‘Star Trek: Discovery’ Fan Theory Spreads As Actors Attempt to Explain It Away

WARNING: Although this article contains theory speculation which should be treated as spoilers in case any of it turns out to be true.

The theory that the Klingon character of Voq was transformed by L’Rell to pose as Lt. Ash Tyler (played by Shazad Latif) has continued to gain steam since it popped up a month ago. The hints within the show were compelling enough, but the media has really latched on to the real world clues, especially how the actor credited to play Voq does not appear to exist beyond a sparse IMDb page. The theory assumes that actor Shazad Latif played Voq, and Iqbal is merely a fiction invented by show producers to hide the twist.

The Voq=Tyler theory has become widespread

Latif sticks with the story

A few weeks ago when asked about “Javid Iqbal,” Latif even pointed to the IMDb page to deflect attention. But that hasn’t satisfied the media who prodded again about Iqbal during the UK press tour, which seemed to be creating an uncomfortable situation for the actor. From a report on RadioTimes:

[Latif’s] face dropped when we asked if he’d ever met Javid Iqbal, as if he was personally offended, and his answer seemed a little nervous and rushed: “Javid Iqbal… I’ve met him, yeah. But we don’t see a lot of people… There are so many different sets that you hardly see…”

It’s then that Captain Lorca himself, Jason Isaacs – the actor who we were supposed to be speaking to alongside Latif – burst into the room, joking “Whatever he’s saying is rubbish!”.

Jason Isaacs offered more back up on Twitter last week, talking about meeting Javid Iqbal:

Digital Spy also spoke to Latif during the press tour and believe they caught the actor out when he said the following:

“We have 15 hours to explore these characters, I haven’t done a job where I’ve done 15 hours of TV, it’s an incredible amount of work that we’ve done over 10 months, that really excited me.”

Of course the character of Lt. Tyler was not introduced until the 5th episode of Discovery. Assuming Tyler appears in every episode following, he would be in only 11 episodes and not 15. The character of Voq did appear in 3 episodes, including the two-part pilot. Since posting their article suggesting that Latif had accidentally confirmed the theory, Digital Spy was given an update:

We’ve since received an update on Latif’s quote, from a PR representative who told us: “For context, he was on set from the beginning for extensive rehearsals and fittings, hence the 15 hours of TV comment.”

Shazad Latif with Rainn Wilson in Star Trek: Discovery episode 5 “Choose Your Pain”

Another clue for the Tyler=Voq theory is that before he was announced to be playing Tyler, CBS originally announced Latif was going to play a Klingon. At the time Latif’s character was described as “protégé of T’Kuvma” named Kol. The character of Kol (now a leader of the House of Kor and opponent of T’Kuvma) was later cast with Ken Mitchell, but the original description sounds a lot more like Voq, who T’Kuvma anointed as the “Torchbearer” during the two-hour pilot. However, Latif also explained this week to Newsweek how he switched roles:

…when [Latif] arrived on the Discovery set in Toronto, Canada, the series’ producers asked him to read a different part—Tyler. “They were like, ‘You might be right for this, do you want to audition for it?’ I did a couple of rounds and they were like, ‘This is working. Would you rather do that?’ It was a bigger part, it was a better part and I’d have less time in prosthetics, so I was like, great.”

Watch the video below for more from Latif about playing Tyler on Discovery.

So the official line continues to be that Shazad Latif plays Tyler and Javid Iqbal played Voq. Shazad continues to do press, whereas Iqbal has yet to do so. Although Inverse and some other sites have pointed to the recently launched parody Twitter account “@RealJavidIqbal,” as another clue. Inverse concluded the account “strongly suggests” the Tyler=Voq theory is true, noting “a few Trek insiders are retweeting the ‘actor.'”

New show clues?

As for the show itself, there haven’t been any overt indications proving or disproving the theory, although there seemed to be a hint in episode 6 when Captain Lorca joked with Tyler during their training session that he “fights like a Klingon.” Otherwise, have been no story points indicating that Tyler is anything different than who he says he is, a former POW who is still dealing with issues of torture and captivity from the Klingons. There have been no scenes showing him doing anything nefarious on board the USS Discovery, and in fact he has has been involved in missions valiantly helping the Federation war effort. He has even started a romantic connection with Michael Burnham that seems entirely genuine. 

Tyler is forming what seem like genuine relationships on board the USS Discovery

There are still some areas that raise some doubts for the theory. It is a bit hard to imagine the character of Voq, who was portrayed as a somewhat simple, true-believer in T’Kuvma’s message of Klingon purity, would be able to pull off a deception of pretending to be Tyler, including speaking perfect English. 

