Kirk to essentially watch an episode of his own show. It gets a little wacky when in some scenes we’re actually watching Kirk watching the Talosians watching Pike. It’s viewscreens all the way down.

For a cost-saving measure, this is a very successful episode, largely due to the quality of the 1964 pilot episode that makes up the bulk of the two episodes. I saw the high-definition remastered version with new CGI effects in a special theater screening in 2007, and it held up pretty well as a Star Trek film in its own right, largely due to Roddenberry’s script. As with most episodes, the enhanced effects were largely wasted because regardless of the impressive visuals for the time, this is a character piece with some sobering moral and philosophical implications. But we’ll get to those next time.

Though most of “The Cage” appears in the second part of “The Menagerie,” in this installment we’re introduced to Captain Pike and witness a touching scene with his bartender/doctor, Philip Boyce, which is similar to the relationship Kirk shares with Bones. There’s also mention of an odd adventure that led to some crew casualties, for which Pike blames himself: “Oh, I should have smelled trouble when I saw the swords and the armor. Instead of that, I let myself get trapped in that deserted fortress and attacked by one of their warriors.” Raise your hand if you want to see that episode! Fans of TNG may also be delighted when Pike issues a command with a simple “Engage,” and addresses his female first officer as “Number One.”

This episode concerns a lot of themes that recur in the show and films: mainly sacrifice and loyalty. Pike is injured on an inspection tour while trying to save cadets on their training vessel, a decision that left him with an active mind in a useless body. Spock is willing to sacrifice his own life to save his former captain’s, not an easy decision for the loyal first officer who is torn between his equal devotion to Pike and Kirk. Kirk himself is just as committed to Spock, completely blinded by his trust to the point that he defends him unreasonably in the face of the evidence against him. One of the worst things Kirk can face is the betrayal of his best friend.

The question is: are Spock’s actions justified? Without knowing what his ultimate goal is—so far, he simply wants to bring Pike to Talos IV because he thinks there is help for him there—we should examine why Spock will go to such lengths for his old captain. Aside from the loyalty engendered in serving with someone for over eleven years, perhaps it’s Pike’s specific plight that hits the Vulcan so hard. The radiation-scarred Pike’s appearance is far more terrifying than any creature in Star Trek, simply because he is a person like us, trapped in a crippled shell. This is the flip side of the mind wipe in “Dagger of the Mind”: having your thoughts silenced by an uncooperative body, just as happens with stroke victims. What good is intelligence without the ability to communicate? Yet Vulcans value their minds above all else, transcending even their relatively long-lived bodies, so it seems that Spock is driven by sheer compassion for a suffering friend and mentor. Though he executes his plan meticulously, it’s in the big picture that his logic fails him, overridden by his human emotion. As Kirk reminds him many years later, “Sometimes the needs of the one outweigh the needs of the many.” (Incidentally, Spock’s takeover of the Enterprise is echoed later in the TNG episode “Brothers,” when Data uses some of the same tricks to get himself to his Dr. Soong’s planet, albeit under the influence of a hidden subroutine. It’s lucky these guys are usually on the good side.)

I also found the technology employed to keep Pike alive very interesting from a modern perspective:

MENDEZ: And totally unable to move, Jim. His wheelchair is constructed to respond to his brain waves. Oh, he can turn it, move it forwards, or backwards slightly.
PIPER: With the flashing light, he can say yes or no.
MENDEZ: But that’s it, Jim. That’s as much as that poor devil can do. His mind is as active as yours and mine, but it’s trapped inside a useless vegetating body. He’s kept alive mechanically, a battery-driven heart.

Much of this is the object of cutting-edge research today, and we could probably manage to accomplish most of this at great expense with our existing knowledge.

Interestingly, it’s Dr. McCoy, an old-fashioned medical man who often abhors technology, who is frustrated by even that much, which is nothing short of miraculous: “Blast medicine anyway. We’ve learned to tie into every human organ in the body except one. The brain. The brain is what life is all about.”

You want to learn about the brain, Bones? Be careful what you wish for. As hard as it is to believe, in season three you’ll have Spock’s brain wired to a remote control. Better stock up on fresh batteries.

