Discovery adds Pancholy, Serpico, and Vartholomeos

Star Trek: Discovery Logo with New Delta Shield

The casting news keeps on coming as three more actors beam aboard.

Earlier today, CBS announced the casting of three more members of the Star Trek Discovery ensemble, two of whom will serve about the starship Shenzhou (commanded by Michelle Yeoh’s Captain Georgiou).

Maulik Pancholy, known for his roles on “30 Rock” and “Weeds”, will play Dr. Nambue, the Shenzhou’s chief medical officer. Pancholy’s presence in Toronto was made known in a Twitter video by fellow Discovery cast-mate Chris Obi, see our previous article for the video.


Terry Serpico will play Admiral Anderson, a high-ranking Starfleet officer. Serpico has been seen on “Sneaky Pete”, “Army Wives”, and “Rescue Me”.


Sam Vartholomeos will play Ensign Connor, a junior officer assigned to the Shenzhou.  He has appeared  recently on “The Following” and in the feature film remake of “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty”.


The three will join a cast that includes Sonequa Martin-Green, Michelle Yeoh, Anthony Rapp, Doug Jones, and James Frain.

Star Trek: Discovery is currently in production and is expected to make its debut sometime this year.

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I think these characters will start out on the Shenzou and transfer in some capacity to the discovery, perhaps in some form of joint Klingon crew. Star Trek 6 was mentioned as a point to of reference.

Yeah its interesting for example we are talking two ships but oddly so far none of the Stafleet positions have been duplicated yet. In other words we haven’t gotten two Captains, two Doctors, two Engineers, etc yet. Its always either/or which really could be a gelling of the two crews in some ways. But yes it is crazy we have more characters now from the Shenzou than Discovery. This really ups people’s interest where this show is going, especially when Sarek is a total wild card.

Im thinking the Shenzhou wont be long for this series.

TUP I think you’re right. I think some people’s minds are still stuck in the old formula for Trek tv instead of the modern form of television storytelling. I have a feeling the Shenzhou may be the main ship we follow for most of season 1. The Discovery may take center stage by the end of the first season or latter half. For all we know the Shenzhou might get destroyed and the first officer might be thrust into a leadership position. If it follows the form of storytelling that most shorter season shows follow and Netflix type shows, I think we’re going to be in for a bit of a ride. Thematically, I’m hoping at least, this could be the most entertaining Trek we’ve gotten. People just have to get out of the mindset of what we’re used to in episodic Trek.

Seems interesting that everyone is a member of Shenzhou. Must be an early plot point. Either Shenzhou is destroyed or Discovery is the object they seek.

It certainly is starting to feel like the Shenzhou is the center of the show, doesn’t it? As more news comes out, my excitement levels are reaching fever pitch. How long before an actual trailer, you think? March, maybe?

My understanding is that it the show will focus on multiple ships, not just the USS Discovery.

I have no idea who these 3 gentlemen are. This can be attributed to the fact that I haven’t watched much network TV in the last several years. I did watch a few episodes of 30 Rock but the actors face doesn’t ring a bell. I have no doubt they’ll be fine additions to the show. I’ll have to go on youtube and watch some clips of them in their respective roles.

He played Jack (Alec Baldwin)’s obsequious assistant.

It stinks!

Assuming you are just adding the obligatory outrage remark to keep some punters happy :)

Indeed. Thank you for recognizing the humor.

Awesome :) Keep it coming.

Oh, look! (Runs away)

The timing of this announcement is, shall we say, interesting. Feels like a classic diversion strategy about what’s been happening since last Friday.

The secrecy isn’t helping building the show; it’s opening it to unwarranted and unnecessary criticism. People will make up their mind about it before they’ve even given it a chance.

Personally, I wish TPTB would go full-on Jean-Luc Picard after his first meeting with Q:

“If we’re going to be damned, let’s be damned for what we really are!”

Why are you complaining about secrecy when they just announced three new cast members?

To be honest, and as someone who works in the industry, secrecy is not something unique to this show, or Star Trek. I’m sure it’s something they have to work harder at, because of the fanbase’s need to know every detail (and I count myself among that number), but really, this show isn’t any more “secret” than any other big in-production show, especially before its first season. Nobody can say much because they are most likely contractually obliged not to.

Won’t be long before all the usual suspects come rolling in with their negative and naysayer attitude. We will get post after post of ‘I hate it’ ‘I am leaving’ etc but you know, they never leave. They just hang around.

I can’t wait for this series. I love all Star Trek, movies, series, books of which I have hundreds. They all have their place and quirks. I don’t mind. Would be quite boring if every series and movie was a clone of something from 1960’s art styles and direction.

Keep it coming CBS.

Agreed. I mentioned in other posts that I would have gladly paid $6 to see more Trek. Bring it on!

Finally a non-black, non-oriental ethnicity on Star Trek.
Funny how we never get a native American character, though. Chakotay was the only one I can remember – he and that one background girl in ST:TMP, with eagle feathers in her hair. ;)

Also, I hope Ensign Connor doesn’t turn out to be a wesley… or worse, a millennial. I don’t think I could stomach a contemporary kid on Star Trek. ;)

Dr. Bashir was non-Black, non-Asian. (Oriental? seriously, dude?)

You wrote, “Funny how we never get a native American character, though” and then immediately proved yourself wrong by writing, “Chakotay was the only one I can remember…” Um…then how did we “never get” one if you distinctly remember one? He was even the first officer of the ship, not like the woman in TMP, so not only did we get one, he was a prominent character. So…you disproved your own point.

