Thursday, August 11, 2016

Star Trek: Discovery - character details emerging

Further information concerning Star Trek: Discovery, the forthcoming CBS All Access series, has emerged, this time about the character make-up (read the full scoop here).

In brief, the lead will be a woman, there will be a gay character, and there will be a rich assortment of aliens.

This will mark the second time in franchise history, after Voyager's Captain Janeway, in which a woman is in the lead.  Notably, some 50th anniversary observers thought Janeway was more historic than Deep Space Nine's Captain Sisko, the first black lead in Star Trek.  Now that there will be two out of seven series with female leads, the odds will have begun to even out a little (although technically, two the males were the same guy: Kirk was featured in both the original and Animated series).

Following Sulu's somewhat controversial (bizarrely, if you're George Takei) outing in Star Trek Beyond, this will also be the second time an openly gay character appears in the franchise.  This was long a sticking point in the fan community for a franchise so famous for its inclusive nature.

Finally, the expanded presence of aliens in the cast will be a welcome sight for a franchise that so often features nearly exclusive human crews despite the fact that it features a future where human are part of a vast interstellar community.  The series with the highest percentage of aliens to date is Deep Space Nine (the changeling Odo, the Trill Dax, the Ferengi Quark, the Klingon Worf, the Bajoran Kira).  Actually, that'll kind of be tough to top.  Still, another welcome development.

The female lead is also going to be the rare Starfleet lead who won't be a captain, but rather a lieutenant commander (three steps below a captain in the ranks).  The last time a Star Trek series launched without a captain was again Deep Space Nine; Sisko spent the first three seasons as a commander (finally promoted to captain in the third season finale).

Whether it can possibly please fickle fans remains to be seen, but clearly Discovery is taking great strides to addressing some of the creative issues that've bothered some of them over the years.

One final note: apparently the show will be set ten years before Kirk takes command of the Enterprise.  This could put it in Pike continuity, or even Robert April, the first captain of the ship.  Or feature entirely new characters.  We'll see!


  1. Star Trek has its fair share of historic leaders, Sisco, Janeway, Kirk is so unique they've recreated him three times, haha but captains aside I recon Scotty was a real leader of engineers, so was Geordi. Dr McCoy led in his field of medical expertise and inspired others, Beverly Crusher made some kind of impression. Uhura definitely did on the younger generation with Whoopi Goldberg reminding Gene Roddenberry and asking to be on the show!!! Worf the great Klingon warrior!!!The list goes on but when you look at the Boxoffice numbers I can't help but get that sinking dread like I've gone down on the titanic. Why has Narnia done so well - 1.6 billion and a 4th movie on the way. Star Treks CBS series needs fun and its like Kate Mulgrew says, Don't complain, don't explain! because when that happens you're getting too cerebral.

    1. We're in the midst of a very Disney period in box office success. That's what critics and audiences seem to like best. Anything that isn't Disneyesque has been struggling. That includes Star Trek.


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