Rainn Wilson Talks “Deadly” Harry Mudd In ‘Star Trek: Discovery’

The new issue of the official Star Trek Magazine (#62) is due on newsstands next week and it features a cover story all about Star Trek: Discovery. Much of what is covered is based on interviews conducted at San Diego Comic-Con, and there are a few interesting quotes from some of actors and writers on the show. In particular, Rainn Wilson and Shazad Latif gave some interesting insights into their characters.

A more deadly Harry Mudd

Talking to the magazine, Rainn Wilson confirmed he was in two episodes of the upcoming season of Star Trek: Discovery, however he was clear there was still a lot for him to do:

But they’re pretty meaty episodes. He gets a lot to do. They really, really went for it with Harry Mudd. I was a huge fan of the original series, and they had some straight-up comedy episodes, which is great. You’ve got to mix it up when you are doing 22 episodes a year, and that was part of the Roddenberry universe. But this is a darker time in Star Trek: Discovery. They’re at war, so it’s a darker, edgier Harry Mudd.

Wilson also talked about how his Harry Mudd differs from the one seen in the original series.

I Inherited a character that had been previously portrayed by another brilliant actor. I stole a lot of things that I loved from his performance, and then added a lot more of my own. It’s a testament to Roger C. Carmel, to what an interesting actor he was. You can’t take your eyes off him when he’s in an episode. So full of light. The new writers have added that he’s mischievous and deadly at the same time, and that’s a fun balance to watch.

Rainn Wilson as Harry Mudd

Latif hints at Burnham/Tyler ship

Another one of the interesting bits from the new Star Trek Magazine was from Shazad Latif, who plays Lt. Ash Tyler. He talks about his journey following being held as a POW and his relationships with the rest of the crew of the U.S.S. Discovery, including a hint about something with Sonequa Martin-Green’s Michael Burnham:

He’s gone through these horrible, horrible things. We explore that, and he explores that with other people in the ship….[With Captain Lorca] There’s a military connection there. There’s a bond there. And then there’s a chemistry, a relationship with [Michael] Burnham that he’s exploring.

Shazad Latif as Lt. Ash Tyler

Star Trek Magazine #62 on newsstands next week

The new issue with the Discovery feature story hits newsstands on September 6th. You should also be able to buy a copy at the official site.

Star Trek: Discovery premieres on September 24th on CBS with all subsequent episodes on CBS All Access in the US.  In Canada Star Trek: Discovery will premiere  on Bell Media’s CTV and the Space Channel on the same night. Netflix will launch Star Trek: Discovery on Monday, September 25 to countries outside of the U.S. and Canada.

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I simply cannot wait for the start of this show.

I agree!

Same here.

I simply am not expecting this show to work, but Rain Wilson was an inspired choice for this younger Harry Mudd. That alone may make it worth viewing. When it’s not only on CBSAA

If this CBSAA thing does not go away there may not be a time when it is not exclusive to CBSAA. At least in the US. It might be eventually but I’m not holding my breath.

If you don’t want to watch it on CBS All Access you may have to wait until they release it on DVD/Bluray eventually.

There are other ways to watch it as well,and I’m sure a lot of people will do just that.

@JRT!: There are always other ways. However, if you want to watch it legally, you’re stuck with CBS All Access in the US for the time being.

No,there are other legal ways. Like changing your ip address like I do when I wanna watch US Netflix,for instance. As far as I know it’s not illegal. I changed all my usual sites to US ip,or I can’t watch Hulu and other region locked stuff.


Re: changing your ip address

Its legality depends on how you do it. If you change it to an unregistered one it’s probably in a legal gray area that leans toward legal. But if you spoof an assigned ip address, that’s fraud, identity theft, etc. a whole lot of illegal.

I use hola.org,and haven’t gotten any grief about it since no one is saying it’s not legal. A lot of people over here use it. It’s just an add-on,like the download helper and such.

And yet he is actually about 15 years older than Mudd was in TOS.
And for being “younger” he also looks about 15 years older than TOS Mud.

I am really looking forward to Discovery, but Rainn Wilson as Mudd is the part that worries me.

Wrong on many levels, it should bother you that they can’t see things like this are wrong.

Maybe Harry discovered the ‘Fountain of Youth’? Or at least a rejuvenating facial Mudd.

I’ll just say it, this looks like a show that would progress out of Enterprise. That’s the aesthetic, that’s the feel I get and you know what, I’m completely ok with that. Enterprise was that show that began breaking the mold for what we got in terms of Trek tv. Even in the last season, it felt familiar but it was still its own show (until that unfortunate finale). I’m hoping that this follows suit.

Hopefully a better executed series than Enterprise.

I found Enterprise too bland. Characters were not well developed and not great to start with.

@DataMat — yes! Exactly right. Let’s hope so. At least no “Scott Bakula” so far as I’m familiar …

@Cadet – wellllll….there is that rumour…

I’ll agree that the first two seasons were poorly executed. The final two were really quite good. But, if you think on it… How they progressed out of the 4th season, there was really no way to go other than jumping forward to the Romulan War and the birth of the Federation.

Oh yes, I hope it’s definitely executed better than Enterprise, I just meant design-wise. It feels like they said, ok, Enterprise was first so let’s build off of that.

Fair point. The look of Enterprise is probably about right in terms of what you would imagine, for 22nd Century technology.

