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‘Star Trek: Discovery’: Sarek in Trouble, the Tardigrade’s Untold Starfleet Membership, and More Scoop From ‘After Trek’

The show’s cast and crew also discussed Stamets’ reflection and Klingon insights.

James Frain and Sonequa Martin-Green, "Star Trek: Discovery"

James Frain and Sonequa Martin-Green, “Star Trek: Discovery”

CBS All Access

[Editor’s Note: The following contains spoilers from “Star Trek: Discovery” Season 1, Episode 5, titled “Choose Your Pain.”]

It’s been a while since we’ve seen Sarek (James Frain) on “Star Trek: Discovery,” and a sneak peek that played during after show “After Trek” finally gave fans a glimpse of the Vulcan ambassador. Sadly, it was not a very encouraging vision.

In a clip for Episode 6, Burnham is in the mess hall when she starts to feel funny. Everything gets wavy, and then she clutches her side and collapses. At that moment we see that Sarek has also similarly collapsed, and it’s his link with Burnham that causes her mysterious reaction. As one viewer pointed out, this could be Sarek having a heart attack since Vulcans’ hearts are around where human livers are. What could have triggered this is unknown for now, but since most Vulcans are vegetarian, it’s doubtful cholesterol has anything to do with it. Perhaps another stressor is the culprit?

Check out other intriguing scoop gleaned from the “After Trek” episode:

The Tardigrade Was Going to Be a Full Starfleet Member

Tardigrade, "Star Trek: Discovery"

Tardigrade, “Star Trek: Discovery”


Before “Star Trek: Discovery” decided to give the tardigrade its freedom, a far more fun but expensive option was considered. Apparently, the tardigrade was going to be written as an actual Starfleet member that had its place on the bridge. He would’ve been named Ephraim, after the real world’s Johann August Ephraim Goeze, the German zoologist who discovered the microscopic creatures in 1773.

“He was Stamets’ boss,” executive producer Aaron Harberts said. Full scripts were written in which Ephraim would talk to Burnham “about spores and the beauty of mushrooms. It was pretty trippy.”

Executive producer Gretchen J. Berg also noted that Ephraim had a special Starfleet uniform that would’ve been designed for him and some sort of sash that would enable him to wear a badge. On deck, he even had his own station that he’d sort of lean over.

And now, IndieWire is very sad that this universe will not see a tardigrade Starfleet officer, but hey, there’s always fanfic.

Stamets’ Reflection

Anthony Rapp, "Star Trek: Discovery"

Anthony Rapp, “Star Trek: Discovery”

CBS All Access

At the end of “Choose Your Pain,” when Stamets (Anthony Rapp) leaves the bathroom after brushing his teeth, his reflection appears to remain there for a few seconds afterwards before it also leaves.

The only hint Berg would give was, “When you encounter a creature from outer space, do not take its DNA and stick it in your arm.”

Harberts added, “We want you to wonder, but everything is foreshadowing in ‘Star Trek: Discovery.’”

When Stamets Met Culber

Before that scene got creepy though, viewers learned that Paul Stamets and Dr. Hugh Culber (Wilson Cruz) wear snazzy Starfleet PJs, have good dental hygiene, and are in a relationship.

Harberts said that not only will more of their relationship be explored, but that, “You will hear about their first meeting a couple episodes from now.”

Another Budding Romance?

In the sneak peek mentioned earlier, before Burnham collapses, new crew member Ash Tyler (Shazad Latif) appears to have a moment when he decides to shake her hand as a symbol of judging her by her current work on Discovery and not by her past. There definitely appears to have been something there. If we had chemistry ganglia, they would be aroused.

Also, what is with the “DISCO” t-shirts that Tilly (Mary Wiseman) and Burnham are wearing and how can we get them?

What It Takes to Remain Klingon

"After Trek"

“After Trek”

CBS All Access

Mary Chieffo and Kenneth Mitchell, who play Klingons L’Rell and Kol respectively, described what’s required to suit up as Klingon. It takes in the vicinity of four hours to get the full makeup, prosthetics, and outfit on, which they must then wear for about 17 hours at a time. Needless to say, things get pretty sweaty in there, so there’s a dedicated Klingon nutritionist on set that gives them special shakes and makes sure they stay hydrated. Their boots are also designed to have the big toe separated, much like some athletic or Asian shoes do.

Mudd’s Pet Stuart

The beetle thing that Harry Mudd (Rainn Wilson) uses to literally bug the prison cell was originally going to be called “Bugsy,” but got renamed “Stuart,” after the comic book shop owner Stuart Bloom from “The Big Bang Theory.”

New episodes of “Star Trek: Discovery” and “After Trek” will be available at 8:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. ET, respectively on Sundays on CBS All Access.

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