Doctor Gabrielle Burnham was a Human astrophysicist and engineer who lived during the 23rd century, before traveling through time as the Red Angel. She was the wife of Mike Burnham and mother of Michael Burnham.
In the early 2230s, the three members of the Burnham family resided on a starbase. During this period, Michael was anxious about it being just her along with her father and mother in the middle of a threatening nothing. (ST: "The Girl Who Made the Stars")
Later in the decade, the the Burnham family were stationed on Doctari Alpha, where, posing as an astrophysicist, Dr. Burnham worked on the Daedalus Project as an operative for Section 31. (DIS: "Battle at the Binary Stars", "The Red Angel", "Perpetual Infinity")
During that time, the Burnhams had originally planned a vacation to Mars, but Michael begged them to stay three more days in order to witness a nearby star go supernova. However, during their extended stay, Doctari Alpha was attacked by the Klingons. Mike attempted to barricade the kitchen door, while Dr. Burnham hid Michael in a cabinet. Michael did not witness the death of her parents, but she heard everything happen, saying that they killed her father quickly, but took longer with her mother. The Klingons then sat down on Burnham's family table, ate the dinner the family had prepared and laughed. (DIS: "The Vulcan Hello", "Will You Take My Hand?")
Unbeknownst to Michael at the time, Dr. Burnham had survived the attack by using the Red Angel suit to travel through time. Unfortunately, she didn't go back one hour as planned, but instead ended up 950 years in the future – where she discovered that Control had evolved and eradicated all life in the galaxy. She then made it her mission to not only return to her family but to stop Control from succeeding in its mission. (DIS: "Perpetual Infinity")
In 2257, the crew of the USS Discovery discovered that Burnham's mother was the Red Angel when they trapped her on Essof IV. By that time, she had made 840 further trips through time, each recorded in the suit's logs. Dr. Burnham discovered that she was unable to stay long in any other time period, as the suit had become tethered to her new home – the planet Terralysium – in the future, and she was pulled back there soon after each jump. She rescued a group of Humans from World War III and brought them to Terralysium, seeing their survival as proof that she could make changes to the timeline. When she encountered Spock, she discovered his unique Human-Vulcan psychology and dyslexia made him the only person who could overcome the atemporal dysplasia which prevented her from communicating with anyone else. She also determined that the Sphere's data on artificial intelligence was essential to Control's evolution and eventual dominance, and tried numerous ways to prevent Control from possessing it. When she was unable to destroy the Sphere, she instead moved it into the path of Discovery in the hope that they would capture the data and keep it safe. (DIS: "The Red Angel", "Perpetual Infinity", "New Eden", "An Obol for Charon")
Dr. Burnham thought Michael's plan to upload the data into the Red Angel suit and reprogram it to travel much farther into the future was a good one, but felt she needed to go with the suit in case the plan didn't work. When Control, using Leland's body, attacked the facility on Essof IV to get the data, she pleaded with Michael to let her go. When the containment field holding her in the present was destroyed, the suit was pulled into the far future, and Dr. Burnham back to her anchor point on Terralysium, with no way to return. (DIS: "Perpetual Infinity")
Following her daughter’s arrival in 3188, Michael sent a signal to Terralysium asking about Gabrielle Burnham. Several months later, Terralysium replied that they didn’t know who Gabrielle was. (DIS: "People of Earth")
Dr. Burnham had in fact landed back on Essof IV after exiting the wormhole. The colonists there took her to the Qowat Milat, who treated her injuries. In time, Burnham joined the order and came to reside on Ni'Var. In 3189, she acted as Michael's shalankhkai during the latter's T'Kal-in-ket. (DIS: "Unification III")
Gabrielle Burnham was portrayed by Sonja Sohn.