EXCLUSIVE: Jason Isaacs On How Captain Lorca In ‘Star Trek: Discovery’ Isn’t Like Other Captains

Today we have got a closer look at the U.S.S. Discovery, so how about getting to know the captain. At the Hollywood blue carpet premiere of Star Trek: Discovery, TrekMovie had a chance to speak with Jason Isaacs about the message of show, what makes his Captain Lorca different and why he seems to avoid sitting in the captain’s chair. The full video interview and highlights are below.

It Wouldn’t Be a Story Worth Telling Without a Message

Jason Isaacs is known for speaking his mind, including when it comes to politics. Regarding if Star Trek: Discovery had a message, Isaacs noted:

“I think if there [weren’t] a message it wouldn’t be worth making. We’d be making a bumper sticker.”

The actor went on to praise the Discovery story, and why it tells an important story that is relevant today.

“I think it’s a brilliant story. [It’s] well told with interesting characters, surprises, twists and plots. I think subliminally you see a vision of the future where you’re not judged by gender, or race or even species… or sexuality, or any of those things. People are judged by what they do, what they say and how they work together. I think that’s an important message to send out in these times where people are trying to sow the opposite, and sow hatred and division.”

Jason Isaacs as Gabriel Lorca

Why Lorca Avoids the Captain’s Chair

Watching the various clips that have been released you may notice that Captain Lorca is rarely seen in the the iconic captain’s chair. Isaacs explained why:

“I didn’t sit down for the first couple episodes. Partly because we had a bunch of battles and I like standing in front of the screen and conducting the weaponry like an orchestra… and partly because I was putting off sitting in the chair because it’s such an iconic moment.”

How Lorca Is Different Than the Captains That Have Come Before

The actor also outline how he saw Lorca being different than other Star Trek captains:

“He is different than these other [captains] and the situation is different. We’re at war, and there’s something passive about sitting in the chair. He’s an action guy. He wants to get stuff done… sitting in the chair doesn’t quite feel quite active enough for him.”

Jason Isaacs in Star Trek: Discovery

More from Hollywood premiere


Akiva Goldsman On Influence Of JJ Abrams Films On ‘Star Trek: Discovery’

Doug Jones On Saru And Burnham Fighting Over The Captain’s Chair In ‘Star Trek: Discovery’

Mary Chieffo Talks L’Rell And Klingon Episodes Of ‘Star Trek: Discovery’

Ted Sullivan On Canon Challenge Of Fitting ‘Star Trek: Discovery’ Between ‘Enterprise’ and TOS

Sonequa Martin-Green On ‘Star Trek: Discovery’ Captain’s Chair And Nichelle Nichols Blessing

Neville Page And Glenn Hetrick Talk Designs For Different ‘Star Trek: Discovery’ Klingon Houses


TrekMovie has more interviews with Discovery cast and crew. These will be posted over the next few days so stay tuned.


Star Trek: Discovery premieres tonight, September 24th on CBS with all subsequent episodes on CBS All Access in the US.  In Canada Star Trek: Discovery will premiere  on Bell Media’s CTV and the Space Channel on the same night. Netflix will launch Star Trek: Discovery on Monday, September 25 to countries outside of the U.S. and Canada.

Keep up with all the Star Trek: Discovery news at TrekMovie.

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The more I hear Mr Isaacs speak, the more I feel he’s well suited to Star Trek. I still wish he’d decided to keep his accent, though.

Kirk wasn’t always in the chair and I liked that. In a crisis he’d go around to stations or post up by navigation. Janeway was a bit like that too.

Janeway only cared coffee was in her hand when she was squaring off against the Borg or Vidiians. ;)

Kirk stalked around the bridge of his ship like a panther on the prowl. That’s part of what made him so watchable and exciting, and it sounds to me like Isaacs has good instincts.

I always liked how Picard just sat calmly – cool and collected and full of confidence – when things were getting bad.

@CaptainSheridan, Well, it sounds as if Lorca is more of a Kirk type of captain than a Picard type of captain, which makes sense, since he lives in Kirk’s era, not in Picard’s.

The political message being in a Trek story is nothing new. What is possibly new is the overt nature of one message going through a whole season. As long as the story is still enjoyable fine if not then all it becomes is a political story that seems less entertaining and more preachy. That has happened in the past with the episode Force of Nature. They were so obsessed with creating an allegory for global warming they kept “hitting the nail on the head ” over and over again. This turn lead to a pretty bad episode and by the way I say this as someone who is concerned about global warming. Which may cause people to tune out. Then again that’s always a possibility but with this show it seems more prominent. Maybe it’s because we know how all of these people feel unlike past shows were it was not as well known what their political opinions are. It’s hard to know how to feel about these things when we haven’t seen the show. Not too long to wait now…..

I spoke with Nick Meyer at a convention last year and urged him to put a climate message in Discovery. I’d be very surprised and very satisfied if he managed to weave something in there, but I doubt it. I’m looking forward to its message regardless.

I don’t think Nic Meyer has anything like that kind of power. It sounds like he’s there to give notes of the stories they have basically.

It also sounds like he tapped out on Discovery after Fuller was shown the door.

It sounds like Sisko won’t be the only Captain with the pimp hand anymore. Lorca is going to eff things up and will be doing it with a smile on his face lol.

I still can’t believe they got Jason Issacs for this role. There is something really cool about that although he’s not a huge actor but still such a familiar one.

It’s a shame that even the brilliant Jason Isaacs is so intolerant to those who would disagree on ANY issue. Since when did disagreement come to mean ‘hate’? The venom that’s been spewed at anyone who simply has an opposing viewpoint has been unbelievable & despicable. I’ve never seen so many call for tolerance & simultaneously being completely 100% intolerant to ANY opposing view on any issue. What happened to having civil conversations & debate? Truly disappointing, frustrating & sad.

Being tolerant of intolerance is not the contradiction you seem to think it is.

Martin Boormann used to use that ‘tolerance of intolerance’ line. I see you appreciate the classics.

Big Bang Theory and Young Sheldon debut tomorrow. That may actually have been a better place to debut Discovery than after 60 Minutes.

Just read that DISCOVERY is of the CROSSFIELD class, a nod to Chuck Yeager competitor Scott Crossfeld, a childhood idol of mine (hey I grew up on the ABOVE & BEYOND aviation and space encyclopedias!)

So that’s something kinda classy … I used CROSSFIELD and YEAGER as the names of shuttlecraft in a super-8 thing in the early 80s, so of course I’m gonna like it. Then when I was older I started coming up with much better ship names with character to them, like SASQUATCH.

Lemme guess: He’s a crazed anti-Trump SJW Brit, like Isaacs? :-)

In every interview I see or read with Jason Isaacs, he sounds like an intelligent and thoughtful man. I think we really lucked out in getting him as our new captain (though of course Georgiou was great, too, and I was sorry to see her go).