Star Trek: Discovery has always had a mission to diversify the franchise even more than before, including giving us Trek‘s first black female lead and its first prominent gay couple. Season 3 will feature another couple of firsts, too, as the upcoming run of the CBS All Access show will introduce Trek‘s first non-binary and trans characters.
Joining the cast are Blu del Barrio and Ian Alexander. Del Barrio – a non-binary actor who uses they/them pronouns – is playing Adira, described as “highly intelligent with a confidence and self-assurance well beyond their years.” The character will find a new home aboard the U.S.S. Discovery and will form an unexpected bond with Lt. Commander Paul Stamets (Anthony Rapp) and Dr. Hugh Culber (Wilson Cruz).
Meanwhile, Alexander is playing transgender character Gray, who is “empathetic, warm and eager to fulfil his lifelong dream of being a Trill host, but he will have to adapt when his life takes an unexpected turn.” The 19-year-old actor, who uses he/him and they/them pronouns, has the distinction of being the first out transgender Asian-American person to appear on TV. He’s previously been seen in Netflix’s The OA.
Michelle Paradise, co-showrunner and executive producer, made the following statement on the casting of del Barrio and Alexander:
“Star Trek has always made a mission of giving visibility to underrepresented communities because it believes in showing people that a future without division on the basis of race, gender, gender identity or sexual orientation is entirely within our reach. We take pride in working closely with Blu del Barrio, Ian Alexander, and Nick Adams at GLAAD to create the extraordinary characters of Adira and Gray, and bring their stories to life with empathy, understanding, empowerment and joy.”
This news precipitates the release of Star Trek: Discovery season 3 in around six weeks’ time. The 13-episode run – which will follow up on the Discovery crew being flung 1000 years into the future at the end of season 2 – kicks off on CBS All Access on Thursday, October 15th. And frankly, we can’t wait to see what’s in store for us when the show returns for its next outing.