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Old March 22 2013, 09:25 PM   #25
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Re: So just how old WAS Pike?

Brining us back around to the age issue... here's an interesting twist:

Malachi Throne, the actor who played Commodore Josť I. Mendez of Starbase 11 in "The Menagerie", recently passed away. In his biography on Memory Alpha, Mr. Throne is listed as having been born in 1928. This would mean he was not quite 39 years old during the filming of "The Menagerie". William Shatner as Kirk, was born in 1931. This would mean Mr. Shatner was 34 years old upon the filming of "Where No Man Has Gone Before" in 1965, and would've been 36 during filming of "The Deadly Years", in which Captain Kirk insists "I'm only 34 years old!" By contrast, the late Jefferey Hunter (neť Henry Herman McKinnies, Jr.), who originated the role of Captain Pike, was born in 1926; even older than Throne!

Maybe a better line for Mendez would've been "about my age" (if you compare the younger Captain Pike of the Starship Enterprise to Commodore Mendez) or "about our age" if you compare the ages of Shatner to Throne.

So if we go by the actual ages of the actors at the times of their respective episodes, Pike (Hunter) would've been 38 years old at the time of the Enterprise's first visit to Talos IV ("The Cage" was filmed in 1964, IIRC); this would make Sean Kenney's assumption of the role of the older, injured Pike to be 38+13=51. At the time of Kirk's shuttlecraft ride with the illusion of Mendez, Kirk (Shatner) would've been about 35.5 years old. And Mendez (or, the illusion of him) would've been about 38 years old. So unless we liberally fudge with their ages, none of the actor's real-world ages matched up with the (stated) ages of the characters they portrayed.

The only canon statement of Kirk's age in TOS is suspect at best; Kirk insisted he was "only 34" while he was subject to rapid aging due to radiation sickness in "The Deadly Years". Commodore Mendez' line about age is silly any way you look at it, since Mr. Throne would have to be portraying a character for older than Throne actually was in order for the line to make any sense in any context. And Kirk and Pike could not possibly be the same age, or even within 15 years of each other.

So, if Mendez's remarks are to make any sense at all, then we must assume (1: that the character of Jose Mendez is much older than the actor who portrayed him, on the order of at least 15 years, possibly 20; (2: Pike would have to be 38 when he visited Talos, and subsequently 51 when Mendez revealed him vegetating on Starbase 11; and (3: Kirk would have to be much older than Shatner; on the order of Shatner being in his mid-to-late 30s and Kirk being somewhere in his 40s. (If Kirk could be compared to Pike, age-bracket-wise, Kirk would have to be in his late 40s, at least ten years older than Shatner.)
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