Jason Isaacs Has Talked With ‘Star Trek: Strange New Worlds’ Showrunner About Returning As Prime Lorca

Since exiting Star Trek: Discovery in a dramatic fashion towards the end of the first season in 2018, actor Jason Isaacs has often talked about a return to the franchise. And being that the big twist for season one was his Captain Gabriel Lorca was actually from the Mirror Universe, the character’s death left the question of the fate of Prime Lorca open, something Isaacs has been talking about for the last four years, and now it appears he has talked about it with the co-showrunner of Star Trek: Strange New Worlds.

Isaacs still ready to suit up as Prime Lorca

Before his time with Star Trek Isaacs was an in-demand actor known for his work in the Harry Potter franchise, and he has remained busy in the last few years, but he still likes to talk about Lorca. When the subject of Discovery came up in a new interview with TheList promoting Isaacs’ new film Mr. Harris Goes to Paris, the actor asked his own perennial question:

Captain Lorca. Is the door shut on Prime Lorca? That’s a question that’s live on the internet, that’s for sure.

Jason Isaacs as (Mirror) Lorca

Isaacs was quick to say “Sure. Yeah” when asked if he would be interested in returning to Trek, but he wants a good storyline like his big season one Mirror Universe secret:

The story would have to be great. It was a fantastic storyline. All actors ever want is a secret, and I had the biggest secret of all, without spoiling it for anyone. If people haven’t watched it already, it’s unlikely they’ll watch it now, but there is nonetheless a fantastic secret, and I had it to play, and I knew it. Iit means that when you watch it, like when you watch “The Sixth Sense” for a second time, there’s a whole new layer of enjoyment to be had when you know what things turn out to be.

Jason Isaacs shared this photo with the season one Discovery cast on Twitter in early 2018

These comments are in line with what Isaacs has been saying for the last four years, however, he did add a new layer, revealing he had the opportunity to talk about the return directly with former Discovery executive producer and current Strange New Worlds co-showrunner Akiva Goldsman:

Prime Lorca is… I’m working with Akiva Goldsman right now, who wrote and directed quite a lot of “[Star Trek]: Discovery,” on a Tom Holland mini series, “The Crowded Room” in New York. We’ve talked about Prime Lorca, and it would have to be as good a story as Season 1 of “Discovery.” I don’t want to come back just because he’s a fan favorite and do some version that isn’t anywhere near as good. If there’s space, they have so many brilliant series up now. “Strange New Worlds” has been a massive hit as well, and “Picard” is a huge hit, but where and if there’s space for a Prime Lorca arc, I’m all up for it. I don’t want to come back just to squeeze into that sausage skintight suit.

If Prime Lorca were to appear on one of the current live-action shows, Strange New Worlds makes the most sense as it is still set around the same timeframe as the first season of Discovery. And obviously, Goldsman is the one to convince to make it happen as he co-created the series. However, due to the episodic nature of the series, it may not fit Isaacs’ goal of a “fantastic storyline,” which could mean he is looking for a multi-episode arc. If it were to happen, the soonest would be for a third season as the second season of Strange New Worlds has already completed production.

With Picard already wrapped, the only other current live-action option would be Discovery, there are likely creative sci-fi ways to work him into the new 32nd-century setting, and there is more of a connection to those characters (at least with his Mirror counterpart). It may be too late to work him into the fifth season which has already started production, but series star Sonequa Martin-Green recently indicated the show will continue into a sixth season and possibly beyond.  Short of getting his own spin-off or mini-series, Prime Lorca could also find his way into another future potential Star Trek series, like the often-discussed Michelle Yeoh Section 31 show.

Publicity photo for Discovery season one with Jason Isaacs, Michelle Yeoh, Doug Jones, and Sonequa Martin-Green

Or maybe Prime Lorca will remain presumed dead, killed onboard the USS Buran in the Mirror Universe.


Keep up with all the news and analysis of the Star Trek Universe at TrekMovie.com.

