Star Trek: Strange New World's Anson Mount is taking a cue from his Captain Pike character and joining an effort to make contact with real aliens.
Star Trek: Strange New Worlds star Anson Mount joins an effort to make the first contact with real aliens. CBS All Access's Discovery, which revived the Star Trek franchise in 2016, first introduced Mount as the iconic character Captain Christopher Pike in season 2, along with his crew member Number One (Rebecca Romijn) and Spock (Ethan Peck). Pike's presence on Discovery, which takes place years before the events of the original Star Trek series, was meant to tie the prequel to the original stories.
Mount's portrayal of Pike was so well-received by fans that CBS All Access created a spinoff series centered around Pike, Number One, and Spock. Compromised of ten episodes, Strange New Worlds will be set on the USS Enterprise ten years before Captain Kirk's five-year mission. The series has been promised to revive the original series's classic adventure storytelling style, which some have criticized Discovery and Picard as lacking. While the upcoming Strange New Worlds won't begin filming until 2021, Mount is taking a cue from his character in real life.
The scientific organization Messaging Extraterrestrial Life (METI) announced that Mount is joining its Board of Directors. The San Francisco-based international non-profit research organization creates and sends signals into space to search for and communicate with life on other planets. "It is a distinct privilege to be asked to join the outstanding scientists, artists, and innovators that make up the METI team," Mount said in a statement. "I look forward to helping this organization expand its footprint in our cultural landscape and educate the general public about our endeavors to connect with extraterrestrial intelligence through scientific methods as we continue to grapple with the implications of this work. As a Starfleet Captain, it brings me unbridled joy to be able to say that I am actually sending out a hail."
METI was founded in 2015 as part of Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI). However, METI and other SETI organizations' main difference is that while other SETI organizations only listen for signals from extraterrestrial civilizations, METI sends out signals to initiate contact. "If other civilizations are simply listening, and not transmitting, we’ll never make contact if we limit ourselves to standard SETI strategies," said Douglas Vakoch, President of METI. "We’re delighted to welcome Anson to METI’s leadership team as we continue to reach out to other worlds, letting them know we want to make first contact."
Of course, Mount's character Pike is no stranger to aliens. Pike was the star of the original Star Trek pilot "The Cage," which showed Pike's (Jeffrey Hunter) encounter with the telepathic aliens of Talos IV. The alien race could create life-like illusions. However, the pilot was rejected by NBC for being "too cerebral" and needing more action. Strange New Worlds will reportedly explore more of Pike's Enterprise on its search for new life and civilizations. While it will be thrilling to finally see Captain Pike lead these missions in his own series, it's nice for fans to see that Mount takes just as much interest in exploring advanced civilizations in real life. While fans will have to wait a while before his upcoming series premieres, more insight into the initiative is likely to come from Mount in the coming weeks.