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In the two-parter The Menagerie, 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?

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Depends what you mean by "illusion". Commodore Mendez being on board the Enterprise is an illusion. You're meant to think he's the real guy.

The images are clearly broadcast from Talos IV as normal images. Since Pike himself confirms they are real events, they're not illusions in the sense that they're trying to somehow trick you. They're presented as evidence of what happened in The Cage. Furthermore, we see the real Mendez also received the same broadcast

UHURA [OC]: Message from Starbase Eleven, sir. Received images from Talos Four. In view of historic importance of Captain Pike in space exploration, General Order Seven prohibiting contact Talos Four is suspended this occasion. No action contemplated against Spock. Proceed as you think best. Signed, Mendez, J.I., Commodore, Starbase Eleven.

  • By "illusion" I meant: They are not technically recordings, but produced by the aliens power to create arbitrary images. Correct? Or else who exactly sends them? And how? Who recorded that and where do we see cameras? – John Jun 19 '18 at 13:54
  • @John Since they decline to specify how they were made (without breaking the fourth wall) the Talosians probably made them with their powers – Machavity Jun 19 '18 at 13:56

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