A closer look at Discovery’s Lieutenant Paul Stamets

As we near Star Trek: Discovery’s debut, we’re looking closer at each primary character. Let’s take full aim at Discovery’s Lieutenant Paul Stamets.

Lieutenant Paul Stamets of Star Trek: Discovery is one of the most unique and intriguing characters in the franchise’s long history. He’s an astromycologist, a fungus expert, he has an unknown (to us) vital role to play in the Federation’s conflict with the Klingons and he knows it.

Stamets is named after the real-life Paul Stamets, who is actually a real mycologist based in Shelton, Washington. We have no word if the character is intended to be a relative of Mr. Stamets, but it would be an interesting twist in the story.

Lt. Stamets will also be the first gay character in Star Trek history, with the debatable exception of a retconned Sulu in Star Trek Beyond. Stamets will be in a relationship with Dr. Hugh Culber, played by Wilson Cruz.

As Star Trek hits a crescendo of diversity (and its long-time ideal of infinite diversity in infinite combinations, or IDIC) it only makes sense to include its first gay character with a rainbow cast of aliens like Lieutenant Saru, and Earth ethnicities like First Officer Michael Burnham, who is black, and Captain Philippa Georgiou, who is Asian.

The time has come, and Discovery is the show to do it.

Star Trek: Discovery’s two-hour premiere will air on CBS on September 24th at 8:30 p.m. EST, and will air weekly thereafter on CBS All Access, a subscription service. We’ll keep you up-to-date on everything we learn about the show as we near the big day.