Subscribe
Notify me of

101 Comments
oldest
newest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

It’s been said 100000x but the Lorca character was so good (and so well-played by Isaacs) until the writers turned him into a muschache-twirler. Lorca being from the MU could’ve been a great twist had he had some nuanced motivation about him wanting the throne other than “I’m more evil than you”.

Would’ve been great if the MU Lorca hung around the show for longer, but would love to see Prime Lorca show up.

When it started to become rather obvious that Lorca was from the MU, I kept hoping the writers would pull another twist on us and reveal that MU Lorca is actually a “good” guy (or as good as a person can be in the MU). Such a twist would have some interesting ramifications when it comes to Prime Lorca as, theoretically, if MU Lorca is good, Prime Lorca would be bad.

Beyond that, his shift from a morally grey and nuanced character to a mustache twirling villain was just so disappointing. The writers actually did a fantastic job of making Lorca a good captain, despite his moral greyness. One of my favorite scenes in the first season comes at the beginning of episode 8 – Si Vis Pacem Para Bellum – when Discovery comes to the aid of the USS Gagarin. Lorca places the Discovery in b/w the Gagarin and the Klingon battle cruisers to intercept torpedoes as the Gagarin’s shields have collapsed. Put ones life at risk to save another’s is not the sign of a mustache-twirling villain.

Yes, that’s what I was hoping for too. I was just talking to a friend about Lorca on Sunday. I said, “How Star Trek would it have been if MU Lorca in the end said that he had seen a better world and that the time spent in the prime universe changed him”. Maybe he would have still died at MU Georgiou’s hand but at least he wouldn’t have been a cartoon villain. We then thought it would be interesting if prime Lorca were to return a changed man…how the world that shaped MU Lorca broke Prime Lorca….not as a villain but someone with some deep insights between both worlds.

I’m warm to that idea but for it to work the morally gray Lorca character that could have been great had there been no MU connection just wouldn’t fly. For your idea to work we would have MU Lorca be a “bad guy” there. Which would make him a “good” guy in Prime. He would have not had any of the gray areas in his character that made him so very fascinating for a short while.

Partly agree. If the character was not MU at all then he would have been a great add. But as a regular. Not a one season thing. A morally gray captain would have been fascinating. And would have been a challenge for Burnham as his first officer. Good writers could have had a field day with that situation. But no… Secret Hideout people just don’t seem capable of writing anything truly compelling. Sure, they do find a bone once in a while but for short season shows that kind of inconsistency just doesn’t cut it.

I cannot stress enough how horrid the Lorca thing was. It was an epic fail on so very many levels.

While it would be nice to see him on SNW (he shld def make an appearance), appearing on the Section 31 show would give it a very interesting twist. Especially with Mirror Georgiou as the lead. Depends on *when* the show is taking place (and yes – if it will happen at all).

One of Discoverys few shining points was Lorca, should of become a multi-season villain!

Everything on Discovery shines. Best trek show ever.

Based on your previous comments I’m going to assume that by “shining points“ you mean “straight white male”.

Are you accusing a commenter of being racist and homophobic? Consider yourself reported.

This

Should “have”

Like Isaacs a lot, outstanding actor. Having him back in Trek would be gold. But not this clichéd villain. Prime Lorca. Why not give him a mini-series?
But, please!!!, not in that S31-thing. Aww … Thats still in discussions, right?

Well, as much as I disliked the way the Lorca character became one dimensional once you figured out he wasn’t from the prime universe… I think you can take him in a whole new direction as the actual prime version of the character. Isaacs is a fantastic actor, so I’m all for it. Just write him well, and this would excite me.

Prime Lorca could definitely pop up in Strange New Worlds, but I also feel like Mirror Lorca could pop up on Discovery. Although he was mortally wounded, the mirror version did jump into the spore network, and we know that Stamet did time travel (albeit a few weeks) through time with Discovery when he used the spore drive in season one. So maybe Lorca ended up in the 32nd century where aliens with advanced medical technology saved him.

Lorca very graphically fell into a star and was completely disintegrated.

Yeah, he didn’t jump into the spore network. He was disintegrated.

