As a Star Trek ship sets sail to explore the frontiers of space yet again — for the first time in 12 years on the small screen — a new generation of viewers stand ready to be inspired by a franchise that has been loved for more than 50 years.
Executive-produced by Bryan Fuller, who also served as its original showrunner and wrote the first episode before he quit to focus on American Gods, Discovery finally hits Netflix on September 25 in the UAE, after many delays. The show’s 15-episode first season will be split into two parts, with the first eight episodes concluding with a midseason finale on November 5. The remaining seven episodes will air in January 2018.
Discovery is set to take place approximately 10 years before the original Star Trek series and it follows the fortunes of the USS Discovery crew during the cold war between the United Federation of Planets and the Klingon species of aliens.
We break down some of the main characters ready to beam aboard your screens... Energise!
Breaking long-held Star Trek traditions, the lead star of Discovery is not the captain of the ship, but the first officer, who also happens to be a black woman. Michael Burnham is a human who was raised on the Vulcan planet by Sarek and Amanda Grayson, who are incidentally also parents to the fan-favourite Spock, after her parents were killed under a Klingon attack. While Spock has never spoken about an adopted sister in the many years that we’ve seen him on TV and the big screen, makers insist the retro-fitted relationship will make sense in the series (we’re keeping our fingers crossed for a young Spock appearance).
At the beginning of Discovery, we will find Burnham aboard the USS Shenzhou, where she’s served for more than seven years. But as the trailers suggest, at some point she transfers onto the Discovery ship and things are not going too well for her there because we see a couple of scenes where she looks like she’s being held in some kind of force-field prison.
Played by: Sonequa Martin-Green, most notable for her turn as Sasha in AMC’s The Walking Dead.
A mentor to Burnham and captain of the USS Shenzhou, a Federation Starship, details about Philippa Georgiou have been hard to come by. Although we know that the Shenzhou gets destroyed in the beginning of the series, the fate of the captain and her future is unclear. As of now, reports point to the fact that she appears in all 15 episodes of season one.
Played by: Michelle Yeoh (most famous for her roles in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and Memoirs of a Geisha).
Gabriel Lorca is captain of the Discovery ship and while specifics are still unknown, ComicCon panels have revealed that Lorca is by far the most unstable captain a Star Trek ship has seen to date. He is also considered to be an excellent military tactician and has spent some time in prison for reasons unknown.
Played by: Jason Isaacs, most famous for portraying Lucius Malfoy in the Harry Potter film franchise.
Saru, a lieutenant and science officer on the USS Shenzhou, is the first Kelpian to have graduated from Starfleet (much like Data was the first android to have ever been a member of Starfleet in Star Trek: The Next Generation). Kelpiens are supposed to be a prey species and have heightened survival instincts, which gives Saru the ability to see any kind of threat approaching.
Played by: Doug Jones, who is no stranger to the world of genre entertainment, having played Abe Sapien in the Hellboy franchise and Silver Surfer in Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer.
Another first for Star Trek TV shows, Lt Paul Stamets is the first openly gay character on the series. A lieutenant assigned to the USS Discovery, Stamets is an astromycologist by training, and specialises in fungus. The smartest person on board the ship, he rarely has patience for those who are not on the same page. His romantic partner is Dr Hugh Culber, who is also aboard USS Discovery, and is played by Wilson Cruz (My So-Called Life).
Played by: Anthony Rapp, who is best known for best known for originating the role of Mark Cohen in the Broadway production of Rent in 1996 and later for reprising the role in the film version and the Broadway Tour of Rent in 2009
Harry Mudd was an interstellar con man, more a lovable scoundrel than a real villain, who had repeated run-ins with the crew of the Enterprise in the original Star Trek series. The character, who was first played by Roger C. Carmel, also appeared in an episode of Star Trek: The Animated Series.
Played by: Rainn Wilson, an Emmy-nominated actor for The Office, who also appeared in Backstrom and Six Feet Under.
Leader of the T’Kuvma house, one of the 24 houses of the Klingon species, T’Kuvma is a radical fundamentalist who seeks to unite the 24 houses against outside forces, which includes the Federation. He is believed to be the one behind beginning the war against the Federation. Showrunners have repeatedly asserted that while the Klingons will be the main adversary against the Federation ships, they are not to be seen as complete villains, and that several episodes will follow their storyline from their point of view.
Played by: Chris Obi, a British-Nigerian actor, who played Mr Jaquel in American Gods.
A trusted associate to T’Kuvma and a battledeck commander of Klingon forces, L’Rell is from two different houses, T’Kuvma and Mo’Kai, which also means she is constantly trying to assimilate two very different ideologies.
Played by: Mary Chieffo
Kol is a member of the House of Kor. We know that Dar Master Kor was an important Klingon who came into conflict with Captain Kirk in the original series (on episode Errand of Mercy, the first episode ever to show a Klingon). The costume and look of this house is more “traditionally” Klingon, resembling the species we’ve known over the years on various Star Trek series. Although members of Kor do not believe in the showy ritualism like those of T’Kuvma, they believe in the honour of battle and hate the Federation and other species just as much.
Played by: Kenneth Mitchell
A Starfleet officer aboard the USS Discovery, audiences will first see Lieutenant Ash Tyler in a prison cell, possibly as a prisoner of war.
Played by: Shazad Latif, a British actor of mixed Pakistani, Scottish and English descent, famous for his roles in Penny Dreadful and The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.
Don’t miss it!
Star Trek: Discovery will be available to stream on Netflix on September 25.