Get all the details on The Walking Dead’s Sonequa Martin-Green joining Star Trek Discovery…
Sonequa Martin-Green will take the lead on the series as the Discovery’s lieutenant commander and will provide the show with its central focus.
But don’t worry Zombie lovers, Martin-Green will continue to serve as a series regular on AMC’s The Walking Dead, where she has played the tough pragmatic survivor Sasha Williams since season 3. Technically this is a break from tradition. It will be an interesting new change, but change is good.
Martin-Green represents the first African-American woman to lead the cast of a Trek ensemble, fulfilling a years-long goal by the project’s original showrunner Bryan Fuller. The series will also have the TV franchise’s first openly gay character, a lieutenant played by Anthony Rapp.
“Star Trek started with a wonderful expression of diversity in its cast … we’re continuing that tradition,” Fuller noted to reporters in August. “We wanted to paint a picture of Starlet that’s indicative of encountering people who are much more different than we are.” While Fuller stepped down from his duties to focus on his upcoming series on Starz, American Gods, Discovery’s new showrunners Gretchen J. Berg and Aaron Harberts are moving forward with his original vision.
Another evolution from Trek tradition: Unlike the previous series in the franchise, the main protagonist of Discovery won’t be a captain (at least, not initially). Fuller described Martin-Green’s character as a “lieutenant commander with caveats.”
“We’ve seen six series from the captain’s point of view,” he explained. “To see a character from a [new] perspective on the starship — one who has different dynamic relationships with a captain, with subordinates, it gave us richer context.”
The casting of Martin-Green fills the most crucial role in the series, which CBS will premiere in May on its All Access streaming service. Discovery has made a flurry of other castings in recent few weeks too. Michelle Yeoh will play Captain Georgiou, the Starfleet Captain aboard the Starship Shenzhou; Doug Jones (Hellboy, Falling Skies) will play Lt. Saru, a Starfleet Science Officer and a new alien species in the Star Trek universe; and Rapp (Rent, Road Trip) was cast as Lt. Stamets, an “astromycologist,” fungus expert, and Starfleet Science Officer aboard the Starship Discovery.