Ethan Peck’s Mr. Spock has already been through a lot in modern Star Trek. Even pushing the considerable pressure of being handed the legacy of one of the franchise’s most iconic characters, Peck’s Spock came to us in Star Trek: Discovery season two faced with his own wild traumas. Things might be bold and bright aboard the Enterprise in Strange New Worlds, but Spock still has some inner demons to process.
“I think we find him at the beginning of Strange New Worlds in a very delicate and fragile place,” Peck recently told io9 over video chat. “He’s just had this extremely traumatic encounter with the Red Angel, he’s just lost his sister to time, he can’t really talk about it to anybody. He’s trying to figure out himself, and I think that’s a very tenuous period in one’s life. And so I think that will yield a lot of experimentation, exploration, self-seeking and hopefully amusing moments.”
It might have been a few years for us since Spock was freshly trimmed and shaven out of his Panic! At the Discovery phase when we left him at the end of Discovery season two, but coming into Strange New Worlds those traumas are still fresh on Spock’s logical and emotional mind. His sister is gone forever and he can’t talk to anyone but a chosen few about it, and all the issues he faced with the Red Angel might have been processed during Discovery, but they still linger. And according to Peck, those aren’t the only things on Spock’s brain that we’ll see bothering him in Strange New Worlds.
“I had personally pitched to the creative forces involved a desire to explore the extremes of him. He’s eternally in conflict with his human and Vulcan halves, and that’s what I believe makes him such a compelling character over time. So, maybe in a moment he decides to solve a problem in a very human way—a very emotional way,” Peck teased. “Which will eventually become more balanced with his Vulcan, hyper-rational side.”
“I wanted to explore his anger. He comes from this world where he’s really been rejected. He’s not fully Vulcan, but he’s not from Earth. He’s not human. Imagine how that might make someone feel? To not really belong anywhere... that’s a really beautiful and rich part of his journey I wanted to explore, and I think we do.”
Spock’s push and pull between emotion and logic is something that defined his journey throughout the original Star Trek—but another thing Peck teased that Strange New Worlds will tackle is his relationship with the Vulcan homeworld... and one person on it in particular: T’Pring, Spock’s fiancé from “Amok Time.” Eagle-eyed fans watching Strange New Worlds’ trailers will have noticed glimpses of T’Pring, played by Gia Sandhu, and Spock together. “It was really exciting—and also quite scary, because there’s no road map for that, as much as maybe some other aspects of the character,” Peck said of getting to explore Spock’s relationship with Vulcan and T’Pring. “We approach that with a lot of careful consideration, a lot of discussion, a lot of experimentation in the moment. What is ‘too’ human? What is ‘too’ Vulcan? What is something unlike what we’ve ever seen? What is too far from what’s familiar? These are things we considered and discussed between myself and Gia Sandhu, who plays T’Pring so wonderfully—and Akiva Goldsman, who was the director of that episode [with her] and one of our showrunners. It was done with great care.”
Star Trek: Strange New Worlds begins streaming on Paramount+ May 5.
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