Back before fans could own or stream every second of Star Trek, there were a variety of ways to re-visit our favorite episodes whenever we wanted. One was the James Blish adaptations and another was the dozen PhotoNovels.
The PhotoNovels took images from twelve popular episodes and transformed them into what can best be described as an extended comic book. Back in the day, I adored them and I’ve collected a few over the years.
This special edition from the New Visions line would fit well on the shelf next to those dozen PhotoNovels. John Byrne adapts the original version of “The Cage” in comic book form, using original images and dialogue from the rejected original pilot for the original series.
And it’s not that he hasn’t does a great job adapting “The Cage” in this way that causes me to classify this as a bit of a disappointment. It’s the fact that you can stream or purchase this episode any time that makes me question its value to Trek fans. Byrne doesn’t expand the story, the characters or lend any new shades to the story. It’s just a straight-forward re-telling of “The Cage” complete with images and dialogue we’ve heard before, both in the original episode and when the footage was incorporated into the two part installment “The Menagerie.”
It left me feeling more like this was an attempt to get on board the fiftieth anniversary celebration train. It’s not terrible, but as far as tie-in merchandise goes it’s not one of my favorites.