Whatever the case is, the character did devolve over the course of that season, so I find Mirror Lorca completely uninteresting.

Lorca is one of my favorite captains. I would follow that guy into battle anytime. Isaacs did an amazing job and definitely fooled me at the end. I’d rather see Lorca Prime come back than more legacy characters.

Even if he’s evil you still got to love him.

I would love to see him again as a new-to-us Lorca, not only because I really enjoyed the character so much pre-reveal but Isaacs is just an awesome actor to have in your cast. His enthusiasm and love of his roles and happiness to talk about them–I mean, just look at any Harry Potter retrospective he’s involved in now! It’s so fun and incredibly sweet how he is with those actors who were kids back then. He’s just fantastic and I’m sure we can find better trousers for him…

YES ! YES ! YES !

Enjoyed Isaac’s work greatly- looking forward to what he can do with a – presumably – less dark version of his Lorca character on SNW.

Why not letting prime Lorca whose status was unknown suddenly appear in the future and discovery finds him at the end of episode 1 of the new season. In episode 2 they try to figure out whether he’s prime or mirror. At the end of the season he dies again or leaves for some reason.

Would not be surprised if he shows up at the end of the second season of SNW

What if it was originally Lorca that somehow caused the timeline to screw up that altered Pikes future and if prime Lorca returns, things will……..well, I just got confused where I want to go with this.

I can see the story. The Enterprise detects a strange signal from a pre-warp planet, investigates, and finds Prime Lorca. He either was marooned by Mirror Lorca, or escaped and got stranded.

Mirror Lorca took command of the Buran and then destroyed it when the crew discovered his secret.

Please don‘t. Done keep shoving Discovery into the one live action show that’s at least watchable.

SNW is a spinoff of Discovery with strong ties to that show, so that would be impossible. :)

By that logic the best Season of TNG is the first one. 🤨

That makes no sense

TNG is spun off from TOS …

LOL, no it wasn’t.

Yes, it absolutely was.

LMFAO

Hilarious!

It’s funny that you have no idea what a spinoff is, I guess.

Discovery is watchable. So is Picard.

Both are great…though the conclusion to season 4 was weak

Agreed, but S2 of Picard was a letdown.

You do realise that without Discovery, Strange New Worlds wouldn’t exist, right? It’s a spin off from Discovery. Discovery is literally threaded into SNW’s DNA.

Of it means Discovery not existing I’d happily give up SNW. It’s okay an uninspired retread of TOS with some nice Eyecandy and – other than Discovery – actual characters. But really it’s nothing special unless you’ve never actually watched TOS. 🤷🏻‍♂️

It reminds me a bit of the First Orville Season. That was also a little too stuck in the past. But for a lot of jokes that didn’t really land, at least the episodes each had something to say and the optimism seemed genuine instead of the constant lip service in SNW.

Got Trolling?

Physician heal thyself.

Yeah, exactly!

I’m talking at you

Yep, thanks

Hey Einstein, do you realize Strange New worlds was spun off from Discovery?

Sheesh, LOL

The character of Pike was not, it originated decades earlier, as did the principal characters.

I’m talking about the series, not a particular character. The series was a spin off of Discovery.

But there’d be no SNW series if you didn’t have Pike as an original recipe character, because DSC s2 is largely driven by Pike’s presence AND his history as seen on TOS, even if DSC still managed to trample some of that in the retelling.

By the way, don’t all of these series have some sort of legal acknowledgemewnt line like ‘based on STAR TREK by Gene Rodeenberry’? If they didn’t, then why is Rod Roddenberry getting paid and credited?

So what? An ongoing TV series spun off another TV series. It’s a spin-off.

Save prime Lorca for the Section 31 show. Evil but reformed Georgiou can find him and recruit him to help her be less evil while helping others.

I’d love to see them write a good story that would satisfy all of us fans as well as the actors in question. I’d LOVE to see, for example, Jason Issacs return as Prime Lorca, maybe (here’s a pitch for A. Goldsman….) write a story in which the Prime Universe U.S.S. Kelvin rescues Lorca from wherever he’s been so we see Jason return, as well as C. Hemsworth as Prime Universe George Kirk, and Tahir R as Capt. Robau, and Jennifer Morrison as Winona Kirk. That would be something!

