Sonequa Martin-Green Says Captain Pike Helps Heal ‘Star Trek: Discovery’ Crew’s Lorca PTSD

We are getting more little details about the second season of Star Trek: Discovery, which is over halfway through production and set to premiere in early 2019. Sonequa Martin-Green reveals more about the tone of the new season and what effect Anson Mount’s Pike has on the crew, plus we have some more details on what is happening today on set.

Pike sets tone for lighter second season

In an interview with the official Star Trek site, Discovery star Sonequa Martin-Green talked about how the introduction of Anson Mount’s Captain Pike affects the crew of the USS Discovery in season two:

A crew is almost defined by the essence of the captain. We went through the ringer with Lorca, and so there’s a little bit of PTSD there. There’s a little bit of distrust there because of what we’ve gone through and because we had someone who manipulated us and sought to kill us for his own gain. And so, Pike being the deeply rooted good guy he is, he is going to have an effect on us. He’s soothing in that way. He’s comforting in that way. And hopefully you will see us sort of galvanize because of that.

Anson Mount as Captain Pike and Sonequa Martin-Green as Michael Burnham in an official photo from the first episode of season two of Star Trek: Discovery

In recent panels and interviews, the creatives and cast for Discovery have talked about how the second season will have a lighter tone than the first, which was dominated by war and a trip to the very dark Mirror Universe.

Martin-Green had this to say about tone:

[T]here’s a little more joy just because we aren’t at war. We’re able to smile a little bit more. There’s a sense of levity that’s there simply because we’re not fighting for our lives.

The actress also confirmed that her character Michael Burnham will lighten up a bit as well:

Oh yeah, for sure. There’s certainly a heaviness that is present with me as Burnham, just because of everything that is driving me and because there are deep-seated problems there. So, those are still at play, for sure. But yes, you see the smile, and you see the chuckles that we allow ourselves to have, including Burnham, because we’re not fighting.

Sonequa Martin-Green in a lighter moment from Star Trek: Discovery season 2, as seen in the SDCC first look trailer

More Disco Bits: Episode 9 begins today with Frakes and new writer

Here are some more Star Trek: Discovery-related bits of interest from social media.

More Frakes

Star Trek: The Next Generation’s Jonathan Frakes is currently in Toronto to direct the ninth episode of Discovery‘s second season. A couple of days ago he revealed his special Riker cake, given to him by the art department. Now the designer of the cake — Arlo Designs in Toronto, who have done a number of cakes for the production staff — has revealed some more behind-the-scenes photos of the cake and Frakes on Instagram (click/swipe for more photos).

The Originals writer/producer penned episode 9

We now know that Frakes will be directing a script from a new hire for Discovery. Michelle Paradise, who has spent the last few years as a writer and co-executive producer on the CW Vampire Diaries spin-off The Originals, revealed on Twitter that her first episode of Discovery is just starting to shoot today, and she expressed her excitement over having Frakes direct it.

Behind the scenes at Emmys

Discovery editor Scott Gamzon revealed some behind-the-scenes photos of some of the post-production staff who were at the Creative Arts Emmys over the weekend, as part of Star Trek being given the Governor’s Award.

Cast tweets of the day: school picture day for Doug and Mary

Star Trek: Discovery actors Doug Jones and Mary Chieffo chose today to reveal some of their classic looks from back before they were wearing prosthetic makeup for a living.

Star Trek: Discovery is available exclusively in the USA on CBS All Access. It airs in Canada on Space and streams on CraveTV. It is available on Netflix everywhere else.

The first season of Star Trek: Discovery will be released on Blu-ray and DVD on November 13th.

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

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Not really a surprise that Discovery’s crew has trust issues right now. They did just almost mutiny against an Admiral and the Federation Council.

I wonder if Pike will share the story of Talos IV with Michael at some point. It may be relevant, since Spock was there, but whether it directly relates or not it may help get past the distrust.

Spock’s disappearance and presumably his eventual rescue, may also tie into just why he was willing to assault Starfleet officers, commit mutiny, & set course for a flat death sentence. Even by Human standards those are extreme actions.

I’m operating under the present assumption that Number One will be in temporary command of Enterprise, and that Enterprise will complete transporting Sarek to Vulcan.

I dig those Tholian Webish space suits!

