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

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Old August 22 2012, 05:12 PM   #76
Harvey
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Re: Why Did Gene drop Christopher Pike?

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^^^No, because Desilu wasn't part of Paramount, then.
Right, but Nimoy does say something about Hunter wanting movie deals. It is during one of the interviews from the box set that came out in 2003 or so; the Yellow, Blue, and Red plastic box sets.
I've read that Hunter didn't pursue the series because he wanted to act in movies, but that's not quite the same thing as him dropping the job because Desilu couldn't get him movie roles. Desilu didn't produce motion pictures; as far as I know, they were exclusively a television outfit.
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Old August 22 2012, 05:23 PM   #77
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Re: Why Did Gene drop Christopher Pike?

Hunter was more interested in forging his career on the big screen, rather than television. However, I've seen several sources say that his wife was the one who was the aggressive deal maker and essentially demanded too much for his return to do the 2nd pilot. Some speculate this was an intentional move, so that he wouldn't be locked into a TV series contract and instead have the freedom to do movies. Why not decline simply because you're not interested? You then have to deal with the bartering to try convincing the producers otherwise. By making an unreasonable financial demand, it short circuited the process <-- that's my speculation.
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Old August 22 2012, 05:30 PM   #78
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Re: Why Did Gene drop Christopher Pike?

I thought she just told Desilu that he wasn't interested returning; I don't recall her asking for too much money.
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Old August 22 2012, 05:41 PM   #79
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Re: Why Did Gene drop Christopher Pike?

Harvey wrote: View Post
Desilu didn't produce motion pictures; as far as I know, they were exclusively a television outfit.
Yes -- and they were barely that. As of 1964, the only TV series they still produced was The Lucy Show; otherwise they survived by renting out their studio facilities to other production companies. Star Trek was part of an ambitious plan by new Desilu VP Herb Solow to bring the studio back into more active TV production. Solow developed four series projects for Desilu: Star Trek, Mission: Impossible, The Long Hunt of April Savage, and Mannix. They all went to series except April Savage, which was picked up by ABC but then dropped after the pilot film when the creator pulled out due to a dispute with his agency.



Gary7 wrote: View Post
However, I've seen several sources say that his wife was the one who was the aggressive deal maker and essentially demanded too much for his return to do the 2nd pilot. Some speculate this was an intentional move, so that he wouldn't be locked into a TV series contract and instead have the freedom to do movies.
What Solow reported in Inside Star Trek is that Hunter's wife simply came to a screening of the pilot to which Hunter had been invited and informed the producers that he had no interest in doing a second pilot. No demand for more money, just a straight-up refusal. And it wasn't clear from Solow's description whether she was the decision-maker there or simply the messenger. What are your other sources, and do they say otherwise?
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Old August 23 2012, 11:23 PM   #80
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Re: Why Did Gene drop Christopher Pike?

Christopher wrote: View Post
What Solow reported in Inside Star Trek is that Hunter's wife simply came to a screening of the pilot to which Hunter had been invited and informed the producers that he had no interest in doing a second pilot. No demand for more money, just a straight-up refusal. And it wasn't clear from Solow's description whether she was the decision-maker there or simply the messenger. What are your other sources, and do they say otherwise?
I believe that these are the sources mentioned.

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

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 23 2012, 11:51 PM   #81
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Re: Why Did Gene drop Christopher Pike?

Shatner's making-of account is filled with inaccuracies; I wouldn't give it much credence if there's another source available. Since Nimoy wasn't in the meeting, either, I'd give the benefit of the doubt to Solow, who was.
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Old April 1 2013, 10:13 AM   #82
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Re: Why Did Gene drop Christopher Pike?

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Is it just me, or do the shots of Hunter (especially the one in the white shirt) make it look like Ben Browder could reprise the role of Pike, (albeit with a more somber tone than he usually hits)? Admittedly, Greenwood's Pike was one of the better parts of the JJ movie.

Hunter looked somewhat leaner and sterner than these shots in the pilot, but still. .

Continuing more or less on topic. .

1st season Kirk was indeed the same idea for the role, as Roddenberry wanted that conflicted captain, but such would not survive the Mighty Shatner for long!

To be honest, tho the Shatmeister is well deserving of his rep for always thinking from that most central position, of self, and of occasionally overstating our man Kirk's import, his positive spirit *was* (at least, imo) a primary component in Trek's success; a despondent man in the center seat would have defeated the very hope that the series represented.

Trek worked largely because of "can do" Kirk: his ever-ready conspiratorial grin, and the sense that he really *did* get exited about people overcoming baser instincts to create and maintain a more enlightened existence (especially if such an inspired society included enlightened (emphasis on lightened) clothing for their women, with *some* allowances for baser instincts following therefrom, weekly).

Additionally, I don't see Hunter convincingly pulling off a romantic scene using "one of those points of light in the sky" as a landing line.

