Pike avoids Kirk’s biggest Captain’s Mistake in Episode 9 of “Strange New Worlds”

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Warning: SPOILERS for the series “Star Trek: Strange New Worlds”, episode 9 — “Everyone who Wanders”.

In episode 9, “Star Trek: Strange New Worlds,” Captain Christopher Pike (Anson Mount) wisely avoids a common mistake that Captain James T. Kirk (William Shatner) repeatedly makes in “Star Trek: The Original Series.” Pike leads a landing party on the L-class planet Valeo Beta V in episode 9 of Strange New Worlds, but their mission to investigate the crashed aircraft carrier Peregrine turns into a terrible nightmare when Pike’s team is attacked by Baby Horn. Meanwhile, Lieutenant Commander Una Chin-Riley (Rebecca Romaine), Pike’s number one, takes the Enterprise with supplies to the K-7 deep Space station.

In numerous episodes of Star Trek: The Original Series, Captain Kirk shines on the planet with Mr. Spock (Leonard Nimoy) at his side, and they are often joined by Dr. Leonard McCoy (DeForest Kelly). From the point of view of television production, this is quite logical. Kirk, Spock and McCoy are the main characters of Star Trek, so their presence is often required in the main story. But from the point of view of Starfleet protocols, Kirk and Spock regularly descending together are dangerous. This means that the captain and the first officer of the USS Enterprise are outside the ship at the same time, and they are usually in danger. When Kirk and his number one left, Scotty (James Doohan) or Mr. Sulu (George Takei) usually command the Enterprise, but it was always extremely irresponsible for Kirk to leave his helmsman or chief engineer in charge. his spaceship. Logically, Spock should stay on the Enterprise when Kirk is away, and vice versa, but the Vulcan rarely raised this issue and relied on the opinion of his captain.

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Captain Pike duly completely avoids Captain Kirk’s mistake in episode 9 of Strange New Worlds, and overall it worked in the Enterprise’s favor. When Pike decided to personally lead the landing party on Valeo Beta V, he ordered Number One to take the Enterprise with its priority mission of delivering the Vidium power elements to the K-7 deep space station. This was the right solution to the problem when the Enterprise needed to perform two missions at the same time. Since Pike was planning to conduct a field mission, Una’s place was on the bridge of the Enterprise. Since he intended to leave the ship, the captain also entrusted Una, who is known as the best first mate in Starfleet, to deliver K-7 and provide the station with the power elements it desperately needs. Pike’s decision was correct, since Una not only delivered the Vidium, but also returned in time for the Enterprise to tow the abandoned aircraft carrier Peregrine from Valeo Beta V.

Because Pike decided to take Spock (Ethan Peck) and Lieutenant La’an Nunien Singh (Kristina Chong) with him to his landing party, it would be superfluous to include Una as well. While Spock and La’an are both capable of commanding the Enterprise in Pike’s absence-and La’an ably served as number one twice in the first season of Strange New Worlds-the captain was right to leave Una in command. This avoids the problem that Kirk usually created when both the captain and the first mate are away from the Enterprise at the same time. And it’s not surprising that Pike made this call, since he likes to act by the rules; to Chris’ chagrin, even in his Starfleet service record he is referred to as a “boy Scout”.

“Star Trek: The Next Generation” has also taken steps to correct Captain Kirk’s mistake. In the first seasons of TNG, the delineation was made so that Captain Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart) remained on the bridge of the USS Enterprise-D, while away missions became the competence of Commander William Riker (Jonathan Frakes). However, this protocol gradually fell away according to the dramatic needs of each TNG episode. After all, Starfleet may be modeled after the U.S. Navy, but it’s still a television series whose story and drama are more important than the verisimilitude of the real world. That’s why it’s so commendable that Pike’s decision in the 9th episode of Star Trek: Strange New Worlds provided both the realism and the dramatic needs of an exciting story.