Eugene’s Rating: Warp 6 (on a scale of 1-6)

Torie Atkinson: What a fantastic episode. I’ve never seen this one before, so I genuinely don’t know what’s going to happen and it took so much strength of will to not immediately play the second half (I want to evaluate Part I on its own, without knowing how it’s going to end). 

This is very much a Spock piece, and I think that Eugene really nails it when he touches on the themes of loyalty and the incredible value that Spock, as a Vulcan, would place on the mind. Spock’s blind loyalty to Pike and his desperation to save him are, to me, such a very human side of him. McCoy claims that Spock’s human side is “completely submerged,” but I think his actions speak very clearly to how untrue that is.

Pike is such a reminder of how fragile we all are. I loved McCoy’s speech on the subject:

The brain is what life is all about. Now, that man can think any thought that we can, and love, hope, dream as much as we can, but he can’t reach out, and no one can reach in.

Technology in the future can heal us, make us stronger, replace bone and skin and sinew: but it can’t reach the one place that makes us who we are. We’ve seen Kirk and the others struggle with loneliness, but not like this.  It’s a powerful reality to face, moreso for Kirk than anyone else: captains are not invincible. In saving cadets, Pike lost his ability to communicate, ostensibly forever. There was no war, no great battle, only the charge of being responsible for others. It’s a sacrifice that Kirk himself may have to make during the course of his career.

In flashbacks, we see that Pike had become deeply uncomfortable with the burden of responsibility. The previous mission meant the loss of lives, and he’s not sure he has the confidence or the willpower to continue being a leader:

PIKE: You bet I’m tired. You bet. I’m tired of being responsible for two hundred and three lives. I’m tired of deciding which mission is too risky and which isn’t, and who’s going on the landing party and who doesn’t, and who lives and who dies. Boy, I’ve had it, Phil.
BOYCE: To the point of finally taking my advice, a rest leave?
PIKE: To the point of considering resigning.

But there’s a sense of inevitability here—that a captain will always be a captain, whether he wants that burden or not:

PIKE: The point is this isn’t the only life available. There’s a whole galaxy of things to choose from.
BOYCE: Not for you. A man either lives life as it happens to him, meets it head-on, and licks it, or he turns his back on it and starts to wither away.

This theme of responsibility comes full circle at the end, when Mendez makes it clear that Kirk could also be subject to court martial and even the death penalty. As captain he is responsible for everything that happens aboard his ship. But because this is great television, it is not fear of court martial or even death that upsets Kirk: it is the seeming betrayal of his best friend. “In all the years of my service,” he says, “this is the most painful moment I’ve ever faced.”

He’s not alone. Is it just me, or did Spock have tears in his eyes in that final scene?

Torie’s Rating: Warp 6 (on a scale of 1-6)

Best Line: MCCOY: Probably somebody discovered a hangnail. I’ll beam up and let you know, Jim.

Syndication Edits: Lots here: Kirk and Mendez at the shuttlecraft controls, followed by Kirk shutting down the computers; Kirk instructing the Enterprise crewmember to store the shuttlecraft; Kirk repeating to the computer (more slowly this time, to make sure it understands!) that he has voice command to disengage; a scene in the flashback in which Pike’s crew discuss the radio signal; Spock reiterating that the viewscreen events are the actual events (after Pike verifies this); and Kirk walking from table to table at the very end of the episode.

Trivia: In case you were wondering why Spock is limping in the scenes on Talos IV, the original script for “The Cage” indicated that he’d been injured on Rigel VII, in the fight that Pike briefly discusses with Dr. Boyce.

Next episode: Season 1, Episode 12 - “The Menagerie - Part II” US residents can watch it for free at the CBS website.
Check the Star Trek Re-Watch Index for a complete list of posts in this series.

j p
1. sps49
It's difficult to not write anything knowing (now) how it comes out, but I was appalled at Spock here. Sneaky, underhanded, and Up to No Good?!
Kurt Lorey
2. Shimrod
As usual, sps49. Much depends upon your viewpoint.
Bill Siegel
3. ubxs113
This episode is... wait for it... legendary!
Rajan Khanna
4. rajanyk
Pike always reminded me of Davros in that episode.
5. cr1701
I just want to let you both (Torie and Eugene) know how much I am enjoying this series your doing. (I check back each day to see if there's a new one.) I do hope you keep going. Thanks!
Rajan Khanna
6. rajanyk
Also, I always assumed the same actor played both versions of Pike, but I never really gave it much until recently when I realized, of course, that they were different actors.
Arachne Jericho
7. arachnejericho
@sps49 #1 -

Well. I liked that Spock. He was a smart Spock indeed. And he did it out of friendship and admiration and love. It was an interesting thing to watch.
j p
8. sps49
@ 2, 7-
We don't learn that until Part 2. When I first watched it I was like Kirk, trying to make sense from very unusual events.

