So just how old WAS Pike?

Discussion in 'Star Trek - The Original & Animated Series' started by feek61, Mar 21, 2013.

  1. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

    Aug 20, 2009
    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.

    Both are the professional uniformed armed forces of their civilizations.

    The Navy and Starfleet have many organizational similarities, and the rank structure for commissioned officers is the same.

    Defense first (break things and hurt people), everything else they're called on to do second.

    15th century naval vessels and 21th century naval vessel had a few differences in equipment too.

  2. The Mirrorball Man

    The Mirrorball Man Vice Admiral Admiral

    Dec 18, 1999
    You may as well compare Starfleet with the Ottoman Bashi-Bazouk if that's your criterion.

    No, Starfleet is quite explicitely an exploration/scientific fleet first, a defense force second.

    Aha, yes, but they both used ships that sail on the sea. Starfleet doesn't.
  3. Shawnster

    Shawnster Commodore Commodore

    Jul 28, 2008
    Clinton, OH
    From TOS "Tomorrow is Yesterday"
    This implies to me that Starfleet grew out of the Navy (and other military branches).
  4. J.T.B.

    J.T.B. Rear Admiral Premium Member

    Jun 14, 2005
    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.

  5. Wingsley

    Wingsley Commodore Commodore

    Feb 18, 2007
    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.)
  6. GSchnitzer

    GSchnitzer Co-Executive Producer In Memoriam

    Jun 9, 2008
    Gaithersburg, Maryland, USA, Terra
    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."
  7. Gojira

    Gojira Commodore Commodore

    Oct 15, 2008
    Stompin' on Tokyo
    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.
  8. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

    Nov 5, 2008
    King Daniel Beyond
    Now that makes a lot of sense!:techman: