James T. Kirk
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
William Shatner as Kirk, in a publicity photograph for the original Star Trek
|Affiliation||United Federation of Planets|
|Posting||Chief of Starfleet Operations|
USS Enterprise and
|Portrayed by||William Shatner (1966-1994)|
Chris Pine (2009-present)
James Tiberius "Jim" Kirk is a character in the Star Trek media franchise, appearing in numerous television episodes, films, books, comics, and video games. As the captain of the starship USS Enterprise, Kirk leads his crew as they explore "where no man has gone before".
Kirk, played by William Shatner, first appears in the second episode of Star Trek, "Where No Man Has Gone Before". Shatner continued in the role for three seasons, and he voiced Kirk in the animated series (1973–74). Shatner returned to the role for the first Star Trek film, Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979) and in six subsequent films. Chris Pine portrayed a younger version of the character in the 2009 Star Trek film, with Jimmy Bennett playing Kirk as a child. Other actors have played the character in fan-created media, and the character has been the subject of multiple spoofs and satires.
The character is primarily a protagonist in the media in which he appears, often with the characters of Spock and Leonard McCoy acting as logical and emotional sounding boards, respectively. The character has been praised for his leadership traits, and also criticized for his relationships with women.
James T. Kirk was born in 2233 in Riverside, Iowa. He was raised there by his parents, George and Winona Kirk. Although born on Earth, Kirk for a time lived on Tarsus IV, where he was one of nine surviving witnesses to the massacre of 4,000 colonists by Kodos the Executioner. James Kirk's brother George Samuel Kirk is first mentioned in "What Are Little Girls Made Of?" and introduced and killed in "Operation: Annihilate!", leaving behind three children. It is also stated that only he has ever called his brother by his childhood nickname, "Sam".
At Starfleet Academy, Kirk became the only student to defeat the Kobayashi Maru test, garnering a commendation for original thinking by reprogramming the computer to make the "no-win scenario" winnable. Kirk was granted a field commission as an ensign and posted to advanced training aboard the USS Republic. He then was promoted to lieutenant junior grade and returned to Starfleet Academy as a student instructor. Students could either "think or sink" in his class, and Kirk himself was "a stack of books with legs". Upon graduating in the top five percent, Kirk was promoted to lieutenant and served aboard the USS Farragut. While assigned to the Farragut, Kirk commanded his first planetary survey and survived a deadly attack that killed a large portion of the Farragut's crew, including his commanding officer, Captain Garrovick. He received his first command, the equivalent of a destroyer-type spaceship, while still quite young.
Kirk became Starfleet's youngest captain when he received command of the USS Enterprise for a five-year mission, three years of which are depicted in the original Star Trek series. Kirk's most significant relationships in the television series are with first officer Spock and chief medical officer Dr. Leonard "Bones" McCoy. McCoy is someone to whom Kirk unburdens himself and is a foil to Spock. Robert Jewett and John Shelton Lawrence's The Myth of the American Superhero describes Kirk as "a hard-driving leader who pushes himself and his crew beyond human limits". Terry J. Erdman and Paula M. Block, in their Star Trek 101 primer, note that while "cunning, courageous and confident", Kirk also has a "tendency to ignore Starfleet regulations when he feels the end justifies the means"; he is "the quintessential officer, a man among men and a hero for the ages". Although Kirk throughout the series becomes romantically involved with various women, when confronted with a choice between a woman and the Enterprise, "his ship always won".
J. M. Dillard's novel The Lost Years describes Kirk's promotion to rear admiral and unfulfilling duties as a diplomatic troubleshooter after the Enterprise's five-year mission. In Star Trek: The Motion Picture, Kirk is chief of Starfleet operations, and he takes command of the Enterprise from Captain Willard Decker. Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry's novelization of The Motion Picture depicts Kirk married to a Starfleet officer killed during a transporter accident. At the beginning of Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, Kirk takes command of the Enterprise from Captain Spock to pursue his enemy from "Space Seed", Khan Noonien Singh. The movie introduces Kirk's son, David Marcus. Spock, who notes that "commanding a starship is [Kirk's] first, best destiny", dies at the end of Star Trek II. In Star Trek III: The Search for Spock, Kirk leads his surviving officers in a successful mission to rescue Spock from a planet on which he is reborn. Although Kirk is demoted to captain in Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home for disobeying Starfleet orders, he also receives command of a new USS Enterprise. The ship is ordered decommissioned at the end of Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country.
