IDW Publishing has been continuing the exploits of Star Trek: The Original Series in comic book.
Because the original series got cut after only three season and fans still wanted to know what would have happened to Captain Kirk, Spock, Bones, and the crew should the series have been allowed to continue, IDW Publishing accepted the challenge. It has published the comic books Star Trek: Year Four and Star Trek: Year Five to highlight the original crew’s continuing adventures. But Year Five caused some concerns among Star Trek fans. The comic book had created Harcourt Fenton Mudd based on Rainn Wilson’s character from Star Trek: Discovery as opposed to Roger C. Carmel who portrayed the devious villain in two episodes of the original series. Fans weren’t sure if IDW had deliberately chosen not to utilize Carmel’s likeness and if the veteran actor was being overlooked.
In reality, the publisher could not get the rights to use Carmel’s likeness in the comic books. In fact, trying to obtain the rights has become “near impossible” after his death. The 54-year-old actor passed away in 1986 before he could reprise his role as Mudd in the first season of Star Trek: The Next Generation. He had been approached with the opportunity while the series was still in the planning stages. Since permission could not be obtained, his likeness could not appear in the Star Trek Timelines game, and Colonel Grumm from the crossover series “Batman ’66 Meets the Green Hornet” had to be redesigned.
With the rights so difficult to obtain, it’s doubtful fans will see Roger C. Carmel’s likeness in anything related to the franchise from this point forward.