Monday, April 9, 2018

STAR TREK: DISCOVERY Casts Anson Mount as Captain Christopher Pike

The Enterprise has a captain once again.

Deadline has revealed that the CBS All Access series Star Trek: Discovery has cast Anson Mount as Starfleet legend Captain Christopher Pike for the show's second season.  

Pike will be captain of the USS Enterprise, which appeared at the very end of the show's first season.  In the Season One finale, after the USS Discovery warped to Vulcan to pick up its new captain, the crew received a distress call from the USS Enterprise.

Mount, 45, is best known as Black Bolt on the short-lived ABC series Inhumansand as Cullen Bohannon on the AMC series Hell on Wheels.  His film work includes the movies Visions, Supremacy, Seal Team Six: The Raid on Osama bin Laden, Straw Dogs, The Battle of Shaker Heights, Crossroads, and Urban Legends: Final Cut.  He has also appeared on episodes of LOST, Dollhouse, Smallville, Red Widow, Law & Order, Conviction, CSI: Miami, Sex and the City, and Ally McBeal.

Created in 1966 by Gene Roddenberry, Christopher Pike first appeared in the original Star Trek pilot episode "The Cage."  Introduced as the captain of the USS Enterprise NCC-1701 in the year 2254, Pike led a landing party to the planet Rigel VII.  On this mission, the group was attacked by Kalar warriors, in what seemed to be an abandoned fortress. Three crewmen, including Pike's own yeoman, were killed, while an additional seven, including Spock, were injured, some severely.  The loss weighed heavily on Pike, and with all the strain and work that followed, he began to question remaining as starship commander. The Enterprise then set out for Vega colony to hospitalize the sick and injured.

En route to the Vega colony, the Enterprise intercepted an old-style radio-interference distress call carrying the call letters of the SS Columbia, a survey expedition from the American Continent Institute which had been lost in the Talos star group in 2236.  At Pike's reluctant command, the Enterprise diverted and traced the signal to a crash site on Talos IV.  After an initial encounter with supposed survivors, including an out-of-place young beauty named Vina, it was revealed that the native Talosians had used telepathy to create the illusion of an encampment and all the survivors except Vina were dead.

Pike was overpowered and kidnapped, and placed in a Talosian menagerie.  There, the Talosians attempted to manipulate him into mating with Vina, to create a population of illusion-controlled Human servants.  Due to the Talosians' telepathy, Pike was forced to relive old memories and placed in illusory scenarios of lives he could have, if he abandoned his career as a starship captain.  The scenarios included reliving the fight on Rigel VII, a picnic in parkland near Mojave with his two horses, and an illusory day in the life of an Orion slave-trader dealing in green animal women.  Pike refused to mate with Vina, so the Talosians began to take steps to convince him to breed with other females of his crew.  As a result, Yeoman J.M. Colt and Pike's first officer, Number One, were captured.

Inside his cell, Pike managed to capture and hold captive The Keeper.  Pike then threatened to break the Talosian's neck if he resisted, and all the illusions ceased from that point forward.  Escaping with the others to the outside of the Talosian complex, Pike had Number One set a laser to overload, in an effort to make a statement to the Talosians about holding Humans captive.  The Talosians believed this violent reaction made humans unsuitable for breeding.  Vina's true appearance was then revealed, and Pike convinced the Talosians to restore her illusion of health and beauty while letting him and his crew members go free. Although the experience with the illusory worlds restored Pike's confidence in his command, it was recommended that all contact with the Talosians' powers be restricted.  General Order 7 was enacted, threatening the death penalty should anyone travel there, for fear of the Federation falling to illusory indulgence.

Mount will be the fourth actor to portray Christopher Pike, after Jeffrey Hunter in "The Cage," Sean Kenney in "The Menagerie," and Bruce Greenwood in the films Star Trek (2009) and Star Trek Into Darkness.

Star Trek: Discovery is expected to return for Season 2 sometime in September 2018.

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