Actor David Ajala wrapped up his freshman season on Star Trek: Discovery. The CBS All Access sci-fi drama cast the Nightflyers star as a new series regular in 2019. He chatted with The Knockturnal after last week’s season finale.
Season 3 launched in the U.S.S. Discovery crew 930 years into the future and with new additions. The season premiered in October 2020, welcoming Ajala to a cast of Sonequa Martin-Green, Doug Jones, Anthony Rapp, Mary Wiseman, and Wilson Cruz.
Writers of the series incorporated different metaphors and references within the episodes. For example, The Burn in Season 3 is similar to the Covid-19 pandemic. Parallels can also be made throughout the season to the Black Lives Matter movement. The British actor praised the work done by the show on his first season. “I found the season really special, and I hope that Star Trek will continue to tell stories that edify, entertain, and empower people.”
Ajala plays a Kwejian courier who goes by the name “Cleveland Booker,” “Book” for short. “Cleveland Booker is a guy who does a lot of wonderful things—humanitarian things,” he said, “who is kind, hard-working, resilient, tenacious.” And with Ajala assuming the role, Book also “just happens to be a Black guy with an English accent.”
Book provides assistance to the Discovery crew as secrets are revealed about his past. He also falls in love with the Starfleet ship’s commander, Michael Burnham (Martin-Green). Burnham is the first black woman protagonist of a Star Trek television series, and so, their love was central for Trekkies. Being able to provide this television romance to fans excited Ajala. “I love seeing moments on screen—when I have seen bits of Star Trek Season 3—Star Trek: Discovery Season 3. I’ve seen Michael Burnham and Cleveland Booker because I’ve heard some brothers and sisters online saying that they don’t see much black love in space.”