Star Trek: Discovery is bringing back a fan favorite character from the original series. This morning CBS announced that Emmy-nominated actor Rainn Wilson has been cast to play Harry Mudd in Star Trek: Discovery. The endearing rogue Harcourt Fenton Mudd, originally played by Roger C. Carmel, appeared in two original Star Trek episodes (“Mudd’s Women” and “I, Mudd”) as well as an episode of the animated Star Trek (“Mudd’s Passion”).
The announcement from CBS did not specify how many episodes Wilson is expected to be in, but they did send out another one of their casting tweets with the usual Discovery animated gif (below).
— Star Trek: Discovery (@startrekcbs) March 31, 2017
Best known for his role as Dwight in the NBC sitcom The Office, Wilson is himself a Star Trek fan and has actually (sort of) been in a Star Trek movie, if you count the 1999 Trek parody Galaxy Quest. Wilson played Lahnk, one of the alien Thermians who were themselves fans of the fictional Galaxy Quest TV series.
While Star Trek: Discovery is a new show with a new crew, it is set just ten years prior to the original Star Trek series. So it should be expected that Discovery would feature some well-known (and possibly obscure) established Star Trek characters. Wilson’s casting as Mudd follows the announcement earlier this year that actor James Frain will be playing Sarek, Spock’s father, originally played by Mark Lenard.
A bit of comic relief for Discovery?
While Harry Mudd only appeared in two episodes (three counting the animated series) he stands out as one of the more memorable foils to Kirk and crew from the original Star Trek. The CBS press release describes Mudd as “a charismatic conman and intergalactic criminal.” Casting Wilson, known for his comedy roles, indicates that Mudd may provide lighter moments for Star Trek: Discovery, as he did for the original Star Trek (like in the below clip from “I, Mudd”).
Keep up with all the Star Trek: Discovery news at TrekMovie.com.