I don't want to spoil Part 2 for Torie.
Arachne Jericho
9. arachnejericho
@sps49 #8 -

Oh, right. Sorry about that.

Hmmm. I actually can't remember how I felt when I saw part I before part II. But I'd seen Spock's Brain already by that point, so I knew that part II would make things turn out right in the end.

But if you watched everything in order, you really would wonder if Spock had gone rotten....
Eugene Myers
10. ecmyers
@ 4

Pike is not a Dalek!

@ 5

Thanks very much! We'd like to keep this up, too. For now we're sticking to new posts on Tuesdays and Thursdays, but you should still keep reading the site every day :)
11. Hatgirl
This episode is amazing. If only all budget restrictions resulted in work of this quality! Did anyone else actually feel upset for Pike when all he could do was beep "No, no, no" and explain nothing else?

Most of the best aspects of this episode have already been mentioned. I was also impressed by how quickly they made us feel attached to a character who doesn't speak for the first half of the episode. They manage it before we even see him - they tell us he is the kind of person who walks knowingly into danger to save others.

Hmm... interesting that one of the first things we learn about Picard is that he had the strength to accept that he had to abandon someone in similar circumstances.
Torie Atkinson
12. Torie
@ 1

I know! I felt like Kirk, watching him: it can't be, he wouldn't, he couldn't, he'd never! I trusted you!

@ 5

Thanks so much! :)

@ 11

I was aching for Pike. The loneliness of being trapped in your own body, totally incapable of communicating... I just can't imagine it. And they don't need to tell you much about him for you to feel for him--all you know is that Spock respects him deeply, and that's enough for me.
Arachne Jericho
13. arachnejericho
@Hatgirl #11

I felt awful for Pike at that point. :(

(Random movie reference: I admit that this is one of the reasons I liked the movie: to see Christopher Pike again operating on all four cylinders. I think throughout most of the movie I was hoping I didn't have to see the accident, but it didn't happen. Or at least, it was different.)
Richard Fife
14. R.Fife
This (and the following in a marathon) was the first Star Trek I ever saw. What a great foot to start on, even for a little 5 year old watching TV with his big brother and having no clue what's going on.

Sadly, I cannot remember specific reactions from then, and of course I'm tainted with knowledge now, but I will say that while Spock is confusing, I don't feel overly betrayed. And that is because of the statements of fact about Spock and his little scene with Pike. You know Spock doesn't fool around, so for him to commit mutiny and the only crime punishable by death, well, that's huge.

Also, the nearly caged-in syndome of Pike is definately freaky. Especially with him constantly repeating "no" over and over again after Spock told him "tough".

Now, I need to go listen to Enter Sandman several times.
Torie Atkinson
15. Torie
@ 13

Something I kept repeating to friends was how cool it could have been if the new movie had been a Pike & crew endeavor. What a kick-ass new series that would be, right?

@ 14

The constant "no" was heartbreaking.
Jason Ramboz
16. jramboz
I know I first saw these two episodes (and, more than likely, every other episode of Trek) at a pretty young age. Consequently, I can't remember much of what I originally thought of it, except that I loved it.

I do distinctly remember being very... unnerved by Pike in the chair. I couldn't put my finger on it then, but even as a child it really bothered me. Now, as an adult, the thought of that kind of fate terrifies me.

On a lighter note, I have a question and a comment.

Question: I seem to recall from somewhere in my years of childhood Trek-adoration that Pike was not the first captain of the Enterprise either. The name Robert April springs to mind, but I can't remember if this is correct (or if it's even canon if it is). Can anyone help me out here?

