Carol Kane And ‘Star Trek: Strange New Worlds’ Showrunner On Lanthanites And Just How Old Pelia Is

The season two premiere of Star Trek: Strange New Worlds introduced a new mysterious character with Academy Award-nominee Carol Kane playing Pelia. Now the actress, and co-showrunner Henry Alonso Myers, are offering a few more details about the character, and her species — the long-lived Lanthanites.

Pelia is really old – designed to be the flip side of Hemmer

“The Broken Circle” introduced Carol Kane as Pelia, a Starfleet Academy engineering instructor who ended up taking the position of chief engineer, replacing Hemmer who sacrificed himself in the penultimate episode of season 1. Speaking to Collider, Carol Kane talked more about her character’s background, including identifying a connection to Hemmer:

I have taken over being the engineer on the ship from Hemmer, who was my student, years ago, and I guess I could say that I’ve been alive for centuries. So I have quite a background, and I know a lot about everyone there, and I know my job, and I think I’m very opinionated because I have been around much longer than anyone else, and I think I claim that territory. I get pretty straightforward and opinionated.

The premiere episode also revealed that even though Pelia looks human she is a Lanthanite, a race Spock described as living “on Earth among other humans undetected until the 22nd century.” Uhura also spotted her distinct accent as Lanthanite. Kane noted above she has lived for hundreds of years, which was also stated in the episode. In a video about Pelia released by Paramount+ (below), Kane reveals Pelia is even older than that:

As an actor, I just love to jump into my imagination and different worlds and that is one of the great gifts we get being actors. One day you are a bank teller and the next day you are a surgeon and the next day someone thousands and thousands of years old… My character Pelia is thousands of years old. She comes from a tribe called Lanthanites.

In the Paramount+ video, co-showrunner Henry Alonso Myers explained how making Pelia ancient was their way of changing things up from Hemmer:

We needed an engineer because we had lost Hemmer and we just got into a discussion as a writer’s room about would be an interesting, very different energy to throw into our cast… So we had this idea about a race of people who lived among humans for thousands of years unknown to us… Hemmer had this notion of his own purpose as it related to his mortality. So we thought, “What would be a flip of that?” Here’s someone who never really has to face their mortality. How would you see life differently if you were that person?

Long-lived races are nothing new for Star Trek, including Vulcans and El-Aurians, like Guinan. However, the executive producer hinted Lanthanites may be immortal, putting them into the more rarified league of Star Trek aliens like the Q and other super-beings, although there is no indication yet they have any special powers beyond their age. We will likely learn more in episode 3 where preview images indicate La’an and Kirk will encounter a younger Pelia in the 21st century.

Paul Wesley as Kirk, Christina Chong as La’an and Carol Kane as Pelia in episode 203 “Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow” (Paramount+)

Kane shakes up the cast

Henry Alonso Myers also talked about how they were drawn to casting Kane due to her “completely different energy,” and how this allowed for a new dynamic with the characters. He explains in the Paramount+ video:

When she comes into any scene, she is so much herself in a way that I think is kind of perfect for the crew. It really kind of throws people back on their heels. It makes them think about things differently. It forces them to play things differently.

In the same video, actress Celia Rose Gooding noted that due to Uhura’s strong connection to Hemmer, she is a little “trepidatious” initially with Pelia, but “because of Pelia’s incredible personality and just how warm and exciting she is, I think Uhura can’t help but sort of be attracted to that.”

For her part, Kane was not familiar with Star Trek, telling Collider “I had not really seen it,” joking that she thought the producers had the wrong number when they initially reached out. However, in the Paramount+ video about Pelia, she talks about how easy it has been to join the show.

I never imagined being in sci-fi. It’s very different from anything I’ve ever come close to doing… I must say, being in scenes with this entire cast has been so much fun. Sometimes you feel a little awkward coming in a second season, people have already gotten very-family-like together. And I haven’t felt that for one second. I think the first person I was able to work with was Ethan Peck who is just a doll and so talented and handsome to boot, which never hurts.

Carol Kane in Strange New Worlds

Carol Kane as Pelia (Paramount+)


Here is the video with Kane and Alonso Myers talking about Pelia.

And here is the full Collider interview with Kane.