In Star Trek Generations, Captain Picard finds Kirk alive in the timeless Nexus, despite the fact that history recorded his death during the Enterprise-B's maiden voyage, Kirk having fallen into the Nexus in the incident that caused his 'death'. Picard convinces Kirk to return to Picard's present to help stop the villain Soran from destroying Veridian III's sun. Although Kirk initially refuses the offer, he agrees when he realises that the Nexus cannot give him the one thing he has always sought: the ability to make a difference. The two leave the Nexus and stop Soran. However, Kirk is mortally wounded; as he dies, Picard assures him that he helped to "make a difference". Picard buries Kirk on the planet.
Shatner and Judith and Garfield Reeves-Stevens wrote a series of novels that depict Kirk's resurrection by the Borg and his ongoing adventures after the events of Generations.
The 2009 film Star Trek introduces an alternate timeline that reveals different origins for Kirk, the formation of his association with Spock, and how they came to serve together on the Enterprise. The point of divergence between The Original Series and the film occurs on the day of Kirk's birth in 2233.
Although the movie treats specific details from Star Trek as mutable, characterizations are meant to "remain the same". In the movie, George and Winona Kirk name their son James Tiberius after his maternal and paternal grandfathers, respectively. He is born on a shuttle escaping the starship USS Kelvin, on which his father is killed. The character begins as "a reckless, bar-fighting rebel" who eventually reaches "maturity". According to Pine, the character is "a 25-year-old [who acts like a] 15-year-old" and who is "angry at the world". Kirk and Spock clash at Starfleet Academy, but, over the course of the movie, Kirk focuses his "passion and obstinance and the spectrum of emotions" and becomes captain of the Enterprise.
Jeffrey Hunter played Captain Christopher Pike, commanding officer of the USS Enterprise, in the rejected Star Trek television pilot, "The Cage". In developing the second pilot, "Where No Man Has Gone Before", series creator Gene Roddenberry changed the captain's name to James T. Kirk after rejecting other options like Hannibal, Timber, Flagg, and Raintree. The name was inspired by Captain James Cook, whose journal entry "ambition leads me ... farther than any other man has been before me" inspired the second pilot's title. The character is in part based on C. S. Forester's Horatio Hornblower hero, and NBC wanted the show to emphasize the captain's "rugged individualism". Jack Lord was Desilu Productions' original choice to play Kirk, but his demand for fifty-percent ownership of the show led to him not being hired.
William Shatner tried to imbue the character with "awe and wonder" absent from "The Cage". He also drew upon his experiences as a Shakespearean actor to invigorate the character, whose dialogue at times is laden with jargon. Not only did he take inspiration from Roddenberry's suggestion of Hornblower, but Shatner also based Kirk on Alexander the Great – "the athlete and the intellectual of his time", whom Shatner played for an unsold television pilot two years earlier – and himself because "the fatigue factor [after weeks of daily filming] is such that you try to be as honest about yourself as possible". A comedy veteran, Shatner suggested making the show's characters as comfortable working in space as they would at sea, and having Kirk be a humorous "good-pal-the-captain, who in time of need would snap to and become the warrior". Changing the character to be "a man with very human emotions" also allowed for the development of the Spock character. Shatner wrote that "Kirk was a man who marveled and greatly appreciated the endless surprises presented to him by the universe ... He didn't take things for granted and, more than anything else, respected life in every one of its weird weekly adventure forms". Shatner did not expect Star Trek to become a success.
When Star Trek was cancelled in 1969, Shatner assumed it would be the end of his association with the show; however, Shatner went on to voice Kirk in the animated Star Trek, star in the first seven Star Trek movies, and provide voice acting for several games. Wrath of Khan director and writer Nicholas Meyer, who had never seen an episode of Star Trek before he was assigned to direct, focused on the "Hornblower in outer space" atmosphere, unaware it was an influence on the show. Meyer also emphasized parallels to Sherlock Holmes in that both characters waste away in the absence of their stimuli: new cases for Holmes, and starship adventures in Kirk's.
Meyer's The Wrath of Khan script focuses on Kirk's age, with McCoy giving Kirk a pair of glasses as a birthday present. The script states that Kirk is 49, but Shatner was unsure about being specific about Kirk's age because he was hesitant to portray a middle-aged version of himself. Shatner changed his mind when producer Harve Bennett convinced Shatner that he could age gracefully like Spencer Tracy. Spock's sacrifice at the end of the film allows for Kirk's spiritual rebirth; commenting earlier that he feels old and worn out, Kirk states in the final scene that he feels "young." Additionally, Spock's self-sacrificing solution to the no-win Kobayashi Maru scenario, which Kirk had cheated his way through, forces Kirk to confront death and to grow as a character.
