Ah, Star Trek Discovery. The overpriced, underloved obligatory attempt to woo fans that the network thinks doesn’t exist.
Things have been looking pretty bleak for the upcoming show lately, especially since CBS has publicly announced a complete lack of confidence in the show by making it exclusive to a streaming service that nobody wants.
In spite of the fact that they don’t want to even make the show in the first place, CBS is soldiering on. This week has brought an initial casting announcement for Star Trek Discovery, and it’s a good one.
Nicholas Meyer, who was behind Star Trek II: The Wrath of Kahn, and who will serve as a consulting producer on Discovery, has announced that Michelle Yeoh has been cast for the series.
Wait, Michelle Yeoh? That can’t be right—that actually sounds like a good idea!
Awesome choice, CBS. Seriously, you may hate that you have to make a new Star Trek TV show, but starting the casting by adding Michelle Yeoh, everyone’s favorite Crouching Tiger (or is she a Hidden Dragon? Who knows…) is an excellent place to start.
As well as appearing in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, and its sequel, The Sword of Destiny, Yeoh also has a recurring role on Netflix’s Marco Polo. She is awesome in all of these properties.
What’s really great about Yeoh’s casting is that it suggests the show might live up to Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry’s original vision of an inclusive science fiction utopia in which all peoples and races are represented.
It would be wonderful to see Yeoh in the Captain’s chair of the Discovery, hopefully alongside a crew that reflects diversity in a way that, let’s face it, modern television still fails to do.
That said, it’s hard to hold out too much hope for this little science fiction experiment that CBS is running.
All the diverse casting in the world won’t help if the show gets Firefly’d, which is looking increasingly likely as time goes on.
It’s a cycle that we’re all familiar with:
Network approves science fiction show without thinking too hard about what they’re doing.
Network panics and tries to bury sci-fi show through bad promotion and an awful timeslot (in this case, no timeslot at all!).
Show doesn’t instantly turn into the next big thing. Network panics more, changes things up to make it more difficult to watch.
Network cancels show, citing poor ratings.
Future sci-fi shows don’t get approval, because apparently audiences don’t want science fiction.
It sucks, but it’s what we have to deal with.
So if you’re a fan of Michelle Yeoh and Star Trek, look forward to the Blu-Ray release of the show in a couple of years’ time.
It’ll probably be the best way to watch all two and a half episodes of Star Trek Beyond, complete with a director commentary track that just involves an enormous amount of hateful obscenities thrown at anyone who works for CBS.