Return to the Menagerie

I just returned from a screening of Star Trek Menagerie. This is the original Star Trek pilot from 1966 called “The Cage” that was later carved up into a two part episode once the series was picked up. In this version they went back to the source negatives and remastered them. They updated the special effects and sound track. What made this fun was that I went to see it at the local AMC theater. I was surrounded by two hundred other Star Trek fans. There were many neck beards. The crowd was mainly in the over 40 demographic — the people who grew up with the reruns. There were a handful of second and third generation views on hand too. The crowd might have been better if it weren’t a Tuesday (school) night.

The quality of the restoration was first rate. I first saw this episode on a 12″ black-and-white TV set. There was no comparison. They started out with an introduction by Eugene Rodenberry with Michael Okuda and many others involved with the project. They gave many details about the history of the episode and the restoration process. After the introduction there was a commercial for the HD DVDs that are now for sale. After the episode there was a commercial for Season 2 coming in 2008.

In summary this was a fun geek evening — the crowd made the experience. The audience laughed when the camera focused on Shatner’s eyes and applauded when the credits rolled. This was a very enjoyable way to watch a classic episode.

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