Why Christopher Pike might be Star Trek’s perfect starship captain

Pictured: Anson Mount as Pike of the Paramount+ original series STAR TREK: STRANGE NEW WORLDS. Photo Cr: Marni Grossman/Paramount+ ©2022 ViacomCBS. All Rights Reserved.
Pictured: Anson Mount as Pike of the Paramount+ original series STAR TREK: STRANGE NEW WORLDS. Photo Cr: Marni Grossman/Paramount+ ©2022 ViacomCBS. All Rights Reserved. /

We were first introduced to Captain Christopher Pike in the two part Star Trek episode “The Menagerie”.  In that episode we saw a troubled, burnt out captain who questioned his own command prowess, worn down from the weight of command.

But it wasn’t until Anson Mount was cast in Star Trek: Strange New Worlds did we really get a fresh take and apparently, also really LIKE our latest starship commander.

In SNW, Pike is more relaxed and lacks that tense, serious demeanor portrayed by other Star Trek commanders.  While Captain Kirk had his laid back moments, he would typically decompress AFTER a mission.  Sometimes his “humor” was ill-conceived and awkward like the “smarty pants” response he made to NOMAD’s murder rampage, “What a doctor [NOMAD] would have made?” while completely forgetting the four people dead, thanks to NOMAD.  I can just see a crowd of crew members requesting for transfer off the Enterprise death ship thanks to Kirk’s indifference to the recently deceased.  That just makes Kirk less sympathetic.

Pike’s approach is very different: injecting humor into starkly dangerous circumstances; commonly called “gallows humor.”  This trait is common with people in combat situations, high pressure jobs, or high risk activities.  Pike isn’t dismissing the issue, he’s still addressing it head on but also allowing everyone around him to take a breath. People need a mental “pause” in high stakes situations – Pike provides it at critically important times.

He’s a “people person”  making it common social practice to invite his senior officers to dinner – one he also cooks. Discussion is open.  No one judges.  Diplomats know great negotiations take place over state dinners, so does Pike.  How can you NOT admire and appreciate your boss feeding you a gourmet dinner?

Pike is also a collaborative person, he not only asks for opinions, he follows through with others’ plans, tabling his own.  If someone is better qualified to answer a particular question, he’s perfectly fine going with their plan.

Star Trek: SNW’s Captain Pike is also willing to share his own feelings with others in his inner circle.  He’s not worried about “optics” with people he trusts.

Lastly, there’s Mount himself who rounds out our reliably relatable Pike character.  His love of cooking and sharing his culinary inventions with cast and crew was written into the series because, well, that’s him.  He’s also well rounded culturally having written for the “American Playwrights Conference” “Atomic City” and is an adjunct assistant professor at Columbia University.  He’s also written for diverse magazines, “Mosaic”, “The Daily Beast” and “Cowboys & Indians”, also reflected in his character.

He isn’t worried about a secondary role where other actors are featured.  It doesn’t bother him.

So we can thank both the writers and Anson Mount himself for giving us such a likable captain for our new adventures on the Enterprise. That natural synergy is just another reason why Star Trek SNW is so popular with critics and fans, the writers and Mount are just that good!

Next. Star Trek: Strange New Worlds tries to answer if there is such a thing as a “monster”. dark