Callum Keith Rennie as Captain Rayner

Cylon Trek

Discovery season 5 is repeating a Battlestar Galactica twist from Season 1

The Cylons are coming to Star Trek. Again!

CBS/Paramount

You can’t keep great sci-fi actors down. In Star Trek: Discovery Season 5, one prominent alum from Battlestar Galactica is set to make a big splash. But the funny thing is, a similar casting crossover happened back in 2017 for DISCO Season 1. Here’s what it means for Trek, and why it proves that Battlestar’s influence is still massive.

Star Trek: Discovery Season 5 trailer

At New York Comic Con, at the Star Trek Universe panel, the first full trailer for Star Trek: Discovery Season 5 was finally revealed. This upcoming season will involve a galaxy-wide treasure hunt, with disastrous results if the Federation doesn’t find this secret first. The entire thing feels like the Trek take on National Treasure which, honestly, is a welcome change from the galaxy-wide crisis of Season 3 and Season 4.

Star Trek: Discovery’s new Season 5 characters

Joining this galaxy-wide race against time are the characters L’ak and Moll. In opposition to the crew of the Discovery, Moll (Eve Harlow) is a “is a former courier turned outlaw,” while L’ak (Elias Toufexis) is her partner.

Elias Toufexis and Eve Harlow as L’ak and MollParamount+

But for longtime sci-fi TV fans, the casting of Callum Keith Rennie is easily the big deal here. In all four seasons of Battlestar Galactica (2003-2009), Callum Keith Rennie played the dangerously manipulative Cylon model Number Two, known as “Leoben Conoy.” In that series, Rennie created one of the most memorable sci-fi villains of all time, which means he’ll bring a certain edge to his new Star Trek character, Captain Rayner (pictured above).

According to an official press release from Paramount, “Rayner is a gruff, smart Starfleet Captain” who also has a “storied track record of wartime success.” Which ship he commands in the new season isn’t clear yet, nor is his role in the overall arc.

But, what’s fascinating here is this is the second time Discovery has cast a former Battlestar Cylon in a pivotal role. Back in Season 1, Rekha Sharma played security officer Ellen Landry on the USS Discovery, and later, a version of Landry from the Mirror Universe, who later reappeared in Season 3. But, before DISCO, Sharma was very well known to sci-fi fans as the Cylon “Tory Foster,” in Battlestar Galactica.

Rekha Sharma (LEFT) with Discovery Season 1 castmates, Emily Coutts, Sara Mitich.Gabe Ginsberg/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

Four seasons later, Discovery has cast another great Cylon actor from Battlestar! This makes perfect sense since the connections between the Star Trek and Battlestar franchises are numerous. Not only do we have these continuing actor crossovers, but, of course, the 2003 Battlestar reboot was co-created by Ronald D. Moore, who began his TV writing career with Star Trek: The Next Generation, and later co-produced Deep Space Nine and co-wrote two TNG feature films.

Connections between Trek and Battlestar might not guarantee amazing quality. However, the casting of Callum Keith Rennie for Discovery Season 5 is a very good sign. If he brings the same complexity and gravitas to Discovery that he brought to Battlestar, then Discovery Season 5 could be one of the most interesting seasons yet.

Star Trek: Discovery Season 5 is expected sometime in late 2023.

Share: