Star Trek: Discovery Revelations: Georgiou News, Spock Connection, Sonequa Martin-Green’s Inspiration, and More

The cast hit New York Comic-Con to give fans a closer look at the series so far and hint at what's to come.

by | October 8, 2017 | Comments


Over the course of three episodes, CBS All Access’ Star Trek: Discovery has already proven to have a number of surprises up its sleeve — who could’ve guessed, for instance, the fate of Michelle Yeoh, who plays the Captain Philippa Georgiou to star Sonequa Martin-Green’s disgraced first officer Michael Burnham. The unpredictability of the series so far promises that there are more surprises to come.

Rotten Tomatoes was at New York Comic Con’s Star Trek: Discovery Madison Square Garden panel and press conference on Saturday to learn more about what went into this new iteration of the beloved franchise and buzzy newcomer characters like L’Rell (a Klingon played by Mary Chieffo), Cadet Sylvia Tilly (Mary Wiseman), and the wartime commander, Captain Gabriel Lorca (Jason Isaacs), who scooped Burnham off a prison transport shuttle and conscripted her for duty aboard the Discovery.

Star Trek: Discovery’s real breakout, of course, is its star Martin-Green. Read on to find out seven things we learned about the complicated hero and what’s to come for her in season 1 of the new series.

1. We haven’t seen the last of Burnham and Georgiou together

 Perhaps the most exciting news to come out of the NYCC sessions was the tease that Yeoh’s deceased captain will indeed appear again this season. Whether that’s through flashback sequences or the varied miracles of Star Trek science is unclear. But Yeoh, who surprised the cast and con-goers with an 11th-hour appearance at the mid-afternoon panel, joked that she’ll be coming back as a ghost.

“You don’t understand what an incredible adventure [working on Star Trek: Discovery] has been, so I’m not going to let them kill me, OK? I will haunt them,” she said, mimicking a ghost. “I love these guys to death.”

The love appears to be mutual. By panel’s end, series producer Gretchen J. Berg confirmed that they loved Yeoh so much that they’re bringing her back for more: “You will see more of this woman on the show!”

2. Season 1 is the story of Burnham’s redemption and self-discovery

Michael Burnham is a hell of a character, and she’s in beyond-capable hands with The Walking Dead vet Martin-Green. Speaking on the intricacies of Burnham’s emotional and intellectual state (considering she’s a 100 percent human raised by Vulcans — franchise icon Spock’s parents, in fact — there’s a lot to work with here), the actress said that she finds the inner turmoil “quite visceral.”

“Me as Burnham, you see me say that my emotions inform my logic rather than impede them,” she said. “And so growing up on Vulcan, it was something that I — I had to find something about my emotions to be a point of strength. I had to find them helpful in some way, so that’s the way I did it. I decided that my emotions helped me carve out new paths of logic and so that would help me in the midst of this logic-based society, but then those sorts of emotional sensibilities have led me to where I am now. And so I really love that this path is one of self-discovery. But it is also a path of redemption, as well, and the yearning for that will always be there.”

3. Burnham has a love life

While contractually obligated to reveal no Star Trek spoilers to press and fans, Martin-Green did suggest that we’ll get to know Burnham more intimately this season. When asked by a member of the audience if we’ll get a glimpse into Burnham’s personal and love life, the actress broke into a big smile and played coy.

“I’m just gonna say that there’s all kinds of life on this show,” she said. “We’re covering everything with everyone, you see what I’m saying?”

4. The Walking Dead informed Martin-Green’s approach to Star Trek: Discovery

Sonequa Martin-Green as Sasha Williams, Jeffrey Dean Morgan as Negan - The Walking Dead _ Season 7, Episode 16 (Gene Page/AMC)

Off-camera, Martin-Green is no stranger to large-scale television projects with devoted and vocal fanbases. Back in the press room, she admitted that her time as Sasha Williams on AMC’s undead hit prepared her for her latest dramatic outing.

“One thousand trillion patrillion quadrillion percent: My time and work on Walking Dead for sure prepared me [for this],” she said. “It was very much a stepping stone for me. It was very much a time of preparation. I was on [The Walking Dead] for five years, and so it was very much a post-graduate degree. I learned an incredible amount [about] what it is to be an actor, to be a professional. I learned so much about just being a woman, a wife, a mother, a friend. An artist that is a part of a whole…. So to be on that Goliath of a show that means so much to so many people, I feel it was just the perfect experience to jump off into this. It was a trampoline into this, because now I have the honor and privilege and blessing to be on the ground.”

