By: Paul Simpson
Anson Mount became part of the Star Trek universe at the start of season two of Star Trek: Discovery, playing the role of Captain Christopher Pike – as played by Jeffrey Hunter in the original Star Trek pilot, The Cage.
James T Kirk’s predecessor as Captain of the USS Enterprise, Pike was fleshed out on Discovery and two of the Short Treks that followed before Mount took the centre seat for a whole series of adventures, currently filming – Star Trek: Strange New Worlds. It wasn’t something he’d expected – he’d believed Pike was a “one-season gig” – but has been delighted to return, particularly after such a warm reception from fans.
Speaking to RadioTimes.com while promoting his new movie The Virtuoso, Mount was still high on the pleasure of being back at work three months into production. “I was telling our costume designer earlier today, I was at home for a year,” he laughs. “The last time I was home for a year was my junior year in high school. Everyone’s glad to be back at work.”
Mount is no stranger to series television, after five seasons on Hell on Wheels and a year of Marvel’s Inhumans. Inevitably things aren’t quite as Mount had anticipated when Strange New Worlds was first proposed. “COVID [protocol] makes everything take longer,” he admits, “but you get through it and it’s weird trying to get to know my cast only on set.” However, despite everything, “it’s been one of the smoothest starts I think I’ve ever had in television.”
Mount’s joined by Rebecca Romijn and Ethan Peck reprising their roles as the enigmatic Number One, aka Una, and Spock from Discovery, and the general familiarity is helped by the fact that Strange New Worlds shares some of the production personnel with Discovery. “That has worked to our benefit,” he notes, “not just with the world and the material, but interpersonally, with this production company and these producers.”
He takes his place as number one on the call sheet seriously, as much a captain off-screen as on. “Normally I’d be throwing barbecues and we’d be going to the park and you can’t do much of that right now, particularly during the lockdown in Ontario but we’re surviving.”
As we speak, the shoot in Toronto is about halfway through its first season, which is expected to air in 2022 after the next seasons of animated series Lower Decks and Discovery. “We’re really happy with the material,” Mount points out. “We’re all having a good time together.”