However, as noted in our original theory article, it could be that he has no idea he was Voq. It could be that in addition to being transformed to look like Voq, he also had Tyler’s personality and memories implanted. It was established in the original series that the Klingons have “Mind Scanner” technology, which could have been used on the real Tyler. Any mission Voq/Tyler has would then be something he isn’t conscious of and might be awaiting some kind of trigger.

Lorca thinks Tyler fights “like a Klingon”

Another possible source of doubt stems from how could Tyler avoid detection. If Voq was changed to appear like Tyler, it is clear it was more than just cosmetic. At the end of last weekend’s episode, Tyler can be seen being examined in sickbay following the mission to Pahvo. We know that a decade later (in the TOS episode “The Trouble with Tribbles”) Dr. McCoy was able to identify the spy Arne Darvin as a Klingon using his medical tricorder. So, if Voq has been transformed, it was either done in a different way, or it is possible that McCoy had more advanced scanning capability than used on the Discovery. It may even be that McCoy’s tricorder was capable of detecting the type of transformation used for Voq, assuming Tyler is ever exposed as a Klingon.

Some think that Lorca’s tribble may be the key to exposing Tyler, as it was a tribble that clued McCoy to scan Arne Darvin. We have yet to see Tyler and the tribble in the same room together, but if he can fool the biobed, maybe he can fool the tribble too?

Lt. Tyler looks human, inside and out

The latest episode may have given us a clue about how Voq/Tyler might get triggered. We saw that L’Rell was very determined to get herself onto the USS Discovery. She told Admiral Cornwell she wanted to defect and specifically noted they should return to the Discovery. She also told Cornwell that Voq was “chased away, forever gone.” However, we know that it was L’Rell herself that sent Voq to the matriarchs of House Mo’Kai (at the end of episode 4) where he would have to sacrifice “everything” so that he could “prove to all” he was “the one” to win the war.  It could be that L’Rell is trying to reunite with Voq (now Tyler) to trigger him to carry out this mission to defeat the Federation.

L’Rell tells Cornwell she wants to defect and be taken to the USS Discovery – to reunite with Voq?

Still looks likely

In our original article on this theory we came to the conclusion the theory seemed likely. The evidence both from the show and in the real world was too compelling. The clues from subsequent episodes are not conclusive either way, but continue to lean towards the the theory. As for the claims of the actors, until Javid Iqbal actually is demonstrated to be a real person, it seems to just be awkward cover for what is now becoming an almost assumed twist for the show.

The big question now is, will the twist come this weekend in the mid-season finale or will this be left to 2018 in the second chapter of Discovery’s first season?

Star Trek: Discovery is available on CBS All Access on in the US and airs in Canada on the Space Channel. It is available on Netflix outside the USA and Canada.

Keep up with all the Star TrekDiscovery news at TrekMovie.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

I still believe it. The Mind Scanner seemes likely and some advanced way of converting Voq completing. Or its a matter of Voq’s consciousness was transplanted into the real Ash (this, physically, he’d pass the tests) and L’Rell will trigger the buried consciousness to awaken.

Its a great story. Imagine the absolute heart-ache when Ash comes to realise he’s Voq (or at least Voq is in him).

If Ash is the physical Voq, but transformed and they used a Mind Scanner on the real Ash who is now brain dead essentially, its further heartache. If “Ash” fights the conflicting consciousness’ and decides to remain human when he isnt, even more intriguing.

The romance with the one that killed your leader for both Voq and Michael is also dramatic. The very lips that ate your friend and captain, you are in love with. Such a kick to the privates for both characters and the audience. Total Recall in Star Trek.

One helluva potential Manchurian Candidate twist, if it plays out…

They better explain that scan showing him as human. The Mind Scanner is not enough. Especially considering Brak’lul.

The scanner had no issues showing Saru as non-human. I really hope they don’t screw that up.

At the moment I hope it’s not true. I love the character of Tyler.

Could also be that he discovers he is Klingon but doesn’t want to go back to that life because of the relationships and friends he has made.

At this point I hope this is all a long con by CBS and Voq is NOT Tyler, that would be the real twist.

Exactly what I was thinking. Would be awesome if it was a double-misdirecction.

Whether he is Voq or not… doesn’t matter… my question is… why are viewers trying to ruin/spoil their own TV show? I don’t get it.

That’s the fun thing about DSC though. There are so many interesting plot threads going on, and having knowledge of how the stage looks ten years down the line, speculating is a big part of the experience.
I’m so glad CBS went with a weekly format instead of the binge dump or we’d have a lot less to talk about.

How about Lorca being the Klingon. How do we know the Captain brought back to the prison cell is the original? The Klingon went to a lot of work to get to Lorca.

