Despite taking place a mere decade prior to the original series, ‘Star Trek: Discovery‘ has tended to avoid directly referencing its parent show. Instead, the show has favored subtle Easter eggs, such as passing references to established characters like Christopher Pike or Matt Decker. Save for a certain Vulcan ambassador, the biggest exception to date has come in the form of Harry Mudd.
As played by Roger C. Carmel, Mudd appeared twice on the original ‘Star Trek’, with a third and final appearance coming a few years later on ‘Star Trek: The Animated Series‘. As has been the case with many of the familiar elements of the show, ‘Discovery’ has taken a somewhat different approach to the character, here played by Rainn Wilson. Where the original Mudd was something of a charming con man who the show tended to present in a humorous light, Wilson’s version (who certainly has those traits), is presented in a more serious, less over-the-top comedic manner.
But what went into developing this new version of Mudd? Well, in a video released by CBS, Wilson addresses that, at least in part. While he doesn’t get into the writing of his character, he does speak to his approach to and preparation for the role. Perhaps unsurprisingly, his preparation involved re-watching the classic Harry Mudd episodes. But there was more to it than that. For Wilson, rewatching those episodes wasn’t about imitating Carmel’s performance so much as figuring out just what Mudd’s involvement with a story brings to the table. You can see Wilson’s explanation for yourself in the video below:
‘Star Trek: Discovery’, which stars Sonqua Martin-Green, Jason Isaacs, Doug Jones, Anthony Rapp, Shazad Latif, and Mary Wiseman, airs exclusively via the CBS All Access streaming service. The series is currently on a midseason break and will return on January 7, 2018.