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Christopher Pike (2267)
Christopher Pike (2267)
Gender: Male
Species: Human
Affiliation: Starfleet
Rank: Fleet Captain
Occupation: Starfleet officer
Status: Alive (2267)
Played by: Jeffrey Hunter
Sean Kenney
Christopher Pike (2254)
Christopher Pike (2254)
For the mirror universe counterpart, please see Christopher Pike (mirror).
For additional meanings of "Christopher Pike", please see Christopher Pike.
"You either live life – bruises, skinned knees and all – or you turn your back on it and start dying"
– Christopher Pike, 2254 ("The Cage")

Christopher Pike was a 23rd century Starfleet officer. He was captain of the starship USS Enterprise from 2251 to 2262, as the successor of Robert April and immediate predecessor to James T. Kirk.

BiographyEdit

Birth, and encounter at RigelEdit

Pike was born in Mojave on Earth.

RigelVII-Holberg917G fortress
Kalar fortress on Rigel VII

As an adult in 2254, Pike led a landing party to Rigel VII. On this mission, the group was attacked by Kalar warriors, in what seemed to be an abandoned fortress. Three crewmen, including Pike's own yeoman, were killed, while an additional seven, including Spock, were injured, some severely. The loss weighed heavily on Pike; with all the strain and overwork that followed, he began to question his own continuance as starship commander. The Enterprise then set out for Vega colony to hospitalize the sick and injured. (TOS: "The Cage")

The Talosian IncidentEdit

Mojave remastered
Vina, Pike, and Tango near Mojave

En route to the Vega colony, the Enterprise intercepted an old-style radio-interference distress call carrying the call letters of the SS Columbia, a survey expedition from the American Continent Institute which had been lost in the Talos star group in 2236. At Pike's reluctant command, the Enterprise diverted and traced the signal to a crash site on Talos IV. After an initial encounter with supposed survivors, including an out-of-place young beauty named Vina, it was revealed that the native Talosians had used telepathy to create the illusion of an encampment; all the survivors except Vina were dead.

Pike was overpowered and kidnapped, and placed in a Talosian zoo. There, the Talosians attempted to get him to mate with Vina, to create a population of illusion-controlled Human servants. They forced Pike to relive old memories and placed him in illusory scenarios of lives he could have, if he abandoned his career as a starship captain. The scenarios included reliving the fight on Rigel VII, a picnic on Earth with his favorite horse Tango, and an illusory day in the life of an Orion slave-trader dealing in green animal women. When Pike refused to mate with Vina, the Talosians began to take steps to convince Pike to breed with other females of his crew; to this end, Yeoman J.M. Colt and Pike's first officer, Number One, were captured.

Inside his cell, Pike managed to capture and hold captive The Keeper. Pike then threatened to break the Talosian's neck if he resisted, and all the illusions ceased from that point forward. Escaping with the others to the outside of the Talosian complex, Pike had Number One set a phaser to overload, in an effort to make a statement to the Talosians about holding Humans captive. The Talosians believed this violent reaction made Humans unsuitable for breeding and agreed. Vina's true appearance was then revealed, and Pike convinced the Talosians to restore her illusion of health and beauty while letting himself and his crew members go free. Although the experience with the illusory worlds restored Pike's confidence in his command, it was recommended that all contact with the Talosians' powers be restricted. General Order 7 was enacted, threatening the death penalty should any travel there, for fear of the Federation falling to illusory indulgence. (TOS: "The Menagerie, Part I", "The Menagerie, Part II")

Tragic fateEdit

After a long tour as captain of the Enterprise (eleven years, four months, and five days of which were spent with junior science officer Spock as a loyal member of his crew) Pike was promoted to fleet captain in the mid-2260s, at which point James T. Kirk took command. Only a few years thereafter, Pike was aboard a training vessel, an old Class J starship, when a baffle plate ruptured and exposed many helpless trainees and cadets to delta-particle radiation. Pike dragged many cadets from the danger but, in the process, was hopelessly crippled by the rays. The disfigured Pike was put on a form of advanced life support which sustained his withered body and life functions, but he was too weak and incapacitated to ever move or respond to physical stimuli again. A wheelchair that was tuned to his brain could use blinking light signals to respond to simple queries in the affirmative (one flash) or negative (two flashes), but that was the extent to which he could communicate.

