Kenneth Mitchell Hints At Unique Return For ‘Star Trek: Discovery’ Season 4

Star Trek: Discovery season 3 - Kenneth Mitchell as Aurelio

In an emotional appearance at Creation’s 55-Year Mission Star Trek convention in Las Vegas, Ken Mitchell indicated he will appear in the next season of Star Trek: Discovery.

Mitchell’s unique return

Ken Mitchell appeared in the first season of Star Trek: Discovery as the Klingon villain Kol, and he came back in season two to play two different Klingons. The actor had a surprising return for season three following being diagnosed with ALS. The new role of the scientist Aurellio was created for him, along with a custom mobile chair prop.

Ken’s condition has now progressed to where he can no longer speak without aid. The actor appeared on stage at this week’s Star Trek convention using a computer to speak for him.

Kenneth Mitchell at 55-Year Mission convention, Las Vegas , August 11 2021 (Photo:

Appearing alongside his Discovery Klingon co-star Mary Chieffo, Ken delighted the crowd with his digital commentary, much of which was preset for the event. Despite the computer speaking for him, Ken’s emotions were on display as he talked about how honored he has been to be part of the franchise and for the outpouring of support he has received from the fans.

The actor also brought some humor to the event, initially laying out a funny scenario that could have him playing a role in the fourth season of Discovery, which is currently closing in on the end of production in Toronto. Things got a bit more serious as the moderator asked if Ken had an actual announcement to make, to which he replied:

I appear in season four in a very unique way.

Mitchell indicated he had already shot his role for season four as he discussed his favorite moment from his entire time working on Discovery:

I would have to say my favorite day of shooting so far on Discovery from the four seasons – has to be with Mary [Chieffo], Shahzad [Latif], and Michelle [Yeoh]. season two in L’Rell’s garden. I was playing Kol-Sha. It was my favorite day because I was so relaxed and playful. This was because I didn’t have to speak Klingon for the first time and that was liberating.

Kenneth Mitchell and Mary Chieffo at 55-Year Mission convention, Las Vegas , August 11 2021 (Photo:

Inspiring as a disabled actor

There were no more details on what this appearance would entail or if he would be reprising the role of Aurellio. Mitchell did speak in general about returning in season three to play the Emerald Chain scientist:

Aurellio was a result of myself wanting to stay engaged and motivated despite my physical challenges with ALS. And the wonderful production team on Star Trek: Discovery discovery, including Alex [Kurtzman], and Michelle [Paradise], and [Olatunde Osunsanmi] believing in me and wanting to keep me inspired. It was a special collaboration in all departments, even down to the custom hovercraft wheelchair developed by the props department. They adapted the part to suit my physical needs, which ultimately lent itself to a more dynamic character.

The actor also discussed how he saw the role as part of Star Trek’s inspiration through inclusivity:

There hasn’t been a lot of disabled characters on Trek for obvious reasons, but we were able to creatively make it work. It was an honor to represent this character, and I think it elevated because even though Aurellio had disabilities, they wrote the part that focused on his abilities. I tried to remind myself every day that despite my many physical challenges, I still have worth and strength. I am on this stage, right?

Kenneth Mitchell as Aurellio in “There Is A Tide…”

More from Vegas

TrekMovie will have more coverage from the 55-Year Mission convention as the even runs through Sunday. Stay tuned on the site and follow our social media channels.

Find more Star Trek: Discovery news and analysis at TrekMovie.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

I’m saddened to hear he has lost the ability to speak without computerized assistance. He had a great voice and delivery for his roles. I’m very pleased that they have included him in some fashion next season.

What an ugly disease. His decline is so rapid. It’s very heartwarming to see the writers and producers make so much room for him. He must be a very beloved person.

I’m not as into Disco as others are, but I don’t think the creative team behind the show deserves the crap they get from some fans. And this just proves it. It’s heartwarming and lovely that they continue to find ways to have Ken involved.

I completely agree!

I’m sure they’re terrific people (all signs point toward that being the case), but I think it’s fine to criticize the merits of the art they produce. These are not mutually exclusive ideas. But when the attacks are personal, yeah, that crosses the line for sure.

I agree with you. Entirely. Sadly, I see a lot of comments that quickly turn from criticism of the form to personal rather quickly.

Such a great announcement. Heartwarming. ST helping one of their own.

I enjoy his work, especially as Aurellio.
Warp Speed to you, Mr. Mitchell!

Man, ALS is a heavy card to be dealt! We had a family friend, a great man, who was diagnosed with ALS and in just 6 months he was gone.

I have three thoughts. (1) It’s heartbreaking for anyone to be limited in this manner, much less a person in the prime of their life and career. (2) It’s 100% Trekian for the series to keep him involved. (3) If someone could post more photos of Mary Chieffo from that panel, that’d be cool.

Actually, here’s a fourth: why in God’s name is Chieffo not still on “Discovery”? They haven’t done right by her at all. If I were them, I’d cast her as a new character. Nobody would mind. Why they’d bury someone with as much personality as she has under a ton of prosthetics and then saddle her with fake teeth so she’s practically unable to use her real voice, I will never understand.

Mark my words Bryant she’ll turn up in SNW – they would be stupid not to include her in some fashion.

Yeah, but … they’re pretty stupid sometimes.

I suspect she and Shazad Latif were intended to be part of the Section 31 show, which is in (let’s be charitable) limbo.

The Pandemic happened.

That didn’t stop any other Trek from getting made, though.

It seemed to me that Section 31 is still primed and ready to be the first show to slide into the first open live-action slot, most likely when Picard has run its course, but who knows. Based on the phrasing of a few past interviews, I was under this impression. It would’ve happened sooner were it not for a) the pandemic and b) the enthusiastic reaction to Pike and Spock leading ViacomCBS to prioritize the SNW spin-off over Section 31, but I’ve never felt like they’ve discarded it entirely, merely made it the next-runner-up.

Discovery show runners are to be commended for their loyalty to their cast and crew. They are really showing the way forward – not just for Trek but for how TV is made in general.

He was great in that role, that’s so sad that his condition has gotten even worse. It’s great that the Disco team has been so good to him and creating that part for him.

I remembered him from “Jericho.” He was good on that. Sad to hear what he is going through. It’s so cool that “Star Trek” is finding ways to keep him active.