Just how well do you know your Enterprise captains?
Long time fans of Star Trek The Original Series might be well acquainted with the man who commanded the USS Enterprise before James T. Kirk. Captain Christopher Pike sat in the centre chair for an impressive 15 years before relinquishing command to accept the promotion to Fleet Captain. But any discussion about Pike always boiled down into one thing: his tragic fate.
It was during a training exercise on the USS Republic when a ruptured baffle plate exploded, seriously injuring Pike, even as he saved several cadets. Horribly disfigured and immobilised because of deadly Delta Ray radiation, Captain Pike was confined forever to a support chair that doubled as his only means of communication.
Thanks to his former science officer, Mr. Spock, Christopher Pike would eventually live out the remainder of his life on the planet known as Talos 4. The inhabitants of that world are capable of creating incredibly vivid illusions, indistinguishable from reality. Audiences previously met the Talosians in the original pilot episode for Star Trek The Original Series, ‘The Cage.’ Christopher Pike would thus forever remain under the illusion of being whole and healthy to ease his suffering. He’d also spend the remainder of his life with Vina, another survivor of a past accident.
Although Pike’s sad ending has been the most talked about part of his story by later generations, we’ll soon find out there’s much more to his story, and the man himself.
In 2019’s Season Two of Star Trek Discovery, which takes place roughly ten years before he leaves Enterprise, we meet up with Captain Christopher Pike (Anson Mount.) He’s put in temporary command of Discovery for an important mission. It’s during said mission that, through a particular set of circumstances, he gets a look at his own future.
Now, it’s important to note that upon seeing this nightmarish future, Pike is given the opportunity to change his future. All he has to do is abandon his mission goal. He could walk away and never see his future horror come to pass. But Pike stayed the course and carried out his mission, thus locking in his fate.
How does a man (how does anyone?) carry on every day life, knowing a horror like that awaits them? Let alone command a starship with hundreds of people?
This will no doubt be an integral part of Star Trek: Strange New Worlds, premiering on CBS all access in 2021. 55 years after being introduced, we’ll finally see the voyages of the Enterprise under Pike’s command. Co-starring with Anson Mount as Pike will be Rebecca Romijn as Number One, his first officer and Ethan Peck as lieutenant Spock.
Did you enjoy Mount’s performance as Pike on Discovery and are you looking forward to Strange New Worlds? How many out there think this is a corner of the Trek universe that’s over due for exploration?
And what happens when you’re forced to boldly go… into an inevitable nightmare?
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