Fans of popular movies and television will know all about Star Trek. The latest installment in the greater Star Trek multiverse, Star Trek: Discovery, is taking a new stance. Not only will the story focus on someone other than a Captain, but it will premier on Netflix alongside television.
Who’s Who in the Crew
Jason Isaacs and Michelle Yeoh are slated to play the two Captains who appear throughout the season. Captain Lorca (Jason Isaacs) is in command of the Discovery, while the Shenzhou is captained by Philippa Georgiou (Michelle Yeoh).
While some may recognize Doug Jones easily, it may be difficult for others, since he usually plays characters from beneath prosthetic make-up. His most noteworthy parts are the Pale Man in Pan’s Labyrinth and Abe Sapien in Hellboy. In Star Trek: Discovery, he will once again wear another face and create a species yet to be seen in any Star Trek to date.
Other noteworthy actors cast so far include Shazad Latif (Penny Dreadful), Maulik Pancholy (30 Rock), Anthony Rapp (Rent), Rainn Wilson (The Office), James Frain (Orphan Black, Grimm), Terry Serpico (Army Wives), Rekha Sharma (Battlestar Galactica), Kenneth Mitchell (The Astronaut Wives Club), and Damon Runyan (Gangland Undercover).
How to Test Authority
Star Trek: Discovery is doing one thing no Star Trek movie or series has done so far, casting the First Officer as the main character. Michael Burnham, First Officer of the Discovery, will be played by Sonequa Martin-Green (The Walking Dead).
It’ll be interesting to see how the dynamic of the show will differ from previous series. With the Captain as the main character, they have the First Officer to offer guidance, but they ultimately have the final say. The main character being the First Officer will completely change up the dynamic.
The Tale of Two Ships
In the trailer, Burnham is shown walking through a desert with Captain Georgiou, who commands the Shenzhou. However, the show is called Star Trek: Discovery, so she must make her way to the other ship, the Discovery.
So far, Captains Lorca and Georgiou are slated to appear in all fifteen episodes of the first season. Of the cast, there are more characters classified as crew of the Shenzhou than there are of the Discovery. Many of those are credited in all fifteen episodes at this point.
What this means for the plot is anyone’s guess. Star Trek is known to have flashbacks. It could be the happenings on either ship occur in flashbacks as the story unfolds alongside it. There could also be two ships destined to constantly have their missions intertwined, who knows?
Where Have I Heard That Name?
So far, there are a few people who have appeared outside of the series. The Klingons are the most prominent recurring characters throughout the Star Trek Multiverse. The Klingons and The United Federation of Planets have been at odds in every series. At times, there could be an uneasy truce between the two, or there could be something closer to all out war. It’s unclear how big a part the Klingons will play in this series.
Another character who has appeared before would be Sarek, the Vulcan Ambassador. He’s most easily recognized from the original series and the alternate reality in the 2009 movie for being the father of Spock.
The last character is less recognizable than the others, one Harry Mudd. The avid Trekkie would know him from the original series and The Animated Series. He’s a con artist who ran into the Enterprise on a few occasions. His recurrence in Discovery should prove amusing for viewers.
When are we?
If anything can be confusing in the Star Trek Multiverse, it’s the timelines. The 2009 Star Trek shows one example of an alternate reality, known as the Kelvin timeline. In the various shows, there are other alternate timelines shown as well as acts of time travel.
For the non-Trekkie, Star Trek: Enterprise is the first in the storyline in both the prime universe and the Kelvin timeline. The Kelvin timeline diverges some years after the end of Enterprise with the movies following Chris Pine’s Kirk and his crew.
The rest of the series takes place in the prime universe, beginning with the new series, Star Trek: Discovery. It’s set ten years before the original series. The rest of the series and films come after the original series.
It’s not the most confusing timeline in television (*cough* Doctor Who *cough*), but if Discovery doesn’t reference your favorite characters, it’s because their stories haven’t happened yet.
Coming to a Stream Near You
Discovery is the first television series in the Star Trek multiverse since the end of Star Trek: Enterprise in 2005. There’s no set release date yet, but CBS states it’s coming this “fall”, so expect September to November time frame.
It will then appear on CBS All Access in the United States. In Canada, it will show premiere on CTV, and the other episodes on Bell Media channels and streaming to CraveTV. For the rest of the world, episodes will be found on Netflix within a few days of airing in the United States.
Star Trek: Discovery is the television series for the next generation of Trekkies. With the new following of the Kelvin timeline films, Discovery could prove to be a doorway into a whole new era for Star Trek in pop culture. As a fan of the Star Trek world and the actors, I can’t wait to see what they do.
For actors, creatives, writers and film school students, look out, because it looks like Star Trek will be around for a long time.