Faran Tahir was the actor who portrayed Capt. Robau in the ST 2009 film; I didn’t go back and proof-read what I wrote above. MY BAD. About that, I’d love to see those actors reprise those roles, especially Faran, as I have read he’s a Trekkie himself.

If Discovery had not been made,SNW wouldn’t exist.

If Discovery had not been made, some other Trek would’ve been made, and things would’ve eventually circled around to a pre-kirk Enterprise show.

That is the ultimate reach. You’re literally grasping.

Even if that was the case- Ethan Peck would not be Spock, Rebecca Romijn would not be Una, Anson Mount wouldn’t be Pike, the production would be different, the tone would not be the same, the design of the Enterprise would likely be different….

Try and erase Discovery all you want- but SNW in its current form is a direct spin off of Discovery. It owes its existence to Discovery. Discovery’s DNA is threaded throughout Strange New Worlds. The first episode itself is an exploration of the after effects of the Season 2 finale. The Enterprise has shuttles named for the Discovery crew. Pike wears a Discovery pin for Starfleet Memorial Day. Spock talks about Michael. Discovery happened. Discovery is part of that world. Like or not…. Discovery happened.

Exactly. It’s rather sad and pathetic that some fans can’t even acknowledge that???

More pathetic that TPTB keep grasping for tiny straws of continuity when they should let SNW go its own way as far from the other terrible shows they’ve done in recent years as possible.

Yes, much more pathetic than that

LOL^2 That is such a middle-school level BS line of reasoning. Give me a freaking break, dude!

I know both shows have their fans but at this point I would be totally fine with that situation.

No one care if you would be fine

Yea, there is that!

That same concept extends far greater than you probably think. And it includes yourself.

Pike would have to travel to Mirror Universe to rescue Prime Lorca. We could also see the rise of Mirror Spock.

The most ruthlessly logical soldier of all time.

Works for me…

I would like very much to see Prime Lorca. The good Captain. The same though presence and leadership, for the right causes. =D

I agree.

While I found some of MU Lorna’s final dialogue a bit over the top, I don’t see why or how that would detract from any storyline with Prime Lorca.

More, I would like to see Jason Issacs back not as a villain but as a foil to Pike.

Prime Lorca could give us a nuanced, complex and very different style of captain for a dangerous era of Federation and Starfleet history. It’s

I guess Prime Lorca would be wearing his ‘Disco Blue’ uniform. I find myself strangely nostalgic for that uniform and the general Discovery S1-S2 aesthetic. Which is kind of strange as I wasn’t too into it at the time.

Comissioner Ferris and Garth of Izar wore a proto-Disco sort of uniform… Thsi is why I like the DISCO uniforms so much. They had been in TOS all along :-)

Ha! It’s true! So they were canon after all :D

It might be interesting to see a Prime Universe Lorca who’s had to survive for years in the Mirror Universe. He’s still, at heart, a “good guy,” but has had to do some shady stuff to survive.

This could work with SNW, as the “Boy Scout” Pike attempts to help him. It could also work for Section 31 with Georgieu manipulating him to veer more into the shady side. Sort of a slippery slope situation, “You did x to survive there, now you’ll need to do y here to help the Federation.”

Or option 3, skip forward in time past “Mirror, Mirror,” and have Lorca assist Mirror Spock in over throwing the Terran Empire and showing us what happened to the Mirror Universe between TOS and DS9.

Psst… Mirror Lorca put Prime Lorca in stasis in a secret location on Discovery.

Definitely would LOVE to see Mr. Isaacs return to any STAR TREK.

For me the two elements of Discovery that were compete failures out of the gate were the reinvention of Klingons as sewer rats-orcs-whatever the hell they were supposed to be and the miserably creepy and nihilistic Lorca. The producers obviously knew that their Klingon revamp was a failure because they backpedaled back to recognizable Klingons in season two. They likely saw the Lorca story as a dog too because notably Prime Lorca has never appeared despite numerous opportunities. Hopefully he never will show up.

