Meta Treks 89: Faustian Horseback Ride / by Trek fm

Philosophical Themes in "The Cage."


Running Time: 1 hour 22 minutes 23 seconds
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In the opening scenes of "The Cage," the unaired pilot episode of Star Trek: The Original Series, Captain Christopher Pike is having an existential crisis, feeling the weight of his responsibility as a starship captain, being responsible for the lives of the people under his command, and longing for a different kind of life (being home on Earth with a picnic lunch and horseback riding every day, or perhaps becoming an Orion trader). When Captain Pike is imprisoned by the Talosians and given the chance to have his every wish granted as an illusion, Captain Pike is forced to grapple with what he really wants in life and with the true nature of human happiness.

In this episode of Meta Treks, hosts Zachary Fruhling and Mike Morrison discuss the philosophical themes in "The Cage," from the existential angst of free will, making choices, and the burdens of responsibility, to the importance of human freedom and free will, risks and rewards, and of looking to the future and setting a course for the next adventure.


Intro (00:01:19)
Criticisms and Observations of The Cage (00:03:34)
Alien Commentary (00:08:23)
Zoo: Humans as a Lower Life form (00:14:04)
Existential Tiredness (00:17:40)
A Galaxy of Illusions to Choose From (00:30:18)
The Pleasure Machine (00:35:43)
The Worth of a Man's Soul (00:38:37)
The New Adam and Eve (00:45:11)
A Faustian Deal with the Devil (00:50:41)
Free Will and the Human Condition (00:55:16)
Aftermath of Talosian War (01:00:37)
Final Thoughts About The Cage (01:07:06)
Closing (01:14:09)


Zachary Fruhling and Mike Morrison


Mike Morrison (Editor) Zachary Fruhling (Producer) C Bryan Jones (Executive Producer) Matthew Rushing (Executive Producer) Ken Tripp (Executive Producer) Patrick Devlin (Associate Producer) Kay Shaw (Associate Producer) Mark Walker (Associate Producer) Norman C. Lao (Associate Producer) Richard Marquez (Production Manager) Brandon-Shea Mutala (Patreon Manager)