After Star Wars was rebooted with a female heroine, Rey, at the center, the other famous space franchise is taking a similar route with the new series Star Trek Discovery for CBS All Access. I’ve learned that the show, from Bryan Fuller and Alex Kurtzman, will have a female lead and she likely will be non-white.
William Shatner, Chris Pine and Scott Bakula might be the better known Star Trek stars, but there was a Star Trek series, the 1995-2001 Star Trek: Voyager on UPN, that had a female lead: Kate Mulgrew, who played Commanding Officer Kathryn Janeway.
Still, Star Trek Discovery possibly will boldly go where no other Star Trek installment has gone before: with a woman of color as the lead. I hear virtually all women seen for the part so far — and there have been a lot of them as the casting process has kicked into high gear — have been African-American or Hispanic.
No one has been cast yet, so it is possible that the role ultimately could go to a Caucasian actress, but the intention is to go diverse.
As for what that lead role is, there had been speculation that it is the captain, but I hear that likely is not the case.The Star Trek franchise is known for its inclusiveness, and the new series will try to continue that tradition. I hear that that there will be a an openly gay character on the show. (Of course, there also is expected to be a Klingon).
“Star Trek celebrates diversity,” Fuller said at the Star Trek 50th anniversary panel at Comic-Con last month.
UPDATE: Later this afternoon, during a CBS All Access panel at TCA, Fuller confirmed that the lead in Star Trek Discovery will be woman and that she IS NOT a captain, but “a lieutenant commander with caveats.” He also confirmed that the show will feature a gay character. Other key revelations from Fuller: Star Trek: Discovery “is set 10 years before Kirk, and will bridge the gap between Enterprise and the original series; the opening scene isn’t on a planet or Earth; and there will be robots and a lot of aliens. For more, read is our story on the TCA Star Trek: Discovery panel.
David Semel is directing and executive produce the opening episode of Star Trek: Discovery, which will premiere on CBS in January before the series moves to its permanent home at SVOD platform CBS All Access.
Kurtzman and Fuller executive produce alongside Heather Kadin, Rod Roddenberry and Trevor Roth.