Star Trek: Discovery’s Surprise Guest Talks Recreating That Original Series Character


Ethan Peck’s Spock has finally arrived on Star Trek: Discovery, but this Thursday’s episode went even further in giving longtime fans a treat. Season 2 episode 8, “If Memory Serves,” acted as a sequel to the events of “The Cage,” the pilot of The Original Series from back in 1966 AKA the very first episode of Star Trek ever made.

In “If Memory Serves,” Michael Burnham and Spock travel to Talos IV and not only encounter the bulbous-headed Talosians but also Vina, the last surviving crew member of the U.S.S. Columbia. In TOS‘ pilot, Pike fell for Vina but she decided to stay with the Talosians as it was revealed that her youthful beauty was an illusion created by them – really, she had been disfigured by the crash and the natives’ attempts to heal her.

Susan Oliver played Vina in “The Cage” and Melissa George took over the role for Discovery. The guest star spoke to Syfy Wire recently about how she approached tackling the character and in particular, how she wanted to show that Vina had grown in herself since we’d last seen her.

“When you first see Vina with that perfect blonde hair and that perfect blue eyeshadow, you think, ‘Oh, she’s a bit off with the fairies.’ But she’s actually got such gravitas and is in fact very strong and grounded. So I decided I was going to embrace being a woman, with all her beauty and the hair, and those high heels, and being comfortable in my own skin. And that’s how I am in my own life, too. I think that women often get perceived in a certain way. If you’re ‘too pretty,’ you’re perceived as maybe not being smart enough. So, no, she’s not a victim. She’s everything, this woman. She’s clearly a woman in love, too. So [I] decided to be comfortable and strong with it.”

As part of the process of connecting with the character Oliver played over 50 years ago, George was required to re-dub some of Vina’s lines from “The Cage” so that the two actress’ voices could be merged.

“They did put some of my voice on top of hers to kind of meld the two together. I couldn’t recreate her acting because so much has changed the way we act today. There’s a different kind of inflection. But I wanted to watch it and pay homage to her and the way the character felt.”

It was certainly a surprise to see Vina reappear in the Trek franchise for the first time in over half a century, especially as “The Cage” was once seen as not really part of the series. To its credit, though, Discovery season 2 is keen to tie the canon together as best it can, even touching on why Spock’s so much more human in the TOS pilot than in the rest of the show.

And we’ll get to see even more of what Peck brings to the iconic Vulcan as Star Trek: Discovery continues on CBS All Access.

Source: Syfy Wire