Yeah, I wondered about Lorca too, although it seems hard to believe that the Klingons just had a Lorca copy somewhere on board waiting for the moment they captured him. I was a little thrown though when Lorca just grazed that lady’s face (L’Rel?) rather than outright kill her, but maybe he’s just not always a great shot.

…and we NEVER see the end of his torture scene… we see her shining a light in his eye, making him scream, and all of a sudden he`s being tossed back in to the cell and has the realization that Mudd is feeding them information.

Tyler in sickbay showing human guts is a big wrench in the gears. I’m all for him being a Manchurian Candidate but I don’t think that scene can warrant it, let alone dodge canon per “Trouble With Tribbles”.

might be possible to broadcast fake bio readings

I have to think this is true, as if there were really an Iqbal, he would have been disco vered by now. So a lame bit of subterfuge – 1) how could they think they would get away with it, considering the nature of Trekkies, and 2) this is putting the previously unknown Latif in an uncomfortable situation – “can you go ahead and make a liar out of yourself, to preserve our lame plot twist?” Didn’t this Kurtzman chap already learn his lesson from the CumberKhan debacle?

Er, the first Google result for “Javid Iqbal” is the Wikipedia entry for “Javed Iqbal” – Pakistani serial killer of 100 boys. OK, then.

“Previously unknown Latif” is a bit harsh. Maybe not known in the US, but pretty well known and respected in the U.K. and Europe

I see what you did there =) I hope they don’t mess the explanation of those human readings, otherwise this would created a disco ntinuity vis a vis Brak’lul

Well, what if augment virus/vaccine causes them to become indistinguishable from humans?

I am Javid Iqbal. Oh, wait, I’m not. Have you ever seen Javid Iqbal and William Shatner in a room together?

Could he be Tyler AND Voq?

Perhaps they kidnapped Tyler and somehow implanted Voq’s consciousness within him that La’Rell will awaken once on board?

You mean like a human-Klignon hybrid on the inside while on the outside he is fully human? I feel that if it happened he probably will be stuck with both of those consciousness floating around in his head permanently. Based on the information he has presented so far he would still have to have the real Tyler’s conscience within him. So that in turn would raise a lot of questions. Such as how does he function with all of that rattling around in his brain? Secondly, which conscience is the superior one? Then again they could fix it with a magic plot device and he could have the best of both guys and they could send him off to bond with Burnham over it. Think about it she is a human raised with both human and Vulcan thoughts. He would be a human with both human and Klignon thoughts. Not the same thing exactly but it could work. It wouldn’t be my favorite idea but I could see it happening.

@Steph — ugh. I’m now imagining a virtual battle between Burnham and Voq in Tyler’s head.

Ash is an unusual name. Wasn’t Ash the name of the undercover android in ALIEN, who turned out to be evil unbeknownst to everyone around him?

The two minds sharing one brain concept (with the “mind” being our thoughts and essence and the brain being the actual, physical body part) is nothing new in Star Trek. Spock was able to place his mind into Nurse Chapel for the conclusion of the TOS episode “Return to Tomorrow”, so the concept of sharing a physical brain between two individuals dates back to the very first Star Trek series. Even episodes like “Turnabout Intruder” showed that the mind was something that could be pulled out of an individual and transplanted into another. Yes, in that case a single brain was not shared, but the idea that our essence (or a Vulcan’s katra) is something that can be moved is an idea that has been in Trek for 50 years.

This will end up as as the most probable reveal.

Remember the other Starfleet officer in the Klingon brig that was dragged away for some reason? What is the significance of that scene? I suspect that long-haired emaciated officer plays some significance that has yet to be revealed.

Wasn’t he dead?

I would presume that was the real Ash Tyler.

Anyone consider that Tyler may have been the spy, as opposed to Voq? Perhaps Tyler was made to look Klingon (including making him pale – on purpose) to stand out as different, and when his cover was blown by L’Rell and she locked him up. The only question is – is there a reason he does not recall his mission as Voq? Perhaps the Mind Sifter suppressed that?

Who do you think this person is?

I think we over thinking this. The romance between Ash and Michael is to set up irony and drama. They both loss their leaders and both sides are at war. Voq hidden in Ash would allow for great drama. Romeo and Juliet angle I guess.

Yes, I posted this idea a little while ago. It would solve some problems. The issue for me though is what would Ash’s mission have been? And why would he have been sent back to Star Fleet without explanation?

@Holden — if L’Rell discovered his true nature, she could have reprogrammed him to help her infiltrate Discovery (rather than kill him). That’s the easy part. But unless I misunderstand your question, the real issue is why didn’t Starfleet intelligence (Section 31?), upon hearing of his return, immediately pluck him off the Discovery to find out what happened with his undercover mission? Just letting him return to normal duty without a debriefing would make no sense whatsoever.

