We have had a lot of characters announced for the new CBS All Access series Star Trek: Discovery that are quite new to us.
But now it’s time for someone much more familiar. You know, like Spock’s father – Sarek.
CBS announced Wednesday it had cast James Frain for the iconic role that was originated by Mark Lenard in the original series, and continued by Ben Cross in J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek in 2009.
Frain is a familiar face for any viewer who likes high-quality television.
He had a seven-episode stint just last year on Orphan Black as Ferdinand Chevalier, and earlier Theo Galavan in the Fox Batman series Gotham.
Frain also portrayed Lt. Kevin Burris in the short-lived HBO anthology series True Detective, and popped up as Eric Renard in NBC’s Grimm.
Other credits from Frain’s extensive resume include The Cape, True Blood and The Tudors.
CBS released almost no other information about Sarek’s inclusion in the new series, mentioning only that the character has had “multiple appearances throughout the franchise over the last five decades.”
Sarek first appeared in the 1967 Star Trek episode “Journey to Babel” by Lenard, who was originally considered for the role of Spock. Lenard would reprise the role several times after that, especially in Star Trek III: The Search for Spock in 1983 and Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home in 1986 as well as 1991’s Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country.
Lenard also would make two guest appearances in Star Trek: The Next Generation, as a much older Sarek in a 1990 episode that was named after the character, and in the first part of the Leonard Nimoy special event a year later that actually depicted the character’s death.
Cross – an actor most popular from the 1980s and 1990s – portrayed Spock’s father in Abrams’ reboot film, playing opposite Zachary Quinto’s Spock.
Star Trek: Discovery, which is set to debut on the subscription streaming service CBS All Access in May, stars Sonequa Martin-Green as Rainsford, a lieutenant commander of the USS Discovery who reports say will be referred to as “Number One.”
It also stars Doug Jones as the science officer Saru, Anthony Rapp as another science officer named Stamets, as well as some Klingons, played by Shazad Latif, Chris Obi and Mary Chieffo.
Michelle Yeoh of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon fame (and more recently Marco Polo on Netflix) will play Georgiou, captain of the USS Shenzhou.
All of this news comes, however, as CBS told Variety that Discovery might not make its May launch schedule as planned.
“Production on Star Trek: Discovery begins next week. We love the cast, the scripts, and are excited about thew world the producers have created. This is an ambitious project; we will be flexible on a launch date if it’s best for the show.
“We’ve said from the beginning it’s more important to do this right than to do it fast.”
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