Category Archives: NEWS

CBS Interactive President “not stating” Star Trek Discovery Release Date

Star Trek Discovery still has no set release date, CBS Interactive president says

Still No Discovery Release Date

The latest Star Trek series to take to the airwaves, named Star Trek Discovery, still has no set release date.  When the newest iteration of the pop-culture franchise was announced, it was expected to premiere in January 2017.  When fall 2016 approached and no official casting announcements had been made, fans began to get nervous and expect that there would be a delay.

Then Bryan Fuller, the original series creator, bowed out of the production due to existing obligations at other shows, including American Gods.  The duties of showrunner was handed over to Aaron Harberts and Gretchen J. Berg, with Fullers blessings.  Star Trek Discovery seems to be back on track for the most part, but still no official casting announcement made.

Then in late November, CBS announced the show would be delayed until May 2017, a full five months behind the original expected air date.  This was certainly not what many fans wanted to hear, but most understood that the delay meant a better overall production.  This was important as Star Trek hadn’t had any new episodes on television in over a decade, and there is a lot riding on the new series – possibly a live-or-die scenario for Trek on TV.

We’ve since been told that the May 2017 launch date wouldn’t be made either, and that there was no set date.  That was back in January, so you’d think that by now (April 15th), we might have heard something official about a final release date for Discovery.

Well this week, Vulture had an interview with CBS Interactive president Marc DeBevoise.  In that interview we found out that there is still no set date for the new Star Trek show.  When asked by Vulture if the show will air in the fall, DeBevoise simply replied “we’re not stating.”

We Remain Optimistic About Star Trek Discovery

That may sound scary to a lot of fans that have pinned a lot of hopes on the new show.  However DeBevoise gave us reason to remain optimistic that Star Trek Discovery will be worth the wait.

Star Trek Discovery Klingon Ship Set Design
Star Trek Discovery Klingon Ship Set Design

“It’s going great, I’ve actually been up there” he said, referring to the set in Toronto.  “It is, you know, phenomenal. It is huge.”  Pinewood Studios Toronto, where Star Trek Discovery is being filmed, is stated to have the largest purpose-built sound stage in North America. BeDevoise continues “and we’re very excited about the content, the creators, the actors, all coming together… we’re not tied to any specific release date.  It’ll be there when we’re ready to do it, and when we feel it’s in a great place.  We’re not worried about anything here.  We’re excited, and we’ll have more specifics as we get closer to what will likely be the release dates.”

When that release date will happen is anyone’s guess as of now.  Production began in late January and we know that filming of the second episode had already begun by the middle of March.  There are slated to be 13 episodes in Discovery‘s first season.  Recently some of the cast made reference to finishing up in Toronto for a while, so it’s likely that new set construction needed to commence before additional filming could occur.

We’ve previously written that we expect the series to launch some time in the early fall; possibly in late September.  But with no official word we could be in for a long wait before we can finally enjoy a new Star Trek series on television.

Star Trek Discovery will air on CBS AllAccess (USA), CraveTV (Canada), and Netflix (rest of world).

Michael Dorn Will Not Appear in “Star Trek Discovery” Pilot

Michael Dorn will appear in Star Trek Discovery's pilot episode as an ancestor of Worf

Corrections About Dorn’s Appearance in Discovery

In most of the Star Trek franchise pilot episodes, a character from a previous Trek series shows up to essentially hand off the new show.  Leonard (Bones) McCoy graced TNG‘s pilot episode Encounter at Farpoint.  Captain Jean Luc Picard appeared in DS9‘s pilot episode The Emissary.  Quark was in the first episode of Voyager – Caretaker.  And of course Zefram Cochrane, played by James Cromwell, handed off the franchise in Enterprise‘s Broken Bow.  (Thanks to @trekfan4747 for reminding us about that last one).

So yesterday we excitedly wrote about the prospect of Michael Dorn appearing in the pilot episode of Star Trek Discovery and doing the traditional handing-off.

This was based on information published by SciFiPulse, and is incorrect.

We originally attempted to reach Michael Dorn’s public relations, however we did not hear back by the time we were ready to publish our article.  We proceeded to publish our article and again tried to reach out to Michael Dorn.  To the time of this writing, we still have not yet heard back.  However our friends over at TrekMovie.com did manage to reach them and they issued an article.

According to TrekMovie, as it turns out, the writers at SciFiPulse mis-quoted Dorn about his role in Star Trek Discovery.  Apparently Dorn had been approached by the Discovery producers over a year ago, but no agreement could be reached.  Nothing ever came of it.

With Dorn out of the picture as being the hander-off of the Star Trek franchise, that leaves it open.  We’ve heard some people suggest T’Pol which would be a great option in our opinion.  While Enterprise takes place about 100 years before Discovery does, Vulcans can easily live that long and so T’Pol could legitimately appear.

Below is our original article for posterity.  See correction above.

