Star Trek: Discovery is taking things back to Lt. Michael Burnham’s past by casting Mia Kirshner as Amanda, Spock’s mother, and Michael Burnham’s adoptive mother. The series has already shown Michael’s Vulcan upbringing in flashbacks and introduced Sarek, played by James Frain.
Now it seems that more of Michael’s family, as well as major players in the Vulcan corner of the Star Trek universe, will be making an appearance. It’s a smart move since bringing in Michael’s adoptive parent will continue to provide background for the leading lieutenant, making it all the more important.
Amanda Grayson first made her television debut in Star Trek: The Original Series. Played by Jane Wyatt, she first appeared in the episode ‘Journey to Babel’ and again in Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home. Originally a school teacher, she met Sarek, the Vulcan ambassador to Earth.
The two married and had their son Spock. Originally created by science fiction writer D.C Fontana who worked on Star Trek: The Original Series, Star Trek: The Animated Series, Star Trek: The Next Generation and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. She was portrayed by Winona Ryder in J.J. Abrams’ 2009 Star Trek that inspired the Discovery continuity.
Originally reported by TrekMovie.com, it’s unknown when Kirshner will make her debut or in what context. After all, a second season isn’t expected until 2019. It’s also unknown if Kirshner’s arrival will mean that her and Sarek’s other child will make an appearance in Star Trek: Discovery or what role they might play.
Kirshner joins a cast that includes Sonequa Martin-Green as Lt. Michael Burnham, Michelle Yeoh as Captain Georgiou, Jason Isaacs as Captain Gabriel Lorca, Anthony Rapp as Lt. Stamets, and Doug Jones as Lt. Saru. The series is doing well with its premiere episodes garnering nearly 10 million viewers as well as many dedicated fans ready to boldly go where no one has gone before.
At its heart, that’s why adding Amanda and drawing Michael Burnham closer into the Star Trek mythology is important. Kirshner’s presence on the show will add more backstory to Green’s Lt. Burnham. There’s never been a story like Burnham’s told before, but it’s worth wondering if introducing Amanda and drawing her further into Sarek’s family would be a welcome move.
She is the first Black woman to take the lead on any science fiction property and drawing her into the complicated web of the well-knonw family as well as leading to a potential introduction for Spock, is a bit of a tough sell. The writers should be careful that drawing her deeper into the mythos doesn’t distract from a character strong and powerful enough to stand on her own.
You can watch Star Trek: Discovery on CBS All Access with new episodes arriving every Sunday at 8:30 ET.