Of all the characters in Star Trek: Strange New Worlds, none are more beloved than Spock — a character whose presence has unified multiple incarnations (and generations) of Trek to date. With a legacy that stretches from the original pilot to the 2009 movie reboot of the franchise, it’s no surprise that Ethan Peck, who plays the character in Strange New Worlds, felt a little nervous about taking on the role… although, as he told the crowd during the Strange New Worlds panel at MCM Comic Con, he’s settling into it as the second season approaches.
“I think the writers have really honed in on my strengths as an actor and as this Spock, and I think they do an amazing job of writing to that version of him, which I would argue is maybe more human that some of the iterations of Spock that we’ve seen,” Peck told the MCM audience, although he admitted that he still feels pressure playing such an iconic character, even so early in the character’s career.
“I still feel the onus of the task at hand,” he explained. “Every scene presents a new challenge for me. I’ve got to experience this character, and these situations that are new to the character, as we’ve seen him, so yeah, I guess the pressure’s disappeared a little bit, but it still keeps me sharp [and] keeps me on my toes.”
Part of those new situations include Strange New Worlds’ exploration of Spock’s relationship with his betrothed, T’Pring. That’s something that “was pretty nerve-racking, because it was actually the first episode we see them become physically intimate, and that’s not really been done very much with Spock and Star Trek that I can recall,” Peck shared.
“We approached it very delicately, very carefully — a lot of talking. Very fortunately, Akiva Goldsman, one of our showrunners, was directing that episode, so we had a lot of discussion, because there are so many rules to Spock — established by the amazing Leonard Nimoy of course — that we have to adhere to and be true to, and be authentic with.”
Of course, part of the T’Pring relationship includes the episode 'Spock Amok,' in which Spock and T’Pring swap bodies as the result of a Vulcan ritual gone wrong.
“It was a lot to bite off and chew,” Peck said about acting as Spock with T’Pring’s mind in the episode.” Gia Sandhu, who plays T’Pring so wonderfully, she and I actually spent a lot of time with each other, reading each others’ lines to one another as our characters and internalizing each others’ performances of our respective Vulcans. The layers involved in that episode — it was, like, me playing Spock that was then turned into T’Pring that was then pretending to be Spock — it was very complex and kind of complicated but ultimately really enjoyable, and she was so amazing to work with on that.”
Popverse members can watch the full Star Trek: Strange New Worlds panel right now; non-members will get the chance to do so later this month. Star Trek: Strange New Worlds returns to Paramount+ June 15.
Also revealed during the panel: the seal of approval that meant everything to Melissa Navia.