On Saturday, Paramount+ brought the cast and creatives of Star Trek: Strange New Worlds to New York City for a star-studded premiere. TrekMovie was there on the gold carpet to talk to all of them. We start with our brief interview with executive producer and co-showrunner Henry Alonso Myers. At the recent Mission Chicago convention, he spoke at length about all the classic elements from Star Trek: The Original Series he and the team are bringing into this new series, so we thought we would talk to him about how the new show differs from TOS.
You have brought so much love from The Original Series into this, but are there elements of TOS you are doing differently? Maybe avoiding some of the tropes they had or the way women were sometimes treated?
Well, I don’t want to… they were doing a show at a certain time with a certain perspective, and they probably weren’t aware of certain things. I think what’s really fun about this is trying to re-envision some stuff or deepen some stuff, or trying to find a richer perspective for characters who maybe didn’t always get that. Just doing it today with contemporary actors and trying to like zero in on them, makes the show feel different. Do you know what I mean? Like, I feel safe in saying our Chapel is not the Chapel of The Original Series, although she will become a version of the Chapel of The Original Series. We’re trying to do a character who would exist today.
Chapel is different on Strange New Worlds. What was behind the decision to make her so very different from the one we know?
We wanted to give a hat tip to some of the things that she does in TOS, but try to find a different reason why, like a human reason. A reason that we would understand. No slight against anything that they did on The Original Series, but they had a very different conception of women and of marriage and what people would do in their jobs. And as a contemporary audience member myself, I don’t find that believable, and I had trouble with that.
So a lot of that just started with, ‘Well, what else could she be?’ Where did she come from? What’s an interesting story to tell with her? And a lot of it also comes from when we cast Jess [Bush] as Chapel. What are her strengths? How can we play to that?
Did you have a different approach with Uhura?
Uhura is such an important character in the history of the franchise. But one of the things we realized doing this was there’s so much about her life that we don’t know. And it was exciting to figure that out… And we were really lucky to find Celia [Rose Gooding]. She just really, well, you know!
Was singing part of her audition process?
No, but we knew that she did. I knew we would incorporate singing somehow with her. I mentioned it when we were working with our casting people and they found someone who was kind of bright. We knew we had singing in the second episode, and then we knew we would try to find more ways to bring that forward. That just happened to work out. And then also just when we met her, she was so poised and was just like… I sort of knew when she walked in the room. I was like, “I think this might be our Uhura.” [laughs]
More NYC SNW interviews to come
This is the first of our gold carpet interviews from the New York premiere of Strange New Worlds. Stay tuned all week long as we share more from the cast and executive producer/co-creator Alex Kurtzman.
Star Trek: Strange New Worlds debuts on Thursday, May 5 exclusively on Paramount+ in the U.S., Latin America, Australia and the Nordics. The series will air on Bell Media’s CTV Sci-Fi Channel and stream on Crave in Canada. In New Zealand, it will be available on TVNZ, and in India on Voot Select. Strange New Worlds will arrive via Paramount+ in select countries in Europe when the service launches later this year, starting with the UK this summer.
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