One of the things we’re most excited about in the upcoming Star Trek: Strange New Worlds series is the introduction of a young Nyota Uhura. The role, originally played in the original Trek by Nichelle Nichols, was groundbreaking in its day. And we can’t imagine the classic series without Uhura saying “hailing frequencies open, sir.” In this prequel series to the classic show, Uhura is still a Starfleet cadet, who is serving under Captain Pike on her first assignment. Now, Paramount+ has released a mini-teaser for Star Trek: Strange New Worlds that introduces us to our newest Uhura, played by Celia Rose Gooding.
So what does this tell us about our newest iteration of Uhura? For starters, this series takes place in the “Prime timeline.” This officially makes it a prequel to the original show. So this is not Zoe Saldana’s Uhura, who exists in an alternate reality. Her linguistic skills are so formidable, knowing 37 languages, she is serving on the Enterprise although still a cadet. This is a rare honor, usually reserved for Starfleet vessels in a time of war. There are also hints of a romantic connection with Spock. This is similar to the J.J. Abrams Star Trek films.
Paramount+ has also released two other introduction teasers for new crew members, although these aren’t legacy characters. Although one has a legacy connection to a very famous Trek villain. First up is La’An Noonien Singh (Christina Chong). As her name suggests, she is a descendant of the infamous Khan Noonien Singh. Who, at this point, is still in the middle of a two hundred year cryo-nap. The brief teaser for her character suggests she might have genetically inherited some of Khan’s super strength.
And lastly, meet our new helm officer, Lt. Erica Ortegas (Melissa Navia). All we know about her is that Captain Pike thinks she’s the best pilot to come out of Starfleet Academy. Lt. Sulu will fill her role on the bridge on day. But for this series, she’s in charge of making sure the Enterprise flies right.
Also joining the Enterprise as its Chief Medical Officer is Dr. M’Benga. Like Uhura, this is another legacy character from the original show’s history. He appeared in two episodes of the classic show as the main doctor when McCoy was indisposed. He’s a human doctor who interned on Vulcan, a subject sure to come up on Strange New Worlds. This time, the actor portraying M’Benga is Babs Olusanmokun. It’ll be interesting to see how he goes from CMO to staying onboard and deferring to McCoy.
And Strange New Worlds will have the first regular cast member who plays an Andorian. The antennaed aliens have been a Trek staple since the ’60s. Now, one of them will serve as the Enterprise’s Chief Engineer. Well, technically, Hemmer is an Aenar, who are the Andorian’s albino cousins. They are telepathic, but also blind. But like Marvel’s Daredevil, their other senses compensate. Actor Bruce Horak, who has visual impairments, plays Hemmer.
Strange New Worlds has several more new characters to reveal, including a few older favorites. We’re eager to see how modern Trek updates this classic era of the franchise. Star Trek: Strange New Worlds (and our new Uhura) premieres on Paramount+ on May 5.