Bruce Greenwood’s Pike Is Different From The Original Version In One Way

The inner turmoil of Jeffrey Hunter’s Pike can be seen in the “Original Series” episode “The Cage,” with Pike’s colleagues taking notice of his burnout. At one point, Senior Medical Officer Dr. Boyce chastises, “Chris, you set standards for yourself no one could meet. You treat everyone on board like a human being except yourself.” For his part, Pike seems to be contemplating retirement, telling Boyce, “I’m tired of deciding which mission is too risky and which isn’t. And who’s going on the landing party and who doesn’t. And who lives. And who dies.”

Thanks to the butterfly effect and the divergent decision tree flowchart of the Kelvin Timeline, Bruce Greenwood’s Pike seems to have averted that burnout — at least up to his early encounters with Kirk. Greenwood told the Star Trek website, “The central dilemma for Jeffrey Hunter is not the central dilemma for my Pike. I was fortunate in that regard, that I wasn’t playing the same conflicts.” Speaking with Star Trek Magazine, the actor stated, “They are almost opposites […] Yet you can look at it as though they are two sides of the same coin, because of the parallel universe.”

While Prime Timeline Pike longs for a life free from Starfleet responsibilities, Greenwood’s Pike isn’t free of burdens. They just take another form. According to Greenwood in SciFi Now (via Trek Movie), “My Pike doesn’t have an internal wrestling match the way the earlier one did, but he does have second thoughts and misgivings about the way Starfleet is training officers as by-the-book products that may not, at the end of the day, be what’s required for a great leader.”

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