It’s been announced that Benedict Cumberbatch and Alice Eve will play John Harrison and Dr. Carol Marcus, despite all evidence to the contrary. Marcus first appeared as Captain Kirk’s baby mama in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, which is stirring up some speculation that Harrison has some connection to Khan. Moreover, Harrison was a character in the original series episode “Space Seed,” the first appearance of Khan. However, that Harrison was just an ongoing extra (redshirt) aboard the Enterprise.
The official synopsis describes Harrison as “an unstoppable force of terror from within their own organization,” which suggests that he’s a member of Starfleet. “John Harrison is a terrorist. … He’s a homegrown terrorist,” Cumberbatch let slip in an interview with IGN.
“Giving away the full motivation would ruin it but it’s personal,” Cumberbatch told MTV. “It’s also political, I think. He’s somebody who, at some point in the film, you should feel a certain amount of empathy towards his cause, if not his means.”
Could that cause be revenge for redshirts? Fans can certainly sympathize with the thankless job that more often than not ends in death or worse! In the trailer, Harrison says, “I have returned to have my vengeance.” Perhaps he was left for dead on some distant world, a typical fate for the crew. In fact the new teaser reveals what appears to be a Starfleet funeral. However, bridge crew always seems to make it out alive. In the IMAX 9-minute preview, Spock tells Kirk to let him die. He says the iconic line: “The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.” Of course Kirk ignores logic to save his friend, which an abandoned redshirt might take personal. “Is there anything you would not do for your family?” asks Harrison in the extended trailer.
“He has an interesting relationship with Kirk, and with Spock in a way,” teased Cumberbatch. “He very much plays them off against each other. There’s an element of shadow to him and Kirk.”
The brighter side is definitely Alice Eve as a young Dr. Marcus. Too young to have a son with Kirk she joked while talking to IGN. But anything can happen in the new timeline she said.
This version serves on board the Enterprise as a science officer and has “Kirk’s ear,” Eve told Access Hollywood. “I think everyone in this movie serves to put him on the correct path and guide him in some way,” she said. “Carol Marcus being the forthright, determined and intelligent woman that she is has her role in that too.”
“But Kirk obviously being Kirk, and Alice being a beautiful blond, there is definitely the flirting and the excitement that comes with that,” Chris Pine added. “But I think Alice’s presence in this film is that she’s a hyper-intelligent doctor and it is her scientific knowledge that really plays a key role in this film.”