In 1965, the very first Star Trek episode, “The Cage,” went into manufacturing because the preliminary realization of Gene Roddenberry’s thought for a “Wagon Train to the Stars.” But the captain chosen to guide this voyage wasn’t William Shatner’s James T. Kirk. Instead, the a part of Captain Christopher Pike was performed by Jeffrey Hunter.
Shatner was in the end the precise option to headline the unique sequence alongside Leonard Nimoy, DeForest Kelley, Nichelle Nichols, and the remainder of the solid. Star Trek wouldn’t be a worldwide phenomenon with out them. And but the potential of a Star Trek sequence following Pike’s Enterprise remained unfulfilled, till the latest announcement that Star Trek: Strange New Worlds will dive into this largely unexplored period of Trek lore. It’s additionally a outstanding turnaround for Pike, who will now take his rightful place among the many nice captains of Star Trek.
Almost the whole solid of “The Cage” was launched after the unique pilot was rejected, and Hunter left the sequence behind to concentrate on making motion pictures earlier than his premature loss of life in 1969. But Nimoy remained, and his presence within the unique Star Trek pilot helped remedy an issue for the producers. To sustain with the grind of creating new episodes, the inventive crew repurposed footage from “The Cage” into the two-part episode “The Menagerie.” Those episodes additionally gave followers a glimpse of a younger and exuberant Spock, which was in stark distinction to his extra reserved persona. But this was the primary time that viewers met Pike, though Hunter didn’t reprise his position for the newly created scenes set years after the preliminary story.
Instead, Sean Kenney guest-starred because the older Pike, who had been badly maimed and disfigured in an accident. Pike’s accidents had been apparently so extreme that even the extremely superior medical know-how of the period couldn’t give him a lot mobility. His capability to talk was additionally misplaced, leaving Pike reliant on a machine that might solely talk with solutions to fundamental “yes” and “no” questions. It was a horrific destiny for the captain, but it surely led to considered one of Pike’s defining moments a number of a long time later.
In “The Menagerie,” Spock illustrated his loyalty and dedication to Pike by risking his life and his Starfleet profession to return his former captain to Talos IV. The clips from “The Cage” established Pike and Spock’s first encounter with the Talosians, an alien race who had the power to create vivid and lifelike telepathic illusions. It’s additionally value noting that the conclusion of Pike’s story mirrors that of Vina, a younger lady who was disfigured by a crash on Talos IV. With the help of the Talosians, Pike and Vina had been capable of reside collectively on Talos IV with out the burden of their frail human our bodies holding them again.
That may have been the tip of Pike’s presence in Star Trek. However, Star Trek novel writers discovered it irresistible to revisit the earlier captain of the Enterprise. In the ‘90s, Marvel even gave Pike and his crew their very own comedian ebook sequence: Star Trek: Early Voyages. The comedian ran for 17 points, and it supplied followers a style of what may have been.
Surprisingly, Pike’s fashionable resurgence owes an important deal to J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek reboot movies. Bruce Greenwood stepped into Pike’s position, and the important thing change to his place within the mythos was that Pike mentored each Kirk and Spock within the Kelvin timeline. Unlike Pike’s look in “The Cage,” Kelvin-universe Pike had no ambivalence about his future in Starfleet, and Pike went out of his approach to give Kirk the prospect to comply with within the footsteps of his late father, George Kirk.
Pike’s religion in Kirk was rewarded when the younger crew of the Enterprise emerged victorious over Nero. In the sequel, Star Trek Into Darkness, Pike salvaged Kirk’s Starfleet profession by retaining him on as his first officer. Even after Kirk practically squandered his future, Pike stood by him. That solidified Pike’s fatherly bond with Kirk earlier than he was tragically killed in a terrorist assault. In this timeline, Pike didn’t get to take pleasure in a contented retirement on Talos IV.
In the primary timeline, although, Pike’s story may not be finished, as Star Trek: Discovery revisited Pike and his Enterprise crew throughout its second season on CBS All Access. Anson Mount stepped into Pike’s position for the sequence, shortly after starring in Marvel TV’s ill-fated Inhumans adaptation. Rather than relegate Pike to a mere visitor slot, the sequence briefly elevated him to Captain of the Discovery whereas the Enterprise was being repaired. It additionally additional developed Pike’s character.
After Mirror Gabriel Lorca’s (Jason Isaacs) try and groom and manipulate her, Michael Burnham (Sonequa Martin-Green) was understandably weary of Pike. But he quickly gained Burnham’s belief by demonstrating that he was a real believer in Starfleet’s beliefs. Pike additionally positioned his belief in Burnham as they looked for her lacking foster brother, Spock. This sequence as soon as once more firmly established Pike’s standing as a mentor throughout the franchise. If Burnham goes on to develop into Discovery’s new captain within the upcoming third season, then her experiences with Pike will probably form her command as properly.
Since the occasions of Discovery Season 2 happen after Pike’s first journey to Talos IV in “The Cage,” the inventive crew was capable of foreshadow Pike’s destiny in “The Menagerie.” In the penultimate episode of Season 2, “Through the Valley of Shadows,” Pike got here face-to-face together with his disfigured future self whereas trying to acquire a Time Crystal. Pike was suitably horrified in probably the most genuinely creepy scenes in Trek historical past. But Pike additionally obtained a imaginative and prescient that confirmed him he was injured whereas saving lives.
Tenavik, the Klingon answerable for guarding the Time Crystals, warned Pike that taking the crystal meant that he couldn’t change his darkish future. Regardless, Pike didn’t shirk his obligations. Pike even made an impassioned speech about going through his destiny even when he didn’t like the way in which it is going to finish. In brief, Pike walks the stroll like few others on this franchise. Tenavik was suitably impressed and humbled by Pike’s bravery. That second additionally demonstrated why Pike deserves his personal sequence.
In massive half because of the sturdy response to Mount’s Pike, Ethan Peck’s Spock, and Rebecca Romijn’s Number One, that trio will reunite for the Strange New Worlds sequence. Their upcoming adventures gained’t have the identical taste that Roddenberry envisioned a long time earlier. But the complexities of Pike’s character, in addition to these of his crew, will make it a journey value taking when the brand new sequence lastly materializes.