In an interview with Collider while doing press for his latest film, The Virtuoso, Anson Mount spoke about the desire for a Pike show, fan reaction to Pike, and the fact that Strange New Worlds will be more episodic than serial in its storytelling.
Mount said that when Strange New Worlds showrunner Akiva Goldsman first joined Star Trek: Discovery, he did so for a specific reason – to write for Captain Pike. “Funny enough, I only found out after Strange New Worlds was picked up that, early in the days of planning Discovery, Akiva Goldsman, who’s our showrunner, had lobbied to be on Discovery because he’s a huge Star Trek fan,” he said. “Akiva is so busy in his film career that he didn’t need to add a TV show, but he wanted to do Discovery. All he had heard about was that it was going to be a pre-Kirk show, so he assumed it was a show about Captain Pike. He gets in the writers’ room and he’s like, ‘Wait, what?! This is a different show.'”
But that didn’t daunt Goldsman, who said “‘Okay, all right. We can play with this, but we’ve gotta do another show.’ So, he was lobbying for it and lobbying for it and lobbying for it,” said Mount. “I got lucky enough to be cast in the role for Season Two of Discovery, and they didn’t tell me any of this, thank God, because I would have been far too nervous. I just thought it was a one season gig and that was it.”
The fans embraced Mount and Ethan Peck and Rebecca Romijn and wanted more. “Honestly, I’ve never felt such embrace from a fan base, on anything I’ve done,” said Mount. “It is really night and day, and I’m very thankful to everyone with Gene Roddenberry and CBS, and Alex [Kurtzman] and Akiva for putting a huge amount of trust in me to be able to do it.”
Strange New Worlds will be more episodic than serial in its storytelling, and Mount is just fine with that. “Well, I think that Star Trek is, by nature, episodic,” he said. “Now, that doesn’t mean that Star Trek can’t be other things. Star Trek can be a lot of things, as we’ve seen in every iteration of it. But classic Trek is really founded on the big idea of the week, and the big idea of the week needs room to breathe. In serialized structure, you’re trying to take care of so many relationships that there doesn’t tend to be a lot of room for that. Now with that said, I think Discovery does a phenomenal job with that structure and I was very fortunate to be a part of it. Normally, serialized is my taste, as an actor, but this really felt like it needed to be episodic.”
Strange New Worlds is expected to begin streaming next year.