Plot details for ‘Star Trek: Discovery,’ the newest televised entrant into the “original” franchise coming from CBS this Fall, have been hard to come by, but what we do know is that Sonequa Martin-Green (‘The Walking Dead’) will be playing the lead role in the series. Her involvement – specifically, her shooting scheduled with ‘The Walking Dead’ – is possibly one of the many delays that have forced CBS to move the premiere date of the series from January 2017 to almost nine months later.
Martin-Green has recently had an opportunity to finally shed some light on her character in the new series, First Officer Michael Burnham. Yes, you read that right: she was deliberately given a man’s name, for reasons I’m sure we’ll discover in the first season of, uh, ‘Discovery.’
Burnham is fully human, eliminating early speculation about her being half-human and half-Vulcan. However, the Vulcan ideology clearly plays into her personality, as she was the first human to ever attend the Vulcan Learning Center and the Vulcan Science Academy. Sarek, famous diplomatic Vulcan and father of the “classic” series’ Spock, is a mentor of sorts to her.
As Martin-Green explains in a recent interview:
“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. 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.”
Current ‘Discovery’ showrunner Aaron Harberts explained what it was about Martin-Green that attracted the casting producers to bring her on to the series:
“We read a lot of people and they either went way too robotic or and chilly or way too emotional. What’s beautiful about Sonequa’s performance is she’s capable of playing two, three, four things at once. She’s got such a great command of her craft, she’s able to be aloof but warm; logical but able to surrender her emotional side to the audience.”
Martin-Green will headline the new series, co-starring alongside Michelle Yeoh, Jason Isaacs, Doug Jones, and Anthony Rapp. ‘Star Trek: Discovery’ takes place in the “original” Star Trek timeline, set before the events of the classic 1966 series.
‘Star Trek: Discovery’ will premiere on CBS on September 24, 2017, before moving to streaming service CBS All Access for the remainder of its 15-episode run.