Given what’s gone on in the last two years, it’s safe to say that the “stars” are aligning nicely for sci-fi fans with a long memory and passionate devotions. A trio of Star Wars movies have come down the slot in that time span. Add to that a Star Trek movie and it’s clear that entertainment is truly reaching for the stars.
At some point in the near future, CBS will take us back to a world we’ve long enjoy with “Star Trek: Discovery.” Originally slated to hit the new CBS All Access platform in January, the show was then pushed back to a May opening. Casting, script tweaks and production work are ongoing for what should be a 13-episode first season starting sometime this summer.
However, the show just announced a fairly big get in the casting realm, tapping Jason Isaacs (you know, Lucious Malfoy of Harry Potter fame), as Captain Lorca of the Starship Discovery. His role will be a major component of the show opposite former “The Walking Dead” actress Sonequa Martin-Green, who plays the new show’s focal point, Lt. Commander Rainsford. I’m huge fan of Isaacs and suspect he will bring a strong vibe to the show as Lorca. He and Martin-Green should make for an interesting dynamic. One other new cast member recently announced is Mary Wiseman. She will play fresh-faced Starfleet Academy cadet Tilly, who has been assigned to the Discovery for her final year of study.
While many will (and do) debate the relative merits and virtues they see between Star Wars and Star Trek, I’m a galactic entertainment traveler that feels perfectly comfortable in both worlds. Grew up with Kirk, McCoy and Spock running amok in their futuristic galaxy, then transitioned quite nicely to the “Galaxy far, far away” as Star Wars entered my youthful realm.
And since then, I have welcomed each new journey into the stars, be it TV or movies, with equal glee. My sci-fi space exploration world is as inclusive and relaxed as visiting old smuggling pals on Mos Eisley or relaxing in a Bajoran bath house. I like them all and welcome Star Wars and Star Trek with love and affection. I know I’m not alone.
Hence, my titillated excitement about this new Star Trek project. “Star Trek: Discovery” will focus not on a captain, as the other five series have. Instead, a character referred to as “Number 1” will be the focal point of the show — Martin-Green. She’ll have to deal with a Klingon captain, a crew of disparate species and personalities, as well as adventures we’re told have never been captured in the Star Trek realm.
I’m in. How about you?
Word is that the cast will include at least one gay character and the Klingon presence will be much more pronounced, it would appear. And that’s just fine with me because I was a huge fan of Worf on “Deep Space Nine” and never tired of delving into the Klingon psyche on things like food, battle, marriage and myriad other issues. Worf set the Klingon table, so I’m looking forward to dining heartily on a big plate of “gak” and exploring the Klingon mentality even more.
One other casting gem that I should mention is that of Michelle Yeoh of “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” renown. She’ll captain the starship vessel Shenzhou, though plot points for her character are scarce. Still, I’m a huge fan and enjoyed her recent turns in “Sword of Destiny” and the Netflix series “Marco Polo.” She’ll bring some weight to her undefined role, I’m sure.
And thanks to the new CBS format, expect this iteration of Star Trek to be a little more mature in its content. Again, I don’t mind that, it’s part of the evolution of not only the canon of Star Trek, but also part and parcel to the new platforms that this content can make its way onto. A little more adult doesn’t mean a little less enjoyable. And we all should be okay with that.
Star Trek: Discovery is produced by CBS Television Studios in association with Alex Kurtzman’s Secret Hideout, Bryan Fuller’s Living Dead Guy Productions and Roddenberry Entertainment. Alex Kurtzman, Bryan Fuller, Heather Kadin, Gretchen J. Berg & Aaron Harberts, Akiva Goldsman, Rod Roddenberry and Trevor Roth will serve as executive producers. I’m excited to see what kind of vibe they create with this new Star Trek iteration.
If you’re a Star Trek fan, I’m sure you’re with me in hoping all those elements, along with good acting and lively storytelling, will form a series that does justice to a world we don’t get tired of exploring. Come May, we’ll start that journey together.
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