Why Did Gene drop Christopher Pike?

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

  1. Danger Ace

    Danger Ace Commander Red Shirt

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    True. Linville and Stevenson left to take roles in their own shows. Wayne Rogers left over money and the shift from co-star to second-banana. Burghoff just wanted to move-on. In all instances the producers took the departures as opportunities to shake-up the dynamics.

    With respect to Maverick, the initial reason for bringing in Bart Maverick was as a hedge on the rising animosity between James Garner (Bret Maverick) and Warner Bros.Television as William T. Orr, executive-producer, was especially known for signing actors to onerous, one-sided contracts that led to many rebellions.
     
  2. yenny

    yenny Captain Captain

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    Roddenberry wanted Hunter back. But he couldn't get him, cause he became a major movie star when PT.109 came a major hit movie.
     
  3. Danger Ace

    Danger Ace Commander Red Shirt

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    I do not believe that to be true. Hunter's career was actually on a downward slide having lost much of its luster from his heyday of "The Searchers" and "King of Kings." Though he took to television for the money he always felt himself above the medium - he was a "movie star." Also, wasn't he in Spain working on low-budget spaghetti westerns at the time of his demise?
     
  4. Admiral Buzzkill

    Admiral Buzzkill Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    No.

    The producers of M*A*S*H had a tendency to replace characters, when necessary, with new characters that would occupy the same function but in many cases were opposites in personality to the character being replaced. Making a vague generalization like "stuffy" about Burns and Winchester just papers over their extreme differences.

    The function both served was as an antagonist and foil for Hawkeye and B.J.

    Frank Burns was reflexively conservative and insecure, a mid-westerner who sought after professional and military status but was regarded as a mediocre surgeon at best. He was a whiner. He invariably came out on the short end of jokes.

    Winchester, OTOH, was a Bostonian, born to status and wealth, very well educated and anything but insecure - he knew exactly how good he was and was aware of the virtues as well as the limitations of the other characters. He was a highly skilled, expert heart surgeon who could instruct doctors in the unit, and finally he not infrequently turned the tables on his tent mates' attempted practical jokes.

    Burns was always a step behind the others, Winchester often a half-step ahead.

    There are similar sharp contrasts between Blake and Potter, and Trapper and B.J., and all were by design.

    OTOH, there's nothing that Kirk says or does in WNMHGB that would have been "out of character" for Pike because so little character was established for either of them at that point. Roddenberry simply replaced one handsome leading man of a certain apparent age with another.
     
  5. Danger Ace

    Danger Ace Commander Red Shirt

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    It reads to me that you are off-point. The fact there were differences in characters doesn't seem to be the point but rather what motivated those changes.

    On this I agree. Again, the Horatio Hornblower influence was the dramatic line in the writting of the captain character - whether it be Kirk or Pike - coupled with different style of the particular actor (Shatner or Hunter).
     
  6. J.T.B.

    J.T.B. Rear Admiral Premium Member

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    Really? What I always heard was that Maverick's production schedule wasn't up to the demands of being the first weekly full-hour "adult" Western (Cheyenne was the first hour-long, but was only bi-weekly), and when they realized they wouldn't be able to deliver all the episodes in time they came up with the solution of brother Bart and shooting his episodes with a separate crew. Roy Huggins said that the characters were supposed to be interchangeable, since they didn't know in advance which actor would be working on which script. The only times writers were supposed to write Bret or Bart specifically were episodes in which both appeared.

    Hunter? He wasn't in PT-109.
     
  7. Danger Ace

    Danger Ace Commander Red Shirt

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    None of what you say is incompatible with what I've said. Garner was the sole star of Maverick for the first half-dozen episodes or so. The strain of which caused Garner to rethink his position and make his frustrations regarding work and reward known. Kelly's addition was inspired for those reasons and their ramifications. Both Huggins and Garner left the series around the third series. They would later work together on the Rockford Files.
     
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2013
  8. Melakon

    Melakon Admiral Admiral

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    Hunter became a star after working with John Wayne in The Searchers in 1956. He'd later had his own tv show (Temple Houston) which I remember watching before Star Trek appeared. Yenny may be confusing him with Cliff Robertson, Ty Hardin, or Robert Culp, who were in PT-109.
     
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2013
  9. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Perhaps yenny was confused because Hunter was one of the runners-up for the role of JFK in PT-109. Robertson was JFK's own choice for the role, beating out Edd Byrnes, Warren Beatty, and Hunter.

    But there's also the fact that PT-109 came out the year before "The Cage" was made.
     
  10. Melakon

    Melakon Admiral Admiral

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    I hadn't heard of the auditions. I read the Wiki article on the film a few weeks back, so must have missed it.

    But Edd Byrnes?!! I admit there might have been a resemblance, but audiences of the day would only have seen Kookie from 77 Sunset Strip. It's like the George Reeves Syndrome.
     
