Anthony Rapp Talks Return Of Dr. Culber And Future Of Spore Drive On ‘Star Trek: Discovery’

A couple new official videos have been released today that give some more insight into yesterday’s episode of Star Trek: Discovery, and may provide some hints of the future.

Rapp talks getting high with Tig and what’s next for spore drive and Culber

Stamets actor Anthony Rapp was the guest on this week’s episode of The Ready Room (video below) to discuss “An Obol for Charon”, where he gave insights into shooting the episode, how much fun he had onscreen and off with Tig Notaro (Jett Reno), the new direction for the season, Carpool Karaoke, what he knows about mushroom science, and more.

While there were no spoilers, Rapp may have dropped some hints about the future of the spore drive, which was put into doubt during the episode when the “May” alien informed Stamets the drive was causing harm to her realm. Rapp noted that there may be more to that story, saying:

To be fair, she is making a claim that we don’t know exactly what the problem is, so it may be a matter of misunderstanding, we don’t know yet. I think the very possibility that there could be a problem because of this technology is incredibly upsetting to Stamets. I think he would want no part of anything that was causing damage to beings or nature, if at all possible. So, yeah it is a big deal, but her claim may or may not be totally accurate. It may be a misunderstanding of what’s happening. We don’t know yet. Something tells me we are going to find out.

Another point in the discussion may have offered some hints about the return of Stamets’ partner, Dr. Hugh Culber, played by Wilson Cruz. Ever since Culber was killed off in season one, Rapp, Cruz and the show’s producers have made it clear that he is coming back, but without giving any details. On The Ready Room, Rapp offered some, talking about working with Cruz again on season two:

[Working with Wilson Cruz again] was really special. I was very, very happy for him. We knew it was going to happen, but I was very happy for him in the way that it happenes and what he gets to do with that story, what I get to do with that story. It was very, very satisfying and rich, the way that it was brought to life by the writers. If this is going to happen – that he comes back in a way – the manner that he comes back, it has to have been earned. It has to be meaningful. It has to have consequences. And thankfully everyone on board said “yes” to that. I haven’t seen everything yet, because I have seen as many episodes as everyone in the world, I have seen four episodes. But I know what we shot, and I look forward to seeing how it came together.

SIDENOTE: Did Wilson Cruz already tell us how he is coming back?

At NYCC last fall, the one thing Wilson Cruz was allowed to say was “We find [Culber] where we left him…that is your clue!” Culber was last seen in the mycelial network in season one. Some part of him has lived on in the network and he has interacted with Stamets when his mind was also lost in the network after going a little crazy due to too many spore drive jumps.

Culber visits with Stamets inside the Mycelial Network in season 1

At the end of “An Obol for Charon,” Tilly disappears into the cocoon created by “May” the mycelial alien. It could be that she has been pulled into the Mycelial Network. The preview for episode 5 (which is attached to episode 4 on All Access) shows that the crew of the USS Discovery is determined to rescue Tilly and depicts Stamets and Burnham walking through some kind of energy, possibly leading into the Network. So, it’s possible they may find more than Tilly on their journey.

Tilly in a mycelial forest in the preview for episode 5

Jones says Saru without fear is empowering

CBS also released a video feature with Doug Jones talking about “An Obol for Charon,” and the major changes it involved for Saru. Regarding the acting challenge this change offers, Jones stated:

I’ve lost all my fear…how gorgeous is it to have to be afraid of everything all the time and have to play that into a character and it’s like, I aint afraid of nothin’, okay? It’s really empowering and wonderful.

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.

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“Saru without Fear” will be an interesting exploration – will he become so fearless as to become reckless – or tyrannical even – I wonder?

Will the Ba’Ul Predator race be revealed to be the evolved form of the Kelpians themselves ( as some other fans have brilliantly speculated )?

Like that is it?

100 bucks Saru has evolved into the predator species on his planet.

WOW. Interesting idea.

But I don’t think I’ll take the bet … I think Saru is just going to become foolhardy for a while. He’s very physically powerful though, so it should be interesting!

Given “May”, we probably should not assume/conclude that the Culber Stamets crossed paths with in the network is the “real” Culber. It could be another creature that, like May, took on the appearance of someone Stamets knew and felt a strong emotional connection to.

Cruz could come back but it could be a B-4-type scenario in which it’s not actually Culber anymore than B-4 was Data, but an alien life form in the form of Culber.

Stamets might just shrug, say “meh, close enough”, and take it from there.

Nice theory.


Dramatically, that might make it more interesting. A bit like when Beverly Crusher fell in love with a symbiot and then had to deal with its next host (a woman instead of a man).

Culber not being exactly the same Culber brings a lot of story-telling possibilities.

Good one.

Btw, thanks for the info the other day about tonight’s Star Trek Discovery presentation by the Directors Guild of Canada down at the TIFF Lightbox in downtown Toronto. Fans in the GTA will hopefully get a chance to check it out. Unfortunately for me, I already have other commitments for tonight but it is at the home of the Toronto Film Festival and they are screening an episode (not sure which one), so it should be a cool thing to check out.

Is there any difference between the mycelial network in the prime and mirror universes, or are they just different parts of the same thing? They seemed to say that “May” was specifically from the MU, in that case, might it be the mirror Stamets’s “reactor” that was harming the lifeforms within the network & “she” just confused the two. Also, if “she” is from the MU specifically, it’s possible “she’s” working an angle & only claiming the DASH drive is harmful in order to try to use it to “her” own advantage…

Two very different facial expressions.