Shazad Latif Talks Section 31 Series And Why Tyler Was Left Behind In ‘Star Trek: Discovery’ Season 2

This month marks the third year since the announcement of the development of a Star Trek: Discovery spinoff series starring Michelle Yeoh and focused on Section 31. Now a former Discovery star who played a Section 31 operative has a little update.

Latif talks Section 31 show

The latest Section 31 tidbit comes from Shazad Latif, who played Ash Tyler on the first two seasons of Star Trek: Discovery. By season two, the former-Klingon-turned-sleeper-agent had been recruited as a Section 31 operative by Michelle Yeoh’s Georgiou. In the latest episode of Empire Magazine’s Pilot TV podcast, Latif talks about his time with Star Trek:

God, just even joining something as big as Star Trek… It’s just such a historic thing. To even get involved in it is a strange sort of thing to get your head around… When you join it is a big, big, big deal. And you see how big it is when you go to the conventions and see what it means to people. But yeah, I had a great time. And it was big studio stuff and space and shooting aliens, and all that kind of stuff.

When the USS Discovery jumped into the far future for season three, Georgiou went along for the ride, but Latif’s Tyler was left behind in the 23rd century. The actor offered a bit of insight into that decision:

Yeah, they were going to do a spin-off with Michelle Yeoh, and that is why [Tyler] takes charge of something else. And then, who knows what’s going on with that.

When pressed on more details about the spin-off, Latif said he had “no idea” what was going on but acknowledged that Michelle Yeoh is a “very busy woman,” pointing out one of his best friends co-starred with her on the upcoming Netflix mini-series Witcher: Blood Origin.

Latif’s comment about Tyler taking charge refers to his final scenes in the season two finale “Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 2,” where he was made “acting commander” of Section 31. Latif has previously confirmed he was to be part of the Section 31 show, so presumably putting him in charge of Section 31 was part of the setup for the spin-off. But it sounds like he is still in the dark about the status of this potential series.

Shazad Latif as Section 31 acting commander Tyler in “Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 2”

A significant part of Discovery season three was also dedicated to an arc for Yeoh’s Georgiou, leading to her exit the series and travel back in time via the Guardian of Forever. At the time, it was said by producers that Yeoh’s storyline in season three was in service to set up the Section 31 series, which was originally planned to go into production in 2020. According to executive producer Alex Kurtzman, the pandemic production shutdown got in the way. However, production has resumed on other Star Trek shows over the last year, with the second season of Strange New Worlds set to begin shooting next month. Yet as recently as last month, Kurtzman was still speaking optimistically about the Section 31 project, saying it was “still very much alive.”

Michelle Yeoh goes through the Guardian of Forever in “Terra Firma, Part 1”

Can you hear Latif in the new Toast spin-off?

Speaking of spin-offs, Latif was on the podcast talking about returning for the Toast of London spin-off Toast of Tinseltown, which debuted on BBC 2 last week. Latif reprises his famed role as audio engineer Clem Fandango, which you can see in the trailer below. Latif’s next big role will be playing Captain Nemo in the Disney+ series Nautilus. Like Yeoh, he is keeping busy too.

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I don’t think we’re getting a S31 show until after season 3 (which is presumably the final) of Picard. I was hoping maybe they age him up 25-30 years, I’ve always wanted a show or movie set right after ST6 & originally thought DSC was gonna be set in the Ent-B era. After season 3 of DSC I’m kinda done with Empress, I liked the prime version of her, mirror version was a bit too cheeky

Nothing against the actor, but, his character was terrible. It just didn’t work. He was a bit intriguing in the first season with the whole, is he a Klingon or not mystery. But once that was resolved, there was no reason for him to come back. He was shoved into season two as a semi-villain to Captain Pike, but, romance to Michael; which never, IMO, worked at all.

Completely agree with you there, Max… there was just nothing intriguing about the character beyond his Klingon drama. He just moped around and got used my another evil empire (Section 31). Nothing interesting there in my opinion.

He’s character was still better than most of Discovery’s currant lot

Only really to the extent that they actually developed it beyond a surface level. If they put the effort in and fleshed out the other bridge characters they might make some of them interesting – they’re just woefully underdeveloped.

Honestly I think it’s too late for that. But really they haven’t done a good job with the primary characters over some 39 episodes. What makes you think they could do better with the less time they get with the background characters? It seems their only function is to look worried when things are dire and make a saccharine-y smile when Burnham talks about how much of a family they are in Star Fleet.

I liked Tyler/Voq, so I was sorry to see him exit Discovery. But a Section 31 show just sounds so dull, and Empress Georgiou is SUCH a non-character for me. She’s one of the few Discovery characters I couldn’t connect with at all.

Hi, this is Clem Fandango, can you hear me?

Yes, I can hear you Clem Fandango.

is it a good day to die, Clem Fandango?

He’s in Tinseltown with Steven Toast, who is working on the “nyew Star Wars moooveyyyy.”

The fact that he was going to be in the Section 31 show is disappointing to me. I’m not thrilled with a Section 31 show to begin with but they made it worse by setting the show in the Pike time. Which would be a tremendous mistake. S-31 just feels like it works better in the TNG era. It felt out of place on Enterprise, too.

That said, the more I thought about a Section 31 show the more I thought that it working was indeed possible. But a lot of things would HAVE to go right. First, it could not be in the Pike era or the TOS era. Next, the entire cast of characters needed to be new. Meaning no Georgeau and no Tyler. Using Georgeau would just be the kiss of death to the concept. And it had to stay grounded. No more giving S-31 super advanced tech and no armadas of ships at their disposal. And absolutely positively no black badges. Given Secret hideout’s track record, it would be a mistake for them to even try. Not a huge criticism. I think a S-31 show would be tough for even a competent production crew.

