The first major piece of new casting for Star Trek: Discovery Season 2 has been announced, and it has huge implications. Those who watched the finale of the show’s first season will remember that the final scene had the Discovery happening upon the U.S.S. Enterprise—the famed ship in Star Trek lore. In the history of Trek, Pike was captain of the U.S.S. Enterprise just before James T. Kirk, played by William Shatner in the original series. Pike actually appeared in the original pilot for the first Trek series, but the character was dropped from the episode when actor Jeffrey Hunter decided he didn’t want to continue. Sean Kenney played Pike in a subsequent episode called “The Menagerie,” and Pike was also a character in J.J. Abrams’ feature film reboots, portrayed by Bruce Greenwood.
Star Trek: Discovery takes place within the canon of the Star Trek universe, so the arrival of Pike—as played by Mount—is a big deal. It’s not specified if this is a series regular role or recurring, but one imagines the character has major implications for the second season. The timeline of Discovery is set before the original Trek series, but the arrival of Pike further clarifies where things stand.
Mount is best known for anchoring the AMC series Hell on Wheels, but he also played Black Bolt in ABC’s Marvel series Inhumans, which wasn’t picked up for a second season.
Discovery has been a solid hit for CBS All Access, even if the road to get there was bumpy. Bryan Fuller exited the showrunner position over not-great terms during development, and the show’s premiere was delayed quite significantly. But hardcore Trek fans responded positively to this updated take on a Trek TV series, and they’ll no doubt be curious to see how Pike fits into the narrative when the show returns later this year.