Rainn Wilson Trying To Get Harry Mudd Into ‘Star Trek: Strange New Worlds’

Actor Rainn Wilson jumped from The Office into the 23rd century to play the classic Star Trek character Harcourt Fenton Mudd in the first season of Star Trek: Discovery and Short Treks. And he is actively trying for more.

Wilson asked SNW producers to bring him back

Wilson appeared on Thursday at Creation Entertainment’s 55-Year Mission Star Trek convention in Las Vegas and the actor was asked if he would like to return to the Star Trek franchise, to which he replied, “Yeah, absolutely!” However this isn’t just an openness to the idea, Wilson revealed he has actively worked to make it happen, specifically for the upcoming live-action series Star Trek: Strange New Worlds. Wilson told the Las Vegas crowd:

I’ve written the producers and said, “Bring Harry Mudd back.” I’d love to come back. I wrote to [executive producer/co-showrunner] Akiva Goldsman about Strange New Worlds. Ahd he was like, “I don’t know, I would need to think about that.” So it’s out in the ether. Maybe if the fans write in to producers saying they want more Harry Mudd, they will listen to that. But I would love to do more, yeah.

Wilson appeared in two episodes of the first season of Discovery. He returned in to appear and direct for Short Treks in an episode written by Lower Decks creator Mike McMahan. Of course, the character of Harry Mudd interacted with members of the crew of Captain Kirk’s USS Enterprise on a few occasions, played on the original Star Trek by Roger C. Carmel. Having Mudd appear on Strange New Worlds – set on the USS Enterprise under the command of Kirk’s predecessor, Captain Pike – could work within Trek canon. And it certainly makes more sense than a return to Discovery, with that show now set in the 32nd century.

Rainn Wilson at 55-Year Mission convention, Las Vegas, August 12, 2021 (Photo: TrekMovie.com)

Mudd as a dream job

This is not the first time that Wilson has been proactive when it comes to Star Trek. During his panel he talked about how he came to be on Discovery, revealing that discussions began at a very early stage:

I read about it in the paper that they were going to reboot Star Trek at CBS/Paramount. Bryan Fuller was the original creator [of Star Trek: Discovery] and I met with Bryan and some other folks. I said, “Hey, just so you know, I want to throw my hat in the ring.” I love Star Trek. I’d love to be a part of this somehow. I don’t know what that looks like. I’m not sure I want to move to Toronto for years. I’m not sure I want to sit in a chair and get makeup put on for two hours every morning. Because that’s brutal, what Doug [Jones] does, but it’s amazing. And then I didn’t hear anything and things came and went, and up and down. And and then, fortunately, they gave a call, “What about Harry Mudd?” It was fantasic!

The actor also talked about how the character was developed for him.

They were excited to write in a kind of a reboot of Harry Mudd who, granted, is a lot darker in the Discovery universe. But everything is a lot darker [in Discovery] than in any of the previous series. So I thought it kind of fit in well. I wanted to bring that same lovable dastardly-ness, but also give him a real edge as well.

Rainn Wilson as Harry Mudd with Shazad Latif as Lieutenant Ash Tyler in “Choose Your Pain”

The 55-year old actor also talked about his love of Star Trek, starting at an early age in the 1970s:

I would come home from school and watch Star Trek reruns and it just blew my mind. I can in all honesty say it really changed my life. Star Trek allowed me to see a world in an entirely different way, which was: what was possible with technology – not just in terms of weapons and space exploration – but things like replicators. The idea that we could eliminate hunger, we could eventually eliminate financial systems. We wouldn’t need them to work in the same way. Racially we could get along in new ways and there was gender equity and the whole human race participated. We were grateful in the diversity that we had on the planet.

He even explained how the show meshed with his faith:

I grew up a member of the Bahá’í Faith and [Gene] Roddenberry’s vision fits in beautifully with what it means to be a Bahá’í and to look at the future of humanity and where we’re headed as a species on this planet and beyond. So, to go from that to having a meeting to play Harry Mudd to going back and watching the great Roger C. Carmel and what he did for the role was fantastic. It was a dream come true. I got to sit in the captain’s chair. I got to fire a phaser. Fun fact: in a line I improvised when Harry takes over the ship, I do a captain’s log just very briefly. I think I am the only non-captain to have done a captain’s log? That was really fun.

Rainn Wilson as Harry Mudd in “Magic to Make the Sanest Man Go Mad”

Strange New Worlds has just wrapped work on its first season, which will debut on Paramount+ in 2022.


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No one is ever going to say no to a paying gig. Okay, fans, do we want more Harry Mudd? Put me down as a qualified no.

Put me down as an enthusiastic yes.

Also yes.

I’d also like to see more of the Tellarite merchant captain from the Short Trek.

Yes

I’m in.

Yes, please. Obviously.

It has to line up with the original series episode Mudd’s Women, where Kirk and Spock first meet him. If he were to be in Strange New Worlds, he’d likely interact mostly with Captain Pike and Number One.

Also I would like to see Harry Mudd and Cyrano Jones together.

