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

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Old March 21 2013, 09:57 PM   #1
feek61
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So just how old WAS Pike?

Something about "The Menagerie" has always bothered me; and it is a line that Mendez say to Kirk as they are going to see Pike for the first time. The line after Kirk says he met Pike once; Mendez says "About your age, big, handsome man; vital, active". Then Spock says that he served with him for "11 years, 4 months, 5 days." Later on when we start seeing the images from Talos 4 Spock says that "this is 13 years ago."

Ok, we know that Kirk is around 35 years old so if Pike was about the same age as Kirk then during the time of "The Cage" Pike was only about 22 years old? I think someone goofed unless of course I am missing something.
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Old March 21 2013, 10:21 PM   #2
C.E. Evans
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Re: So just how old WAS Pike?

I think Pike was about ten years older than Kirk. "About your age," was a very figurative remark by Mendez and not to be taken as literal.
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Old March 21 2013, 10:28 PM   #3
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Re: So just how old WAS Pike?

Considering that Mendez speaks in clipped sentences, it seems likeliest that he meant Pike at timepoint X was the age Kirk is now. Remember how the exchange goes? Mendez asks if the two have met; Kirk says they met at Pike's promotion; and then Mendez launches into this line where he describes the man Pike was.

It would make sense for Mendez to emphasize how alike Pike and Kirk are, despite their considerable age gap - both in terms of the plot of the episode (Mendez wants to tell Kirk what a loss Pike's injury is to him and Starfleet) and of the drama (the audience draws the obvious connection between the two skipper characters, separated by decades but subject to similar whims of fortune - they already care for Kirk, but now they have to start caring for Pike, too, and that's easy because Pike is Kirk).

I can't for a moment think that the writer would literally have meant to say that Pike is the same age as Kirk. He was the same age once, though, and what we hear is a valid expression of that.

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Old March 21 2013, 10:42 PM   #4
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Re: So just how old WAS Pike?

"The Talosian flashbacks we are going to be seeing of him later in this episode took place back when he was 'about your age'."

That's what Mendez was trying to say. Of course, Kirk, having met Pike, knows exacly how old Pike is. The line was meant for us, not for Kirk.
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Old March 22 2013, 12:04 AM   #5
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Re: So just how old WAS Pike?

GSchnitzer wrote: View Post
"The Talosian flashbacks we are going to be seeing of him later in this episode took place back when he was 'about your age'."

That's what Mendez was trying to say. Of course, Kirk, having met Pike, knows exacly how old Pike is. The line was meant for us, not for Kirk.
No, I get that. I have always considered Pike during "The Cage" to be about Kirk's age. It was just a confusing way to introduce Pikes age IMO.
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Old March 22 2013, 02:30 AM   #6
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Re: So just how old WAS Pike?

Timo wrote: View Post
Considering that Mendez speaks in clipped sentences, it seems likeliest that he meant Pike at timepoint X was the age Kirk is now.
That's how I always figured it, but it was a careless bit of writing that could have been clarified with a few more words. If Mendez had described Pike as "about your age when he took command of the Enterprise," we wouldn't be having this discussion.
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Old March 22 2013, 03:32 AM   #7
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Re: So just how old WAS Pike?

Yes, so he's about 45 in "Menagerie" if he was Kirks age when the events at Talos IV took place. FWIW, Jeffrey Hunter was about 38 when "The Cage" was shot.
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Old March 22 2013, 04:50 AM   #8
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Re: So just how old WAS Pike?

I never accepted that James T. Kirk was in his early 30s at the beginning of TOS. I know there was that line in "The Deadly Years" when he insisted he was 34, but that seemed ridiculous to me. While I suppose it is not impossible for a naval officer to rise to the rank of Captain (equivalent of an army colonel) that fast, it still seemed a bit of a stretch, even for an over-achiever like Kirk.

I always assumed Kirk to be in his 40s.

This would suggest Pike to be in his 50s.
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Old March 22 2013, 04:53 AM   #9
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Re: So just how old WAS Pike?

I'll stick to what the show says.
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Old March 22 2013, 05:37 AM   #10
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Re: So just how old WAS Pike?

Kirk has been recognized by many sources as the Youngest Captain in Starfleet and the apparent ages of the other captains we meet seems to bear this out. Decker, Tracey, Merrick, etc... are all in their mid 40's-Early 50's. Kirk seems to be the only Constitution Class Starship Captain to be lacking any grey in his hair
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Old March 22 2013, 10:10 AM   #11
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Re: So just how old WAS Pike?

golddragon71 wrote: View Post
Kirk seems to be the only Constitution Class Starship Captain to be lacking any grey in his hair
"Must...restrain...self! Making hair-related joke would be too easy! Like...shooting...fish...in...barrel! Must...hold...back!"
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Old March 22 2013, 10:32 AM   #12
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Re: So just how old WAS Pike?

I saw TOS Kirk as about 30, Pike around 38/42.
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Old March 22 2013, 11:35 AM   #13
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Re: So just how old WAS Pike?

Maybe Mendez meant that Pike was about Kirk's age—mentally. Both in their teens. They both like to rassle with green women, female crew members...

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Old March 22 2013, 11:47 AM   #14
Timo
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Re: So just how old WAS Pike?

Kirk has been recognized by many sources as the Youngest Captain in Starfleet
...Although surprisingly, these sources do not include onscreen Star Trek itself. The only reference to a "youngest Captain" or perhaps "youngest captain" establishes that by 2364, the record is set at 25 years. Plenty of margin for somebody from the 22nd or early 23rd century to have outdone Jim Kirk.

Since Pike wore less glitter on his sleeves than Kirk did during the respective early adventures of the characters, we might argue he was a bit younger in "The Cage" than Kirk was in "Where No Man".

Or then simply less driven or otherwise slower to climb the rank ladder. We have no real idea when Pike made Captain, and whether he already held that rank in "The Cage" or merely served in the position of captain.

Basically, Pike is a blank slate, and every theory about him can be assumed to be more or less correct. Even Greenwood's take on the character offers virtually nothing new, except perhaps slightly more grey to favor the upper end of age estimates.

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Old March 22 2013, 11:52 AM   #15
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Re: So just how old WAS Pike?

I see about your age as meaning Kirk in his mid thirties and Pike at around fifty are both middle aged.
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