TOS 1x00 009
Name Talosians
Continuity Star Trek
Category Alien
Status Existing
Homeworld Talos IV
Stellar System Talos Star Group
Galaxy Milky Way Galaxy
Body type Near-human
Average lifespan
Average Height 5'10" (approx)
Average Weight Comparable to an Earth human
Limbs 4
Eyes 2
Fingers 10
Toes 10 (presumably)
Special adaptations Enlarged craniums
Social Structure
Native language Any language via mental impulse
Representatives The Keeper; First Talosian; Second Talosian
Allies Vina; Christopher Pike (formerly an enemy)
Enemies The crew of the USS Enterprise NCC-1701
First Appearance "The Cage"

Talosians are an alien race featured in the original Star Trek television series. They are notable for being the first alien species featured in the series (discounting Mister Spock who is half-human), the first named alien species and the first on-screen antagonists of the crew of the USS Enterprise. They were introduced in the unaired original pilot episode "The Cage", marking their only canonical appearance in the series. Stock footage from the episode was incorporated into the two-part season one episodes "The Menagerie". Three Talosians were featured in this inaugural episode, with voice talents provided by three different actors. The primary Talosian, the magistrate, or Keeper, was played by actress Meg Wyllie. Her voice was provided by actor Malachi Throne. Vic Perrin, famous for serving as the Control voice on the 1963 anthology series The Outer Limits dubbed some of the Keeper's dialogue for "The Menagerie (Part 2)". Perrin also lent his voice to several other disembodied characters throughout the Star Trek mythos. Malachi Throne, who also appeared in "The Menagerie" playing the part of Commodore José I. Mendez, was able to re-dub some of his previous audio tracks on the Keeper's voice. The first Talosian was played by Georgia Schmidt and voiced by Bob Johnson. The second Talosian was played by Serena Sande and another was played by Felix Silla.

Description Edit

The Talosians were a sentient extraterrestrial humanoid race and the dominant species of the M-class planet Talos IV. They were telepathic beings of great intelligence with brains three times the size of a normal human. Although they still possessed the ability to speak through conventional means, they generally opted to communicate telepathically with one another. They also had the ability to transmit and receive telepathic messages with non-telepathic life forms over great distances, even across the reaches of outer space. Another application of their psionic talent was the ability to generate illusions in the minds of others; illusions so realistic that the subject often could not determine what was real and what was being transmitted into his head. Though powerful, Talosians cannot mentally control others to do anything against their will, but through subtle mental manipulation, they can nudge their targets into committing specified tasks. To facilitate their goals, Talosians use a merit system with those they commune with. "Wrong thinking" would result in images of great pain and torment while "Right Thinking" was just as quickly rewarded with images of the subject's wildest fantasies. Base, primitive emotions were difficult to perceive however. Thoughts of rage and hate mentally blinded Talosians, leaving them vulnerable.

History Edit

At some point in the distant past, the planet Talos IV was decimated through war, leaving the surface a barren, radioactive wasteland. The surviving Talosians were forced to live underground and developed telepathic abilities as they continued to evolve in their new environment. Eventually, the planet began to heal itself and was once again capable of supporting life. The Talosians however were unable to repopulate their world on their own.

Over the years, vessels from several space-faring races crash-landed on Talos IV and the Talosians kept representatives of several different species, imprisoning them in an underground zoo as part of a living menagerie. It was their hope that they might be able to marry two compatible species and produce a new race to live on the planet.

In the year 2236, an Earth-based scientific research vessel called the SS Columbia crash-landed on Talos IV. Only one passenger survived, a young woman named Vina. She was critically injured however and barely hanging on to life. The Talosians had never seen a human being before and though they saved her life, they had no knowledge of human anatomy and so Vina was stitched back together into a horribly misshapen configuration. The Talosians used their mental powers to give the illusion that Vina was still healthy and beautiful and she became a part of their menagerie. Now that they had found their "Eve", all they required was an "Adam".

