EXCLUSIVE: Shazad Latif On Lt. Tyler’s Inner Turmoil And Chemistry With Burnham

Shazad Latif talking to TrekMovie at PaleyFest New York

On Sunday night viewers will be introduced to Lt. Ash Tyler in “Choose Your Pain,” the fifth episode of Star Trek: Discovery. At New York PaleyFest last weekend TrekMovie had a chance to have a brief chat with actor Shazad Latif about Tyler’s introduction to the crew of the USS Discovery and got a hint about possible romance with Michael Burnham.  The full video interview and highlights are below.

Life after Klingon prison

Latif said that once we’re introduced to him in “Choose Your Pain,” we will “see a lot” of his Lt. Ash Tyler on Star Trek: Discovery. He noted that life after being a prisoner is not going to be easy for Tyler:

You meet him as a POW, and you follow him as he goes back on the ship as he tries to find some normality and interaction with everyone, and he is trying to deal with a lot of horrible things that happened to him.

He is going through a lot of inner turmoil, specifically with the Klingons because he has been in a prison cell of theirs, it relates directly to the story, so it is a very interesting arc to follow.

Shazad Latif (R) is introduced in this weekend’s episode (“Choose Your Pain”) as Lt. Ash Tyler, along with Rainn Wilson as Harry Mudd (L)

Tyler + Burnham?

Latif also responded to a question on speculation that there is some kind of romantic relationship between his Tyler and Sonequa Martin Green’s Michael Burnham, saying:

That might be true, that might be true. You will see it soon enough.

When pressed if this chemistry will play out in episode 5 the actor said “maybe a bit longer.”

Is there something going on between Tyler and Burnham?

More from PaleyFest

Jason Isaacs Needed To Know Everything About Lorca Before Starting ‘Star Trek: Discovery’

Mary Wiseman On How Tilly Is Revealed As Best Theoretical Engineer On ‘Star Trek: Discovery’

Akiva Goldsman Explains Episode 9 Switch And Why Discovery is TV-MA

TrekMovie has more interviews with the Discovery cast from PaleyFest NY 2017. These will be posted over the next few days so stay tuned.

Star Trek: Discovery is available exclusive in the US on CBS All Access with new episodes released Sundays at 8:30 pm ET. In Canada Star Trek: Discovery airs on the Space Channel at the same time. Discovery is available on Netflix outside the USA and Canada with new episodes made available Monday at 8 am BST.

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


Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

To me he’ll always be Clem Fandango! https://youtu.be/5chS2lndaJk

Thanks for the link. I keep hearing references to Clem Fandango but didn’t understand why. Nice to know Shazad can do comedy if Discovery needs to have some funnier moments. As for the POW storyline it’s a topic I am looking forward to Discovery discussing due to the serialized nature of the show. This should give them the opportunity to go into depth and hopefully not just give the character a “quick fix.”

Prediction, it will be revealed that Lt. Tyler is in fact the Klingon albino Voq.

I have seen this theory floating around various Trek forums and I sure hope not. To finally do something in Star Trek about POW/PTSD and then yank it all away just to reveal it was fraud. That he was really a lying Klingon all along….no thanks.

Star Trek has done this POW/PTSD a few times.

If Voq was going to disguise himself as a human, I don’t think they would actually recast him. He just wouldn’t be wearing the Klingon makeup anymore, like Dukat in the final episodes of DS9.

The theories I have seen so far say that the actor crediting with playing Voq, Javid Iqbal, is a lie. That really it’s Shazad Latif and they created a fake name in order to throw people off. Some of it’s based on the idea that Shazad has received star billing despite not being in the show for 4 episodes. On the other hand a lot goes into decisions regarding who gets what billing. Then again I don’t agree nor do I like this theory so I would find ways to discredit it. Lol.

Interesting theory…that would explain why there’s no picture of the “actor” playing Voq. It’ll be a shame if Ash Tyler turned out to be an infiltrator.

oh boy , i like Ash already but if they pull a Grant Ward on me again , I might just die of heartbreak :(

An interesting theory i’ve seen for weeks (so not quite yours). Much of it is based on the fact that the actor listed as VOQ is Javid Iqbal, who apparently has no other screen credits, is not listed in the opening of DSC despite appearing prominently in every episode, and Latif is, despite not appearing in Ep.1-4.

Makes sense from that perspective, but the curious thing is tha there is an actor named Javid Iqbal that actually DOES have prior screen credits: an actor by that name appeared in an online show called “GULTY: THE WEB SERIES,” though his IMDB page actually states “not the same actor who played VOQ in Star Trek: Discovery.” You can find a single headshot of him online, and he bears a passing resemblence to Latif only in that he appears middle eastern.

