In a rare and recently unearthed interview from 1965, the actor who preceded William Shatner as first captain of the Enterprise, stated that the series was based on the RAND Corporation’s “projection of things to come”.
Actor Jeffrey Hunter, who played captain Christopher Pike in the Star Trek pilot “The Cage” told a Hollywood columnist in January of ’65 that he hoped the pilot-episode would be picked up as a series because he was intrigued by the fact that the series was based on the RAND corporation’s “projection of things to come.”
“We should know within several weeks whether the show has been sold.”, Hunter stated almost half a century ago.
“It will be an hour long, in color, with a regular cast of a half-dozen or so and an important guest star each week.”, he stated hopefully.
“The things that intrigues me the most”, Hunter said, “is that it is actually based on the Rand Corporation’s projection of things to come. Except for the fictional characters, it will be like getting a look into the future and some of the predictions will surely come true in our lifetime.”
Trekweb, the first Star Trek website ever to appear on the internet, republished part of the recently discovered interview with Hunter in the context of celebrations around the historic pilot-episode- considered by many “Trekkies” to be the blueprint of the entire Star Trek project. As Trekweb notes, the character of Captain Pike “remains a popular character with Trek fans.”
According to one Star Trek-dedicated website, the involvement of the RAND corporation in the series was limited to “technical advice” by RAND researcher Harvey P. Lynn Jr. As Trekplace points out, Lynn “provided Star Trek’s original series creator Gene Roddenberry with scientific and technical advice during preproduction of the series.”
According to Lynn’s son (Harvey P. Lynn Jr. died in 1987) in response to a question from Trekplace’s Greg Tyler in 2002, his father “worked at RAND as a liaison Officer between RAND and Project Airforce.”
In RAND’s own FAQ the question whether a RAND researcher designed the initial bridge of the Enterprise, is irritatingly answered with the statement that Harvey Lynn was indeed “consulted, but as a private citizen, not as part of a RAND project.”