The 2009 Star Trek movie reboot was, despite more enormous plot holes and incidents of scientific nonsense than there were tribbles on Deep Space Station K-7, a heck of a lot of fun. Since it also made nearly $400 million worldwide, and because there’s always room for more Star Trek films, it seems impossible that there won’t be another one or two, or ten, in the near future.
That being the case, there has of course been a lot of speculation about which minor characters from Star Trek: The Original Series should make appearances in upcoming films, and who should play them if they do. Since the next film will be the second of the new series, a lot of people have mentioned the possibility of seeing Khan Noonien Singh once more. And many have mentioned Harry Mudd, a rare recurring non-crewman character from ST:TOS and the only character whose name appears in two episode titles.
Without further ado, then, here are our ideas for the top ten characters from ST:TOS we’d like to see in the next movie, along with which actors and actresses we think would fit each role best.
10. Khan Noonien Singh – Just to get him out of the way. Khan is such a great character he deserves a spot on the list, but if you think about it he’s not really a good choice for the new series. First, his appearance would guarantee comparisons between the new film and Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, which is so good it’s unlikely the new film could hold its own. Second, it’s hard to imagine many actors would feel up to the task of following in Ricardo Montalban’s footsteps — I mean, it was hard enough to have new actors take over roles like Kirk and Spock, but those seem easy compared to Khan. Of course, you could hire someone whose background fits the character better — like, say, an Indian actor. There aren’t a lot of Indian actors who are well-known to western audiences but, honestly, most of the actors they hired for the 2009 movie weren’t, either. The two actors that leap to mind are American-born Sendhil Ramamurthy, who played Mohinder on Heroes and unfortunately has the acting range of a wet dishcloth, and Aasif Mandvi of several movies and The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, who could probably pull it off.
9. Redshirts – Yeah, we know, they already did a redshirt joke in the 2009 film, but there are just so many actors we’d like to see get “killed” for no useful purpose. Since we can already see this happen to Robert Pattinson by re-watching Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, how about Mel Gibson? Pauly Shore?
8. The Computer’s Voice – Since, alas, Majel Barrett-Roddenberry is no longer with us, someone will have to take over the part. Rather than hire another woman and make the comparisons to Barrett-Roddenberry inevitable, why not hire a man? And if we’re going to go that route, Stephen Fry seems the clear choice. Really, all talking computers should speak with Stephen Fry’s voice.
7. Edith Keeler – Sure, it’d be tough to work her in. But time travel is always fun, and they could do something like they did in the DS9 episode “Trials and Tribble-ations,” only in this case it’d be the new Kirk, Spock and McCoy running into the original ones. But of course if there are going to be new scenes, we’ll need a new actress to play Edith Keeler, since Joan Collins is pushing 80. We suggest Amy Adams, whom we have no trouble picturing playing a pretty, idealistic social worker, and most likely better than Collins did in the first place.
6. Kor – I always thought the Klingon “governor” Kor, from the episode “Errand of Mercy,” was one of the best villains in ST:TOS. His easy confidence combined with a strong will and a sharp mind made him a fascinating character. The more I think about the role, the more I think Wil Wheaton would be ideal for it, especially after seeing him as Evil Wil Wheaton on The Big Bang Theory.
5. Saavik – OK, so we’re stretching things a bit by including her, since she didn’t show up until Star Trek II. But she has such potential as a character — potential that went largely wasted by the hiring of Kirstie Alley and Robin Curtis, neither of whom is overburdened by talent. Imagine how the character of Saavik would rock with Angelina Jolie playing her. No comparison, is there?
4. Trelane – Trelane is the title character of the episode “The Squire of Gothos,” who turns out (spoiler alert!) to be a mischievous child from a super-powerful alien species. Since ST:The Next Generation started, many people have speculated that he’s actually a Q, but regardless he’s a great character who was played quite ably by William Campbell. We think the ideal choice to play a rebooted Trelane would be Hugh Laurie. If you’re only familiar with Laurie from House, M.D., that may seem odd, but if you’ve seen him in the several Blackadder series he was in, or as P.G. Wodehouse’s Bertie Wooster, you’ll understand why he would be so great in the part.
3. Nurse Christine Chapel – We know she exists in the rebooted Star Trek universe, since McCoy mentions her. But since we never see her (or at least, if we do, we’re not told it’s her), the role is still open for casting. We humbly suggest Jessica Alba. She’s a good actress and she’s not hard to look at, either. Plus, how much fun would it be to see her and Zoe Saldana fighting over Spock’s affections?
2. Yeoman Janice Rand – She just has to show up at some point… although we wouldn’t mind if she left the beehive hairdo in the 1960s where it belongs. It would be nice to have someone in the role who can act better than Grace Lee Whitney, which really isn’t setting the bar too high, and is also distractingly attractive. We suggest Scarlet Johansson, for much the same reasons we suggested Jessica Alba for Nurse Chapel.
1. Harry Mudd – The only ST:TOS “villain” to appear in two different episodes, and what’s more, to have his name in the title of both! Roger C. Carmel’s performance as Mudd would be exceptionally hard to top, and would be hard to imitate without it being an obvious imitation. So we need someone who can have the same kind of mannerisms but can make them his own. Tempting as it is to suggest Johnny Depp, because the distance from Captain Jack Sparrow to Harry Mudd isn’t that big, we think Bruce Campbell would be able to find his own spin on the character and make the character, different but recognizable, his. We’re not quite sure he could pull off that mustache, though.