Words: Darren Scott
*SPOILER ALERT* If you haven’t binged Star Trek: Discovery on Netflix – and if not, why not? – then look away now.
The sci-fi prequel show, set a decade before Star Trek: The Original Series, returns for a second outing in January.
Former Attitude cover stars Anthony Rapp and Wilson Cruz return as Paul Stamets and Hugh Culber and promise to explore their relationship – a first for Star Trek as a same-sex couple.
There’s just one small problem – Hugh is right where we left him at the end of season one. As in, he’s dead (Jim).
Attitude caught up with our favourite space-faring gays at New York Comic Con to see what’s in store…
What’s next for Stamets and Culber?
A: In season one I never had the chance, at least on screen, to really deal with the aftermath of the loss. For many people who have suffered a big loss it’s, ‘What’s next? How do I move forward from this?’ I’m grateful that the writers have given me the chance to have this material to work with. Tilly (Mary Wiseman) has become a major ally in that.
W: I think it’s safe to say that we actually get to meet Culber in a real way. We got to see him through the lens of this relationship last season, but I think this season we really get to know him on a personal level and flesh him out, so to speak…
A: Interesting turn of phrase!
W: And also we get to really develop this relationship as well… He talked, last season, about how we met and there’s actually a comic that talks about that. There is a backstory there.
A: To me, one of the things I love is that there’s a real palpable sense that we’re very different but really allow each other to be who we are. I think that’s a really adult relationship. In this, things as they unfold, I think we continue to peel back who we are.
W: There’s a real sense of respect. These are two people who clearly are in love with each other but found love for each other through a mutual admiration for their individual greatness.
There were complaints for some quarters that Star Trek were ‘burying their gays…’
W: I can promise you that he really did have to go through that in order for us to tell the story that we’re about to tell you. We don’t dismiss it. We don’t act as if it didn’t happen. We extrapolate it in a very real way. We extend the story. And there are consequences. There’s a price to pay. But it’s a really exciting way of learning about this character. Honestly, after doing it I feel like we couldn’t have given a more satisfying answer to the question.
So LGBT+ fans shouldn’t be worried there won’t be representation this season?
A: No, there will be representation.
W: Oh yeah.
W: That’s the most moving thing to me, the fact that there is a young person who identifies as LGBT and is a person of colour and can turn on the TV and see someone who they can relate to. I remember growing up and not seeing anybody who reflected my life back to me. The fact that I can be that for someone, doesn’t feel like I’m doing something frivolous with my life. I talk to my parents and be like, ‘You know what, I helped affect somebody’s life’.
We hear there’s more fun this season. As we know and love you both from Rent, is there a chance we’ll get to hear you guys sing?
A: Ummm, there’s a chance that there’s some singing in this episode… A little bit of singing.
Full-on Rent? A musical episode?
A: Not yet, but we’re lobbying.
W: We’re not opposed...
Would you write it too?
A: Sure, why not? I’d be happy to work on it..
Star Trek: Discovery season two comes to Netflix in January 2019. Season one is available to stream now.