Both Shatner and test audiences were dissatisfied that Kirk was fatally shot in the back in the original ending of Generations; an addendum inserted while Shatner's Star Trek Movie Memories memoir was being printed expresses his enthusiasm at being called back to film a rewritten ending. Despite the rewrite, Generations co-writer Ronald D. Moore said Kirk's death, intended to "resonate throughout the Star Trek franchise", failed to "pay off the themes [of death and mortality] in the way we wanted". Malcolm McDowell, whose character killed Kirk, was dissatisfied with both versions of Kirk's death; he believed Kirk should have been killed "in a big way". McDowell claims to have received death threats after Generation's release.
In the 2009 film Star Trek, screenwriters Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci focused their story on Kirk and Spock in the movie's alternative timeline while attempting to preserve key character traits from the previous depictions. Kurtzman said casting someone whose portrayal of Kirk would show that the character "is being honored and protected" was "tricky", but that the "spirit of Kirk is very much alive and well" in Pine's depiction. Due to his belief that he could not take himself seriously as a leader, Pine recalled having difficulty with his audition, which required him "to bark 'Trek jargon'", but his charisma impressed director J. J. Abrams. Pine's chemistry with Zachary Quinto, playing Spock, led Abrams to offer Pine the role. Jimmy Bennett played Kirk in scenes depicting the character's childhood. The writers turned to material such as Best Destiny for inspiration as to Kirk's childhood.
In preparing to play Kirk, Pine decided to embrace the character's key traits – "charming, funny, leader of men" – rather than try to fit the "predigested image" of Shatner's portrayal. Pine specifically did not try to mirror Shatner's cadence, believing that doing so would become "an impersonation". Pine said he wanted his portrayal of Kirk to most resemble Harrison Ford's Indiana Jones or Han Solo characters, highlighting their humor and "accidental hero" traits.
A misunderstanding arose during the film's production about whether Shatner would make a cameo appearance. According to Abrams, the production team considered ways to resurrect Shatner's deceased Kirk character, but could not devise a way that was not "lame". However, Abrams believed Shatner misinterpreted language about trying to get "him" into the movie as a reference to Shatner, and not his character. Shatner released a YouTube video expressing disappointment at not being approached for a cameo. Although Shatner questioned the wisdom of not including him in the film, he predicted the movie would be "wonderful" and that he was "kidding" Abrams about not offering him a cameo.
According to Shatner, early Star Trek reviews called his performance "wooden", with most of the show's acting praise and media interest going to Nimoy. However, Shatner's mannerisms when portraying Kirk have become "instantly recognizable" and Shatner won a Saturn Award for Best Actor in 1982 for The Wrath of Khan. Star Trek II director Nicholas Meyer said Shatner "gives the best performance of his life" in The Wrath of Khan. The Guardian called Pine's performance of Kirk an "unqualified success", and The Boston Globe said Pine is "a fine, brash boy Kirk". Slate, which called Pine "a jewel", described his performance as "channel[ing]" Shatner without being an impersonation.
Slate.com described Shatner's depiction of Kirk as an "expansive, randy, faintly ridiculous, and yet supremely capable leader of men, Falstaffian in his love of life and largeness of spirit". The Myth of the American Superhero refers to Kirk as a "superhuman redeemer" who "like a true superhero ... regularly escapes after risking battle with monsters or enemy spaceships". Although some episodes question Kirk's position as a hero, Star Trek "never left the viewer in doubt for long". Others have commented that Kirk's exaggerated "strength, intelligence, charm, and adventurousness" make him unrealistic. Kirk is described as able to find ways "through unanticipated problems to reach [his] goals" and his leadership style is most "appropriate in a tight, geographically identical team with a culture of strong leadership." Although Roddenberry conceived the character as being "in a very real sense ... 'married' " to the Enterprise, Kirk has been noted for "his sexual exploits with gorgeous females of every size, shape and type"; he has been called "promiscuous" and labeled a "womanizer". The Last Lecture author Randy Pausch believed he became a better teacher, colleague, and husband because he watched Kirk run the Enterprise; Pausch wrote that "for ambitious boys with a scientific bent, there could be no greater role model than James T. Kirk".
The town of Riverside, Iowa, petitioned Roddenberry and Paramount Pictures in 1985 for permission to "adopt" Kirk as their town's "Future Son". Paramount wanted $40,000 for a license to reproduce a bust of Kirk, but the city instead set a plaque and built a replica of the Enterprise (named the "USS Riverside"), and the Riverside Area Community Club holds an annual "Trek Fest" in anticipation of Kirk's birthday.