Return to TalosEdit

Talosians 3
The Talosians

In 2267, after being contacted by the Talosians, Commander Spock devised a plan to divert the Enterprise (of which he was now first officer under Captain James T. Kirk) to Starbase 11, where Pike was hospitalized, with a fake message. Spock's intention was, risking execution if caught, to deliver Pike to Talos IV, where the Talosians could tap Pike's mind with telepathy and illusions, so he would be spared dying helplessly in his lifeless body.

Pike, also contacted beforehand by the Talosians, at first refused Spock's plot to spirit him away to Talos IV. However, on the journey to the forbidden planet, images of Pike's earlier experience on Talos IV – presented during Spock's on-board court-martial (a court-martial later revealed to have been concocted by the Talosians) – convinced Pike to accept the Talosians' offer.

On Talos IV, with the help of the Talosians, Pike lived out a life of illusion with Vina, in which his devastating handicap no longer existed. Pike went into retirement from Starfleet active duty and lived on Talos IV permanently, with no further outside contact, since the secrecy of the Talosian power made his fate largely unknown. (TOS: "The Menagerie, Part I", "The Menagerie, Part II")

In memoriam Edit

The Christopher Pike Medal of Valor was named in Pike's honor. Benjamin Sisko and Solok received the award in the 24th century. (DS9: "Tears of the Prophets", "Take Me Out to the Holosuite") On the planet Cestus III, Pike City was named after him. (DS9: "Family Business", "The Way of the Warrior") There was also a shuttlecraft Pike carried on board the USS Enterprise-D. (TNG: "The Most Toys")

Memorable quotes Edit

"I'm tired of deciding which mission is too risky and which isn't. And who's going on the landing party and who doesn't. And who lives. And who dies."

- Christopher Pike, hinting at his retirement to Boyce (TOS: "The Cage")


"You either live life – bruises, skinned knees and all – or you turn your back on it and start dying."

- Christopher Pike, understanding Boyce's advice (TOS: "The Cage")


"But we're not here. Neither of us. We're in a menagerie, a cage!"

- Pike to Vina, in the picnic fantasy (TOS: "The Cage")


"It's just that I can't get used to having a woman on the bridge."
(Number One looks surprised)
"No offense, lieutenant. You're different, of course."

- Pike to Number One, about Colt (TOS: "The Cage")


"What are we running here, a cadet ship, Number One? Are we ready or not?"
"All decks report ready, sir."
"Engage!"

- Christopher Pike and Number One, as the Enterprise prepares to leave Talos IV (TOS: "The Cage")

Appendices Edit

Appearances Edit

Background Edit

Name Edit

Christopher Pike was originally named Robert April, which was then changed to James Winter. (Star Trek Creator: The Authorized Biography of Gene Roddenberry, pp. 206 & 209) James Blish noted that the scripts for Star Trek's original unaired pilot, "The Cage", were "heavily revised in various handwritings and Pike confusingly appears from time to time as 'Captain Spring' and 'Captain Winter.'" The revised draft of "The Cage" from 20 November 1964 lists him as Captain James Winter. [1] However, that moniker was used only briefly. The name change from James Winter to Christopher Pike was made on 25 November. (Star Trek Creator: The Authorized Biography of Gene Roddenberry, p. 206) In reality, the American author Kevin McFadden (b. 1954) took Christopher Pike as his pen name.

