Showrunners Akiva Goldsman and Henry Myers’ prequel series Star Trek: Strange New Worlds returns with Season 2 this month, premiering on Paramount+ on June 15. But before we catch back up with Captain Christopher Pike and his Number One, Collider’s Steve Weintraub spoke with the stars behind the USS Enterprise’s first and second in command, Anson Mount and Rebecca Romijn, on the upcoming episodes, and what the pair could tease for fans.
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Last year, Strange New Worlds expanded the Star Trek Universe in ways new and old, taking us back a decade before Captain Kirk (William Shatner) helmed the Enterprise in Star Trek: The Original Series. It’s a return to the classic episodic adventures that first captured spacefaring fans so many years ago, and Season 2 is bringing new imaginative worlds, aliens, and a surprise crossover with another spinoff series, the animated Star Trek: Lower Decks. Without giving away too much, Mount admits the crossover was a world he wasn’t quite ready to boldly explore when Goldsman and Myers first revealed their plans, believing the duo may have “lost their minds,” in fact.
In Collider’s interview with Mount and Romijin, which you can watch or read below, Weintraub asks how they felt about the crossover, directed by Star Trek alum and legend, Jonathan Frakes, and both have a lot to say about their temporary co-stars, Tawny Newsome and Jack Quaid. Though they have to keep it pretty mum, lest they lose their fingers, we do find out that this season will be taking some “big swings genre-wise,” as well as big risks, and Mount promises the journey ahead will involve “things that Star Trek has never done before,” which kept the energy up during production to the very final episode. Season 2 will see the return of Ethan Peck, Melissa Navia, Celia Rose Gooding, Paul Wesley, Jess Bush, Babs Olunsanmokun, and introduce Carol Kane as the Enterprise’s new Chief Engineer, Pelia.
COLLIDER: I’ve seen the first six episodes of Season 2. My only complaint is I couldn’t see seven through 10.
ANSON MOUNT: [Laughs] Good to know.
REBECCA ROMIJN: Yeah, thank you!
So you both get to do very cool things this season. What are you actually allowed to say?
ROMIJN: Nothing [laughs]. It makes it so difficult. I can’t wait for you to see seven through the final four.
MOUNT: Yeah, it’s in our contract, they get to remove a finger every time we make a slip-up.
It has to be interesting, though. It’s hard to do press when the hands are tied behind your back. The second season is 10 episodes, which of the 10 is your favorite, and why?
MOUNT: Well, yeah, I have a clear favorite.
ROMIJN: I have a clear favorite, too, and I have a feeling it’s the same one as Anson’s. It’s gonna be Episode 9, but we can’t say anything about it!
MOUNT: [Laughs] Yeah, it’s Episode 9.
ROMIJN: Obviously, we can’t discuss, but I think they’ll probably be announcing something about it soon, possibly? Anyway, we obviously can’t say anything about it. We took some big swings genre-wise this season, and we really got to play hard this season. It’s like Season 1 but bigger and better, and we’re pretty excited about it, to share it with everybody.
MOUNT: And what’s cool about taking big risks, which are at the same time maybe things that Star Trek has never done before, is that the level of excitement it brings to the cast is amazing. When we were doing that episode that we’ve been talking about, Episode 9, obviously that was towards the end of the season’s shoot when everybody is tired. Because when you do the final episode, everybody is like, “Oh, okay, we’re almost done!” But a penultimate episode can be tough to get through. But because of the nature of the episode and what we were doing, we had to rehearse on weekends, and when people were coming in, everyone was genuinely excited to be there.
ROMIJN: Flying! Yeah, it was so exciting.
MOUNT: Which, I’ve never seen that before in all my days of doing television, and yeah, it came together even better than I’d hoped.
I’m just gonna throw a Hail Mary. It makes me think maybe some of this episode is a oner?
MOUNT: Well, we couldn’t tell you if you’re right or not.
ROMIJN: [Laughs] Because then we’d lose fingers!
MOUNT: But you are far afield, my friend.
One of the things about this season a lot of people are looking forward to, I believe it’s Episode 7, which is your Lower Decks crossover episode. What was it like being able to crossover with that show because I didn’t see it coming and it’s just a cool idea.
MOUNT: When Akiva and Henry first told me about it, it’s one of those moments where you sort of smile and nod your head, and inside your head, you’re going, “Oh no, they have lost their minds” because I immediately was picturing something like [Who Framed Roger Rabbit], right? But once they explained to me the concept, I was like, “Oh, that is such a smart way to do it!” I had met and spent time with Jack [Quaid] before, and I had spoken with Tawny [Newsome] before, so I was really excited to have them on the set, and they didn’t disappoint.
ROMIJN: And they were really smart to bring Jonathan Frakes in to direct that episode. He really added a lot to it. I also know Jack and Tawny fairly well because my husband’s on Lower Decks, and they had some adjustments to make, having come from an animated Star Trek show onto our set. I mean, I think they even address it in some of the dialogue. They sort of had to adjust their energy level a little bit. It was interesting watching them, and they’re so brilliant, both of them, I mean, two of the funniest people, so talented, so funny. But watching them come in and make little slight adjustments so that it still felt within the correct world was interesting.
MOUNT: Yeah, and also, I have to say, it’s really tough in a lot of ways being a guest star on a show that already has its wheels turning and its tone in place. You’re kind of hoping you’re not disappointing anybody, but they really came in and had full ownership over what they were doing, which you have to with comedy, especially because comedy is more of a living, transformative thing at the moment of doing it.
ROMIJN: And Tawny and Jack both have great backgrounds in improv, so they were really able to play with a lot of the stuff that was given to them. I mean, a lot of it was taken off the page and they would do completely different things in every take. It was really fun to watch.
You can watch all of Star Trek: Strange New Worlds Season 1 on Paramount+ ahead of the Season 2 premiere on June 15.