In a recent interview, actor Doug Jones compared the character of Lt. Saru in Discovery to another role he played, that of the Silver Surfer.
It seems like for every Star Trek television show that arrives, there is one character that audiences take to and becomes the focus of the show. For The Next Generation that was Brent Spiner’s Data, For Voyager that was Seven of Nine as portrayed by Jeri Ryan. And in Star Trek: Discovery, that character is inarguably Lt. Saru.
Played by actor Doug Jones, Saru quickly became a hit with fans of Discovery during the show’s first season. In fact, the character has proven so popular that Saru became the focus of one of the new mini episodes that have been coming out in anticipation of Discovery‘s second season.
The Brightest Star is the third of the four Star Trek: Short Treks shows that have been hitting the airwaves courtesy of CBS All Access. It tells a bit of Saru’s backstory and how he came to decide to join Starfleet and see what else was in the vastness of the universe.
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For many actors, playing a role such as Saru might be a serious challenge, considering the fact the role requires wearing not only prosthetic effects that cover the face but also that the character has hooves.
But for Jones, it’s all in a days work. The actor has made a career out of playing odd roles that require lots of makeup. They include Abe Sapian in a pair of Hellboy films and the role of the amphibian in The Shape of Water.
Those roles also include none other than the Silver Surfer, whom Jones played in 2007’s Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer. While the movie is mostly a forgettable mess and Laurence Fishburne provided the voice, Jones’ portrayal of the Herald of Galactus was one bright spot that almost saved the film.
In a recent interview with Deadline, Jones was asked about the comparisons between Saru and the Silver Surfer and how they have more in common that you might realize.
"Yes, I had the pleasure of playing the Silver Surfer in the Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer and I did explore the comic books and his origins and I love connecting with characters like that. The ones that do sacrifice something, leave something behind for a greater cause and Saru was doing that exact thing, as you’ll find that out in the short film and you’ll see Saru’s curiosity looking to the sky wondering what else is out there and finding a way to break away from his people. But it comes at a cost and he has to leave the world he knows and leave the people he loves behind. Much like the Silver Surfer. With Saru he wants to be a part of keeping the universe safe and keeping the galaxy running smoothly so there is a certain heroic act there."
While it is very doubtful Jones will ever get to portray the Silver Surfer again, fortunately it looks like he will be playing Lt. Saru for years to come. Reaction to The Brightest Star has been almost universally positive and it is likely we can look forward to many more seasons of Discovery to come.
Star Trek: Discovery Season 2 arrives on CBS All Access January 17, 2019.