I really hope its not true because then it would feel like one of the biggest cop outs and ridiculous writing I have seen in a while. This guy is just too human, too knowledgeable about Earth, has perfect English and whose anatomy has shown to be human. What exactly did people see in Voq, a Klingon who didn’t come off all that bright to begin with who can suddenly masquerade as someone else like he’s Ethan Hunt? Add to the fact he’s never interacted with humans since Klingons hasn’t been seen in a century makes it more silly.

I’m a black American and lived in a few countries for years, including a lot of Asian countries. Its no way I can pass myself for Asian culturally even after living there for years, much less the language. But yet I’m suppose to believe Voq can act like another species with total ease, even dancing to Earth songs. No I don’t buy it, it would just feel too silly on its head knowing what we know about these two characters.

It would feel like awful writing, especially if there are no give aways. I know everything in Discovery is super advance, especially for this period, but Klingons now have the ability to evade their identity through medical examinations? AFAIK no species has ever been able to do that on any Trek show in any time period, including changelings. If they did that too it would just feel like a cop out.

I agree. That’s why the only real theory IMO that makes any sense storyline wise would be the Manchurian candidate one. I only really accept that one because it seems like some things don’t add up. Although I wish that wasn’t the case. I have no problem with the idea of a fully human PTSD-suffering character in the show. I don’t need Tyler to have a big twist in order to find him enjoyable.

I will say though some of the things people have cited as proof isn’t that rock solid. Him “fighting like a Klignon” could just be a compliment from Lorca. After all we know the Klignons are some of toughest warriors in the galaxy. Just because they are at war doesn’t mean you can’t find things about your enemy you can respect. We even know that the TOS episode “Balance of Terror” was an inspiration for this series. One of the plot points in that episode was the respect Kirk and the Romulan commander developed for one another. The Commander even said to Kirk in another life we could have been friends. I could totally see a future Lorca, on DS9 of course, hanging out with the Klignons. I guess what I am trying to say is it seems like people are constantly trying to find proof where sometimes that proof may not be there.

I also wish we had more articles/discussions about the PTSD aspect of his character. I still feel like this fan theory distracts from those kinds of things. Some of that is on the writers, producers, and show runners. They could have deliberately stated who he was writing wise and given confirmation but they have chosen not too. I believe they are enjoying these kinds of discussions. Whether or not they should is a matter of opinion.

Steph, I am with you on Lorca’s PTSD. I would like more scenes about it. Not just “PTSD Survivor Freaks Out” but memories that interfere with his performance of his duties. [And if Burnham saved the moment with quick thinking, so much the better, and maybe some kind of field promotion for her to last as long as she’s under Lorca’s command.]

spies were common in all world wars, with great accents and ability to fool the enemy

Voq never struck me as being that clever or that capable. Plus timeline wise he only had about three weeks in order to assimilate the kind of information required to pull it off. Most spies have had years of training in order to pull off that level of deception. I don’t discount the idea of a magic plot device making an appearance in order to make it all fit though. Unfortunately.

Voq isnt the bright one it is L’rell, she comes from the house of spies and watchers.

You’re talking people who A. Train for years and B. Immerse themselves in the culture in some way by living in said country or studied with people who have.

Voq has done none of these things. Especially in a matter of weeks. Do you think you can be fluent in a foreign language in a few weeks? Because that’s what we have to believe Voq did on top of everything else.

Totally possible with Klingon tech of the time. Also, this is Star Trek.

The article specifically mentioned on TOS they caught a Klingon spy because McCoy examined him with his tricorder and that was a decade later. So how is it ‘possible at the time’ when literally the opposite was shown true in the future?

Maybe if this was a post Voyager show I could believe it but this being a prequel and TOS making it clear its not possible then no I don’t believe it.

Brain implants, Klingon mind-sifter / scanning technology … who knows.

The most likely explanation to me is,
– the Klingons had a prisoner, Starfleet LT Ash Tyler;
– L’Rell sent Tyler to her “house” to await Voq
– Voq “gives up everything” and L’Rell’s house scans his mind so his mind can join consciousness with/implant Klingon loyalty into Ash Tyler’s mind.
– L’Rell will appear or say the magic words and presto! The Manchurian Candidate is activated.

Voq is Lorca.

That is a good one.
Doubtful but original.

I also think so. Tyler is just too obvious, he is a red herring. There is still so much we don’t know. Why is he the only survivor, when his previous ship exploded? Why the interest in Burnham? Cornwell telling him he is not the same man. Is it psd or something else? Could time travel play a part?

I just recently heard the Voq=Lorca theory and I have to admit I’m warming up to it. It would be the perfect misdirection since we’ve all been thinking Tyler.

