Tuesday, 4 April 2017

The Worst Kept Secret Or It Rainns But Never Pours


Less than 24 hours after the season finale of The Walking Dead and Sonequa Martin-Green has, at last, been confirmed as a member of the Discovery cast.

As if the recent cast photo for James "Sarek" Frain's birthday wasn't enough to cement her inclusion in the show we had to wait until they killed her off in The Walking Dead before it could actually be said outside of hushed whispers and halls of rumour.

It's no surprise but at least we now officially have a series lead in the form of Lieutenant Commander Rainford with all her caveats as we commented a fair while ago. Erm. But hang on. It actually seems that her character will be named Michael Burnham, first officer of the USS Discovery. Honesty I hope they keep away from the 'Number One' suggestion since that would be a big misstep. Keep this character 100% original and interesting for this new adventure please.

Martin-Green has already been talking about her role in the show, stating that there was only a very short break between the end of her role on The Walking Dead and taking up her position on the starship Discovery. Plus she's described the new series as "rawer and gritier" which is to be expected given the time we are now in, comparable shows that are available and the upping of the ante visually as well as in the scripts since Enterprise departed in 2005.

Which leads nicely into the other major news that we're going to be seeing Harcourt Fenton Mudd one more time. 

I am not in any way at all, ever, a fan of Harry Mudd. The two episodes that featured the Roger C Carmel character - Mudd's Women and I, Mudd were loose attempts at Star Trek comedy in some ways and just come off as a bit dated today. Mudd reappeared in an episode of The Animated Series and was namechecked in Into Darkness. I thought we had seen the last but now we are told that the galaxy's only mustachioed rogue trader and conman is back for a prequel of sorts. 

In Discovery it will be The Office's Rainn Wilson taking over the role and I can only pray that this will be a) one episode or at the worst sporadic appearances just in season one. I just don't like the character but this recasting might well turn my opinion. Both this and the casting of Wendy Crewson (24, The Santa Clause, Airforce One...) as a Starfleet Admiral seem to fall into the prospect of episodic casting rather than main crew as we know that filming of the series itself has moved from the pilot into the rest of the stories. However, here's my issue - is Discovery mining The Original Series far too early in it's run? OK so we knew there would be some crossovers given the time frame but now we have two recognisable faces that will be seen in the first half of a 13 episode season. Deep Space Nine did manage it with the Duras sisters in A Man Alone right after Picard appeared in Emissary, The Next Generation stumbled with The Naked Now after a touching cameo from DeForest Kelley in Encounter at Farpoint but this does feel like desperation to some degree. I'm not convinced it's a good move. A bold move absolutely but perhaps not a positive one. What's next? Sevrin from The Way to Eden?!

With this news we have to now assume that the full crew has been assembled and the names we already know must be the main cast for at least the first season. Whatever comes out of the CBS stable now must be guest stars for the first set of episodes with Martin-Green's official inclusion  delayed so as not to give away anything about the season finale of The Walking Dead but that didn't happen in the slightest.

One other bit of slightly cool news was that something that might have been in the new show was spotted in transport in the US recently. Could this be some form of civilian transport? The font certainly fits with the Star Trek frame as does the design but it could well be from any sci-fi series or film currently in production. Worth a speculate!

Aaaaand finally, there's that "King of the Klingons" remark which led a ton of fans into speculating whether Chris Obi (man is that guy awesome on Twitter) is indeed some kind of warrior royalty. Aside from producing a ridiculous amount of clickbait articles across the internet I believe that this was more of a turn of phrase regarding Obi's performance in the series rather than stating he is head of the Klingons. It would make more sense anyway otherwise there's a lot of background that won't fit. From his energetic videos on Twitter I expect a similarly animated performance during Discovery

Are we happy to see Harry Mudd back in Star Trek? What do you read into this character addition?

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