“We do it for the fans”: Celia Rose Gooding, Melissa Navia, Rebecca Romjin and Ethan Peck on Star Trek – Strange New Worlds season two at MCM Comic Con London
Technology has truly come so far – and there’s no better showcase for it than the holographic Star Trek panel this year at MCM Comic Con in London. To promote their second season, the stars of Star Trek: Strange New Worlds – Celia Rose Gooding (Nyota Uhura), Melissa Navia (Erica Ortegas), Rebecca Romijn (Una Chin-Riley) and Ethan Peck (Spock) – are literally beamed onto the stage from New York and Los Angeles in front of adoring and loyal fans in attendance at the convention. The entire experience is brilliantly extravagant, with the stage set-up much like the inside of the infamous Starship Enterprise found in the series, surrounded by bright blue and orange lights. A transition effect even plays when each actor holographically arrives on stage.
All four sit side-by-side at the front of the stage, and, despite filming from across the world, seem to interact almost as if they are in the same room. The projection is clear (extremely high in definition) and fans are told they can also be seen by the actors, giving the interaction a layer of authenticity. The panel is hosted by the charismatic Alex Zane, who makes sure to ask each of the talents in-depth and personalised questions about their character’s journey and relationship dynamics, before passing the baton over to the fans. It’s a lively panel, full of inside jokes and banter, and it’s easy to forget that the actors aren’t actually on-stage and laughing it out with the rest of the con-goers.
To maintain the sanctity of the upcoming season, a lot of Zane’s questions are tailored around events that happened in season one, discussing specific episodes and what they might mean for the journey of the characters moving forward into the future of the series. However, the host does manage to pull a little bit of less sensitive information from the actors regarding the upcoming release by asking them what they had the most fun filming and what they’re most excited for viewers to finally see. Romjin takes the lead and discusses the risks they took in terms of story and genre: “We really took some very big swings with genre in season two. It might not be completely embraced by all fans, but we tried a lot of things and we’re very proud of it and very excited to share it with fans.”
Peck follows up with a comment on working with veteran actress Carol Kane: “That’s such a difficult question to answer because there’s so many different things that we got to do. But one thing that I loved so much was getting to work with and become friends with Carol Kane. She is such an amazing person, actor, cohort… and that was super fun and exciting.” He also specifically encourages viewers to watch out for episode five – a slip that becomes a running joke throughout the rest of the panel. Romijn asks him what people will do if the producers have rearranged the episodes, to which he responds that we should “scrap” what he previously said.
Navia offers the most in-depth answer: “I say the most exciting part is pretty much around filming season two when season one was coming out – so we had definitive proof that what we were doing was working, the fans embraced it, and the world was as excited to get it as we had been to make it the year prior. I think that fans will be most excited to see ten new episodes of Strange New Worlds. I think it’s the same for all of us that fans have been telling us all year that they have just been watching season one over and over and over again. That is one of the highest compliments you can get as an actor and a storyteller: that people love your work so much that they go back to it. It’s comfort, they find new things in it, and we’ve been hearing stories from around the world about what Strange New Worlds has meant to so many people. I love that everyone’s rewatching season one, and they will rewatch to the end, but like, ten new episodes guys… they are coming less than three weeks away!”
Gooding wraps up the discussion, first agreeing with Romijn about finding excitement in the risks the show has taken in the upcoming season, especially with regard to her character. She also describes the pure joy of people finally seeing what they’ve been working on all this time: “I’m really excited for fans to take in what we have to offer. I come from a family of Trekkies; I think the thing that I’m most excited about is getting to gather my family and watch the show together with them, and to watch them watch it. I’m going to be the actor not focusing on what’s going on, and just seeing my family’s faces – just because we do it for the fans. To have an opportunity to see first-hand what the fans are thinking as it’s happening… it’s exciting!”
The panel ends with the actors being beamed away as viewers are shown an exclusive clip preview from the upcoming season, giving them a taste of what is to come on 15th June.
Star Trek: Strange New Worlds season two is released on Paramount+ on 15th June 2023.
Watch the trailer for Star Trek: Strange New Worlds season two here: