Is Lt. Ash Tyler, a Starfleet officer and former prisoner of war, actually a Klingon in disguise? That’s what many fans of Star Trek: Discovery think, and now we have the first response from the actor who plays Tyler himself.
That actor is Shazad Latif and, in addition to playing Tyler, many fans think he is also the actor underneath the pale Klingon prosthetic of Voq, despite the role of Voq being credited to newcomer Javid Iqbal, an actor no one can seem to find a picture of without his Voq makeup.
When Yahoo mentioned this theory to Latif attention in person, he gave an expertly-crafted non-answer in response.
“I rarely read a lot of stuff online, but the publicists have been letting me know,” Latif said. “It’s fun that there’s a lot of interest — that’s always a good thing. A lot of the theories are crazy. Some people have some stuff right, and some are way off. But it’s just good to see people interested.”
Adding to the conspiracy theory is the fact that Latif was initially cast in Star Trek: Discovery in a Klingon role, that of Kol of House Kor. The role of Kol was eventually recast and given to Kenneth Mitchell, which is when Latif was announced as playing Ash Tyler instead. But could he really have been given a different Klingon role?
“One of the producers said, ‘Do you want to try out of this [other] role?'” says Latif. “I started reading it, and it just fit. It made a lot more sense [for me], and meant less time in prosthetics!”
Fans are unlikely to let this theory go, and there’s good reason. For one, Latif was credited in the two-part pilot episode of Star Trek: Discovery even though Ash Tyler did not appear in the pilot. However, Voq did appear in the pilot and had a major role.
There’s also the fact that the classic Star Trek: The Original Series episode “The Trouble With Tribbles” established that Klingons have the technology to disguise themselves as humans. Whether that same technology is at play in Star Trek: Discovery is a question fans will have to keep watching to have answered.
New Star Trek: Discovery episodes become available to stream Sundays at 8:30 ET on CBS All Access.