Jason Isaacs likes playing Captain Lorca because he is not a boring one-note character.
“This is ten years before the place that we get to when Kirk sets out the Prime Directive,” said Isaacs. “The Federation hasn’t evolved at that stage yet. This is a time of war and time of crisis. You need to deal with people firing at you before you can work out what songs you want to sing around the camp fire. He’s the right guy to be in charge in a difficult time like that.”
The most interesting thing about playing Lorca is that there are “hidden depths to this man,” said Isaacs. “He was going to react in surprising ways in different situations, that he had maybe other agendas at certain points with people that were… that they knew about themselves or they didn’t know about themselves. He’s in denial about certain things.”
Lorca “keeps his cards most close to his chest,” said Isaacs. ” He’s a wartime leader, and too much fraternization, too much open vulnerability would not help people fight.”
He is “recognizably human and [Discovery is] a story born out of our times to tell of our times, these very troubling, dark times we live in, divisive times we live in. And that it wasn’t trying to retread anything. I didn’t feel like I was filling the gap between adverts. I felt like it was something that would hold your interest round a camp fire.”
“I’m hoping we’re telling stories that will attract a whole new generation of people who are facing a whole new generation of difficulties,” said Isaacs, “and I wasn’t or don’t particularly care about attracting the diehard fans, because they’re going to watch anyways, because that is the definition of a diehard fan. They’ll be watching.”
Those diehard fans shouldn’t worry, said Isaacs. “What people will discover when they watch the show, if they watch the show, is it’s been made by Trekkies. You don’t get any more deep-core Trekkie than Akiva (Goldsman), who is the executive producer of this, who was at the very first Star Trek convention. And so, there’s people obsessed with canon in the writer’s room.”