Which Of Bryan Fuller's Repertory Players Should Make A Discovery?
Bryan Fuller has lots of old friends from canceled shows. Which ones should appear on his new Star Trek series?
I am not a Star Trek person. I think I could be, with the right exposure, but my experience is limited to the last two movies and a handful of syndicated Next Generation episodes after school in 1994. I am, however, a Bryan Fuller person, and I'm particularly here for the strange, sweet, dark metaphysical dramedies he can never quite seem to keep on the air.
For the first time, I'm considering jumping into the Star Trek universe when Star Trek: Discovery premieres next year (and boy, did nobody think to check the acronym on that?): with Fuller in charge, I expect the weirdest, saddest, most disturbingly funny Star Trek ever. No casting news has been released yet -- Fuller said at Comic-Con that they're still in the very early stages -- but he's a guy with a team, and the odds seem good that some cast members from previous shows might turn up on the spaceship Discovery. Here are the ones I'd most like to see!
Lee Pace can do it all. He can look hot while solving murders and bringing dead things back to life; he can look hot while inventing computers in the '80s; he can look hot as the rando older brother to a woman hearing voices from inanimate objects; and just think of all the things he's looked hot doing on the big screen over the years! At the same time, he has solid sci-fi cred as the dialed-to-11 villain in Guardians Of The Galaxy (painted unrecognizably blue, though I'm sure the Internet is full of people who would add this to the list of things he's looked hot doing in movies). He and Fuller have worked together on both Wonderfalls and Pushing Daisies, so I think we can assume best-friend status? Make this guy someone true-hearted and captainish, or maybe someone we can't altogether trust.
Stay with me, here: no alien in its right mind (hive or otherwise) is going to cross Jasmine Guy. Have you seen her as the surly meter maid/grim reaper Roxy on Dead Like Me? Guy has spent the last ten years playing supporting roles on middling shows, and I say it's time to refocus on what she can do -- which is to say: anything she wants. Surely Discovery needs a getting-things-done kind of lady on board, and I don't want to be the one to tell her it can't be her.
Does the Firefly fandom need extra encouragement to tune in to Discovery? Not at all. But wait until they see what Fuller saw in Staite back on Wonderfalls: she's at her best playing someone complicated at best and downright villainous at worst. She's old enough (in a good way) to shed the cute factor of Kaylee Frye, and to play a grown-ass woman with grown-ass-woman motivations; I'd love to give her something borderline terrible to do and see where she goes with it.
I'm just saying, when Raúl Esparza shows up (which he will) and there's somehow a song gleefully incorporated into some very compelling space-oriented situation (which there will be), Katie Finneran should be there. She was promoted to series regular on Bloodline this year, but something tells me the promise of space showbiz might lure her in Fuller's direction, if only temporarily.
Somebody has to be there to say "...where no one has gone before," and in the absence of Patrick Stewart, who better than former Pushing Daisies narrator Jim Dale? Suddenly, the vastness of space sounds like teatime overlaid with a thin layer of disdain.
Ellen Greene & Swoosie Kurtz
But only together; there's no point unless this is a package deal. Truthfully, they could probably just port their entire Pushing Daisies roles over to Discovery; if Fuller doesn't bring a pair of reclusive, cheese-obsessed former synchronized swimming stars onto this new spacecraft, I don't know what we're even doing here. The depth and darkness of space would almost certainly bum Lily and Vivian out, but as long as someone occasionally baked them a pie laced with antidepressants, they'd probably be fine. They would, however, need to adjust to the streamlined wardrobe.
Mandy Patinkin is obviously a skilled performer with a broad range, but I think he really only needs to be there if Ellen Greene and Swoosie Kurtz are there to form the other two points of a truly delicious love triangle of cantankerous oldish people. He can be the ship's medic (all that training on Chicago Hope!); suddenly he has to keep an eye on Aunts Lily and Vivian, and then there's the pies...Make it happen, Fuller. Or should that be "make it so"?