Season 2 episodes drop weekly on Thursdays on Paramount+ in the U.S, the U.K., Australia, Latin America, Brazil, France, Italy, Germany, Switzerland and Austria. Season 2 is also available on SkyShowtime elsewhere in Europe. The second season will also be available to stream on Paramount+ in South Korea, with premiere dates to be announced at a later date.

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I do wonder if she will only be in season 2 though… Like the Dr. Pulaski of Strange New Worlds…

Maybe it will be like Discovery and how that show has a new chief security officer every season….or Captain. ;)

Oh yuck that suxed for TNG season 1 for the chief engineer!

I hope not, she’s a welcome addition. Was she slated to be in season 3, I admit to not knowing this.

Doubt it. Crusher didn’t die like Hemmer. Also Kane is a pretty big name and talent.

Does she know Flint?

I predict a Flint connection.

Indeed. The references to “other humans” and a “tribe” suggests that they are human, if only long-lived.


So, basically a “Highlander” crossover.

Knowing these writers……yes, there is a connection.

True. 8:) This is getting ridiculous. So the Enterprise had a Khan descendant and a Flint tribesman a decade before they met Khan and Flint? Come on….

So maybe Peila was Mona Lisa?

Maybe Pella was Carol Kane?

Being trained and mentored by her would be one way to make SNW Scott more interesting than TOS Scott.

It’s unfortunate she’s not an El Aurian, since this character’s premise is similar to Guinan. Long-lived, hiding among Humans for centuries, and wise.

That would certainly have precluded the need for the accent. I love Kane, but that’s a bit distracting and affected.

Kane is relatively normal in Hunters, but this is a long running schtick, as it were

“From the dawn of time we came…moving silently down through the centuries. Living many secret lives, struggling to reach the time of the gathering, when the few who remain will battle to the last. No one has ever known we were among you… until now.”

If anyone starts chasing Pelia with a sword, we’ll know why…

There can be only one.

I was about to make a Highlander joke, you beat me to it. Like you said lets hope no one starts chasing her with a sword.

That notorious Spaniard, Sean Connery

She may not have done sci fi before but she was in Princess Bride as Valerie, Miracle Max’s wife. Pretty close to a fantasy setting.

Year, she did Ray Bradbury and tons of fantasy stuff like Transylvania 6-5000, Scrooged, Adams Family and Gotham.

Gotham? Was she Penguin’s mom?

Yes, I believe so

She was the best thing about Scrooged!!

Carol Kane was a great casting choice. I hated the episode but did enjoy her performance. She was the bright light of the episode.

Yeah, Kane is always a pleasure to watch, regardless of the role. As for the episode itself, for my money it frankly wasn’t interesting enough to hate.

Ibi da.

I’m always gobsmacked when I see an actor, producer, director, etc., say, “I don’t know ‘Star Trek’, I never watched ‘Star Trek,'” etc. Seriously? The show is such a fixture of the US and even the world that the original Enterprise model is in the Smithsonian, and you never got curious about what the fuss was all about? Is this some kind of posturing that folks need to do in order to feel like they’re taken seriously?

She was aware of it, but never found it appealing enough to watch more of it than a few minutes. I don’t find that hard to belive. Most people who know who Shakespeare is have ever seen a single play of his.

Yeah sometimes it’s just not someone’s cup of tea.

I also think that maybe you are taking “don’t know” as if she’s not aware of it at all. My guess is she could probably give you the basics like most people – Kirk, Spock, Picard, starship, Klingons, Vulcans. But she probably just means she never actually saw it or decided to watch it. I know plenty of people like that. And in the younger generation, it’s not surprising at all if they don’t even know Kirk and Spock. But with someone with the age and experience of Kane, I imagine she at least knew who several of the main actors were and probably could identify the Enterprise – if nothing more than the ship from Star Trek. But it doesn’t surprise me at all that she hasn’t actually taken time to get into it.

I’m sure she was aware of it, it would be crazy for her not to heard of it unless she’s 12 lol. I think she just mean she’s not familiar with the universe other than maybe knowing a few of the character names, etc.

But not surprised she’s never seen it. I have friends and relatives whose never watched a single episode or movie to this day.

