What was your relationship to “Star Trek” before you joined “Strange New Worlds,” and how has it changed since?
Gooding: I come from a massive family of Trekkies. My mom grew up watching the original series on TV, not to age her. I don’t know if she’ll ever see this, but sorry, Mom. She was a massive “Trek” fan. And I remember when my sister and I were younger, we were both born in the 2000s, and so we got to watch the Kelvin timeline movies, and that was sort of my first introduction to Uhura as a character, Zoe Saldaña’s Uhura. That was my first introduction to the franchise. And now that we work within the franchise, I think my appreciation for it has only grown. It’s a fantastic marriage of the Trekkie I was, and now the Trekkie that I am.
Navia: Yeah, I’ll say for me, I watched “The Next Generation” when I was younger, and it would be on television, and I’d be doing my homework, and that opening theme song, the credits just never, still to this day, doesn’t get old. I teared up when I saw what was coming up for “Picard” season 3. But yeah, I would say I wasn’t a huge Trekkie. I wasn’t a Trekkie, but that’s the wonderful thing about “Star Trek” is, when I booked this role and people found out I was on “Star Trek,” I learned from people that they knew all sorts of things about “Trek” lore that I’m like, “How do you know that? Do you even know?” “Oh yeah, I know about Captain Pike. And he was the captain before Kirk.” And I’m like, “Who are you?” But you learn all these things about people.
But “The Next Generation” was definitely mine. And then my late partner, he also, he had a whole “Star Trek” background. I remember as I was getting ready to sign contracts for “Strange New Worlds,” he was just on this “Deep Space Nine” binge. So I remember hearing that theme music playing as I’m getting ready to sign the contract, and nothing’s official, I haven’t yet booked anything. And I’m like, this is either going to be the worst moment ever or the best moment ever. So “Star Trek” has just been a part of all of our lives, which is what makes it so really special. One of the many things that makes it special to be a part of this world now. Everyone has a connection to “Star Trek.” You can’t get away from it. Can’t get away from us.
Gooding: That’s what I’ve noticed after shooting season 1 is how many shows, amongst many different genres, just reference “Star Trek.” I remember I was watching an old episode of [RuPaul’s] “Drag Race” and they had a “Beam me up, Scotty” reference, and I was like, “Oh my God, ‘Star Trek’ is everywhere.” And it’s awesome because I feel like I’m doing homework on accident. But yeah, it’s exciting to be a part of a massive franchise.