Star Trek: 5 Literary Precursor Captains To James T. Kirk
2. Captain Peter Blood
Captain Blood, by Rafael Sabatini was a novel written in 1922. Thirteen years later, Errol Flynn brought the character of Captain Peter Blood to life on the big screen. Blood, originally a doctor in James II’s England, was arrested and convicted of treason. His punishment was transportation as a slave to the colony of Port Royal. Eventually, he escapes, claims a ship and lives a life of piracy, repudiating any former allegiance he had to England.
However, with the deposition of James and the ascension of William of Orange, Blood is offered a commission in the Royal Navy and, after successfully defending Port Royal, becomes its governor. Blood is the wildly successful hero who faces near-insurmountable obstacles and overcomes them all with style, panache and audacity. He even wins the hand of the previous governor’s daughter in process.
He even gets the girl – Kirk would be proud to be the literary descendant of this guy.
In Star Trek III: The Search for Spock, when Kirk and McCoy look up in the sky of the Genesis planet and see the flaming wreckage of the Enterprise fall from orbit, Kirk asks his friend:” My God, Bones … what have I done?”
McCoy answers: “What you always do – turn death into a fighting chance to live.”
Only swashbuckling characters like Blood and Kirk can do this. Kirk bluffs, lies, outwits, and manages to change a severely disadvantaged position into one where he eventually emerges victorious. Blood lies, cheats, steals and eventually comes out on top too. They are both awesome story characters that are able to reach from an extreme low to a pinnacle height of success and turn death and defeat into fighting chances for life and victory.
God, I love the bravado of swashbucklers.