I mean lets be real. Everyone knows who Kirk, Spock, Enterprise, Luke, Han, Leia, Khan, Milleniem Falcen, Darth Vader, Superman, Batman, Iron Man, Frodo, Harry Potter, etc… are LOL. Whether you have chosen to familiarize yourself with yourself with them with it is different lol.

So are soap operas, but a lot of people don’t watch them and have no idea who the characters are. If Star Trek isn’t your thing, there’s no reason for you to know anything about it. I couldn’t name more than five or six NFL teams or NBA teams, and I have no idea who’s currently playing in any sports league at all. Sports are popular, but I couldn’t possibly be less interested in it, and thus it’s off my radar. Trek fans like to think we’re mainstream, but we are certainly not.

She had to be aware of Trek, Christopher Lloyd as working Trek III the last year both of them were on Taxi. It just wasn’t her thing, that’s okay.

I’m guessing I’m in the minority with this view (like that would ever happen? lol), but I was not convinced that I’m going to like this character given her intro in Ep 1 (which otherwise was a very good ep). Her character reminds me of a silly, juvenile character that is played for laughs — like we would get on Lower Decks.

I hope that this first impression of mine is incorrect as I get to know the character better in the coming eps.

You’re not alone. I don’t think I’m going to enjoy her either. I’d have preferred to keep Kemmer or get Scotty. She seems like a goofy Guinan.

Honestly I don’t know how I feel about her. I like this show very much, but there are things sticking out that feel out of place. Pelia is one of them. If I was a dog my head would be tilted… Like Nomad said: There is much to be considered… I must re-evaluate.

Nor am I. The accent was just too over the top, much more so than even Pavel Chekhov’s, and I hope they tone it down a notch. (That’s what Marina Sirtis eventually did with Troi’s accent, which didn’t bother me.) I do think the character could be a fresh take if she doesn’t descend into parody. Unfortunately, given what we’ve seen from NuTrek, I’m not optimistic that will be the case.

I’d never seen TAXI before Carol Kane was cast, and I watched an episode or two after the announcement.

RIght now, she’s basically recreating her TAXI role as Latka and superimposing a Starfleet engineer’s uniform over it. I get that she’s not the first actor to be typecast. Still, she may have been hired to put the “crazy” into season 2’s craziness.

Oh, and another thing. If Lanthanites truly blend into human society (as opposed to segregating themselves along the Amish model), they shouldn’t have a distinct accent. Accents aren’t genetic. They should speak in the same way as others in their community.

I like the character so far but based on what we know and seen so far, I don’t know why they just couldn’t make her an El Aurian? Maybe there will be something distinct about what the species do or some type of special power?

Yep. Leave it to the Secret Hideout crew to use an existing alien they shouldn’t and not use an existing one that has many of the traits this new alien has.

“So we had this idea about a race of people who lived among humans for thousands of years unknown to us…”

No they didn’t. They recycle an idea and then claim it came in some brilliant epiphany. They are taking credit for a lot of things on this show that didn’t originate with them.

I’m not seeing the big diff either but frankly after the S Show that was PIC season 2 I’m not really sure what an El Aurian is anymore either.

Now give us that Simka Gravas spinoff.

If she was going to do sci-fi like she is now, what better place to start than Star Trek?

She’s a great addition to the cast and it’s nice she has history with Hemmer.

Calling it now, Guinan/Peila 21st century episode of Bar Rescue!

Sorry, but I found the character just a little annoying. And why would the cast need to be “energized” after only one season? Hopefully the character will grow on me, but I do think it would be cool if they changed engineers each year until Scotty comes along.

I’ve loved Carol Kane in everything I’ve seen her, which is why I was surprised that Pelia was an absolute misfire for me. For now I’m choosing to believe it was a directing issue and she’ll win me over in the coming weeks.

Same. She’s a legend, and I love a brilliant eccentric performance, but sometimes you do have to really workshop it to not feel like it’s half-formed and improvised.


A showcase for a unique talent, Carol Kane. She can turn it off, mostly, in Hunters,but she’s going for the broad comedy here and uh, why not? It all still tracks with canon. Great storytelling potential, and a running gag of meeting her at earlier and earlier times – you know that is going to be its own episode.