By Liberty 15 Comments
I was writing a review for one of the comics in the Star Trek: Early Voyages series by Marvel and I started going on about what could have been if the series had been made with Christopher Pike as Captain. That is what the series is about and it is really good. I highly recommend it. Well as I wrote the it sounded more like a blog. So here it is.
With only one episode it is hard to see why a character could be so impactful and it is not just because he was the first. The whole crew was great from the sweet young Yeoman J. Mia Colt to Spock himself. Spock being the only character from Pike's crew to go on to be a part of Kirk's crew.
Now without sounding sacrilegious I never liked Kirk much but thought Pike was what a Captain could really be. So, I would wonder what would have happened to the whole Star Trek Universe if the pilot with Pike was picked up instead of Kirk. One big thing is that the actor Jeffery Hunter died a few months before the last episode of the original series. This means that any movie that came after would either not exist, had stared another actor as Pike or made someone else as Captain like Spock for example.
The big thing that is for sure is there would be no William Shatner. Now, Shatner's personality had greatly effected what Star Trek was up until the first few seasons of the Next Generation. It does not matter if you like the actor William Shatner or his character on Star Trek but I strongly believe that he held Star Trek back from what it could be by his impact on how the episodes were made. There have been many comments made from actors and people who worked on the show such as writers who would portray Shatner as abrasive, arrogant and as an ego manic. Complaining he did not have enough lines, screen time and making it difficult to film anything that didn't really make him the star. In other words making it very difficult to have an ensemble cast. These traits kept most the other actors in the background.
If Pike remained not only would the interaction be different and in my opinion better it would also have many different actors. They still would have needed to add a few more characters such as a helmsmen, chief engineer communications officer and the nurse would be different as Christine Chapel and Number One were played by the same actress. Having a prominent female officer as second in command sure would have a positive impact in the 1960's for sure.
So imagine a crew of Pike as Captain, Number One as First Officer, Spock as Science officer, Jose Tyler as Navigator, Hikaru Sulu as Helmsmen, Nyota Uhura as Communications, Philip Boyce as the Doctor, Janice Rand as Nurse, Montgomery Scott as Chief Enginer, and J. Mia Colt as Yeoman. Is is a Pipe dream? Sure but, it is fun to imagine. All that said the comic series is a lot of fun. It really shows what it could have been.