Anson Mount is trying to boldly go where no one has gone before.
Anson Mount was a major part of Star Trek: Discovery’s second season as Captain Christopher Pike. There he did the fictitious gallivanting through the universe and galaxy, boldly exploring all the possibilities about finding other life forms besides just humans. But back here in the real world, on terra firma, Anson has somewhat similar aspirations. It doesn’t mean hopping into the helm of a starship, but rather joining an organization that’s modus operandi is getting messages out to any life form that will pick up the signal. Anson Mount has joined METI on its board of directors.
METI (Messaging Extraterrestrial Intelligence) shouldn’t be confused with the more popular SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence). They are two different organizations with slightly different goals. The latter is out to find signs of life in the universe. The former is just trying to get those life forms to hear us and maybe respond. It’s a simplistic view of the two groups for sure, but a clear distinction. Anson Mount’s Christopher Pike on Star Trek would definitely be more in the SETI crowd. Here on Earth, he’s just into sending the signals.
Anson Mount joins a group with wide-ranging goals about sentient life and its discovery. From their mission statement, they are devoted in somewhat equal ways to finding ways to message out in the unknown, building new and more powerful (and thoughtful) ways to begin and enhance these communications. But they also are a strong proponent of educating those on Earth on what it means to actually reach out to extraterrestrial life.
The announcement about Anson Mount’s involvement was made through his Twitter account, acknowledging that he was joining a diverse group of “scientists, linguists, and thinkers” in the project. Other notable names on METI’s Board include Dalia Rawson Director of the New Ballet School, Ian Roberts, a Professor of Linguistics at the University of Cambridge, and Abhik Gupta an Ecology and Environmental Science Professor.
From these rather scholarly backgrounds, Anson Mount doesn’t carry quite the same academic resume, but his inclusion in METI appears more to be about expanding the artistic and self-expressive side of the initiative as the group continues on its mission.
And Anson Mount’s inclusion in METI comes on the heels of the Star Trek Universe and franchise continuing to expand. His run as Pike in Discovery was a success leading CBS All-Access to option a new show, Star Trek: Strange New Worlds for a series order. Mount will star as the aforementioned Pike alongside Rebecca Romjin as Una. Both the Pike and Una characters were originally supposed to be part of Star Trek’s first iteration back in the ‘60s but those plans were scrapped in favor of the William Shatner/Captain Kirk version that started it all.
There are also some plot points for Strange New Worlds that have been leaked as well. It appears the show will return to the original’s serial formula of heading out and finding a different planet per week. With Anson Mount at the helm in honestly, a very Shatner-like appearance, the show appears to pay homage to its roots in a way others in the franchise haven’t. This new look, combined with the hat tip to the past could be as much a reason METI sought out Mount to be part of the group.
As of this writing, Star Trek: Strange New Worlds didn’t have a firm release date with the most bullish estimate having it hit screens sometime in late 2021. The series is helmed by writer/director/producer Akiva Goldsman who penned multiple episodes of both Star Trek: Picard as well as Discovery. He’s even gotten on screen credits for bit parts in 2009’s Star Trek and Star Trek Into Darkness. Worry not Starfleet folks, this show appears in good hands.
So while we wait for the new adventure into the cosmos, know that Anson Mount is here on Earth fighting the good fight in the search for alien beings out there in the universe. As part of METI, he’ll be working with the group sending messages out into space and seeing what comes back. Let’s hope it’s one of those peaceful groups that want to make nice. I’ve seen enough Star Trek to know it doesn’t always work out like that.