Right now, we have precious few details about the eagerly anticipated Star Trek: Discovery — although with Jason Isaac's casting as the USS Discovery's captain, filming has officially commenced on the show, leading to plenty of interesting leaks from the set. We have also caught a glimpse at the production of #StarTrekDiscovery from a more legitimate source, thanks to staff writer Ted Sullivan posting behind-the-scenes photos to Twitter. And one of his posts may tease an exciting cameo for the show.
Sullivan has been recording his experience on the set of Discovery, posting everything from sneaky peeks at the ships to his explorations of the CBS archives. It's this Tweet that really intrigued us, as Sullivan discovered a costume from the classic Star Trek: The Original Series.
This is Dr Leonard "Bones" McCoy's distinctive CMO officer's uniform, a shirt that he only wore on the ship and usually when he was working in the medbay — when McCoy embarked on away missions, he usually wore the standard issue long sleeved shirt worn by science officers. Fun #StarTrek trivia aside, Sullivan's tantalizing Tweet means that fans have only one question on their minds...
Will Bones Appear In Discovery?
Teasing cameos with cryptic online posts is a well worn TV tradition, and it could be that Sullivan is dropping hints for the new show. And this exciting prospect is actually a lot more likely than you might think, thanks to Discovery's position in the Star Trek Prime Timeline.
Discovery is set roughly 10 years before The Original Series, meaning that McCoy was alive and well at this point in time, and having just received his medical degree. We don't know much about McCoy's early life, although we know that around the 2240s he had a fling with the Trill Emony Dax, as Jadzia revealed in the Deep Space Nine episode "Trials and Tribbleations".
By the time Discovery rolls around, Bones was probably studying at Starfleet Acadamy — or perhaps already serving on a starship. A cameo appearance in Discovery is definitely not out of the question, and it wouldn't be unusual as Bones also appeared in The Next Generation as well as the Star Trek movies. Considering that Spock's father will appear in Discovery, it makes sense that we may see cameos from other Original Series characters along the way — producer Bryan Fuller already hinted that a young Spock may pop up later on in Discovery.
Of course, including Dr McCoy in Star Trek: Discovery, even briefly, raises the tricky issue of recasting. Currently, Karl Urban portrays a young version of Bones in Paramount's Star Trek movies, most recently the truly enjoyable Star Trek: Beyond.
Because the movies are set in a different continuity to the TV shows — the controversial Kelvin Timeline — if McCoy appeared in Discovery he would have to be played by another actor to avoid confusion/copyright infringement (and to save CBS a movie actor's fee, which is probably out of Discovery's budget restrictions). This isn't exactly a roadblock, as Sarek will be played by a new actor, but it could be rather jarring.
However, incorporating Bones into the Discovery plot — even as a cameo — isn't just exciting from a nostalgic standpoint: This could also tie into the lead character's rumored time aboard the USS Enterprise. Played by The Walking Dead's Sonequa Martin-Green, the protagonist of Discovery is referred to as "Number One", an homage to Majel Barret's character from The Original Series' unaired pilot (whose scenes were later featured in the episode "The Menagerie"). This has lead some fans to speculate that the two characters are in fact the same person; the possible Bones cameo could prove or disprove this theory.
Or perhaps Sullivan's Tweet isn't meant as a clue at all, but just a documentation of the writer's explorations throughout the CBS archives. Either way, we'll find out soon when Discovery airs later this year.
Would you like to see Bones appear in 'Discovery'?
[Header image via Dave-Daring, poll image credit: CBS]