I’ve written in the past about the problems that can arise from untempered fandom. If enthusiasm and inspired love are not balanced by contextual reason and a healthy dose of reality, then it can get a little bit over zealous. Need I cite Star Wars fans and The Last Jedi as an example of unchecked fandom. However, I am now going to stray a little into the “Twilight Zone” of fandom myself, although I shall attempt to apply a healthy dose of realism into the proceedings. Because I want to discuss the fact that Ethan Peck has been cast to play one of the most iconic characters in popular culture. Yes, Gregory Peck’s grandson (and there’s plenty of “baggage” there) has been cast to play Spock in season two of Star Trek: Discovery. Furthermore, rather than be concerned, I am very excited by this development and I really look forward to seeing how this pans out.
As a fan of not only Star Trek but wider popular culture, I believe that specific iconic characters are extremely pertinent and in their own way, beacons of hope and cultural touchstones for good in contemporary society. I personally believe that Spock as a fictious character is a positive force in the world, comparable to the likes of Sherlock Holmes. These characters are inspirational, provide hope and area source of introspection and self-reflection. The genius of Star Trek and other science fiction vehicles is that they provide alien characters and culture as a medium to examine the human condition. Leonard Nimoy struggled with this complex conundrum throughout his life, but he ultimately reconciled himself to the positive aspects of embracing such a multifaceted character as Spock, and saw him as a force for good. I sincerely hope that Ethan Peck has a similar opportunity, because we really need the wisdom and “humanity” of Spock in the wider world at the moment.
I like many others, was initially flummoxed by the aesthetic changes that came with Star Trek: Discovery. However, after a while I adjusted to this shift and focused upon the narrative of the new show and soon found that it embraced much of what I consider to be the core values of classic TOS. Considering the timeline and the specific lore that this new show has chosen to explore, ignoring Spock Prime is not really an option and I had a gut feeling that the character would have to be brought into the narrative at some point. It’s a bold move considering the esteem in which Spock is held by fans and the fact that only two other actors have ever played the character as an adult. I personally am not au fait with Ethan Peck’s previous work as an actor. However, I am prepared to continence the fact that the showrunners of Star Trek: Discovery are not going to doing anything rash when it comes to casting such a key role in Star Trek lore.
So rather than wringing my hands and focusing on the negative, I am prepared as a Star Trek fan to take a calculated gamble and remain positive about not only the casting of Ethan Peck, but the fact that the current writers wish to explore this legendary character further. So, I shall be looking forward to season two of Star Trek: Discovery when it premieres at the end of the year. I’m sure that the exploration of Spock’s career, prior to him meeting James T. Kirk will be insightful and informative. I believe that the essential character of Spock still has much to teach us and that this significant period of his life, associated with Captain Christopher Pike will be an most illuminating. As for actor Ethan Peck, welcome to the Star Trek family and I hope that this iconic role that you’ve bravely accepted will be both challenging and rewarding.