Also, as I watch the episode now, I realize that they didn't quite give us all the information on what Pike could do in the chair. In the part that got cut out, they tell us that it's really one beep for yes, two for no, and three for "EXTERMINATE!"
C.D. Thomas
17. cdthomas
The animated series established Robert April as the first Enterprise (NCC-1701) captain. Unfortunately (and now, ironically, considering its canon-wipe with ST XI) Paramount does not consider TAS canon, most likely due to that nasty Kzinti incident....
18. GoblinRevolution
This episode and its sequel are probably the best episodes of the original series, and come darned close to being the best episodes of all of Star Trek together. Not only is it good television, it is great science fiction. The Menagerie shows what promise TOS had. If only there had been more episodes of this calibre.
Arachne Jericho
19. arachnejericho
@Torie #15

A movie about Pike, Number One, and crew? That would have been awesome.

Frankly, um, I kinda thought when they said they were doing a prequel TV series that it would be Pike & crew, and I was very sad when it turned out to be Enterprise instead.
Jason Ramboz
20. jramboz

Thanks! I'm amazed I somehow remembered that little trivium, especially considering I haven't even seen TAS since I was 12, give or take. Now why can I remember that but can't remember my grocery list?


I had the exact same thought about a prequel series, and was super excited for it! Sadly, Enterprise was... well... Enterprise.
Torie Atkinson
21. Torie
@ 19

Turned out to be what? Never heard of it.

(Let's not speak of such things.)

@ 18

Amen to that.
22. Brian2
The Jeffrey Hunter pilot was broadcast in its original form recently, as a regular Star Trek episode, without the framing story. There were many things about it that seemed more appealing than the Shatner series -- a female first officer, "the most experienced officer on the ship"; women wearing pants rather than miniskirts, as if they were Kirk's private harem; less ham, and less cheese. You had the sense that they were ready to go out and have adventures. And, of course, Spock was still there, so you still had the really important part.

Would it have been as popular? Possibly not. My guess is that Star Trek had a lot to do with A.E. van Vogt's "Voyage of the Space Beagle," and the original pilot seemed closer in tone to it. It was more focused on professionals doing their jobs, and seemed more down to earth. The Shatner version strikes me as broader and more fantasy-oriented, though it's dodgy to draw conclusions from a single example. That might have made it more accessible.

When the show was originally broadcast, what really drew me to it in a ferocious way was "Where No Man Had Gone Before," particularly the bit where Spock and Kirk are playing chess, and Spock, looking fascinatingly alien and perhaps a bit feral, cocks an eyebrow ironically at Kirk, who's mocking him for being unemotional, and gives the whole game away in a single expression: he's enjoying the banter, his own cleverness, and, most of all, the friendship; and no, he's not at all unemotional, he's just from a different culture. Nimoy underplays this wonderfully, and you feel that you're being trusted to see what's there -- and to value the fact that Spock and Kirk are alien to each other, rather than being comfortably the same kind of person.

For television of the time it seemed actually edgy, though perhaps it's hard to see now. But the show seemed to quickly dissipate whatever rawness it had, and this was an isolated example. I soon wished they'd forget about the bull session philosophy and the relentlessly anthropocentric focus and finally deliver on the "strange new worlds." The Pike version of the show was closer to this, though who knows how it would have evolved.
23. Michael S. Schiffer
Brian2 @ 22

The organization of Pike's ship had a lot to recommend it, but I observe that the pants-wearing exec was nonetheless offered to Pike to be part of his literal harem in "The Cage", along with another Enterprise officer and Veena. (Actually, IIRC, he was supposed to choose only one. But still.) Obviously, the ship and its parent organization (Earth, I think-- I don't think the Federation had been imagined yet) were professional and egalitarian, and Pike was above succumbing to temptation. But the viewer was still being offered a variety of titillating fantasies for consideration, up to and including Veena's memorable turn as an Orion slave girl. That "Captain is captured by aliens who attempt to force him to mate with one of an assortment of hot chicks" (including leering comments on the "unusually strong female drives" of one) was famously nixed as "too cerebral" strikes me oddly every time I think about it.

(I also find it striking that Pike's portrayed as idly musing to the doctor about a career change to Orion slave trader/pimp. I can't think of anything Kirk ever considered that comes even close.)
Church Tucker
24. Church
Someone needs to teach Pike morse code.

