With Star Trek: Discovery‘s premiere a little over a month away, CBS is continuing to keep the marketing press cranked up to warp 11. Hopefully this will prove to be a series truly worthy of the Star Trek name, and and a return to form for a franchise that’s been trekking in a controversial direction ever since director J.J. Abrams staged a soft reboot for Gene Roddenberry’s creation with the 2009 film. Discovery will be blazing a trail forward by returning to the past, telling a story set a decade before the events of The Original Series starring Kirk, Spock, and the rest.
At the center of that story will be the crew of the U.S.S. Discovery, commanded by Captain Lorca (Jason Isaacs) and his first officer, Michael Burnham (The Walking Dead‘s Sonequa Martin-Green). Thanks to the snazzy new animated character posters below, Trek fans this week got another look at Lorca, Burnham, and more.
First up is the show’s star herself, First Officer Michael Burnham. Her character and arc will be at the heart of Discovery, and we already know her backstory will be as interesting as whatever is to come. Raised on Vulcan by Spock’s father, Sarek (played by James Frain in this series), she was the first human to attend the prestigious Vulcan Science Academy. The show’s producers have hinted that they do have an explanation as to why Spock and Sarek have never mentioned her in Trek lore before — could that silence point toward an eventual tragic end for Burnham? We’ll have to wait and see, but her relationship with Sarek is clearly going to be important in Discovery.
Played by lanky Hellboy actor Doug Jones, Saru is a Kelpien, an alien race that can sense “the approach of death.” That could either be very handy or just deeply unsettling, but we’re expecting Saru to be a breakout character on Discovery, in the vein of past fan favorites such as Spock and Data.
Captain Lorca will be Burnham’s commanding officer aboard the Discovery. Described as “a steely Federation Starship Captain who’s considered a brilliant military tactician,” we don’t know much about him at this point. Still, Isaacs is a hell of an actor, so his presence can only be a good thing for the show.
Michelle Yeoh is playing Captain Philippa Georgiou, in command of the U.S.S. Shenzhou. That’s the ship that Burnham is assigned to at the beginning of Discovery — apparently events conspire that lead to her reassignment. We’re betting those events don’t end well for Captain Georgiou, but we certainly could be wrong.
Played by Anthony Rapp, Lieutenant Paul Stamets is an “astromycologist” — he studies space fungus. No, really. How exactly that will play into Discovery‘s storyline remains to be seen, but that’s a weirdly specific specialization to single out unless it’s going to be important at some point. Maybe the Discovery crew will come down with a really nasty extraterrestrial version of athlete’s foot?
Star Trek: Discovery will premiere on Sunday, September 24 on CBS and CBS All Access. The remaining episodes will air exclusively on CBS All Access.