Benedict Cumberbatch Revealed ‘Star Trek Into Darkness’ Secrets To Stephen Hawking

We start this week’s Great Links roundup with some Khan memories. The 2013 film Star Trek Into Darkness was cloaked in secrecy. The biggest thing being kept under wraps was how Benedict Cumberbatch’s character of John Harrison was actually Khan Noonien Singh, something director J.J. Abrams later said he regretted keeping secret. However, it turns out there was one person let in on the secret, and that is the late Stephen Hawking.

Appearing on the BBC’s The Graham Norton Show, the actor revealed that he spilled to beans solely to Professor Hawking, after sharing a number of margaritas. Cumberbatch said he felt Hawking “deserved” to know, which is fair enough as the renowned scientist was a fellow Star Trek actor as well.

More Great Links

Lists of the week

Screenrant: Star Trek: 21 Crazy Things Only True Fans Know About The Original Series

Screenrant: Star Trek: 15 Things That Make No Sense About TNG

Mental Floss: 10 Tantalizing Tidbits About Star Trek: The Next Generation

Syfy Wire: Dream Casting: Star Trek: The Next Generation

MeTV: 3 details you might have missed  on Star Trek

Famous Trekkies of the week

AV Club: We asked NASA astronauts Nicole Stott and Leland Melvin: What movies get space exploration right?

Forbes: Alexa, Star Trek, Creativity And Extraordinary Brands: A Dialogue With Brian Collins

Instagram of the week: Wu Tang goes Spock

The official account for the hip hop group Wu-Tang Clan shared this image this week, showing some love for Star Trek.


A post shared by Wu Tang Clan (@wutangclan) on

Video of the week: Wrath of Ben 10

Nerdist’s Talking Toons show once again has gone Trek, this time recreating the most famous scene from Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, with characters from the cartoon Ben 10.

Bonus video of the week: That’s a lot of Klingon coffee

EC Henry on YouTube decided to count up all the mentions of Raktajino, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine’s favorite beverage.

That’s it for this week’s update. Keep up with all the fun Star Trek from around the web in our Great Links category.

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Was Raktajino some kind of inside joke on DS9? LOL

It was a super strong Klingon coffee… I’d expect it to be ridiculously strong but aside from that I don’t think it was a joke.

“Deserved to know” what exactly? I’ll bet Prof. Hawking was on the edge of his seat. The arrogance of this mad is above and beyond.

Still a bit salty after nearly five years?

WOW, that guy needs to chill.

Bitter much?

With the old adage of “if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all”, when Stephen Hawking heard the plotline for ‘Star Trek Into Darkness’, he did the polite thing and said nothing. He knew CRAP when he heard it!

So you were there when they had this conversation?

That raktajino video is golden! I shared it with my facebook group and spammed it on Discord.

Hawking’s chair immediately starting beeping twice for no. If Sherlock was a true friend he would’ve told him to bail after the capture scene on Quonos.


All they had to do was name him John Harrison & let the audience decide but the arrogance of the writers & producers assumed they could railroad it & the results are very mixed.

That’s what happens when you have a writing team that refers to themselves as the ‘supreme court’ :D

4 year gap between movies was way too long their egos matched the delay perfectly!! All they had to was drop the Khan aspect & Cumberbatch hype, lose the political commentary & the box office would have been a lot more than it ended up as.

Its easy to pick on them now but its still relevant. So much arrogance from these guys. They thought they knew everything and thus, didnt want to learn.

I disagree. If they had actually had the character of Khan do something interesting as opposed to a completely new character called Khan doing something uninteresting, it would have been a lot better.

Having a superman with no reference to Khan would have left fans salty too.

None of the fans would appreciate 2001 with so many unanswered questions. People hate to think for themselves these days, or try to interpret unspoken truths. The movie would have been far better without the line “I am Khan!” There would have been a little bit of debate as to exactly who he was due to the obvious racial differences. [Yeah, yeah, I know it was addressed in the ‘official’ IDW comic but how many people bought that?]
Kirk’s reply should have been “Wait, the weiner guy?”
Khan who? Really. How many Khans throughout history?

“I must confess one thing, Dr. Hawking: this movie sucks”

I laughed out loud when I read this. So true.

