Watch: New ‘Star Trek: Strange New Worlds’ Promo Introduces Dr. M’Benga

It’s another day and so it’s another Star Trek: Strange New Worlds character promo, and this time the focus is on the chief medical officer.

Dr. M’Benga is here

One of the familiar characters on Star Trek: Strange New Worlds is Dr. M’Benga, who appeared in a couple of episodes of the original Star Trek. For Strange New Worlds M’Benga is back on board the USS Enterprise, now played by Babs Olusanmokun. The latest social video promo re-introduces us to the doctor.

NOTE: this Instagram version should be viewable internationally.

More character promos

This Strange New Worlds promo follows Tuesday’s videos for Cadet Uhura and Security Chief La’an and Wednesday’s videos for Lt. Ortegas and Hemmer. There are still a few characters left, so we expect more videos soon, with another possibly arriving later today. We have done an analysis of the first two promos already, and we will be doing the same for the others soon.

Coming in May

The series debuts on May 5th. Paramount+ has provided the following synopsis:

Star Trek: Strange New Worlds is based on the years Captain Christopher Pike manned the helm of the U.S.S. Enterprise. The series will feature fan favorites from season two of Star Trek: Discovery, Anson Mount as Captain Christopher Pike, Rebecca Romijn as Number One and Ethan Peck as Science Officer Spock. The series will follow Captain Pike, Science Officer Spock and Number One in the years before Captain Kirk boarded the U.S.S. Enterprise, as they explore new worlds around the galaxy.

And in case you missed it, here is the teaser trailer…

Find more news and analysis for Strange New Worlds.

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I am pleased with the casting for this series. I’m excited!

I really like the diversity, which harkens back to the original ST.

One very little quibble, though. Since we already know what M’Benga and Uhura look like, maybe it would be better if the Dr. M’Benga didn’t have the beard, like the original, and Uhura had longer hair, more like Nichelle Nichols?

Other than that, my question is, if M’Benga was the chief medical officer and McCoy apparently replaced him, what was he doing around working under McCoy on TOS? I suppose the writers have an answer for that.

I’m guessing that their hairstyles will evolve over the course of the series to be closer to what we recognize by Kirk’s arrival. This includes the Vulcan, I hope.

Totally agree, this is few years back from TOS. Everyone changes their hairstyle, except Quark and Saru.

Picard could be included, but we have seen his younger version! :D

Those things don’t bother me. People change their hair, grow beards… etc.

If all I have to complain about with show is hair styles, I’ll be pleasantly shocked and amazed!
Good point about M’Benga. At this point it won’t be long until a new Leonard McCoy is introduced.

Yeah. If beards and hair styles are the worst part of the show then we will have an absolute winner on our hands.

And yes, I would not be surprised to see McCoy on this show. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised to see any of them now.

Actually McCoy replaced Dr. Piper played by Paul Fix, but it’s an easy . . . “fix.” Maybe Piper was only an attending physician. (BTW, I hear Paul used to be in a lot of westerns.)

This was the best one so far. He seems like he’s going to be great. I’m curious, though, why he will eventually be demoted, since McCoy will eventually be CMO, with M’Benga just a member of his staff.

Lots of potential scenarios. 1. He gets reassigned somewhere, McCoy becomes CMO, he’s transferred back to Enterprise. 2. Dr. Boyce (The Cage) who was CMO doesn’t appear to be in this series – so M’Benga becomes acting CMO for a while, leaves to go complete his specialized training on Vulcan, McCoy becomes CMO. etc. etc. Doesn’t necessarily mean he was demoted. Lots of ways you can write around it. Actually if you really want to be strict, there’s Dr. Piper from WNMHGB…gotta explain away him too. Or not. ;)

“2. Dr. Piper (The Cage) who was CMO doesn’t appear to be in this series –”

Dr Boyce was CMO in The Cage. Dr Piper was on board in WNMHGB…

I guess there are other possibilities. My thinking before this teaser was that M’Benga was there because he was a Vulcan specialist and the Enterprise had the only Vulcan in Star Fleet. But I suppose there are multiple ways to take this. Secret Hideout doesn’t exactly have the best track record so I find myself hoping someone at SNW is up to it.

Enterprise had the only Vulcan in Star Fleet

The Intrepid was crewed entirely by Vulcans.

True that. Did I not hear somewhere in TOS that Spock was the only Vulcan in Star Fleet?

I think he was the first Vulcan to go through Starfleet Academy maybe.

Maybe he gets promoted and sent to another assignment.. is it established somewhere he stays on as a member of McCoy’s staff?

It is established that he is on McCoy’s staff for an episode or two. Unless someone decides it was on “loan” or “temporary” or something.

His first appearance was immediately after “Journey to Babel.” I had always thought the implication was that McCoy’s inexperience with Vulcans, which nearly led to the demise of both Spock and Sarek, was the reason for assigning M’Benga to Enterprise.

I like this train of thought.

I went back and read on Memory Alpha, gotcha. Well… I could easily see a medical officer wanting to be free of the bureacracy of being a “chief” and just being a doctor. I think it’s explainable, and not necessarily a demotion, but a choice he made to get out of the administrative side, perhaps.

