Star Trek: Discovery may be setting up a spinoff that centers on the adventures of Captain Pike and Spock aboard the USS Enterprise. Discovery‘s versions of both classic Star Trek characters have been well received, and after getting a glimpse of the Enterprise bridge in season 2’s penultimate episode, fans are wondering if we really have to say goodbye to Pike and company so soon.
CBS All Access has made no secret of the fact that Star Trek is going to be the beating heart of the streaming service going forward. In the wake of Discovery‘s success, several other upcoming Star Trek series have been announced, including the animated comedy Lower Decks, the Michelle Yeoh starring Section 31 spinoff, and the much celebrated return of Patrick Stewart to the franchise in an as-yet-unnamed Jean-Luc Picard series.
All of those shows certainly have potential, but the notion of a TV show taking place on the original Enterprise with Pike and Spock has a different kind of allure. But is it something CBS would want to pursue? Does it fill a hole in their longterm strategy for the franchise? Let’s break it down.
Captain Pike Has Been The Breakout Star Of Star Trek: Discovery Season 2
Captain Christopher Pike is a towering figure in Star Trek lore, but he’s never really been allowed to take center stage. The character was abandoned after the first pilot for Star Trek: The Original Series, with Jeffrey Hunter’s brooding captain ditched in favor of William Shatner’s swashbuckling James T. Kirk. That pilot footage would be brilliantly repurposed in the classic two-part episode “The Menagerie,” but that was for all intents and purposes the end of Pike’s story. Bruce Greenwood played an older, more soulful version of Pike in the J.J. Abrams reboot films, serving as a father figure to Kirk who ultimately died at the hands of Khan in Star Trek Into Darkness.
Anson Mount’s Pike has been a very different animal. After the crew of the Discovery were betrayed by their Mirror Universe former captain, Gabriel Lorca, Pike’s easy charm and sense of morality – as well as has implicit trust in Michael Burnham – have re-centered the show and solved many of the character problems that plagued Star Trek: Discovery season 1. Mount is dynamite in the role, and even if we know what grisly fate awaits him, he would canonically be the captain of the Enterprise for another decade or so. Petitions for Mount’s Pike to be given his own show have begun to spring up, and it would seem like a natural progression for both the character and CBS’s growing slate of Star Trek projects.
It Would Keep A Major Star Trek Presence In The 23rd Century
At this point, it would be a major surprise if Star Trek: Discovery season 3 didn’t take place in the future, perhaps as far as a thousand years past the 23rd century. The Picard series will take place at the twilight of the 24th century, and it’s unclear which era of Star Trek lore Lower Decks will occupy. If Discovery does leave the 23rd century behind, it will presumably have to jettison a lot of the recurring characters and subplots that are specific to that era, many of which are still unresolved.
The easiest way to pick up those threads would be throw a Pike/Spock show. Both characters are already familiar with most of the major players of the era, so there wouldn’t be much need to reintroduce concepts to the audience. It would also uphold a sort of Star Trek tradition, where one show introduces a new species or conflict, only for it to be further explored in a spinoff series. Star Trek: The Next Generation introduced the Bajorans, Cardassians, and Trill before Star Trek: Deep Space Nine went on to more fully define those species. A Pike/Spock series that stood in opposition to the creeping amorality of Section 31’s influence on the Federation would be a great way to grapple with some of the weightier questions that Discovery too often chooses to punt on.
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