We're still at least a year away from the next live-action Star Trek series, Strange New Worlds, but it's never a bad time to start fantasizing about random characters who might return. Before Strange New Worlds hits we'll have Discovery Season 3, Lower Decks Season 1, and probably Picard Season 2. So, that's a long time for the writers and producers of Strange New Worlds to start figuring how to make the Captain Pike-centric series even more entrenched in Trekkie canon.
A list of characters from the 2258-2264 era of Star Trek could be endless. We all know the big ones we'd love to see. Kirk. Bones. Uhura. Maybe Spock's dad again. But what about the super deep-cuts? Lately, new Trek shows have done a good job of bringing back very random characters and making those characters super-important. So, with that in mind, who from the Strange New Worlds pre- Original Series era could return? Here's our dream list of 10 characters you maybe haven't thought about in a while, but that everyone would love to see.
10. Klingons...nothing but Klingons
Okay, this one is a little bit of a cheat. But, it seems fairly obvious that Strange New Worlds is a direct sequel to Star Trek: Discovery Season 2. That means it would make a lot of sense to bring back Klingon Chancellor L'Rell, as well as former Klingon, turned human, turned Section 31 agent, Ash Tyler.
Essentially, a lot of Klingon lore from the era of Discovery remains unexplored before it becomes the era of TOS. In Discovery, we met two Klingons from the house of Kor — Kol and Kol-Sha (both played by Kenneth Mitchell). But, the name Kor comes from TOS, specifically, the Klingon Commander Kor matched wits with Kirk in "Errand of Mercy." If the DISCO Klingons return, it would be amazing to see them reunited — for the first time — with original Klingons like Kor, Koloth, and Kang.
9. Richard Daystrom
If you've been watching Star Trek: Picard, you might have wondered why the name "Daystrom" sounds so familiar. By the time of The Next Generation, the Daystrom Institute is a scientific organization renowned throughout the entire galaxy. Mostly, it's famous for studying artificial life, and that's because it was founded by a guy named Richard Daystrom (William Marshall), who was all about creating really advanced robots.
In the TOS episode "The Ultimate Computer," Daystrom was presented as a kind of mad scientist who used to be awesome. But, we know from a few lines in Discovery that the Daystrom Institue was highly respected in the 2250s. In his one and only TOS episode, Daystrom doesn't really get a chance to shine as a robotics or A.I. genius, even though he totally is. It would be amazing to see just how cool and smart this guy was in his prime.
8. Harry Mudd
When Rainn Wilson was first cast in Discovery as Harry Mudd, it was hard to imagine anyone playing the character made famous by Roger C. Carmel in TOS. And yet, in Season 1 of Discovery and Short Treks, Rainn Wilson's Mudd has become our favorite Mudd. He must return for Strange New Worlds. Sure, Spock will have to hide somewhere on the ship, if only because Spock has seemingly never met Mudd in TOS. But, then again, Mudd had time-travel tech in Discovery, maybe he'll have some kind of memory-eraser in Strange New Worlds.
In the classic TOS episode "Shore Leave" Kirk meets an android doppelganger of a guy who bullied him at Starfleet Academy. That guy's name is Finnegan (Bruce Mars) and he is just the worst. Chronologically, he was an upperclassman when Kirk was at the Academy, which means he could be a junior officer in Pike's time. Finnegan would make a great human nemesis in Strange New Worlds, and interesting because villains within Starfleet are rare and compelling. Finnegan is also hilarious.
5. Dr. Elizabeth Dehner
In the episode "Where No Man Has Gone Before," Elizabeth Dehner (Sally Kellerman) was a psychiatrist who worked on the USS Enterprise for precisely one mission. But did Spock know her before that? By the end of "Where No Man Has Gone Before," Dehner sacrifices herself to save Kirk and the Enterprise, but her career before that could have been super interesting. Technically, Dehner first came on board the Enterprise in 2265 after being picked up on the Aldebaron Colony. So, if the Enterprise visits the Aldebaron Colony in Strange New Worlds, Dehner could easily appear.
