Star Trek Discovery's Kenneth Mitchell Returning as New Character in Season 3

Star Trek: Discovery's Kenneth Mitchell played three different Klingon roles in the first two seasons of the series. He'll return in the show's third season sans the alien makeup and prosthetics. Mitchell revealed to the Official Star Trek Magazine (via Trek Core) that he is playing a new human character in Star Trek: Discovery Season Three. “I’m playing a human character,” Mitchell says. “It’s beautiful, and I’m excited for the fans to meet him. I am also thankful for the continued support of Alex (Kurtzman), Michelle Paradise, Olatunde (Osunanmi), Jonathan Frakes and everyone at Secret Hideout, who made it happen for me.” Mitchell's character appears in two episodes late in the season.

Mitchell played the Klingon antagonist Kol in the first season of Discovery, Kol's father Kol-Sha in the second season of Discovery, and L'Rell and Voq's son Tenavik later in the show's second season. Earlier this year, Mitchell publicly revealed his ALS diagnosis, which will affect his acting career. The diagnosis led to his decision to drop out of a lead role in an upcoming series. “We realized it wasn’t right for me health-wise and emotionally to move away from my family just to go work on this project,” he said during an interview in February. “That being said, I wanted to see it through. I cared about the people and I cared about the show and the character that I created. Being lead of the show, I really wanted that responsibility. But in the end, it just wasn’t the right thing to continue on.

“The moment that they told us it was [ALS], it was like I was in my own movie. That’s what it felt like, like I was watching that scene where someone is being told that they have a terminal illness. It was just a complete disbelief, a shock… I do remember there was something really simple and beautiful in a way, how my wife and I were in the trenches together, and how we from this moment on we’re having to deal with something so severe that was going to affect our lives forever. We grieved and mourned really hard. There was so much unknown.”

He also recalled discussing the diagnosis with his Star Trek family. “I’ll never forget, one of my Star Trek costars told me, because they had dealt with some trying times with illnesses and stuff, and I remember them communicating to me, saying, ‘You have a choice. You can look at this in many different ways, but maybe try to look at this like a gift where you get to experience life in a way that most people don’t,” Mitchell said.

Star Trek: Discovery Season 3 premieres on CBS All Access on October 15th.