Star Trek Involvement Keeps Kenneth Mitchell "Inspired," With "Purpose" Following ALS Diagnosis
Kenneth Mitchell has undergone some life changes since he received his ALS diagnosis, but he remains a part of the Star Trek family. Mitchell played three different Klingon characters -- Kol, Kol's ruthless father Kol-Sha, and Voq and L'Rell's son Tenavik -- in Star Trek: Discovery's first two seasons. He'll be back inStar Trek: Discovery's third season, this time playing a human character, in a role modified to accommodate his symptoms. Mitchell is also lending his voice to Star Trek: Lower Decks, the new animated comedy streaming its first season on CBS All Access. In an interview with Syfy Wire, Mitchell recalls recording for Star Trek: Lower Decks being the last job he had while still walking.
"Working on Lower Decks is... the last time I remember walking before having to be in a motorized wheelchair," Mitchell said. "I remember walking up the stairs to go into the studio and the recording booth, and I remember having a great time with [showrunner] Mike [McMahan] and the team. And then I remember walking down the stairs but having trouble getting down. But, to be honest, that's my last memory of walking on my own. And for that to be last memory, it's pretty damn special."
As for his return to Star Trek: Discovery, Mitchell remains guarded with the details. "For the new character in Discovery Season Three, I worked a lot with Mario [Moreira] and the props department and the special effect department, so you can interpolate that as much as you want," Mitchell hinted. "I'll just say it's pretty damn cool and very unique and something Star Trek hasn't had a lot of. I think it was special they adapted this part for me. I think it will be meaningful to the Trek community and beyond."
Mitchell is thankful to be a part of this community of Star Trek actors. He's struck up a particularly strong friendship with Anson Mount (Captain Christopher Pike) and Ethan Peck (Mr. Spock), stars of the upcoming Enterprise-set Star Trek: Discovery spinoff Star Trek: Strange New Worlds. Mitchell isn't ruling out making an appearance on that series as well.
"Being a part of Star Trek keeps me inspired and gives me purpose," Mitchell says. "Hopefully, that will keep going."
New episodes fo Star Trek: Lower Decks debut Thursdays on CBS All Access. Star Trek: Discovery returns for its third season on CBS All Access on October 15th.