4. The Romulan Commander (Nevesa)
In the TOS episode "The Enterprise Incident," we met easily the coolest Romulan in all of Trek canon. Although her name was just "The Romulan Commander" in the script, actress Joanne Linville played her so well, that countless pieces of fan fiction have focused on her and Spock's (possible) relationship for years. Recently, the mobile game Star Trek: Timelines gave her the name Nevesa, which is actually pretty cool. Could she appear in Strange New Worlds? Well, yes. But, the regular Enterprise crew couldn't actually meet her. In the pre-TOS era, the Federation is largely unaware of what the Romulans actually look like. (In "Balance of Terror" it's actually a shock when they find out the Romulans look like Vulcans.)
So, how would Nevesa appear? She could meet Pike! She could meet Number One! And the whole thing could be part of a Section 31 mission that is totally classified. She cannot, however, meet Spock.
3. Audrid Dax
Oh yeah. You didn't see this one coming, did you? That's right, the symbiont known as Dax was alive in the 2250s, and existing in their fourth incarnation. (Jadzia in DS9 was the eight Dax host, and Ezri, the ninth.) In the DS9 time travel episode "Trials and Tribble-ations" Jadzia mentions "I lived in this time!" And that's because, she did, as Audrid Dax, and probably as Emony Dax, too, who, apparently, met a very young Dr. McCoy.
That said, Audrid is the best candidate for an earlier version of Dax, simply because the timeline works out a little better. If Emony met a young Leonard McCoy, it's doesn't make much sense that Emony would be around in the 2250s, when McCoy was a little older. So, that means its Audrid. This is pretty cool, because, there's already a short story in The Lives of Dax (1999) which features Audrid Dax teaming-up with Captain Pike, a little while after Pike is promoted to Fleet Captain. See! There's a precedent for this!
The other very compelling reason for Strange New Worlds to introduce an earlier version of Dax is that it's possible that Discovery could give us a later version. In the Discovery Season 3 trailers, we've seen that that Trill are returning, which could mean that a future version of Dax is in the new season. If Audrid Dax appeared in Strange New Worlds, it would create some slick symmetry.
2. Commodore Matt Decker
In the TOS episode "The Doomsday Machine," Commodore Matt Decker becomes the first Star Trek captain to go full-on Ahab. Like Daystrom, Decker isn't a very sympathetic character in his one and only TOS appearance, but considering he's a Commodore (a step above Captain) and he's in command of an Enterprise sister-ship (the USS Constellation) it feels like was probably cool at some point in his career.
The idea of seeing more old-school Star Trek starships in Strange New Worlds is part of what makes it exciting and seeing another Constitution-class ship, working alongside the Enterprise could be really cool. Maybe there's a reason Matt Decker was promoted from Captain to Commodore, and maybe we could see it happen.
1. Dr. M'benga
One of the greatest guest characters in TOS only appeared in two episodes — Dr. M'benga. Played by Brooker Bradshaw, M'benga was equal to Dr. McCoy and worked in sickbay in "A Private Little War" and "That Which Survives." There's not a clear consensus within canon as to how long M'benga served on the USS Enterprise, or if he transferred there, and then left and came back later.
M'benga is one of those rare reoccurring TOS characters who wasn't killed off, but was totally competent and genuinely likable. His presence as part of the TOS crew is another example of the pioneering early diversity of the original Star Trek, too. M'benga was heroic, funny, and once had an internship on the planet Vulcan. This means that if the USS Enterprise visits the planet Vulcan we could meet Dr. M'benga again.
In the non-canon novel The Vulcan Academy Murders, we learn that M'benga knew Spock's father, Sarek. Strange New Worlds already has an incumbent Sarek — James Frain from Discovery — so, bringing on M'benga seems only... logical.