Welcome to the Weekend Binge. Every Friday, we’ll suggest a binge-able title designed to keep you from getting too stir crazy. Check back throughout the weekend for even more gloriously queer entertainment.
The Boldly Going: Star Trek Discovery
Yes, we admit it: we’re really big nerds here at the Weekend Binge. Not that we’re ashamed–finding LGBTQ themes and characters has always been one of the great strengths of the sci-fi and fantasy genres. This weekend, we celebrate one of the more recent achievements in the genre: the welcoming of LGBTQ characters to the world of Star Trek with Star Trek: Discovery.
It’s hard to believe Trek had been voyaging through space for more than 50 years before it finally got openly queer characters in one of its incarnations. Thankfully, said characters–not to mention the actors playing them–more than make up for the wait. Star Trek: Discovery dives into the Trek universe roughly 10 years before the adventures of Captain Kirk. The Federation has constructed an experimental new ship called Discovery with the ability to jump massive distances across the universe thanks to the work of its gay chief engineer, Paul Stamets (Anthony Rapp). Actor Wilson Cruz plays Stamets’ longtime partner, Dr. Hugh Culber, as Discovery ventures out onto her maiden voyage.
Each season of Discovery follows a new story arc. The first deals with an accidental war triggered by Discovery‘s second officer, Michael Burnham (Soniqua Martin-Green). The second follows Discovery’s investigation into the appearance of a mysterious “angel” and the rise of a rogue AI trying to (what else?) conquer the galaxy. Season 3, now halfway through its run, jumps more than 1,000 years into the future, with Discovery arriving in a time when the Federation–the force of hope and justice in the galaxy–has fallen after a mysterious event known as The Burn.
Besides Rapp & Cruz, Discovery also features a memorable turn by gay comic Tig Notaro as a sarcastic engineer, a rival of Rapp’s Stamets. Season 3 also introduces Blu Del Barrio and Ian Alexander as the first transgender & non-binary characters in Trek history–a welcome addition as well. Start the series from the beginning, or jump in at the start of a new season. Either way, Star Trek: Discovery offers bold adventures where LGBTQ people have never gone before.
Streams on CBS All Access & Amazon.