Since today is “Star Trek Day,” there is a lot of talk about the franchise’s future and what fans can expect. Thanks to a series of streaming interviews and content available at the official Trek website, StarTrek.com/Day, fans will be able to hear about some of the developments of the new Trek series. They can also tune in to listen to the tales of Trek long past with stars such as George Takei and LeVar Burton.
Perhaps the most interesting of these streamed talks will be featuring the creators and cast of “Star Trek: Strange New Worlds.” According to co-showrunner and executive producer Akiva Goldsman, this show will return to the “episodic” format.
This was the style in which nearly every story from “The Original Series” and “The Next Generation” were framed. Some call this the “planet of the week” or “adventure of the week,” where the Enterprise swoops into a planet and solves a problem in one episode. Returning to this concept has been well-received by some Trek fans:
For the streamed event, scheduled for this evening, fans will be treated to a conversation with Ethan Peck (Spock), Rebecca Romijn (Number One), Anson Mount (Captain Pike), co-showrunners and executive producers Goldsman and Henry Alonso Myers. The “Strange New Worlds” conversation will be hosted by Mica Burton, the daughter of TNG alum LeVar Burton.
While fans already know who the main characters and actors for the series will be — as they appeared on Season Two of “Star Trek: Discovery,” the roles and names for the rest of the crew are a bit more ambiguous. Fans know the names of the actors who will make up Anson Mount’s crew, but not the characters’ names or what positions they fill on the U.S.S. Enterprise.
The talented Ms. Gooding
Paramount+ released the rest of the actors who will appear on “Strange New Worlds” in a tweet. They are Babs Olusanmokun, Chrissy Chong, Celia Rose Gooding, Jess Bush, and Melissa Navia.
And it is Ms. Gooding which fans are speculating about. Thanks to a post by one fan, some are wondering if Gooding will portray the iconic role of Lt. Nyota Uhura on “Strange New Worlds.”
This character was created by Gene Roddenberry and brought to life by actress Nichelle Nichols. Uhura, as portrayed by Nichols, appeared in all three seasons of “The Original Series,” both seasons of “The Animated Series,” and in six “Star Trek” films. The character was part of J.J. Abrams’ Kelvin series, but Uhura was played by Zoe Saldana.
According to this fan theory, Gooding would be the third actress to be Uhura. She’s best known for her role on Broadway as part of “Jagged Little Pill,” the musical based on the album by Alanis Morisette. For this part, Gooding won a Grammy Award.
For the part of Uhura, Gooding would undoubtedly be able to pull off any singing or dancing, which Nichols was known for. But, if Gooding did appear as Uhura on “Strange New Worlds,” this might create continuity problems.
A Singing Communications Officer
In the original “Star Trek” pilot, which fans know today as “The Cage,” Roddenberry cast actor Jeffrey Hunter as Pike. The crew included Number One (Majel Barrett), Spock (Leonard Nimoy), Colt (Lauren Goodwin), Dr. Boyce (John Hoyt), and Tyer (Peter Duryea.) Uhura was not part of the original Enterprise crew. The only character to stay on the show after NBC ordered a second pilot was Spock, and Pike was replaced by Captain Kirk (William Shatner).
It could be supposed that Anson Mount’s crew for “Strange New Worlds” might have replaced Jeffrey Hunter’s crew from “The Cage.” Perhaps that is how the writers will explain the differences in personnel. This would also allow for Uhura to be part of that crew.
But, according to Memory Alpha, Uhura became part of Starfleet at the same time when Kirk took command of the Enterprise, which will be the year 2265. She may have been on the ship longer, and this was simply never discussed.
Something just like this was how fans have been able to justify Khan knowing who Chekov was in “The Wrath of Khan.” People imagine that Chekov (Walter Koenig) was aboard the Enterprise when “Space Seed” took place and that he ran into Khan in a scene which was not part of the episode. This is all conjecture since Koenig had not been cast in the role of Chekov and would join the cast until Season 2.