Kirk has been the target of spoofs in a wide range of television programs in many countries, including The Carol Burnett Show and KI.KA's Bernd das Brot. John Belushi's impression of Kirk for Saturday Night Live, which he described as his favorite role, was "dead-on". Jim Carrey has been praised for his satire of the character in a 1992 episode of In Living Color. Comedian Kevin Pollak is well known for his impressions of Shatner as Kirk.
Kirk has been merchandised in a variety of ways, including collectible busts, action figures, mugs, t-shirts, and Christmas tree ornaments. A Kirk Halloween mask was altered and used as the mask worn by the character Michael Myers in the Halloween film franchise. In 2002, Kirk's captain chair from the original Star Trek was auctioned for $304,000.
In a 2010 Space Foundation survey, Kirk was ranked as the #6 (tied with cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin) most popular space hero.
The Star Trek: Phase II fan production portrays the further voyages of the original Enterprise crew. The series' creators feel that "Kirk, Spock, McCoy and the rest should be treated as 'classic' characters like Willy Loman from Death of a Salesman, Gandalf from The Lord of the Rings or even Hamlet, Othello or Romeo. Many actors have and can play the roles, each offering a different interpretation of said character".
James Cawley has played Kirk in the Phase II series since it began in 2004. Wired observes that while Cawley's depiction "lacks Shatner's vulnerability", the actor has enough swagger "to be passable in the role of Captain Kirk". Cawley's portrayal was well-known enough at Paramount that a group of Star Trek: Enterprise writers called for Cawley's attention at a science fiction convention by shouting "Hey, Kirk!" at him while Shatner sat nearby.
|Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to: Star Trek|
Captain Kirk and Friends.
The horned Gorilla was something taken from Flash Gordon.
Ming is actually another Devil, although it may not be obvious as he pretends to be a legitimate Chinese ruler.
Kirk has also been known to associate with one Harry Mudd. Here we see Mr. Mudd and a list of his qualifications.
Gag picture of Kirk and Spock in the slammer during the course of one of their adventures.*
This photo of Spock was retouched for one publication because someone thought he looked too much like the Devil
Spock is not infrequently taken to be the Devil, but Kirk's association with things Satannic does not end there. Kirk has been known to associate with the Devil himself.
The Magicks of Megas-tu
From Wikipedia, the
|"The Magicks of Megas-tu"|
|Star Trek: The Animated Series episode|
The alien "satyr" Lucien
|Episode no.||Season 1|
|Directed by||Hal Sutherland|
|Written by||Larry Brody|
|Original air date||October 27, 1973 (1973-10-27)|
|List of Star Trek: The Animated Series episodes|
"The Magicks of Megas-tu" is the eighth episode of the first season of the animated science fiction television series Star Trek. It first aired in the NBC Saturday morning lineup on October 27, 1973, and was written
by American television writer Larry Brody[note 1] who would go on to write the Star Trek: Voyager episode "Tattoo".
In this episode, Captain Kirk must defend both humanity and an alien named Lucien on their turf.
On stardate 1254.4, while exploring near the center of the galaxy, the Federation starship USS Enterprise is caught inside an energy/matter vortex and all her computer systems fail. A being named Lucien appears on the bridge, repairs the ship's systems and takes the crew to explore his planet, Megas-Tu.
On this planet, magic and witchcraft are quite normal. The Megans are an ageless species that had, at one time, lived on Earth, and were responsible for the legends about witches. Lucien, their guide, is in reality the Lucifer of Earth mythology. During this time, the Enterprise crew begin to experiment with magic: Lt. Sulu conjures up a beautiful woman while Science Officer Spock creates a Vulcan chess game. Lucien then warns the crew that their experiments would draw unwanted attention, but it is too late. The crew are transported into Salem during the middle of a witch trial where Lucien is the creature placed on trial by the Megans.
The Megans are determined to put humanity and the Enterprise crew on trial for what humans did to their people during the Salem witch-trials. Kirk comes out in support of Lucien's life and says that killing him would make the Megans just like humans. Lucien's punishment is to be condemned into limbo for eternity for bringing humans into the Megans' world. While Kirk states that humanity has progressed infinitely since 1691, the Megans ignore his words. At the end of the trial, Kirk
offers his life to save Lucien's and the Megans are so impressed by the captain's gesture that they spare Lucien, and tell the Enterprise that they would welcome future human visits to their planet. They also return the Enterprise to its proper universe.
