The crew of the U.S.S. Enterprise — the pre-Captain Kirk crew, that is — were introduced as part of “Star Trek Day” on Wednesday. And uh, is one of them like, Khan’s great, great, great, great (etc) grandchild?
Their adventures will be chronicled in the new Paramount+ series “Star Trek: Strange New Worlds,” for which a premiere date has yet to be announced.
Joining Captain Pike (Anson Mount), Commander Una/Number One (Rebecca Romijn) and Science Officer Spock (Ethan Peck) are Nurse Christine Chapel (Jess Bush), La’an Noonien-Singh (Christina Chong), Cadet Nyota Uhura (Celia Rose Gooding), Lt. Erica Ortegas (Melissa Navia), Dr. M’Benga (Babs Olusanmokun) and Hemmer (Bruce Horak).
Fans of “Star Trek” will immediately recognize Uhura’s name. A cadet in this series, she later becomes The Enterprise’s communications officer (portrayed by Nichelle Nichols in “Star Trek: The Original Series” and films, and Zoe Saldana in the reboot feature films).
Christine Chapel is another familiar figure in the “Trek” universe. She was portrayed my Majel Barrett Roddenberry (wife of “Trek” creator Gene Roddenberry) in the “The Original Series,” serving under Dr. Leonard McCoy. In this series, she appears to serve under Dr. M’Benga. (Fun fact: A brunette Barrett Roddenberry also played Number One in the pilot. Second fun fact: Jess Bush, Chapel’s newest portrayer, competed on Australia’s version of “America’s Next Top Model.”)
M’Benga appeared in two epsiodes of “The Original Series” and was portrayed by actor Booker Bradshaw.
If La’an’s surname Noonien-Singh also sounds familiar, it’s because it’s the same as the most famous “Trek” villain ever: the genetically engineered superhuman Khan Noonien-Singh, played by Ricardo Montalban in the original “Star Trek” TV series and “Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.” We of course have no idea what La’an’s relationship is to Khan, if there is one at all. But this sure feels like a huge clue to us. Guess we’ll have to wait and see.
Ortegas and Hemmer do not appear to have any immediate connections to the existing “Star Trek” universe. Hemmer appears to be an albino Andorian. If you want to get super nerdy, he seems to be Aenar, a subspecies of Andorians who are blind but have telepathic powers. Hemmer’s portrayer, Bruce Horak, is legally blind.
“Strange New Worlds” was announced back in May 2020, a spin-off of “Star Trek: Discovery.” Pike, Una and Spock were introduced in Season 2 of “Discovery” (Spock being the brother of lead character Michael Burnham) along with the U.S.S. Enterprise. The title comes from the voiceover from “The Original Series” in which James T. Kirk states the Enterprise’s mission is to “explore strange new worlds and to seek out life and new civilizations.”
The series premiere was written by Akiva Goldsman with the story by Akiva Goldsman, Alex Kurtzman and Jenny Lumet. Goldsman and Henry Alonso Myers serve as co-showrunners, with Goldsman directing the premiere episode. Goldsman, Kurtzman and Lumet serve as executive producers in addition to Alonso Myers, Heather Kadin, Frank Siracusa, John Weber, Rod Roddenberry, Trevor Roth and Aaron Baiers. Akela Cooper and Davy Perez serve as co-executive producers. The series is produced by CBS Studios, Secret Hideout and Roddenberry Entertainment.
Check out the cast announcement above.