Rebecca Romijn and more return for a new era of Star Trek as Strange New Worlds bursts onto our screens this summer.
The show is a spin-off of Star Trek Discovery and revisits the crew of the iconic starship Enterprise introduced in Star Trek: The Original Series (TOS) and explores its early days. Obviously, the decades have passed since the likes of Captain Pike, Number One (Rebecca Romijn) Spock and Dr. M’Benga were seen in TOS, and we’ve met some of the new cast members in Season 2 of Discovery. Strange New Worlds is a continuation of that period of time, set a few years before William Shatner’s James T Kirk takes command of the Starfleet ship in TOS.
So: let’s meet the crew of the USS Enterprise NCC-1701!
Who is in Star Trek: Strange New Worlds?
The Enterprise made a surprise appearance in Discovery, initially at the cliffhanger of Season 1 then playing a pivotal role in Season 2. As such, we met Captain Pike, played by Anson Mount; Number One, aka Una Chin-Riley (Rebecca Romijn); and Spock, with Ethan Peck taking on the part made famous by Leonard Nimoy (and played in the Kelvin Timeline by Zachary Quinto.)
Yes, Mount, Rebecca Romijn and Peck will all be back for Strange New Worlds – fitting, seeing as it’s their popularity that effectively resulted in the spin-off.
Who else will we meet in Strange New Worlds?
The Enterprise will further be staffed by: La’an Noonien-Singh (Christina Chong); Nurse Christine Chapel (Jess Bush); Cadet Nyota Uhura (Celia Rose Gooding); the aforementioned Dr. M’Benga (Babs Olusanmokun); Lt. Erica Ortegas (Melissa Navia); Hemmer (Bruce Horak); and more.
Will Captain Kirk be joining Rebecca Romijn et al. in Strange New Worlds?
He is, but not yet.
Strange New Worlds has already had a second season commissioned, so Captain Kirk will be in that, but don’t expect to see him in Season 1 (unless the production team has a surprise in store.)
William Shatner is best known for playing Kirk, although Chris Pine filled that role in the Star Trek films. In Strange New Worlds, however, the character will be played by Paul Wesley, who has starred in numerous high-profile programmes including The Vampire Diaries, 24 and Tell Me a Story. It’ll be interesting to see how the Trek team manage to weave Kirk into a prequel to TOS.
But we’re getting ahead of ourselves. First, we need to know more about Strange New Worlds’ Bridge team…
Who is Anson Mount in Strange New Worlds?
Anson Mount plays Christopher Pike, second captain of the USS Enterprise NCC-1701, but the first we met. Sort of.
Pike, then played by Jeffrey Hunter, actually debuted in the first episode of Star Trek: The Cage; however, this was an unaired pilot which was rejected. The show was retooled with Kirk replacing Pike as head of the Enterprise. Still, footage from The Cage was reused in TOS Season 1’s two-part story The Menagerie, which cemented Pike as Kirk’s predecessor. A bleak future, too, was established for our dear Pike (here portrayed by Sean Kenney.)
We didn’t see much of Pike on screen for some time, but his history was expanded upon in various tie-in media.
Then, in Discovery, the character showed up again played by Anson Mount, and was quickly named a fan favourite.
This isn’t the first time that Mount has been involved in a big cult franchise. The previous time, though, was far from a success. Anson played Black Bolt, leader of the titular Inhumans, for Marvel. Sadly, the series was panned and its status in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) was wiped; nonetheless, Mount was certainly one of the series’ few positives.
As Black Bolt, his stellar acting came to the fore: the hero’s power is his voice – one whisper could topple mountains – which ironically means he can never use it, lest he leave complete destruction in his path. So instead, Black Bolt’s power was diplomacy while staying silent. He’s a figurehead who can only communicate through body and sign language. It meant Mount could show off what a sensational performer he is without learning a line of dialogue!
You might also know Anson Mount for appearing in films like Safe, In Her Shoes, and Crossroads with Britney Spears; and TV shows including Dota: Dragon’s Blood, Hell on Wheels (for which he also served as a producer), and Conviction.
Who is Rebecca Romijn in Strange New Worlds?
Rebecca Romijn is Pike’s First Officer, Una Chin-Riley, better known as Number One and previously seen, alongside Mount and Peck, in Discovery.
As with Mount, Rebecca Romijn is no stranger to huge franchises. Previously a model, she featured in numerous publications and advertising campaigns before jumping to the big screen.
Then credited as Rebecca Romijn-Stamos, her first big acting role was as Mystique in Fox’s X-Men films, primarily in the trilogy of movies also starring Patrick Stewart (The Next Generation; Picard) as Professor Xavier, but making an uncredited cameo in X-Men: First Class too as one of Mystique’s disguises. Rebecca Romijn’s other comic book-related roles include Joan in the 2004 version of The Punisher, and voicing Lois Lane in the DC Animated Movie Universe.
Rebecca Romijn has also appeared in a wide range of TV and film projects like Ugly Betty, Femme Fatale, The Librarians, The Con Artist, Friends, King and Maxwell and NTSF:SD:SUV.
And what of Una Chin-Riley? Why is Rebecca Romijn’s character best known as Number One? Despite the character being in The Cage (with footage reused for The Menagerie), Strange New Worlds is actually the first time we found out her full name. Previously, Pike showed his respect for her by referring to her as his “Number One”, i.e. First Officer, although Pike did call her Una in a scene from Discovery. Una, of course, is derived from the Latin “ūna”, meaning “one” anyway.
Who is Ethan Peck in Strange New Worlds?
Finishing the Anson Mount / Rebecca Romijn trinity of returnees from Discovery is Ethan Peck as Spock – that much-loved iconic Vulcan first seen in TOS.
The grandson of actor Gregory Peck, Ethan began acting as a child, appearing in series like That ‘70s Show and Charlie Grace, and the movies Passport to Paris and Marshal Law. He’s since starred in Adopt a Sailor, 10 Things I Hate About You and The Curse of Sleeping Beauty. Spock is likely his highest-profile part, arguably a genre role that can’t be beaten (that is, unless he’s cast as the Doctor from Doctor Who sometime in the future – then we’d call it a draw.)
Peck’s Spock is younger than Leonard Nimoy’s, and we learnt much about his upbringing with his adopted sister Michael Burnham in Discovery Season 2. This element proved controversial as Burnham was retroactively added to Spock’s timeline, and as such was never mentioned in any of Spock’s previous appearances. It just goes to show how beloved a character Spock is. Discovery at least provided an in-narrative reason the Vulcan doesn’t mention Michael at all, so we’ve every faith that the Strange New Worlds team will honour the character’s (and the franchise’s) past while still exploring the final frontier…
The 10-episode Star Trek: Strange New Worlds debuts on Paramount+ on 5th May 2022 in America and other selected territories, with new episodes dropping each subsequent Thursday. No schedule has been announced for the UK yet.
Star Trek Discovery beanie hat – order now from the Lovarzi shop!