STLV18: Mary Chieffo Talks Season 2 Klingon Aesthetic; Ken Mitchell Indicates Return To ‘Star Trek: Discovery’

Saturday at Star Trek Las Vegas featured two panels with guest and recurring actors from Star Trek: Discovery with one featuring Klingon actors Mary Chieffo (L’Rell) and Kenneth Mitchell (Kol), along with Jayne Brook (Admiral Cornwell) and Clint Howard (Creepy Orion). The panel had some news about the second season of Discovery along with some interesting insights into the first.

Mary Chieffo talks new look for the Klingons at peace

The first season of Discovery wrapped up the war with Klingons, with Mary Chieffo’s L’Rell putting an end to it with a little help from a giant Federation bomb. At STLV, the actress talked about her role in the Klingon Empire for the second season, proudly proclaiming “I am the Chancellor!” She also spoke about changes she sees for the Empire for season two:

It is a time of peace and there is a certain aesthetic that comes with that. We are not at war, so I tease that there is not only a Klingon aesthetic change, there is a Chancellor aesthetic that L’Rell gets to embody, that I am really thrilled about on a superficial level, but also on a thematic level. You are going to see as she embraces her femininity, she is not a commander, not a soldier anymore. She is trying to embody this more female archetype as she embraces her power. It’s going to be fun.

Mary Chieffo at STLV 2018

Ken Mitchell indicates he returns for season two

Kenneth Mitchell spoke about the challenge he had doing the Klingon dialog playing Kol in the first season of Discovery:

It’s like memorizing a sequence of numbers, I had to approach it that way…I would wallpaper the Klingon all over my house, because I would print it up in big posters around my house and for weeks I would try to memorize syllable by syllable. It would take me two weeks memorizing eight hours a day to memorize two scenes.

Ken Mitchell at STLV 2018

Kol was last seen on board the Klingon Sarcophagus Ship shortly before it was destroyed in the ninth episode of the first season. However, that may not be the end for Mitchell’s time on the show. A fan asked if we might see him return to the series, possibly playing another role. Mitchell said at first “I would love to come back,” he then theatrically asked the audience to stomp their feet while he posed the question to himself saying “Am I coming back?” He then reached out his hand and slowly gave the thumbs up sign, to indicate he will indeed be returning, with no sign if that would be as Kol, or possibly a different character.

Mary Chieffo, then chimed in (with a reference to the other big news from yesterday):

Jean-Luc Picard is back, and Kenneth Mitchell is back

Kenneth Mitchell gives the thumbs up to the question on if he is returning to Star Trek: Discovery

Jayne Brook thrilled to play powerful woman on Discovery

This was Jayne Brook’s first convention ever and she was thrilled to be there. The actress talked about what it was like for her to land the job playing Admiral Cornwell:

It was so much fun and was completely unexpected. I had some catching up to do, and still have some catching up to do…It was thrilling to be part of [Star Trek: Discovery] and to play a woman who has power, but is so multi-dimensional. We saw so many different sides of her.

She also spoke about how she was clued in to the secret that Jason Isaacs’ Lorca was really the Mirror Lorca, and therefore not the same person as Corwell’s old flame, Prime Lorca. However, she noted that she had to put that info aside, to do her intimate scenes with Isaacs:

They had talked to me about [Lorca’s secret], but I just put it into another compartment and just played it as it was real.

Jayne Brook at STLV 2018

Clint Howard connects TOS to Discovery

Veteran actor Clint Howard drew a through-line from his first time as a child actor on Star Trek: The Original Series, through to his guest appearance in the season finale of Discovery and how the franchise has always valued the input of the actors and directors on set:

Being on the original [Star Trek] and hearing about it from my dad [actor Rance Howard] and there was a fellow named Joe Sargent who directed the first episode I did [TOS: “The Corbomite Maneuver”], is the actor’s element, the stuff that Leonard [Nimoy] invented or the stuff that the director told Leonard to do, that ended up becoming part of Spock’s life. It’s like what can’t happen is the show becomes so much soap opera, that it loses the human element. Why does that moment work? Because it works because the actor made it work. So, as the show evolves, they still have to let us have that ability to make it real.

