Majel Barrett played Number One, the first officer to Captian Christopher Pike, during the filming of Star Trek's first pilot episode, "The Cage." Though only Leonard Nimoy's Spock made it into the series proper (Barrett transitioned to the role of Nurse Chapel), the show later repurposed footage from that episode for use in the two-parter titled "The Menagerie." Despite her limited screentime, Number One became a fascinating favorite character for many Star Trek fans. As of Star Trek: Discovery second season, Rebecca Romijn is taking up Number One's mantle. She'll be one of the leads of the upcoming Discovery spinoff series Star Trek: Strange New Worlds. During the show's Star Trek Day panel, Romijn suggested that the series will finally reveal Number One's mysterious backstory.
"Well, like 'The Cage' being such an old pilot, the writers have this very unique opportunity where they've had this character that's existed since the beginning of the canon, and she's never been written," Romijn says. "I can't wait to find out how vast her skill set is. What are the arrows in her quiver? My number one question is, 'What's her backstory?' And I had a delightful meeting with the writers' room a couple of months ago, and they floated an idea for Number One's backstory that I'm not going to share right now because it blew my mind when they said it, but that's all I can say."
Star Trek: Strange New Worlds follows the crew of the USS Enterprise after the events of Star Trek: Discovery's second seasons and before the five-year mission of Star Trek: The Original Series. Romijn plays Number One opposite Anson Mount as Pike and Ethan Peck as Spock. Following their debuts in Discovery, the trio reprised their roles for three installments of Star Trek: Short Treks, which earned an Emmy Awards nomination.
"When we said we heard the fans' outpouring of love for Pike, Number One and Spock when they boarded Star Trek: Discovery last season, we meant it," said showrunner Alex Kurtzman while announcing the spinoff series. "These iconic characters have a deep history in Star Trek canon, yet so much of their stories have yet to be told. With Akiva and Henry at the helm, the Enterprise, its crew and its fans are in for an extraordinary journey to new frontiers in the Star Trek universe."
Star Trek: Strange New Worlds begins production in 2021.