I have recently been binge watching Star Trek Discovery, rewatching it from the beginning in case I missed anything before going on to season three. Compared to other Trek incarnations, I still think it’s pretty awful: a lot of bunkum about spore drives, parallel universes, and chasing Spock around the galaxy without ever actually seeing him. If this wasn’t Star Trek I would have given up on it ages ago (in fact I did, and recently decided to give it another chance.
Now, indulge a trekkie if you will, but two thoughts occurred to me while watching an episode this afternoon which I think I need to note: firstly, have you ever noticed that all the best Star Trek series have British characters and/or actors in lead roles? The Original Series had Scottie, played by James Doohan; The Next Generation had Jean-Luc Picard, who, despite being a supposedly French Character, was played by a great english actor, sir Patrick Stewart; and Deep Space Nine had Dr. Julian Bashir, played by Alexander Siddig. Surely it can’t be a coincidence that these were by far the best, richest incarnations of star Trek, and they were the only three with British Actors? Of course you could add Colm Meaney to that list, who played miles O’Brian in DS9, although he’s Irish. Voyager, Enterprise and Discovery were flops in comparison, and none had any Brits.
However, that takes me on to my second geeky thought, also cast related: in Discovery, Section 31 looks like it will take a major role in future seasons. Starfleet’s secret service has been mentioned once or twice in past incarnations of Trek, but not really fleshed out. That got me thinking, how awesome would it be if the head of Section 31 was played by Dame Judi Dench? If that somehow became reality, and she was revealed sitting behind a desk on earth wearing a grey suit, I think it would make my year.