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This is why Star Trek: Discovery’s female lead is called Michael

Apparently it all comes down to ex-showrunner Bryan Fuller

Published: Thursday, 3rd August 2017 at 9:39 am

There are a lot of mysteries surrounding upcoming Star Trek TV series Discovery, from why Spock never mentioned he had an adopted sister to why Michelle Yeoh’s captain will be replaced by Jason Isaacs – but one such puzzle has now been answered.


You see, for a while fans have wondered why Sonequa Martin-Green’s lead character Lt Commander Burnham was given the traditionally male first name of Michael, and now executive producer Aaron Harberts has revealed the truth – it’s apparently based on an idea by ex-showrunner Bryan Fuller, who exited the series some months ago.

"It's his signature move to name his lead women with names that would typically be associated as male," Harberts explained to Mashable.

"We were going through male names, and we hit on Michael because... I have known of, I think, two [female] Michaels: Michael Sneed, [who] was a gossip columnist for the Chicago Sun‑Times and Michael Steele who played the bass for The Bangles — that's a deep dive on female Michaels.

“And we talked about it in the entire room. It was just like, this is a really, really interesting name. And, of course, an archangel is named Michael as well, and it just had a lot of potency for us."

And Martin-Green herself was happy with the decision, as she went on to explain.

"I appreciated the statement it makes all on its own to have this woman with this male name, just speaking of the amelioration of how we see men and women in the future," she said.

"But I also just decided for my creation and for my background and whatnot, that I was named after my father. And so, we get a little bit of exploration of the father‑daughter dynamic... I think it's a lovely symbol."

Guess that’s one thing ticked off the list, mystery-wise – and at least we now don’t have too long to wait until we find out the rest...


Star Trek Discovery will begin streaming on Netflix UK on Monday 25th September


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