Lorca was captured and was out of sight on a Klingon ship for a period of time. Something seems “off” about him since then. No tribble in his office. But, it still doesn’t maker sense how Voq could act like a human Starfleet captain so easily.

Voq never struck me as the most competent guy. More of a follower than a leader.

I believe the tribble was back in the office last week.

Assuming there aren’t any scenes where Shazad Latif is speaking in his Klingon makeup with Ash Tyler’s voice (or vica versa) this could have all been easily avoided by simply having somebody else play Voq. When all that stuff is on anybody and they’re speaking stilted Klingonese, you wouldn’t have a clue whether it was Latif or somebody else anyway.

EXACTLY. I keep saying this, assuming this isn’t just misdirection, it’s so frustrating since for the reasons you’ve pointed out it was so completely unnecessary for Voq and Tyler to be played by the same actor!

This is the worst kept secret in Trek history. Lol…

Third worst, after “Spock dies in Star Trek II” and “Khan is the villain in Into Darkness”.

Is that pink nail polish L’Oreal has at the tips of her uniform spikes? Cute.

Spike, I saw what you did thar
She did it because “I’m worth it” [old commercial]

I’m starting to wonder about this theory… I’ve been for quite some time.

I think we are being misdirected in a huge way..

I wonder, and I think I’ve said it before…

What if the question isn’t, “Is Tyler Voq?”

I think we should be asking, “Is Voq Tyler?”

For a culture that thrives on propaganda, we know largely that the Klingons (even through TOS) haven’t a vague idea of what it is to be human in this era. Nothing humans do is noble or honorable to them, and while I know we’re not dealing with honorable Klingons in Disco, their ideas about humans, as we have gathered from L’rell’s questioning of our beloved future-labotomized-but-now-KO’d-Admiral ladyfriend from “Dagger of the Mind,” are not as well detailed and oriented as Tyler’s knowledge.

Yes, we know L’rell came from a house of spies. But let’s look at two big pieces of evidence thus far.

1: Voq comes forward to be T’Kuvma’s prophet/torch bearer, by sticking his hand into open flame and receiving no mark or pain. Could this be the result of very-well done prosthesis on the part of Starfleet?

2: During that scene, Voq is the son of no house. We do know that children of dishonored houses are usually killed (TNG: “Redemption, Part II”) as part of a final judgement. Alexander on DS9 was not part of a house, having lived outside of the Empire as a child and growing up in Russia, he decided to come into the fold and join the Klingon Defense Forces – he had no house and was never claimed by the House of Mog. Voq, however, did live in the Empire – why was he not killed or otherwise eliminated?

Simple answer: He never existed until a certain point when he suddenly stepped forward to move in closer to the leadership. Starfleet Intelligence, knowing that something was afoot with the Klingons, dispatched an undercover operation to acquire information on Klingon political movements. Lt. Tyler was recruited, became Voq, and was placed in a position where he could step froward. NO ONE, not even T’Kuvma, knew of Voq’s existence until he stepped forward. Are we to believe that the other Klingons simply ignored his presence?

I sincerely think not.

3: Tyler’s story doesn’t add up. 7 Months on a Klingon ship, picking up skills and surviving torture? Nope. A convenient cover story to get on Discovery.

Why would this not support Tyler=Voq and how does it support Voq=Tyler?

We KNOW Captain Lorca went rogue, simply by the way the Admirals talk to him and talk about him. We KNOW he brought on Public Enemy Number 1, sentenced to LIFE IN PRISON, yet is now working as an enlisted science specialist on a top-secret science vessel. Tyler just so happened to be in the neighborhood.

Brings me to 4: Who told the Klingons about the shuttle movement that captured Lorca in the first place?

Answer: STARFLEET INTELLIGENCE. Because they happened to need to get Voq/Tyler aboard Discovery somehow, some way. A simple disappearance and extraction wouldn’t work, the Klingons would suspect something was up. An incompetent-looking escape would do the trick. Tyler gets on Discovery, a new mission begins: track Lorca’s movements, have eyes on Burnham (listed as ESCAPED convict), report to Starfleet Intelligence for one final, huge bust.

We also know that the Admiralty has been trying to get Lorca to relinquish command of Discovery for a while, now. We also know that Starfleet has been trying to get Discovery out of the fight, so they can use better, more skilled officers and crews to pick up the slack (Pike and the Enterprise come to mind). Starfleet thought they had an ace-in-the-hole when it came to Lorca by trying to get him to step aside through emotional compromise regulations.

They need more.

They can’t get more without someone on the inside TRYING to step up.

Tyler isn’t a Klingon. I don’t think we will see the tribble react to him.