For me, I didn’t think Bakula was a very good actor to begin with. The rest of the cast was ok. But Scott was the lead so he needed to be better.

@Kirok — exactly. The thing that made Bakula popular with the sci-fi community in QL, his likeable earnestness, did not serve him well as a starship captain.

Certainly he is no Picard! Even Brooks had a few standout performances, though I wasn’t a fan of his overall. But Bakula really never shone at all!

Bakula was amazing in QL. But he seemed to be out of type on Enterprise. They wanted to out-Kirk Kirk. Actually, they seemed to want a guy who had all the best of all the other Captains rolled into one. They manufactured a legend and it just didnt come off organically.

If he had played his QL character, I could buy it.

I think Bakula was let down by the writing as he character was wildly inconsisten from one episode to the next. In one episode he was very much the UFP trailblazer they made him out to be, in the next he was a borderline bigot, especially when it came to the Vulcans.

Absolutely. I’ve been saying that for awhile. Franklin, Enterprise NX, Kelvin, now this. It looks reasonable. To look like TOS not only would make it pretty dead in the water for modern audiences but would not fit the larger visual continuity.

This show can go either way for me so I’m going in with an open mind. The irony, of course, is that more people will have access to this series outside of the U.S. since it will premiere on platforms that most already have access to in international markets. I suspect that we’ll be seeing numbers on par with Enterprise.

I have very high hopes for this series to succeed, like any actual fan of Star Trek would.

I will admit at first hearing Mudd would appear in this I just felt a big ‘ugh’ hearing the news I never cared for Mudd or thought he was a fan favorite. But I will admit the small scene we saw of Wilson has changed my mind this may be a lot of fun. And I like he’s only in a few episodes (although I expect to see him in more seasons) but it looks like he’s going to be an interesting character.

“darker” “edgier” – buzzword overkill!

Never liked the original Mudd so I don’t mind a new take on this character.

Yeah I didn’t always care for the comedic spin the writers chose to give topics like prostitution. On the other hand that kind of stuff is canon so I look forward to seeing how it all fits together.

Never understood why people–including TOS staff members–refer to the world’s oldest profession when referencing “Mudd’s Women.” Whatever you think of that show–and yes, by today’s standards, it’s incredibly sexist–Mudd’s cohort of space babes were angling to be successful mail-order brides, not prostitutes, and there’s no evidence at all that any of them exchanged sexual favors for credits. (TV in 1966 being what it was, none of them was guilty of anything aside from some mild flirtation, if that.) I could see Mudd as a pimp, but I don’t think the women saw it that way at all.

No matter which way you slice it there is an element of prostitution in being a mail order bride. In the sense that you are at least partially selling your body to someone you don’t know and getting “something” in return. Whether that something is immediate or obtained through other means later on. I also think that “Mudd’s Women” didn’t really get to the heart of why mail order brides, prostitution and things like that exist. Sure they said the miners were “lonely.” I would have preffered a more complex look at the social, economic and even political reasons what it happens.Though given the timeframe it occurred in it may have been more cutting edge that what I realize. I can’t image most tv shows even talking about those professions due to censorship.

Mail-order brides ARE prostitutes. They accept sexual servitude to men they don’t love, in exchange for being taken care of financially. That’s prostitution.


Re: Mail-order brides ARE prostitutes.

You mean as opposed to husbands who the brides’ pay dowries?

Or how about parents who give their daughters’ hands in marriage in exchange for property? Or is selling daughters into sex slavery somehow more noble?

I am glad they are starting to flesh out Burnham’s relationships with other characters in regards to the comments about her and Tyler. The character of Tyler is one I am interested in because I feel like Star Trek and mental health discussions haven’t always gone well together. Let’s hope the writers find a way to improve on the past and give it its due diligence.

Since they obviously wanted or thought they needed a totally different character than Mudd for their dark and edgy series, why even bother resurrecting him other than for some cheap fan service and pseudo-continuity?

A very, very valid question!

You haven’t seen the show, so calling it “cheap fan service” is nonsensical.

Ding, ding, ding… we have a winner! A classic character, a sublime performance… “how can we throw all of that out, steal the name to trick viewers, and then just make up whatever new kind of character we want?”

I hope they don’t make Mudd too dark. He was always a comic relief villain. He isn’t Moriarty. But more important, if they want this show to be seen (and accepted) as a prequel to TOS – as opposed to being set in the Kelvin timeframe – they need to keep the characters consistent. Not saying Wilson needs to impersonate Roger C. Carmel, but if they make Mudd serious and deadly then someone watching the franchise for the first time is going to be very confused when they get to “I, Mudd” and “Mudd’s Women”. Plus they might turn off diehards who are already leery about this being yet another prequel series.

Mudd was ALWAYS deadly. His episodes were comedic rather than edgy, but he was always someone capable of being dangerous.

I reeaallyyy hope there’s some levity to this series. Fifteen episodes of dark, dreadful gloom is nottt how I want this to look. I want it to be adventurous, not BSG Trek. GOT is super serious, but the writing is often fun and makes it way more enjoyable. Light and dark always need to be balanced.

the more i see of this show, the more i’m convinced it’s going to be a massive, massive failure. someone take star trek away from CBS before they completely destroy it!

In other words, you’re just another non-fan who only comes here to complain and be negative, and who doesn’t understand Star Trek’s core values.

Hoon Lee would have been a great officer