The first new Star Trek series in fifteen years is finally here and We. Are. Stoked. We are pretty big fans of that last series, too, and we’re currently talking about it over on our other Star Trek podcast. But we’ve got one episode under our belts over here with “The Vulcan Hello,” and Star Trek Discovery is already looking outstanding.
In Front of the Camera
Usually this portion will be used to highlight guest stars, but come on. It’s the first episode of a new Star Trek series. We gotta make sure we give everybody a shout out at least once. “The Vulcan Hello” seems like the best place to run through the cast:
- Sonequa Martin-Green as the centerpiece of the show, Michael Burnham. I know her best from her role in The Walking Dead, and she was a goddamned delight there. This is a helluva catch for CBS All Access.
- Doug Jones as the previously unmentioned race of Kelpiens. Perhaps best known for his roles in the Hellboy films as Abe Sapien, or for his role in the Oscar winning film “The Shape of Water.” Doug Jones is undeniably one of the greatest creature actors in Hollywood.
- Michelle Yeoh as the captain of the USS Shenzhou, Philippa Georgiou. This lady is treasure and represents what is best about Starfleet.
- James Frain is in the role of Sarek, Spock and Michael Burnham’s father. He seems to be serving as the traditional connecting thread to existing Star Trek canon pilot episodes tend to enjoy.
- Javid Iqbal has a credit as Voq…and nothing else.
- Chris Obi plays T’Kuvma, and might be best known for his role as Anubis in “American Gods.” Probably not coincidentally, American Gods is run by original Discovery showrunner Bryan Fuller.
- Maulik Pancholy, Jonathan from 30 Rock, is rocking it as the Chief Medical Officer on the Shenzhou.
- Both Emily Coutts as Detmer and Sam Vartholomeos as Ensign Connor serve to establish a tone of great camaraderie aboard the Shenzhou.
Behind The Camera
The original showrunner for the series was Bryan Fuller, the fella behind great shows like “Hannibal” and “Pushing Daisies.” He left for reasons that aren’t altogether clear at the time of this writing. While it’s difficult to tell what parts of this are his baby, it’s pretty clear that giving his female lead the name of “Michael” was almost certainly his work. He is also responsible for the registry number of the Discovery NCC-1031. He’s apparently a big Halloween enthusiast, but it does give a little Section 31 vibe.
Taking the director seat for “The Vulcan Hello” is David Semel, which also marks his first entry into the Star Trek universe. He’s known for directing a dozen or so episode of American Dreams, and has also an episode of Bryan Fuller’s “Hannibal.”
The story comes from Bryan Fuller and Alex Kurtzman. Kurtzman is the creator of the TV series Fringe. He also wrote Star Trek Into Darkness, which is one of the more controversial Star Trek films. For the teleplay, Bryan Fuller tapped Akiva Goldsman for some help. He also worked on the series fringe, but also wrote a whole host of films. “A Beautiful Mind, ” “Practical Magic,” “I Am Legend,” and “The Da Vinci Code” are just a handful. This fella has some credits.
Don’t forget to subscribe to Disco Night: A Star Trek Discovery Podcast in iTunes. It’ll improve my life and happiness. It’s always more fun to watch Star Trek with friends.