The new Star Trek series has fans overjoyed: finally, after 10 years off the air, Trek will boldly go back to TV. Not much about the plot has been confirmed, other than the fact that it will probably be set in the Prime Timeline. And now we have our showrunner: Trek alumni Bryan Fuller, whose concept for the new show couldn't be more perfect.
The show airs in less than a year, which means we'll probably get updates very soon about casting and filming. And there's already one casting rumour floating around the web, though it may be more than speculation, and it has very exciting implications for the new show...
Tony Todd Could Star In Star Trek... Again!
Speaking to the Mortis Horror Podcast, Trek veteran Tony Todd dropped hints that he might appear in the 2017 Star Trek series. According to him, CBS is considering hiring him for a "series regular" character. (h/t to Gizmodo)
"CBS is doing their own series again... I’m on a very short [casting] list."
However, he did warn fans that they'll have a while to wait until CBS announces anything conclusively. Apparently they're looking at casting the show, but because there are many other things to finalise, an official cast list won't be released until later this year.
"It’s a year away. They’re not even going to get official cast until, probably, the fourth quarter of the year. And my only concern about it is that it’s going to be that [CBS All Access] online thing; I don’t understand that part."
Todd has already portrayed several characters in the Star Trek universe, so there are plenty of possibilities for who he could play. Two of these characters in particular have very interesting implications for the show, as they could provide a connection to The Next Generation and Deep Space Nine.
Son Of Mogh, Brother Of Worf
Tony Todd appeared in three episodes of The Next Generation and one episode of Deep Space Nine as Kurn, the brother of long-running Trek character Worf. The brothers' relationship was fraught with tension, and Kurn's storyline was wrapped up in the development of several Klingon plots.
Kurn and Worf were originally estranged. After their parents' death at the Khitomer Massacre, Worf grew up on Earth with the Russian Rozhenko family, while Kurn was adopted by the Klingon Lorgh. Kurn did not learn his true parentage until he came of age (the Klingon Age of Ascension), and only met his brother when their father, Mogh, was accused of treason.
Their relationship was complicated at best, and the two brothers often disagreed on political points. However, they reached an equilibrium, and for a time Kurn served on the Klingon High Council.
Kurn's appearances on The Next Generation provided Worf with rich character development, and Kurn himself was a compelling character. His last appearance was in the Deep Space Nine episode Sons Of Mogh. Because of Worf's opposition to the Klingon invasion of Cardassia, Kurn was expelled from the High Council. Kurn demanded that Worf kill him in the honourable act of Mauk-to'Vor. Instead, Jadzia Dax suggested that Kurn's memories were wiped and his DNA resequenced, to allow him to assume a new identity and start anew.
This was a very poignant end to Kurn's story, and a very sad turn of events for Worf, as it meant losing a member of his family. But this gives plenty of opportunities for stories in the new Star Trek show, and it's possible that CBS want to use Kurn as a main character to provide a connection the Trek's past plotlines.
However, there's a few problems with this. Firstly, untangling Kurn's complicated history with Worf and his own identity issues would mean a lot of exposition, which is especially tricky when we consider how much time has passed since Deep Space Nine ended. It seems more likely that, if CBS are considering using Todd's previous Trek characters, that they'll go with his other DS9 appearance.
Jake Sisko: Space Journalist
Tony Todd also portrayed the older version of Jake Sisko in the Deep Space Nine episode The Visitor. This is one of DS9's most heart wrenching episodes, as an accident pulls Captain Sisko out of time. He watches as his son Jake grows up, trying to save his father and eventually giving up hope. Of course, this future is erased by the end of the episode, as Sisko is restored to his proper time.
As far as the new show is concerned, this might be the character CBS is thinking of having Tony Todd play. As the son of one of Star Trek's captains, Jake Sisko has a pull with old fans who would be interested to see what happened to him in later life. For new fans, a journalist who writes about the Federation's activities and exploration would be the perfect audience surrogate, as they are introduced to Starfleet.
Of course, the possibility remains that Tony Todd is being considered for a totally new character. He's a very talented actor, and it would be interesting to see him in a new role. The fact that the character is a "series regular" implies that he'll be among the main cast.
Of course, nothing is confirmed yet and we're still in the very early days of production for the new show. But this is fantastic news, if only to know that CBS are considering previous Star Trek actors for the 2017 series.