Why Did Gene drop Christopher Pike?

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

  1. Danger Ace

    Danger Ace Commander Red Shirt

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    He may very well have said that, however, that attitude was a luxury brought about by his being woo'ed away with the promise of starring in his own series. If he (or Stevenson for that matter) hadn't had other opportunities dangled in front of them then they'd have tried to stay.
     
  2. marksound

    marksound Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Hello Larry effectively killed Stevenson's career, and the same could be said for Linville and his forgettable series. Burghoff didn't do much of anything after MASH (pun intended).

    Anyway.

    Hunter may have been an acceptable captain, but the chemistry of the Big 3 would have been much different. Playing Spock and McCoy against each other with Kirk in the middle just worked. This mainly due, in my opinion, to a quality that Shatner possesses and employs very well. It's the ever present and barely concealed smirk, and the "twinkle" in his eye.

    Shatner has been much underrated as an actor since he became Jim Kirk.

    Again my opinion, but having Hunter leave was a happy accident that resulted in the Trek we all know and love. If he had come back for the second pilot there may never have been any Trek at all. At least not like we know it.
     
  3. Danger Ace

    Danger Ace Commander Red Shirt

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    This just brought to mind a piece of trivia regarding the film "The Intruder" starring Shatner and directed by Roger Corman (excerpt copy and pasted form IMDB):

    "Producer Roger Corman allegedly blamed star William Shatner's performance for the box-office failure of the movie, and the breaking of Corman's perfect track record of successes. Shatner jokingly suggested years later that the re-release title "I Hate Your Guts!" was probably aimed at him."

    Well, not so happy for Jeff Hunter considering his ultimate fate.
     
  4. Melakon

    Melakon Admiral Admiral

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    Though if Hunter had done the series, circumstances of his later life would have been different, and he might not have died as young as he did.
     
  5. Captain McBain

    Captain McBain Captain Captain

    I'm amazed that Kirk doesn't have a ripped shirt in any of those pictures.
     
  6. Tiberius

    Tiberius Commodore Commodore

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    Ah well. Either way it's canon now!
     
  7. Shaka Zulu

    Shaka Zulu Commodore Commodore

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    Wrong on both counts.

    Desilu did make movies; one of them was a movie starring both Lucile Ball and Desi Arnaz Sr. called The Long, Long Trailer : another was Forever, Darling (produced as 'Zanra Productions') and the most well known was Yours, Mine and Ours, (the original 1968 film) which made a ton of money at the box office.

    As for Hunter not wanting to be on the show, Hunter did want to be on the show; and expressed quite a lot of interest in his character, even going so far as to say that the show 'was based on the predictions that the Rand Corporation had projected for the future' (according to an article about Hunter in Starlog many years ago.) If it seemed that Hunter didn't want to be on Star Trek, it was because his wife though that he was too big a star for TV (the same wife that would later divorce him and take him to the cleaners!)
     
  8. Gary7

    Gary7 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    It's hard to know for certain given the lack of concrete details recorded. There's no doubt that Hunter's wife was prominent in his negotiations and that Roddenberry didn't care much for her manner. We don't know if Hunter was dictating what he wanted to his wife and she passed them on as-is or if she "revised" things to suit what she wanted. I too read about how Hunter suffered some serious financial depletion from his divorce, which kind helps support the depiction of his ex-wife as a ruthless money monger.

    If the interview was sincere, it does reflect a Jeffrey Hunter that saw "grand scheme" appeal to Star Trek. He seems to have "got it." But then, his responses could have been tailored to suit what was wanted, rather than what was real. Who knows.

    One thing we all get hung up on is this small slice of Hunter's acting on The Cage. We don't know how he was directed on that shoot, how much the failure of Pike's previous mission would impact his demeanor of the character. In going by what I've seen of Hunter's other work, I never really found him as implicitly "warm and personable" as Shatner. Could he have grown into the role? Who knows... it's all speculation. He was a talented actor. Perhaps under the right direction, a more appealing personification of Pike would have emerged. We'll never know. But my money is still on Shatner having been the better choice (of course, that's easy too--we already know how it turned out).
     
  9. Harvey

    Harvey Admiral Admiral

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    You are certainly correct that Desilu produced a few movies. Beyond the three comedy vehicles for Lucille Ball you have listed, there was also the I Love Lucy movie in 1953 and Mission: Impossible Versus the Mob in 1969. Both of those were television episodes edited together with a little new footage. The first was shelved until the home video era. The second, distributed only in Europe, probably credits Desilu because the episodes combined to make the movie were produced before the studio was sold to Paramount.

    So, I was wrong when I said Desilu was exclusively a television outfit. Having said that, three Lucille Ball vehicles and two compilations of television episodes which were barely distributed doesn't make them much of a motion picture outfit. For Jeffrey Hunter in the mid-1960s, Desilu didn't have any movie roles to offer.

    Hunter signed a five-year contract to appear on the series in 1964. He declined to sign that same contract in 1965. The quotes from Starlog, reprinted from a publicity interview the actor did while waiting for a series pick-up in 1965, are hardly indicative of his interest (which, obviously, changed over the course of a year; whether that was because of his wife or because of him is not something that can be said definitively).
     
