Paramount just released this new (though uninformative) still from Star Trek Into Darkness to the net. The newsy part is that it includes a caption which reads, “(Left to right) Zachary Quinto is Spock, Benedict Cumberbatch is John Harrison and Chris Pine is Kirk in STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS from Paramount Pictures and Skydance Productions.”
The character Cumberbatch will be playing has been subject to much rumor mongering since he was cast, with the most persistent whispers suggesting that he’d be taking on the role of Khan, the classic series villain and antagonist of Star Trek 2: The Wrath of Khan. Considering Paramount’s secrecy, it was assumed the name would at least be recognizable to Star Trek fans, but ‘Harrison’ does not fit that bill.
A character named ‘Harrison’ does show up in the original series episode ‘Space Seed,’ which introduced the character of Khan. Though he is never seen, his name is included on a list of red shirts that died in Khan’s attack, as listed by Captain Kirk in his captain’s log:
“Stardate 3142.8. They have my ship, discarding their own worthless vessel. Only moments of air left on the bridge now. Commendations recommended for Lieutenant Uhura, Technicians First Class Thule and Harrison… Lieutenant Spinelli… and, of course, Mr. Spock. I take full responsibility… I take full…“
So, was Paramount just playing with people to build up speculation and thus buzz; or is this new revelation simply misdirection, to keep the real identity of Cumberbatch’s character under wraps until the premiere?