Star Trek: Discovery has found its lead!
Continuing the trend of hiring respected, established actors (in order to make it all the more crushing when the show is cancelled after three episodes), CBS has announced that Sonequa Martin-Green—best known for playing Sasha in The Walking Dead—will be taking center stage for the Gene Roddenberry tribute show.
In case you were wondering, there’s no official word yet as to whether Sasha’s about to be killed off on The Walking Dead, but, well, let’s face it—there’s only one way this can go.
CBS’s recruitment strategy here has been interesting. Michelle Yeoh signed on for the show while still appearing regularly in Netflix’s Marco Polo, and while that worked out nicely (the show just got cancelled, possibly after losing Yeoh), things aren’t going to be quite as neat with The Walking Dead.
It’s also going to suck for Sonequa Martin-Green when, three weeks after filming her death scene in The Walking Dead, she finds out that Discovery has been cancelled and that she’s unemployed.
In case it’s not clear: this show is going to be one of the riskiest endeavors on television next year. Think Firefly, but with no indication yet as to whether it’ll be any good.
The studio doesn’t want to make it, and one showrunner has already quit. There’s still debate as to whether this thing will end up going streaming-exclusive, and if so, on which platform. It’s an absolute, very public mess, and the last Star Trek television show was so bad that it took a J.J. Abrams time travel reboot to make people even vaguely care about the franchise again.
But kudos to everyone who’s involved with this for trying to make this work. You’ve got a tough job, but it’s important. Even more important now, than potentially any time in the history of Star Trek.
The original series of Star Trek received a lot of flak for featuring a woman of color who was treated as an equal by other members of the crew. We’re all aware of the outrage that a kiss between Nichelle Nichols and William Shatner generated at the time, and this was long before Shatner turned into a weird disgusting parody of himself.
Now, we’re getting a woman of color as the lead on the show, and another woman of color as the ships’ captain, in a position of authority over all other characters.
We’re getting Star Trek’s first gay character whose sexuality hasn’t been tampered with by time travel. This is what progression looks like.
Considering the rise of fascism across the Western world at the moment, this kind of diverse casting is exactly what television needs.
It’s also an extremely hard sell in a political climate controlled by people who think that Muslim internment camps are a good idea.
So do your bit for science fiction and diversity in the media, by watching the hell out of this for the three weeks that it’s on the air before CBS cancels it because it offends Trump supporters.