New ‘Discovery’ Villain Actor Talks “Pure Adventure” And Star Trek Callbacks In Season 5 –


The fifth and final season of Star Trek: Discovery debuts on Paramount+ in April with a new story about a mystery that sends the Disco crew on an “epic adventure across the galaxy.” Opposing them in this hunt are a pair of new unsavory characters including an alien named L’ak, played by Elias Toufexis. As the season approaches Toufexis is talking about what to expect from his villain and season 5.

A bad guys romance and Trek lore callbacks for season 5

Canadian actor Elias Toufexis is no stranger to genre and space, with recurring roles in TV series like The Alphas, Bitten, and The Expanse. He also has an extensive voice career including one of the lead roles in one of the biggest games of 2023, Starfield, as well as working on Star Trek: Resurgence. He is a big Star Trek fan as he explains in a new interview with TrekCulture on YouTube which led to him successfully lobby for a role in the first season of Star Trek: Discovery. He was worried that one-off character would be the end of his Trek TV career, so he was very thankful a few years later a casting director reached out when they were looking for what he described as the “main antagonists” for season 5, likening Moll and L’ak to “Bonnie and Clyde.” As a kid, Toufexis and his friends would make their own Star Trek episodes, which is why he was so excited to land this second chance at Discovery, explaining:

“It was literally a dream come true. I’m a badass bad guy on Star Trek. I’m shooting phasers. I have my own ship. I’m getting in fights and phaser fights and all sorts of crazy cool stuff… I can’t believe I’m doing this.”

Elias Toufexis as L’ak and Eve Harlow as Moll(Paramount+)

He described how Moll and L’ak fit into the new more adventurous and “fun” tone of season 5, noting how L’ak is not just an evil villain:

“L’ak is not the Joker. He’s not crazy. He’s very stoic and tough. He’s not big and crazy. This is not just a bad guy that is evil throughout. They go into why he’s doing what he’s doing and Moll too and why they love each other and how they fall in love. All that stuff, at least in my case, I played it completely genuine. It’s a genuine love they have for each other and they just want to do what they’re going to do and they want the Federation off their tail. That’s what the story is about from our point of view. So there are there’s so many moments of love and romance and also moments of fear and doubt. And so it’s not just him being angry all the time and evil… They’re both layered characters. And they really get into that as the season goes forward. With sacrifices and battles and fights and love true love! That’s what the season is for Moll and L’ak. It’s all that kind of fun, great romance. But they still do bad things and have to justify why they’re doing those bad things… It’s a whole layered thing. It was really, really fun to to play.”

Toufexis also indicated that the new season will have some big tie-ins to Trek lore:

One thing I really love… there are two really big callbacks to previous shows, in terms of the storyline. So as a fan I was like, ‘Oh, I love this!’ They were showing me the script and I was like, ‘Oh, you are bringing that back!’… So just as a fan, I was really excited about that. I am not just saying this because I am in it, I feel like this season is so much fun.”

Earlier this month the synopsis for the first episode (titled “Red Directive”) was revealed and it indicated the hunt for a “hidden artifact” starts on an 800-year-old Romulan vessel, which ties the show in the Star Trek: The Next Generation era. When the season starts (as seen in the clip below from SDCC 2023), Captain Burnham first encounters L’ak and Moll on this Romulan ship.

In his discussion with TrekCulture the actor did his best to avoid spoilers but hinted that his character could be linked to Trek lore as well:

“What my character turns out to be is huge for Star Trek. It’s like, I can’t… We’ll talk after the season airs because you are going to want to talk specifics.”

Elias Toufexis

Likens new season style to Strange New Worlds

As a fan, Toufexis is familiar with Discovery and how the show has evolved over the previous seasons. He talks about how this trend continues into season 5:

One thing I always appreciated about [Discovery] was, ‘Let’s take these giant leaps of ideas and take these giant leaps’… Like, let’s throw it way in the future [in season 3]. Why not? And then you get all these different ships and what’s the Federation like, and all that stuff. The Burn was fascinating, whether you liked how it ended, whatever, it was a really interesting idea. And then in the fourth season, they slowed everything down and did that that kind of Star Trek The Motion Picture thing and it’s coming in and everything’s slow. And then I think they said, ‘Okay, we did the slow thing last season, so let’s go the other way this year.’ So [season 5] is pure adventure from episode 1 to 10.  It’s chases and battles and there’s still all the Star Trek stuff. There’s a lot.”

He also picked up on recent comments from showrunner Michelle Paradise about how the new season has a more episodic structure:

“I think they also saw how Strange New Worlds went pretty big and fun and I think they were like, ‘Let’s try that now. We’ve done this and this and this so let’s go crazy, fun too.’ There are a lot of crazy fun episodes. They are kind of splitting it, so they are doing the overarching story, but also within that overarching story there are are standalone episodes like Strange New Worlds. So the overarching story is there all the time… There are a couple of episodes that I am not in that are just a standalone really cool adventure episode. They do that and then by the end of the episode there is a little button with me or something like that and then the next episode is all about me. I think they are really finding a good balance this season.”

There is more from Elias Toufexis about his Trek fandom, dealing with the prosthetics, his first time appearing on Discovery (as a different character) in season 1, and more at TrekCulture.

Season 5 arriving in April

We are still waiting for Paramount+ to set a specific premiere date for Discovery season 5. We will certainly know that and more when the season premiere is previewed at SXSW in March. You can see L’ak and Moll right at the top of the SDCC sneak peek of the first five minutes of the season (released at SDCC 2023).

L’ak and Moll can also be seen in the trailer released at NYCC 2022…

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