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Paramount’s John Pike During Star Trek: The Next Generation

I was watching the very entertaining Chaos on the Bridge documentary, about the early years of Star Trek: The Next Generation.

This stuff is like bedtime stories for Trekkies. I can’t embed the viewer, or take screen caps, as it turns out. But watch it here.

And wow, if only there was some way I could just use my camera phone on the computer screen (above).

One of the more entertaining interview subjects I found to be John Pike, who was head of Paramount Studios during this pivotal time. He has some really great stories.

If I recall correctly—though I don’t think it’s in this doc—Pike was the one who nixed Billy Campbell as Riker, feeling he was not authoritative enough. Thus Jonathan Frakes was cast. (And Billy was given a guest role as Okona in early season two.)

Billy Campbell once offered me half a valium at a Hollywood party, by the way. True story! Nice guy. (I declined.)

I went down the Internet wormhole looking for more with Mr. Pike (great name)...and all I could find was this truly bizarre video on C-SPAN, of all things, from the early 1980s, in which a bunch of entertainment executives (some of whom went on to bigger and better things, like Peter Chernin) provide “infotainment” to a business convention audience.

I can’t say there’s a lot of entertainment value to the “Satellite Showdown,” but it’s here for the aliens to discover when they scan our primitive data records in 8,000 years.

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