There is more but this is too long already. Tyler is NOT Voq. Voq IS Tyler.

would a human tyler eat a human deceased captain just to remain a spy? Ash is Voq, Voq will be awaken soon.

@somethoughts If he needed to maintain his cover I believe he would and he could. He wouldn’t enjoy it but for the Federation’s survival he would do anything. At least that’s the kind of spies I hope the Federation recruits. If not them then maybe Section 31. You know they have some people like that.

I think still think Voq turned human to try to win the war for T’Kuvma after being banished to the Shenzou by Kor. Kinda suspect to capture Lorca and put him in same cell as Mudd and Voq aka Ash. Im just not sure if Voq is awake or hidden for now in Ash.

I’ve suggested this too. Ash is clearly human. But, following this idea, I don’t see what the Ash objectives as a spy could’ve possibly been.

@Holden, the Klingons may have been out of regular contact with the Federation for almost a century before T’Kuvma came about, but rumors of a movement that could spell trouble would quickly prompt SI to act and send in a spy to see first hand WTF was going on.

On that note, Ash as Voq’s objectives would’ve been to infiltrate T’Kuvma’s cult and figure out what threat it posed to the Federation (question answered obviously)

Ash as Ash on Discovery would be to gather solid intel on Lorca and Burnham, in an effort to take out Lorca and possibly Burnham as well, or at the very least, earn her trust to get to Lorca and after bringing Lorca down, recapture Burnham and put her back behind a force field where she belongs.


I’ll have a look at the pilot again, but I could have sworn that voq and t’kuvma knew each other from their childhood

That sounds right to me, too, Penguin.

Interesting thoughts. I agree that Ash as spy would explain why he’s physically human, why Voq seemed so awkward and slow as a Klingon (and also why he was an orphan–unless I’m misremembering that part). But why wouldn’t Ash have just been recalled back to his commander to relay this intel instead of planting himself in the Klingon prison with the seemingly slightest chance that Lorca would later be imprisoned with him? The Ash as Star Fleet spy would only make sense to me maybe if we’d already met his commanding officer, but nobody we’ve been introduced to (i.e., Cornwell) seems plausible in that respect. Maybe he and L’rell are both human spies? But then there are scenes of them alone together where they still talking to each other as Klingons. Maybe some Klingons and Federation offers are conspiring together?

I just don’t see it. Ash as spy just doesn’t make sense from a narrative standpoint, based on what we’ve seen. I feel like too many offscreen developments would have had to occur for this theory to be true.

Have you seen “The Americans”? Even though they are Russian spies, they are in deep cover, and they always speak English.

@Tokyo — I like it. Ash being sent to spy on Lorca makes a perfect reason for Starfleet intelligence not immediately plucking him out of the Discovery once he returned in order to figure out what happened to his undercover mission. They suddenly had a man inside whom Lorca seemed to trust, so they satisfied themselves with a secret communication, that he was Ash, and accepted his explanation about L’Rell discovering his true identity, and did not kill him, but rather kept him around to slowly torture him instead.

Starfleet doesn’t have to GET Lorca to relinquish command of DISCO.

They could (1)send in a new captain and relieve Lorca of command as he is medically unfit [first he has to be found medically unfit] due to his eye problems or PTSD;
OR Lorca could be
(2) Relieved on orders from Starfleet Command to report for, ummm, duty at Starfleet Command or some other desk job.

Not that I want Lorca to leave DISCO! For me he is a very fascinating character. It would be cool if his motivations can remain ambiguous for some time. We resolve part of the mystery of Lorca, but some still remains. Isaacs does such a great job playing this character “on the fence.”

Have you not noticed how Tyler isn’t completely au fait with Starfleet regulations. There are gaps in his knowledge that are brushed aside. Keep your eyes peeled. He’s Voq.

I believe that the series is trying to knit together the Klingon history. To explain the physical changes that one sees between series. Even Worf briefly mentioned about his ‘historic shame’ to his people.
–notice the lack of hair in Klingons in Discovery and loads of it in Next Gen.lol ☺SZ

Ash is a real pow which the Klingons somehow transferred Voq’s mind and consciousness into Ash hidden until the word T’kuvma and Kayless is said by female scar face L’rell

Shazad Latif being Javid Iqbal is far too obvious to be true. It’s a red hering. The truth will be far more shocking! Javid Iqbal doesn’t exist. But he is not Shazad Latif.

Javid Iqbal = J.I. = Jason Isaacs! Lorca is Voq. He’s the big baddie we’ve been looking for. The only question that remains is: why doesn’t the Tribble react?

Would make sense why Lorca never killed L’rell and shot away from her and would mean he using Discovery to take down Kor. This is fun ya? Sorta like a whodunnit murder mystery.