Cumberbatch was obviously miscast as Khan, but ironically he’d make a fantastic Spock. In fact he’d be perfect for the role — more than any other actor today. Not just his appearance; he’d really be able to do the distinctive deep voice, demeanour, gravitas, all of it. The DSC guys should keep him in mind if they eventually change their minds about not recasting the role and are looking for a suitable guest star.

I dunno I think BC plays a pretty confident smarter-than-though archetype but I don’t think he’d make an endearing Spock. I’m still not convinced anyone can capture Nimoy’s Spock.

Maybe Cumberbatcb really is John Harrison and lied that he was Khan? Maybe he killed Khan off screen and took his identity as a smokescreen?

There are a lot of ways we can make STID better by imagine a bunch of things happening that didn’t.

It was addressed in the ‘official’ IDW comic.

Star Trek Into Disaster:

– 2 very talented actors wasted with badly written roles (Cumberbatch, Weller)
– Unbelievably evil Starfleet admiral
– Spock Prime phone-a-friend
– Khan, no explanation needed
– Rehashed TWOK scenes and dialogue
– Portable Transwarp Beaming Device
– Super blood
– Plot? What plot?

Ditto. Excelent points.

STID had plot. It had lots of plot. It had truckloads of plot.

What it lacked was a STORY.

@Benj SOOOO correct.

Weller was awesome but under-served by the lousy script. BC was totally mis-cast and honestly, as good as he is, letting his chew the scenery screamed of trying to manufacture those great scenes of the past (like Kirk’s “you killed my son” or Picard’s “the line must be drawn here”). It didnt work.

One dimensional mustache twirling villain. It made no sense. So the head of Star Fleet is also Sec 31 which is a secret but obviously not much of one. And he has a model of his super secret ship on his desk?

Waste of Nimoy. If the writers sat around totally unable to come up with a reason, any reason, for why they needed to call Spock Prime, they should have quit in disgrace. “Hey do you know Khan?” “Sure do!” “Cool, gotta run!”

Star Fleet needs a guy from 1990 to help them develop super advanced weapons. Uh huh. I mean, God, did a CHILD write this story?

I didnt mind the WoK scene on initial viewing, the problem is it made me nostalgic for a WAY better film. And despite Spock’s revival in TSFS, the death scene in WoK felt meaningful. They couldnt go 5 minutes without undoing it in STID. Totally worthless. And WORSE, they had an amazing opportunity to something that both tickled their nostalgia fancy AND could have been poignant – a radiation chamber death scene..hmmm, oh PIKE! Wait, we kill him earlier for NO reason other then a set up for Spock and his girlfriend to have an unprofessional argument in the middle of a critical mission

Dont need ships! Got transwarp beaming!

The WORST scene in the whole film was the ANVIL foreshadow involving the blood and the tribble. Tense scene interrupted with “Hey Bones, what are you doing with that tribble?” UGH Hit us over the year why dont you.

You want to use Khan’s blood? Fine. But magic resurrection blood that renders the victim PERFECTLY fine? Ridiculous. CHILD LIKE story telling.

No plot to see.

I think what happened was STID was all the leftover stuff from making the 09 movie (gah, is it really almost 10 years ago?). Someone meant to throw it all away but they put it in the wrong bin and someone else patched it together to make a movie.

@Chris, you could be right. Someone meant to throw it in the trash, but mistook Bob’s desk for the garbage can. He thought it was great and voila. Star Trek Into Disappointment

Let’s face it, if STID bumped up against SHIT, SHIT would try it’s best to rub it off!

After all, SHIT has standards!

Bob Orci will be along soon to remind everyone how rich he is. Sort of like a bank robber gloating over robbing your account. lol

Would have loved to have heard Hawking’s trademark mechanical voice sound say “what the F” in response to this. Making Khan a British white dude and then keeping it secret were just dumb-ass decisions.

I hate to break it to everyone but it was the worst kept secret ever.

If Secret Hideout is assigned more All Access Trek programming, they could do worse than “Star Trek: Portable Transwarp Beaming Device Squad” (a saga of serendipity).

It was a nice gesture on Cumberbatch’s part. Being in bad health myself, not knowing if tomorrow is coming or not, and really, Hawking was a miracle unto himself for his longevity, I’d have appreciated a heads- up. I can’t sit in a theater any longer, so here’s hoping I make it to the digital release of Infinity Wars. And beyond!