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Talosian Keeper

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The Keeper

The Talosian Keeper has the distinction of being the first villain filmed (but not aired) in the history of Star Trek.  He first appeared in the originally unaired pilot "The Cage," and then again in "The Menagerie" (which was comprised of a majority of the footage from the prior episode).

He is portrayed by Meg Wyllie.  In "The Cage," Meg Wyllie's voice was edited out and dubbed over with Malachi Throne's voice.  However, in "The Menagerie," Wyllie's voice was restored, and Throne portrayed Commodore José Mendez.

Talosian history

Centuries of war left Talos IV desolate and incapable of sustaining life.  As a result, the Talosians retreated underground and developed their psionic abilities.  However, the use of their abilities became addictive, and the Talosians took to abducting members of other species.

Encounter with the Enterprise

In the year 2254, the Enterprise, under the command of Captain Christopher Pike, receives an 18 year old distress signal from the deep space ship Columbia, which crash landed on Talos IV.  Upon investigating, however, the crew discovers that the survivors were only an illusion to lure the crew to the planet.  In actuality, the only survivor was a woman named Vina, whom the Talosians had been keeping in captivity since the crash.

The Talosians abducted Captain Pike and held him in prison and attempted to artificially create a romantic attraction between him and Vina by inserting her into a re-enactment of a combat incident Pike had previously had on Rigel VII.  Once the battle was over, Pike began asking Vina about their captors and their intentions.  When Vina was telepathically punished for overstepping her bounds in revealing too much and attempting to seduce Pike prematurely, Pike realized that Vina was real, as opposed to yet another illusory creation he previously suspected her of being.

Subsequently, the Keeper gave him a glass of liquid nourishment, offered to give it the illusory form of any food he wished, and punished him for refusing it.  After drinking the liquid, Pike then surprised the Keeper by allowing himself to become completely angry while attempting to break through the transparent barrier.  Refusing to even address the Talsoians' weakness against negative, primitive emotions, the Keeper changed the subject to reveal their rationale for abducting Pike: As the sole survivor of the Columbia crash, the Talosians thought it appropriate to attract a mate for Vina, and believed they had found a suitable companion in Pike, which Pike conjectured was just a prelude to creating a human community to serve as the Talosians' slaves.  Once Pike was angered by the suggestion, as well as the Talosians' willingness to punish Vina for their own purposes, he attempted to provoke the Keeper into punishing him instead of her. 

Taking his new sympathies towards Vina as a sign of progress, the Talosians proceeded to deepen Pike's relationship with Vina through two other environments: one at Pike's ranch in Mojave, California, and another at an Orion slave colony (with Vina portrayed as an Orion slave girl).  Pike resisted, however, and the Talosians abducted two female Enterprise crew members as alternative mates for Pike: Number One and Yeoman J.M. Colt.  Pike resisted these efforts as well, eventually managing to escape by shooting a hole in the cell transparency (and threatening to likewise shoot the Talosian if he didn't remove the illusion that he had failed to do so).

Once they arrived at the planet surface, Pike offered to stay with Vina if the Keeper would allow Number One and Yeoman Colt to return to the Enterprise.  Number One, however, threatened to overload a phaser, killing all of them, to prevent the Talosians from breeding Pike and Vina together and using their offspring as slaves.

Conferring together, the Talosians concluded that humans have a violent resistance towards captivity and were thus unsuitable to be kept on Talos.  Number One and Colt were returned to the Enterprise, but Pike remained just long enough to learn Vina's rationale for remaining - she had been severely disfigured in the Columbia crash, and although the Talosians were able to repair her injuries to keep her alive, they were unable to restore her appearance except through illusory means.  The Talosians allowed her to remain with a telepathic copy of Captain Pike, and the real Pike was allowed to return to the Enterprise.

Return to Talos IV

In the intervening years, Pike's account of the mission led the Federation to issue General Order VII, forbidding any visit to Talos IV under any circumstances.  When Pike suffered his own crippling injury, however, the Talosians learned of this and contacted Lt. Cmdr. Spock and requested he bring Captain Pike to them.  Against Pike's wishes, Spock commandeered the Enterprise (now under the command of James T. Kirk) and used it to transport Pike from Starbase 11 back to Talos IV.  Spock and the Keeper staged a fake court-martial for Captain Kirk and Commodore José Mendez to recount the events of the original Talos IV mission (and to stall for time to allow the Enterprise to arrive at Talos). Mendez from his starbase heard of what the Talosians meant and suspended General Order VIi just for the transportation of Captain Pike to Talos Iv.  Upon entering orbit, the Keeper telepathically communicated with Captain Kirk to invite Captain Pike to spend the rest of his days with Vina and the Talosians.  Pike accepts the invitation and is telepathically granted the illusion of full health and strength.

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