The iconic Vulcan Spock will appear in the second season of Star Trek: Discovery, though possibly not as fans were expecting.
Jonathan Frakes was a guest at El Paso Comic Con 2018. Frakes is a Star Trek veteran, having played Commander Riker in Star Trek: The Next Generation, directed episodes of The Next Generation, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, and Star Trek: Voyager, as well as the films Star Trek: First Contact and Star Trek: Insurrection, and guest starred in episodes of Deep Space Nine and Star Trek: Enterprise.
More recently Frakes directed the first episode of Star Trek: Discovery Season One’s second chapter, “Despite Yourself.” At a previous convention, Frakes confirmed that he would be returning to work on Star Trek: Discovery Season Two. In El Paso, he further revealed that he will be directing two episodes of the season, episodes 2 and 10, and offered some details about the second episode.
According to Justin Oser, the host of the Star Trek: The Next Generation show Earl Grey on Trek FM, Frakes confirmed that Anson Mount will appear in the second episode as Captain Christopher Pike and that the episode will include Spock. However, he did not confirm that it would be the adult Spock, who would be science officer aboard the Enterprise at the time Star Trek: Discovery takes place, but that a younger Spock would be featured in flashbacks along with his foster sister, Michael Burnham.
“Frakes says he will be directing episodes 2 and 10 of season 2 of #StarTrekDiscovery - episode 2 will have Anson Mount as Pike and a young Spock that we’ll see in flashbacks #StarTrek #ElPasoComicCon,” Oser tweeted. “Frakes also said there will be a young Burnham in the flashbacks for episode 2 of season 2 of #StarTrekDiscovery #ElPasoComicCon”
It is interesting that Frakes confirms young Spock but not adult Spock. The inclusion of flashbacks with young Spock suggests that Spock is an important part of the story taking place in Star Trek: Discovery’s second season. Perhaps Frakes is simply keeping adult Spock a secret, or perhaps adult Spock is not aboard the Enterprise when it meets with the Discovery for some reason. It is possible that Captain Pike’s distress calls in the Star Trek: Discovery Season One finale involve Spock being in some kind of danger. Spock’s father, Sarek, is aboard the Discovery at the time the distress call went out, so it is possible Pike was seeking him out specifically rather than the Discovery itself.
The Star Trek: Discovery showrunners previously seemed to indicate that they would not recast Mr. Spock, though certain comments about “living in memory” may explain the flashbacks.
"You would have to have some sort of acknowledgment and interaction with this other ship and its inhabitants out there," co-showrunner Gretchen J. Berg told THR. "But our show is called Discovery and our main focus is always going to be on the people on Discovery. But we're also living within the canon that is the entire Star Trek universe."
Co-showrunner Aaron Harberts added, "We certainly aren't confirming that we're even going to introduce Spock and we certainly are not casting that role, either. We live a lot in memory and flashback. The center of our show is always Michael Burnham.
"[W]e realize how incredible Leonard Nimoy and Zachary Quinto's performances were and what JJ Abrams and the original series were able to pull off with that character. Finding another actor that could even come close to what Leonard Nimoy did with the original portrayal, we'd never want to go down that road."
The first season of Star Trek: Discovery is available to stream in its entirety on CBS All Access in the United States, through CraveTV in Canada, and through Netflix in other international markets.