Star Trek: Discovery Has Cast The Franchise's First Transgender And Nonbinary Characters

Michael Burnham Star Trek: Discovery CBS

The Star Trek franchise is known for its progressive storylines and show decisions. Star Trek: Discovery will further that tradition in Season 3, with a casting of the franchise's first transgender and non-binary actors. Ian Alexander and Blu del Barrio have joined the series in new roles that are guaranteed to shake up the story in the upcoming season.

Season 3 of Star Trek: Discovery takes place nearly 1000 years into the future from Season 2, far beyond territory other Star Trek shows have explored. Michael Burnham and the rest of the Discovery crew will be tasked with paving their way in a brave new world, and continuing to protect a massive databank sought out by advanced synthetic beings looking to use it to destroy humanity.

Buck The OA Netflix Ian Alexander

The crew will be joined by Ian Alexander's Gray, who is set to become a Trill host. An unexpected turn of events will force them to adapt, though Star Trek: Discovery isn't quite clear on what that event is. Alexander joins the franchise after a run as Buck in The OA, where they also played a transgender character.

Star Trek: Discovery will mark Blu del Barrio's acting debut, playing Adira for the CBS All Access series. Adira will link up the Discovery crew in Season 3 and is a character loaded with intelligence, self-assurance, and confidence. Adira is said to bond with Paul Stamets and Hugh Culber, though it's not clear in what capacity. With those two going through the wringer in Season 2 in terms of their relationship, it will be interesting to see whether or not Adira factors into any of that.

As previously mentioned, progressive castings and characters are on-brand for Star Trek. Co-showrunner Michelle Paradise pointed out the importance of these roles, as well as the franchise's continued commitment to representing the underrepresented, saying:

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.

These are exciting times for Star Trek: Discovery, which will finally get a traditional television run in America thanks to CBS and production delays in Hollywood. Season 1 will air on the network beginning Thursday, September 24 at 10:00 p.m. ET. The airing may give the show a chance to find more audiences on network TV, or at the very least a way for those who still refuse to subscribe CBS All Access a chance to watch the show for free.

Star Trek: Discovery Season 3 is set to kick off on CBS All Access Thursday, October 15. Continue to stick with CinemaBlend for more on the upcoming season, and for the latest happening in television and movies. For more viewing options in the coming months, check out our 2020 fall TV premiere schedule.

Mick Joest
Content Producer

Mick Joest is a Content Producer for CinemaBlend with his hand in an eclectic mix of television goodness. Star Trek is his main jam, but he also regularly reports on happenings in the world of Star Trek, WWE, Doctor Who, 90 Day Fiancé, Quantum Leap, and Big Brother. He graduated from the University of Southern Indiana with a degree in Journalism and a minor in Radio and Television. He's great at hosting panels and appearing on podcasts if given the chance as well.