Good food for thought

Whether he is or isn’t, for me, it just isn’t important. I mean, many shows have this kind of question. Is the character who they appear to be or someone else? For me, I don’t understand why this makes this show, or Star Trek, compelling. I was hoping this actually mattered, in the sense that it meant something, some kind of social message, or metaphor or comment society. I’m sure people can create some kind of meaning, but I don’t think the show is trying to say anything here, in the way previous Treks did. It’s just an empty gimmick to me, and it is not really different than anything else. It’s great that some people care about this. To me, it just doesn’t really matter.

I quite like the idea of Voq’s mind being “uploaded” into Ash Tyler, a real, actual human Starfleet Officer (not an augmented Klingon). Voq’s mind is just hibernating in Tyler’s subconscious, but would assert itself as the dominant personality when triggered by L’Rell (kind of like Seven of Nine’s multiple personality disorder in VOY “Infinite Regress”).

If we’re to go with this theory, then it may not even be Tyler as the “host” at all, but Lorca!

All info points to Tyler being human. Medical scans for one thing, also, even if off-screen, he must have visited the Captain’s ready-room at least once and encountered the tribble. The Klingons were unable to convert one of their own into a human successfully in TOS, he was easily detected as Klingon by McCoy once he scanned him. The best theory as of right now, IMO, is that Voq’s consciousness was transfered into Tyler’s and is piggybacking on Tyler’s brain. Can Voq physically control Tyler? Perhaps not, maybe he can only gather information and await L’Rell to download it somehow. Maybe Latif did also play Voq, but only out of convenience; why hire an additional actor when you have one ready to go who won’t appear as their other character until later? The producers still wouldn’t want that information known, as it quickly leads to the questions that people are asking, even if the truth is that Voq isn’t Tyler, he’s simply hiding within Tyler’s mind.

It’s also possible that Lorca hasn’t been fooled one bit, and is planning to somehow use Tyler against the Klingons. Keep your enemies close and all that.

@Mawazi — I fully believe Lorca knows Tyler is not to be trusted, and is ready for him, whatever he may turn out to be.



The theory might be true but the story would be nonsense. A complete transformation of body and mind is a whole new person. They would have to transform the DNA and the internal organs as well as the skeleton and the brain. It is not just plastic surgery as is was with Arne Darvin. His internal organs have not been altered so Dr. McCoy could reveal him as a klingon by his heart beat etc.

It has been already nonsense in “TNG: Homeward” when Dr. Crusher altered Worf’s facial bones. No klingon warrior would tolerate his facial and cranial bones to be removed.

it’s possible alien tech to transfer a soul or consciousness into a body, the ultimate spy

If it is true, I’m glad we’re seeing it coming. Don’t want to hear what millions of Trek fans (myself included) groaning at the same time.

@Tay — it’ll be like Spock and the Intrepid in the “Immunity Syndrome”

We’ll all drop our remotes and stagger, dizzied by the horror

I think the EP 10 will be about mirror universe and I think that we will see there mirror Voq but mirror Tyler will be missing in that reality.. That way the proof will be shown to attentive audience

If the theory is true then it’s being fantistically well hidden on screen. I consider Tyler a protaganist and only remember the theory after an episode.

Has anyone considered this theory, that Voq is actually Tyler and not the other way around? Maybe he’s pissed with Starfleet for some reason and joined with the Klingons. Might explain the strange Klingon skin tone. But what is almost certain is this actor plays both characters in my opinion.

If you look at the guy’s wiki page it clearly shows his birth name was “Shazad Iqbal”. It also credits him as Voq.

“No guys….seriously his name is John Harrison and he’s a brand new character”


The one thing I wonder about is the question of how he could claim L’Rell was on the ship for six months. And how did she get to interrogate Lorca if a few episodes later she had to beg Kol to interrogate someone else a few episodes later?

OK, another: As someone says below, who was the Starfleet person dragged out of the cell? Was it Tyler? Mudd said he was out to lunch. Mind control?

For a while I was thinking Ash might be a temporal agent trying to correct Burnham starting the war.

We are all being expertly trolled by the writers and producers of Disco. There is no way in hell that Ash is Voq. Ash was given a thorough med check up when he arrived with Lorca and he was on the table again in a later episiode. When McCoy busted Darvin, he cited several anatomical and physiological problems. If we are now 10 years prior to “Tribbles” the Klingons are 10 years less practiced at trasforming into human form.
With that said, Ash being a lone wolf sleeper-agent would be awesome. He has all the security codes and knows how the Spore drive works. I see a “Dagger of The Mind” shout out coming soon. “Lethe”

A few things come to mind. First, if this is another STID: “This is not about Khan” statement from the writers/producers, I’m going to be really disappointed. It seems a lot of effort has been put into both making it look like he is Voq, as well as a lot of effort denying it equally.
Seems like a real person Javid Iqbal does exist according to IMDB with a picture.
The bio info is so blatantly incomplete.
Regardless on which side of the fence the truth is discovered to be on, I think the producers have either really underestimated the fan boys on this treasure hunt, or they have sent the fan boys on a wild goose chase.
I find this all a huge distraction from just enjoying the show for what it is.

