Star Trek: Strange New Worlds Star Bruce Horak Discusses Gorn Fate

Star Trek: Strange New Worlds is nearing the end of its first season and some major developments happened as the Enterprise found themselves trying to investigate what happened in a downed Federation ship on an icy desolate planet in the episode "All Those Who Wander." What they found was something made from nightmares, namely unwilling hosts gestating Gorn reminiscent of the xenomorphs from the Alien franchise. Bruce Horak, who plays Chief Engineer Hemmer, recently discussed the episode. This is your major spoilers warning about the episode.

star trek
Photo Cr: Marni Grossman/Paramount+

"All Those Who Wander" found the crashed vessel very light on survivors as the away team led by Captain Christopher Pike (Anson Mount) found themselves facing very certain death at the mysterious threat that lay ahead with the ship inside tattered with blood smears, frozen remains, and amputated limbs. As per typical horror movie trope, we do get casualties among the lower ranks and most shockingly, Hemmer, the Aenar who like Horak himself is visually impaired, becomes the Enterprise's biggest loss. At the end of the episode, he sacrifices himself in a suicide dive to a chasm rather than let the newborn Gorn threaten the away team.

Star Trek Strange New Worlds
Photo Cr: Marni Grossman/Paramount+

"Well, we shot it a year ago, but I'm really happy with how the episode turned out," Horak said when asked how it felt following the episode's airing. "When I was approached to play the part, they told me right off the bat that this was going to be the character arc of Hemmer. So, I knew it going in. There was a bit of trepidation off the top about how the death was going to happen, how the grand finale was going to play out. When I read the script, I was so happy — well, happy is not the right word. I was relieved. It's a pretty great death for a red shirt. [Laughs.]"

Star Trek: Strange New Worlds Star Bruce Horak Discusses Gorn Fate
Photo Cr: Marni Grossman/Paramount+

Horak remembered his final day on the Star Trek: Strange New Worlds set. "There were a lot of tears. The final day we shot was actually the landing on the planet. It was really tearful, especially for the prosthetics crew Allan Cooke and Shane Zander, who worked tirelessly on the look of Hemmer for the season. We really had a special bond, spending three and a half hours every morning getting ready and then an hour at the end of the day to get out of the prosthetic gear. Honestly, Shane and Allan sent me off in great style. There were exchanges of gifts. It was really lovely."

Star Trek: Strange New Worlds Star Bruce Horak Discusses Gorn Fate
Photo Cr: Marni Grossman/Paramount+

When it came to the makeup process, "I have to say, I actually really enjoyed the process. I found it incredibly relaxing, and I was just in awe of their skill. It's really a work of art industry," Horak said. "On the initial day, I had the head mold made, so they had to cover my face and hair with this sloppy goo, kind of like blue mud. And all of that was fine, but then when they covered the whole thing in plaster, that was a little unnerving."

Star Trek: Strange New Worlds
Photo Cr: Marni Grossman/Paramount+

Bruce Horak on His Star Trek Legacy

One of the things Horak took pride in as Hemmer was how he helped Celia Rose Gooding's Uhura. His final scene was advice he passed to her before making his sacrifice. "I knew that Hemmer was going to be a mentor figure. He starts off gruff and kind of aloof, but there are beautiful moments when he guides Nyota and then, in the end, talks about purpose with that wonderful resolution in this episode," he said. "It feels like a really beautiful arc for the character. And for myself, mentors have been absolutely forefront in my life. I wouldn't be where I am without people who have guided me and offered advice. So, I really connected with Hemmer. Celia and I connected from the very beginning. Most of our scenes are together, so we spent a lot of time off-camera just hanging out and connecting about music and theater. She has a background in theater, as do I. That was one of the hardest goodbyes, for sure." For more on Horak's audition, the development of Hemmer as the franchise's first visually-impaired cast member, and his future in Star Trek, you can check out The Hollywood Reporter interview here. The season finale of Star Trek: Strange New Worlds streams July 7 on Paramount+.

Enjoyed this? Please share on social media!

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.
Comments will load 8 seconds after page. Click here to load them now.