Lots of speculation surrounding Lt. Tyler
In the fifth episode of Star Trek: Discovery, fans were introduced to a new main character of the show. Lieutenant Ash Tyler, who was a Prisoner of War aboard a Klingon vessel when Captain Lorca was captured in Choose Your Pain (read our review), has since become a key part of the USS Discovery’s crew, quickly earning the trust of Lorca and the affection of Burnham.
So it may come as a surprise to you to hear that there are huge, massive, rumours surrounding the character; that he’s actually, get this, Voq – the Klingon.
I’ll admit, I’ve subscribed to this fan theory for some time now – ever since the first episode he showed up in, titled Choose Your Pain. There’s a lot to suggest that he is Voq. For example he’s credited in every episode including those before the character first appeared – episodes that Voq was in. Then there’s the fact that we never see both Voq and Tyler in any one episode. Not only that, but the “actor” playing Voq, Javid Iqbal, seems to be a fake person. He has never appeared at any press events, and there’s essentially nothing about him on the Internet. Sure, there’s an IMDB profile page for him (which contains pictures of Voq but none of Javid), but it seems to be a fake profile page – a way for Discovery showrunners to keep a plot twist under wraps. Add to all of this, Shazad Latif, the actor who plays Lt. Tyler, has a different birth name. “Shazad Iqbal”. Yup, that’s right. Same last name.
All this would seem to add a lot of credence to the theory, and there’s even more. Any time the press questions any of the actors or showrunners on the Voq/Tyler theory, they don’t deny it. Instead, they skirt the issue and use vague terms. That alone can be seen as proof to the theory.
More. We know that Tribbles are an arch enemy of Klingons, visibly upsetting Klingons when they get too close, and we know that Captain Lorca has one sitting around in his ready room. So if Tyler is actually a Klingon, we’ll know as soon as he gets within range of the Tribble, right? Well, that Tribble seems to have disappeared for a while. Interesting. Though in one episode, we did see Tyler in the room with a Tribble BUT when watched closely, Tyler seemed to keep an eye on the Tribble and keep his distance.
We also know that Voq was sent to L’Rell’s house – a house known for being spies and professional liars. They also apparently focus on speaking fluent alien languages and fitting in with their cultures, which presumably includes english and human cultures.
Do you actually believe he survived 7 months in Klingon prison because his captor, L’Rell, took a certain liking to him and rapes him over the course of those seven months?
There’s even this super-fun Twitter account pretending to be Javid Iqbal.
With all this evidence, and there’s actually more, how can Tyler not be Voq?
Tyler is not Voq and I can prove it
In the latest episode, Si Vi Pacem, Para Bellum, (read our review), Burnham, Tyler, and Saru conducted an away mission. Upon their return, they paid a visit to sick bay, where Dr. Culber and another doctor looked them over.
There was a key piece of evidence hidden right in plain site. Above each medical bed, there is imagery of the interior of the patience resting on the bed. We see Burnham, who has human organs, and we see Saru who has Kelpien organs. This means that the showrunners are paying enough attention to detail that the screens do show what represents the insides of the patient on the bed. Then we see Lt. Tyler’s screen and there are….. human organs.
Klingon organs and bodies are very different from humans, even if they are mostly the same from the outside, save for a bumpy forehead. According to Memory Alpha, “they [have] twenty-three ribs, two livers, an eight-chambered heart, three lungs, and even redundant neural function as well as multiple stomachs. Some geneticists believed that the extra organs, notably the third lung, evolved to give Klingons greater stamina on the battlefield.”
In other words we would most definitely notice if Tyler was a Klingon by his organs on the screen. On top of that, we know that tricorders are capable of detecting the life form it is being used on in The Original Series.
So if Lieutenant Tyler is not Voq, who might be? My theory for now – it could be Captain Lorca. The problem he has with his eyes being sensitive to light has gone away. We also know he’s not a fan of doctors, and probably hasn’t had one scan him physically since his return from Klingon prison. There’s more, but I’ll leave that to another article some day.