Star Trek Discovery Season 3 Episode 5: New Starfleet Officers Cast Guide
Warning: SPOILERS for Star Trek: Discovery season 3, episode 5, "Die Trying".
Star Trek: Discovery season 3 has introduced the Starfleet Officers of the 32nd century, and here's every new character wearing the delta badge of the United Federation of Planets' interstellar armada. The U.S.S. Discovery was on a quest to find Starfleet and the Federation ever since it arrived in the year 3189 and reunited with Commander Michael Burnham (Sonequa Martin-Green), who landed a year prior only to find the Federation had collapsed because of the dilithium catastrophe called the Burn. Michael soon met Aditya Sahil (Adil Hussain), a lone Federation liaison who Commander Burnham commissioned to be her new communications officer.Click the button below to start this article in quick view. Start now
In "Die Trying", the Discovery's crew finally came "home" to Starfleet, although it wasn't quite what they were expecting and hoped for. Starfleet and the Federation used to be separate entities based in United Earth's San Francisco but after the Burn, the Terran homeworld banished both organizations and became a self-sustaining isolationist planet. Because of the widespread belief that the Burn was an attack on the Federation, it combined with Starfleet out of necessity and hid its new headquarters, a massive starbase, with a cloaked distortion field. Discovery finally located Federation Headquarters thanks to Adira Tal (Blu del Barrio), the host of the Tal symbiont which contained the memories of the Trill Starfleet Admiral Senna Tal (Kenneth Welsh). Through Senna, Adira provided Captain Saru's (Doug Jones) starship the Federation base's coordinates.
Upon their arrival, Discovery's crew marveled at the advanced technology of the 32nd-century's Starfleet. Starships are bigger, sleeker, and more powerful than ever - although they lack the plentiful dilithium to enable their warp drives and none of them have Discovery's greatest advantage, the spore displacement hub drive. Still, Starfleet's modern armada boasts neutronium alloys, organic metals, and even detached nacelles, while the interiors are likely made of programmable matter. In addition, the fleet contains at least one legacy starship: the U.S.S. Voyager-J, which is the 11th generation of the legendary starship commanded by Captain Kathryn Janeway (Kate Mulgrew).
However, as Michael Burnham astutely believes, the Starfleet and the Federation are more than technology and starships - the Federation is its people. Indeed, Starfleet is made up of a new generation of officers whose duty continues to be preserving the Federation and its ideals. However, thanks to the Burn and the lack of dilithium, Starfleet's powers are severely limited compared to what the Discovery's crew remembers from the 23rd century, and their primary mission is not exploration but protecting the 38 remaining member worlds of the Federation. As Captain Saru, Commander Burnham, and their crew acclimate to the realities of 3189's Federation, here are the main players of the new Starfleet Trekkers met in Star Trek: Discovery season 3, episode 5.
Oded Fehr as Admiral Charles Vance
The Commander-In-Chief of Starfleet, Admiral Vance is stern and no-nonsense, but he also carries the unenviable burden of being responsible for the continued survival of Starfleet and the Federation. Vance welcomed the crew of the Discovery but he, understandably, regarded their frankly wild story of being time travelers from 2258 who saved the galaxy (facts long-ago redacted from Starfleet's records to preserve the timeline) with requisite suspicion. Still, despite his skepticism and his adherence to proper discipline, Vance allowed the Discovery's crew to prove themselves and he was impressed when Burnham led her crew to successfully complete their trial. Vance also had a prior friendship with Admiral Senna Tal, but he appropriately notes that Vance and Adira, Tal's new host, are essentially strangers.
Oded Fehr is an Israeli actor who is best known for starring as Ardeth Bay in 1999's The Mummy and 2001's The Mummy Returns. Fehr also played Carlos Olivera in Resident Evil: Apocalypse and Resident Evil: Extinction as well as a clone of Carlos in Resident Evil: Retribution. Among numerous other live-action film and TV roles, Fehr has also lent his voice to many animated projects, such as portraying Dr. Fate in Justice League and Justice League Unlimited, Ra's al Ghul in Young Justice, and he voiced Osiris in the video game Destiny 2.
