Star Trek: Strange New Worlds has already deviated from Roddenberry’s primary vision but it was perhaps essential for Number One’s character development.
Star Trek: Strange New Worlds is breaking Roddenberry’s primary rules, but at the same time, it is also necessary for Number One’s character development as the co-lead of the new Star Trek series. The upcoming Paramount+ series is a prequel that is set years before The Original Series. Star Trek: Strange New Worlds is centering the USS Enterprise, led by Captain Christopher Pike and Mr. Spock.
With that said, Number One was created by Roddenberry as a prominent part of “The Cage,” the primary pilot. He wrote the role for Majel Barrett, his future wife, who later got recalled as Number One and she was “the first things Gene wrote” for the franchise. Being a female officer of a starship, Number One was perhaps one of the most revolutionized characters for a TV show in the late 1960s. Even the book Star Trek: A Celebration included Roddenberry’s notes from the franchise. In the note, Roddenberry described the evergreen character, Number One, as “an extraordinarily efficient officer who enjoys playing it expressionless, cool.” Gene also represented Number One as “never referred to as anything but Number One” and “almost mysteriously female.” Apparently, NBC wanted to cut both Spock and Number One when Roddenberry was asked to produce the second pilot for Star Trek. As a result, Roddenberry dropped Number One from the Star Trek franchise.
Star Trek: Strange New Worlds is yet to get its premiere and it is Rebecca Romijn who is going to play Number One in it. With that said, it has been recently revealed that Number One’s original name is Una and the full name got revealed during the cast announcement for Star Trek: Strange New Worlds. It is Una Chin-Riley. Number One will remain the First Officer and Lieutenant Commander of the Starship Enterprise. Apparently, Number One showed her interest in spicy food during Star Trek: Discovery season 2. She also revealed that she loves singing Sullivan operas and Gilbert.
The upcoming TV show is seemed to be breaking Roddenberry’s original character edits for Number One but they are equally necessary to evolve the character in the franchise. When Number One got cut off from Star Trek, it was Roddenberry who gave her traits as logical, cool, and emotionless Officer to Spock. This is what left the character as a blank slate for around 50 years. With that said, Star Trek: Strange New Worlds is supposed to further develop the character of Number One and make her an all-rounded lead character for the franchise.
At last, Majel Barrett-Roddenberry created her own backstory for this very character of Number One. To explain this further, this is what Majel imagined Number One to be: “She could be a clone who was from a different planet where they actually numbered people… and she was given a position according to her excellence, and she actually turned into Number One and therefore went on a starship.”
Star Trek: Strange New Worlds is expected to get premiered soon in 2022.