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'Star Trek: Strange New Worlds' cast puts own stamp on Spock, Uhura, more

Ethan Peck is the third actor to play Spock. File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI
1 of 5 | Ethan Peck is the third actor to play Spock. File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

LOS ANGELES, May 4 (UPI) -- Actors Ethan Peck, Celia Rose Gooding and Anson Mount said they are finding their own takes on classic Star Trek characters in Star Trek: Strange New Worlds, premiering Thursday on Paramount+.

Peck, 36, plays Spock, a role originated by Leonard Nimoy and played by Zachary Quinto in the 2009 prequel film. Peck's Spock was introduced in the show Star Trek: Discovery. Both Discovery and Strange New Worlds take place before the events in the 1966 Trek series.

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"I get a new script, and suddenly I'm faced with something that's totally unfamiliar to me in my work as Spock," Peck said on a recent Television Critics Association Zoom panel.

The actor said his performance still has to measure up to Nimoy's. Peck also still has to wear Vulcan ears.

"The ears are burdensome in many ways," Peck said. "We go much more into his inner life and world, and it feels as though we're treading ground that's not been tread before."

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Strange New Worlds introduces 22-year-old Gooding as Nyota Uhura, Nichelle Nichols' character from the original series, also played by Zoe Saldana in the 2009 film. Gooding said Nichols' role as a Starfleet officer represented progress for representation in the '60s.

Gooding said in the original series, Uhura showed how a Black woman could be as capable at her job as her White and male counterparts.

"Something that Nichelle had with the original series' Uhura was a level of understanding and clarity," Gooding said.

Fifty years later, Gooding said she is exploring Uhura before she was so sure of herself.

"Part of her humanity is the other side of that coin - to see the other sides of Uhura that we didn't get to see because of the limitations for Black women in film in the '60s," Gooding said.

Mount, 49, plays a character from Star Trek's past, too. Captain Pike was the Enterprise captain before James T. Kirk in the original series (as Sean Kenney) and the 2009 film (as Bruce Greenwood).

Discovery also introduced Mount's Pike. As Strange New Worlds sees Pike captain the Enterprise, Mount said he aims to make Pike unique to all the other Star Trek captains.

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"Humility is a big part of his character," Mount said. "If you're going to stare into the face of God, the universe, whatever you want to call it, every single day, you have to have a healthy dose of humility and appreciation and gratitude."

Mount said Pike's backstory gives him additional qualities to chew on.

"His father was a science teacher and a scholar of comparative religion," Mount said. "So, the exploration is a big, big, big deal with Pike."

Discovery also introduced Rebecca Romijn, 49, as Pike's Number Two. A new character in Star Trek, Number Two remains on Pike's crew in Strange New Worlds.

Romijn is a mother of twin daughters, 13-year-olds Charlie and Dolly, with husband Jerry O'Connell. Romijn said she values the role of Number Two as a woman in authority who can be a good role model.

"The female characters in these genres are fantastic and strong," Romijn said. "They appeal to my daughters and if I'm going to be spending time away from them, I want them to be able to see what I'm doing and appreciate it. And they do."

New episodes of Star Trek: Strange New Worlds premiere Thursdays on Paramount+.

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