  11. Tiberius

    Tiberius Commodore Commodore

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    My understanding is that the April character in TAS was intended to be the original captain of the Enterprise, even before Pike. So the 1701 was launched, captained by April, then Pike, then Kirk.

    ETA: Just checked the episode "The Counter-Clock Incident" and Kirk's opening log states that April was the first captain of the 1701.
     
  12. TREK_GOD_1

    TREK_GOD_1 Commodore Commodore

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    The only fair comparison is analysing how each was introduced, and in 60s pilots, the tendency to give be clear about who and why a character is "himself" was common to aid in making the sell. On that note, Pike was established in one way, Kirk the opposite. To reiterate, taking the pilot versions of each, it is clear the WNMHGB script was written with Kirk as a very different man than Pike, with different motivations for his life and relationships with shipmates.

    Additionally, with 2nd pilot Spock now written as more cold-hearted (the entire "kill Mitchell" dialogue / "all I know is logic" lines) than his 1st pilot self ("the WOMEN!" / smiling, 'nuff said), Kirk had to be a warmer personality than Pike, otherwise, there would be no strong, contrasting dynamic if the captain is a grim and humorless as the resident alien.
     
  13. TREK_GOD_1

    TREK_GOD_1 Commodore Commodore

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    Yes, the producers knew they had a good thing going with Linville's Burns character, and wanted to hold on to him as long as possible.
     
  14. Melakon

    Melakon Admiral Admiral

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    Linville's explanation involved several factors. Hotlips wasn't his ally and confidante anymore, he felt he had done all he could as the character, and felt that Frank was only being used as a continual butt of the joke. Sounds like he was simply burnt out with Frank.
     
  15. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    But that was a retcon introduced by the writer of "The Counter-Clock Incident." Originally, "Robert April" was just an abandoned name for the character who ended up being named Christopher Pike. If you look at the first-draft outline for "The Cage" in The Making of Star Trek, it was a captain named Robert April who went through all the experiences that Pike went through in the final episode. But when NBC publicist and screenwriter Fred Bronson wrote "The Counter-Clock Incident" (under the pseudonym John Culver), he invented the idea that there had actually been a separate person named Robert April who had been the first captain of the Enterprise. That idea has been widely accepted ever since, but it did not exist before 1974.

    I mean, it's not the only time that one of Roddenberry's rejected captain names ended up being used for a different character later on. As I mentioned back in post #32, one of his suggestions, "Captain Christopher," was used for a character in "Tomorrow is Yesterday," and another suggestion, Boone (in honor of Richard Boone, star of Have Gun -- Will Travel, for which Roddenberry was one of the most prolific writers), was used for the lead character in Earth: Final Conflict. (In fact, that character was named William Boone, probably in honor of Shatner as well.)
     
  16. BillJ

    BillJ Admiral Admiral

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    Spock was smiling in Where No Man... as well. :techman:
     
  17. Maurice

    Maurice Vice Admiral Admiral

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    What some people miss about "morose" Pike is that in the 1st pilot he's smarting from an expedition gone wrong, and in the course of the story, realizes that on the bridge is where he belongs. It's simply a setup for the series character which became Kirk, who early on had his own bouts of self doubt (Balance of Terror). They're effectively the same character as written early on. What some confuse as a difference in the parts is more the way the actor's chose to portray them.
     
  18. trevanian

    trevanian Rear Admiral

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    That was a price CBS apparently met for Lord with HAWAII 5-0, cuz the guy supposedly wound up owning a hunk of the state by the time the series ended.

    A future actor negotiating for a 2150ad trek series who managed a similarly lucrative deal would probably wind up owning the Lagrange-4 and Lagrange-5 points ... talk about THE MAN WHO SOLD THE MOON!
     
  19. Danger Ace

    Danger Ace Commander Red Shirt

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    With the apex of his career being the lead (Jesus) in 1961s "King of Kings." And according to Solow and Justman's "Inside Star Trek: The Real Story" he sent his wife down to inform the producers he was no longer interested as he was a movie star. He did TV out of neccessity but disliked it. He definately didn't want the stink of TV sci-fi harshing his karma.
     
  20. Danger Ace

    Danger Ace Commander Red Shirt

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    Desilu wasn't CBS. When Herb Solow was brought in to revitalize Desilu's television production they couldn't afford to deal away that much of any series' they were looking to produce. The reputation of the studio at that time was known in Hollywood and Jack Lord was a shrewd businessman, therefore, it would be much more of a stretch to think he didn't know the studio was incapable of giving such a deal as he was demanding than to assume he did.

    CBS, on the other hand, had pioneered helping stars setup their own production companies (and giving them half ownership of their series) as away to help them shelter income from the high tax rates of the day. This was how they were able to raid NBC's talent roster about 10-12 years earlier when they grabbed Jack Benny among others. It was also how they got David Letterman in 1990 (and why, even though Leno is #1 in the ratings, Letterman has the much larger bank account).