Christopher Pike (Star Trek)

Christopher Pike (Star Trek)
Christopher Pike
Christopher pike.jpg
Species Human
Home planet Earth
Affiliation United Federation of Planets
Posting USS Enterprise commanding officer
Rank Captain
Fleet captain
Rear Admiral
Portrayed by Jeffrey Hunter
Sean Kenney
Bruce Greenwood

Christopher Pike is a character in the Star Trek franchise. He was portrayed by Jeffrey Hunter in the original Star Trek pilot episode, "The Cage", as captain of the USS Enterprise. The pilot was rejected, and the character was dropped during development of the second pilot when Hunter decided that he did not want to continue with the series.[1][2] Sean Kenney portrayed Pike in new footage filmed for a subsequent Star Trek episode, "The Menagerie", which also re-uses original film featuring Hunter from "The Cage". Bruce Greenwood portrays Pike in the 2009 Star Trek movie, directed by J. J. Abrams.[3]



Little is known about Christopher Pike's personal life. According to dialog in The Cage, he is from the city of Mojave on Earth and once owned a horse named Tango.

Pike is the first captain of the USS Enterprise, NCC-1701 to be recognized in Star Trek canon. However, the animated Star Trek series reveals that Captain Robert April predated Pike, and printed Star Trek fiction and reference books also identify April as Pike's predecessor.[4][5]

The Cage

At the beginning of The Cage, Pike and his crew are recuperating from a mission to Rigel VII during which several members of the landing party were killed by the inhabitants.[6] The incident filled Pike with so much guilt that he is considering resigning his commission.

Meanwhile, the Enterprise is en route to Vega Colony to drop off wounded crew members when it receives a distress call from the survey vessel SS Columbia, lost 18 years previously. Pike orders the ship diverted to Talos IV to rescue survivors.

Pike soon learns that all but one of the survivors are illusions created by the Talosians in order to lure the Enterprise crew to Talos IV. The Talosians make every effort to provide sexual fantasies that they hope will appeal to Pike, using as the object of desire the only real Columbia survivor, Vina. After escaping from his prison cell with the aid of his first officer, Number One, and Yeoman J. M. Colt, the Talosians reveal Vina's real appearance to Pike as a disfigured older woman. The Talosians saved her life after the Columbia crashed, but they had no guide on how to repair a human body. Pike requests that the Talosians restore her illusion of beauty and the Enterprise leaves Talos IV.

The Menagerie

At some point prior to "The Menagerie",[7] Pike is promoted to fleet captain. He is severely injured while rescuing several cadets from a baffle plate rupture onboard a J-class training vessel, the delta ray radiation leaving him paralyzed, mute, badly scarred, and dependent on a brainwave-operated wheelchair. His only means of communicating is through a light on the chair: one flash meaning "yes" and two flashes indicating "no".

In The Menagerie, the Enterprise, now under the command of Captain James T. Kirk, travels to Starbase 11. Spock, who had served with Pike for "eleven years, four months and five days," makes clandestine arrangements to take Pike back to Talos IV, despite travel to Talos IV being the only criminal offense still punishable by death in Starfleet. Spock is court-martialed, with evidence during the procedure including footage from "The Cage". At the two-part episode's conclusion, Pike is reunited with Vina and given the illusion of perfect health.

Later References

Pike is mentioned in episode Mirror, Mirror: An alternate-universe version of Capt. Kirk evidently assassinated Pike to become captain of the ISS Enterprise (the Mirror Universe version of the USS Enterprise).

A brief reference to Pike occurs in the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode "Tears of the Prophets";[8] Captain Benjamin Sisko receives the "Christopher Pike Medal of Valor" for his actions during the Dominion War.

In the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode The Most Toys, the name Pike can be seen briefly on the side of the shuttlecraft Lt. Commander Data was going to pilot at the beginning of the episode.

Star Trek

Bruce Greenwood as Pike in the 2009 film

Captain Pike is featured in the 2009 reboot Star Trek, this time played by Bruce Greenwood. In the film, Pike encourages the young James T. Kirk (Chris Pine) to follow in the footsteps of his father, and challenges him to enlist in Starfleet.[9] Pike is the first captain of the USS Enterprise, with Kirk on board. Pike is taken prisoner by Nero and tortured for information on Earth's defenses. He is later rescued by Kirk, whom Pike saves from an attacking Romulan. At the end of the film, Pike is promoted to admiral. He appears, in the final scene of the film, in a wheelchair. In this production he is able to speak and to use his upper body, unlike in The Menagerie. Admiral Pike proudly yields command of the Enterprise to Kirk while he recovers from his injuries.

Director J.J. Abrams has indicated that Pike may return for the next Trek film.[10]

Appearances in licensed spin-off media

Novels and short stories

Pike has significant roles in the Pocket Books novels Enterprise: The First Adventure (Vonda N. McIntyre, 1986), Final Frontier (Diane Carey, 1988), Vulcan's Glory (D.C. Fontana, 1989), and Burning Dreams (Margaret Wander Bonanno, 2006). A mirror-universe version of Pike (established in "Mirror, Mirror",[11] as having been assassinated by the mirror James T. Kirk.[5]) appears in the novel Dark Victory (William Shatner, 1999), and the short story "The Greater Good" (Margaret Wander Bonanno) in the anthology Star Trek: Mirror Universe: Shards and Shadows (2009).


Star Trek: Early Voyages

In the Paramount-licensed Star Trek comic book series published by Marvel Comics, Star Trek: Early Voyages chronicled the adventures of the Enterprise under the command of Pike. The earliest issues lead up to the events seen in "The Cage", which was retold from Yeoman Colt's point of view. Although extremely popular, the comic series ended on a cliffhanger when Marvel lost the Star Trek license rights.[citation needed]

Starfleet Academy comics

In the Paramount-licensed Star Trek comic book series published by Marvel Comics, Starfleet Academy, Nog and some fellow cadets encounter a solid image of Pike on Talos IV.[citation needed]

Star Trek: The New Voyages

In an episode of the non-canon fan film series "Star Trek: New Voyages", a time-traveling Kirk and Spock attempt to warn Pike not to attempt to rescue the trapped cadets. Pike attempts it, in spite of what future-Kirk and future-Spock say, causing him to be injured by the Delta rays and subsequently transition to a life in the wheelchair and its light communication device. Since he can only say "yes" or "no," he has no way of warning any of the characters of their upcoming fates.


  1. ^ David Alexander, Star Trek Creator: The Authorized Biography of Gene Roddenberry, p. 244. Letter from Gene Roddenberry to Jeffrey Hunter, April 5, 1965:
    I am told you have decided not to go ahead with "Star Trek". This has to be your own 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.
  2. ^ Herbert F. Solow and Robert H. Justman, Inside Star Trek, p. 63.
  3. ^ Hollywood Reporter Star Trek announcement
  4. ^ Carey, Diane (1995). Best Destiny. Pocket Books. ISBN 0517139057. 
  5. ^ a b Okuda, Mike; Denise, Okuda with Mirek, Debbie (1999). The Star Trek Encyclopedia. Pocket Books. ISBN 0-671-53609-5. 
  6. ^ "The Cage". Star Trek.
  7. ^ "The Menagerie". Star Trek.
  8. ^ "Tears of the Prophets". Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.
  9. ^ Star Trek film clip
  10. ^
  11. ^ "Mirror, Mirror". Star Trek.

External links

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