As someone who has been a department chair, I can totally see this.

I think he could be assigned to another ship and was perhaps on a temporary assignment on the Enterprise during his time there under McCoy. This is an aspect that isn’t really set in stone in terms of canon so the writers can get as creative as they like, if they can ever be that creative.

This seems like a really great character…more presence than some of the others previewed.

So he is the CMO, eh. That only leads me to wonder why he was demoted in favor of Leonard McCoy.

What makes you think he was demoted? He could have easily accepted another assignment elsewhere and made occasional returns to the Enterprise during Kirk’s command.

I guess demotion is not the ONLY possibility. But based on what we know… He appeared on McCoy’s staff as a Vulcan specialist briefly. Now we see he was the CMO under Pike. It is a bit of a stretch to be in command somewhere else and then appear back on his former ship where he was the CMO on loan or even a temp assignment. Demotion is not an illogical conclusion based on that information. Even if that is not the case, it’s still not unreasonable to think.

Sure, demotion is not the only possibility, but why are so many people convinced that it’s impossible? I don’t know, maybe there could be an episode where M’Benga has to risk his career to make a personal decision; a decision so controversial that Pike has no choice but demote him and McCoy comes aboard – just briefly before Kirk. I mean Uhura is already there…

I don’t think so. he may have wanted out of the administrative side of being a chief, and just wanted to practice medicine. Or he left to specialize (in this case, Vulcan medicine). Title isn’t everything to some people.

Bravo to Paramount+ on these character reveals, getting the show off on the right foot.

Liking him already. I was hoping for John Slattery as Dr Boyce – maybe as a guest part!

I’m not sure they’d want to pay him what it would take. Those special effects are not cheap. But no doubt, he’d have been a great choice.

So when did the Enterprise become the ‘flagship’ of Starfleet? It certainly wasn’t this early. Trek has never used the correct definition of flagship, so that’s out he window, but the Enterprise had not earned its stature to be designated that yet. I don’t think they send the flagship on a five year mission of exploration. It was also one of several ships that were exactly like it. I guess this was the ‘body English’ Akiva Goldsman was talking about. The people running these shows really are clueless.

There was no “flagship” term on TOS or the features.

I got the impression the Enterprise was just one of the 12 Constitution class ships. As far as I know the “flagship” thing didn’t show up until TNG.

Shouldn’t the flagship have a flag officer (Admiral) on board?

Then there’s that, too.

Under the current Naval definition of a flagship, yes. On Star Trek, it became what the people thought was the most advanced ship in the fleet. Their Trophy ship, if you will. That doesn’t seem like a designation you give to the ship you send off to deep space to explore.

It’s soft-canon at best that the original Enterprise wasn’t the flagship. I like the idea of it *not being the flagship because the Enterprise hadn’t earned that prestige yet. But the Enterprise being the flagship doesn’t violate established canon by any means.

Maybe not, but it also doesn’t make any sense, in-universe.

the enterpise d and e were the flagship for the federation while the 1701 was the flagship of starfleet aka not the whole federation but just for the starfleet organization which maybe why the enterprise was the go to ship for starfleet for certian major missions and wanted it’s presence at big events and would be why they chose it for the m5 experiment also

They are really getting a good handle on Star Trek as a business and are telling much better stories. I love that Picard has unique CHARACTERS with individual voices again. Seeing these character reveals makes me feel that they’ve learned from Discovery’s mistakes and understand that having a crew of highly qualified and competent professionals is in Star Trek’s DNA. There are characters and they have something to dooooo.

Very much agreed. Four years into Discovery, there are still bridge crew who are in every episode and who have barely been fleshed out at all. Even Detmer has essentially no established personality other than brash pilot doing brash piloty things.

Like the callback to the classic biobeds and even the inset shelving in Sickbay. But where are the skulls? You never know when you’ll need to clobber a Mirror Universe counterpart to a familiar character with one.

If you freeze the shot at 10 seconds you can see a couple of skulls on the shelves.

Oh I remember the guy from the show. And they better not make me wait until the second season for Commodore Mendez.

Like the thicker black collar on his uniform. Too bad the other uniforms don’t have that yet. I suspect as the series evolves we will start to see that addition. The shirt also appears to have a flap down the left side. Character wise I appreciate that he will have more holistic approach to medicine. It harkens back to both Bones and Pulaski in a good way.

What a wonderful way to introduce the characters/actors of SNW, these mini-promos! Great work!

He seems great. In fact they all do

Great choice. Loved him in Dune where he played that unhinged Freman who got his ass kicked at the end of the movie by Paul.

Oh wow. Saw this after the Chapel clip and I was wrong in my last post. THIS might be the best Trek since Star Trek VI. I can’t decide.
Though really curious how M’Benga ends up under McCoy?!? Does something go wrong? Does he not want to be CMO anymore? What sparks his need to go study Vulcans more? There must be some story there.

I like him, but why is he holding the classic style medical scanner backwards?