As has been noted many times, Season 3 of Star Trek: Discovery was remarkable for many reasons. It could be that the ship and crew are now able to chart their own destiny into the 32nd Century, the new situations they found themselves in, or perhaps the new characters who were added to the show.
This latter reason could be a big part. We got to meet Adira (Blu del Barrio), Gray (Ian Alexander), Aditya Sahil (Adil Hussain), and Ryn the Andorian (Noah Averbach-Katz). While the first three characters in this group are likely to return to Discovery, Ryn cannot, as he was killed by Osyraa on the episode “There Is A Tide…”
The actor who played Ryn, Averbach-Katz, is considered by many Trek fans to be “one of them” as he grew up in a Star Trek-loving household and likely knows as much about the films and shows as any Trek writer. His depiction of Ryn struck a chord with many, and his untimely death left them wanting more.
Thanks to Trek super-fan John Hanock, who hails from London, we all have a chance to be a part of getting Averbach-Katz back on Star Trek.
Hancock recently created a petition to urge Alex Kurtzman and Star Trek producers to bring Averbach-Katz back to Discovery.
Interestingly, in the lore of the founding of the United States of America, another person named John Hancock signed the Declaration of Independence so large that “King George III could read the signature without putting on his glasses.” This made him a folk hero. Could the John Hancock of today significantly impact Kurtzman, Michelle Paradise, and the other figures who currently rule the Star Trek Universe?
We asked Mr. Hancock why bringing Averbach-Katz back to Trek was so important, and what about this actor was special.
“Noah is one of us,” says Hanock. “He’s a nerd or geek — whichever term you prefer, and he is also a huge Trekkie. He is living the life that I imagine most Trekkies would want — actually being a part of the show.”
“He brought Ryn to life in such a way that he became a fan favorite from his first appearance,” says Hancock. “It would be great if CBS continued to use his talent by having him back on the crew as an alien crewmember.”
“Apart from Saru, the two Osnullus crew, and Linus, we don’t see many other alien species. Noah could rectify that.”
Hancock says that Ryn was unique to him and many others because they could personally identify with the character as an underdog.
“He was under-appreciated and misunderstood by most and underestimated by Osyraa and her cronies,” says Hancock. “He found his place in the universe with Book and the Discovery crew and was willing to lose all of that and his life by standing up against tyranny and staring it in the face and telling it ‘no.’ I can relate to a fair bit of his character and how he was treated.”
Hancock says that he’s been a fan of Star Trek since the very beginning. Ryn is a unique character who adds so much to the already great canon.
“I grew up with TOS in the early 70s watching Trek with my dad, who also got me interested in spaceflight,” says Hancock. “I have always struggled a bit with identity issues and often felt different and out of place. In Trek, I saw that none of that mattered for the most part.”
“We had a crew with a demonic-looking alien, a captain with lots of girlfriends, as my younger self thought. An engineer who enjoyed whisky and tinkering with electronics — two things I also love. Plus, we have Japanese and Russian bridge officers and a black, female Chief Communications Officer — for the late 60s and early 70s, that was a big deal. Everyone was different, but most importantly, everyone was valued.”
Hancock says that Discovery has become his favorite among iterations of Star Trek. However, The Original Series still holds a special place in his heart. For Hancock, Discovery is exploring a different kind of story.
“Discovery is all about moving forward — leaving behind the mistakes of the past and pushing toward a better future for all where everyone truly is equal and accepted. No matter your culture, race, species, sexuality, gender identity, and so on, there is a place for you.”
“The show doesn’t try to say everything is perfect — we see the flaws in the crew, in the alliances they build, and in the larger universe around them. The flaws aren’t ignored but used to better themselves. Is everyone fully accepted? Not quite, but they are getting there.”
“Discovery is about the search for that all-inclusive future,” says Hancock. “A future where there is hope.”
Hancock hopes that the Discovery story will carry on with Averbach-Katz in some way. As noted before, he could return as a different character, as Avaah Blackwell did as Lt. Ina after playing Osnullus for two seasons.
He hopes that Trek fans worldwide will come together and let Kurtzman and Paradise know what they’d like to see Mr. Averbach-Katz back on Discovery as a different character. A good compromise, especially since Discovery’s Season 4 is already under production in Canada, would include Averbach-Katz on Star Trek: Strange New Worlds or the Section 31 show.
We know that Kurtzman and company listen to the fans when they speak — Ethan Peck admitted this when he, Anson Mount, and Rebecca Romijn announced that CBS would be making Strange New Worlds.
“You asked — we listened,” said Peck in the video announcement. “Without you, this wouldn’t be happening.”