Film: Who is John Harrison in upcoming ‘Star Trek Into Darkness’?

Posted by Sam Bouchat on Wednesday, Dec. 19 at 6:07 pm.

A diehard Trekkie like myself was critical of J.J. Abram’s 2009 “Star Trek” reboot. Sure, most incongruities could be glossed over with a simple “But it’s a parallel universe!” — but sometimes, that just didn’t jive. I mean, Uhura and Spock in a romantic relationship? I don’t care what planet you’re from — that’s completely off-script from “Star Trek: The Original Series.”

But with the second trailer just released for the 2009 film’s sequel, “Star Trek Into Darkness” has got the action/sci-fi fangirl in me dizzy with excitement.

BBC’s “Sherlock” star Benedict Cumberbatch flexes his villainous muscles in the two short trailers already out for the film. This last week, he announced that his character’s name is John Harrison, an individual who he describes as “a terrorist” and “a one-man weapon of mass destruction.” Cumberbatch assures audiences that they will, at one point in the film, sympathize with his villainous character and his motives for destroying Star Fleet (an event hinted at in the trailers and synopsis).

Many who saw “The Hobbit” in IMAX were lucky enough to view the first nine minutes of “Into Darkness,” wherein (***SPOILER ALERT***) Harrison approaches a father whose daughter is apparently in an irreversible coma. He assures the man that he can save his daughter. Cut to Kirk and McCoy fleeing form natives to a foreign planet and Spock jumping into a volcano.

But many “Original Series” fans are asking: Just who is John Harrison? The character is not one from the 1966 series or resulting films, leaving many to wonder if Harrison is an original creation of Abrams. Others, however, believe Abrams may be playing the same card pulled by “The Dark Knight Rises” director Christopher Nolan. Nolan introduced a seemingly original character into the final installment of his “Batman” trilogy, only for that person’s name to be revealed as an alias and for them to emerge at the end of the film as a character known from the “Batman” comic books. Will Harrison share a similar fate?

Regardless, Cumberbatch and Abrams leave film-lovers and Trekkies alike hungry for more information about the mysterious villain (or should we say anti-hero?). Or will audiences be kept in “into darkness” until the film’s release in May 2013?

  • Adrian

    Dude, you do know that Spock and Uhura had feelings for each other in TOS, right? There were always some unspoken words between them. There was an episode where they sang together and you can see under the surface that there was a longing between them. But Spock suppressed his human feelings so he never told her.

    • Sam Bouchat

      To each her own. The episode is one of my favorites (Charlie X), and I loved their relationship because he respected her so much. It was also refreshing for a man (or male alien) and a woman to have a relationship without a sexual undertone. I personally never saw them in any romantic context, and a romantic relationship between them was never made canon.

      Thanks for reading!

    • jesus

      dude, no
      kirk and spock man
      kirk and spock are the otp. always and forever

    • Damien

      It had nothing to do with suppressed feelings, and everything to do with the fact that although Gene Roddenberry loved to push the boundaries, no US TV company would have allowed a sexual relationship between a black girl and a white vulcan. Don’t forget it was 1969 before Jim Brown and Raquel Welch would shock the world in 100 Rifles. More reason why Star Trek was revolutionary in it’s day for even hinting at an interracial.

      • wizdom833

        You actually probably have something there Damien!! AND it was before 1969 when it was originally created so you are probably right! Look at the stir it had when Uhura and Kirk kissed, just imagine if there was a relationship!!

    • theotherkafka

      I used to be a camera operator and once got to work on a few original series cast interviews, one being Nichelle Nichols. Between questions she started talking about the new movie and how excited she had been about the Uhura/Spoke relationship in it. She said her and Leonard Nimoy had built a backstory together when working on the show that Uhura and Spoke had once been romantically involved but it never made it into scripts. I’d say the longing you saw there was the two actors layering that into the performance.

    • David McCarthy

      um no. uhura was flirty but did not have feelings for him. there was never any romantic subplot under the surface in the series. at all.

    • Cameron Demmings

      No they didn’t. In fact I dare you to point out a single example from any TOS episode.

