Star Trek: Picard’s Michelle Hurd on poignant importance of show to her as person of colour
Star Trek: Picard star Michelle Hurd has a particular poignant bond with the universe she’s now a part of – because thanks to the show’s representation of people of colour, it was essential viewing for her and her family.
The actress plays the troubled Raffi Muskier in the newest return to the Star Trek universe, has been helping Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart) on his mission to locate Soji, the twin sister of Dahj, who was killed after discovering the pair were actually illegal synths, which were outlawed.
Speaking to Metro.co.uk, Michelle spoke about her pride of being part of the series, which has often taken political stances beyond their years, which back when it started in 1968, was beyond its years in the subjects they tackled.
She explained: ‘My father is a black man, and my father’s an actor, and when we were growing up it was is really important for my family, for my father, to make sure that we watched entertainment that was inclusive, because he was really aware of the fact that, you know, that it’s important to see yourself represented in the world.’
The young family formed a bond with, in particular the original series, where for the young girls, they found a hero in communications officer Nyota Uhura, played by Nichelle Nichols.
A leading black actress on the show, the character also made history with the first interracial kiss ever on network television, as Uhura and Captain Kirk (William Shatner) locked lips in 1968.
The show has also adopted the acronym IDIC – meaning Infinite Diversity, Infinite Combinations – a Vulcan philosophy that has been adopted by fans.
‘When I got this job, I kinda had flashbacks to my childhood,’ Michelle added. ‘This was the show that my family would actually sit around and watch because we had Uhura.
‘Because we had that first inter-racial kiss, because we had a world and environment that would tell the stories of other people who were battling to be seen or heard and didn’t necessarily have a platform to be seen or heard.’
So joining the series came with its own personal wins for both Michelle and the entire family, as she said: ‘My elder sister’s a huge Trekkie and when a comic book came out with me in it, which is really, really cool, obviously she had to get it.
‘She literally tore through comic book places in New York, they’d sold out in hours and she like cornered one of the owners and was like “my sister’s playing Raffi, get me a copy!”’
Raffi was first introduced in comic books of the franchise as Picard’s first officer, who tried to help relocate Romulans relocate ahead of a supernova that could have wiped them out.
However, in the show’s canon, the Romulans double-crossed them and group the Zhat Vash infiltrating Star Fleet.
Picard’s abandonment of Star Fleet has resulted in the pair hating each other and Raffi with a score to settle, but the new mission seems too good to pass up in order to heal old wounds.
Star Trek: Picard airs Fridays on Amazon Prime Video.
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