Jason Isaacs’ Captain Lorca “Takes No Prisoners”
With a mere five days left until the premiere of Star Trek: Discovery, it’s safe to say we’re getting a little antsy to see the show. Luckily for us, Jason Isaacs (Lucius Malfoy in the Potter films) recently sat down with IGN and gave us a real in-depth account of what we can expect from the reboot of the television franchise.
It’s worth noting that Isaacs himself is an avid Trek fan. Not only that, but he also really sees Gene Roddenberry’s creation for what it is: something meaningful that people can relate to and connect their real-life problems with while still keeping the allure of being an action-packed sci-fi masterpiece.
Isaacs’ character, Captain Gabriel Lorca, is a wartime captain. You may not see him as as comical and calm as other Starfleet captains we know. Discovery takes place before Spock and Bones playfully bickering and Captain Kirk finding any possible way to get his shirt torn (or completely off) in any scene.
He’s a very good wartime leader…The Federation mandate, as we discover in The Original Series, is much more peaceful, and they might have been steamrolled. But luckily, this is pre-them. I’m in charge, and I take no prisoners. So I have a relatively clear-cut view of [the Klingons]. The story, on the other hand, delves deeply into what the Klingons are thinking and feeling and their different culture. And that’s one of the ways this iteration differentiates itself from previous ones. That everybody has a point of view, and our real world and our ‘Star Trek’ world is a complicated place. No easy choices
As many Trek characters do, it seems Lorca has a bit of a dark side to him. In turn, that may cause a bit of a rift between the captain and his crew, which isn’t exactly something that we’re used to seeing on screen with Trek. In the prior versions of the series, we have seen, personal relationships are rarely touched on, something Roddenberry made a point of. While they occasionally would have small side plots involving relations between the characters, the show was always very much centered on the outside conflict, be it Klingons, Romulans, the Borg, or even the seemingly harmless Tribbles.
We go deeper into character, and we go deeper into the relationships. We’ve changed a lot. And conflicts that come up, some of which resolve, some of which [do]n’t, and intimacies that develop — that’s where all great drama comes from. All shows are family shows, all good shows. You know, the crew is a family, just like any other show you can think of on television is a family show. So this is about how people are with each other. And what you want to do is put them in situations of enormous crisis because then you really measure up. You see people are the best and worst versions of themselves in crisis, and there’s no bigger crisis than war.
One of the most important relationships on a starship is the one between the captain and their first officer. In this case, Commander Michael Burnham (Sonequa Martin-Green) fills those shoes. Not only that, but Burnham is also the main character in the series, which again goes a bit askew from the “traditional” Trek storyline. Since she is such an important figure in the upcoming show, Isaacs didn’t feel up to sharing too many details about her.
It’s true to say that she’s a remarkable person. She’s physically incredibly capable, but she’s also very smart — raised as a Vulcan. But it’s not just about her background; it’s about who she is. She has an instinctive capacity, I think, for leadership that has not been recognized.
While the show will be much darker than some Trekkies are used to, Isaacs expresses that he hopes it will be a “beacon of hope for the future.”
Star Trek: Discovery premieres September 24, 2017, on CBS and CBS All Access.
Are you excited for the reboot? What are you most excited about? Let us know in the comments below!