2017 is sure to be an exciting year for Star Trek fans, with the launch of the brand new TV series Star Trek: Discovery. Star Trek first hit our TV screens in 1966, but after the cancelation of Star Trek: Enterprise back in 2005, the franchise has existed solely on the big screen. That's finally changing, with Star Trek: Discovery airing on CBS All Access in May 2017, and then due to be streamed worldwide on #Netflix.
We don't know that much about the stars of the show, but the title alone promises a return to Star Trek's iconic roots — it's time to boldly go where we might have gone before! For your Trekkie pleasure, here I'm going to keep you in the loop as cast and crew officially join the show.
So without further ado - ENGAGE!
Michelle Yeoh as Captain Georgiou
The very first casting news for Star Trek: Discovery was a surprise — #MichelleYeoh will be playing Captain Han Bo, but she won't be sitting on the helm of the U.S.S. Discovery. Instead, she's Captain of the U.S.S. Shenzhou! As my fellow Creator Eleanor has observed, that means the cast of Star Trek: Discovery are divided across two ships; a twist we've not seen in Star Trek fiction before.
Of Han Chinese descent, Michelle Yeoh is a versatile actress with a history in action movies. Ironically enough, Michelle's never trained in martial arts, but instead relies on her dance background to help create the sense of fluid movement you see in her films. She's perhaps most famous for her roles in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and the James Bond film Tomorrow Never Dies — yes, Star Trek: Discovery has cast a Bond girl!
This is a particularly interesting casting choice, given that Michelle Yeoh has a demonstrated interest in spiritual roles. Although Star Trek is a science-fiction franchise, it's never shied away from mysticism — as was amply demonstrated by Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, which happily embraced the Bajoran religion. Michelle Yeoh's casting may well hint at a spiritual aspect to the show.
Anthony Rapp as Lieutenant Stamets
#AnthonyRapp has now been confirmed to play the part of Lieutenant Stamets, “an astromycologist, fungus expert and Starfleet science officer on the starship Discovery.” According to Entertainment Weekly, Stamets will be the first Star Trek character originally designed as gay (Lieutenant Sulu has been retconned as gay in the rebooted Star Trek timeline, but wasn't originally conceived to be). Producer Bryan Fuller, who is himself gay, was particularly keen on having at least one gay character in the show.
Anthony Rapp is an actor-author with a background in Broadway. He's been part of cinematic classics such as A Beautiful Mind and Rent, while his TV credits include playing Nathan Forrester in Law & Order: Special Crimes Unit.
Doug Jones as Lieutenant Saru
Rounding out the current announcements, Doug Jones is confirmed to be playing the part of Lieutenant Saru, who will apparently be part of a whole new alien species! Doug is well-known for his flexibility, and can convey a wealth of emotion in even the smallest gesture — one of his first TV roles was in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, where he played one of the demons in the award-winning episode "Hush". In Hellboy and Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, he gained a reputation for working closely with prosthetic tools to create a cool, otherworldly effect. As he told Wonderlancer:
"What I’ve seen in more recent years is the happy marriage of practical, prosthetic make-up on an actor, coupled with digital enhancements that make a look or certain movements possible that wouldn’t have been possible when I started back in the 80’s.
A perfect example is the subtle eye blinks that were added to Abe Sapien after the HELLBOY movies were filmed. Another perfect example is the digital sheen coating that was put over my SILVER SURFER prosthetic make up when I was at full power, then taken away to reveal the latex foam rubber costume and make-up when I lost my surf board, getting weaker and tarnished.
There’s also the brilliant leg designs on the Faun and the Pale Man make-ups I wore in PAN’S LABYRINTH, with parts of my own legs wrapped in green screen color to be wiped away in post production, allowing the prosthetic parts of my legs to move on their own as I manipulated them on camera."
It may be that his alien role will require use of prosthetics, and his significant experience of working with them would be a potential asset.
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So far, we only have three confirmed cast members, but more announcements are expected over the next few days. I'll keep you up-to-date with the latest announcements as they break — we Trekkies have to stick together, after all!
Are you looking forward to 'Star Trek: Discovery'?
(Poll Image: CBS)