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Could Star Trek: Discovery's Prime Lorca Be Heading To Strange New Worlds? Jason Isaacs Weighs In

Jason Isaacs on Star Trek: Discovery on Paramount+
(Image credit: Paramount+)

Star Trek: Discovery evolved a lot after Season 1, and while Paramount+ subscribers continue to be excited for adventures in the 32nd century in Season 5, there are some elements of the pre-time jump era that fans miss. Many viewers loved Jason Isaacs as Captain Lorca in Season 1 and hoped the Prime timeline version of his character could work his way back into the franchise. Now, there’s finally an opportunity for that to happen in Strange New Worlds, but will it? 

Jason Isaacs spoke to TheList.com about his movie Mrs. Harris Goes To Paris, and also fielded some questions about his past roles. When asked about the possibility of whether or not the Prime Lorca might find his way back into Star Trek, the actor gave his personal thoughts on returning to the franchise:

Sure. Yeah. The story would have to be great. It was a fantastic storyline. All actors ever want is a secret, and I had the biggest secret of all, without spoiling it for anyone. If people haven't watched it already, it's unlikely they'll watch it now, but there is nonetheless a fantastic secret, and I had it to play, and I knew it. It means that when you watch it, like when you watch 'The Sixth Sense' for a second time, there's a whole new layer of enjoyment to be had when you know what things turn out to be.

Jason Isaacs indeed had a secret as Captain Lorca in Star Trek: Discovery Season 1, and (spoiler alert) fans learned at the end of the season that he was actually an evil Terran Lorca from the Mirror Universe posing as the Prime timeline Lorca. It was a blindside for some to be sure, though Jason Isaacs’ past dastardly roles like Lucius Malfoy certainly had some fans wondering early on if he’d be the surprise villain of the season. 

Ultimately, Michael Burnham and the Star Trek: Discovery crew defeated the evil Captain Lorca, and while we don't know what happened to Prime Lorca, it's possible he could still be alive. That possibility presented an opportunity for Isaacs to return to Discovery, although that was never acted upon since the bulk of the show's main characters jumped centuries into the future in the Season 2 finale. Now, Strange New Worlds presents a new opportunity, and there’s even a connection to get him back involved. Isaacs talked about working with SNW’s co-showrunner Akiva Goldsman and shared more thoughts on reprising his role as Lorca:

Prime Lorca is... I'm working with Akiva Goldsman right now, who wrote and directed quite a lot of '[Star Trek]: Discovery,' on a Tom Holland mini-series, 'The Crowded Room' in New York. We've talked about Prime Lorca, and it would have to be as good a story as Season 1 of 'Discovery.' I don't want to come back just because he's a fan favorite and do some version that isn't anywhere near as good. If there's space, they have so many brilliant series up now. ‘Strange New Worlds’ has been a massive hit as well, and 'Picard' is a huge hit, but where and if there's space for a Prime Lorca arc, I'm all up for it. I don't want to come back just to squeeze into that sausage skintight suit.

The actor’s latest comments on the role are similar to what he’s said in the past. Jason Isaacs confirmed that he enjoyed the role, he’d be willing to return, and that the suit was super tight. His new comments about Strange New Worlds are interesting, especially since he’s working with Akiva Goldsman.

Prime Lorca is an entirely different version of Gabriel Lorca with a different personality, so I can understand Jason Isaac’s apprehension of returning and not playing a character as great as the Terran counterpart. At the same time, Strange New Worlds delivered some pretty awesome episodes in Season 1 and found great ways to work legacy characters into its story. It also heavily incorporated storylines first introduced in Discovery, so it wouldn’t be surprising to see Lorca suddenly appear there. 

The only issue is if Strange New Worlds didn’t invite Jason Isaacs back for Season 2, then the earliest he’d be available to appear is if the show returns for Season 3. The only other Star Trek show set in that era is the Section 31 series, which still hasn’t even begun production and likely won’t until star Michelle Yeoh has time in her schedule. In short, unless there’s some secret casting we don't know about, it’ll be some time before we see Isaacs in Trek again, even if everyone is on board. 

Star Trek: Strange New Worlds Season 1 is available to stream on Paramount+. Subscribers can also revisit Jason Isaacs’ work as Lorca in Discovery Season 1 and maybe begin their binge through all the new Trek shows. 

Mick Joest
Mick Joest

Mick likes good television, but also reality television. He grew up on Star Wars, DC, Marvel, and pro wrestling and loves to discuss and dissect most of it. He’s been writing online for over a decade and never dreamed he’d be in the position he is today.