And John Harrison isnt Khan… blah blah blah.

Crappy writing gets you a terrible plot.

Well, that suit that @RealJavidIqbal is wearing in his post is the exact same suit that Shazad Latif wore at the Hollywood premiere:


I rest my case ;-)

The fan theory is true.

But please do not quote me on this.

This show is soooooo good. Took me a while to get into it….but after the 4th episode….fully unboard. Ok…so can we get another series chronicling THE U.S.S. ENTERPRISE….set in the 30th century ? Lets move away from the 20 something centuries. We’ve had two trek series on the air at the same time in the 90s…with this streaming service…more is welcome.

The Orville should do the double agent thing too – expect make the makeup difference really negligible – like maybe Clark Kent glasses level – which would make it just about as obvious as this Voq thing is.

Here’s an interesting notion to keep in mind about the Tyler/Voq theory that further addresses how Enterprise might have mocked up the timeline:
In The Original Series McCoy identified Arne Darvin as a Klingon using his medical tricorder, but this was before Klingons were exposed to the human Augment virus in Enterprise that altered their DNA on a fundamental level, turning them into human hybrids.
Voq and other Klingons on Enterprise would have human DNA in their genome, which could be why medical scans done on Tyler in Discovery have not detected that he is Klingon.
A simpler theory not connected to any possible shifts in the timeline would be that Starfleet’s medical database may just not be advanced enough to detect any changes made to a Klingon that make them pass for human.
It would be interesting however if once the reveal was made if there was an acknowledgement of Klingon DNA possessing traces of Augment human DNA.

Everyone is suggesting that Tyler is Klingon, but why not the other way around. Surely it makes more sense for Voq to be human? That would explain his pale Klingon skin right?


Not much of a secret, especially when he was announced to play a Klingon back in 2016…

What amazes me is how many articles were written in late 2016 announcing Latif as Kol. Here’s another one.. Google is an amazing thing…


The last word L’Rell said to Tyler was : “soon”
How much more obvious does it have to be?

I mean, I knew it once we first saw Lt. Ash come out of nowhere, and the whole L’Rell thing there. So when it comes to having a mystery, well they certainly didn’t write it… but people online seem to be thinking this is some “theory”, but a theory shouldn’t be so damn obvious, nor is it still a theory when one can just see the trade notices telling you that actor is playing both parts…

Captain Lorca being an undercover Klingon is also consistent with everything we`ve seen.

L’Rell wanting to get on the Discovery could also just be read as her wanting to recapture her pet, who really was just tortured. Everything we’ve seen and heard, his flashbacks could easily be just his PTSD from being tortured, his interaction with her in the Brig… so far it is all consistent with his story at face value. Lorca is the better candidate for an undercover Klingon.

Let’s pretend for a second we are now completely sure Voq has been turned into a human (thus “sacrificing everything”, in L’Rell’s words). Who else could be, if not Lt. Ash Tyler?
On the other hand, completely unrelated to that:
– it’s funny that Gabriel Lorca doesn’t rememer personal events of his past;
– it’s funny that Gabriel Lorca has unexpected scars;
– it’s funny that Gabriel Lorca seems so changed to the eyes of the only person who knows him personally;
– it’s funny that Gabriel Lorca doesn’t take any initiative to save an admiral, who’s also his former lover, and whose capture represents a huge breach in Starfleet security (note: said Admiral is also the only person who knows him well and she’s also the one who wants to remove him from command). Maybe he would do it for nobody (except for some Vulcan mentor of some crewmember);
– it’s funny that Gabriel Lorca’s actor is exactly as tall as Javid Iqbal (Voq?) – 5’11” – who in turn is quite shorter than Shazad Latif aka Ash Tyler;
– it’s funny that Gabriel Lorca’s actor, Jason Isaacs, and Javid Iqbal share the same initials.

Of course I’m joking. We’ve never lost contact with Cpt. Lorca since the moment we first met him. Well, apart from the time he spent in L’Rell’s torture chamber, after the blinding light torture and before he was brought back to the brig. But that doesn’t count.

The important part of that was to check Tyler’s background, though. No need to confirm the ship captain’s identity, even if he was absent for some time. It’s impossible he has been replaced by an impostor, isn’t it?

Talking about scars, does blinding light torture leaves those signs? For a moment they looked like the consequence of some brutal surgery.