“She’s a queen,” Star Trek Discovery’s Sonequa Martin-Green told New York Comic Con today of original Star Trek cast member Nichelle Nichols. “I owe so much to her, we all owe so much to her,” The Walking Dead alum emotionally said of the actor who played Lieutenant Uhura on the USS Enterprise.
An attendee at the Star Trek Discovery premiere last month, Nichols’ character was one of the very first African-American women to be on the small screen to not be playing a servant. On the November 22, 1968 episode titled “Plato’s Stepchildren,” Uhura and Williams Shatner’s Captain Kirk had the very first interracial kiss on American television.
As she has before, Martin-Green added that Nichols told her at the L.A. premiere to “enjoy this moment, it’s yours now.”
Along with Martin-Green, today’s Discovery panel at the Theater at Madison Square Garden also included fellow cast members Jason Isaacs, Doug Jones, Shazad Latif, Mary Wiseman, Anthony Rapp, Mary Chieffo, and Wilson Cruz. Executive producers Alex Kurtzman, Gretchen J. Berg, Aaron Harberts, Heather Kadin, and Akiva Goldsman were also on-stage. As a surprise, Michelle Yeoh, who plays the deceased Captain Georgiou on the series, showed up to giant applause. “You will see more of this woman,” Kadin told the fans.
Seen exclusively on CBS All Access, the long-gestating Kurtzman and Bryan Fuller-created 15-episode first season of Discovery debuted with a preview on CBS proper on September 24. New episodes drop on the House of Moonves’ streaming service every Sunday evening.
To that end, after a standing ovation greeting for the creatives and cast plus moderator and real-life NASA astronaut Dr. Mae Jemison, Saturday’s panel started with a 10-minute slice of the upcoming fourth episode, “The Butcher’s Knife Cares Not for the Lamb’s Cry.”
The preview showed the disgraced Martin-Green’s Michael Burnham now out of her convict clothes and back in a Star Fleet uniform on the Discovery. The glimpse of the October 8 show also revealed the enhanced capacitates of the Gabriel Lorca-run (Jason Isaacs) Federation ship and the real reason the Captain brought the mutinous Burnham onto his vessel.
The panel also emphasized the gender representation that they want to affirm on both sides of the camera. “It’s not just in front of the camera but behind the camera that you have to make changes,” EP Harberts told the crowd. Cruz also told the clapping audience of how proud he is, along with Rapp, to be part of the first openly gay couple on a Star Trek series.
Martin-Green’s old show TWD will soon be following Discovery with an MSG panel of its own later Saturday. New York Comic-Con continues until October 8.