Star Trek: Discovery is taking things back to Lt. Michael Burnham's past, casting Mia Kirshner as Amanda Grayson, Burnham's adoptive and Spock's biological mother. The series has already shown Michael's Vulcan upbringing in flashbacks and introduced Sarek, played by James Frain. Now it seems that more of her family, as well as major players in the Vulcan corner of the Star Trek universe, will be making an appearance.
Amanda Grayson first made her television debut in Star Trek: The Original Series. Played by Jane Wyatt, she appeared in the episode 'Journey to Babel' and again in Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home. Originally a school teacher, she met Sarek, the Vulcan ambassador to Earth and the two married. She was portrayed by Winona Ryder in J.J. Abrams' 2009 Star Trek.
Originally reported by TrekMovie.com, Kirshner will be playing Amanda in Star Trek: Discovery. It's unknown when Kirshner will make her debut and in what context.
Kirshner joins a cast that includes Sonequa Martin-Green as Lt. Michael Burnham, Michelle Yeoh as Captain Georgiou, Jason Isaacs as Captain Gabriel Lorca, Anthony Rapp as Lt. Stamets, and Doug Jones as Lt. Saru. The series is already off to a strong start, with its premiere episodes garnering nearly 10 million viewers and proving a strong critcial success with fans and newcomers alike.
At its heart, that's why adding Amanda and tying Michael Burnham closer into the Star Trek mythology is important. Kirshner's presence on the show will add more backstory to the protagonist; a new addition to Trek continuity, there's never been a story like Burnham's told before, so drawing her further into Sarek's family will be a welcome move. Of course, actually introducing Spock prior to the events of The Original Series is risky and the writers should be careful that even establishing his parents doesn't distract from making a character strong and powerful enough to stand on her own.
You can watch Star Trek: Discovery on CBS All Access with new episodes arriving every Sunday at 8:30 ET.