Now that we've learned that Star Trek: Discovery is finally premiering this September, the cast and crew are beginning to dole out some details about the much anticipated return to Starfleet. Chief among the show's many mysteries has been lead character Commander Michael Burnham, played by The Walking Dead alum Sonequa Martin-Green.
The Star Trek: Discovery trailer teases a connection between Burnham and the Vulcans, specifically Sarek, Spock's father, on the TV series. Originally played by the late Mark Lenard, Sarek will be portrayed by veteran TV actor James Frain in Discovery. There has been much speculation that Burnham might even be half Vulcan, like Spock himself.
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Martin-Green puts that specific rumor to rest, but clarifies that her character does have a deep connection to the Vulcans. Burhnam is fully human, but also the first human to attend the Vulcan Learning Center as a child, and the Vulcan Science Academy as a young woman. J.J. Abrams' 2009 Star Trek reboot film features several memorable scenes of a young Spock enduring hardship at both of those institutions.
Martin-Green also expands on her character's modern day role in Starfleet and her internal conflict:
“I’m the first officer on the U.S.S. Shenzhou that is captained by Captain Philippa Georgiou, who is played by the amazing Michelle Yeoh. I have an inner war and it’s a journey of self discovery and finding out what it means to be alive, to be human, to be a Starfleet officer, what it means to be a hero.”
Martin-Green also confirms Amanda, Spock's human mother, will be a factor in the series as she explains how her Vulcan experiences shape Burnham's worldview:
“I have the Vulcan conflict in my life from Sarek and Amanda so there’s always going to be that inner conflict with me. But I think it’s relatable because we all have some kind of inner conflict going on — who we are versus who we present ourselves to be. There’s a lot to be discovered.”
There's a lot riding on Star Trek: Discovery, especially as the series will kick-off CBS' own streaming service, CBS All Access. After losing showrunner/series co-creator Bryan Fuller and enduring multiple production delays, Star Trek fans are understandably a bit nervous about the first TV venture back into the final frontier since Enterprise was cancelled, back in 2005. Whether Discovery will prove to be worth all the extra effort poured into it remains an open question, but the cast is unquestionably strong, and it's encouraging to hear there's a clear vision of where the show's characters are headed.
Star Trek: Discovery premieres on CBS on September 24th, before streaming on CBS All Access thereafter.
Source: Entertainment Weekly