Vanessa Jackson as Lieutenant Audrey Willa
Lt. Willa is Starfleet's Security Chief and works alongside Admiral Vance. Willa reflects the Commander-in-Chief's no-nonsense style and she initially treats the crew of the Discovery with suspicion. When she joined Michael Burnham's mission to find the Federation's seed vault, Willa had derogatory comments about the thousand-year-old U.S.S. Discovery. But despite being flabbergasted by the "dysfunction" of Lt. Paul Stamets (Anthony Rapp), Lt. Jett Reno (Tig Notaro), and Ensign Sylvia Tilly (Mary Wiseman), Willa came away duly impressed with the abilities and effectiveness of the U.S.S. Discovery's crew.
Vanessa Jackson has appeared in notable sci-fi and comic book genre films and TV series in her short acting career: Jackson played a shuttle pilot rescued by the X-Men in Dark Phoenix and she portrayed an FBI agent in the "Donna Troy" episode of DC Universe's Titans.
Brendan Beiser as Doctor ELI the E.M.H.
Doctor ELI is the 32nd-century evolution of the Emergency Medical Hologram played by Robert Picardo on Star Trek: Voyager. Arguably more effective than a "living" doctor, the E.M.H.'s artificial intelligence has evolved significantly since the 24th century. For example, ELI's "primary diagnostic scanners can read anomalies as small as aberrant protein codings in [Michael's] neurons", meaning ELI is also a lie detector. However, Dr. ELI is also more mechanical and "artificial" than Voyager's holographic doctor and its beside manner doesn't seem to have evolved along with its technology.
Brendan Beiser is a Canadian/American actor with an impressive list of credits. Beiser played Agent Pendrell on The X-Files, which opened the door to roles in Andromeda, Suits, Orphan Black, The Hot Zone, Designated Survivor, and The Boys.
David Cronenberg as Unknown Character
The most intriguing new character introduced in "Die Trying" is the unidentified man in black who also wears blue-tinted glasses. This mysterious person personally led the interrogation of Emperor Philippa Georgiou (Michelle Yeoh) once she was identified as a Terran hailing from the Mirror Universe. While he never stated who he was or what his intentions are, it's extremely likely the man in black is an agent of Section 31 and he matched Georgiou for cunning and deception. Curiously, after the former Emperor's "interview" was over, Burnham found Georgiou standing catatonic in a hallway before she snapped out of it and claimed nothing was amiss.
David Cronenberg played the man in black and his casting is quite a surprising coup for Star Trek: Discovery. Cronenberg is a legendary writer-director and an acknowledged master of the horror genre who helmed The Fly, Scanners, Dead Ringers, Crash, A History of Violence, Eastern Promises, and Cosmopolis. Cronenberg also has numerous acting credits, not just in his own films, but also in Alias, The Newsroom, The Disappearance at Clifton Hill, and Alias Grace.
RJ Parrish And Vanessa Burns As Holo Security Officers
Holograms are in wide use in the Starfleet of the 32nd century, and Lt. Willa used holographic security officers to debrief and interrogate the crew of the U.S.S. Discovery. While most didn't realize they were speaking to holograms, Emperor Georgiou deduced their artificiality immediately and used a series of blinks to disrupt their matrix's integrity and dissipate the holograms.
Canadian actors RJ Parrish and Vanessa Burns portrayed the holographic security officers. Parrish appeared in Nikita, The Expanse, and in video games like Far Cry 4 and The Division 2, while Burns has starred in Designated Survivor, The Handmaid's Tale, and The Boys. Other holo officers who debrief the Star Trek: Discovery crew are played by Chris Zamat, Jajube Mandiela, and Daniel Woodrow.About The Author