At the end of May, Star Trek: Strange New Worlds actors Celia Rose Gooding (Uhura), Melissa Navia (Ortegas), Rebecca Romijn (Number One), and Ethan Peck (Spock) “beamed” in as “holograms” to the MCM Comic Con in London to talk about season 2. The full panel is available to watch at Popverse, and we have some of the highlights, plus details on the technology behind the hologram panel.
Big genre swings may test some fans
The cast used the often repeated phrase “big swings” a lot to describe how the show takes on multiple genres in season 2 as it did in season 1. Rebecca Romijn noted that the new season really leaned into it…
Rebecca Romijn: We really took some very big swings with genre in season 2. And not everybody–it might not completely be embraced by all fans, but we tried a lot of things. And we’re very proud of it, and very excited to share it with fans.
Melissa Navia agreed and offered some context about how the cast approached the season:
Melissa Navia: Pretty much around when we started filming season 2, season 1 was coming out. So we had definitive proof that what we were doing was working and the fans embraced it and the world was as excited to get it as we had been to make it the year prior. So it just really energized the set. We were like, ‘Yeah, they like this, let’s do more of it.’ And so it kind of gave us the push to take big swings and to go all out and say the fans have our backs.
Celia Rose Gooding explained how this approach had a particular impact on her character:
Celia Rose Gooding: I think what we’ve done with season 2 was really take some big genre swings. I think pretty much everyone is trying something that we weren’t expecting to do, myself included. Especially with [Uhura], we’re charting some uncharted territory.
More Ortegas… and more Hemmer?
The cast went out of their way to avoid spoilers, but they did give some hints. Melissa Navia revealed that we should be expecting to learn more about her character:
Melissa Navia: I think what the fans want and what the fans are going to get is to to see what that [Ortegas] backstory is that that made her so capable, so skilled, so professional. Why she is so loyal to her crewmates. Why they’re loyal to her. Her relationship with Pike, and the rapport that they have… I’m excited to show fans where she comes from and why she fits and why she belongs on the Enterprise.
Uhura’s storyline in season 1 was tied closely to her mentoring relationship with Hemmer (Bruce Horak), culminating in Hemmer’s sacrifice and death in episode 9. Celia talked about how there is more to learn about how much Hemmer impacted her character:
Celia Rose Gooding: [Bruce Horak] is such a light and for Uhura to have that, especially given her past and her history with family and community, to have someone so near and dear to her in those moments of newness and trying to figure out who she is in Starfleet and what Starfleet means to her—to have that was so beautiful. And then to lose it was so heartbreaking but also so yummy for reasons I can’t explain just yet. I think that there’s a lot more to learn about their relationship even in Hemmer’s passing. And yeah, I’m just really excited for fans to get to know the layers of Uhura through her relationship with Hemmer and also her relationship with herself after Hemmer’s gone.
Producers have said that they will look to find ways to bring Horak back, potentially in a different role, but it’s also possible he could also appear in flashbacks based on the above hints from Gooding.
As for Ethan Peck, he didn’t get into any specifics about season 2 beyond pointing to episode 5 as his favorite. He did talk a bit about working with Carol Kane, who is joining the series in a recurring role as Pelia, the ship’s new engineer:
Ethan Peck: One thing I loved so much was being able to work with and become friends with Carol Kane. She is such an amazing person, actor, cohort. And so that was super-fun and exciting.
You can watch the full panel now at Popverse with premium access. They will be making the panel available for free at Popverse later this month.
While the MCM Comic Con event functioned just like any other panel with a moderator and fans asking questions, it was quite different from a technical perspective. All four panelists appeared as live holograms using “capsule displays” from ARHT, a Canadian hologram company. In fact Gooding and Navia were in New York while Romijn and Peck were in Los Angeles, but by using ARHT’s technology they all appeared together on stage, live in London. During the panel, Romjin said, “…we have just literally been beamed in its another example of technology existing in Star Trek 40 or 50 years before it existed in real life, much like the flip phone and tricorders we’ve just been beamed in. Wild.”
The following video takes you behind the scenes for the panel…
Season 2 will premiere Thursday, June 15 on Paramount+ in the U.S, the U.K., Australia, Latin America, Brazil, France, Italy, Germany, Switzerland and Austria. The second season will also be available to stream on Paramount+ in South Korea, with premiere dates to be announced at a later date. Following the premiere, new episodes of the 10-episode season will drop weekly on Thursdays.
Season 1 of Star Trek: Strange New Worlds is currently available to stream exclusively on Paramount+ in the U.S., the U.K., Latin America, Australia, South Korea, Italy, France, Germany, Switzerland and Austria. It airs on Bell Media’s CTV Sci-Fi Channel and streams on Crave in Canada and on SkyShowtime in the Nordics, the Netherlands, Spain, Portugal and Central and Eastern Europe.
Keep up with news about the Star Trek Universe at TrekMovie.com