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Why Star Trek Discovery Will Likely Have a Black Female Captain

The USS Discovery in the upcoming Star Trek Discovery TV series - Star Trek Casting news

And Who We Like For the Role

Based on recent comments regarding Star Trek Discovery casting from showrunner Bryan Fuller, it seems more and more likely that we will see a black female Captain at the helm of the USS Discovery. But, this has actually been a rumor for a while now, before Fuller was even offered the chance to run a Star Trek series. So before we get to the recent comments, let’s jump back a few years.

In April of 2013, Bryan Fuller was giving an interview to Den of Geek, and dropped this:

I would love to do something on the Reliant. I want Angela Lansbury … Not Lansbury! I want Angela Bassett to be the captain, that’s who I would love to have, you know Captain Angela Bassett and First Officer Rosario Dawson. I would love to do that version of the show and but that’s in the future to be told.

Well, fast forward a few years, and Bryan Fuller in announced as the showrunner for a new Star Trek series. And, of course, those words stuck in people’s minds. So this last March, while at the premiere for Underground (a WGN America series about the Underground Railroad), E! approached Angela Basset to ask her about the possibility. To which she replied:

That’s thrilling, that’s very nice, but how am I going to do that and American Horror? How is that going to work? … Oh my gosh, and raise twins?

So, it appears she’s too busy to take on the role. And that quieted the rumor for a while.

Fuller’s Comments During Comic-Con

However, the idea came back to life after comments Fuller and executive producer Heather Kadin made at the recent Comic-Con. First, when asked what it was like to be a woman on the production, she responded, with this, hinting at a more female-driven cast:

As a female, you’ll see, when you start to hear more about the series, that that’s a big part of it.

And then, Bryan Fuller had this to say:

I think that Star Trek is a show of firsts. And in researching the characters for this new iteration of Star Trek I’ve been talking to Mae Jemison, who’s the first black woman in space, and who saw Star Trek in the ‘60s and who saw Nichelle Nichols on the bridge of a ship and said ‘I see myself in space.’

So there’s something wonderful about the legacy that Nichelle Nichols represents as giving a gift to people who weren’t previously able to see themselves in the future. We are going to be continuing that tradition of progressive casting and progressive character work to be an inclusive world.

OK. So, there’s nothing concrete yet, but it sounds like they’re strongly leaning towards a black female captain. And given that Angela Basset is currently too busy, here are 5 candidates we think could step into the role.

Star Trek Discovery Casting – 5 Candidates for the Captain’s Chair
CCH Pounder - possible Captain for Star Trek Discovery?CCH Pounder

Personally, this is my favorite candidate. Pounder has a vast resume of work in film and television, and she’s shown she can go toe to toe with the roughest and toughest, often playing tough and decisive characters. She didn’t take any crap from Michael Chiklis in The Shield, and she sure as Hell wouldn’t take any crap from the Ferengi, Romulans, Klingons or any other alien that got thrown at her.

Alfre Woodard - possible Captain for Star Trek Discovery?Alfre Woodard

OK, seriously, did you think there was any possibility Woodard wouldn’t be on this list? She radiates calm, but firm authority. She’s got a similarly impressive resume and incredible acting talent. In addition, she’s already played the President (on State of Affairs) and where do you after that? Well, up, into space, as the Captain on the USS Discovery, putting your experience to work in trying to keep the peace between all the different alien groups.

Taraji P Henson - possible Captain for Star Trek Discovery?Taraji P. Henson

You want a Captain that anyone would think twice before crossing? Henson has you covered. She’s a scary force of nature on Empire, and definitely someone you don’t want to cross. Also, from her time on Person of Interest, we know she can handle the action.

Viola Davis - possible Captain for Star Trek Discovery?Viola Davis

What do you do if you’re going to be dealing with a group of crazed criminals like the Joker, Deadshot, and Harley Quinn? You bring in Viola Davis, of course. That’s because she has an air of authority. You’re going to respect her, and listen to what she has to say. She’s played authority roles in everything from the upcoming Suicide Squad to Knight and Day and Ender’s Game, so this would be a role she’s well equipped to play.

Queen Latifah - possible Captain for Star Trek Discovery?Queen Latifah

Hear me out. Queen Latifah is a charming person. And though she’s largely wasted in silly and lesser movies, she’s shown that she’s got the acting chops. Her Captain might be a little more of a diplomat than others, but that’s not a bad thing. Which isn’t to say she wouldn’t be able to drop the hammer if the situation called for it. This could be the perfect type of role to show people she has the range to play more challenging roles. Plus, Star Trek musical episode, anyone?

So, what do you think of this possible bit of Star Trek Discovery casting? And who would you like to see in the role?

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6 Responses

      1. Bryan Stewart

        I think he means “no” to having any ideas for a female to play the role. You know, the question you asked him.

  1. Everett Will

    Viola Davis already has the lead television role on How to Get Away with Murder so she clearly won’t headline this show.

  2. gary gee

    Halle Berry, Jada Pinkett Smith, and Gina Torres would be excellent candidates as well. All of them are tough, beautiful and definitely have the sci fi chops…….my two cents

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