5. Her costars inspired her to get Burnham right

Sonequa Martin-Green during the New York Comic-Con 2017 panel for STAR TREK: DISCOVERY (Lisette M. Azar/CBS)

With as incredibly expansive a universe as the Star Trek franchise offers, it’s easy for new actors within that world to look back and borrow bits of advice from actors of the past. Wilson Cruz, who plays one half of Star Trek’s first same-sex couple as Dr. Hugh Culber, for instance, admitted to watching all the doctors of the past in preparation for this role.

“What I loved about them is they were the living, beating heart of the show,” he said. “And so I really wanted to infuse [Culber] with as much of that sensibility as possible.”

Isaacs, on the other hand, said just the opposite — that he “had no desire to be a pale shadow of any of the brilliant stuff I’ve seen before me. So everything for me was constructed backwards to be not like anybody I’d seen on Star Trek before.”

Martin-Green fell somewhere in the middle. There’s no way her performance as Burnham couldn’t be influenced by Vulcans who were previously brought to the screen — “It’s where I grew up!” she joked. But she was also quick to shift gears and credit her costars with inspiring her day to day, no matter how “lame” it sounded.

“I really am inspired by and informed by these actors. I feel that everyone has really jumped off the cliff, and they’re going wherever the story leads them. And so I’ve seen the story reflected back to me in their eyes,” she said. “The world becomes so very alive because of who we have…. It’s just a lot of heart-exchange, and I’ve been informed the most by [everyone here].”

6. The creators will do right by Spock and Burnham’s relationship

When asked in the press room about the details of Spock and Burnham’s relationship, producer Akiva Goldsman politely but definitively responded with a simple “No.” But, Anthony Rapp, who plays Lieutenant Paul Stamets, later reassured that matters such as that are on the minds of creators and actors alike. Staying true to canon is a goal across the board.

“What I’ve continued to ask [the series’ skeptics is] to keep going,” Rapp said, “to trust that we are aware of these things. That, yes, we’ve never heard of Michael’s relationship with Spock before. Trust us that this will somehow reverberate in ways that you don’t necessarily expect.”

7. “She may not be the captain of the ship, but she’s the captain of this freakin’ show”

Central to Star Trek: Discovery’s lore is the fact that it has a non-captain woman of color as the lead protagonist, and those in the press room would be remiss if they weren’t to ask about that fact’s significance. But it also raises the question of how the other female relationships — of which there are several — will play out onscreen. Series producer Berg, for one, is particularly keen on the rapport between Burnham and Cadet Tilly.

“What was so great about seeing the Georgiou and Burnham relationship where Georgiou was such a wonderful mentor, this is now happening here between the cadet and former first officer,” Berg said. “It’s paying it forward…. And as a friendship, it’s a two-way street, and I think that’s awesome.”

Martin-Green praised her costar, Wiseman — “Mary is a firework you guys. She’s just sensational.” Then Wiseman jumped into the “butt-kissing contest” to credit Martin-Green for really standing at the helm of the series and helping her to find her voice on and off screen in a massive project like Star Trek.

“I’m very, very new to this situation and never had a role this size on this kind of franchise before,” Wiseman said, noting that Tilly is coincidentally also having her own world opening. “She’s so green and she’s on this new ship that is, like, the ship for science, and it’s exactly where she wants to be. And then she comes into contact with this woman [Burnham] who is strong, who is warm, who is empathetic, and she kind of blows her mind. She is in a place of pure possibility right now and I feel like that, too, as a person.

“To have Sonequa — she may not be the captain of the ship, but she’s the captain of this freakin’ show,” Wiseman enthused. “She is a mother and a sister and a friend to all of us. The stories that you will see on screen reverberate backwards and in between us all.”

Star Trek: Discovery streams Sundays at 8:30/5:30 p.m. ET/PT on CBS All-Access.

