The annual Blackpool Illuminations lights festival, a tradition in England dating all the way back to 1879, launched for the year on September 1, projected to draw some 3 Million visitors to the city over the 66-day celebration.

Each year, the Illuminations kicks off with a star-studded concert leading up to the first-day “Switch On,” powering up the lighting displays for the upcoming season – and this year, the festival beamed in a little help from the 23rd Century to kick things off.

Headlined (somewhat ironically) by the street dance troupe Diversity, the Switch On seemed to be going well until a power failure delayed the Illumination… so a distress call was sent out, only to be answered by Captain Gabriel Lorca of the USS Discovery (UK native Jason Isaacs).

DIVERSITY: The problem is that we haven’t got enough power! This is the biggest Switch On yet – we need intergalactic power. I know just who to call… so let’s see if they can help. If we look [at the concert projection screens] I’m going to see if I can get him on video. Please come in!

ISAACS: Good evening – Captain Lorca here, from the USS Discovery, reading you loud and clear. I got a distress signal from your location. What’s up?

DIVERSITY: This is captain Ashley Banjo from the USS… uh… Diversity. We need intergalactic power, and we need a lot of it – right now! We need it to be the biggest Switch On ever – help us!

ISAACS: Really? You were instructed to use your communicator for emergencies only. I was in the middle of something of interplanetary significance and consequence…

[Looks offscreen] Just put it in the microwave. Two minutes.

[Looks back to camera] I’m not really supposed to help with this kind of thing… but, I have a friend from the UK who used to come and see the Illuminations every year switched on. Handsome guy, talented; very attractive to women. I wonder what happened to him?

But for his sake – I’ll see what I can do. So turn on your tower’s communication link so I can better assist!

Gabriel Lorca (Jason Isaacs) speaks to the crowd. (Photo: Manchester Evening News)

DIVERSITY: All right, tower on! Tower is ready.

ISAACS: That’s pretty cool for 21st Century technology. Connection to Blackpool now confirmed – initiating power transfer now.

[Fireworks display begins]

ISAACS: That was easy – glad we could be of assistance. Discovery out; have some chips for me.

DIVERSITY: Thank you Captain Lorca!

A few days prior to the September 1 Switch On, deputy leader of the Blackpool Council Gillian Campbell spoke to the then-upcoming Star Trek: Discovery tie-in in a press statement.

We are delighted that one of the world’s most iconic TV franchises is to take part in this year’s Illuminations switch-on.

A huge amount of work has gone on behind the scenes to produce what should be another truly memorable event. This year’s switch-on ceremony will be delivered in a totally unique and innovative way, creating a spectacular launch pad for the 2017 Illuminations season.

We can’t wait to see it unfold on the night.

Come back to TrekCore often for more Star Trek: Discovery news!

  • Jaro Stun

    uss diversity

    looool omg rofl

    • Pedro Ferreira

      I’m not amused.


    I have no idea what all of this means but it’s kinda cringy.

    • Matthew Burns

      It a very traditional British tradition. With the nights suddenly drawing down in September, a lot of towns do a sort of lights switch on until about a couple of weeks in October. A lot of town dont do it now though, because of austerity.

    • Pedro Ferreira

      It means they wanted diversity and they got more than that.

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        • Pedro Ferreira

          What’s that got to do with diversity Judith?

  • FightingMongooses

    Well schucks, I didn’t expect Captain Lorca to be American. I’ve been trying to avoid spoilers and videos that show too much. That scruffy face doesn’t bode well for Discovery either…

    • Fiery Little One

      This is just minor enough that I don’t think it matters, but Isaacs has gone on record saying Lorca is kinda messed up, thus explaining the scruff.

    • M33

      American? Well, no wonder now why they have been making his character the “crazy” one.

  • Chris

    Blackpool illuminationtions is our answer to last Vegas I guess situated in North West England .we even have a half size version of the Eiffel tower there on the seafront built same era as well as an awesome very old pleasure amusement park which untill 10 years back had the tallest rollercoaster in the world the illuminations are some of the oldest in the world in years they have been running and were developed to extend the holiday season into winter to draw holiday makers still once the weather gets colder here .

  • Chris

    Check out this photo of the illuminations plus tower

  • Chris sorry the link to photo of illuminations

  • Ultra Woman

    He needs a good laxative!

  • PJ

    I know Tim Burton raves about Blackpool and has featured it in his work, but that is only because of the weird, spooky feeling it gives off in places of being like a decaying Victorian funfair, which appeals to his macbre creative sensibilities

    Why CBS share the fascination though, I have no idea. First they set up Star Trek: The Exhibition there, now this.

  • SpaceCadet

    Well now I know where Blackpool is!

  • Pedro Ferreira

    Are you kidding me?! Jason Isaacs isn’t allowed to keep his English accent?!

    • PJ

      He should have had a Liverpool accent lol. That’s where Isaacs is from.

      • Pedro Ferreira

        At least allow him a well spoken English voice he uses in movies. For all the talk of diversity that’s pretty sad.