One of the more shocking moments of Star Trek: Discovery’s first season was the murder of resident physician Dr. Hugh Culber — played by the always-pleasant Wilson Cruz — as the truth of Ash Tyler’s secret Klingon origins were revealed.
We caught up with Cruz at the annual Star Trek convention in Las Vegas last month, to discuss what the future holds for the character when Culber returns to Discovery next season, his upcoming visit to the Star Trek Cruise, and more.
TREKCORE: Last year, we really didn’t know anything about your character, you hadn’t been seen on screen until several weeks later. Did the intensity and sort of immediateness gravitating to Culber and Stamets and the relationship, did that surprise you how fast that grew?
WILSON CRUZ: Yeah. I think we expected a reaction, obviously, just because it was a first. I don’t think we expected the enthusiastic response that we got from everyone. From most people. From 95% of people. But it was really overwhelming. That’s a good word for it. Incredibly heartfelt, and we felt it and it drove us for the rest of the year. It’s still driving us.
TREKCORE: Was there ever a different plan for Culber? We knew from after the episode you would be returning, because you and the team made press announcements and so forth…
TREKCORE: Was there ever discussion, to your knowledge, of Culber returning in the first season?
CRUZ: I mean, he does return in the mycelial network. You know, I wouldn’t be privy to those conversations anyway. But I knew what the plan was for the story, for the arc, for the relationship, and I knew where we were going.
Which is why I was so willing to enthusiastically talk about the fact that this was not the end of their story, but just the end of a chapter in their story. What happened needed to happen in order for us to go where we needed to go.
TREKCORE: And you’re going to be on the Star Trek Cruise, as well, is that right?
CRUZ: I am, as of right now, yes.
TREKCORE: So that’s going to be a new experience for you, I’d imagine?
CRUZ: Yes! Oh, absolutely! First of all I’ve never been on a cruise!
TREKCORE: What drew you to that event?
CRUZ: They sent the description of the cruise, and it’s after the holidays, kind of great timing, I’d give opportunity to be with the fans of Star Trek and I was just excited about doing it. They approached me and I was like, “Yeah, why wouldn’t I do that?”
TREKCORE: What can you tell us, if anything, about where we’ll see Culber’s journey continue in Season 2?
CRUZ: I can’t say where we’re going, but I can say we are gonna learn a lot more about him. I think in the first season, we got introduced to him through the relationship, and I think this season we get to know him more, individually.
You know, these are still two individuals who come together and are in love, but they have their own passions and ambitions and journeys. I think — not I think, I know we will see a lot more, and learn a lot more about him, which I’m personally excited about.
Come back to TrekCore often for more of our ongoing Star Trek: Discovery coverage!