‘Star Trek Discovery’: Meet the Cast & Characters of CBS’ New Series

Star Trek Discovery Time

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After not having a new Star Trek show on TV since Enterprise aired its finale on May 13, 2005, Star Trek: Discovery is finally premiering tonight. The premiere’s first hour will air on CBS tonight at 8:30 p.m. Eastern, and then the second hour of the premiere will be available on CBS All Access. After that, every episode will air on CBS All Access only. This is a bold move for CBS, but a perfect fit for a series based on “boldly going where no one has gone before.”

Read on to meet the cast and characters of CBS’ new series.

Sonequa Martin-Green (First Officer Michael Burnham)

Sonequa Martin-Green

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Fans can’t even contain their excitement about Sonequa Martin-Green’s role as Michael Burnham, First Officer of the USS Shenzhou. She’s most recently known for her amazing role as Sasha Williams on The Walking Dead. She also played Tamara on Once Upon a Time. Other appearances included New Girl as Rhonda, Penn Zero: Part-Time Hero, Gossip Girl, The Good Wife, NYC 22, Army Wives, and Law & Order: Criminal Intent. 

Sonequa is playing a character with a male name — you’re not imagining it. This is because showrunner Bryan Fuller has a long tradition of giving female protagonists masculine names. It’s his signature move. Michael has a unique past on the show: a human raised by a vulcan. She’s forced to make an impossible decision that will impact the entire Federation.

Jason Isaacs (Captain Gabriel Lorca)

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Jason Isaacs plays Captain Gabriel Lorca. He’s known for many other roles, including Lucius Malfoy in the Harry Potter films, Col. William Tavington in The Patriot, Michael Caffee in Brotherhood, the lead antagonist on The OA, and many other roles in TV and film.

Captain Lorca commands the Discovery during wartime. He’s considered a brilliant military tactician.

Doug Jones (Lieutenant Saru)

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Doug Jones stars as Lieutenant Saru. Doug Jones has previously appeared on many shows and films, including Mimic, Hellboy and Hellboy IIPan’s Labyrinth, Crimson Peak, The Shape of Water, Tank Girl, Hocus Pocus, The Bye Bye Man, Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, Falling Skies, Arrow, The Flash, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and The Strain. On The Shape of Water, he appears as the main character, The Creature. And on The Strain, he played The Master in six episodes. He often appears as aliens and supernatural beings in roles that require heavy makeup.

Lt. Saru is the Science Officer and his species can somehow sense approach death, EW explained, because he comes from a planet where he’s the prey species, called Kelpiens.

Shazad Latif (Lieutenant Ash Tyler)

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Latif has many starring roles, including Penny Dreadful as Dr. Henry Jekyll. He’s also starred in The Man Who Knew Infinity, The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, and more.

Ash Tyler is a Starfleet officer and a POW who has a very difficult past to deal with. Interestingly, Latif was originally cast as a Klingon before being recast as Tyler.

Anthony Rapp (Lieutenant Paul Stamets)

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Anthony Rapp plays Lt. Paul Stamets. He has many achievements, including starring as Mark Cohen in Rent, and in A Beautiful Mind, Six Degrees of Separation, The Other Woman, Dazed and Confused, Road Trip, The Good Fight, Do You Take This Man, Opening Night, BWOY, The Knick, Psych, and The X-Files, and much more.

Lt. Stamets is Trek’s first openly gay ongoing character. He’s a science officer who specializes in astromycology (the study of fungi in space.)

Michelle Yeoh (Captain Philippa Georgiou)

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Michelle Yeoh plays Captain Philippa Georgiou. She’s also starred in Marco Polo, Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon 2, Crazy Rich Asians, The Lady, Kung Fu Panda 2, Memoirs of a Geisha, Tomorrow Never Dies, Sunshine, and more.

Captain Georgiou is Captain of the USS Shenzhou, NCC-1227 and a war veteran.

James Frain (Ambassador Sarek)

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James Frain plays the well known Ambassador Sarek, featured in other Star Trek series as well. Sarek is an astrophysicist and father of Spock. At the time the series takes place, Spock and Sarek aren’t speaking.

Frain has many credits to his name, including starring in The Lone Ranger, Tron: Legacy, Water for Elephants, Transit, Gotham (as Theo Galavan), Orphan Black, The White Queen, True Blood, The Tudors, Elizabeth, Where the Heart Is, and much more.

Mary Wiseman (Cadet Sylvia Tilly)

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Mary Wiseman plays Cadet Sylvia Tilly. Wiseman has had many stage roles and she also appeared on the TV series Longmire. Other appearances include The Characters, Difficult People, and Baskets. 

Cadet Tilly is a fourth-year cadet at Starfleet Academy, working on The Discovery. She’s roommates with Michael Burnham, who becomes a mentor to her, and works in engineering with Lt. Stamets.

Chris Obi (T’Kuvma)

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Chris Obi plays T’Kuvma. Obi is an English actor with many credits to his name, including Snow White and the Huntsman and Ghost in the Shell.

T’Kuvma is leading the Klingons in this series. From what we can see in the trailers, he’s a main antagonist who wants to keep the Klingons strong and independent, separate from outside forces.

Mary Chieffo (L’Rell)

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Mary Chieffo stars as L’Rell. Chieffo made her acting debut at the age of three. She’s starred in films including Shelby’s Vacation, Odyssea, Miss Dial, Jack and Janet Save the Planet, Natural Disasters, and more.

L’Rell is the deck commander of a Klingon ship.

Rainn Wilson (Harry Mudd)

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Rainn Wilson plays Harry Mudd. Wilson is known for many roles, including starring in Six Feet Under, The Office, Hesher, Super, Cooties, Juno, Almost Famous, The Boy, Permanent, Backstrom, Roadies, and more.

Mudd is a well-established character from the original series. He’s a scoundrel and a con artist who had many run-ins with the original Star Trek crew.

Maulik Pancholy (Doctor Nambue)

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Pancholy plays Dr. Nambue, chief medical officer of the USS Shenzhou. Pancholy is best known for his role as Jonathan on 30 Rock, Sanjay Patel in Weeds, and Neal in the first season of Whitney. 

Rekha Sharma (Commander Landry)

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Commander Landry is the Security Officer for the USS Discovery. Sharma is a Canadian actress best known for her role as Tory Foster on Battlestar Galactica.

Kenneth Mitchell (Kol)

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Kenneth Mitchell plays Kol. Mitchell has starred in Jericho (as Eric Green), The Astronaut Wives Club, Frequency, Notorious, Switched at Birth, Miracle, and much more.

Wilson Cruz (Dr. Hugh Culber)

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Wilson Cruz plays Dr. Hugh Culber. His other credits include Rent, 13 Reasons Why, After Louie, My So-Called Life, and more.

Other characters include:

  • Terry Serpico as Admiral Anderson
  • Damon Runyan as Ujilli, a Klingon leader
  • Sam Vartholomeos as Ensign Connor
  • Clare McDonnell as Dennas

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