EDIT: I also think Shatner's performance wasn't as OTT *for the time* as people claim. Early TV, an untested and largely unmapped medium, was full of too-expressive acting, of the sort which IS appropriate on the live stage, where nuances are lost in distance, and unenunciated voices oft go unheard. It was a while before the reality of TV was figured out: subtle worked better since the camera caught everything.
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Old April 1 2013, 10:28 AM   #83
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Re: Why Did Gene drop Christopher Pike?

Howdy, NoBloodyABCorD and welcome aboard. But be careful about posting to threads more than 6 months old, the staff here tend to frown on that. Best to start a new thread.
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Old April 1 2013, 02:00 PM   #84
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Re: Why Did Gene drop Christopher Pike?

Nerys Myk wrote: View Post
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.
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Old April 2 2013, 04:10 PM   #85
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Re: Why Did Gene drop Christopher Pike?

When Shatner does his "compassion" speech before the final showdown, I always think "damn, that's Shatner selling the series right there." He does incredible work here, really amazing stuff.
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Old April 2 2013, 05:33 PM   #86
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Re: Why Did Gene drop Christopher Pike?

I have to be honest. after reading this debate I'd really like to see more stories with Pike

The interesting thing to note is that the Cage took place very early in Spock's career as a star fleet officer if you go by the comments made in the Menagerie

Mendez: did you Ever Meet chris Pike?
Kirk: We Met when he was promoted to fleet Captain.....I took over the Enterprise from him. Spock served with him for several years.
Spock: Eleven years, four months, five days.

Later...
Spock: This is thirteen years ago. The Enterprise, and it's Commander, Captain Christopher Pike.

That's quite a lot of stories to fill in. Now D.C. Fontana gave us Spock's First mission on the Enterprise under Chris Pike in Vulcan's Glory (which i just re-read last night and highly recommend)

A thought did occur to me that if Hunter had not been so eager (or eagerly pushed by his girlfriend/wife) and had done Star Trek full-time he might have lived a lot longer (on the other hand a light could have fallen on the set and smashed his skull in anyway)
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Old April 2 2013, 08:36 PM   #87
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Re: Why Did Gene drop Christopher Pike?

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Although really, early first-season Kirk is the exact same character as Pike -- a serious, driven, brooding, lonely starship commander. He only evolved into a different character as Shatner's performance influenced the role and (probably) as the writers came under network pressure to make Kirk a more conventional '60s action hero.
I agree. Hunter and Shatner's relative performances boil down to different takes on the Horatio Hornblower inspired writing of the captain character. To fully appreciate it I would really recommend reading one of the Hornblower books (C.S. Forester author). I did because of Roddenberry's constant citing it as a source and boy, he wasn't kidding. The influence is palpable.

Also it was common practice for actors to shoot pilots for show's they felt wouldn't get picked up. It was easy money. And, at the time, Jeffrey Hunter was a "serious" film star where as science fiction (especially on TV) was kiddie fare and not highly regarded. That it is why Lloyd Bridges rejected the lead in Star Trek outright and why Jack Lord placed such a high-price (50% stake) on his services (knowing full well Desilu couldn't agree to his terms).
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Old April 2 2013, 08:52 PM   #88
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Re: Why Did Gene drop Christopher Pike?

An interesting thing to ponder is what would have been Star Trek's fortunes had Jeff Hunter had gone to series? Hunter passed away May of '69 (at age 42) due to complications from a fall and a stroke.

Would TOS had been as appealing with Captain Pike? Would there have been conventions or the novelty of mass adoration that marked the 70s? Would it have had the cinematic second-wind that TOS enjoyed without the original captain? Would there have been a TNG?
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Old April 2 2013, 08:58 PM   #89
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Re: Why Did Gene drop Christopher Pike?

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Was it ever explained in a comic or a book why Pike wanted to become a slave trader?
The very point of that illusion - made explicitly by Vina as she "introduces" it - was to encourage Pike to indulge in fantasies of a kind that he'd never act out in real life because of his internalized moral constraints. He never would choose to be a slave trader, but people fantasize all kinds of things - including, not infrequently, murder.

Leonard Nimoy once made the point that "The Cage" is actually about the Talosians trying to discover what will turn Pike on sexually so that he'll be driven to mate with Vina. When Pike notes that the Keeper can't use his mental powers to implant irresistable hunger, it's the writer's way of obliquely explaining that the Keeper can't just make Pike too horny to resist the blonde, either.

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An interesting thing to ponder is what would have been Star Trek's fortunes had Jeff Hunter had gone to series? Hunter passed away May of '69 (at age 42) due to complications from a fall and a stroke.
Keep up - this was discussed a couple of pages back. Hunter's problems were the result of an injury suffered during a film shoot that he likely wouldn't have been on if he'd been doing a TV series in California at that time.
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Old April 2 2013, 09:11 PM   #90
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Re: Why Did Gene drop Christopher Pike?

My Name Is Legion wrote: View Post
Keep up - this was discussed a couple of pages back.
Dang, friend, you don't have to be rude or bullying about it. Clearly, my retreading was unintentional. There were a lot of posts and I glossed over many. My error but hardly worth such an inconsiderate reply.
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