Another canon character included in Star Trek: Strange New Worlds, which debuts this week, is Robert April. In the new series, April is played by Adrian Holmes. This news leaked out over the weekend from one of the early (supposedly spoiler-free) reviews, before being officially revealed today by Paramount+ with their preview materials. While some fans have expressed issues with the character looking different than the one appearance in Star Trek: The Animated Series, the writer of that episode is expressing his excitement to see the character brought to live in live-action Star Trek.
Fred Bronson welcomes Adrian Holmes as April
The character of Robert April first appeared in 1974 in the season two episode of Star Trek: The Animated Series “The Counter-Clock Incident.” April was established to be the first captain of the USS Enterprise, preceding Captain Pike and Captain Kirk. In the episode he visits the Enterprise with the rank Commodore, approaching his retirement age of 75. Via an encounter with a “reverse universe” April became younger for a time, before returning to his original age.
While the canon status of The Animated Series is debatable, April was listed as one of Starfleet’s most decorated captains in the first season Discovery episode “Choose Your Pain.” The second season Discovery episode “Brother” also confirmed April as the first commander of the Enterprise with Christopher Pike as his first officer. April’s name actually goes back to Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry’s original pitch; he eventually changed the name of the commander of the Enterprise to Captain Pike for “The Cage.”
On Star Trek: Strange New Worlds, April is played by Adrian Holmes, an award-winning Canadian actor who was born in Wales in 1974. He is currently starring in Peacock’s Fresh Prince of Bel-Air reboot Bel-Air as Uncle Phil and may be known to genre fans for his recurring role on Arrow as police captain Frank Pike. In Strange New Worlds April is an Admiral who first appears in the series premiere, flying a shuttle out to visit a bearded Captain Christopher Pike.
The TAS episode “The Counter-Clock Incident” was written by Fred Bronson under the pseudonym John Culver. This morning he reached out to Holmes to thank the actor, saying he has been “waiting” for someone to bring him to life since 1974.
@iamadrianholmes Hi, Adrian. In 1974, I created the character of Robert April when I wrote the final episode of the animated #StarTrek series, "The Counter-Clock Incident." I've been waiting ever since for someone to bring him to life. Thank you!
— Fred Bronson (@FredBronson) May 2, 2022
There has been some debate online about casting a Black actor to play April, but when asked about “anti-fans who are upset” Bronson said he wasn’t aware of the controversy, although he acknowledged the 48-year-old Holmes is younger than he imaged April.
Not rude at all. I haven't seen any of those comments, but I would not agree with them. Sure, he's younger than he should be as I created him, but I can live with that.
— Fred Bronson (@FredBronson) May 2, 2022
Okuda joins in
The depiction in The Animated Series isn’t the only time we have seen April before. In the 1994 Star Trek Encyclopedia reference book, there was a photo of Robert April that put Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry’s head onto Captain Kirk’s body. That book was authored by Star Trek design veteran Michael Okuda, who added his voice to welcoming Adrian Holmes to the franchise as Robert April.
As the person who photoshopped Gene Roddenberry's face on a photo of Captain Kirk to create a photo of Captain Robert April in the Star Trek Encyclopedia, I love Adrian Holmes being cast as Admiral April! https://t.co/USqJKCNMyM
— Michael Okuda (@MikeOkuda) May 1, 2022
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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