star trek discovery sonequa martin green michael burnham

Sonequa Martin-Green's Star Trek: Discovery character is already blazing a new trail by being the only first officer to be the main focus of a Trek series. Now we've learned that the character will be different in another, wholly unexpected way. Apparently, her Michael Burnham will be spending most of her working hours in a section of the ship that first officers don't usually work in: engineering.

According to information gathered during a set visit done by TV Guide in August, viewers can expect to spend an unusual amount of time below decks in the engineering department as they watch Star Trek: Discovery, since Burnham will be doing most of her work there. She'll be joined by Cadet Tilly (Mary Wiseman) and Lieutenant Stamets (Anthony Rapp), who actually runs the department and the lab which is attached to it.

As anyone who's watched a Star Trek series knows, since the first officer is the second in command to the captain, they generally spend most of their time on the bridge so that they can better advise their captain and implement the orders that he or she gives. So, it's truly unexpected that a first officer would spend most of their time, not just off the bridge and away from the captain, but in another department on the ship. Of course, this likely means that Captain Lorca (Jason Isaacs) has assigned Burnham to engineering and some important work there. The questions now are, why and what is she doing down there that the regular engineering crew can't handle?

The set visit also revealed that engineering is not just a focus of Burnham's work life, but a focus of her personal life as well. Now, this could just mean that she studied engineering before joining Starfleet and the specialty is a favorite of hers, but, since I have a suspicious nature, something tells me it's a lot more than that. Especially since we're now hearing that, along with all the standard engineering stuff that goes on in the department, there's a mysterious reason for some aspects of the room. It seems that there are canisters embedded in the walls there, which executive producer Aaron Harberts said have something to do with figuring out "a new way to fly," and also are a major part of the show's plot.

It's becoming increasingly clear that Star Trek: Discovery will have some big surprises in store for fans when the show finally debuts on CBS and CBS All Access on September 24. After the premiere, the series will air weekly exclusively on the streaming service. If you want to see what else you can check out in the coming months, be sure to read our fall premiere guide.

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