Sam Vartholomeos: Dying Twice In Star Trek: Discovery

Actor Sam Vartholomeos, who appeared as Ensign Connor Danby in the first two episodes of Star Trek: Discovery, and who died in the second episode, was brought back as a Mirror Universe counterpart – only to die again!

Vartholomeos didn’t know at first that his tenure as Danby would be so short. “I was in L.A. for a screen test in another show, and I made it a trip,” he said. “I was there for about ten days, maybe two weeks. I went, and I met all the writers. They sat me down, and they were like, ‘Oh, you know, we’re so happy to have you, and Connor is going to be great. Too bad he dies.’ And I said, ‘What?’ I said, ‘Excuse me?’ I knew he was a recurring character, but I didn’t know he died.

“I remember getting a script and Connor literally had one line in the entire first episode, and getting the second script after that trip, and him being all over the place. That was great. I think they wanted Connor to be a little more significant character in the episodes, and I think they accomplished that, because people are coming up to me, saying, ‘We saw you here last year. We thought he’d be a great character. We loved you in the episodes, and then bam! Episode two, you’re dead.'”

But the actor returned as Danby again in Despite Yourself, this time as Captain Danby, only to discover that trying to kill Prime Michael Burnham was not such a good idea. Danby is killed for a second time.

During the fight to the death scene in the turbolift, the action got a little too intense for Vartholomeos, who took a hit to the groin. “We had rehearsed it with me being this far away from you and you being that far away from me,” explained Vartholomeos. “Then, all of a sudden, we’re closer. So, Sonequa got me. We took a break, and she was like, ‘I’m so sorry.’ I said, ‘It’s OK. It will be fine.’ Just hearing Jonathan Frakes go insane with enthusiasm, that was really special. The whole scene, it was a physical and emotional roller coaster for me, because it was my sayonara to everyone.”

So is there a future for Connor Danby in Star Trek: Discovery? “People are like, ‘We were so happy to have you back and see you in the Mirror Universe, and then boom! You were torn from us…again,'” said Vartholomeos. “I keep telling people third time’s the charm. We’ll see. You’re never really dead in Star Trek.”


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