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"The Menagerie" is a novelization of TOS: "The Cageα" adapted by James Blish. It was printed in Star Trek 4 by Bantam Books and released in April 1971.


Memorable quotesEdit

Background informationEdit


With each new volume in the series of Star Trek novelizations, author James Blish received more fan letters from the readers of those books, with some asking for particular television episodes to be adapted for the next volume. Blish kept a tally of the episodes requested, with TOS: "The Menagerie, Part Iα" and TOS: "The Menagerie, Part IIα" being one of the most requested following the release of Star Trek 3[1].


"The Menagerie" television episode has a framing story set in 2266 and sees Commander Spock facing a court martial for commandeering the USS Enterprise in an attempt to take the crippled Fleet Captain Christopher Pike to Talos IV where he can live his life in a Talosian illusion, his youth and vitality restored. The "main story" occurs thirteen years earlier, and documents the Enterprise's first visit to Talos IV under Pike.

As Blish started to write his adaptation of "The Menagerie", he soon became frustrated adapting the story into fiction, later writing that "it involves so many chances of viewpoint, as well as so many switches from past to present, that it become impossibly confusing." After his attempts, he decided to remove the framing story altogether and adapt the original pilot episode, restoring the original ending which hadn't been seen onscreen in 1971.

Blish later commented, "I think the producers also came to feel that the double-plotted had been a mistake,", on the basis that, "[it] turned out to be the only two-part episode in the entire history of the series.[2]"


"The Menagerie" was included in the fourth volume of novelizations along with "All Our Yesterdays", "The Devil in the Dark", "Journey to Babel", "The Enterprise Incident", and "A Piece of the Action". Bantam Books published the book in April 1971.

"The Menagerie" was later reprinted alongside all of the TOS Season 1 episodes in Star Trek: The Classic Episodes 1, which was released on 14 November 1991 to celebrate Star Trek's 25th anniversary.


  • The novelization omits many scenes that were in the television episode, notably all scenes set aboard the Enterprise and featuring the Enterprise crew while Captain Pike is being held captive by the Talosians.
  • The novelization expands on the Enterprise's previous mission to Rigel VII, although the text referred to Rigel VIII. Captain Pike and his crew learned that the inhabitants of Rigel VIII had been enslaved by the Kalar from Rigel X, and they intended to intervene. Starfleet Command were hesitant given that doing so was a potential violation of General Order 1. However, the situation was brought to a head when the Kalar arrived en masse to defend their colony.
  • A different take on the Enterprise's mission to Rigel was presented in Marvel EV: "Our Dearest Blood"., which saw Rigel VII petitioning to join the Federation and the Kalar being a warrior caste native to the same planet.
  • Pike's comments in the television episode that "Number One" was his most experienced officer was given a caveat in the novelization, stating that she was "the most experienced surviving officer". This is at odds with Vulcan's Glory, Star Trek: Early Voyages and various other sources which present "Number One" as Pike's first officer throughout his tenure as the Enterprise's commanding officer.

Links and referencesEdit



Adam and Eve; American Continent Institute; armor; cactus; cage; catapult; chicken; colony; Columbia, SS; communicator; crossbow; distress signal; Earth; Enterprise, USS; feudalism; fortress; General Order 1; geologist; helmsman; Human; Kalar; lance; landing party; library; light year; mace; Mary Lou; Middle Ages; Mojave; narcotic; navigator; Neanderthal; Nile Valley; orbit; Orion slave girl; Orionese; phaser; picnic; Potentate of Orion; radio; Rigel; Rigel VIII; Rigel X; sandwich; shield; spaceship; spear; Starfleet; Starfleet Command; sugar; survey ship; sword; Talos IV; Talos system; Talosian; Tango; telepathy; thermos; transporter; tuna; United Federation of Planets; whip; zoo


  1. Star Trek 4 preface by James Blish.
  2. "The Menagerie" introduction, Star Trek 4.

External linkEdit

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