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

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Old March 22 2013, 12:04 PM   #16
The Mirrorball Man
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Re: So just how old WAS Pike?

Wingsley wrote: View Post
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.
We'll never know: Kirk is not a naval officer.
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Old March 22 2013, 12:14 PM   #17
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Re: So just how old WAS Pike?

The Mirrorball Man wrote: View Post
Kirk is not a naval officer
But he is a commissioned officer in an armed services organization with the exact same rank structure as the 1960's US Navy. Kirk is the equivalent of a O-6.

While the terminology might be different, Kirk is a "naval" officer.
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Old March 22 2013, 12:21 PM   #18
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Re: So just how old WAS Pike?

T'Girl wrote: View Post
But he is a commissioned officer in an armed services organization with the exact same rank structure as the 1960's US Navy. Kirk is the equivalent of a O-6.

While the terminology might be different, Kirk is a "naval" officer.
You got it the wrong way around: the terminology is the same, everything else is different. Starfleet is not the U.S. Navy. It has some similarities, but you can't infer anything about Starfleet by refering to the U.S. Navy: they don't have the same origin, they're not active in the same century, they don't have the same objective, they don't use the same kind of equipment.
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Old March 22 2013, 12:41 PM   #19
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Re: So just how old WAS Pike?

For all appearances, they do have the very same origin: the United States Navy, which for some reason becomes the United Earth Starfleet and then the UFP Starfleet, merely adding on various details along the centuries...

But there are known differences that are very relevant to the matter at hand. The length of academic studies required for attaining officer commission is flexible in Starfleet, including at least three-, four- and five-year study structures. The (human) entry age to the Academy varies as well, at least between fifteen for Wes Crusher and twenty-two for nuKirk, although there are also many gray-haired Ensigns in evidence, and some combination of the above two ambiguities allows nuChekov to have attained Ensign commission by the age of seventeen.

Whatever we don't know about Starfleet is secondary to these things. And especially to the explicit fact that Starfleet gives captaincies ("Conspiracy") and promotions to Captain rank (STXI) to 25-year-olds.

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Old March 22 2013, 04:24 PM   #20
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Re: So just how old WAS Pike?

T'Girl wrote: View Post
I see about your age as meaning Kirk in his mid thirties and Pike at around fifty are both middle aged.
Ok, so this brings up the question; just how old was Mendez? The Actor at the time was only 38 so if you are saying Pike was around fifty how old was Mendez suppose to be. It's kind of weird to say something like "About your age" when the guy he is talking about is as old or older than he is. Is Mendez suppose to be 55 or 60 years old? I just think it is a bad line of dialog personally. Logically Pike should be at least in his mid-40's by that time and I imagine that Mendez was around 50 years old.
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Old March 22 2013, 06:34 PM   #21
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Re: So just how old WAS Pike?

If the character were the same age as the actor, you might exspect "about our age."

However if Mendez were significantly older, let's say Mendez was in his mid-sixties, then referring to two younger men who were themselves 15 years apart as being about the same age might make more sense.


The Mirrorball Man wrote: View Post
You got it the wrong way around: the terminology is the same, everything else is different. Starfleet is not the U.S. Navy.
Both are the professional uniformed armed forces of their civilizations.

It has some similarities, but you can't infer anything about Starfleet by refering to the U.S. Navy
The Navy and Starfleet have many organizational similarities, and the rank structure for commissioned officers is the same.

they don't have the same objective
Defense first (break things and hurt people), everything else they're called on to do second.

they don't use the same kind of equipment.
15th century naval vessels and 21th century naval vessel had a few differences in equipment too.

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Old March 22 2013, 07:13 PM   #22
The Mirrorball Man
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Re: So just how old WAS Pike?

T'Girl wrote: View Post
Both are the professional uniformed armed forces of their civilizations.
You may as well compare Starfleet with the Ottoman Bashi-Bazouk if that's your criterion.

Defense first (break things and hurt people), everything else they're called on to do second.
No, Starfleet is quite explicitely an exploration/scientific fleet first, a defense force second.

15th century naval vessels and 21th century naval vessel had a few differences in equipment too.
Aha, yes, but they both used ships that sail on the sea. Starfleet doesn't.
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Old March 22 2013, 08:07 PM   #23
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Re: So just how old WAS Pike?

