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Star Trek: Strange New Worlds’ Showrunner Discusses Those Surprise Appearances, Plus The Latest On Potential Season 3

Paul Wesley in Star Trek: Strange New Worlds
(Image credit: Paramount+)

Warning! The following contains spoilers for the Star Trek: Strange New Worlds Season 1 finale, “A Quality Of Mercy.” Read at your own risk!

Star Trek: Strange New Worlds wrapped up Season 1 with perhaps its best episode to date, as Captain Christopher Pike learned what might happen if he attempts to prevent his gruesome fate. Thanks to a future version of himself and a Klingon Time Crystal, Pike went to the future and teamed up with Paul Wesley’s Captain Kirk on an adventure that should be very familiar to TOS fans.  

I spoke to the co-showrunner of Star Trek: Strange New Worlds, Henry Alonso Myers, about bringing in Paul Wesley as “Captain” Kirk for a “What-if” episode that re-imagines TOS’ “Balance Of Terror,” that other surprise appearance, and any word on Season 3. Buckle up, Paramount+ subscribers, because we learned a lot!

How Paul Wesley's Kirk Made His Way Into The Season Finale

Paul Wesley made his debut in Star Trek: Strange New Worlds in a way some might not have expected: as a Captain. Pike’s journey via the Klingon Time Crystal took him years into the future in a reality where Pike prevented the training accident that protected the lives of all the cadets. Pike arrived in the future still captain of the Enterprise and, following a Romulan conflict, linked up with the captain of the U.S.S. Farragut, James T. Kirk. 

The episode essentially recreated the events of Star Trek's “Balance Of Terror,” but this time, both Pike and Kirk worked in unison to resolve the tense situation with the Romulan ship. Henry Alonso Myers explained to CinemaBlend how Kirk worked his way into the episode, and the opportunity in bringing him in this way: 

It was super fun. The more we talked about the episode, the more we realized, Akiva and I, that we had an opportunity to contrast these two captains and their styles. What better way to do that than to actually have Kirk show up? We were hoping to find a story where we could bring young Kirk in at the end of the first season. It was one of our goals. It was something Alex Kurtzman talked about trying to do when I met with him early on.

“A Quality Of Mercy” allowed the showrunners to show Captains Kirk and Pike collaborate, as well as see other ripple effects that occurred due to Pike’s survival. Pike, for example, remained on the Enterprise and Kirk took command of the Farragut. We also saw Pike’s hesitation inadvertently spark a new conflict with the Romulans that was so catastrophic that the Klingons wanted to kill past Pike to prevent it from happening. 

Star Trek: Strange New Worlds fans got an added bonus of seeing Captain Kirk in action, but not in a way that jeopardized Anson Mount’s role as Captain Pike. Henry Alonso Myers previously told CinemaBlend that Paul Wesley’s Kirk won't be a captain when he appears in Season 2, and added in our latest conversation that the Season 1 finale Kirk isn’t representative of the Kirk we’ll meet. Myers said:

The Kirk that we’re going to meet in Season 2 is a totally different person than who we meet in the finale.

It was thrilling to see Paul Wesley as a fully-realized Captain Kirk, though I’m definitely excited to see what the unpolished Kirk of Strange New Worlds’ present is like. The future is looking bright now that Pike’s head is on straight, even if it comes with devastating self-sacrifice. 

Why Scotty Didn't Appear On Camera

Paul Wesley’s Kirk appearance was quite a surprise, but not the only one in Star Trek: Strange New Worlds’ Season 1 finale. While repairing the Enterprise, Spock received instruction from an engineer on his comms that had a Scottish accent. Henry Alonso Myers confirmed it was who fans assumed and explained why Scotty didn’t appear onscreen: 

We weren’t quite ready to cast Scotty yet. So, we put that in as an Easter egg for folks.

The key word that Henry Alonso Myers said there was “yet.” Let’s not forget that with Hemmer’s recent death, the Enterprise is out a chief engineer. It’s possible Scotty could make his way to the ship in the future, and perhaps even in Season 2.

Will More Original Series Characters Appear?

With Scotty and Kirk in the Star Trek: Strange New Worlds Season 1 finale, one might be wondering what other characters might appear in Season 2 or further down the line. I asked Henry Alonso Myers point blank if the show intended to bring in more legacy characters, and got a pretty firm response: 

That’s our brand, right? I think it’s safe to say that yes we will meet other legacy TOS characters on Strange New Worlds at some point in the future.

It might seem like an obvious answer, but it’s exciting all the same. More characters from the original Star Trek will appear in Strange New Worlds, presumably at a younger age than when we first saw them. There are still many other bridge crew members from TOS to see, and considering the show already recast Captain Kirk, it’s hard to imagine any character is off the table. 

Is Season 3 Happening?

Star Trek: Strange New Worlds just completed Season 1, and production on Season 2 is already over. With two seasons out of the way, I figured it’s as good of a time as any to ask about Season 3, especially after actress Melissa Navia mentioned it in passing during a recent interview. Henry Alonso Myers cleared the air on where things stand for Season 3 and whether it’s officially happening or not: 

We don’t have a pickup. We are planning for it. The nature of these shows is you just have to plan way, way, way, ahead… In order to get the scripts done and to build our sets and AR assets that live up to achieve here on Star Trek: Strange New Worlds, it just requires a lot of lead time. We are in early discussions about it. It’s definitely the next thing in line… these are conversations we’re having.

The Star Trek series doesn’t have an official green light for Season 3, but Henry Alonso Myers and the crew are proceeding with preparation like it’s going to happen. I’m not too surprised to hear that, given the response to Season 1 and the claims from the cast that Season 2 is even better. Here’s hoping they're right, and we have even more promises of future episodes on the horizon. 

Star Trek: Strange New Worlds Season 1 can now be streamed in its entirety on Paramount+ (opens in new tab). Now the wait is on for the next big Trek show and all the other shows to come on the road to Season 2. 

Mick Joest
Mick Joest

Mick likes good television, but also reality television. He grew up on Star Wars, DC, Marvel, and pro wrestling and loves to discuss and dissect most of it. He’s been writing online for over a decade and never dreamed he’d be in the position he is today.