Watch: Rainn Wilson Reveals His Mudd Theory + Behind The Scenes On “Magic to Make the Sanest Man Go Mad”

After Trek offered behind the scenes info on Discovery

On Sunday’s episode of After Trek host Matt Mira spoke to Rainn Wilson about reinventing Harry Mudd as a darker character on Star Trek: Discovery episode “Magic to Make the Sanest Man Go Mad.” The show also revealed more behind the scenes clips and actors Wilson Cruz and Anthony Rapp were in studio to talk about “Culmets,” Jonathan Frakes and more.

Rainn Wilson offers his theory on how Mudd escaped

Talking via Skype, Rainn Wilson spoke about some of his creative choices in making Harry Mudd a somewhat darker, more sinister version of the character that we eventually see on The Original Series. When asked about how he broke out of that Klingon ship, Wilson had his own theory about Mudd’s escape saying he envisions that the Klingons let Mudd go so he could go after Lorca. You can watch a clip of his theory below.

Wilson also revealed while filming scenes where he takes over the bridge, he had nicknames for every member of the bridge crew, such as “random communications officer man.” Apparently there were quite a few “tall, lanky nicknames” for Doug Jones’ Saru, including “inappropriate ones like Manute Bol and Yao Ming, that would not have worked in the Star Trek universe.”

Cruz and Rapp talk “Culmets” backstory and Frakes’ directing

Wilson Cruz and Anthony Rapp sat down with Matt and started off agreeing that their character couple’s nickname should be “Culmets.” Cruz also revealed there was originally much more to the original story of how Dr. Culper and Lt. Stamets met than was revealed in the final version of the script for “Magic to Make the Sanest Man Go Mad,” noting:

“There was a different version of it. There was originally a longer version of the story [in the script]. Which was nice because we got more detail.”

Rapp also revealed that when he received the script, it just happened to come right as he was set to watch a familiar TNG episode as part of his Star Trek binge:

“It’s funny. I read the script and I hadn’t yet seen the Next Gen episode “Cause and Effect.” It just happened to be the next one in the queue. And I literally watched it the next day [after reading the script]. It was just a great tribute [to that episode].”

Speaking of The Next Generation, the pair also talked about Jonathan Frakes, who directs a later episode of the first season of Discovery. Both actors had nothing but superlatives to offer for Frakes, adding that they particularly enjoyed how he even sings on set. Rapp also noted how Frakes drew a comparison between the casts of Discovery and The Next Generation:

He loves the experience that he had with it and he really brought that love to this. That cast has been really tight over these thirty years and he said that our company reminded him of that.

Wilson Cruz and Anthony Rapp on After Trek

Behind the scenes clips

After Trek feature a couple of interesting segments featuring behind the scenes details on the making “Magic to Make the Sanest Man Go Mad.” Two of which are now available online. First up is one giving insights into the party scene.

And another clip looks at the various props used in the episode, plus pointing some out in Lorca’s menagerie.

Preview for this weekend’s emotional episode where they finally go exploring

In regards to this Sunday’s episode (“Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum”) the show offered a clip which revealed the episode will feature the exploring of an alien world, with the crew encountering some kind of unusual life form (if it is a life form). Anthony Rapp noted “people have been hungry for an episode where they finally go to a planet.” The actor also talked about how touching the episode it was, saying he would just stand at the monitor and watch different takes and get emotional just from watching the raw footage.

Preview for 8th episode of Discovery shown on After Trek


Star Trek: Discovery is available on CBS All Access on in the US and airs in Canada on the Space Channel. It is available on Netflix outside the USA and Canada.

Keep up with all the Star TrekDiscovery news at TrekMovie.

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I don’t know what I’m going to do on Sunday’s after the 9th episode airs. It will be 2 months before Discovery continues it’s season in January, and I hope that there will be an announcement regarding a new series, or a 4th Kelvin film by end of year.
I really hope another series is in the works. Then maybe the powers that be will consider an exclusive Star Trek network. There is so much material, with 13 movies, and 7 series- not to mention over a thousand novels. If they were to come up with another series, and maybe a new animated show, there would be more than enough Star Trek to sanction a network of it’s own.

The two month break is pretty standard for a television show during the holiday hiatus.

You don’t really need A Star Trek Network because Trek is everywhere on cable.
You just need to know where to find it.

I wouldn’t count on a fourth Kelvin film. Paramount is too interested in sinking their money into Transformers.

One does not preclude the other. You are aware that they’ve been doing both for close to ten years, right?

I’ll be cancelling Space until January (Canada). It’s five bucks a month I don’t need to spend.

I like that Mudd theory from the New Mudd.

I would have found the Manute Bol reference hilarious. I went to college with him.

Have the episodes changed around as IMDB and TM lists Into the Forest I go as episode 9?

Harry Mudd is a very naughty man.

Curious has anyone watched both the commercial free and the commercial included erzions ? Are the cuts jarring or nicely handled ?

The cuts are the same as in a normal TV show. I upgraded to the commercial free version because the ads just kill the mood (same as in normal tv).

Lorca’s weapons room really makes no sense. He’s studying swords and bat’leths along with dark matter crystals? Is he trying to invent a new weapon? Or working on defences from Klingon weapons? (in which case, having dozens of others makes no sense)

This seems to be the rare case of simultaneously over thinking and under thinking. The straight forward answer is that he’s a collector, this is his collection, and he thinks some of it will be helpful.

I think it’s mostly a mood-setter. Lorca views himself as a warrior, fighting for “holy” cause. He surrounds himself with the artifacts of war while he contemplates and researches strategy and tactics for the current one. It makes sense to me.

Saru has never been a character I have particularly liked. I think Doug Jones does a great job acting the part. I think it’s the writing that maybe hasn’t always worked for me. Too many of his scenes show him arguing with Burnham rather than highlighting his uniqueness. I am however looking forward to this episode because I am hoping that this story will give him a chance to shine.