Not liking the Kryptonian-looking (ripped-off?) floating robots, just like in Man of Steel.

Drones? We have them in our time – not a leap of logic to think that in the future, they could be as advanced as our own computers and and contain limited A.I..

Spock Jenkins,

And the Nazis and the Allies had them before our time.

Read up on how Joe Kennedy died.

Hardly something invented by MoS.


Mint peptide frosting?

Close. It is a cellular peptide cake.

With mint frosting.

hahaha nice reference

Wasn’t Frakes supposed to direct episode 10 of the 2nd season?

That’s what they said. It’s not clear whether they’re on 10 already which is fast since they stopped at 5 over the summer and had a break, and some of the Short Treks were being filmed. It’s possible they’re at 10, or he’s directing a different episode or a Short Treks episode instead of additionally

For all their awareness of greater issues, they really shouldn’t water down the notion of PTSD by applying that term to seemingly everything.
In real life, betrayal of trust is a terrible thing; in a TV show, it’s a sharp tool for dramatic storytelling – but bringing up “a little bit of PTSD”, just to namedrop a very serious condition: that’s not how you raise awareness! Call it “trust issues”, call it even “trauma” – because that’s how such things can turn out, make no mistake. Just don’t wave the PTSD-stick at everything happening on the show.
That’s a bit like referring to every kind of mopiness as “depression”.

Very well put.

It’s a turn of phrase ( and I agree, an unfortunate, inapplicable one ). It’s like when pople throw around the term “schizophrenic” when they normally don’t mean anything of the sort.

I see people on a daily basis who claim to have ptsd from being yelled at, and their counselors support them. I see ptsd diagnosed by counselors with no particular evidence. The Discovery crew on the other hand has been through time loops, alternate universes where sentient beings are food, betrayal by their captain, betrayal by their superiors and their government, and spending time in close proximity to an unrestrained mass murderer. If anyone has an actual reaspn for ptsd, this crew does.

Your point is well taken about casually using the term “PTSD”. But as “Who Cares” stated, this crew’s experiences in Season 1 can certainly cause PTSD. Burnham alone: spent time in prison, lost her mother/figure and Captain, watched one of her crewmates die in front of her on the Shenzhou, killed people in the MU in order to maintain her cover, her boyfriend turned out to be a Klingon double-agent that ate her mother figure…need I go on?

Well put. And another instance of this cast telling us things that should instead come out organically in the story. Don’t tell us these people have trauma/PTSD, just show us through good storytelling and acting. We’ll get it.

She never said they would do otherwise. It’s one thing to be critical of the finished product, but entirely something else to put the worst possible spin on an actress’s fairly non-specific comments about a storyline you haven’t yet seen.

I think it’s harsh to say this before we’ve seen it.

As someone who was raised by a father 95% disabled by his participation in the Korean War, I find myself agreeing with your point but not certain about how it relates to Discovery or what SMG had to say about the second season storyline. Whatever you think about Discovery and its portrayal of war, these people saw loved ones and colleagues die, and (as in the case of Detmer) personally suffered some pretty life-altering losses as well. That’s a ripe recipe for PTSD (or its 23rd Century equivalent), however you slice it.

I’m not saying that there might not be a good storyline involving PTSD in the future, but given how liberally the term has been used by the cast and crew in the past, I wouldn’t hold my breath. Just take the Voq/Tyler subplot: They introduced Tyler as a character who apparently suffered from that condition, but in the end, the context of his suffering was so stylized and removed from reality that it just didn’t hold up – ultimately, it had nothing to do with PTSD whatsoever.
Now, considering that Green specifically points out the crew having “went through the ringer with Lorca” (I think it should be wringer, shouldn’t it?), I just presume that she means the general idea of Lorca having betrayed the crew and not the wider war-context of which we only ever saw bits and pieces (note, for example, that Detmer probably got her injury at the Battle of the Binary Stars, i.e. wayyy before Lorca even entered the stage).

Well, there’s the rub: lots of presumptions going on around here based on a few general statements made by an actress. Not the worst thing in the world, I suppose, but possibly a little unfair and not very useful.

(And yes, it should definitely be ‘wringer.’ :-)

I’m not even presuming. Look, we’re generally on the same side here; I was mainly judging from the way the term has been thrown around in the past and this is just one more instance. I see potential for… a lot of things, mostly good! But just concerning that one aspect – as I said – I wouldn’t hold my breath there.