Original casting Edit

Before Gene Roddenberry wrote "The Cage", he asked Lloyd Bridges to accept the lead role of the captain on Star Trek. "When I approached him with it," stated Roddenberry, "he said, 'Gene, I like you, I've worked with you before in the past, but I've seen science fiction and I don't want to be within a hundred miles of it...' I understood what he meant then." Roddenberry attempted to make a persuasive argument that he could do science fiction differently, but was not yet sure himself if he could manage to do so. (The Star Trek Interview Book, p. 9) Ultimately, Bridges made it clear that he strongly believed appearing in an outer-space series would obliterate his future credibility.

Following Lloyd Bridges' rejection, Gene Roddenberry spent several weeks in search of a suitable actor to play the part. (Star Trek Memories, paperback ed., p. 41) "I came to realize [...] that there just weren't a lot of actors who would do it," Roddenberry related. "I was talking about what was in many people's eyes a silly show." (The Star Trek Interview Book, p. 9) Nonetheless, many actors were considered. Several casting consultants submitted lists of names to Gene Roddenberry, which he then analyzed. One such list was comprised of forty names, including the following:

Nick Adams
Jack Cassidy
Mike Connors
Frank Converse
Ray Danton
Howard Duff
Steve Forrest
Peter Graves
Sterling Hayden
Earl Holliman
Skip Homeier
Ed Kemmer
Robert Loggia
Jack Lord
Cameron Mitchell
Leslie Nielson
Hugh O'Brien
Rhodes Reason
Jason Robards, Jr.
George Segal
William Shatner
Robert Stack
Warren Stevens
Guy Stockwell
Liam Sullivan
Rod Taylor
Efram Zimbalist, Jr.

Though not included in the above list, James Coburn was an additional possibility; Majel Barrett strongly suggested him to Gene Roddenberry and a group of other men. Barrett found her suggestion rejected because Coburn – in the opinions of the aforementioned men, including Roddenberry – "wasn't sexy enough," although Roddenberry later revised his judgment. (Star Trek Creator: The Authorized Biography of Gene Roddenberry, p. 209; The Star Trek Interview Book, p. 9)

After analyzing the lists from his casting consultants, Gene Roddenberry sent a shorter list of names to NBC for their comments. This list included James Coburn, Jeffrey Hunter, Dan O'Herlihy, Patrick O'Neal, and Tom Tryon. The next day, he was notified by Herb Solow, via memo, that the television network was "very much against" Jeffrey Hunter and two others on the list. NBC proposed several alternatives, including Patrick McGoohan and Mel Farrar. The memo ended by saying, "There was a strong reaction for both James Coburn and Patrick O'Neal." (Star Trek Creator: The Authorized Biography of Gene Roddenberry, pp. 209-210)

Gene Roddenberry finally selected Jeffrey Hunter – who had most recently portrayed Jesus in King of Kings – to feature as Captain Pike. Hunter accepted the Star Trek role, joking that any actor able to rule over all of Christianity could easily command a starship crew. After some typical haggling between agents, Hunter was hired. (Star Trek Memories, paperback ed., p. 41) Joseph D'Agosta, a casting director who Roddenberry thereafter consulted, later explained that the casting of Hunter as Pike was "a network-producer-Desilu decision." Hunter was contracted to play Pike over the course of sixteen days, receiving US$10,000 in return. (Star Trek Creator: The Authorized Biography of Gene Roddenberry, p. 211) Hunter's stunt double for the role, Robert Herron, also appeared in "The Cage".

