The third episode of Star Trek: Discovery, airing Sunday, will make franchise history as actor Anthony Rapp will portray Lieutenant Stamets, the first openly gay Trek TV series character.
“I’m really excited and happy when a gay character is a part of a story — especially when a gay character is created in a complex and human and non-stereotypical, interesting way, and that has certainly been the case with Stamets. And you get to see his relationship,” Rapp told Entertainment Weekly, which notes that Stamet’s homosexuality and romantic relationship won’t be revealed until later episodes.
“There was a little glimpse [of a relationship with] Sulu in Beyond, and it was a nice nod. But in this case, we actually get to see me with my partner in conversation, in our living quarters, you get to see our relationship over time, treated as any other relationship would be treated,” the actor said.
Sunday’s episode, titled “Context Is King,” follows disgraced Starfleet officer Michael Burnham (Sonequa Martin-Green) heading to prison before coming aboard the U.S.S. Discovery and joining its captain (Jason Isaacs) on a secret mission.
Discovery cast members, including Rapp, waded into politics last week after a photo showing the CBS show’s stars taking a knee went viral online.
The photo, posted on Discovery star Sonequa Martin-Green’s Instagram account, was an apparent show of support with NFL players protesting during the national anthem.
The new Trek series will reportedly feature war-like Klingon warriors in later episodes, as an allegory for racist Trump supporters.
Discovery airs Sunday nights on the CBS All Access streaming service.
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