Note that I’m usually ready and willing to give actors a pass for most of the things they say, since they’re basically as much on the “receiving end” of whatever the showrunners and writers think up as the audience. I’ve just noticed that there’s a general tendency towards overusing the term PTSD whenever this show is concerned.

Yes and no. PTSD is different for different people. It is all abut the mind’s perception of what is traumatic. Its the reasons some soldiers suffer for years and others don’t. You can get PTSD from something as seemingly benign as a relationship break up or an error at work.The whole crew suffering is probably pushing it a bit, but I can certainly see some of the crew being impacted, especially characters like Stamets.

Where’s the Counselor Troi cake?

Probably on the set of The Orville.

No one wants to risk the cake after Blobby Crew Memeber has been in the room.

I really wish they’d stop talking about the huge war we really didn’t see any of.

Glad to hear there will be some much-needed levity included in Season Two.

Agreed! The war was easily the weakest part of the season because they never showed it lol. Out of the 15 episodes maybe 4 or 5 of those is where you actually saw them in direct combat including the 2 part opener. Majority of the time they just referenced it.

I’m happy too it’s going to feel more lighter. There should be some actual fun and humor in a Star Trek show. All the others had tons of it including DS9.

That could have been handled better for sure, but for me the weakest aspects turned out to be what we did see: the all-too-easy resolution to the war, Burnham’s redemption, and the Lorca reveal. Those were just felony level-bad creative decisions IMO, and they just about killed whatever enthusiasm I’d had for what looked to be a promising show.

The less said about that ‘finale’ the better. I told myself my feelings about the war arc will probably just depend on how they ended it. And then they pulled that mess. I’m more hopeful about season 2 only because I want to believe they really understood the stuff was bad was really bad and will make a dramatic course correction.

That and firing the show runners I really don’t think ever truly got Star Trek based on how season 1 was structured.

Michael, all those things you mentioned were straws on the camel’s back for me as I watched the show. The final straw was the Lorca reveal. As creatively bankrupt a decision as anyone could ever come up with. At that point it was difficult to take the show seriously any longer. I was laughing at the absurdity of it all. It turned into a comedy where none of the jokes worked.

Burnham will confide in Pike that she doesn’t know who to trust in Starfleet and that she’s tired of not knowing where she belongs . Pike will say that he can relate, that he thought of quitting Starfleet at one point, until a mission to Talos IV made him realize where he belonged. This shit writes itself.

Wait, so they’ve got PTSD because of Lorca, but they’re also a lot jollier this time because…no Lorca.


They’re jollier this time because they have a Captain who is good and genuine and takes care of his people which Lorca didn’t care to do, it’s not difficult to comprehend that a traumatized crew in the hands of a good and comforting captain would get better and have a more happier morale. People who have good vibes make everyone else better, so Pike’s presence is a balm to what this crew has gone through. That’s just simple logic.

It was more the betrayal of Lorca than anything else. They all felt duped. But in a different way than the audience felt about being duped by Lorca.

Frakes’ episode written by someone from “CW Vampire Diaries spin-off The Originals” – I see Discovery’s staff continues to recruit the best and brightest to meet the stated goal of Game of Thrones-level drama.

TNGs Measure of a Man, one of their best episodes, was the first script ever written by the person who wrote it, had they operated the way you suggest the episode would not exist.

Why is it just because someone was on the writing staff for The Originals that somehow makes them not the best and brightest? Because it’s a CW show? Because it’s got a teen drama reputation? How about you judge a writer by what scripts they wrote and not just because you make assumptions about a show you don’t think much of? By your logic then a lot of writers who’ve done great stuff on Star Trek wouldn’t be the best and brightest enough to be hired. By your logic, the guys who ended up making Game of Thrones then shouldn’t have been hired to make Game of Thrones either given one of their big feature script was the Brad Pitt Trojan war movie Troy which hardly was some cinematic masterpiece by any standard, yet they went on to make Game of Thrones. Hell, half of that showrunning duo also was responsible for the script of the much hated X Men Origins Wolverine, yet he still went on to do Game of Thrones. If everyone simply does hiring jobs by reputation than seeing their actual work, a lot of great writers wouldn’t have had chances to do the works they’ve done. Your logic makes no sense.