In the newest edition of SFX magazine, released today in the UK, writer Joseph McCabe caught up with the Star Trek: Discovery cast to get some more detail on the series and their characters.

(Note: Images below are from previous ‘Discovery’ media releases.)

Sonequa Martin-Green and Mary Wiseman. (EW)

Series lead Sonequa Martin-Green (Michael Burnham) started off by giving a deeper picture of “cross-culturalism,” a central tenant of the show.

It’s such a phenomenal picture of acculturation; the ideal, the utopia, is one where acculturation happens without assimilation.

Where I am able to take on the processes and customs and rituals of your culture without losing those of mine, and we can come together. Because you have the original culture you were born in, but then, so often, we have so many examples in human history of that core culture being lost.

‘Star Trek’ explores that, always has, and certainly explores it to the next level with our show. Where we see how you and I can come together. How can I maintain who I am, fully empathize and appreciate who you are, and then how do we have that two-way exchange?

That’s, gosh, it’s gorgeous. It’s the most powerful thing about ‘Star Trek,’ and about our iteration of ‘Star Trek.’

Co-star Mary Wiseman (Cadet Sylvia Tilly) also expanded upon the themes examined in the series.

It’s about the merging of cultures without colonialism. That’s what’s idealistic about it now, if you think about america right now and the people that are coming into contact with cultures and frustrated by a lack of assimilation.

This is a world where there is space for all.

Anthony Rapp and Doug Jones. (EW)

In addition to the Burnham and Sarek character details previewed in yesterday’s news roundup, cast members Anthony Rapp (Paul Stamets)and Doug Jones (Saru) also shared some more insight into their new roles.

Rapp recaps what we know about astromycologist Paul Stamets:

Saru’s sort of the general science officer that you think of in Trek, [whereas] my science officer is really honing in on a specific project based in my science, which is astromycology, the study of space fungus/mushrooms, which is based in real science.

My character is named after a real scientist, living and working today doing incredible work in the field of mycology, and all the various implications that it can have in our lives on this planet.

Doug Jones, the resident alien of the cast, expanded upon Saru and his transformation to become the non-human character.

I play Lieutenant Saru, and I’m a Kelpien, an alien species that’s never been seen in the ‘Star Trek’ canon ever before. I’m the first of my kind to leave our home planet and go to Starfleet Academy. So i’m very upwardly mobile with something to prove.

I’ve been equated with gazelles a lot, so they’re celebrating the long and lanky of me. They put me in high hoof-foot shoes/boots, much like for ‘Pan’s Labyrinth.’ I’m six-eight in the show. I’m very tall and they have not hidden my skinniness at all. I’m in a tight Starfleet uniform.

There’s a grace to him, absolutely, and a beauty to him… but if pushed into a corner he could kick your ass too.

Jones in character as Saru. (EW)

Jones also shared his thoughts on the cast of characters as a whole, that each one is explored to great depths throughout the first year.

Each character is like an onion – there are many layers to peel back and discover over the course of the series. I think the phrase ‘things aren’t what they seem’ applies to everyone sitting here right now.

Rapp continues on the same topic, but also shares his thoughts on the Sarek/Burnham relationship revealed at SDCC:

We’ve talked a lot about the level of grit and the intense storylines, but there’s also some nice doses of humour. It’s also very grounded in character.

But i think what distinguishes it in some ways is all the characters are going to evolve. It’s not just like you’re visiting them every week on a new mission. You’re seeing them evolve and be affected, and affect each other, by the events of the plot, which has enormous twists and turns.

Those things are very different from what you’ve seen in ‘Star Trek’ before. It’s not like we just solve the dilemma of the week.

Michael Burnham and Sarek (James Frain). (CBS)

As somebody who’s not in [the Sarek/Burnham] relationship, and somebody who loves the history of the relationship between Sarek and Spock, what happens between them also gives so much more resonance to the relationship of Sarek and Spock.

It’s this crazy thing. It’s beautiful and it also makes those things that much beautiful. The ability to do that while respecting that and then also enlarging it is amazing. As a fan, I read it and went, ‘that is so incredible.’

Finally, both Jones and Martin-Green expounded upon their experience watching Star Trek, with Martin-Green revealing that she’s not only played catch-up on the Original Series, but that she’s also been spending time in the Archer-era Star Trek: Enterprise world as well.


I was born in 1960. When the Original Series was on TV, i watched it with my family in its first run on the night that you would have to watch it or you would miss it, back in the days when you didn’t have DVD or streaming. So I’ve actually grown up with it, truly, from my childhood on.

My connection was always Spock. He was tall and lanky, by the way. So being one of those tall and lanky kids, I connected with him as being the oddball in the room. I love his delivery, the way he articulated himself. It was just so different and curious.

Martin-Green on why she’s sticking to the early days of Starfleet:

When I did a deep dive after I got the role, I started with TOS, and it is my favourite. But because we are a prequel 10 years before TOS, I stayed in the TOS and ‘Enterprise’ world. I started binging ‘Enterprise’ as well because there’s such a Vulcan presence in that show, at least in the first season for sure. That really spoke to me.

Of course I, like so many others, just fell in love with Leonard [Nimoy]’s work. Also, it was quite a tremendous experience, very surreal, to watch TOS and see him as someone that I grew up with as burnham. It’s like, ‘Hey brother!’