Millenials can be as old as mid-30s, so hardly “kids.” Wil Wheaton/Wesley was 15 when TNG premiered. Sam Vartholomeos/Collins is 21 now–Wheaton/Wesley’s age at the *end* of TNG. So, I hardly think there’s reason to fear he’ll be a Wesley.

I can think of a few more American Indian characters off the top of my head. Both TOS and TNG had entire episodes devoted to them.

Bashir’s character was Asian Indian, wasn’t he? The actor was Sudanese, which is a bit hard to pin down. I imagine use of “Oriental” was meant to limit it to “East Asian.”

What are you talking about?! “Alexander” Siddig El Fadil is Sudanese, born in Sudan to two Sudanese parents.

His mother is British. Malcolm Mcdowells sister…

Male overload again! 11 officially announced cast members so far and only two actresses among them. They likely will announce more characters, but I really doubt right now, that we will get anywhere close to 50% female characters. Really disappointing.

Military organizations tend to be heavily male.

@ Nachum

You mean in the presence on Earth. I surely hope in the future mankind has reached true equality between men and women. This whole “men are stronger than women and therefore can fight better” argument also fails in view of modern tech. You don’t need muscles to fire a phaser from a spaceship. Hand to hand combat rarely will happen at all anymore and if it will happen with aliens like Vulcans, Romulans or the Gorn, human men will fail just like human women.

When it comes to alien military organizations, they don’t have to tend heavily male at all. The writers could also write them equally or for a change with more female soldiers than male ones.

There is really no excuse for another Star Trek series, which doesn’t even get close to gender parity, especially as TPTB are praising themselves for months now for having a diverse cast.

@ Torchwood

Why are you surprised? There are Star Trek fans, who are sexist and racist and there are Star Trek fans, who aren’t. Naturally they are demanding different things.

Wow, so on the one hand we have fans screaming because the lead is a woman, and that there are too many minorities, and now we have other fans screaming not enough women. Mind boggling.

Miscounted. 3 female characters among 11, still bad gender ratio so far.

“actress” is an out of date, politically incorrect term.

@ Cap’n

So “female actors” would be the politically correct choice in English then? Because just saying actors simply doesn’t work with my sentence. It would give my sentence a totally different meaning “11 officially announced cast members so far and only three actors among them.” That sounds like they cast bakers, lawyers and taxi drivers for most roles, who were never in a series or movie before.

@Mel Precisely. The phrase was ditched some years ago. Male lead, female lead, rather than lead actor, lead actress. Etc.
Catch up chum.

@ Xan

It is not like I live in any English speaking country and dictionaries and English speaking media still use actress for a female actor. I mean just recently the nominations for the Oscars were announced and they still have two categories named Best Actress in a Leading Role and Best Actress in a Supporting Role. If actress is a bad word nowadays, why do Americans still use it for their biggest movie award?

“Actress” is still widely used. It may be politically incorrect, but it’s hardly an anachronism.

The term “politically incorrect” is an anachronism. It’s meant things you cannot say and still get elected to political office. That’s pretty much gone down the toilet, hasn’t it?

There’s nothing sexist or incorrect about the word actress, and those of you who claim it’s old are pontificating on what isn’t even the main point. It’s like you’re trying to prove Mel wrong because of semantics. The fact is, there ought to be more women. Hell, if Star Trek is gonna appeal to a broader audience, it would make SENSE to populate the show with women, considering how historically underrepresented they are in both media in general and Trek in particular. Since the vast majority of Trek fans are dudes anyway, why wouldn’t they want to see more women? Especially powerful, smart, and captivating women. I wanna see Trek move light years away from its incredibly sexist origins. I believe this series will do that, but the casting of so many guys does make me wonder.

Oh, go pound salt, technically, one would have to call Charlize Theron African-American because that is where she was born, actress is still a viable word, just like negro.

I like that from the beginning we will see various ranking members of starfleet from the academy all the way up to admirals.

I´m under the impression that Discovery could be something like Star Gate Universe, an unknown alien spaceship appears on the federation side of the neutral zone without any sign of the crew so a joint crew is formed between Humans and Klingons to find out where it came from.

That god awful ship is clearly a half Klingon/Fed mess, and the same reason we’re not following the captain, as it’s a Klingon.

Pretty crap if you’re not in to Klingon stories in any way, shape or form.

I knew I recognized Terry Serpico. I just saw him last week on an episode of “Law & Order: SVU” called “Military Justice.” In fact, he’s been on all three U.S. “Law & Order” shows, so you’re bound to have seen him if you watch those regularly. He’s a character actor.

ShenZOU, GeorgIOU, NamBUE

I think these characters are all red shirts and will die horrible deaths…but not as horrible as destroying their careers on yet another diluted trek venture.
They will go the way of Konathan Frakes, LeVar Burton, Denise Crosby,Michael Dorn, Gates McFadden,Marina Sirtis, Wil Wheaton…oh really there is just too many of these fine bad actors that committed profession suicide by appearing on Star Trek spin off.
Can’t wait to hear about them trolling the lost convention circuit in a few years (and that being over generous on how long this series will last)
Hey, everyone get their autographs now before they become nobodies!!!!

they still need a brit on the bridge.
its tradition.

Would love to see the Kelvin from Trek 09 guest appear in Discovery, especially with Captain Robau. I guess the timeline would be Discovery taking place 20 years after the events of the Kelvin opening? Is that right?

Could have a George Kirk also…

All of those characters died in 2233…but yes it would be awesome to see a Kelvin-class vessel in the background! I actually love that ship design, even have the Christmas ornament

Oh just kidding, they totally died in an alternate universe. Bring on the Hemsworth!

Spock Prime stated in Trek 09 that in the Prime Timeline, George Kirk lived to see James become Captain of the Enterprise. So in Discovery time, George is still alive.