Tag Cloud

cooking 21st Century Fox Mudbound scorecard science fiction renewed TV shows Pirates Disney Plus Christmas American Society of Cinematographers Spectrum Originals obituary ghosts A&E archives kong FOX screenings Cannes Marvel Studios tv talk Music Lifetime serial killer streaming romance Vudu Nominations crime Animation Premiere Dates blaxploitation NBC Polls and Games Fall TV Paramount video on demand TV One Emmy Nominations Mary poppins razzies versus Hear Us Out 2017 2015 latino E3 99% USA Network Lionsgate WarnerMedia MTV Amazon Studios festivals Peacock Mystery nbcuniversal TV Land TV renewals game of thrones TBS police drama discovery Pet Sematary MCU spain comedies trailers Cartoon Network Pixar mission: impossible breaking bad Reality TLC green book CNN blockbusters telelvision Starz period drama best dceu Winners DirecTV Mindy Kaling adaptation First Reviews Interview Brie Larson comic vampires Fantasy kids TIFF movie Awards A24 cats natural history james bond TV rotten 20th Century Fox godzilla screen actors guild sequel Apple TV+ APB based on movie films Paramount Network elevated horror Ghostbusters french independent festival comic books Mary Tyler Moore Arrowverse foreign true crime cults travel WGN Black History Month teaser binge strong female leads Paramount Plus Shudder crime drama Marathons Valentine's Day Kids & Family Spring TV Marvel SDCC news Tomatazos zombies cancelled a nightmare on elm street Musicals Emmys book die hard criterion Endgame Country Winter TV free movies docuseries TCA spanish anime war hispanic Travel Channel laika BET Awards Character Guide AMC Disney Channel Sony Pictures reviews politics remakes richard e. Grant Universal Podcast cops Netflix biography Action romantic comedy movies Nickelodeon king kong Calendar TruTV Hulu Toys nfl Television Academy Pop football reboot black Heroines Anna Paquin Photos batman technology Lucasfilm Awards Tour 71st Emmy Awards Chernobyl fast and furious spinoff boxing fresh Women's History Month singing competition Election Sundance TV comics worst RT21 superman The Walt Disney Company Captain marvel anthology disaster nature critics Family Infographic Broadway YouTube Premium Ovation parents dc Television Critics Association Grammys Reality Competition sequels child's play dramedy crossover documentaries 2019 cancelled TV shows hist Logo slashers women Rock Countdown NYCC OWN Mary Poppins Returns theme song quibi National Geographic CW Seed canceled TV shows australia Freeform thriller cancelled television zombie sitcom docudrama crime thriller franchise Masterpiece canceled asian-american Binge Guide medical drama Funimation GLAAD Best and Worst Academy Awards Rom-Com Pop TV ITV Acorn TV LGBT diversity Extras venice unscripted PlayStation transformers Creative Arts Emmys DC streaming service Disney streaming service 2021 San Diego Comic-Con BBC One toy story rom-coms finale spy thriller Video Games Watching Series ID Comics on TV TCA Winter 2020 jamie lee curtis USA Summer BET Amazon Prime Video popular Nat Geo Avengers Ellie Kemper halloween documentary cartoon Sneak Peek Superheroe Apple casting El Rey facebook award winner Crackle Star Wars kaiju witnail cinemax First Look stand-up comedy Box Office Cosplay Certified Fresh DC Comics Red Carpet Sundance Now television E! Sci-Fi Pride Month CBS All Access The Arrangement Trailer stoner DC Universe doctor who ViacomCBS rotten movies we love twilight The Academy blockbuster ABC Trivia The Walking Dead GoT hidden camera Oscars Shondaland History political drama Comedy Drama robots game show Elton John stop motion 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards directors Adult Swim Britbox superhero italian Amazon space name the review Holidays concert Film FXX Western psycho MSNBC Biopics Showtime toronto HBO Go south america dogs satire mockumentary indie ABC Family DGA RT History Netflix Christmas movies Stephen King justice league Fox News Apple TV Plus Song of Ice and Fire SXSW supernatural adventure Spike spanish language Marvel Television Comic Book President LGBTQ SundanceTV ratings See It Skip It deadpool Superheroes GIFs dark Rocketman YouTube Red The Purge BBC America TNT New York Comic Con Disney miniseries Baby Yoda zero dark thirty HBO Max emmy awards all-time Tarantino universal monsters pirates of the caribbean Hallmark Christmas movies video children's TV what to watch historical drama TCM Writers Guild of America 2018 FX on Hulu Tubi Classic Film sports dragons VOD Year in Review joker spider-man HBO Syfy Super Bowl 72 Emmy Awards Walt Disney Pictures series talk show 2020 The Witch Rocky FX Set visit Turner 2016 Film Festival Star Trek 24 frames Discovery Channel 4/20 Warner Bros. Trophy Talk comiccon prank CBS golden globe awards BBC aliens harry potter revenge monster movies Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt classics 45 007 Fox Searchlight Black Mirror Musical Esquire VICE jurassic park Lifetime Christmas movies Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Columbia Pictures halloween tv cars Turner Classic Movies Holiday TCA Awards Food Network christmas movies Teen ESPN indiana jones TCA 2017 hollywood Epix social media Amazon Prime boxoffice sag awards PaleyFest Dark Horse Comics Quiz werewolf BAFTA Thanksgiving Opinion Martial Arts VH1 Exclusive Video PBS worst movies Legendary mutant OneApp Sundance animated Disney+ Disney Plus Bravo Comedy Central cancelled TV series composers golden globes Crunchyroll IFC Tumblr CMT The CW Hallmark chucky ABC Signature YA Alien japanese X-Men psychological thriller IFC Films scary movies Schedule rt archives Horror YouTube