Why Did Gene drop Christopher Pike?

Discussion in 'Star Trek - Original Series' started by Captain Shatner, Aug 7, 2012.

  1. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Well, I've said before that the two versions of Cochrane don't screw up anything; after all, his two appearances were 205 years apart. I'm not the same person now that I was 20 years ago; just imagine how unrecognizable a man's personality could be after more than 200 years. The only problem I have with First Contact is that James Cromwell was way too old for the role, given the chronology "Metamorphosis" established.

    And I don't think your assessment of Pike makes any sense at all. Remember, the Pike in "The Cage" wasn't just "upset" or "brooding" -- he was grieving after the death of several of his crew. Combine that with the fatigue the entire crew was showing at the start of "The Cage," and it's understandable that Pike could've been suffering from an uncharacteristic state of depression.

    So prior to 2009, we never actually saw what Christopher Pike's normal personality was like, except maybe for that last minute or two of "The Cage" after he beamed back up from Talos IV and seemed a lot more cheerful. So there's no reason at all why Greenwood's Pike couldn't be representative of what the man was normally like when he wasn't depressed and in mourning. We simply don't know enough about Pike's normal personality to rule that out. And since it's the only other canonical example of the character that we have, there's no valid reason not to accept it.
     
  2. CoveTom

    CoveTom Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    No, that was the story Gene Roddenberry made up to make himself look better. In fact, NBC had no problem what-so-ever with the character of Number One. What they wanted was for Roddenberry to recast the role. They didn't think Majel Barrett was a very good actress and, more importantly, they didn't want the producer's mistress in a starring role. Roddenberry wasn't willing to recast the role and so he turned it into "NBC hates women!" story to make himself look better.
     
  3. FormerLurker

    FormerLurker Commodore Commodore

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    These smiling pics of Jeffrey Hunter are the reason that, far more than original model Fred MacMurray, I see Hunter as a live action Captain Marvel. If only, in another world...
     
  4. Ian Keldon

    Ian Keldon Fleet Captain

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    Out of curiosity, have you got a source for that?
     
  5. CoveTom

    CoveTom Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    ^ You can search existing threads here to find this discussed numerous times. There are a variety of sources out there that confirm it. Probably the best known is the book Inside Star Trek: The Real Story by Herbert Solow and Robert Justman.
     
  6. Therin of Andor

    Therin of Andor Admiral Admiral

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    Complicating all those incidents, IIRC: supposedly Hunter was very reliant on alcohol to get through a typical day, and some of those incidents might not have happened if he'd been sober more often. (Also from Inside Star Trek: The Real Story by Herbert Solow and Robert Justman, IIRC.)
     
  7. Harvey

    Harvey Admiral Admiral

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    The story is told in both Inside Star Trek: The Real Story and Gene Roddenberry: The Myth and the Man Behind Star Trek. Roddenberry frequently exaggerated and lied to make himself look better in the public eye. Combined with other factors, this leads me to suspect this version is closer to the truth.
     
  8. Captaindemotion

    Captaindemotion Vice Admiral Admiral

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    And while not as grim or morose as either Pike in The Cage or Sisko in Emissary, I think the Picard of Encounter at Farpoint came across as a slightly nervier, altogether less confident man than the one we came to know and love.

    I think Pike as played by Hunter came across as a more restrained and introspective character than Shatner's Kirk. However, I do think that this had as much to do with the style of acting as the writing. I don't really think the characters were written massively differently, at least, S1 Kirk wasn't.

    I've read on occasion that NBC wanted a more action-based and less cerebral show than was presented in The Cage. If this is true, I reckon that Shatner was definitely more the leading man for them than Hunter was.
     
  9. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    The way Kirk was written definitely changed over time, and in his first several episodes, he was very much like Pike. In "The Corbomite Maneuver," he had the same discomfort toward having a female yeoman that Pike had. And in "Mudd's Women," Kirk was the only human male crewmember who wasn't gaga over the women, because he was just so darn serious and driven and committed to his duties. That's hard to reconcile with our eventual image of Kirk the womanizer, but it's something that would've felt perfectly natural for Pike if Hunter had remained the series lead.
     
  10. Gary7

    Gary7 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Captaindemotion makes an excellent point. Looking at Picard in the 1st and 2nd season, he's a bit stiff at times, unsure of himself... even a bit petty. This is in stark contrast to the Picard we see come back from Borg assimilation. By the same regard, it really is unfair to judge Hunter too harshly. That's why my only real comment was about his facial impression coupled with his general personality. I still feel he would have been a little "harder" and less likable than Shatner. But who knows... his evolution with the character may have eclipsed that. It's just a shame we'll never know, unless we find a way to tap into a universe where Hunter continued as Pike for TOS S1-S3! ;)
     
  11. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

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    Just watched "Balance of Terror" again. And, yeah, I could definitely see that ep working with Pike instead.

    Indeed, the scene where Kirk, overwhelmed by the responsibilities of command, has a heart-to-heart with McCoy is very reminiscent of a similiar scene in "The Cage."
     
  12. Bubbles McGee

    Bubbles McGee Lieutenant Commander

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    I agree! Hunter was far less dynamic as the ship's captain than Shatner.
     
  13. Gary7

    Gary7 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    "didn't change his facial expression the entire episode", "far less dynamic"... How long ago did you guys watch the episode? Maybe you're basing it on the snippets of Cage scenes in the Menagerie. You've got to watch the whole Cage episode in its entirety. Yes, Pike is portrayed as a very serious captain who rarely smiles. But he does show a range of emotion. And... just look at Kirk in early S1 episodes compared to later on. Huge difference. Hunter didn't have a chance to develop his role.
     
  14. indranee

    indranee Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Interesting! Do you by any chance know where I can find a similar timeline (like this with the dates attached) for the events leading up to the conception/writing/filming of the Pilot?
     
  15. Captain Shatner

    Captain Shatner Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    Before you accuse me of Shatner-hating, let me refer you to my username to prove my admiration for him. That being said...I couldn't see Pike overacting the way Kirk did. Imagine him in this sequence. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RAvRBDQqSmY
    Admittedly, the poor writing of And the Children Shall Lead didn't help, but even so...
     
  16. Therin of Andor

    Therin of Andor Admiral Admiral

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    A timeline might be a speedy way to put everything in order, but why not chase up "The Making of Star Trek" by Whitfield (with Roddenberry), "World of Star Trek" by Gerrold and the relatively more recent "Inside Star Trek: The Real Story" by Solow & Justman - and let the various perspectives meld together?
     
  17. indranee

    indranee Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I haven't read the third one... will check it out, thanks.
     
  18. Bubbles McGee

    Bubbles McGee Lieutenant Commander

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    Granted that one episode is not sufficient for an actor to "develop his role." But if you compare the two pilots you'll see that Kirk runs a whole range of emotions in WNMHGB whereas Hunter generally looks constipated throughout the Cage. His facial expressions change very little between the heart to heart with the doctor, discovering that he is in a cage, getting turned on by Vina, etc.... In short, Hunter doesn't really look like he wants to be there. Does anyone know if he thought the show he was a part of at that time was weird? I heard a Nimoy interview in which he said that one of the reasons why Hunter didn't stay on was because Paramount could not get him the movie deals he wanted.
     
  19. Maurice

    Maurice Vice Admiral Admiral

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    ^^^No, because Desilu wasn't part of Paramount, then.
     
  20. Drago-Kazov

    Drago-Kazov Fleet Captain

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    Was it ever explained in a comic or a book why Pike wanted to become a slave trader?

    Normal alternatives would had been smuggler, starting his own business or something like that.
     

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