Warning: SPOILERS for the 8th episode of “Star Trek: Strange New Worlds” — “The Elysian Kingdom”.
Episode 8 of Star Trek: Strange New Worlds introduces a new version of the evil Spock (Ethan Peck), which is very different from the one that Trekkers are familiar with from the Mirror Universe. In the 8th episode of Strange New Worlds, The Elysian Kingdom, the crew of the aircraft carrier Enterprise turned into fantastic characters from a fairy tale that Dr. M’Benga (Babs Olusanmokun) reads to his terminally ill daughter Rukia (Sage Arrindell). Everyone aboard the Enterprise was transformed into heroes and villains from the “Kingdom of Elysian” by an omnipotent entity in the Jonesian Nebula, which Rukia later named “Debra”. This bizarre adventure brought a new comedic touch to “Strange New Worlds” and also allowed viewers to see the characters of the show in an exciting new light, including another evil version of Spock.
The evil Spock (Leonard Nimoy), who wore a goatee in Star Trek: The Original Series, is an iconic alternative take on the Vulcan. Introduced in the TOS episode “Mirror Mirror”, Spock was commanding the ISS Enterprise when Captain James T. Kirk (William Shatner) and the Enterprise crew members were accidentally transported to the Mirror Universe. The logical Mirror Volcano became the perfect backdrop for Kirk from the Prime Universe, who convinced Spock that the Terran Empire would not survive because of how the ruthless regime operates. The Vulcan eventually agreed, and after Kirk and his men returned to their true reality, Spock assumed power in the Terran Empire and began to make radical changes. Unfortunately, Mirror Spock inadvertently led to the fall of the hated Terran Empire, which was conquered and ruled by the Klingon-Cardassian Alliance by the time of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.
Related: Strange New Worlds Explains Star Trek’s First Space God
In episode 8, “Strange New Worlds”, Spock transforms into the wizard Pollux and becomes the newest evil version of Vulcan. Pollux is also an intriguing departure, since he’s not really Spock at all. Spock’s logical Vulcan personality completely disappeared and was replaced by Pollux, a character from the Elysian Kingdom. An obvious ode to Severus Snape (Alan Rickman) from the Harry Potter books and films, Pollux is a treacherous wizard who serves the evil Queen Neva (Celia Rose Gooding) and is an enemy of King Ridley, who was embodied by Dr. M. Benga. Curiously, Pollux also has an invisible brother in prison, as does Spock’s older half-brother Saibok, imprisoned on Vulcan so that Spock’s fiancee, T’Pring (Jiya Sandhu), rehabilitates him into logic. Of course, in the “Elysian Kingdom”, good defeats evil, and Pollux and his evil queen are defeated, so the story has a happy ending.
From time to time, encounters with evil versions of Star Trek characters are a hallmark of the franchise, and that’s why the Mirror Universe was invented. Star Trek: Deep Space Nine had fun with the idea of Mirror Universe duplicates, from freedom fighter “Smiley” O’Brien (Colm Meaney) to sexually charged Quartermaster (Nana Visitor), who was the opposite number of Major Kira Nerys, to a cowardly version of Worf (Michael Dorn), who ruled the Mirror Universe. “Star Trek: Discovery” inherited the concept of the “Mirror Universe” and continued it, memorably demonstrating the despicable and sinister doppelgangers of Michael Burnham (Sonequa Martin-Green) and the crew of the USS Discovery. But it was all built on how popular the Mirror Universe was thanks to the evil version of Spock.
Among the crew members of the Enterprise, who turned into fantastic characters in the 8th episode of Strange New Worlds, La’an Noonyen Singh (Christina Chong) may overshadow the role of the flighty Disney princess, who even has her own puppy named Runa. In addition, Captain Christopher Pike (Anson Mount) is funny in the role of the cowardly chamberlain of King Ridley, who is the complete opposite of the heroic captain of the Enterprise. Cadet Nyota Uhura is also strikingly scary in the role of the evil Queen, and it’s understandable why Spock’s Pollux Wizard serves her. The evil Spock version from Star Trek: Strange New Worlds proves that a Vulcan doesn’t need a mustache to be mean.