Anson Mount as Captain Pike, Rebecca Romijn as Number One and Rebecca Romijn all fell on the “Star Trek” fan base hard and fast Ethan Pick as Spock on Star Trek: Discovery and in several episodes of Star Trek: Short Treks. Fans took to social media to let it be known they wanted more, a “Star Trek” series dedicated to the adventures of Captain Pike, Number One and Spock aboard the USS Enterprise. Well, here we are with this show, Star Trek: Strange New Worlds, premiering May 5th Outstanding+ and has already been extended for a second season.
“It was crazy,” Peck said on April 18, 2022, during a group interview with journalists from various outlets, including Heavy on Star Trek. “I, A), can’t believe I was cast for this role. quiet. It’s still something very strange to be. And B) that there was such a hunger for a Pike Enterprise show that Spock can of course be a part of is absolutely thrilling. This has been, and perhaps will remain, one of the greatest journeys of my life. Who knows? But yeah, I feel so incredibly fortunate and grateful and lucky to be a part of it. It’s still crazy to me.”
Leonard Nimoy originated the role of half human/half Vulcan Spock. He played Spock in the first pilot of Star Trek: The Original Series, The Cage, which also stars Jeffrey Hunter as Captain Pike and Majel Barrett, wife of Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry, as Number One was. When NBC ordered a second pilot, Nimoy stayed on as Spock, but Hunter left the show and opened the door to William Shatner to play Captain Kirk, and the Number One character was dropped, with Barrett taking on the recurring role of Nurse Chapel instead. Footage from “The Cage” featuring Pike was later used in the two-part episode “The Menagerie” of The Original Series.
Making Spock his own while preserving Nimoy’s essence
Ethan Peck and Celia Rose Gooding in a scene from Strange New Worlds.
Peck – the grandson of Hollywood legend Gregory Peck – explained that he is challenged “every single day” to portray Spock in a way that makes the character his own while remaining true to Nimoy’s iteration.
“At this point, I’m more comfortable with the character’s responsibility of being that character’s keeper, but I still read things in scripts that I get where I’m like, ‘I have no idea how I’m going to do this do or how it will be true for Spock,’” he said. “The funny thing about him is that he sort of lives within those boundaries. Putting him in a scenario that he shouldn’t be in or that he’s uncomfortable in, that’s when cool things start to happen with the character, and I hope for my portrayal of the character. I keep checking back. I say crazy Leonard Nimoy’s voice in my head when I’m doing a lot of these scenes. “Does that sound right? Does it feel right?’ I am constantly checking in with and channeling his Spock’s spirit. There are things written for my iteration of Spock that have never been written before. That’s my privilege as an actor and as this Spock.”
Peck made his first physical appearance as Spock on Star Trek: Discovery in “Light and Shadow,” the seventh episode of the show’s second season Memory Alpha, and carried out until the end of the season. That was in early 2019. Later that year, in October and November, he again played Spock in the “Short Treks” segments “Q&A” and “Ask Not.” At the time, Peck was primarily a guest star on Discovery. Now, on Strange New Worlds, he’s one of the main characters. From a production perspective, the actor says the series is day and night.
“First, the shows are so different in so many ways,” Peck said. “The DNA is the same. I think Gene Roddenberry’s vision is an integral part of both shows, which is inclusion, celebration, diversity, curiosity, a harmonious existence between very different peoples and ideas. The shows are very different just by looks. The tones are different. The colors are different, from the sets and the ships. Our show is episodic, which makes us all very happy. (Co-Creator & Executive Producer) Akiva Goldsman put it beautifully. He said, ‘There’s serialized emotion there.’ Each episode is an adventure in its own right, which I think is great.
“So often shows are recommended to me by people, but I like watching movies because it’s a low-key experience,” he continued. “You can have it in 90 minutes to two and a half hours. It hopefully does something wonderful for you when done right, right? I hope that our episodes can be like that for people and will win fans over to our series and the ‘Star Trek’ universe because there are so many great iterations of it that have already been made and exist and are ready to be seen will.”
Peck learns from Spock
Ethan Peck as Spock in a scene from Strange New Worlds.
Three years into his Star Trek and Spock experiences, Peck admitted that the character had influenced him “so much” it was odd. When he first auditioned for Discovery, he did so without knowing he was ready for the role of Spock. The result was that something he brought to his reading resonated with the producers and convinced them that he was the right man for the job.
“I needed to understand that better, to become more confident, so I could have more control over what I bring into this performance,” Peck said. “I learned so much about myself in the process. In my opinion, I had to grow personally and therefore also as an actor, very profoundly. With art, your life is so informative for your work. I had to become more than I was. I had to get clearer, more focused, not to be such a hypocrite. We can all be hypocrites in our own way.
“I feel like Spock has so much integrity,” he added. “I was in awe of it and wanted to become more like that in my own life. We wake up in the morning and have the opportunity to have any thoughts we want. We can do things, but above all we can think. Our minds are free, or at least that’s a goal we should all have. Spock is so good and smart with his mind. I would say what I learned the most from him is how to use my thinking in a more optimal way, to put it very Spock-ian.”
Star Trek: Strange New Worlds premieres May 5th Outstanding+.
https://heavy.com/entertainment/star-trek/peck-ready-to-soar-as-spock/ Ethan Peck is ready to step up as Spock in Strange New Worlds