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.
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.
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?
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.