Screencap of animation - the moving version on spudoogle.com writhes, wobbles and rotates in a self-contained ballet of antipodean "wrong motion."
From Mike Francis, whose TM-ucce blog is no longer being updated.

Francis, Jeffrey Henderson, Jasper Elings and others make a convincing case for twisted uses of Autodesk Maya and its equivalents. Still making mental notes for an essay on self-aware uses of failed modeling "as art."

The Cage is not the Menagerie

Alan N. Shapiro has written brilliantly on Star Trek's Captain Pike as an early traveler in virtual reality. Pike appears in the Hugo-winning two-part Original Series episode "The Menagerie": horribly disfigured and paralyzed in a spaceship mishap he returns to a planet where he had once been imprisoned as a zoo specimen by reality-shifting aliens. The Talosians want to groove on the violent and sexy adventures they pull out of his mind as they keep him prisoner for his entire mortal life. Earlier in his career they had deemed him too wild to be caged but now that his body is wrecked he chooses their form of escape, in order to give his mind the freest possible reign.
Fans know that "The Menagerie" cleverly remixed Gene Roddenberry's original series pilot "The Cage," wrapping the early Pike story inside a new one from his life after the tragic accident. "The Cage" is now viewable on Netflix and it's fascinating to compare how the wrapper story changes the narrative.
Let's consider "The Cage" from the point of view of Vina, a woman trapped by the Talosians prior to Pike's arrival on the planet. Her happy ending in "The Cage" differs greatly and I would say chillingly from the one she receives in "The Menagerie."
When Vina is a child her colony's spaceship crash-lands on Talos. Only she survives, mangled beyond recognition. The Talosians have never seen another living human so they put her back together very badly; she is a kind of Frankenstein's monster. In virtual reality, however, she is beautiful, and the Talosians kidnap Pike from the Enterprise hoping he will mate with her to give them more human playthings. Pike is kind of a brick, though, married to his ship and work, and he resists her charms in one proto-holodeck scenario after another. Vina thinks she sees glimmers of interest and is convinced he will eventually accept his confinement and come to love her.
The Talosians have no patience, however, and in one of the pilot's most jarring surprises they instantly beam into Pike's cell two female Enterprise crew members, both with unrequited love fantasies for him. Vina wails her jealousy and betrayal - Pike was hers. Instead of the Bacchanale the Talosians hoped for Pike gains confidence having his crew beside him (he's not attracted to the new women, either) and eventually finds a way to thwart the aliens.
At this point Pike learns Vina's true form, which we're shown in a slow Jekyll-into-Hyde transformation montage, and understands that she will not be leaving the planet with the Enterprise crew. In the creepy ending of "The Cage," she is once again made to look beautiful and is now joined by a completely fake but stunningly handsome Captain Pike, who will be her VR companion for the rest of her days. The Talosians give her a synthetic version of the love she couldn't achieve herself. The real Captain Pike doesn't seem to object to this double. (Nowadays we might ask - is it a software copy? How much did the Talosians record from the real Pike - everything? Is he alive?)
In "The Menagerie" the ending of "The Cage" becomes much more warm and fuzzy. When we see the happy, restored couple heading back to their underground vault we know Pike is Pike, he is there by choice, and Vina won him fair and square.

Update: Alan Shapiro compares "The Cage" and "The Menagerie" on his blog [link removed -- see below]. The link in the first paragraph above is to his first essay on Pike, from the 1990s. The blog post incorporates writing from the earlier essay.


Update, June 2018: Shapiro appears to have taken down his Cage/Menagerie post. I removed the link to it.