A ‘Star Trek’ that stands apart

Legendary episode "The Menagerie" presented

Jeffrey Hunter

As iconic as the initial “Star Trek” series is as a whole, certain episodes stand out, and “The Menagerie” — which Heroes & Icons presents the concluding half of on Sunday, May 29 — is one of them. The story is built partially from footage taken from the original pilot for the show, as Spock (Leonard Nimoy) faces a court martial for alleged mutiny.

Scenes used as flashbacks feature Jeffrey Hunter as Captain Christopher Pike, the predecessor of William Shatner’s James Kirk aboard the starship Enterprise. Pike has come back into the “Star Trek” canon: Now played by Anson Mount, he has proceeded from being a guest character on “Star Trek: Discovery” to become the central figure on the new streaming series “Star Trek: Strange New Worlds.”

More Retro Rewinds

“Taken” (Hulu, streaming): Liam Neeson altered the course of his career by unexpectedly playing action hero in this 2008 franchise-launcher, casting him as a CIA alum who uses the tricks of his former trade to search for his daughter (Maggie Grace), kidnapped by human traffickers. By now, we’ve seen Neeson do this again and again (On an airplane! On a train! On a snow plow!), but this was a wonderfully fresh image for him when first viewed.

“Love, American Style” (Decades, Sunday, May 29, and Monday, May 30): Many familiar faces in entertainment passed through this comedic 1969-74 anthology series, getting “Weekend Binge” treatment with a slew of half-hour episodes putting various spins on the theme of romance. The many stars seen during this marathon include Larry Hagman, Darren McGavin, Suzanne Pleshette, Bill Bixby, Sid Caesar, Shelley Fabares, Ted Bessell, Judy Carne and Vivian Vance.

“Romancing the Stone” (Cinemax, Wednesday, June 1): Known principally for drama up to that point, Michael Douglas unlocked another part of his screen persona as star and producer of this fun 1984 comedy-adventure. He plays a cocky adventurer enlisted by a romance novelist (Kathleen Turner, also displaying a lighter image) to help find her abducted sister in Colombia. Longtime Douglas friend Danny DeVito also delivers great doses of humor as a smuggler.

“Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid” (Turner Classic Movies, Thursday, June 2): Initially, the pairing was supposed to be Paul Newman and Steve McQueen (which eventually would happen in “The Towering Inferno”), but Robert Redford ultimately starred with Newman — and got an enormous career boost — in this entertaining 1969 Western, which plays loosely with facts about the title outlaws, giving the actors plenty of room to display their charisma (which they would show again in “The Sting”). The film won Oscars for its William Goldman screenplay, Conrad Hall cinematography, Burt Bacharach score, and the song “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on My Head.”

Jay Bobbin

Jay Bobbin has decades of experience covering the television and movie businesses, winning Tribune Media Services’ Crown Jewel Award in 2008 for his performance in the company. Over those many years of interviewing and writing, he has spoken with everyone from Robert De Niro and John Travolta to Paul McCartney and Tony Bennett … from Meryl Streep and Julie Andrews to Taylor Swift and Carrie Underwood.

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