When Jeffrey Hunter attended a fateful Desilu screening of "The Cage" with his wife and a few other people on 25 March 1965, Hunter's wife decided, because she hated the pilot episode, that she didn't want Hunter to continue in the role of Captain Pike. She convinced him that, being a dutiful husband, he didn't either and that science fiction was beneath him. (Star Trek Creator: The Authorized Biography of Gene Roddenberry, p. 225; The Star Trek Interview Book, p. 10) Having opted not to continue in the part, Hunter made his feelings known to Roddenberry within two weeks of the screening. On 5 April 1964, Roddenberry responded with a private letter between them in which he stated, "I am told you have decided not to go ahead with Star Trek. This has to be your decision, of course, and I must respect it. You may be certain I hold no grudge or ill feelings and expect to continue to reflect publicly and privately the high regard I learned for you during the production of our pilot." (Star Trek Creator: The Authorized Biography of Gene Roddenberry, pp. 225-226)

Even though a second Star Trek pilot was commissioned, Jeffrey Hunter was insistent that he not participate in the making of that episode, entitled "Where No Man Has Gone Before". "Business affairs negotiated with Jeffrey Hunter," remembered Oscar Katz, "and we all thought it was the usual actor/network situation. They don't want to do it for reason XYZ, and it's a device that for getting the price up. We kept increasing the price and he kept saying no. One day I said, 'What's up with Jeffrey Hunter?' and I was told he just won't do it at any price. Finally I said, 'Tell Jeffrey Hunter to get lost. Tell him we're going to do the pilot without him.'" (Captains' Logs: The Unauthorized Complete Trek Voyages, p. 14) Hunter's departure thereby left an opening for the series lead. "I just had to pick someone else," noted Roddenberry. William Shatner was who he picked, Shatner going on to regularly appear as James T. Kirk. (The Star Trek Interview Book, p. 11)

Having thought highly of Jeffrey Hunter, Gene Roddenberry speculated, "He would have made a grand captain." (Captains' Logs: The Unauthorized Complete Trek Voyages, p. 14) Similarly, writer D.C. Fontana once commented that, in her opinion, Hunter regularly appearing as Pike would have resulted in "a good captain," and also said, "He wouldn't have been Captain Kirk; his approach would have been very different, but I think he would have been perfectly fine." (Star Trek Magazine issue 128, p. 45) Actor Mark Lenard once voiced an alternative opinion, remarking, "Using a straighter fellow like the original choice, the character would have been stiffer than [William] Shatner with less of a personality. I don't think it would have worked as well with Jeffrey Hunter in the lead." (Cinefantastique, Vol. 27, No. 11/12, p. 77) Leonard Nimoy has similarly expressed that he believes Pike's relationship with Nimoy's own character of Spock would not have been anywhere near as successful as that between Kirk and Spock. "Hunter was more reticent and less dramatic in his acting choices," Nimoy critiqued, "leaving Spock's maneuvering space less clearly defined." (Starlog #63)

Reappearances Edit

Jeffrey Hunter reappeared as Captain Pike in segments of archive footage from "The Cage" which were included in "The Menagerie, Part I" and "The Menagerie, Part II". Hunter was paid US$5,000 for the reuse of this footage and his residuals were minimal. (Star Trek Creator: The Authorized Biography of Gene Roddenberry, p. 259) "The Menagerie, Part II" additionally featured archive footage of Robert Herron as Christopher Pike. However, also cast for the part was actor Sean Kenney; he portrayed a disfigured Pike in "The Menagerie" two-parter, because the part of a wheelchair-bound Captain Pike was a bit role in the context of the script and would not justify the expense of hiring back the more popular Jeffrey Hunter for such a short part, especially since he had moved on to other projects. (citation needededit) Director Marc Daniels established that the use of another actor, clad in disfiguring makeup, was how the creators of Star Trek "handled the unavailability of Jeffrey Hunter." (Starlog #114)

Sean Kenney owed much to Jeffrey Hunter for his inclusion in the "The Menagerie" two-parter. "I received the part of Captain Pike in the wheelchair because of my strong resemblance to Jeff Hunter," Kenney explained. "Gene Roddenberry himself interviewed me and OKed my casting in the part."

