Thursday, May 21, 2015

Captain Christopher Pike of the Starship Enterprise

Star Trek fans know that Captain Pike was the character played by Jeffrey Hunter in the first pilot of the famous show, "The Cage." When that pilot didn't sell, Hunter decided not to stick with the project, and a second pilot was made, featuring William Shatner as Captain James T. Kirk. The rest, of course, is history.

The Pike character came back in a two-part episode called "The Menagerie," but he had been horribly scarred in an accident and behind the heavy make-up was Sean Kenney (who also played characters in two other Star Trek episodes). In the reboot movies from J. J. Abrams, Pike is played by Bruce Greenwood and has the great line, "Your father was captain of a starship for 12 minutes. He saved 800 lives, including your mother's. And yours. I dare you to do better."

Some fans of the original series have gotten together an online fund-raising campaign to create a fan film called Star Trek: Captain Pike, with that serving as a bridge to the 90-minute movie Star Trek: Encounter at Rigel. A lot of these movies float around out there of varying degrees of quality in both acting, effects and production. The Pike group seems to have secured a pretty high-level cast for a production of this type and many of the listed members have previous connections to Star Trek shows and movies (including Kenney, who's been working as a professional photographer since 1980).

Here's hoping this goes off well. I've become curmudgeonly enough to hold a lot more appreciation for the original series than the later ones and I've enjoyed several of the stories fans have created using those characters. The Star Trek Continues folks, for one, have done four episodes so far and a couple of them have been better than anything the original show aired in its awful third season, even if their Dr. McCoy is atrocious and former Mythbuster Grant Imahara cannot convince me (or anyone else older than four) that he is Lieutenant Sulu. It would be nice to see a little bit of the Enterprise before she became famous.

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