Star Trek: Discovery casts Spock’s dad amid further delays

Say hello to the new Ambassador Sarek

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It’s a bit of a good news/bad news situation for the much-beleaguered Star Trek: Discovery TV series today. The upcoming sci-fi spin-off (the first Star Trek on TV since early noughties prequel Enterprise) has made another big casting decision – but it’s also hit another setback after a run of bad luck.

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But first, the good news. According to EW, British actor James Frain (known for his work on Gotham, The Tudors and True Blood among other series) has joined the series as Vulcan ambassador and scientist Sarek, the father of original series character Spock (played by the late Leonard Nimoy in the series and Zachary Quinto in the recent feature films).

Sarek appeared several times in the original series, Star Trek: The Next Generation and various films, and was most memorably portrayed by late actor Mark Lenard (below).

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Described as a “key character,” it’s unclear how regularly the new Sarek will appear in Discovery, but his involvement provides a clear link to the older series that’s sure to delight fans and create some interesting parallels. Plus, you know, it’s good to see a Vulcan joining the team.

However, this news comes with a sting in the tail – because it’s also been revealed that the series is being delayed yet again, with its planned May premiere date (already delayed from the original announcement of February) shifted to later this year, though its unclear exactly when it will air.

“Production on Star Trek: Discovery begins next week,” CBS Television Studios said in a statement.

“We love the cast, the scripts and are excited about the 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.”

Apparently this shift may be due to series star Sonequa Martin-Green appearing in megahit zombie drama The Walking Dead, as well as a desire to take their time and not rush production on Discovery, so it could end up being a good thing for the series. 

Still, after already suffering delays and losing its fan-favourite showrunner before they’d even started filming, it’s safe to say that this space voyage is still starting off under a bit of a cloud. 

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Star Trek: Discovery will air on Netflix UK later this year