Why Spock Has A Beard And How Ethan Peck Prepared For The Role On ‘Star Trek: Discovery’

Tonight marks the halfway point of the second season of Star Trek: Discovery with the seventh episode: “Light and Shadows.” We have gathered all the bits of Disco news you need to know to be up to speed for tonight and more. Tonight’s episode of Star Trek: Discovery will feature the debut of Ethan Peck as Spock, so naturally Peck has been making the rounds.

A beard with a purpose

Previews of his Spock have gotten a lot of attention for showing him with a beard. In an interview with TVLine, the actor revealed the facial hair has a purpose:

[Peck] sees Spock’s hair and beard as a hint at the youthful tumult going on inside him: “This is a time in Spock’s life when I think the deep inner conflict of human versus Vulcan really comes to the surface… so I think it’s an expression of his state of mind.”

Yes, Peck is aware that Spock’s new look is “controversial,” but he doesn’t mind… adding that viewers will learn the reasoning behind it by season’s end: “People are gonna hate on it. People are gonna love on it, hopefully, too. But it’s done for a really remarkable reason that will be revealed by the end of the season.”

Ethan Peck as Spock

How Peck prepared for Spock

Speaking with The Hollywood Reporter, Peck told them he drew a lot of inspiration from the original Spock, Leonard Nimoy:

I spent a lot of time with the original series and his performance. As I would review my lines, I would have an episode on and try to absorb the musicality of his voice and pay attention to what he did. I saw someone who had a great awareness of the emotional world around him. Spock’s often referred to as a computer, unemotional. But I think he’s deeply emotional; he just doesn’t interface with the emotion going on around him. He chooses very carefully how to engage with it and speak to it. Often, we may fall into hysterics, joy or anger over a given situation. He tends to see that but operates from a place purely from logic, which is quintessential Spock. There’s a wisdom to Spock, but I think with him comes emotional struggle and strife. That was what was on the page for me for Discovery. Somebody who’s having deep feelings in his life, and it’s shaping who he will become.

He also spoke about how he met with the Nimoy family to get a better sense of how Leonard played Spock:

It was really special. I found out the week before that I had gotten the job. I was overwhelmed. I was still in shock the following week. I was curious to meet them, and CBS arranged a time for us to get together. Leonard Nimoy’s children were so open, kind and welcoming. They were very there for me and curious about what my plans were for my preparation. We spoke about how Nimoy prepared. It was one of the first steps to feel worthy of doing this.

Ethan Peck visits with the Nimoy family in August 2018. (Julie Nimoy/Twitter)

More hype for “Light and Shadows” from Airiam actress

This morning, Airiam 2.5 actress Hannah Cheesman shared a photo of her makeup process as she implored fans to tune in tonight.

Martin-Green happy her role is encouraging girls to explore STEM

Discovery star Sonequa Martin-Green has a featured interview and photo spread in the March issue of Essense Magazine, which was previewed online by writer Candice Fredrick. One of the subjects Martin-Green talks about is how she is proud that playing Science Officer Michael Burnham can be an inspiration to young girls:

Parents tell me their girls are interested in math, science and technology after watching the show. That’s incredible. It makes me want to work harder. It makes me more grateful…and the way to continue opening these doors is by continuing to do what we’re doing: telling these varied, interesting, compelling, ugly, beautiful, human stories.

Sonequa Martin-Green in March issue of Essence Magazine

Cast and crew celebrate season three pickup

Yesterday’s big news of CBS officially renewing Discovery for a third season was celebrated on social media by many from the cast and crew.

Actor Wilson Cruz offered up some hype for season 3, while throwing some shade to those who doubted the renewal was coming, which he got into more in another Twitter thread.

Actor Anthony Rapp expressed his joy at the news, and his hope for even more seasons to come.

Doug Jones found a photo to express his feelings about it.

Actress Mary Chieffo offered her congrats to the Star Trek: Discovery family.

Writer and executive story editor (and co-showrunner for the Michelle Yeoh Section 31 series in development) Erika Lippoldt offered her enthusiasm for Michelle Paradise being bumped up to co-showrunner of Discovery.

Prop master Mario Moreira was happy to share the news of the renewal.

Art director Matt Middleton looks like he is eager to get back to work.

Composer Jeff Russo had his reaction to the writers’ room “301” whiteboard tweet, with his own musical version.

Discovery Season 2, Episode 7 debuts tonight

Star Trek: Discovery is available exclusively in the USA on CBS All Access. It airs in Canada on Space and streams on CraveTV. It is available on Netflix everywhere else.

Light and Shadows” will be released on All Access on tonight at 8:30pm ET/5:30pm PT. It will air on Space at 8:00pm ET/5:00pm PT tonight. It will be available on Netflix tomorrow morning, Friday, March 1st, 2019.


Keep up with all the Star Trek: Discovery news at TrekMovie.

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Mike.C.

Because in season two everybody gets hair!

Legate Damar

Well then, I can’t wait until season 2 of the Picard show,

Spiked Canon

good stuff. I wish I’d see a tweet from Anson Mount that he can’t wait to get back!