It was nice that Akiva [Goldsman, director of DSC “Will You Take My Hand”] asked me to come back and when I was thinking about it, of course there is a way they want you to do it. But my experience is, that they hired me to do it. Now, I am not going to rewrite their dialog, but I am also not going to be a mimic for what the showrunner wants me to do. They can hire somebody to do that. What made the original special, was that the actors brought their own humanity to the table, which is really important.

Clint Howard at STLV 2018

Brook and Chieffo reenact the scream

A fun moment that delighted the crowd was when Mary Chieffo and Jayne Brook reenacted the dueling scream from their scene together in the episode “Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum.” TrekMovie captured the moment for our live coverage on Twitter.


More STLV 2018

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All photos by Andrew Britton/

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So is anybody else wondering whether this different aesthetic for Klingons might mean that we’ll see a few of them sporting hair?

No, Klingon have sensory nodes on their heads.

Hope so. If they do that, among other things, and show they have been listening to the fans I think those of us on the fence will be more willing to give them time to get the show right.

LOL, yeah I have a feeling we may be getting hair!!!! Please Kahless give these guys hair. The producers will get half the fans off their back if they do.

I hope it means they do away with the elongated skulls and do a few more things to make them look like Klingons.

New look for the klingons? Are they growing their hair out after the war?

No, just new clothes.

Cornwell is cool; I liked her a lot in the first season. Well, up until they turned her into a morally compromised traitor, at least.

I like L’Rell, too. I hope the writing for the show will be better this season so I won’t have to feel bad about it.

I just found out Kol was coming back next season! The Klingon who took over the death ship and got blown up. It’s going to be interesting how he comes back. If they can bring that guy back, then so can William Shatner! ;D

It may not be as Kol, Tiger2. He may just be playing another Klingon from one of the leading houses, or another species altogether. I get the impression that’s what he was hinting at.

Pretty sure you’re correct. Time will tell. Maybe Kol had a brother, LOL

I can see the “morally compromised” [which would apply to Sarek as well, for the idea of blowing up Qo’onoS], but where do you get “traitor” from?

And while I don’t really support the idea of blowing up the Klingon home world, may I say that, in desperation, the Allies in WWII dropped two atom bombs on Japan. And atrocities have been committed by our own government. Not every government has stuck to the letter of the Geneva Conventions. We are sadder but no wiser.

Crap. I completely forgot that Cromwell was involved with Lorca even before the first switch-a-roo. That makes that plot twist even dumber that it already was. And I didn’t think that was possible.

Replying to myself here. A bit more to add. Cromwell is now in the category of the incompetent Starfleet Admirals since she failed to notice there was something “off” about her lover. She seems amazingly inattentive.

What she noticed as being “off” about Lorca she put down to PTSD, which can sometimes hugely change a person’s affect, actions amd reactions. That is part of the reason she did NOT want him assigned to command Discovery. She was apparently overruled in her assessment of Lorca’s fitness for command.

In the episode, it’s implied that she and Lorca haven’t “been together” in a while, and recall, if you will, her statements after Mirror Lorca almost killed her: “you’re different” [and after his plea to remain in command], “The sad thing is, I can’t tell if this is really you.”

I’ll have to take your word for that. While I watched the show after the Lorca reveal not much of it was retained in memory. It was THAT bad. But I’m still going to chalk up her not noticing the savage side of her intimate lover as her being at best, inattentive. Incompetent at worst. Also, had she the wisdom to see it, they never would have been a trip to the MU and no big Lorca reveal. So she had to be a bad judge of character for the show’s plot to even work.

Will we be able to understand the Klingons? The makeup and teeth make them sound terrible.