Nerys Myk wrote:
Well we're viewing Kirk through the lens of three seasons of TOS and six or seven movies. But if you look at the Kirk from those early season one episodes he's not all too different from Pike.
I must disagree. Without thinking of the rest of the series, movies, etc., just study his debut performance in "Where No Man Has Gone Before,"
where he jokes with Spock about his "bad blood," being irritated by Kirk's game and the turbolift interplay with Spock & Mitchell. Right out of the gates, Kirk was serious, but he was miles ahead of Pike in being warm and having a real personality.
Some argue the Talosian situation of "The Cage"
and Pike's doubts as the reason for his humorless behavior in only one episode, so we do not know how the character woud have progressed. Okay, but I have to remind everyone that Kirk's debut situation surpassed that in terms of the pressure / grim tone, as he has to see his best friend as an enemy, eventually making the decision to kill him.
I would say the latter would sour a man more than being part of an alien zoo/breeding farm.
Even after that, he manages a light moment with Spock at the end of the episode. I think the long-standing claim that Shatner's Kirk went a long way toward selling TOS (along with the "two-fisted" action) is accurate, as the lead was magnetic, and would go a long way in appealing to as many viewers as possible.
I love Hunter's Pike, and the overall production of that pilot, but it is easy to see why on a creative note, a truly dynamic leading man was required.