  • POPO


  • Harrison
  • blergh

    Guys.. Spock did not like Uhura. The canon was Kirk and Uhura. Because Kirk/any woman was apparently desirable. Not my OTP. The only reason I think Uhura and Spock have a relationship in the movie is because they needed to show Spock’s human side. It came very slowly in ToS. They don’t have enough time for that. So blahblah. But the snob in me had to comment. It was never Spock/Uhura. They acted much more like best friends or brother and sister. 8P

  • blergh

    Also, it’s important to note that Spock wasn’t in character until Carbomite Maneuver and after. Leonard Nimoy states that(not word for word) in his biography ‘I am Spock’. (Not ‘I am not Spock’–there’s a difference.)

  • William Allen Avitt

    John Harrison WAS, in fact, a character from the original series. He was a miscellaneous crewman and he appeared in something like 27 episodes of the series. Do some research, would you? Also, Starfleet is one word.

    • Sam Bouchat

      You must be talking about “Harrison,” a technician played by Ron Veto. He was in about 14 – 15 episodes, and was never given a first name. Aside from having the same (quite common) last name, the two characters, John Harrison and Harrison, have little else in common, and I don’t see this as evidence enough to believe them being the same character. J. J. Abrams has not confirmed this, and has hinted that John Harrison may be a conglomerate of different villains.

      Thanks for reading!

  • Bacon Crisp

    Girls don’t like Star Track. Ergo, you’re not a real girl.

  • Zenith

    1) The Spock Uhura thing is completely irrelevant to anything.
    2) Spock wasn’t reveled to be half human until the middle of the 2nd season.
    3) Spock and Bones where archetypes for the emotional extremes and Kirk had to choose logic or emotion and which was a better command style

  • Avi Russell


    Review TOS Episode 07 season 1 – By DC Fontana

    He is not Khan!!!!

    (Hint the eyes) {He can get into your mind, he can destroy with his mind}

    CHARLIE X (Charlie Evans)

    • Frank Hicks Healy

      So can the Talosians

    • StSeanoftheKnife

      a friend of mine has suggested it’s robert april.

      • Ryan Sylvester

        I don’t think so, on either count. Khan’s not likely, since it’s a top Starfleet operative, and Khan and crew are still sleeping on the SS Botany Bay. Gary Mitchell? Perhaps. Especially since they’re introducing Carol Marcus, with the added backstory that Shatner came up with in his books.

        My real guess? Fleet Captain Garth of Izar, if it’s indeed a canonical villain.

        • Jim Lively

          I was thinking along the same lines. The only thing that I could think of that might be difficult to pull off was the bombings, but then I remebered that he could shapeshift. His ship was several times the size of Enterprise. From the preview it looked as though it could have been federation in design. Some kind of Flagship or Dreadnaut certainly. The villian would not only need access to the most advanced warship ever, but would also need access to the manpower to crew it. This would imply a group of followers, numbering in the hundereds. So in order to orchastrate such a theft, it would take someone on the level of fleet captain just to have knowlege of the ships existance, have enough followers to not only crew her but are willing to risk their lives stealing her, and be commited enough to fire on a fellow federation vessel. A simple terrorist gang could not pull something like this off, not on that scale. Sure, in Wrath of Khan, we see Khans followers steal Relient, however, to be fair, Relient is a much smaller ship then Enterprise, requiring a much smaller crew, and Khan and his followers were genetically engineered “supermen” with the intellegence to match.

          Cant be Khan. since Khan was never an officer, Charlie X has no motive, Q is Q, Mitchell was Kirks best friend. But there is ONE officer that would have it out for Kirk. But this isn’t about Kirk, its about Earth. Its about the Federation. It needs to be somebody who feels betrayed by the federation or Starfleet itself. If it were just about revenge against Kirk, and it was a Starfleet officer, my money would be on Lt. Commander Benjamin Finney. Since its global its gotta be Garth.

  • Yente

    William Harrison was a tech in tos.

  • Jam Ussery

    just watch: he turns out to be Q.