Isaacs is set to command the Discovery, although he won’t be the shows lead as his predecessors have been. But who is Jason Isaacs? Does he have science fiction experience? Will he make the other captains proud with his portrayal as Captain Lorca?
First thing first, I never forgave Jason Isaacs for killing Heath ledger in The Patriot. I was a little younger in those days and that scene hit me pretty hard. It did get Mel Gibson riled up to kick some Imperial British butt, but Isaacs portrayed the cruel and villainous Colonel William Tavington, intent on destruction and pillage.
He played Lucius Malfoy in the Harry Potter series, playing an aristocratic wizard who once buddied up with Voldemort. He was the voice Admiral Zhao in the Avatar animated series, and starred in some classic movies such as Black Hawk Down, Armageddon and DragonHeart. He also starred in one of my favourite science fiction movies, Event Horizon.
He was the voice of Darth Vader’s accomplice, Inquisitor, in the highly rated animated series, Star Wars Rebels:
Darth Vader: The Jedi Knights are all but destroyed. Yet your task is not complete, Inquisitor. The Emperor has foreseen a new threat rising against him: the children of the Force. They must not become Jedi. Hunt down this new enemy. And if they will not serve the Empire, eliminate them along with any surviving Jedi who trained them. This is my master’s command.
The Inquisitor: And so it will be done.
So Isaacs has the science fiction experience, the star appeal, and a long line of credits to his name. But will he be a success in the role? For one thing, he boasts about having a very impressive memory and learns lines shortly before he is due to shoot:
“I don’t learn the lines – because I can learn the phonebook in five minutes if I wanted to – so I always ask for the sides: they print out the lines for you on the day,” he told Total Film magazine. “It’s an approach I learned from various other actors when I was younger. It’s a way of making sure it’s always fresh, so you don’t do anything surprising or unplanned and it doesn’t get filmed.”
Although it caught him out once:
“I just got to Australia from England, and we had a scene in which I’m watching the original Red Dog with the kids. There was a long tracking shot, and when they got to the end they thought I was taking a very long dramatic pause. And they all realized I was fast asleep.”
Yeah.. let’s hope he stays alert in command of the USS Discovery.
He openly admits that he’d never planned on becoming an actor and he sort of fell into the career:
It’s a weird thing to want to do. I’m always nervous when some people go, “Oh, my 9-year-old wants to be an actor.” I think, Well, just go and beat it out of them, or show them that there are more important things in the world. I ended up doing it partly because I did a little bit of it just as a hobby, and it got ahold of me in an obsessive way,. But I never thought about it too much.
What will his role be?
Captain Isaacs is booked for all 13 episodes of Star Trek Discovery. The main role is going to Sonequa Martin-Green, who will play, erm, Michael Burnham, in the series, but Lorca will have an important part to play as he leads the crew of the Discovery on an important mission to change the fate of the Klingon Empire. If, as we expect, the USS Shenzhou becomes the USS Discovery and gets a Klingon makeover, it will make for an interesting series and power struggle between Michelle Yeoh and Jason Isaacs as 2 captains on the same ship. If the ships were to operate together, why would it concentrate only on the crew of the Discovery? And why would Yeoh, due to play captain of the Shenzhou, be involved in all 13 confirmed episodes?
Inevitably, a great deal might happen between now and the release date. Well, we don’t quite have a release date yet and the show keeps moving backwards, but we should get to see it this year, hopefully.
Feature Image Credit: Awake