Star Trek: Discovery casts female lead, Starfleet officers, and three Klingons!

It was recently revealed that Michelle Yeoh would be playing Captain Han Bo of the USS Shenzhou in the new CBS drama, Star Trek: Discovery. Since that announcement, there’s been some further news about the rest of the cast.

Most significantly, Sonequa Martin-Green has been cast in the role of Lieutenant Commander Rainsford, the series’ lead. Martin-Green is best known for playing Sasha Williams on The Walking Dead, as well as Courtney Williams in The Good Wife, also a CBS production. Lieutenant Commander Rainsford is unique as a character in two ways; she will be the first female African-American lead in a Star Trek series, as well as the first lead who isn’t a Captain. Bryan Fuller (who is no longer working in an active role on the series) commented that his intention with this character was to provide a series with a different dynamic, presenting a new context to the relations of the characters. He also commented that she was to be a Lieutenant Commander “with caveats”, perhaps suggesting we’ll see Rainsford promoted across the course of the series; or, perhaps, suggesting that it’s a temporary field commission, and Rainsford won’t retain that rank for long.

Alongside Rainsford, two other members of the Starfleet cast have been confirmed – Lieutenant Saru, played by Doug Jones, and Science Officer Stamets, played by Anthony Rapp. Saru is a member of an alien race new to Discovery, while Stamets is a specialist in the field of astromycology (space fungus). Stamets is also going to be Star Trek’s first gay character, as Discovery makes strides to continue Star Trek’s legacy of diversity by correcting the franchise’s most notable oversight.

Three Klingon characters have also been cast: Kol (played by Shazad Latif), T’Kuvma (played by Chris Obi) and L’Rell (played by Mary Chieffo). Brief descriptions of each character have been released: Kol is the “Commanding Officer of the Klingons, and protégé of T’Kuvma”; T’Kuvma is “A Klingon leader who is looking to unite the Klingon houses”; L’Rell is the “Battle Deck Commander of the Klingon ship”. These three characters will recur throughout the series, which is set to be thirteen episodes long.

Discovery will depict an event in Starfleet history that has “never been explored”; several guesses as to what this unexplored event is have been ruled out, such as the Romulan War, and it currently remains a guarded secret. This event was, however, confirmed to be referenced on The Original Series, so get ready for plenty of speculation. The show is going to be set 10 years before The Original Series; it’s another prequel series, much like Enterprise before it, although far closer in time to the original Star Trek. In setting the show so closely to the original, it means that Discovery is able to play with all the iconography of those ships and those uniforms.” It won’t just be the ships and the uniforms, though, with one potential returning character having been brought up in discussion –Spock’s mother, Amanda Greyson.

Star Trek: Discovery is set to air in May 2017, and will be shown on CBS All Access in America, and on Netflix worldwide.


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