In popular science fiction, there is no character comparable to Mr. Spock. Star Trek’s legendary Vulcan, in a role pioneered by the late Leonard Nimoy, wisely served as the first officer, science officer and assorted roles on the starship Enterprise through the 1960s TV series and a number of feature films, not to mention guest appearances as Spock in every Star Trek property that followed the original.
The J.J. Abrams revived Star Trek universe cast Zachary Quinto as Spock for his feature films, but the new streaming network, CBS All Access, fresh off the success of its acclaimed new STAR TREK: DISCOVERY series, has cast 32-year old, Ethan Peck, to be the next Mr. Spock.
The fledgling network has promised to increase the number of Star Trek properties but it was obviously conditional on the reception to STAR TREK: DISCOVERY which is a dark, violent take on the previous movies and TV series. Think BATTLESTAR GALACTICA reboot of the early 2000s compared to its squeaky-clean 1970s forebear.
STAR TREK: DISCOVERY is set 10 years before the events of the original series and the adventures of Kirk/Spock and crew. But DISCOVERY has already established its linkage to the original series. Its main character, Michael Burnham (portrayed by Sonequa Martin-Green), was the orphan ward to Spock’s father, Sarek. And as Trekkers know, Vulcans have very long lifespans, so Discovery is primed and ready to introduce a young Spock.
Enter Ethan Peck. Star Trek creator, the late Gene Roddenberry, in designing the character of Spock and the culture of the Vulcans, had given us an image of an unemotional race ruled by logic. The strikingly handsome Ethan Peck fits the bill with broad eyebrows that are in fact very Vulcanesque. But if the 6′ actor’s wide-set eyes and swarthy good looks remind you of someone, you won’t be surprised to know that Peck is Hollywood royalty, the grandson of the legendary actor, Gregory Peck (TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD).
Ethan Peck has a long and distinguished career primarily in television and is Hollywood royalty as the grandson of a legendary star.
Ethan Peck has a long and distinguished career primarily in television. He played a younger version of Ashton Kutcher in THAT 70s SHOW, a small part in THE DREW CAREY SHOW, co-starred with Nicolas Cage in THE SORCERER’s APPRENTICE, starred as Patrick Verona in the TV version of 10 THINGS I HATE ABOUT YOU, and was a regular on the series I SHIP IT. He also studied Experimental Theater at NYU. As a model, Peck was also the face of Ferragamo in 2015.
DISCOVERY executive producer Alex Kurtzman is delighted with the casting of Peck. Kurtzman said, “The great Leonard Nimoy, then the brilliant Zachary Quinto, brought incomparable humanity to a character forever torn between logic and emotion. We searched for months for an actor who would, like them, bring his own interpretation to the role. An actor who would, like them, effortlessly embody Spock’s greatest qualities, beyond obvious logic: empathy, intuition, compassion, confusion, and yearning. Ethan Peck walked into the room inhabiting all of these qualities, aware of his daunting responsibility to Leonard, Zack, and the fans, and ready to confront the challenge in the service of protecting and expanding on Spock’s legacy.”
In a 2016 Entertainment Tonight interview, Peck expressed a wish, in his deep gravelly voice, to be the next Batman. Now, thanks to being the next Spock, Peck has nabbed an iconic role dear to fandom. Will the dark knight be next?
STAR TREK: DISCOVERY Season 2 returns January 2019.
About the contributing writer: Harrison Cheung is the award-winning author of the Christian Bale biography, THE INSIDE STORY OF THE DARKEST BATMAN.