(Psst! Torie! Index page didn't update.)
Richard Fife
25. R.Fife
Actually, I am such a comp-sci geek and binary code thinker that I thought up a way for Pike to speak using strictly "yes/no".

Yup, ASCII. Yes is 1, No is 0. Of course, at the time of Star Trek, personal computers were still in infinitle stages, so something so easy for us today was probably a bit behind the trek writers.

0110-0111 0110-0101 0110-0101 0110-1011
Mitch Wagner
26. MitchWagner
I remember the tapes that Spock uses to fake voices looking a lot like 3.5" diskettes.

If Pike could blink "yes"and "no," why couldn't he communicate in Morse code?

Still loving this series of blog posts -- looking forward to the bad episodes and some serious snark. If I do not pass several ounces of beverage through my nose, I shall be disappointed.
Torie Atkinson
27. Torie
@ 22

All great observations--I'll have a bit more to add about this in the next post.

@ 24

I was thinking that, too! But they did make it clear that only the *most* simple things--moving in one of four directions and blinking yes or no--were possible. So I accepted that.

(And yeah yeah, what am I, a machine? :D Fixed, thank you!)

@ 26

Thanks so much! Hopefully we'll live up to it. So far the episodes have ranged from mediocre to excellent, with only minimal snark necessary. I hear that the recommended serving size will increase as we near Season 3...
Arachne Jericho
28. arachnejericho

It is best to treat season 3 as purely for the lulz. If you try to analyze some of that radioactive waste and remain sane you are a more stalwart viewer than I.

I tend to notice plot but gloss over it. But even I couldn't do that for S3. There's 1 or 2 good eps though, so all is not lost. I think. If I remember their seasons right.
29. Paul Milenkovic
I have spent the last 10 years with Grandma, then Mom, and lastly Dad in dependent care, and the dramatic angst surrounding Captain Pike is as real as it gets.

McCoy declaims, "He keeps blinking No, but No to what!", and an article in the Caltech Alumni magazine trying to explain Information Theory had previously suggested that the good doctor could simply ask a game of 20 Questions and rapidly determine that Spock was engaged in a conspiracy to violate a Federation embargo and take Captain Pike back to Talos IV so that the advanced race could give him his life back.

Yeah right. Anyone who has spent the least amount of time in a nursing home, and by the way, no one is "warehoused" in such a facility simply because they are old, everyone there is their own version of Captain Pike, profoundly impaired and withstanding the ravages of stroke, Alzheimers, cardiac disease, Parkinson's syndrome, and on an on.

Someone may have Parkinson's where it is believed, as McCoy believed about Captain Pike, that a person has their full mental faculties but is imprisoned by an impaired ability to communicate, but the mind and the full storehouse of emotions are involved as well. Captain Pike was blinking No, No to what? The good Captain understood as much that Spock was embarked on his conspiracy for the sake of the Captain, but that a person in that state (exposure to delta radiation -- I have no idea what delta rays are supposed to be, but I have seen their effects in all too many a nursing home patient) might be taken to leaning on the No button through whatever communication device they have.

Yes, The Menagarie is a metaphor to what you Boomers are going through with your parents right now and what you too will face in about the amount of time between now and when you watched Star Trek TNG. Powerful stuff.
30. Rand al'Todd
"The Cage" was shown at ChicagoCon in 67 just before the series came out. (August, I think.)

I was in high school in South Carolina and one of my best buddies (David Weber's brother Mike) had attended the Con and came back to school all excited about the series.

He said Roddenberry attended dressed as a Romulan captain and Majel Barrett appeared as the Orion slave girl.

(So don't think that SiFi conventions started due to Trekies. - Trekies just gave them a significant boost.)
Not only could Captain Pike communicate in morse code, but since he can move his wheelchair around it would also be possible for this to be connected to a mouse or other pointing device, with a mouse you can easily press keys on the screen for instance to communicate. Even if he couldn't do morse code he could count No the number of times needed for each letter of the alphabet, E.g. A = 1, B=2, C=3 to eventually communicate a message.
Lee Anderson
32. DSNiner
Morse code aside, why does everyone forget about Vulcan telepathy? Surely a mind meld would not have been out of the realm of possibility? If Spock could employ it in reaching Van Gelder's muddled thoughts, why not Pike's?

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