Anson Mount was the guest on last week’s edition of The Ready Room where he talked about Captain Pike accepting his tragic destiny.
I don’t know about anyone else, but after this season of Star Trek: Discovery wraps in a couple weeks, I’m going to need some time to try and decompress.
Maybe it’s because of the fact that Discovery‘s second season is just 14 episodes, but it feels like one emotional gut punch after another. There is literally no time to relax and get your bearings before the next episode arrives and the story takes yet another unexpected turn.
Last week in “Through the Valley of Shadows” it was Captain Pike’s turn to take one for the team and leave a large group of Star Trek fans emotionally shattered in his wake.
Just about everyone in Trek Nation is well aware of the fact that life does not end well for Captain Christopher Pike. Roughly a decade after the events of Discovery, Pike will be gravely injured during a mission and will be confined to a chair, unable to speak or move. Eventually thanks to Spock, Pike will return to Talos IV and be reunited with Vina, where he will live out his life in a fantasy world where he can move freely again.
In “Through the Valley of Shadows” Pike was made aware of what life has in store for him and given the chance to change it. Instead, the captain of the Enterprise decided to uphold the principles of Starfleet and do what he had to, even if it meant accepting what was to come.
It made for one hell of an emotional episode, on par with “Project Daedalus” in terms of making viewers really feel for the characters.
In last week’s edition of The Ready Room, Anson Mount talked in depth about “Through the Valley of Shadows” and what Pike’s thinking was as he made his heroic decision.
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"“The one thing I knew about Pike is that he probably had good parents and he definely had good mentors. He’s emotionally intelligent enough and idealistic enough to know that when you say you’re going to do something, you do that thing. You live up to your word.“To be presented with a situation where you can escape a horrible fate if he turns his back on the ideals he has pledged to uphold… it’s not really a choice. Because if you don’t live up to your word, what are you? As they say, ‘If you gain the world but lose yourself, in so doing, then you are nothing.’”"
Mount also talked about recreating the injured, scarred Pike from “The Menagerie” and how, while he did enjoy it, it isn’t something he wants to do again.
"“It was a process I was very happy to go through, [but] I’ve done that now and never want to do it again! [laughs] It’s not that bad. It beats digging ditches! But the hours of sitting there do require a sense of inner calm, and patience. For me, doing it the first time, I was able to sit back and watch these incredible craftsmen and artists use me as their canvas. So it was enjoyable from that angle, but I’m sure after several months of it that would get old!”"
If anything, “Through the Valley of Shadows” proves what everyone has been saying. Namely that a Captain Pike spinoff series should happen. Imagine watching a character make life and death decisions knowing what’s in store for them. Could make for amazing television.
Star Trek: Discovery returns this week on CBS All Access with the first part of the two-part second season finale.