Since the announcement that Star Trek: Strange New Worlds had been greenlit, fans have been clamouring for more information on the direction the show will take who has been added to the cast and if other classic Trek characters would appear alongside Captain Pike (Anson Mount), Mr Spock (Ethan Peck), and Number One (Rebecca Romijn).
The guessing game is over as during the Star Trek: Strange New Worlds panel on Star Trek Day, we learned which characters the previously announced cast members Celia Rose Gooding, Jess Bush, Babs Olusanmokun, Christina Chong and Melissa Navia along with the newly announced Bruce Horak, will portray in the upcoming original series.
The Strange New Worlds teaser video revealed that several legacy Star Trek characters will be in the show.
- Celia Rose Gooding is Cadet Nyota Uhura
- Jess Bush is Nurse Christine Chapel
- Babs Olusanmokun is Dr. M’Benga
The announcement that Celia Rose Gooding will play Cadet Uhura was a welcome surprise as it the character played by Nichelle Nichols in the Original Series, had a big impact on many people of colour in the 60s beyond. Nyota Uhura is one of the first Black characters to be portrayed in a non-menial role on an American television series. To have her story told from the time she was a young fresh faced cadet, will hopefully influence more generations to come.
Also, interesting to note is the character of Nurse Christine Chapel who was originally played by Majel Roddenberry who also played Number One in the original Pike centric pilot episode The Cage. Nurse Chapel was a recurring character appearing in 25 episodes.
Another legacy character is Dr M’Benga who was the ranking Chief Medical Officer (CMO) in the absence of CMO Leonard “Bones” McCoy on the Enterprise. He was a medical intern on Vulcan which makes him an expert in Vulcan physiology. As Bones was only absent a few times Dr M’Benga, originally played by Booker Bradshaw, only appeared in two episodes so it will be interesting to see his character fleshed out in Strange New Worlds.
- Christina Chong is La’an Noonien-Singh
- Melissa Navia is Lt. Erica Ortegas
- Bruce Horak is Hemmer
Of the three new characters announced La’an Noonien-Singh is an intriguing choice as with a last name like that you have to wonder if she is in any way related to Khan Noonien Singh. Time will tell, I hope. in the meantime, you can watch the full trailer below:
— Star Trek on Paramount+ (@StarTrekOnPPlus) September 9, 2021
Star Trek: Strange New Worlds is based on the years Captain Christopher Pike manned the helm of the USS Enterprise almost right up to the reign of Captain Kirk.