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Where Captain Kirk Is During Pike's New Star Trek Series (& How He Could Appear)


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Where's Captain Kirk at the time of the new Star Trek series, and could the iconic Enterprise captain actually make an appearance? CBS All Access recently announced a brand new Star Trek television series called Strange New Worlds as part of its continued expansion into Gene Roddenberry's world. The new project is set to feature Anson Mount as Captain Christopher Pike, Ethan Peck as Spock and Rebecca Romijn as Number One, and follows on from the trio's popular stint in Star Trek: Discovery. Chronicling the new/old adventures of the USS Enterprise and its crew, Strange New Worlds looks to hark back to a more traditional Star Trek formula.

Inevitably, producing a new Star Trek series set firmly within James T. Kirk's time frame engages speculation as to whether the character previously played by William Shatner and Chris Pine could potentially make an appearance. On one hand, the recasting of Spock makes a Kirk appearance distinctly possible, but whether that could happen without being viewed as an exercise in fan service is another matter. Even more problematically, Kirk and Pike never actually meet until Pike transfers captaincy of the Enterprise to his younger successor in the Prime Star Trek universe. Nevertheless, what was Kirk was up to during Pike's stint on the Enterprise and how this could possibly lead to a guest role in Strange New Worlds?

The fact that Star Trek: Strange New Worlds is set following the Enterprise's tag team partnership with the Discovery places the new show in the latter years of Pike's command - the late 2250s. Therefore, Pike will be keeping the center seat warm for approximately 7 more years before Kirk saddles into his chair. In terms of what Kirk's doing during those 7 years, romancing numerous women, making a baby and messing up the Kobyashi Maru probably wouldn’t be too far wrong. However, he also found time to graduate from Starfleet Academy with the rank of Lieutenant and get assigned aboard the USS Farragut under the command of Captain Garrovick, all of which happened in the mid to late 2250s. As such, it's certainly possible that the Farrgut, being another constitution class vessel, could rendezvous and potentially work alongside the Enterprise without Kirk and Pike actually coming face to face. There's no reason why young Lieutenant Kirk couldn’t interact with other members of the Enterprise crew, many of whom we've yet to be introduced to.

One significant event of Kirk's tenure on the Farragut was the crew's encounter with the dikironium cloud creature which resulted in the deaths of 200 crewmen including Captain Garrovick himself. The creature was sentient and aggressive, and managed to escape once it had decimated the Farragut. Such a tragic happening certainly wouldn't have gone unnoticed by a fellow Starfleet crew, so it would be intriguing to have the Enterprise crew involved in the aftermath of the slaughter, coming to the aid of its sister ship or perhaps even pursuing the creature with the help of an emotional, surviving Kirk. Young Kirk was understandably traumatized by the encounter and blamed himself for not firing the ship's phasers in time - another aspect that could be skillfully woven into Strange New Worlds to balance the usual brash and bold characterization of Kirk.

Following the Farragut incident, Kirk soon found himself back on Earth. Clearly, the appetite for the center seat was still burning within him as he rose rapidly through the ranks, spending time instructing at Starfleet Academy as well as in a desk job. There is an element of vagueness surrounding this era of Kirk’s career, so incorporating the character into Strange New Worlds shouldn't mess too heavily with Star Trek canon. One can only hope that if James T. Kirk is to feature, the actor who takes this iconic role enjoys the same success and popularity of Mount, Peck and Romijn, who all skillfully made their Star Trek parts their own.


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