From TOS "Tomorrow is Yesterday"
KIRK: Bridge.
CHRISTOPHER: Must have taken quite a lot to build a ship like this.
KIRK: There are only twelve like it in the fleet.
CHRISTOPHER: I see. Did the Navy
KIRK: We're a combined service, Captain. Our authority is the United Earth Space Probe Agency.
CHRISTOPHER: United Earth?
KIRK: This is very difficult to explain. We're from your future. A time warp placed us here. It was an accident.
CHRISTOPHER: You seem to have a lot of them. However, I can't deny the fact that you're here. With this ship.
This implies to me that Starfleet grew out of the Navy (and other military branches).
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Old March 22 2013, 09:03 PM   #24
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Re: So just how old WAS Pike?

T'Girl wrote: View Post
The Navy and Starfleet have many organizational similarities, and the rank structure for commissioned officers is the same.
The rank titles are the same but that doesn't tell us anything about the timeline of a career in that service. The US Navy had the same rank structure in the 1880s as today, but back then it was normal for a lieutenant to have over 20 years of commissioned service.

Judging by Kirk's academy classmates in "Court Martial," who are lieutenants, it does seem that Kirk is well ahead of the curve for making rank.

In TNG "Datalore," Data implies it normally takes 12-15 years after the Academy to make lieutenant commander.

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Old March 22 2013, 10:25 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 José 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 (neé 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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Old March 23 2013, 03:29 AM   #26
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Re: So just how old WAS Pike?

The Final Draft script for "The Menagerie" (October 7, 1966) has a couple of small comments that might be worth sharing:

1. The Cast List at the front of the script says that one of the charcters is "CAPTAIN CHRISTOPHER PIKE (aged)." It's interesting that he's described as "aged," and not "disfigured" or "crippled" or something similar. He cetainly is all those things, but it's interesting that Roddenberry made it a point of calling the character "aged." It seems making him look older than he looked before (presumably thirteen years before) was an important (and, well, obvious) point Roddenberry wanted to make.

2. Commodore Jose Mendez is described as: "Starbase Commodore JOSE MENDEZ, a few years older than KIRK, but still a virile, active man." (Of course, "a few" isn't more specifically quantified.)

3. The Closed Captioning for Mendez' line (as is also reproduced on a few "episode transcript" web sites) is:

"About your age. Big, handsome man, vital, active."

But the actual line from the script, differing only, and subtly, by its punctuation (and by the word "a") is:

"About your age, a big, handsome man, vital, active..."

I didn't really notice it until I read the line instead of hearing it delivered, but I speculate that what might have been intended was simply this interpretation:

"[When] about your age, [he was] a big handsome man--vital, and active."

Since it's punctuated with a comma after "about your age" instead of the hard-stop of a period, I think it was intended to mean "When about your age,..." not "He is about your age."
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Old March 23 2013, 04:18 AM   #27
Gojira
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Re: So just how old WAS Pike?

scotpens wrote: View Post
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.
That is the way I always took that line too. It makes sense because of what happens in the episode and can see Pike was in his 30s 11 years ago.
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Old March 24 2013, 12:57 PM   #28
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Re: So just how old WAS Pike?

GSchnitzer wrote: View Post
The Final Draft script for "The Menagerie" (October 7, 1966) has a couple of small comments that might be worth sharing:

1. The Cast List at the front of the script says that one of the charcters is "CAPTAIN CHRISTOPHER PIKE (aged)." It's interesting that he's described as "aged," and not "disfigured" or "crippled" or something similar. He cetainly is all those things, but it's interesting that Roddenberry made it a point of calling the character "aged." It seems making him look older than he looked before (presumably thirteen years before) was an important (and, well, obvious) point Roddenberry wanted to make.

2. Commodore Jose Mendez is described as: "Starbase Commodore JOSE MENDEZ, a few years older than KIRK, but still a virile, active man." (Of course, "a few" isn't more specifically quantified.)

3. The Closed Captioning for Mendez' line (as is also reproduced on a few "episode transcript" web sites) is:

"About your age. Big, handsome man, vital, active."

But the actual line from the script, differing only, and subtly, by its punctuation (and by the word "a") is:

"About your age, a big, handsome man, vital, active..."

I didn't really notice it until I read the line instead of hearing it delivered, but I speculate that what might have been intended was simply this interpretation:

"[When] about your age, [he was] a big handsome man--vital, and active."

Since it's punctuated with a comma after "about your age" instead of the hard-stop of a period, I think it was intended to mean "When about your age,..." not "He is about your age."
Now that makes a lot of sense!
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