It’s hard to know what to think about Star Trek: Discovery.
The way that every announcement regarding the show has been captivating the online science fiction fan community, it’s pretty clear that this is something that people are getting excited about.
On the other hand, from the constant changes in management and direction, and from the way that CBS executives are describing it as a sinking ship before they’ve even filmed a pilot, it’s clear that the show faces an uphill battle in gaining any kind of genuine momentum.
In spite of this, though, from what’s been announced thus far, the casting for this show is on point.
Not only has it been revealed that Michelle Yeoh will be playing the lead role, as USS Enterprise Captain Georgiou, but now there are two new additions to the cast that continue to make Star Trek: Discovery sound like something that might actually be watchable.
New reports from Entertainment Weekly reveal that Doug Jones, who played Abe Sapien in both Hellboy movies, will be playing (let’s face it) the Spock of the series, by providing his talents to bring to life “Lt. Saru, a Starfleet Science Officer and a new alien species to the Star Trek universe."
This is a good get, especially if the showrunners feel like blowing out their prosthetics budget on making life as difficult as possible for Jones. The actor, who was also completely unrecognizable in Pan’s Labyrinth and a slew of other science fiction and fantasy properties, has a talent for making bizarre inhuman characters feel alive and relatable, no matter how much rubber cement is stuck to his face.
Also joining the cast will be Anthony Rapp, who was in A Beautiful Mind and Rent, among other things that nobody cares about. (ed. Dude was in Adventures in Babysitting and Dazed and Confused. He gets a lifetime pass from me —SA).
Rapp will play Lt Stamets, who’ll no doubt be a very significant character in the show. Stamets will be the ship’s science officer, and apparently, he’ll be an expert on fungus, which is really what the Star Trek universe has been missing in a recurring character.
Something else that Star Trek has been missing, though, is an openly gay character—or at least, one who wasn’t somehow made gay thanks to time travel.
Yeah, Star Trek is weird, you guys.
Lt Sulu is gay in Star Trek Beyond, a deliberate reference to real-life actor George Takei, who first played the role in the 1960s television show, and who is gay himself.
Takei actually opposed this, because when he played Sulu, the character was straight, and Takei didn’t think it was particularly sensitive to have his character mysteriously turn gay in the alternate timeline story of the new movies, because that’s really not how sexuality works.
Instead, Takei recommended that Star Trek feature a brand new, original character who is and has always been gay—this is exactly what Discovery will feature, in the form of Anthony Rapp’s character.
So score one for diversity and inclusivity. With a woman of color in the Captain’s chair, a gay fungus expert, and a weird alien creature, Discovery is shaping up to be the best Star Trek show yet.
At least, until CBS cancels it a week before its first episode premieres, because the nonexistent ratings are too low.