The seventh episode of Star Trek: Discovery, “Magic to Make the Sanest Man Go Mad,” is arguably the most memorable episode of the series so far, and now star Anthony Rapp is looking back on his character’s unique role in the episode.
The story found the Discovery crew trapped in a time loop created by Harry Mudd. Paul Stamets was the only person who could remember each loop after Mudd turned back time because his interactions with Discovery’s mysterious spore drive had somehow made him come unstuck in time.
“Filming it was like a wild episode because the notion of a time loop is a really fun and interesting notion,” Rapp says. “To be the only one who was aware of what was happening, filming it as an actor was like putting a puzzle together and figuring out, ‘Okay, how many loops have I done?’
“You keep trying to make it better and make it work,” he continues. “To do that domino effect, as an actor, it was almost like I was doing it myself.”
One of the standout moments of the episode was when Stamets stopped to dance with Michael Burnham in the middle of the ship’s hallway, offering some relationship advice to help her get closer to Ash Tyler.
“It was very, very sweet, that little scene of Burnham and me together when we dance,” he says. “It was like, ‘Okay, I know that this loop is going to end and its not going to work this time, but I’m going to take this moment. I know you won’t remember this, but I will and it will mean something to me’ and just a little respite, it’s a little breath of something, and there was something to me very human and touching about that.”
There’s still much about Stamets being unstuck in time that needs to be resolved. That will likely be examined more closely when Star Trek: Discovery returns for the second chapter of its first season.
Star Trek: Discovery returns to CBS All Access on January 7, 2018.