Vina was a female Human civilian in the 23rd century. She was a crewmember on the SS Columbia in 2236. Her ship was carrying scientists from the American Continent Institute on an expedition to the Talos star group.
Vina piqued the Talosians' interest in the Human species, and this prompted them to lure the USS Enterprise to the planet in 2254, hoping to find a mate for her. They selected Captain Christopher Pike, and through a series of illusions, attempted to induce him to remain on the planet and begin a family with her, in an attempt to learn about Human sexuality and companionship.
When the Enterprise crew demonstrated that they would prefer death to life in captivity, the Talosians declared Humans unsuitable for their plans to reclaim the surface of the planet. After the crewmembers beamed up, Vina expressed that she wanted to remain with the Talosians, who then allowed Captain Pike to see that her youthful beauty was an illusion. She explained she had nearly died in the crash and that the Talosians, who had never seen Humans, had had no guide in repairing her smashed body. Hunchbacked, old and ugly, severely scarred, but in good physiological health, she preferred to retain her illusion of beauty on Talos IV rather than live among Humans and die away from the planet. Back aboard the Enterprise, Pike told the crew nothing of what he had just seen, saying only that Vina was remaining with the Talosians and that he agreed with her reasons. (TOS: "The Cage")
Background information Edit
Vina was played by actress Susan Oliver.
Preliminary descriptions Edit
In the first draft story outline of "The Cage", Vina was initially described as "provocatively lovely, showing [...] few effects of the ordeal." In the scripts of "The Cage", Vina was at first characterized thus; "Although her hair is uncombed and awry, her make-shift dress tattered, she is still a remarkably beautiful young woman. Supple, tanned, barefooted, she looks more like a woodland nymph than the survivor of a harrowing ordeal." The scripts went on to describe her as having "a graceful young animal quality", which was highly seductive, and a "spectacular figure." In an ultimately unused line of dialogue from the scripts, Pike (named "April" in the first draft and "Winter" in the final draft) likened Vina, in this form, to a "little animal," considering how wild she seemed.
In regard to when she appears in the simulation of Rigel VII (which was named Rigel 113 in the episode's scripts), the installment's first draft script described Vina thus; "She wears a gown suggesting a medieval era, but torn and stained as if she has been for some time fleeing and hunted." In the same scripted scene, the frightened Vina's pleas for Pike (named, at that stage, Robert April) to save her from a Kalar were initially spoken in Rigelian, until the captain persuaded her to speak in English again, as she had when they first met. In the episode's final draft script, Vina was instead scripted to be wearing "a feudal-level dress, [her] hair braided and long." Not only was she no longer referred to as wearing a "torn and stained" garment, but she also spoke English throughout that draft of the script.
The silver-colored costume Vina wears mostly through the episode was described as "a simple garment of the Talosian material" in the scripts for "The Cage". Similarly, the outfit she wears in the parkland near Mojave was described as "casual Earth garb" in the episode's scripts.
Initially, Susan Oliver was not of a mind to accept the role of Vina, as the actress, exhausted from a previous filming assignment, was looking forward to a holiday in Hawaii. However, Gene Roddenberry adamantly wanted her for the part of Vina, and to this end, he asked Studio Executive Oscar Katz to put pressure on her. "Although I'm usually not that charming with women, I talked her into taking the part," said Katz. "Part of the appeal was that it was going to be very easy. She could knock it off 'just like that'," he added, snapping his fingers. Yet, Oliver's part was anything but a snap of the fingers, due to the elaborate makeup sessions she had to undergo in order to show Vina's various manifestations. (Star Trek Creator: The Authorized Biography of Gene Roddenberry) "The Cage" Director Robert Butler stated, "I remember Susan's transformation was certainly laid out and discussed and worked out ahead of time, and then it was very time-consuming to do, of course." (The Star Trek Interview Book, p. 100)
Vina's scenes from "The Cage" were filmed on Friday 4 December 1964, and between Tuesday 8 December 1964 and Friday 18 December 1964 at Desilu Culver Stage 15, Stage 16, and on location at the "Arab Village" section of the 40 Acres backlot.
Oliver was aware she had to play several incarnations of Vina, including that of the Orion slave girl. "One of the unique things about this job was I wasn't really a dancer," Oliver recalled. "They had a choreographer work with me a solid week, every day, before I began filming. There were different facets in this role, and the green girl was most challenging." A bit to her surprise, it was not her lack of dancing skills that gained attention, but rather her appearance, when she, for the first time, appeared on set in her Orion slave girl attire. "The usual 'hi, Suse' banter was gone; the guys stood back and stared or averted their eyes as though it were immoral to look at such a woman. There seemed almost a sense of their whispering, 'Wow, Susan's not such a nice girl after all, she's maybe wild, evil.' Even before the dance began and I was just standing demurely to the side, this feeling was in the air. Gene has touched on something dark in man's subconscious; one could imagine doing things with a green mate that he would never dare with someone his own color." (Starlog, issue 135, p. 78)
Still, despite experiencing some challenges with the part, Oliver reveled in portraying Vina. "The show was a very special experience and it was fun to do the wild dance; It also meant hard work. Believe me, it was not easy to be green," she concluded. (Starlog, issue 135, p. 78)
Vina's mirror universe counterpart was mentioned but did not appear in the short story "The Greater Good" contained in the anthology Shards and Shadows. Very similar to in the prime universe, the Talosians had used a distress call to lure the ISS Enterprise to the planet with the intention of having its captain, Christopher Pike, mate with Vina, so as to create a race of Terran slaves. However, Vina was rejected by Pike, as he refused to mate with an "insipid Human female."