Star Trek: Strange New Worlds showrunner shares that the new James T. Kirk in the upcoming television series will be different from past versions.
Captain Kirk of the upcoming Star Trek: Strange New Worlds Paramount+ television series will be different from past versions. The latest series from Alex Kurtzman’s rebranding of the Star Trek universe will serve as a prequel to Star Trek: The Original Series, the science-fiction show which captured audiences from 1966 to 1969. Strange New Worlds will star Anson Mount as Christopher Pike, the captain of the USS Enterprise, a character that first appeared in the pilot episode of The Original Series before Captain Kirk took over command of the ship for the remainder of the show.
Strange New Worlds is set to take place in the original Prime timeline, the chronology set forth by Star Trek: The Original Series and continued with The Animated Series, The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, Voyager, Enterprise, Discovery, and now Picard. In March, it was announced that Paul Wesley will take on the role of James T. Kirk in Strange New Worlds season 2, the same role that William Shatner commanded in The Original Series and continued portraying until the character’s death in the film Star Trek: Generations. The only other actor to portray Kirk has been Chris Pine in the film Star Trek reboot film series. However, this version of Kirk, as well as many of the other prominent Star Trek characters, differed greatly from their original counterparts due a change in the timeline that resulted in the death of Kirk’s father on the USS Kelvin.
TVLine caught up with Star Trek: Strange New Worlds co-showrunner Henry Alonso Myers, who revealed that the series’ version of Kirk will be different from previous iterations. Since the new series will take place years before Kirk took command of the USS Enterprise for his five-year mission to explore the galaxy, the new version of Kirk in season 2, will be much younger than audiences have seen before. Read what Myers said about their version of the character.
“When people come to it, I’m sure they’ll have feelings about their own interpretations of the previous ones. We don’t want to deny those. We love all the Kirks that have existed. Our goal was to tell a story of this Kirk, in this time period, which is a totally different Kirk that has only been touched on in the Kelvin Universe. We hope the fun of the show is telling the inner stories that they maybe wouldn’t have been told back then about younger versions of the characters who have yet to become who we know.”
The Kelvin Universe refers to the timeline created by the destruction of the USS Kelvin in the J.J. Abrams-directed 2009 Star Trek reboot film. Kirk in that film, although a similar age to the one that will appear in Strange New Worlds, was deeply affected by the absence of his father. He did not grow up as he had in the Prime timeline and ended up entering Starfleet Academy through a fortuitous meeting with Christopher Pike, then played by Bruce Greenwood. Myers, along with co-showrunner Akiva Goldsman and their team of writers, aim to tell the story of a younger, far less experienced version of the Kirk that eventually became the one audiences fell in love with in 1966.
The Prime timeline version of Kirk has appeared in many Star Trek films and television episodes over the decades, but no Star Trek media has truly delved into the character’s past to show how the man became the fearless captain of the USS Enterprise. The upcoming series is designed to recapture the magic of The Original Series through its lighter tone and episodic structure, while also exploring a young iteration of an iconic character. Although season 2 is a long way away, audiences can get a glimpse at the crew of the USS Enterprise before Kirk sets foot on the star ship when Star Trek: Strange New Worlds debuts on Paramount+ on May 5.
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