According to Entertainment Weekly, The Walking Dead star has captured the lead role in the upcoming series. [Sonequa] Martin-Green’s casting marks the first time an African-American woman has had the top role in a Star Trek series. As has been previously reported, Discovery’s lead character holds the rank of Lieutenant Commander (with caveats) aboard the titular vessel. Deadline is reporting that her character’s name will be Lieutenant Commander Rainsford.
I have to admit, even though I knew the star of Discovery would be a relative unknown, this announcement still feels somewhat anticlimactic. Naturally, I wish the best for Sonequa Martin-Green (there's a name that'll take some getting used to), but I haven't seen her in The Walking Dead or anything else yet. I don't know how she'll do as the star of a new Trek series. Hopefully she'll do fine.
As I read about this last night, it hit me how different Discovery is going to be from its predecessors. I imagine this must have been how Trekkies felt about Deep Space Nine when it debuted. The difference for me was, Trek was still relatively new to me back then. Now, I guess you could say I have a more established idea of what Trek is "supposed" to be. Starting out with a lead character who's not the commanding officer feels very odd indeed, but hey, I'm willing to play along. It's not like I'm gonna see much of this show once it goes up behind the CBS paywall anyway...
Other cast members have been announced in the past few weeks. I know Anthony Rapp from Rent, of course. Very pleased to see him make Trek history as the first original gay character. Doug Jones was Abe Sapien in the Hellboy movies, so his casting leads me further to the belief his character will be a really weird looking alien, maybe a non-humanoid if they go the motion-capture route. And what would Trek be without Klingons?
Bryan Fuller has said Discovery is all about tolerance. If ever such a message was desperately needed, it is now. The next four years will put this idea through a great test, and I suspect it's gonna go through the wringer. People will need reminders of what it means to find common ground with those who are unlike themselves. Discovery should be well-suited to provide them. I wish everyone involved success... or as the Klingons say, Q'apla!
The Alternative Factor: Axanar and the nature of fan fiction
All Our Yesterdays: William Shatner's 'Leonard'
And the Children Shall Lead: two Nimoy docs
Errand of Mercy: Lin brokers Axanar settlement
Bread and Circuses: action Trek vs. mental Trek
A Piece of the Action: the new Trek fan film rules
Metamorphosis: Discovery to break the Trek mold
Return to Tomorrow: Star Trek at 50
The Way to Eden: Rod Roddenberry's quest for a better world
By Any Other Name: Yeoh joins Discovery cast