If you’re not a subscriber, you can order a print copy of their October 2017 issue from SFX‘s web store, or through their mobile app.

  • James

    Picked mine up this morning, it’s been a long time since I bought a copy of SFX

  • archer923

    I like the reference to Shrek.

  • If the stories are not good and compelling, and the acting is not top notch, all of this marketing blitz will be for naught. I remain cautiously optimistic.

    • Tom Cruise Never Phones It IN

      Agreed, well except for the optimistic part. I would have ended it “I remain cautious”.

  • It sounds like we’ll be getting huge amounts of character development, and that sounds fabulous!

    I’m thrilled that Martin-Green fell in love with Leonard Nimoy’s work; it sounds like she really “gets” Star Trek.

    • Nowhereman10

      Reminds of Jolene Blalock when she gave an interview right before Star Trek: Enterprise aired stating her favorite character is Mr. Spock and “the relationship, just the sense of loyalty,” she told Star Trek Monthly. “I watched these three characters – Captain Kirk, Spock, Bones – and their relationship with each other and how loyal they are, and that was intense. They would give their lives for each other.”

      Sadly, for the longest time many fans attacked her and her character. I hope people are a little better this time around in giving Martin-Green a chance.

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      • Pedro Ferreira

        And look how Enterprise turned out.

    • Karl
    • Pedro Ferreira

      I doubt any of them really get Star Trek since almost none of them were fans.

  • the problem is when one culture is oppressive, misogynistic, intolerant of homosexuals, abuses children, punishes or kills people for saying things that are considered “blasphemous”, and believes itself to be superior to all others. then the whole acculturation thing doesn’t work.

    • His Eminence

      Oh give the SJW crap a rest and just enjoy some new Trek.

      • Nowhereman10

        SJW? And here I thought he was talking about radical Islam…

        • Tom Cruise Never Phones It IN

          lol true.

      • hahahaha, SJW?? i think you must be confused. SJWs are the ones who absurdly defend the oppressive, misogynistic culture i’m talking about. maybe that’s what you meant, but the way you worded it it sounds like you’re saying i’m an SJW, which is nonsense, because SJWs idiotically refuse to acknowledge the fact that the culture they defend is oppressive and intolerant.

        to me, enjoying TREK goes hand in hand with thinking and talking about societal issues like this. that’s what TREK has always been there for (at least for those viewers who are willing to see deeper than just the entertainment and action).

        like, some people seem to see STAR TREK BEYOND as just a fun action movie in space. i see a very pertinent metaphor. there’s literally a SNOWFLAKE in space (Yorktown), actually referred to as a “snow globe” by McCoy. a place where lots of peaceful, advanced cultures come together. and then a refugeee comes drifting in on a little boat, and of course the peaceful snowflake people take her in, not realizing that she’s actually a member of a long-gone, more primitive, more violent culture. the entire story shows the problem that arises when some people are stuck on a deserted planet and keep their backwards values, and then they meet a more advanced, peaceful, tolerant society.

        • His Eminence

          You have the entirely wrong definition of a SJW. The rest of your blather is just unreadable.

    • Tom Cruise Never Phones It IN

      Oh no, you are here too…

  • Janeway4211

    Wow look at the fat rolls in the uniform on the girl in the right. Someone needs to have their replicator use rationed.

    • James

      Fat shaming.
      From a Star Trek fan.
      Someone needs to have their internet rationed.

    • Stuart B

      What a disgusting comment. To see such words from any Star Trek fan is utterly shocking!

  • Fiery Little One

    I’m impressed that Sonequa isn’t just limiting herself to TOS and is including ENT to get up to speed with what she probably should be aware of going in.

  • Karl

    No one wants this outside of the hard core TOS fans.
    It’s garbage, and damage control is already underway at CBS.

    • This is backward. Hard core TOS fans have a hate on for this as it does not look like an old fan film. I myself like TOS the lest and to me this is shaping up to be one of the Better treks. I am seeing vast echos of DS9’s dark styling here.

      • I’m a hardcore TOS fan, and I’m really excited about Discovery!

        • Ian Fleming

          As am I.

        • The cliam was only hard core TOS fans. If you look online most blowback is from TOS fans. I never said some did not like it

    • pittrek

      I’m a hard core TOS fan and I hate 90% of the Discovery stuff they have shown / told us so far.

      • Pedro Ferreira

        What’s the 10% you liked?

        • pittrek

          I like the Discovery design, actually I think I’m the only one who likes it 🙂
          The tools like the phaser, tricorder etc. look pretty neat. That’s probably all. Oh and I liked the bug alien from the previous trailer.

          • Pedro Ferreira

            The only thing I like is that they brought back the warp stretch effect.

    • Pedro Ferreira

      Well most TOS fans hate anything from TNG onwards so yeah that kind of makes them easy to ignore.

      • Jake Loh

        I’m a fucking TNG fan, and I hate this shit too!!! They have MURDERED star trek, just like the BBC has recently murdered Doctor Who!!!!!

        • Pedro Ferreira

          Murdered is a strong word but they have diminished the franchises.

  • Pedro Ferreira

    “There’s a grace to him, absolutely, and a beauty to him… but if pushed into a corner he could kick your ass too.” As long as he doesn’t sense death since that’s his purpose in life…