The Star Trek franchise returns to the small screen – for the first time since Star Trek: Enterprise aired in the mid-2000s – in 2017 with Star Trek: Discovery, a series that takes place a decade prior to the events of the 1960s Star Trek television show (aka. The Original Series) that started it all. Hannibal creator Bryan Fuller got the ball rolling on Discovery before he stepped down as showrunner, leaving it to his Pushing Daisies collaborators Gretchen J. Berg and Aaron Harberts to steer the (in this case, figurative) ship to port.
Casting for Discovery has gotten underway following Fuller’s departure as showrunner, with Michelle Yeoh (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon) being cast as Han Bo – the captain for the Starship Shenzhou. Anthony Rapp (Rent) has also joined the cast as an openly-gay human character in the form of the Starship Discovery’s Lt. Stamets; with Doug Jones (Pan’s Labyrinth, Hellboy) set to play the Discovery’s non-human Starfleet Science Officer, Lt. Saru. A few more non-human characters on the new Star Trek TV show have now been officially cast, too.
CBS has now confirmed that Mary Chieffo, Shazad Latif and Chris Obi have been cast as Klingon characters on Star Trek: Discovery. Per Space.ca, Chieffo is playing L’Rell, the Battle Deck Commander of a Klingon ship; Latif is playing Kol, a Commanding Officer in the Klingon empire; and Obi is playing T’Kuvma, a Klingon leader who’s on a quest to unite the divided Klingon houses. You can check out pictures of all three new additions to the Discovery cast in the gif below (which was posted through the official Twitter account for the TV show).
Chieffo is a relative newcomers to the world of mainstream TV, so her turn on Discovery could serve as a breakout role for the soon-to-be up and comer. Meanwhile, the London-born Latif played a recurring role on the TV series MI-5 some years back – and more recently, portrayed Dr. Henry Jekyll on the Showtime gothic horror literature mash-up TV show, Penny Dreadful. Last, but not least, Obi has played small roles in such films as Snow White and the Huntsman and The Counselor over the years; he’s also playing the character Mr. Jacquel on the upcoming Neil Gaiman novel-turned TV show American Gods (which Fuller is co-showrunner on).
The Klingons started out as mostly two-dimensional antagonists for Starfleet in the Star Trek franchise, before they evolved into more complex characters. This goes back to the debut of the character Worf (Michael Dorn) on Star Trek: The Next Generation in the 1980s, as well as the 1991 film Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country; wherein the characters from the Original Series help to broker a peace deal between the Federation and the Klingon empire. Although there will still be hostilities between the Federation and Klingons on Discovery due to where it falls in the Star Trek continuity, that trend should continue – with the Klingons likely being painted in a complicated and possibly even empathetic light, as occasional antagonists on the series (which features The Undiscovered Country director Nicholas Meyer as an executive producer, as it were).
Star Trek: Discovery will air its pilot episode on CBS and its premium streaming service CBS All Access in May 2017. Subsequent episodes will air exclusively on CBS All Access.