Jesse James Keitel to appear in ‘Star Trek: Strange New Worlds’

Jesse James Keitel

Actor Jesse James Keitel is currently starring in the new version of Queer as Folk, but this week she’ll also make her debut on Star Trek: Strange New Worlds.

Keitel is set to appear in the seventh episode of the series where she’ll play a new character called Dr Aspen.

The show is a spin-off from the popular Star Trek: Discovery. It follows the crew of the Enterprise in the days before it was helmed by Captain Kirk. The crew is lead by Christopher Pike and also includes some of the most popular characters from the original series including Spock and Uhura.    

What we know about the new character played by Keitel is she once worked as a Starfleet counselor, but their experiences on the Federation border prompted them to shift careers and work as a humanitarian aid worker. Her character will have a surprising connection with the Enterprise’s Science Officer Spock.

The original 1960’s version of the show spawned several feature films, as did 1980’s spin-off Star Trek: The Next Generation. The world was expanded further via Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and Star Trek: Voyager, but LGBTIQA+ representation was rarely seen in any of the different branches of the Star Trek story.

It left fans wondering if there were any gay, lesbian, non-binary and transgender people in the future?

Thankfully more recently commissioned Star Trek series have worked hard to ensure there is better representation. The latest series of Star Trek: Picard featured a romance between the popular character Seven of Nine, played by Jeri Ryan, and Raffi Musiker, portrayed by Michelle Hurd.

Star Trek: Discovery, which just finished it’s fourth series, has a plethora of queer characters including Dr Hugh Cubler (Wilson Cruz), his husband Engineer Paul Stamets (Anthony Rapp), non-binary character Adira (Blu Del Bario), transgender character Grey (Ian Alexander) and lesbian Denise ‘Jett’ Reno, played by comedian Tig Notaro.

Keitel said appearing is a Star Trek series was a dream come true, and she was “so shook” to be part of the Star Trek family.

OIP Staff

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