  10. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    And we can't assume that Hunter's public statements of enthusiasm about the series are necessarily representative of his state of mind; even if he was less than thrilled about being in the show, he'd still probably speak about it positively in the press as long as his income might depend on its performance.
     
  11. Harvey

    Harvey Admiral Admiral

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    Exactly my point. At a recent convention, Patrick Stewart was asked if he believed publicity statements he made in 2002 about Star Trek: Nemesis being the best of the features. His reply was that, "I lied." Because, of course, why would an actor in his position jeopardize the success of a project by speaking ill of it?
     
  12. Danger Ace

    Danger Ace Commander Red Shirt

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    I doubt your version. According to Herb Solow (who would know) Jeffrey Hunter became very hard to get a hold of once they tried to contact him about doing a second pilot. Finally, when they were to talk face-to-face his wife showed up (saying pretty much what you write in your post).

    Not the behavior of someone who wants to be a part of the "Star Trek" family.

    And again, teevee science-fiction (especially "space opera") was not generally held in high-regard at that time - it was considered a career killer. I always had the impression that Shatner (due to some poor career choices) only signed on because he was desperate for the dough.
     
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2013
  13. Shaka Zulu

    Shaka Zulu Commodore Commodore

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    It was a quote from an interview that he gave in 1964-1965, and it may have been truthful, for all we know; after all, he did star in Temple Houston two years previous.

    As for Shatner, maybe doing movies like I Hate Your Guts and Incubus caused this to happen, as did the failure of his starring role in For the People in 1965.
     
  14. Danger Ace

    Danger Ace Commander Red Shirt

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    Temple Houston was a western series. Westerns were very big business even in the early-to-mid 1960s, was held in relative high-regard and could lead to other things. "Space opera" was not thought highly off and many feared it could stop a career cold.

    And again, many actors (even today) do pilots they hope will never be picked up or seen for the upfront money and to keep their faces in front of potential employers (you can't say "no" to everything).


    Shatner, in many interviews, has stated he made some mis-steps and his career wasn't were he wanted or needed it to be (especially considering he had a family to support), therefore, he was saying "yes" to everything.

    The Original Series cast didn't gain financial independence until they started making the films. Even then it took some longer than others.
     
  15. Maurice

    Maurice Vice Admiral Admiral

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    This was discussed before in this thread.

    According to Herb Solow:
    Which doesn't exactly say he was "hard to get hold of", unless you are citing another reference or page.
     
  16. Danger Ace

    Danger Ace Commander Red Shirt

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    So you're using a quote which states Jeff Hunter did a no-show to refute a claim of his being hard to get a hold of?

    You are using a quote that states Jeff Hunter's position of wanting nothing more to do with "Star Trek" and his feelings of being above the material (as conveyed by an authorized represenative - his wife) to refute a claim that Jeff Hunter did not want to do "Star Trek" and that he felt it wasn't something he wanted to be associated with?

    Also, what is it with folks trying to invalidate things by pointing out it was previously discussed in some other folder at some other time. That's fallacious.

    For one thing, this all happened close to 50 years ago - I'm sure it's been discussed many times in many different places.

    Another point, considering total number of threads on this Trek forum at ony one time it is beyond silly to expect that anyone be aware what's being said in every thread.

    Thirdly, as a citation it is useless because in and of itself it is meaningless. The fact things may have been brought up in other folders doesn't mean any conclusions reached may have actually been the correct or only interpretations.

    Of course, the simplest conclusion to your response would be that it is an ad hominem arguement which of course is a fallacy by definition.

    All in my most humblest of opinions.
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2013
  17. Maurice

    Maurice Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Or more likely you're overreacting to someone quoting a primary source as opposed to paraphrasing.
     
  18. Danger Ace

    Danger Ace Commander Red Shirt

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    Not hardly.

    Why would one go to the trouble of posting an exact quote versus a paraphrasing wherein there is no substantial prima facie difference, benefit or elevation of the discussion?

    Why bother to point out something was discussed elsewhere before when clearly that could be said of almost all items discussed in this and other forums?

    Your actions as detailed above caused me puzzlement, Maurice, that's all.
     
  19. Marsden

    Marsden Commodore Commodore

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    This is purely conjecture on my part with no refrences, but maybe he was happy with it at first but then peer pressure set in about being on such a show and then he turned against it. People do change their minds about things.

    I mentioned once in a previous thread about some actors going uncredited because they didn't want to be associated with the show and I was promptly shushed, but not everyone had a positive image of science fiction in general at that time.
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2013
  20. Danger Ace

    Danger Ace Commander Red Shirt

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    Your conjecture is just as good as everyone elses and please don't let anyone get you thinking otherwise. I may not personally agree, but I applaud your diverse point-of-view.

    As to your specific theory, could be. He may have gotten opportunties in the interim between doing the pilot and the call for a second one. It's plausible and I had not previously considered it. Thank you.