Thursday, 12 April 2018

Peek at Pike

It seems almost beyond a certainty that we will get to step aboard the USS Enterprise in the second season of Discovery with the latest bit of casting news.

Anson Mount, most recently seen as Black Bolt in Marvel’s patchy Inhumans is set to take the centre seat of the most famous starship in Federation history. 

Mount becomes actor number four to take on the second captain of the starship after Jeffery Hunter, Sean Kenney and Bruce Greenwood and while the latter was great for the reboot Kelvin Timeline, physically Mount seems to fall firmly into more of the mound established in the original pilot episode. 

For those of you who are reading/have read Desperate Hours it might - some time soon - change your perception of the character of Pike who appears within its pages. Not only that but how faithfully will the series adhere to some of the pointers that have already been laid out on the page by David Mack?

If we are getting Pike then we will be seeing him accompanied by a Number One. and inevitably Spock which will be the killer casting of the three main roles on board NCC-1701. In the recent 50th anniverdary novel trilogy and in Desperate Hours, Number One is referred to as Commander Una - will canon TV episodes finally recognise this name?

Furthermore that whole issue of the uniforms will have to be addressed. In Desperate Hours the gold and blue uniforms we see in The Cage are referred to having only been issued to the crews of Constitution Class vessels. How closely will the impressive Discovery costuming department get to the originals? Will there be laser pistols? Clunky controls and retro console viewers? Hell, who could even attempt to portray these original original characters in the show? I can barely even comprehend the possible choices and I really wouldn't want to commit to anything at this stage. I believe there will be strong similarities to the source material but with a new era twist as per the Enterprise herself in those final moments of season one.

We have to assume that the Enterprise sets will be updated if only because of the clash there would be between 1960's and 2010's aesthetic. I get it, I do and I can’t understand why fans get so upset over the redesigning of elements to make them work better for a modern audience. Seeing a bleach white Enterprise sidle up to the bronzed, heavily detailed, Discovery would make it look like a freebie from the bottom of a cereal box. I say again, time’s changed. Move on.

But what a way to open the second season? The two crews joining together for some form of mission offers up all sorts of possibilities and we don’t even know who will be the new face behind the captaincy of the Discovery!

But back to Pike and to Mount - I think this is a classic bit of Star Trek casting because he comes across as a very severe actor. Certainly playing the mute Black Bolt took a different strength to act. Greenwood's Pike was a lot less severe than Hunter's version to an almost over-mellow calm at times but I think Mount will be portraying a more mature and commanding version of the role which will provide conflict amongst the Starfleet crews of the two ships. Might he even pull rank as he does within Desperate Hours?

For myself one of the key parts of the build up to Discovery’s launch was the gradual drop-feeding of information right up to the second before it landed and with the news on Mount’s casting we have the first truly solid signs that Discovery will be back soon....ish.


Just as I was about to hit PUBLISH we got some further news that Tig Notaro will be guest-starring in season two as Chief Engineer Denise Reno of the USS Hiawatha. Notable in the ship name club for its use of Native American heritage alongside such ships as the Crazy Horse from The Next Generation. I'm not familiar with any of Tig's work but the addition of this guest role suggests we will be seeing a lot more of Starfleet than just the Discovery and the Enterprise in season two - and fairly early in the episode schedule as well since this comes only days after the Pike announcement.

Who would you cast as Spock or Number One? What names come to mind?

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