In the two-parter The Menagerie some revelations seem to have consequences I can't wrap my head around:
It is said that the footage we first thought was a record was in fact a broadcast from Talos IV.
What does that mean, exactly? We clearly see past events, so I assume it is implied that the Talosians send an illusion that describes the past. Is that actually the correct interpretation?
It is shown that the Commander Mendez of the trial is an illusion.
But there is a real Commander Mendez of Star Base 11 that sends a message at the end of the two episodes. So at what point are we seeing the wrong one? Mendez leaves the Star Base with Kirk in a shuttle, so really it must be there at the latest. But does that not imply that the Telosians power reach to that Star Base?
If so, Star Fleet can't know that and tolerate it, but obviously they would know that at the end of the two episodes then, or would they not? Is that actually an implication of all the premises established in the series?