Eighteen years later, the starship USS Enterprise was traveling through the Talos Star Group on their way to the Vega colony. The Talosians transmitted a false distress signal, making the crew of the Enterprise believe that it had originated from the missing SS Columbia. A landing party, led by Captain Christopher Pike, touched down on Talos IV and the Talosians made them believe that they had found a camp of human survivors from the Columbia. The only person in the camp who was not part of the illusion was Vina. The Talosians projected the camp settlers as humans in perfect physical condition - a fact that raised the curiosity of Pike's Chief Medical Officer Doctor Philip Boyce. Vina lured Pike towards an opening in one of the canyons, enabling the Talosians the chance to abduct him.

Pike was placed inside of a transparent cage where three elder Talosians, including the Talosian magistrate, observed him at length. Despite Pike's gruff demeanor, they believed that they had finally found their "Adam". Using Vina's attractiveness as a lure, they created a series of elaborate illusions in Pike's mind, trying to entice him into relinquishing his will to them. Despite their efforts however, Pike never surrendered his grip on reality and discovered that the Talosians could not perceive thoughts born of hate and violence. When Pike refused to cooperate, the Talosians punished him with images of burning to death.

It soon became clear that Pike would not willingly submit to Vina's charms. Two of his female crew members, his First Officer Number One and Yeoman J.M. Colt were brought down to the planet and imprisoned alongside him. They had hoped that he might find one of them more suitable to mate with. They enumerated the breeding value of each woman, making note of Colt's young, feminine appetites and Number One's secret desire for Captain Pike.

Masking her presence, the Talosian magistrate attempted to sneak into the cage to collect Number One's and Colt's phaser weapons. Pike spotted her and pounced upon her, gripping her about the throat. Threatening to bash in her "misshapen head", he forced the magistrate to cease all further mental manipulations. He had her bring them back up to the surface, where she revealed the truth about their history and why they were so desperate to have Pike remain on Talos IV to mate with Vina. They also dispelled the illusion that obfuscated Vina's true form. They ultimately determined that Earthlings were, by their very nature, a violent race with an abject hatred of all forms of imprisonment - even imprisonment designed to be pleasurable. As such, such beings could not be expected to successfully repopulate their dying world. They allowed Pike and his crew members to leave Talos IV with no ill will and restored Vina's illusion of beauty. They created a fantasy in her mind that Pike had chosen to remain on the planet to live happily with her. [1]

The Talosians never lost their empathic connection to Captain Pike. Thirteen years later, in the year 2267, they learned that Captain Pike had been crippled in a terrible accident and was left a quadriplegic. They believed that it was only through their mental abilities that Pike could ever hope to experience any semblance of a normal life. They sent a telepathic summons to Pike's former Science Officer, Mister Spock informing him of Pike's predicament. Spock agreed with their analysis and committed treason in order to bring Captain Pike back to Talos IV. Spock was placed on trial for this act, and a tribunal consisting of his current Captain, James T. Kirk, Captain Pike and Commodore José I. Mendez (in truth a Talosian illusion) heard Spock's testimony. The Talosians projected mental images of Pike's mission to Talos IV onto a monitor screen for all to see. Despite Spock's transgressions, Starfleet was sympathetic to the situation and all charges were dropped. Captain Pike was brought back to Talos IV where he was able to exist in a fantasy world where he was healthy and strong and live out the rest of his days with Vina. [2][3]

Notes & Trivia Edit

  • The background and visual representation of the Talosians bear a strong similarity to the mutants featured in the 1970 film Beneath the Planet of the Apes. Both races were forced to live underground after war had turned their respective surface environments into radioactive wastelands. Both races possessed telepathy and the ability to generate illusions in the minds of others. Both races were bald, with alien-like features and wore long, white robes. Unlike the Talosians however, the Planet of the Apes mutants were capable of controlling an individual's mind, forcing them to commit deeds that they would not otherwise commit. The Talosians cannot force a human being to do anything against their will. They can only manipulate their perceptions.
  • The Talosian magistrate was distinguished from the others by a medallion that she wore about her neck.
  • When Talosians communicate telepathically, the veins in their head would throb.

Merchandise Edit

See also Edit


The World of Star Trek

Star Trek miscellaneous

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