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Return to Talos! – "Door in the Cage" was the 61st issue of DC Comics's second monthly Star Trek series, published in July 1994. It was written by Steve Wilson and drawn by Rod Whigham and Arne Starr. The story explored what happened to Captain Christopher Pike 20 years after settling on Talos IV with Vina during the events of TOS episode: "The Menagerie".


Spock has traveled to Talos IV in order to offer Captain Christopher Pike, now 70 years old, the chance of a return to the Federation. Upon arriving, Spock unexpectedly meets a young boy who seems to recognize him. Captain Pike appears and identifies the boy as his son with Vina, Philip Pike. Pike and Vina invite Spock to dinner, and Spock observes that Pike, Vina, and Philip appear to be reclaiming the surface of Talos IV, cultivating vegetables, and beginning to overcome the ecological disaster of Talos IV. Given the danger of losing oneself in illusion, Spock is uncertain about the reality of the situation. His offer of medical help that would enable the family to leave Talos causes Pike and Vina to consider their situation, but they decide to stay.

When Spock is attacked by a le-matya, then three Klingon warriors, Number One, and then Pike himself, he realizes that Philip is real and trying to scare him off with illusions. Pike explains how he and Vina were able to have a son and Spock accepts their decision.

Spock returns to the Enterprise-A and recommends that Captain Pike be returned to Starfleet's active duty roster to serve as a contact specialist, and that Talos IV be considered for Federation membership.

Log Entries[]

  • Personal log, Captain Spock, stardate 8684.2
    While the Enterprise delivers a diplomatic party to the conference facilities on Babel, I am under orders to visit Talos IV, a world unseen by outsiders for over twenty years. A world whose inhabitants possess such formidable mental powers that Federation law forbids any contact with them... under penalty of death.
    My last visit to this world was direct violation of that law. I brought Fleet Captain Christopher Pike here to live his life out in comfort.
    Paralyzed and disfigured by radiation, but with his mind fully intact, Pike could communicate only with a race of true telepaths with all hope of an active physical life gone, he could only find solace in the illusionary world which the Talosians are capable of crafting.
    To my knowledge, he still lives here with Vina, a human woman whose existence, without the Talosians' aid, would be extremely difficult.
    Captain Pike once fought to leave this world because he found a life of illusion empty. He returned because he had nothing else for which to live- I trust he still finds this life empty.
    I have come to offer him the chance of a new life.
    Personal log, supplemental
    The idea that the child, Philip, is real is unlikely.
    Both of his alleged parents are, in their true states, severely disabled.
    Further, Captain Pike's DNA would have been hopelessly damaged by the same radiation which ended his Starfleet career. Like this house in which I have been made welcome, Philip is logically the product of the Talosian power of illusion. Whether the Talosians are generating that illusion, or Captain Pike is doing so, so I have yet to determine.
    Christopher Pike is a strong man. Despite temptations offered by the Talosians forty years ago, he rejected a life of captivity and illusion. His injuries cheated him of dreams of an active life, a wife, and a family. However, it is possible that his loss has depressed him to the degree that he has taken refuge in illusion once and fora all.
    There is no doubt that the man I talked to tonight believes this house and his child are real.
    I am left with one question, then. Am I seeing the Captain Pike I am seeing deranged? Or is, he too, a product of Talosian illusion? If so where is the real Captain Pike?
    Captain's log, USS Enterprise-A, stardate 8685.7.
    Mr. Spock has returned to the Enterprise from his mission on Talos IV. His experiences there have surprised us all. Leave it to a man like Chris Pike to find purpose in such an unlikely place.



James Tiberius KirkLeonard McCoyChristopher PikePhilip PikeSpockVina
Referenced only
Number OneTalosian Magistrateillusory Klingons

Starships and vehicles[]

USS Enterprise-A (Enterprise-subclass refit Constitution-class heavy cruiser) • Heinlein (Type-4 shuttlecraft)
Referenced only
USS Enterprise (Constitution-class heavy cruiser) • class J starshipcovered wagonTalosian starship


Talos IV
Referenced only
BabelEarth (Starfleet Headquarters)

Races and cultures[]

Referenced only

States and organizations[]

Referenced only
Klingon Defense ForceKlingon Empire

Science and classification[]

baffle platebionic implantcloned'k tahghallucinogenKlingon disruptor pistollaser pistolmacemedicinephaserrobotshieldsurgerytechnologytype-2 phaservideowheelchair

Ranks and titles[]

captaincaptaincommandercommanding officercontact specialistfirst officerfleet captainmagistratepsychiatristslavetelepath

Other references[]

187020th centuryanimalassignment patchbrainbridgecaptain's log, USS Enterprise-A, 2290cavecivilizationdeath penaltydecadediplomacyDNAecologyemotion (anger) • extinctionFederation lawfoodfourth planetgalaxyGeneral Order 7governmenthellhistoryhomeworldhonorhorsehousehumanoidillusionimmortalityle-matyalifeformlogicmind meldmonthnation-statepersonal log, Spockplanetplantraces and culturesradiationranksolar systemspacestarStarfleet uniform (2240s-2265)Starfleet uniform (2278-2350s)starshiptelepathythousands of years agotitletreeuniversevegetablewoodyear


Related stories[]

"The Cage" • "The Menagerie" • Burning Dreams



Media featuring Christopher Pike
Episodes and movies The Original Series The CageThe Menagerie
Movies Star TrekkStar Trek Into Darknessk
Discovery Will You Take My Hand?BrotherNew EdenPoint of LightAn Obol for CharonSaints of ImperfectionThe Sound of ThunderLight and ShadowsIf Memory ServesProject DaedalusThe Red AngelPerpetual InfinityThrough the Valley of ShadowsSuch Sweet Sorrow
Short Treks Q&AThe Trouble with EdwardAsk Not
Star Trek: Strange New Worlds
Novels Killing TimeaEnterprise: The First AdventureVulcan's GloryLegacyThe RiftWhere Sea Meets SkyBurning DreamsA Less Perfect UnionaThe Children of KingsChild of Two WorldsDesperate HoursThe Enterprise WarThe High Country
Short stories "Conflicting Natures" • "A Private Anecdote" • "Sins of the Mother" • "The Greater Good"m
Comics Early Voyages "Flesh of My Flesh" • "The Fires of Pharos" • "Our Dearest Blood" • "Nor Iron Bars a Cage" • Cloak and Dagger (12) • "The Flat, Gold Forever" • "Immortal Wounds" • "One of a Kind" • The Fallen (12) • "Futures, Part One" • "Future Tense" • "Futures" • "Now and Then" • "Thanatos" • "Nemesis"
Starfleet Academy "Return to the Forbidden Planet" • "A Prelude to War"
Crew "Shadows of the Past" • "The Ends of Eternity"
New Visions "A Scent of Ghosts" • "The Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner " • "The Cage"
other "All Those Years Ago..." • "To Walk the Night" • "Door in the Cage" • Alien Spotlight Alien Spotlight, Volume I (VulcansOrions) • Mirror Imagesm (1245) • Spock: Reflections, Issue 2Star Trek Movie Adaptationk (23456) • Captain's Log: PikeAftermath (123)
k : Kelvin timelinem : Mirror Universea : alternate reality


published order
Previous comic:
#60: No Compromise, Part III
DC Comics, second series Next comic:
#62: The Alone
Previous story:
A Little Man-to-Man Talk
Stories by:
Steven H. Wilson
(as Steve Wilson)
Next story:
A Question of Loyalty
chronological order
Previous adventure:
No Compromise, Part III
Memory Beta Chronology Next adventure:
Bait...and Switch

External link[]