Exactly, it would be easy to give Spock a b story that keeps him away from him. I quite like the idea of Mudd and Cyrano Jones scheming together as well. I would just tweak the portrayal of Mudd to bring it closer to what we see in TOS.

Agreed there.

As a Trek fan who would like to see old things revisited and redone, sure. But as someone who would like to see the show stand on its own and not rely too heavily on TOS then, no.

BIG mistake if Mudd comes aboard ‘Strange New Worlds’.

Why?

Please elaborate….

It would stretch continuity to its limit. I get that they could keep him away from Spock for the whole episode, but why would they never mention him to Spock at least in passing? Why wouldn’t the encounter be in the ship’s log? Yes, they can explain all of that, but it’d be a painful stretch. The DISCO appearances were already that.

I would agree. It just isn’t necessary. I suppose Harry Mudd could be using an alias the whole episode and only the audience really knows. But it’s an (unnecessary) stretch.

No. Not a mistake at all.

I think we can pretty much guarantee continuity and canon are going to be screwed, with the coming of SNW. I’m just going to go with it being held in an alternate reality, and call it a day.

re: Continuity

What’s the thinking, here? That Spock never forgets a face? Even one disguised as Leo Walsh? Or are you claiming thorough Spock, didn’t do a cursory check of his Walsh ID until the hearing even though Kirk called “Walsh” a liar prior to it?

That Mudd, trying to maintain his Walsh cover, would flush his deception by commenting on his familiarity with Enterprise from his adventures with Pike upon immediately hearing its name?

Also Kirk’s ship was refit which would explain why Mudd did not recognize it as the E chasing him.

I thought he was one of the brighter moments of DISCOVERY, so I’d be happy to have him feature in SNW somewhere along the way. I’ll be looking on it as a ‘parallel universe’ show to TOS anyway, so I won’t be fussed if he’s involved with it’s particular ‘Spock’. ;)

But I’m sure some creative writers could find a way to keep things ‘canon’-friendly for those that want to look on this as a ‘true’ prequel to the original show’s events.

It’ll most likely start out as a prequel to TOS but if it’s successful they might turn it into its own thing. And the very story is there. It has been established on DSC that Pike’s fate was set the moment he touched the time crystal. But if he finds a way breaking that time lock, we might end up with two timelines and eventually a remake of Kirk’s TOS…

True. Ouch.

Would pay good money for a Harry Mudd centric series. Rainn Wilson’s take on Mudd was brilliant and fun and if they don’t give him his own series, I’d love to see him on Strange New Worlds. I’d also love if he’s added to Section 31 if that ever becomes a reality.

I’d love to see his Mudd interact with Georgiou.

And Ash Tyler may have some follow up to do with Mudd on the subject of time crystals.

I support his return! I would love to see him on that or shoot – give him a series! That would be fun!

I’d love to see more Mudd, but I don’t think SNW is the right place to do it. Spock obviously didn’t know Mudd in Mudd’s Women, and Mudd didn’t seem to be familiar with the Enterprise. Its possible for Pike or somebody to meet Mudd away from the Enterprise and then never mention it to Spock, but it seems like a bit of a stretch. It the S31 show is set in the 23rd century, that would be perfect for Mudd.

I thought the episode with him and the time crystal was one of the least funny and dumbest episodes of a science fiction series i’ve ever seen. If there was some reason for him to be in Strange New Worlds that suits the plot and isn’t really dumb then sure, but am i dying to see him again, the answer is no.

You must be tremendous fun at parties. Sitting in the corner brooding about the seriousness of time crystals as everyone just has a good time.

Or… hey, he has a different opinion than you do and doesn’t deserve to be insulted by dysfunctional gatekeepers.

The reactionary name-calling, my word! Adult with us, please.

@skyjedi Agreed. And I’d gladly hang out with you at the next party.

No, thanks.

Despite how I feel about the show, it’s nice to hear a story from a true fan of the franchise who got to live his dream. Impressed.

I want another season of Utopia.

I just want any excuse to see somebody stick Harry Mudd’s phaser in some jello.

I see what you did there…

If that happened on SNW it might be worth the effort! And it would be funnier than ANYTHING that LDX has done.

Discovery turned a profit-driven, but mostly harmless ruffian into a (mass) murderer.

So NO.

only because of the effects of him endlessly using the time crystal made him that way but it was erased by the end.

YES PLEASE!!!!!!!

I’m sure there’s a place for more stories involving Mudd. I’m just not sure that SNW is the right place for them.

I think it’s a given he will show up.

  1. Please… Just…. No.
  2. The writer said “And it certainly makes more sense than a return to Discovery, with that show now set in the 32nd century.” Since when has what Star Trek Discovery had to make any sense?

Continuity issues aside, I don’t want Mudd on SNW because I dislike Wilson’s version of the character.

Carmel’s Mudd had some menace, sure, especially in his first appearance — but there was also some charm.

Wilson’s Mudd is just a thug.

If they recast the role? Maybe.

More Mudd