Some fans may be interested in seeing classic Star Trek actors making appearances in Star Trek: Discovery, but at least one of the show’s stars is less than enthusiastic about the idea.
Jason Isaacs, who plays Captain Gabriel Lorca of the USS Discovery, tells Metro is concerned that seeing familiar Star Trek faces on Discovery will damage the immersion.
“Someone asked which cast members from the existing series would you like to guest star – I think people watch good drama shows and they completely suspend their disbelief, they feel like they’re looking through the keyhole at another world, f you do it well enough,” Isaacs explains. “If you have stunt celebrity cameo casting, it completely pulls them out of it. They feel like they’re watching a Saturday Night Live sketch.”
Speaking specifically of William Shatner, who famously played Captain James T. Kirk in Star Trek: The Original Series, Isaacs points out that, with Star Trek: Discovery being a prequel and Shatner being 50 years old than he was when the series debuted, it would be pretty odd to have the actor reprise his iconic role for the show.
“Kirk doesn’t come along for ten years and when we meet him, he’s 26, so it would be a weird timeline if they met”
In a previous interview, Shatner himself admitted that age is a problem, though not necessarily an insurmountable one.
“Well, it would depend on what the participation was,” Shatner. “I wouldn’t want to do something that was a throwaway sort of gratuitous place in the plotline. They would really have to exercise their imaginations to have a fifty-years-older captain in there – if it was the character. They would have to do something remarkable.”
Shatner also had the clever solution of simply playing Kirk’s father instead of Kirk himself. As for Isaacs, he’d rather meet Shatner off-screen than on.
‘So I just hope people believe our stories, are engaged with them, and I’m happy to meet Will Shatner in real life in a restaurant,’ he said.
Isaacs also looked ahead and teased what’s to come in the second chapter of Star Trek: Discovery’s first season.
“There’s a lot of seeds sown that will bear fruit,” Isaacs says. “Because we don’t reboot to zero every week, the stakes can get higher and higher and it can pay off in both emotionally spectacular ways and aesthetically spectacular ways. “Things are heading towards confrontations that will have enormous consequences.”
Star Trek: Discovery returns to CBS All Access on January 7, 2018.