We've been through this already earlier in the thread. The differences in the characters emerged in the actors' performances, and over time, the writers began writing Kirk to reflect Shatner's performance. But we're talking about how Kirk was written in the second pilot and early first season. The Kirk who in "The Corbomite Maneuver" was as uncomfortable with a female yeoman as Pike was. Who in "Mudd's Women" was so ultra-serious and driven that he was the only human male in the crew who wasn't affected by the titular ladies. Who in "The Naked Time" was yearning for a simpler life free from the burdens of command exactly as Pike was. Who in "Balance of Terror" needed a pep talk from his doctor exactly as Pike did. (And McCoy was exactly the same character as Boyce too -- let's not forget that Roddenberry wanted DeForest Kelley as the doctor from the beginning.)
Yours is a case of putting the cart before the horse: your refereces all followed
the humor and warmth deliberately written for Kirk in WHMHGB. There's no getting around that. His debut set the tone for the characterization, and explains why it was not simply the work of Shatner, as he could not know how Kirk would be handled as the script was in the development stage.
This strongly suggests TPB made a conscious decision for Kirk to be something different than the morose Pike--in other words not simply a name change once Hunter was no longer associated with the production.
The potential was there, but it was there in "The Cage" too. Imagine Shatner and Kelley having the exchange about doctors and bartenders.
No, its not there. In the cabin scene, Boyce is trying to pull Pike out of a funk, but the captain is only mildly amused, sticking to his depression. Even at the story's conclusion, his little jab at the doctor still comes off as a stern leader simply ending a line of conversation he found uncomfortable.
The script for WNMHGB featured an open, joking relationship out of the gates, to let everyone know this captain is tough, but approachable, even fun.
Wow, you're just incredibly off the mark there. The whole reason the producers replaced Frank was because the show had grown more sophisticated, the characters more nuanced, but Frank had become an irredeemable caricature of incompetence and just didn't fit the show anymore.
Incorrect: Larry Linville was offered a two year contract extension
at the end of his 5 years, but he declined; it had nothing to do with the producers taking the series in another direction would not suit the Burns character.
The producers would have been glad to keep the character in the same slot for as long as possible (and i've seen no indicators Burns was to "evolve" if Linville accepted the contract extension), as they needed a stuffy, uptight foil.
It is no coincidence that Linville's replacement (Winchester) had the same prime
character traits as Burns (noted above). Above all else, the antagonistic, stuffy man disrespecting the jocular habits of his fellow surgeons.