"The Menagerie" is a two-part episode of Star Trek: The Original Series. It consists of episodes 11 and 12 (production #16) of the show's first season, and is the only two-part story in the original series. Part one of the episode was broadcast on November 17, 1966, and the second part was broadcast on November 24, 1966. NBC repeated the two shows on May 18 and 25, 1967. The episode's screenplay was written by Gene Roddenberry. Since the true 1965 pilot episode "The Cage" was not shown on television until 1988 and the original series began with a second pilot "Where No Man Has Gone Before," Desilu—the show's production company—made a decision on what should be done with the wasted footage from the unused pilot movie.
Incorporating "The Cage" into the two-part episode, "The Menagerie", was actually a solution to a large and growing problem with the show's production. Its special effects, unprecedented for a weekly television production, were causing delays in the completion of each episode. The problem was cumulative, with shows getting delivered to NBC later and later. At its worst, episodes (filmed in Los Angeles) were being delivered to NBC (in New York) only three days before their scheduled Thursday airing. Sensing impending disaster, Roddenberry solved the problem by writing a two-part episode that needed only one week of production.
He did this by writing an entirely new bookend story, so that "The Cage" would serve as a backstory for the Starship Enterprise's early history. New footage would be combined with the old and placed into the continuity of the overall Star Trek storyline.
"The Menagerie" won a Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation. The other episode with such an honor is "The City on the Edge of Forever". This episode also served as the inspiration for the term "Reality Distortion Field" to refer to Apple founder Steve Jobs' ability to convince audiences of his narrative.
Famous quotes containing the words original and/or menagerie:
“All good things were at one time bad things; every original sin has developed into an original virtue.”
—Friedrich Nietzsche (18441900)
“This universal exhibition in Canada of the tools and sinews of war reminded me of the keeper of a menagerie showing his animals claws. It was the English leopard showing his claws.”
—Henry David Thoreau (18171862)