Mantastic

I’m just hoping we’ll eventually get an announcement that Pike’s Enterprise will get it’s own spin-off. Anson rocks that role, and it would be really cool to see more of the pre-Kirk adventures that ship experienced.

Olaf

Oh yes, please! That would be terrific!

Jedi Spock

“hope… get an announcement that Pike’s Enterprise will get it’s own spin-off”

You know good and flipping well that CBS is not about to let that money-train not leave the station.

There will be a Captain Pike show…

Olaf

In this case, greed would be a good thing! ;-)

Andrew SD

What’s the timeline predictions for season 3? Early 2020? Mid or late 2020? What say we?

Spiked Canon

Spring Summer

Martin Lyle

I bet March-May. With Picard from Oct -Dec, they will want to try and just keep subscribers signed up without a break. With a few short treks in those 90 days, they could keep folks signed up. If they can get Pikes show coming in August, and Picard season 2 to return Nov, they will maximize subs. The question will be which comes first Section 31 or Pikes show?

ML31

Since this is supposedly Prime universe and not a reboot then it makes sense to try and emulate Nimoy, IMHO. Had this been a reboot or different timeline or something, it would be perfectly fair for an actor to put his own spin on Spock.

Regarding the beard, I don’t really care that much. But it probably hides the fact that the two actors faces don’t match much.

Afterburn

No. Just… no. Recasting characters has to be done this way. Don’t try to look like them, other than broad strokes, and let the actor do their thing, as long as it’s similarly broadly consistent. This is not unique to Trek.

Jemini

The irony is that his Spock already is more alternate reality than Quinto’s version. Kelvin’ Spock backstory is more or less just like Nimoy Spock’s backstory was established in decades of canon and novels before discovery changed it to add what wasn’t there. Ethan’s version is such a retcon with the sister stuff that honestly I fail to see how he can believe his Spock is Nimoy’s version and not a reboot too.
Just because you put a prime trek label on discovery it doesn’t mean it is not a reboot too, it doesn’t mean it will automatically be more authentic and canon.

And I also call it bs because it’s obvious his casting was informed by Quinto’s version and partially trying to recreate the appeal of a newer version of the character, not the 60s one by Nimoy who, to a modern audience, may come across as being the father or uncle of the new Spocks now.

ML31

We really don’t know what Ethan is doing with Spock just yet. When he becomes more Spcok-ish, that is when it would be good for him to tray and emulate Nimoy. I know the tendency is to put your own spin on a character. But in this case that would not be the better choice.

A34

The worst thing he could do is to emulate Nimoy. He has to make the character his own.

Jemini

He shouldn’t make a Nimoy’s impersonation, just like Quinto didn’t make one and he got Nimoy’s blessing.
The point (?) is I don’t get his argument that he has to only use Nimoy as inspiration because he plays the same Spock when 1) his version is AU/a reboot too no less than Quinto’s version, no matter if they place him in prime 2) he says it himself that his Spock is different!
In short, both him and Quinto play different Spocks using Nimoy as inspiration. To be honest? He sounds like he’s, like others in Discovery, just trying to seek validation under this idea that being a retcon of tos Spock is more valid than being a honest alternate version like Quinto. This is delusional because his Spock, by their admission, is very different either way. A retcon is a retcon.

ML31

I disagree. Quinto’s situation was different. This is supposed to be the Spock we all know. While Peck cannot duplicate the voice and the look, he can duplicate the cadence and how Spock holds himself. Which is what he really should be going for. Now if they were doing a reboot…

Jemini

Besides, like I said before I honestly think it’s a moot point now because Quinto’s version already is even less au and different than his Spock, lol! His childhood was just like Nimoy’s version before stv and discovery retconned siblings in it (him seemingly being an only child is respectful of DC Fontana and Roddenberry own ideas). He was the same Spock, the only differences being the destruction of vulcan, the death of his mom, the fact he met Uhura sooner so they fell in love and have a relationship, the fact he works with kirk&Co already and we didn’t see a dynamic between him and Pike..the human/vulcan conflict and difficult relationship with Sarek was also there…most of all is just the writers accelerating his process of accepting his human side and feelings the way Nimoy’s Spock too did eventually. But Quinto’s version isn’t crazy because of red angel visions, he doesn’t have a step sister. You could argue even spock/uhura isn’t that big of a change because it is inspired by established canon as the potential was in tos too (for a reason, which is the fact it was the original plan but those were the 60s) and nothing says they couldn’t have been together in tos too. All the changes in aos frankly pale in comparison to discovery altering and retconning tos Spock. At least the reboot movies NEVER tried to change THAT Spock. They did their own thing without seeking validation from tos like discovery is trying to do with the constant preaching that “they are the original timeline, just completely different” lol.

Professor Spock

He is already the best Spock.

elrontribble

Why does Spock have a beard?

Because he’s EVIL SPOCK, DUH! He’s hiding in plain sight! Those side-beard panels will rip right off!

p.s. Evil Riker is beardless. The clean-shaven Riker in TNG season one was a MIRROR UNIVERSE SPY!

p.p.s. There’s also a little-known sideways universe where everyone sports mutton-chop sideburns. EVERYONE! Section 31 guards this secret with everything it has. If the truth got out, it could cause a galaxy-wide panic.

