[Note: This article contains some speculation on upcoming Star Trek: Discovery twists that will be pretty spoilery—if they turn out to be true, at least.]
Star Trek: Discovery seems to be doing the job it was designed to do, resurrecting Star Trek as a franchise that people actually care about on TV. These days, that kind of interest inevitably includes a fervent bed of fan theories, and The Daily Dot has a doozy of one that’s passing around the Discovery fan community at the moment, suggesting that a credited actor on the new series might not actually exist.
The person (?) in question is actor Javid Iqbal, who’s credited as playing the Klingon fanatic Voq in the first several episodes of the series. The problem with that notion is that there’s no sign of Iqbal outside of Discovery, anywhere; all of his IMDB photos are of him in costume and full makeup, and there doesn’t seem to be a picture of his actual face extant online.
Meanwhile, the part eventually filled by Voq was originally a Klingon called Kol, played by actor Shazad Latif. When producers decided to switch Latif over to the Federation side of things, playing rescued POW Ash Tyler instead, Iqbal was granted the part in his place. (And Kol was changed to a different Klingon character.) What’s weird, though, is that despite the fact that Tyler doesn’t show up on screen until the series’ fifth episode, Latif has been credited as a series regular since the show began. Now, fans are hypothesizing that he’s been on screen the whole time, as Voq.
The biggest clue to this alleged mystery is the way Voq “left” the show; having failed in his initial goal, he’s told he’ll be given a chance to “sacrifice everything” to fight the Federation. Given that Star Trek’s backstory includes at least one plotline about Klingons trying to turn themselves into humans (originally meant to explain the makeup changes for Klingons between The Original Series and The Next Generation), it’s not out of the realm of the possible that Tyler might actually be Voq, running some kind of long con.
Of course, it’s always possible that Iqbal really does exist outside his appearance on the show’s credits, and this is all just a weird coincidence. We’ll know more as Discovery’s first season plays out.