The other evidence is that prior to production, Tyler was initially announced as playing “Kol, a protege of Klingon leader T’Kuvma.” Which sounds more like Voq than the character that became Kol; plus the fact that no actor named Iqbal has appeared in interviews or

This is all very interesting and a bit of a head scratcher, but it’s all evidence based on behind the scenes production stuff, rather than anything in the episode, which is always suspect to me.

It’s a theory that has compelling evidence, but I think the bigger point to take away from this is that all of these theories like this, the mirror Lorca, or Section 31 conspiracies– that have appeared on major entertainment sites like Yahoo, Movipilot, and others, as opposed to just Trek fan sites like this one– show that Discovery is quickly become a must-watch/much discussed series along the lines of Westworld or Game of Thrones.

*interviews or press and media coverage.

You beat me to it putting up all these valid points.
Just a minor addition – Javid Iqbal is usually a Pakistani name and Shazad Latif is also Pakistani in origin. Just a speculative coincidence.

Also, usually the cast are back slapping each others’ performance in interviews and social media and Voq has played such a crucial role in the series so far, but they’ve been so conspicuously SILENT about Javid Iqbal (correct me if someone has seen something).

If the theory is true then “giving up everything” is probably getting hit with the augment virus. And Lol once Lorca finds out about this he’ll probably smash the rest of the ridged Klingons with the virus and then we’ll be back to TOS canon looks. That’s just speculation hehe

It’ll be funny if Lorca’s Tribble gets irritated by Ash Tyler, bit too much of a giveaway though

I have no doubt whatsoever that’s why Lorca has a tribble in his office in the first place.

Iqbal is also Shazad Latif’s middle name…


Not his middle name, but his given surname. To me, this is the sealer. Boy do I wish this stuff wasn’t figured out by fans based on real-world clues. I wish we were discussing events in the show, not behind-the-scenes evidence.

The times we live in, where it’s hard to keep good plot points secret because of the information can get at our fingertips.

It’s a conclusion reached by events in the show. The production details are just confirmation 😜


Well, I don’t know about the others. What I do know that when I read Trekmovie report on PaleyFest panel showing a clip from episode 5 where it was mentioned that:

“Lorca can’t understand how Tyler has survived Klingon torture for seven months, but Tyler notes the female Klingon captain has taken a liking to him.”

I immediately thought of ‘Homeland’ and the possibility that Tyler was turned by the Klingons.

After watching the 4th episode where the Klingon lady told Voq about the Matriarchs, the unbelievable things they could do, and that he has to sacrifice everything; it was that moment when I start thinking that he might actually turned into Tyler.

I don’t believe you for one second. This theory has been around for a while. Nothing you’ve ever posted would lead me to believe you’d be smart enough to derive that theory on your own.


Feeling a little insecure? I don’t need to prove anything to you.


“but I think the bigger point to take away from this is that all of these theories like this, the mirror Lorca, or Section 31 conspiracies– that have appeared on major entertainment sites like Yahoo, Movipilot, and others, as opposed to just Trek fan sites like this one– show that Discovery is quickly become a must-watch/much discussed series along the lines of Westworld or Game of Thrones.”

Not even close.

None of those theories were mentioned on Yahoo and Movipilot is not a “major entertainment site” but a fan site publishing articles written by fans.

But Entertainment Weekly is a major entertainment site and while scolling through the internet, I do see EW publishing articles. Not to mention ET and ET Canada having clips.

Even the actor’s wikipedia page says he’s playing the dual-roles of Voq and Tyler. Dang. Wish I hadn’t come on here now (although I suspected something similar with L’Rell’s not-so-cryptic warning last week…)

Maybe someone edited the Wikipedia page. Who knows but if it’s true….I am not sure I will be liking this at all. We will wait and see.

“Cowards take hostages, Klingons do not.” – Lt. Worf

“Prayer, Mr. Saavik! The Klingons don’t take prisoners”

(Until Kruge’s crew did in TSFS, of course)

Never mind the prison planet of Rura Penthe!

@James — I’m not sure Rura Penthe rules out not taking hostages/prisoners in battle. They have a huge empire comprised of many worlds, and need their version of Siberia to sentence dissidents and other criminals who are otherwise members of their society as a deterrent to others under the guise of justice.

Also, those kinds of statements could be construed as propaganda. And even if popular belief among the constituents within the Klingon empire reflects these beliefs, it doesn’t mean Klingons don’t employ them in secret, or as needed.

Commander Kruge wanted prisons. Killed his tactical officer because he blew up the ship instead…