Star Trek: Strange New Worlds reveals its full cast, confirming the return of characters like Uhura, and hinting at a famous villain connection.
During Star Trek Day 2021, Paramount released a video showcasing the cast of Star Trek: Strange New Worlds. The series is a spin-off to Star Trek Discovery and will be a prequel set ten years before the events of Star Trek: The Original Series. Anson Mount will reprise his role as Captain Christopher Pike alongside Ethan Peck as Spock and Rebecca Romijn as Una Chin-Riley aka Number One.
In March 2021, Star Trek: Strange New Worlds began filming and cast five new cast members to the series, including Babs Olusanmokun (Black Mirror), Christina Chong (Doctor Who), Celia Rose Gooding (Jagged Little Pill), Melissa Navia (Billions), and newcomer Jess Bush. At the time, no official character name or description was revealed, but given the series place in the Star Trek timeline, speculation began to surface around whether these would be familiar faces to the Star Trek canon. While it was unlikely a new Captain Kirk would be seen at first, there was plenty of chances for other familiar faces to pop up on the Enterprise.
Paramount+ released an official video confirming the cast of Star Trek: Strange New Worlds, announcing the cast and who they will be playing. Among the updates are that Celia Rose Gooding will be playing Nyota Uhura, who was played by Nichelle Nichols in Star Trek: The Original Series. Jess Bush will be playing Nurse Christine Chapel, originally played by Majel Barrett-Roddenberry (who also played Number One in the original pilot for Star Trek). Babs Olusanmokun will step into the role of Dr. M’Benga, who was played by Booker Bradshaw in the original series. Melissa Navia will be playing the new character Erica Ortegas, while Bruce Horrek joins the cast as the alien Hemmer.
The addition of Uhura and Chapel to the Enterprise Crew keeps in continuity with the original Star Trek series, as does Dr. M’Benga who worked alongside Dr. Leonard ‘Bones’ McCoy. While Uhura has been one of the faces of the Star Trek property, with Zoe Saldana stepping into the role in the Kelvin timeline reboot film series, both Nurse Chapel and Dr. M’Benga have not been present for quite some time. Nurse Chapel was referenced off-screen in 2009’s Star Trek and was said to have transferred off the Enterprise in Star Trek Into Darkness while Dr. M’Benga was not referenced at all.
Christina Chong’s character raises some interesting questions for the series. The announcement video confirms her character’s name is La’An Noonien-Singh. While an original character for the series, the name Noonien-Singh gives her a connection to one of Star Trek’s most famous villains, Khan Noonien-Singh, who was portrayed by Richardo Montalbán in Star Trek: The Original Series and Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. At this point in the prime timeline, Khan is still in suspended animation aboard the SS Botany Bay. Star Trek II director Nicholas Meyers pitched a Khan prequel series that never got off the ground, but this last name connection could hint at an untold history for the famous villain fans have yet to see. Either way, Star Trek: Strange New World‘s roster of characters hints at an exciting new chapter for the franchise.
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