True Blood and The Tudors alum, James Frain has been cast as the character Sarek in the upcoming new Star Trek series, Star Trek: Discovery. Spock's father will return to our screens again, but in this younger incarnation.
Production begins next week for the show, and as a life long trekkie I was a little concerned when TV genius Bryan Fuller stepped back from the role of show runner, but everything I hear about the new series just makes me more excited.
Due to be set ten years before the original series, Star Trek: Discovery will be following the adventures of a new crew and possibly filling in some of the gaps in the history of the United Federation of Planets that we're not yet aware of.
Normally the recasting of a character is a huge controversy, particularly since the actor Mark Lenard played the role from Star Trek: The Original Series onwards, however the actor passed away in 1996 and I don't think the show will have the CGI budget to do a Grand Moff Tarkin like Rogue One did.
Lenard did however get to give the character a true send off, appearing in Star Trek: The Next Generation in which he gave a moving performance as the character was succombing to old age. Trekkies might be aware Lenard was the first actor to portray a major Romulan character in TOS, but he was also considered to replace Leonard Nimoy should the actor have left the role in the second season. He also played the first Klingon with head ridges in Star Trek: The Motion Picture.
As far as I'm concerned I believe James Frain is an excellent choice to take over the role. His character Franklin Mott in the show True Blood, was by far one of the highlights of that season. Acomposite of several book characters, Franklin was a definite improvement and was popular enough with the fans to warrant a brief cameo in the following season, after he had been supposedly killed.
If you're not familiar with True Blood, the actor also had roles in The Tudors, Agent Carter, Leverage, True Detective, Gotham and Orphan Black. Frain joins other anounced cast members, The Walking Dead's Sonequa Marton, Anthony Rapp, Doug Jones of literally every Guillermo Del Toro movie, and the incomparable Michelle Yeoh. Shazard Latif of Penny Dreadful has also been cast in a recurring role.
The pilot episode of Star Trek: Discovery is due to air in May 2017 - mark your calenders!