Tiger2

I have no idea why its ‘controversial’ Spock has a beard? Are Vulcans anti-face growth? Yeah this is Spock at a different time in his life, so its nothing wrong to show some differences. Everyone knows he’s going to eventually shave it anyway. These little things is what makes the fandom overly obsessed. He does’t have to look like the exact same as before.

Now if Picard shows up on the new show with a toupee….

I’m really curious how fans will take his overall performance though. This is the first real iconic TOS character to show up and all the ridiculous build up to him this season (it LITERALLY has turned into the search for Spock lol) only made the expectations higher. From what I seen though I think he’ll be fine and fans will embrace him but I been wrong before lol. But I think if he’s at least better than Quinto (who is not bad at all IMO, just doesn’t emulate the original Spock as much as fans would like so gets more scorn) then he will probably be accepted. It seems like every other TOS character has been, from Pike to Mudd at least so I can’t dispute their casting choices so far.

Vulcan Soul

Discovery’s still that junkie that can’t get off its drug of controversy after getting full-on addiction in season 1. Even if there is none. I’d wish they’d finally show some more meaningful stuff than “the mystery of how Spock got his beard”!

Elrond

After watching darkness and light, I think Spock’s beard has now paled into irrelevance.

Tiger2

It is funny now that the episode aired I don’t see many people talking about the beard yet, they actually seem more engrossed to talk about the story itself. That’s always a good sign you told a good story when all the nit picky stuff just goes away. But I suspect it will be back if next week episode sucks lol.

Vulcan Soul

Unlike the color of the sky, a beard is easily changed. I’m surprised TPTB do not realize that when they (falsely) predict what causes controversy and what doesn’t.

Michael Hall

Why is it the fault of the DSC producers if some fans choose to make a federal case over some facial hair?

Vulcan Soul

My point is, WHO is BUT the DSC producers? There’s alot to gripe about in Discovery, but Spock’s hair isn’t one of them. As many have pointed out, he did have long hair for Kolinahr in ST:TMP, so why not a beard too!

Jemini

It is controversial only for Discovery haters – correction, uptight trek fans who default hate and nitpick on every new trek. And the people behind this trek seem to be insecure about haters and what they read on the ‘fanboards’ so everything needs an ‘explanation’. It is silly tbh. The more I read interviews by them all the more I want to just tell them ‘relax!’. They completely ruined the surprise about Culber too because they got self conscious about killing him instead of owning the choice and let fans get their nice surprise.
Trying to placate haters and certain trek fans is a lost battle.

J.S.

Well, IMO it’s controversial because “bearded Spock” == “evil Spock from MU”

Jemini

That’s one of those campy things from tos that we can’t let go, honestly. Like the male characters will never be allowed to spot a beard. Guys grow a beard, it isn’t an exclusive thing to the mirror universe and in context of the state this Spock is in, it may be just normal.
Frankly, trek fans can be truly lame and exhausting. The creative team should just ignore the fanboards or they will paint themselves into a corner.
Take the theory that Spock’s fallout with Michael was about romance just because he’s attracted to Uhura (another black girl) later, and is in a relationship with her in the kelvin timeline. .it’s absolutely ridiculous the creative team had to even debunk it. They constantly need to reassure fans.

A34

Some of the fans act like babies. I can’t blame the creative team. Watching them coddle the fans at conventions is always fun to watch.

ML31

Only if it’s a goatee. ;)

JKWell

Spock looks like a Vulcan tribble.

Michael Hall

I once attended a convention many years ago where a vendor was selling ‘vribbles’ — tribbles with cardboard pointed ears affixed. David Gerrold put the kibosh on that right quick, you better believe it.

Martin Lyle

Nobody has mentions Ned the Talosians yet? I’ll be the first to say I like the Discovery version. I await to see if they still have at least a hint of that ass on the back of their head, but from the front and the outfits look good.

ML31

One thing, the Taolosians from The Cage were played by women to give them a little bit different feel. In the teaser they very much look like men.

Jemini

The people behind discovery are so self conscious and they always come across as so insecure with this constant reassuring fans that everything has a reason and purpose, an explanation. Gosh! Now the beard too must be some big reason why a guy who is on the run has a different look. Can’t be self-explanatory like the fact he maybe he didn’t have the time. It isn’t like he is on duty either. Just..relax guys. You can’t be slaves of the hardcore trek fans and haters because you know what? You will never please those people no matter what.

A34

It’s the fans that are insecure.

Vulcan Soul

I think the better word than insecure is clueless. It’s really easy. When they deliberately change canon just for the sake of it, without making anything better, fans revolt. A character spotting a beard in a past we hadn’t seen before is not among those things. It makes them appear clueless that they can’t see which issues are real and which are not.

ML31

This goes along with their tendency to want to explain away things that do not need to be explained and not explain away the things that do.

Olaf

Is that pic that Doug Jones posted legit (I mean, do we know it’s been taken after the season 3 renewal news came in)? If so, that is Ansoun Mount in the middle, isn’t it?