Tuesday, 29 November 2016

Forming the Team: Discovery Edges Closer

Three names are now confirmed for the return of Star Trek in 2017.

Already we had Michelle Yeoh "accidentally" linked to the project in an apparent slip by Nicholas Meyer and today her character is confirmed as Captain Georgiou of the USS Shenzhou not Han Bo as had been flung around. 

Adding to the list of crew we now have Doug Jones as Lieutenant Saru, a science officer and member of a brand new alien race to be introduced in Discovery. Secondly there's Anthony Rapp as astromycologist and science officer Lieutenant Stamets who is reported to be the series' gay character. 

From what we are hearing there are going to be a lot of cast announcements in the next few days including that lead role which is still such a huge secret. I would surmise this news has come off the back of Meyer's slip which might of course have been on purpose so that news would be outed.

As for the new announcements what do we know about our latest cast members? Well Doug Jones is no stranger to the weird and wonderful having starred in Hellboy and the series Falling Skies plus the Silver Surfer in the second Fantastic Four movie and all the imps in Doom. Overall he has over 150 acting credits with a fair chunk still in post or pre-production. This should be a piece of cake in comparison and it seems perfect casting for Jones if this is going to be a particularly odd alien addition. 

I'm not too familiar with Rapp and checking out his back catalogue only Road Trip, A Beautiful Mind and Twister are films I recognise or have seen. That said it is a huge CV of media involvement so I don't think it's a bad move. Certainly with all three castings CBS have aimed for individuals with a lot of experience and from a wide range of genres. Fingers crossed that the inclusion of a gay character doesn't bring about all the issues that the news that Sulu was gay in Beyond opened up. I feel sure that the producers and writers here will deal with that matter respectfully and as part of the show rather than a "selling point" if you will. It should be naturally included and welcomed not turned into some form of media spectacle.

With these three coming all together and with some background of their characters being provided too it does appear that we are very close to filming beginning. I'm frankly quite amazed that in such a media centric world that the powers behind Discovery have only been let down by the mouth of one of their writers and that more hasn't been leaked out online.

Presently we have no real idea of just how big the cast of the show will be since there are intimations that Yeoh's Captain Georgiou might only be there for the first season and who knows how much of that she will manage to stay alive for. Note too that both Rapp and Jones are playing science officers which might indicate one is on Discovery and the other under Yeoh's command on the Shenzhou.

The idea of a new alien race is a big draw since the only hint of alien life in Discovery so far was a makeup test for what seemed to be Andorian antennae so that secret too is yet to be revealed.

Of course it's way too early to tell if all those fancy credentials and experience actually make them good as part of one of the biggest TV franchises of all time but lets give them a chance before we go all out against them huh? I like the prospect of Discovery not being so fresh-faced and having that edge of maturity. Indeed, all three are born in the 60's and 70's. Sure there will be younger characters and actors involved but with these three announced it feels that the show will have some strong onscreen foundations with which to build its initial 13 episode season.

Good luck to the new additions to the Star Trek family and here's to your work in 2017!

Who would you like to see in that key role that's yet to be announced? What are your thoughts on these latest announcements?

Images from CBS publicity on Twitter

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