Star Trek: Strange New Worlds Star Anson Mount Talks Redefining Pike

Things have a funny way to coming full circle in the realm of Star Trek since the franchise originally began with Captain Christopher Pike. Originally played by Jeffrey Hunter in The Original Series unaired pilot "The Cage" later repurposed for "The Menagerie", the character drew renewed interests in a renaissance since J. J. Abrams brought him back in the 2009 Kelvin universe reboot played by Bruce Greenwood. The character's made a return again thanks to Star Trek: Discovery and actor Anson Mount. While promoting his latest film The Virtuoso, the star of the upcoming Strange New Worlds spinoff spoke to Collider about fan reception of his character in Discovery season two and renewed interest in Pike.

Anson Mount as Christopher Pike in Star Trek
Photo Cr: Michael Gibson/CBS © 2019 CBS Interactive. All Rights Reserved.

"Funny enough, I only found out after Strange New Worlds was picked up that, early in the days of planning Discovery, Akiva Goldsman, who's our showrunner, had lobbied to be on Discovery because he's a huge Star Trek fan," Mount said. "Akiva is so busy in his film career that he didn't need to add a TV show, but he wanted to do Discovery. All he had heard about was that it was going to be a pre-Kirk show, so he assumed it was a show about Captain Pike. He gets in the writers' room and he's like, 'Wait, what?! This is a different show. Okay, all right. We can play with this, but we've gotta do another show.' So, he was lobbying for it and lobbying for it and lobbying for it. I got lucky enough to be cast in the role for Season 2 of Discovery, and they didn't tell me any of this, thank God, because I would have been far too nervous. I just thought it was a one-season gig and that was it."

"Q&A" -- Episode SF #007 -- Pictured (l-r): Ethan Peck as Spock; Rebecca Romijn as Number One; Anson Mount as Captain Pike of the the CBS All Access series STAR TREK: SHORT TREKS. Photo Cr: Michael Gibson/CBS ©2019 CBS Interactive, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Photo Cr: Michael Gibson/CBS ©2019 CBS Interactive, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Mount felt the warmth from the Star Trek community on his take on Pike as the third actor in the role. "Honestly, I've never felt such embrace from a fan base, on anything I've done," he said. "It is really night and day, and I'm very thankful to everyone with Gene Roddenberry and CBS, and Alex [Kurtzman] and Akiva for putting a huge amount of trust in me to be able to do it." The actor feels the franchise lends itself adaptable to any type of storytelling. "Well, I think that Star Trek is, by nature, episodic," Mount said. "Now, that doesn't mean that Star Trek can't be other things. Star Trek can be a lot of things, as we've seen in every iteration of it. But classic Trek is really founded on the big idea of the week, and the big idea of the week needs room to breathe. In serialized structure, you're trying to take care of so many relationships that there doesn't tend to be a lot of room for that. Now with that said, I think Discovery does a phenomenal job with that structure and I was very fortunate to be a part of it. Normally, serialized is my taste, as an actor, but this really felt like it needed to be episodic." Production is currently underway for the Paramount+ series that also stars Rebecca Romijn as Number One and Ethan Peck as Spock.

About Tom Chang

I'm a follower of pop culture from gaming, comics, sci-fi, fantasy, film, and TV for over 30 years. I grew up reading magazines like Starlog, Mad, and Fangoria. As a writer for over 10 years, Star Wars was the first sci-fi franchise I fell in love with. I'm a nerd-of-all-trades.