I’ll watch it, because I watch all things Star Trek. But my anticipation level for a Section 31 show is approaching zero.

Same here. I don’t like the idea of a Section 31 show to begin with, and I thought that Shazad Latif was nowhere near as good of an actor as the rest of the Discovery actors. I’d be thrilled if they focused on some other ideas, instead.

If they want to keep Michelle Yeoh, then give her a new character in a new series.

I really hope we get the S31 show! I feel like a lot of more casual viewers are actually really into the idea of having a show that focuses on S31 and has Georgiou as the main character – at least that’s the vibe I got from everyone I know who has watched Discovery.

I totally agree. S31 would be awesome! I would follow Empress Georgiou anywhere. The previous negative comments must be from tal shiar or obsidian order agents.

Call me an obsidian agent, but I would love a an obsidian order series set in the Picard timeline. It would center around the Cardassian Reinhard Gehlen building up the new Obsidian order, after the Cardassian downfall, and butting heads with Cardassian Adenauer. In a subplot you would have Major Kira teaming up with the Cardassian Fritz Bauer to bring down Cardassian war criminals.


can you hear me, clem fandango????

I am looking forward to the show, Discovery in the 32nd century seems to have run out of gas.
I think he did a great setup of a character with a lot to explore – divided loyalties, who is he really, etc – just wish was given some exploration time.
Unfortunately the Klingon war was done as a lot of tell versus show and the mushroom plot didn’t give characters time to shine/accomplish.
Hoping he shows up in the Pike show!!

We differ here. I don’t think it a good idea at all to do any more cross pollination with Discovery characters left behind not previously associated with Pike. SNW needs to be its own thing and distance itself from that Discovery train wreck as much as possible.

I agree! It would be great to see more of the character and to have a show that focuses on other aspects of the Federation instead of just Starfleet.
I find it interesting how divided opinions have been with Discovery now. Some of my friends just gave up on S4 after two episodes because they found it really boring, and it’s not like they haven’t watch any “classic trek” before either – they love TNG and pretty much every trek show other than Discovery S4.
Personally, I find Discovery in the 32nd century to be strangely depressing and dull, just really not a fan at the moment.

I am trying to think of why the 32nd century seems so bland, especially given I like the return to dilithium being a needed commodity.
My guess is that it is the bad political analogy preventing them from capitalizing on their own story, kind of like what happened with Into Darkness.
In this case it’s the Federation fell apart, but it’s just because all the members were disinterested jerks with absolutely no legit grievance. There are some hints, like the Vulcan/Romulans leaving because they were pushed into crazy research but this didn’t seem to get any story traction.
Was the Federation going the way of Rome, turning into an empire? Did the people get too weak that outside forces/the burn was just too much?
Here the Federation fell apart and it turns out that Discovery just goes out and everyone just goes “oh yeah, let’s just get back together”.
Now I think the 23rd century Starfleet was way WAY more exciting and functional than the 24th, but to the point there is nothing for them to learn?? Nothing for them to rectify?
I think what would have made it work is Discovery comes to the future and the Federation has totally lost it’s way due to too much stress coupled with a lazy population (the Borg, the Dominion and the temporal wars devastated worlds that just want to play holodeck all day). Earth left because it was too much central control. Vulcan left because the military was taking over the scientific research. Starfleet was just trying to do its best to save everything and ended up going too Section 31. The Council lost control, the bureaucracy on autopilot.
Then they go meet rediscover everyone, bring to the table some 23rd century exploration values but then learn about the new tech and all the learnings and then everyone compromises and something new comes out of it.
Instead they kind of are ignoring their own concept by running off to fight big baddies with generic looking blobs, kind of sad. Reminds me of ENT with so much potential ignored to play TNG.

I think you’re right!
But I think another reason why is seems so bland is because of the lack of character development – throughout the seasons, there wasn’t much development for most of the characters (like the officers on the bridge, we barely know them). And some of the characters that had more interesting arcs and had more development, they’re gone now. So now we have Michael in the 32nd century, with the Discovery crew, but it feels like she’s stuck in the future with a bunch of strangers – the characters in previous seasons, that were more developed/were given more attention to, those were usually tied to Michael in some way (or their development was necessary to push the plot forward).
But characters like Georgiou, Spock, Ash Tyler, Sarek, Amanda, Lorca, or even Pike and Leland… they’re no longer part of Discovery, even though they had bigger roles than characters like Detmer or Owo in the previous seasons… which, strangely enough, it seems like Discovery is more interested in bringing in new characters to develop than developing existing characters.
Don’t get me wrong, I love how sweet and gentle Gray is, and I thought Kovich seemed like a really interesting character the second I saw him in S3. And I also feel like Michael isn’t as charismatic as Pike, and she kind of needs a foil for her to contrast with, but Lorca’s gone, Cornwell’s gone, Section 31’s gone, Georgiou’s gone.

Yes that is true!!! Good points!

I am looking forward to the show, Discovery in the 32nd century seems to have run out of gas.
I think he did a great setup of a character with a lot to explore with ptsd, divided loyalties, who is he really, etc; just wish was given some exploration time.
Unfortunately the Klingon war was done as a lot of tell versus show and the mushroom plot didn’t give characters time to shine and accomplish.
Hoping he shows up in the Pike show!!

He was left behind because he was a straight white male, perhaps? : D