Some critics consider "Megas-tu" to be "one of the best animated episodes" which placed "Kirk in the bizarre situation of having to defend a misunderstood Satan." While it was quite ambitious and heady for a Saturday morning children's program, "it's somehow appropriate that Star Trek is able to pull it off successfully." This intriguing animated episode postulated that witches on Earth were actually "travellers from another dimension where magic exists." While this episode is somewhat similar to the live action Star Trek show "Plato's Stepchildren" where Kirk and his crew also gain superpowers, "it's actually a better episode, as Kirk pleads humanity's case to the Megans. The show depicts Kirk successfully defending Lucifer from banishment and noting that he will not fall prey to legendary superstitions. At the end of the episode following Kirk's successful defense, Spock says ironically to Kirk: "This is the second time Lucifer was cast out and, thanks to you, the first time he was saved."
- "The Magicks of Megas-tu" at the Internet Movie Database
- "The Magicks of Megas-tu" at TV.com
- "The Magicks of Megas-tu" at Memory Alpha (a Star Trek wiki)
- "The Magicks of Megas-tu" at StarTrek.com
- "The Magicks of Megas-tu" at Curt Danhauser's Guide to the Animated Star Trek
- "The Magicks of Megas-tu" Full episode for viewing at StarTrek.com
Although the animated version has it that here Kirk met the Devil for the first time, there was in fact a previous association of the two, at least if you ignore the fact that Shatner wasn't using the name "Kirk" at the time.
Nick of Time (The Twilight Zone)
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
|"Nick of Time"|
|The Twilight Zone episode|
|Episode no.||Season 2|
|Directed by||Richard L. Bare|
|Written by||Richard Matheson|
|Original air date||November 18, 1960|
|List of Twilight Zone episodes|
When Don and Pat Carter's
automobile breaks down in Ridgeview, Ohio, they decide to have lunch at the Busy Bee Cafe while they wait. The booth they sit in has a fortune telling machine on the table that answers yes or no questions for a penny each. Don asks the "mystic seer" if he is going to get a promotion at work. The card says that it has been decided in his favor. When Don calls the office, he discovers that the seer was right. Because of this initial success, Don asks the seer more and more questions.
Pat begins to recognize that Don is taking the seer too seriously. Based on the seer's predictions, Don believes it is unsafe to leave the diner until after 3 p.m. Pat convinces him to leave a few minutes before 3, but the couple is almost struck by a car while crossing the street. A nearby clock shows it is 3 p.m. After they calm down, Don wants to go back to the cafe for more answers. However, two women are sitting at their booth, so Don and Pat wait at the front counter.
Pat wants proof that the seer is legitimate, pointing out that it was Don who had brought up the matter of precisely 3 p.m. After reclaiming their booth, Don immediately asks the seer more questions. One of the things he wants to know is whether their car will be fixed by the end of the day. The seer answers in the affirmative, and, as if on cue, the mechanic steps into the diner to tell Don that his car is fixed.
The breaking point comes when Don wants the seer to tell him where they're going to live and asks the seer every conceivable yes/no question to arrive at that information. Pat tries to break the spell the seer has over Don. After a persuasive speech from Pat, Don apologizes and then announces directly to the mystic seer that they're leaving to go do what they please. After their cautious but uneventful exit to their car and out of town, a slightly older couple enters the diner. The couple is noticeably beleaguered and distraught. Approaching the same mystic seer, the man first asks the seer if they can ask more questions. After receiving an apparently affirmative answer, the man asks a series of questions including, "Is today the day we will leave Ridgeview?" The couple is obviously deflated by the answers to this question and others and, unlike the now free Don and Pat, will
remain trapped by their obsession to the seer's "counsel."
Richard Matheson writing in The Twilight Zone Magazine said that he wished that Pat Breslin, who played Pat Carter (the wife of Don Carter, Shatner's character in this episode) had been available again to play the wife of Shatner's character in the famous 5th season episode "Nightmare at 20,000 Feet".
and building seen in this episode is the same one seen in the episode "I Sing the Body Electric". Both episodes feature scenes in which people are almost run over by vehicles on the same street.
- "Nick of Time" at the Internet Movie Database
- TV.com episode page
- Guide to building your own Mystic Seer
The Devil in another episode of THE TWILIGHT ZONE, "The Howling Man", where he was locked up in a monastary until a man set him free, not knowing he was really the Devil. That sounds suspiciously close to Captain Kirk's cartoon adventure with the Devil.
Captain Kirk has been criticized for some of the things he has done, but somehow seems to ordinarily escape criticism for his lack of sense in hanging around with the worst possible companion, the Devil himself. But it can also be said that in his animated cartoon adventures with the Devil, the Devil was not really supposed to be evil and Captain Kirk was supposed to have done a good thing by saving him. Still, the whole thing looks kind of funny.
*This was the episode where they had the planet that was modeled after ancient Rome, one of a number of elements that STAR TREK borrowed from SPACE ANGEL.
Kirk meets the devil ( again ):
Nightmare At 20,000 Feet: