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Star Trek - Original Series The one that started it all...

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Old August 8 2012, 08:35 AM   #16
Harvey
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Re: Why Did Gene drop Christopher Pike?

Timewalker wrote: View Post
The only non-Trek role I've ever seen Jeffrey Hunter play is Jesus. I've seen numerous movie portrayals of Jesus, and Hunter is the best that I've seen. I loved the whole part of the Sermon on the Mount, and I'm atheist!
He's perfectly adequate in The Searchers and The Longest Day, if you're interested in seeing more of him.
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Old August 8 2012, 09:11 AM   #17
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Re: Why Did Gene drop Christopher Pike?

Thanks, I'll keep an eye out for those to come on TV. We've got a couple of classic movie channels, and I've been able to see some great older movies there. I don't have Netflix or any other online services, and I don't do video stores anymore.

Something about those incredibly gorgeous eyes that just mesmerize me...
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Old August 8 2012, 02:59 PM   #18
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Re: Why Did Gene drop Christopher Pike?

T'Girl wrote: View Post
My understanding is that Hunter's decision came from career advise he received from his wife, she wanted her husband to push for movies roles, and she didn't take seriously this little science fiction series out of a declining studio.
Well, we don't know that for sure. All we know is that his wife is the one who came to see the screening of "The Cage" and told Roddenberry that her husband wasn't interested in returning for a second pilot. We don't know whether she was the instigator or just the messenger.
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Old August 8 2012, 03:32 PM   #19
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Re: Why Did Gene drop Christopher Pike?

Harvey wrote: View Post
Timewalker wrote: View Post
The only non-Trek role I've ever seen Jeffrey Hunter play is Jesus. I've seen numerous movie portrayals of Jesus, and Hunter is the best that I've seen. I loved the whole part of the Sermon on the Mount, and I'm atheist!
He's perfectly adequate in The Searchers and The Longest Day, if you're interested in seeing more of him.
I also enjoyed him in Sergeant Rutledge. It's worth a look.

Also, I realize this is off point, but looking back: Jeffrey Hunter had a stroke and died in 1969 at the age of 42. In retrospect it was probably a good thing that we got Captain Kirk instead of Captain Pike in long run.

What would the Star Trek movies have been like if the actor who played the captain of the Enterprise had died between the series and the movies?
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Old August 8 2012, 03:52 PM   #20
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Re: Why Did Gene drop Christopher Pike?

From: http://www.williamshatner.com/PNphpB...-start-0.phtml

So why was Hunter replaced by William Shatner as Enterprise captain after the first pilot? The official reason given at the time is that Hunter decided not to do the series, but wished to work on feature films rather than TV, as he had done most of his career. This version is still supported by some, including Bob Justman and Herb Solow in their Inside Star Trek (1996). They state that his wife Dusty Bartlett gave them the verdict: "This is not the kind of show Jeff wants to do, and besides, it wouldn't be good for his career. Jeff Hunter is a movie star." (page 63) At the time, Justman was First Assistant Director of the show (later co-producer), and Solow was Executive in Charge of Production for Desilu, where Trek was being made. This version is also supported in the book Star Trek Creator: The Authorized Biography of Gene Roddenberry (1994) by David Alexander, which includes the letter Roddenberry wrote to Hunter in which he states "I am told you have decided not to go ahead with Star Trek. This has to be your own decision, of course, and I must respect it." Roddenberry then asks Hunter if he would come back for "one day or two of shooting an additional action opening which can result in a fast, tightly cut, exciting film release." (page 225) Inside Star Trek states that Hunter refused to do this. (page 251) In Films and Filming magazine of April 1962, Hunter stated his attitude toward working in TV when he said, "I haven't done too much TV, for two reasons. First, the nine years I was under contract my availability to television was controlled by the studio. Secondly, there is not much superior material to be found on TV. The man hours and the talent needed to turn this material out is far exceeded by the total number of hours that must be programmed to fill time." So he was probably ambivalent about working on Trek in the first place.

Yet strangely, other "insiders" insist that Hunter did not return for another reason. Leonard Nimoy says in his I Am Spock (1995): "Jeff Hunter was let go when his wife began to represent him and made what Gene (Roddenberry) considered excessive demands." (page 32) William Shatner amplifies this in his Star Trek Memories (1993) by saying that Hunter's wife "began to frequently storm into Gene's office, loudly making demands" about how Jeff was to be treated. Shatner continues, "Gene later told me that he'd much rather be dealing with Jeff and his agent, or even Jeff and a gorilla, than Jeff and his wife. He continued that there were so many tantrums, restrictions, and ultimatums being laid out on the table that he finally thought, 'Well, I can't possibly do an entire series like this. They'll drive me nuts.'" (page 70)
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Old August 8 2012, 04:25 PM   #21
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Re: Why Did Gene drop Christopher Pike?

Satyrquaze wrote: View Post
What would the Star Trek movies have been like if the actor who played the captain of the Enterprise had died between the series and the movies?
I think there was some consideration given early in the process to recasting the characters with major actors, like maybe Robert Redford as Kirk. So maybe that's what would've happened, at least for the lead. Then again, with Hunter in the lead, given his lack of enthusiasm about television, the show probably wouldn't have been as popular and there might not have been any movies.

Then again... Spock was the runaway star all along, and Shatner was fighting to stay central, with Roddenberry struggling to find a way to balance them. Hunter in the same context might've been more willing to let Nimoy take the lead, and we might've ended up with Spock becoming captain in the second season (and since this was '60s TV, there probably wouldn't have been more than a line or two of dialogue saying that Pike had been promoted or transferred or something).
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Old August 8 2012, 07:01 PM   #22
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Re: Why Did Gene drop Christopher Pike?

T'Girl wrote: View Post
My understanding is that Hunter's decision came from career advise he received from his wife, she wanted her husband to push for movies roles, and she didn't take seriously this little science fiction series out of a declining studio.


I heard a different but related rumor: Hunter's wife (or girlfriend, is what I heard) came into the studio behind Hunter's back and started making contract demands on his behalf. Some of those demands verged on the unreasonable; Hunter was dropped because the girlfriend would have made him unmanageable.
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Old August 8 2012, 07:13 PM   #23
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Re: Why Did Gene drop Christopher Pike?

There are a number of major influences on how a person is perceived. Two significant ones are the face at rest and the speaking voice. Jeffrey Hunter has a naturally serious voice, at a deeper timber than Shatner. Also, his face tends to have a more stern look about it, mostly due to his eyebrows and deeper set eyes, whereas Shatner's face has a more rounded and softer appearance. By this alone, it automatically casts a different feel about the two actors.

Christopher is right, that we do have the unfortunate handicap of only one Star Trek episode with which to assess Hunter.

Here's a photo montage I whipped up in black & white, showing Hunter and Shatner. Now, believe it or not, it's hard to find photos of Shatner smiling in black & white, but very easy to do so with Hunter! This works against the point I was trying to make. But even here, you can see how Shatner's face is softer compared to Hunter, even without smiling much.

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Old August 8 2012, 07:51 PM   #24
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Re: Why Did Gene drop Christopher Pike?

Zaku wrote: View Post
From: http://www.williamshatner.com/PNphpB...-start-0.phtml

So why was Hunter replaced by William Shatner as Enterprise captain after the first pilot? The official reason given at the time is that Hunter decided not to do the series, but wished to work on feature films rather than TV, as he had done most of his career. This version is still supported by some, including Bob Justman and Herb Solow in their Inside Star Trek (1996). They state that his wife Dusty Bartlett gave them the verdict: "This is not the kind of show Jeff wants to do, and besides, it wouldn't be good for his career. Jeff Hunter is a movie star." (page 63) At the time, Justman was First Assistant Director of the show (later co-producer), and Solow was Executive in Charge of Production for Desilu, where Trek was being made. This version is also supported in the book Star Trek Creator: The Authorized Biography of Gene Roddenberry (1994) by David Alexander, which includes the letter Roddenberry wrote to Hunter in which he states "I am told you have decided not to go ahead with Star Trek. This has to be your own decision, of course, and I must respect it." Roddenberry then asks Hunter if he would come back for "one day or two of shooting an additional action opening which can result in a fast, tightly cut, exciting film release." (page 225) Inside Star Trek states that Hunter refused to do this. (page 251) In Films and Filming magazine of April 1962, Hunter stated his attitude toward working in TV when he said, "I haven't done too much TV, for two reasons. First, the nine years I was under contract my availability to television was controlled by the studio. Secondly, there is not much superior material to be found on TV. The man hours and the talent needed to turn this material out is far exceeded by the total number of hours that must be programmed to fill time." So he was probably ambivalent about working on Trek in the first place.

Yet strangely, other "insiders" insist that Hunter did not return for another reason. Leonard Nimoy says in his I Am Spock (1995): "Jeff Hunter was let go when his wife began to represent him and made what Gene (Roddenberry) considered excessive demands." (page 32) William Shatner amplifies this in his Star Trek Memories (1993) by saying that Hunter's wife "began to frequently storm into Gene's office, loudly making demands" about how Jeff was to be treated. Shatner continues, "Gene later told me that he'd much rather be dealing with Jeff and his agent, or even Jeff and a gorilla, than Jeff and his wife. He continued that there were so many tantrums, restrictions, and ultimatums being laid out on the table that he finally thought, 'Well, I can't possibly do an entire series like this. They'll drive me nuts.'" (page 70)
I'm not sure if the anti-TV reason is all that true, as Hunter guest-starred on TV years after Trek (ex. "Freeway to Death," a 1967 episode of The Green Hornet--ironically, another fantasy series)
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Old August 8 2012, 08:11 PM   #25
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Re: Why Did Gene drop Christopher Pike?

Well, The Green Hornet was borderline SF in that the Hornet used high-tech gadgetry ahead of its time like a superfast car with a muted engine, a gas gun, a "sting" weapon like a miniature cattle prod, and a remote-piloted camera drone; but otherwise it was a pretty straight crime drama/adventure show, like the radio series and movie serials it was based on.
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Old August 8 2012, 08:24 PM   #26
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Re: Why Did Gene drop Christopher Pike?

I think it's difficult to judge from "The Cage" alone how Pike would have worked as a character in contrast to Kirk. Remember, at the beginning of "The Cage," Pike is coming off a major event in which several of his crewmembers were killed. He's naturally upset, and he's doubting his own ability to make good decisions. But that's not an indication that Pike is always a gloomy, brooding character. It is a reaction to a specific incident, which is what Boyce tries to make him see.

Then, for most of the rest of the episode, Pike is dealing with an extremely serious situation in which he is a prisoner and having his mind manipulated. Naturally, he's going to be rather serious during this situation.

But by the end of the episode, Pike's attitude has changed. When he banters with Boyce on the bridge at the end, he's rejuvenated and recharged and ready to move on to the next mission. Had we seen the character again, he might have been far more upbeat and outgoing than what we saw in "The Cage". One episode is simply not enough to judge by.
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Old August 8 2012, 08:27 PM   #27
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Re: Why Did Gene drop Christopher Pike?

^Of course, we have seen the character again, three years ago, played by Bruce Greenwood. And he definitely wasn't the same morose, brooding guy he was in "The Cage," which fits pretty well with what you and I have both said.
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Old August 8 2012, 08:33 PM   #28
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Re: Why Did Gene drop Christopher Pike?

TREK_GOD_1 wrote: View Post
I'm not sure if the anti-TV reason is all that true, as Hunter guest-starred on TV years after Trek (ex. "Freeway to Death," a 1967 episode of The Green Hornet--ironically, another fantasy series)
Although he appeared in several television series after starring in "The Cage," as far as I can tell they were only guest starring roles. This meant Hunter would have to make far less of a time commitment (freeing him up for feature film roles). It also meant he could pick and choose his material (according to the description, he was dissatisfied with much of television because the need to constantly churn out material resulted in plenty of crap; a series regular would be forced to perform this crap, but a guest star would not).

Follow-up: Something I should know, but cannot remember at present -- were scripts for the second pilot ["The Omega Glory," "Mudd's Women," and "Where No Man Has Gone Before" were commissioned before the latter was chosen] initially written with Pike instead of Kirk, or was the character recast before the episodes went to teleplay?
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Old August 8 2012, 08:36 PM   #29
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Re: Why Did Gene drop Christopher Pike?

An interesting interview (from http://www.jeffreyhuntermovies.com/N...ew013065.pdf):

Jeffs big enthusiasm at the moment is a pilot he's just finished for a
new Desilu television series that will hopefully be on the air in the
fall. It's a science fiction show -- year 2000, with Jeff playing an
American cosmonaut who patrols the galaxy in a 190,000-ton space
city. The 'ship' carries a crew of 203 people, who visit American
colonies in space as well as unexplored planets.
"We run into pre-historic worlds, contemporary societies and
civilizations far more developed than our own," he said. It's a great
format because writers have a free hand — they can have us land on a
monster-infested planet, or deal in human relations involving the largenumber of people who live together on this gigantic ship.
"We should know within several weeks whether the show's been sold.
It will be an hour long, in color with a regular cast of a half-dozen or
so, and an important guest star part each week. They're calling it 'Star
Trek.' The thing that intrigues me most about the show is that it is
actually based on the Rand Corp.'s projection of things to come.
Except for the fictional characters, it will almost be like getting a look
into the future and some of the predictions will surely come true in our
life-time.
"With all the weird surroundings of outer space the basic underlying
theme of the show is a philosophical approach to man's relationship to
woman. There are both sexes in the crew, in fact, the first officer is a
woman."
Sex in orbit? How intriguing. It's comforting to know there are some
things that just won't ever change!
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Old August 8 2012, 09:10 PM   #30
Christopher
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Re: Why Did Gene drop Christopher Pike?

Harvey wrote: View Post
Follow-up: Something I should know, but cannot remember at present -- were scripts for the second pilot ["The Omega Glory," "Mudd's Women," and "Where No Man Has Gone Before" were commissioned before the latter was chosen] initially written with Pike instead of Kirk, or was the character recast before the episodes went to teleplay?
According to Inside Star Trek, Hunter dropped out before those three scripts were written. Between that, The Making of ST, and the Unseen Elements of the Original Series Episodes site, I can offer the following rough chronology:

May 18, 1965: Roddenberry issues a memo listing many possible character names for the new captain, with "Kirk" at the bottom (though with "North" penciled in after it).

May 27: First draft script of "Where No Man..." refers to captain as Kirk.

First week in June: The three scripts are submitted to NBC.

June 10: Herb Solow orders "Where No Man..." put into production.

June 18: Roddenberry refers to "Kirk" in memos.

Sometime in June: William Shatner cast.
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