The Star Trek franchise has explored many strange new worlds since creator Gene Roddenberry entered the bridge deck of the Starship Enterprise for three seasons on CBS in 1966. Followed by a mostly successful film franchise with the series’ original stars including William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy and DeForest Kelley – and adventures of a whole new crew in TV’s Star Trek: The Next Generation (and a film series of their own) – the franchise slowly began to wane in popularity with subsequent TV series, only to be rejuvenated by J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek reboot in 2009.
In the midst of two more hit films after the Abrams-helmed blockbuster original, CBS clearly felt comfortable enough to start developing the series Star Trek: Discovery for its new CBS All Access streaming service. Set for a late summer or early fall launch after production delays (the series was originally supposed to kick off in January), Star Trek: Discovery has attracted a bevy of top-name talent to fill out the cast for the adventures of the Starship Shenzhou, including Michelle Yeoh, Jason Isaacs, James Frain and The Walking Dead star Sonequa Martin-Green.
While the series is set a decade before the first Star Trek series, some familiar characters from original TV classic will be a part of Star Trek: Discovery. Variety reports that the latest actor to join the series is The Office’s own Dwight Schrute, Rainn Wilson, who will play conniving comedic foil Harry Mudd, a role originated by Roger C. Carmel in the classic Star Trek series. While the character, also known as Harcort Fenton Mudd, appeared in only two episodes of the original series and one episode in Star Trek: The Animated Series, it’s unknown how often Wilson’s iteration of the character will appear in Star Trek: Discovery.
Wilson will be a welcome addition to Star Trek: Discovery and will bring just the right sense of humor the series needs. The actor clearly displayed on The Office that he had solid comedic chops, and the offbeat sensibilities he brought to Dwight Schrute will work wonders as he slips into the beloved character of Harry Mudd in Star Trek: Discovery. Clearly Wilson is not the sort of actor who will try to mimic Carmel’s iconic performance, and instead is bound to give the character his own unique spin.
Plus, Star Trek fans can take comfort that Wilson early in his career played a small role in the playful yet respectful Star Trek parody Galaxy Quest, so this isn’t going to be his first spin on a starship. But like the characters did in Galaxy Quest, expect Wilson behind the comedy to treat the Star Trek franchise with complete reverence.
Star Trek: Discovery is currently without a premiere date. Stay tuned to Screen Rant for the latest information.