Thank God, Lorca needs his own show. He’s awesome.

Agreed!

If an actor of the caliber of Jason Isaacs wants in on your show, you make that happen somehow.

Yeah, but as comments here show, if we could reanimate Orson Wells, James Stewart, and Raymond Burr for a new Trek series, it would still be a solid no because Alex Kurtzman is involved.

Funny! … but so close to being utterly true it is just sad that I have to agree with you.

I must agree with the comment as well.

I would love to see Prime Lorca on the Section 31 show – it would make for some interesting interactions since the Georgiou he knew is no longer here, while he is not the Lorca that Mirror Georgiou knew… it would be an interesting dynamic. Depending on where he has been all this time, he might be the perfect candidate to recruit for Section 31.

I doubt this Section 31 show will ever happen… I guess they’d rather greenlight more traditional ship-based shows after the success of SNW instead of more “experiments” with the dark side…

would be a fun season 2 cliffhanger….pike and the enterprise receive a distress beacon from “someone with a federation codes that match a captain gabrielle lorca”…..i did read that DSC book where they did open up for a prime lorca return….so fingers crossed…he was the best part of discovery season 1

No.

Just… No.

and it would have to be as good a story as Season 1 of “Discovery.” I don’t want to come back just because he’s a fan favorite and do some version that isn’t anywhere near as good. If there’s space, they have so many brilliant series up now. “Strange New Worlds” has been a massive hit as well, and “Picard” is a huge hit, but where and if there’s space for a Prime Lorca arc, I’m all up for it. I don’t want to come back just to squeeze into that sausage skintight suit.

First, he has set an extremely low bar for returning. That Lorca thing was the worst, and probably the most embarrassingly bad moment in all of Trek history. And next… That is so obvious code for “I’ll do it if you meet my price or other work slows down.” And if he does come back, make it on Star Trek Discovery where he can’t ruin that show any more than it already is.

Season 1 Discovery was awesome

Yep!

At the time, Season 1 of Discovery was the best season of a Star Trek series since the final season of DS9.

We all have our opinions. Sometimes they are in the extreme minority like yours there and mine that TVH was the worst Trek movie ever.

True!

Honestly, I’m much more open and excited about this possibility than I am all these random and obscure encounters from TOS.

With all respect to Jason Isaacs, the Lorca MR reveal was just dreadful, a felony-level creative misjudgment. That said, I liked his performance in the role up till that reveal, and would welcome his return to the Trek universe so long as it was more artfully handled.

Nah it was awesome

Quite the opposite, it was fantastic, and I would love to see him back.

I agree that Lorca, when we thought he was just a fascinating morally gray character was a really good thing. And when they sucker punched the audience that he wasn’t the gray nuanced character we thought but in reality a cartoon 1 dimensional mustache twirling bad guy he suddenly because the worst creative decision in the history of all of Trek. And remember… All of Trek includes Wesley Crusher, Troi’s mom and Data’s evil twin. Because of that as fascinating at pre-reveal Lorca was it would be best if he is never ever mentioned again.

Yep. The difference is that Wesley and Troi’s characters were redeemed to some extent by better writing in later episodes. Lorca started off as an interestingly morally gray character, and his arc was completely ruined by that one awful creative decision.

I really hate the idea of a morally grey person’s reaching the level of captain in Starfleet. Morally grey people should be weeded out of Starfleet long before they reach that rank.

Watching a morally grey ENSIGN who does get weeded out by the end of a season might be interesting, though.

Not sure how such folks could be found and weeded out. Such people have often risen to high ranks in all sorts of venues. Including places where others are in complete control of who they promote. It has always happened and always will happen. Even in Star Trek. Where do you think all the “badmirals” came from?

Please, no. Prime Lorca RIP.

Would LOVE to have Lorca back (in any capacity!). Isaacs and Mount are what made the first 2 seasons watchable. Before Discovery was drenched with sickly-sweet syrup.