New Star Trek is shrouded in secrets

Chris Ward
STAR Trek Into Darkness – JJ Abrams’ sequel to his own 2009 reboot of the sci-fi behemoth – is as notable for what we don’t know as what we do.

The publicity campaign recalls a pre-internet era when fans weren’t able to access details about every aspect of a production months before its premiere. We know, for example, that Benedict Cumberbatch has been added to the returning cast (which includes Simon Pegg as Scotty and Chris Pine as James T Kirk). And the posters – in which he strides through the ruins of a futuristic London with a malevolent smirk – suggest he is the villain of the piece.

Abrams and company have been keeping schtum, however, on the part Cumberbatch might play in the wider Star Trek mythos. All they’ve revealed is that his character goes by the name of John Harrison, and is, per the trailer, “one of [Starfleet’s] top agents”. Fans have speculated that John Harrison could be a pseudonym for Star Trek hall of fame villain Khan, the genetically engineered superhuman from Northern India who controlled a quarter of the Earth in the 1990s. Needless to say, given Abrams’s standing as one of the few contemporary directors able to exercise total control over every aspect of his productions, we’ll find out when he is ready and not a minute sooner.

By Chris Ward

• Star Trek Into Darkness is in cinemas on 9 May.