Vulcans endure as one of the most beloved fictional races of Star Trek, due in no small part to the late Leonard Nimoy’s decades spent portraying Spock in both TV series and eight Trek films. Not every Trek series includes a Vulcan in their leading cast, but when the logic-minded aliens do make the cut, they — like Tim Russ’ Tuvok of Voyager or Jolene Blalock’s T’Pol of Enterprise — usually prove to be one of the more popular characters on the show. So perhaps it shouldn’t be surprising fans are excited for another Vulcan character’s return to the franchise even though she’s so far only appeared in a single episode.
Season 2 of the animated comedy adventure series Star Trek: Lower Decks included one of the more interesting episodes of the series thus far. In “wej Duj” we follow the exploits not only of the lower decks crew of Starfleet’s Cerritos, but similar crew members on the Klingon Bird-of-Prey the Che’ta’ and on the Vulcan cruiser Sh’val. Aboard the Vulcan ship is the rebellious T’Lyn, voiced by Gabrielle Ruiz. According to Lower Decks creator Mike McMahan, the now fan-favorite Vulcan will be back for the series’ third season.
Speaking to Geek Girl Authority, McMahan confirmed that T’Lyn will return for the third season of Star Trek: Lower Decks. Unfortunately, it doesn’t appear as if she’ll have a very large role at first, though from the sound of McMahan, that may very well change in future seasons. “I’m so excited to write more stuff for T’Lyn,” McMahan told GGA. He warned she will only be there for “a little bit” of season three, explaining that the third season was being written while season two was being released on Paramount+. McMahan said he wanted to make sure the episode that introduces T’Lyn “was as good” as he suspected before giving fans more of the Vulcan.
Part of what’s so endearing about T’Lyn is how stereotypically Vulcan she is, and yet how other Vulcans in “wej Duj” constantly treat her as if she’s an emotional ticking time bomb. T’Lyn delivers her lines with little or no emotion, like all of the other Vulcans aboard the Sh’val, and yet her superiors and colleagues keep warning her about her so-called “emotional outbursts.” At the end of the Star Trek: Lower Decks episode that introduces her, T’Lyn is transferred to Starfleet because of her more emotional and unconventional ways.
With a growing number of new Star Trek series streaming, currently there are no shows with a regularly appearing Vulcan character. Perhaps the closest any of the series come is Star Trek: Discovery whose Captain, Michael Burnham (Sonequa Martin-Green), is fully human but raised on Vulcan as Spock’s sister. But, the Vulcan-free Star Trek won’t last for long.
Along with T’Lyn showing up briefly next year in the third season of Lower Decks, 2022 also promises to bring the premiere of Star Trek: Strange New Worlds. The new series will feature the adventures of the Enterprise under the command of Captain Christopher Pike (Anson Mount). Ethan Peck will reprise the role of the Vulcan first officer Spock, who he played previously in season 2 of Discovery.