The Star Trek: Strange New Worlds Character You Likely Forgot Was In The Original Series
Any "Star Trek" fan worth their salt will be able to rattle off a list of characters that show up in multiple shows. And as the universe keeps expanding and deepening, so do the opportunities for crossover. Nowhere is this more obvious recently than in "Star Trek: Strange New Worlds," a whole series based around a cast of characters that originally showed up in "The Cage," which served as the pilot for the original series before NBC rejected it and ordered a new pilot entirely (via Paste Magazine). Captain Pike (Jeffrey Hunter) and Number One (Majel Barrett) are in the driver's seat for "Strange New Worlds," where they are played by Anson Mount and Rebecca Romijn, respectively. And of course, there's also Spock (Ethan Peck), Uhura (Celia Rose Gooding) and Nurse Chapel (Jess Bush).
Many of these characters had already been brought back into the front of fans' consciousness by the central role they played in the second season of "Star Trek: Discovery." However, "Strange New Worlds" isn't a satisfying comeback merely because it allows us to get to know main characters who previously had little backstory — the series also gives us whole new stories, bringing back secondary characters that otherwise might have simply disappeared from the memory of all but the most die-hard Trek fans. And one of those surprising returns is a character who appeared just a handful of times on the original "Star Trek."
Chief Kyle is an old-time Trek character with a new lease on life
Among the many Easter eggs that "Strange New Worlds" gives us is the return of Chief Kyle (André Dae Kim).
Kyle appears in the very first episode of "Strange New Worlds" as the transporter chief, beaming the crew down to the planet Kiley 279, even showing off his technological talents by beaming a serum directly into Spock's eyes. As we learn in Episode 4, "Memento Mori," Kyle is a Starfleet veteran, having served on the USS Shenzhou before it was destroyed at the Battle of the Binary Stars, seen in the first season of "Discovery."
Chief Kyle also appeared in almost a dozen episodes of the original "Star Trek" series, where he was played by John Winston. He even had an evil Mirror Universe counterpart seen in the famed "Mirror, Mirror" episode. During most of his tenure, he wasn't addressed by name, instead normally hovering in the back and taking orders in the transport bay, but he was finally referred to as Kyle by Spock in Season 2, Episode 2, "Who Mourns For Adonais?" The character also showed up, played again by Winston, in a brief appearance in "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan." His Kelvin timeline counterpart appeared in the 2009 J.J. Abrams reboot, where he was played by Chris Doohan, son of original actor of Scotty, James Doohan.
The choice to bring back Chief Kyle reflects the lengths to which "Strange New Worlds" is going to honor the source material. It also raises the possibility of stories in which he might play a more central role. Hopefully, we'll get to see it happen.