Was Star Trek: Discovery's Lead Character An Officer in Kirk's Enterprise?

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Star Trek: Discovery's lead character, Number One, may have closer ties to Star Trek: The Original Series than first realized. Lieutenant Commander Rainsford (Sonequa Martin-Green) of the U.S.S. Discovery might have been on board Captain James T. Kirk's (William Shatner) U.S.S. Enterprise at one point. Or, as an interview with a showrunner hints, she might even have been Number One -- but of an earlier time in the U.S.S. Entterprise's mission, as Executive Officer of Captain Christopher Pike (Jeffrey Hunter)!

Star Trek: Discovery's creator Bryan Fuller had acknowledged from the outset that his heroine was a nod to the The Original Series' Number One, played by Majel Barrett. But fans have been speculating that the two of them might be one and the same.


This rumor received added fuel in an interview with Entertainment Weekly. The Walking Dead's showrunner, Scott Gimple, commented on the kind of smarts and swagger that actress Sonequa Martin-Green can bring to the part of Discovery's Number One. Martin-Green is playing another tough weapon-wielding lady, Sasha, in Gimple's zombie apocalypse.

Gimple had said this in the interview:

"Sonequa Martin-Green can do anything. I've seen her battle a horde of walkers this year while simultaneously battling a stomach flu that would have had most people crying in the dirt. She can fulfill the duties of a Lieutenant Commander on a Constitution-class starship whilst battling walkers, Saviors, and whatever gets in Sasha's way. We've had to juggle before. I will certainly juggle for Star Trek any day of the week. Okay, maybe not on Sunday."

Many observers had picked up that the U.S.S. Discovery is not a Constitution-class starship, but the U.S.S. Enterprise is. Do Gimple's comments mean that Discovery's Number One had served on board the U.S.S. Enterprise? Considering that the new series takes place before Kirk and company, it may be possible that Rainsford was on board the iconic ship during the time of Pike, Kirk's predecessor.


While many fans would be thrilled at that idea, Gimple's interview has to be taken in context. He was talking about juggling Martin-Green's schedule to give her the opportunity to be on both The Walking Dead and Star Trek: Discovery at the same time. He wasn't talking as a Star Trek authority, because he is not involved with the sci-fi series. His mention of a Constitution-class starship might have been an honest mistake.

Still, the speculation continues. And it will intensify if CBS All Access keeps on postponing the show's launch. For fans who had been left hanging for months, a little speculation is like a welcome space station in an unoccupied region of space.