However, the role required Sean Kenney to regularly undergo some physical alterations. "They had to dye my hair white," he said, "which I wasn't too happy about [....] When Fred Phillips, who was Paramount's head makeup man, had me come into the studio the week before, we experimented with the different types of scars and aging processes available. I was then screentested for matching with Jeff's facial structure, makeup reality and hair color. Unfortunately, my hair was dyed too white for camera so they had to dull the color with a beige powder. The appliances were very tight around the face. Eating was very difficult so my lunches were taken through a straw, consisting of soups and mush, so to speak. It was a scary time when Fred Phillips wanted to perfect the makeup by making a life mask of my face during the early stages of the experiments. They applied plaster of paris to my face with only two little rubber hoses in my nostrils for breathing. Talk about a claustrophobic effect – and, I'm no claustrophobe! My face hardened up like a rock and suddenly, I wondered whether I was going to breathe or not. It was quite an experience." It took the makeup artists nearly five hours to apply the makeup daily. "Most of the feeling had to come through my eyes," stated Kenney, "especially due to the fact that they would tie the corners of my eyes down with scotch mending tape to give me an aged look."

In the "The Menagerie" two-parter, Christopher Pike is highlighted in the credits. "I guess they figured top feature credit," Sean Kenney speculated, "was the least they could do to compensate all the restructuring to my anatomy and reward my patience." He concluded, "All in all, I felt proud of my efforts." Gene Roddenberry also approved of Kenney's performances as Christopher Pike. (Starlog #113) After playing the part, Kenney sent a photograph of himself in the role to Fred Phillips, on which the performer had written a message including the statement, "Thank you for your wonderful 'face lift'." (Star Trek: The Original Series Sketchbook, p. 188)

According to the unofficial reference book The Trek 25th Anniversary Celebration (p. 51), Pike was to have been mentioned in the original version of the episode "Bem", undeveloped for TOS. The book claims that Kirk was to have cited Pike's reports, reminding Spock that, according to those reports, he (i.e. Spock) had trouble adjusting.

Apocrypha Edit

Outside of the canon information derived from Christopher Pike's on-screen appearances, Diane Carey's Final Frontier novel lists his full name as "Christopher Richard Pike." His adventures as captain of the Enterprise were the center of Marvel's Star Trek: Early Voyages comic book series, establishing his father as retired Admiral Josh Pike. Pike was also featured in a handful of novels and comics, some of them depicting his life after being crippled and left on Talos IV, some of them depicting his earlier adventures.

The Pocket novel Vulcan's Glory by TOS script writer D.C. Fontana states that Pike previously commanded the starship USS Yorktown, a reference to the original name intended to be given to the Enterprise. Some stories have also said that Pike served as the executive officer on board the Enterprise under Captain Robert T. April.

Pike wearing one rank stripe as captain, while James T. Kirk wore two on the same style of uniform, gives rise to the theory that, during "The Cage", Pike was actually a commander (or even a lieutenant) in rank, and was addressed as captain by way of his position on the ship rather than his actual rank. (citation needededit) However, most texts and background information simply refer to Pike as a Starfleet captain with this also assumed as his actual rank.

In the Star Trek novel Enterprise: The First Adventure, Pike is promoted to commodore upon relinquishing command of the Enterprise. This could indicate that "fleet captain" was considered a position and not a rank.

Pike is also the main focus of the non-canon novel Burning Dreams, which gives a detailed account of his life and career, as well as The Captain's Table #6: Where Sea Meets Sky. Burning Dreams establishes that, after the incident on Talos IV, Pike spent much of the rest of his career wondering if his life and everything that he was experiencing in life was an illusion and if he was still in the cell on Talos IV.

In the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine novel Unity, Ezri Dax said that Pike was part of the joint Starfleet-Trill mission where the neural parasite was first discovered. At that time, Pike was a fleet captain.

According to his alternate counterpart's biography on the Star Trek movie app, Christopher Pike was born in 2205 to Charles and Willa Pike. He spent part of his childhood living on the planet Elysium. He enrolled in Starfleet in 2223 and was commissioned as an officer in 2227.

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