A Familiar Actor Returns – Michael Dorn in Discovery

In most of the Star Trek franchise pilot episodes, a character from a previous Trek series shows up to essentially hand off the new show.  Leonard (Bones) McCoy graced TNG‘s pilot episode Encounter at Farpoint.  Captain Jean Luc Picard appeared in DS9‘s pilot episode The Emissary.  Quark was in the first episode of Voyager – Caretaker.  And of course Zefram Cochrane, played by James Cromwell, handed off the franchise in Enterprise‘s Broken Bow.  (Thanks to @trekfan4747 for reminding us about that last one).

It sounds like we may have Michael Dorn to do the series handoff for Star Trek Discovery.  According to an article on SciFiPulse, Michael Dorn will be appearing in the first episode of Discovery.

Apparently the producers of Discovery reached out to Dorn over a year ago, asking if he would be willing to take on the small role.  The character, an ancestor of TNG‘s beloved Worf, will appear in the Klingon-heavy first episode.

Question is, will he look like one of these Klingons or something else?

Klingons of Star Trek Discovery to take on a new(ish) look
Klingons of Star Trek Discovery to take on a new(ish) look

Dorn’s Own Star Trek Show

As many people are aware, Dorn had attempted to gain traction behind a new Star Trek series in which Commander Worf would be the series lead – but as Captain Worf.  It didn’t get very far, but it sounds like fans will get one last goodbye to Dorn in Star Trek television with this.

The original SciFiPulse article can be found here.

Quick Poll
What do you think of Michael Dorn doing the Star Trek Discovery handover?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

Official Announcement – Sonequa Martin-Green in “Star Trek Discovery”

Sonequa Martin Green as First Officer Michael Burnham in Star Trek Discovery

CBS Makes an Official Announcement

For the last few months, the Internet has known, in the way that the Internet “knows things”, that Sonequa Martin-Green is slated to become the main protagonist in the upcoming Star Trek Discovery television series by CBS.  Fans have become excited at the prospect of having her as series lead.  But even though the CBS News website itself has previously reported on multiple occasions about Martin-Green’s new gig, there hasn’t actually been an official announcement of that casting decision yet by CBS television.

Until now.

Today CBS finally, officially, announced that Sonequa Martin-Green will take series lead in Star Trek Discovery as First Officer Michael Burnham (aka Number One) of the USS Discovery.  That’s right, the name is “Michael Burnham”.  Is it possible Star Trek will get its first trans-gender character, and a lead none the less?  We reached out to StarTrek.com for confirmation of her name.

Unlike any previous Star Trek television series main protagonist, Burnham will not be the ship’s Captain.  That role will be played by Jason Isaacs as Captain Lorca.

Quick Poll
Stoked about the new Star Trek series?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

By following a Lieutenant Commander instead of the Captain, Burnham is certain to bring Star Trek to us from a new, fresh, perspective.  More of a “lower decks” series that should allow us to watch on as highly-specialized crew perform their ongoing duties.

Why Wait to Announce Casting of Martin-Green?

Star Trek: Discovery - Sonequa Martin-Green
Star Trek: Discovery – Sonequa Martin-Green

Given that CBS began publishing casting announcements back in late 2016, and the world has know about Martin-Green being the show lead for months, why did it take so long to officially announce her casting decision?  Answer: The Walking Dead.

Sonequa has played a major role in The Walking Dead television series for a number of seasons.  By making an official announcement, CBS would have been openly signalling the world that Martin-Green’s character would be killed-off in that show sometime soon.  Not wanting to spoil this for fans, an agreement was reached whereby CBS would make no announcement until it would no longer spoil things for viewers of The Walking Dead.  That strategy may or may not have worked as anyone paying attention already knows about Sonequa’s new role in Star Trek Discovery.

Who is First Officer Michael Burnham?

So now that we know, officially, that Martin-Green is lead of the series, what do we know about her character: Lt. Cmdr. Burnham.  Unfortunately, not much at this point.  The name suggests that this character may have had a gender re-assignment.  According to StarTrek.com “…here’s the real news… her character’s name is First Officer Michael Burnham”

CBS and the Star Trek Discovery producers have been extremely tight-lipped about any details pertaining to the new show.  We haven’t seen the final design of the USS Discovery.  We don’t know why the cast spans two starships (the other is the USS Shenzhou).  We haven’t seen a complete cast or crew PR photo yet.

What we do know is that Rainsford will also be referred to as “Number One”.  This is a shout-out to the original Star Trek pilot that CBS rejected.  In that pilot, Majel Barrett played a character named Number One who was second in command of the USS Enterprise.  It’s even possible that Sonequa’s Number One is that same character – revised – a few years earlier.  Series creator Bryan Fuller had this to say: “When we introduce our protagonist, she is called ‘Number One’ in honor of Majel Barrett’s character in the original pilot. And as we were first talking about the series, talking to CBS, we said initially we will only call this character Number One.”

With the series leading role now officially announced, it’s just a matter of time before some of the juicy details start rolling in.  And when they do, we’ll be sure to be the first to bring it to you.

Notorious Harry Mudd Will be in “Star Trek Discovery”

Rainn Wilson will play the TOS returning-character "Harry Mudd" in Star Trek Discovery

Rainn Wilson Cast as Harry Mudd

In what is certain to surprise many a Star Trek fan, CBS has announced that Rainn Wilson has been cast to play Harry Mudd (aka Harcourt Fenton Mudd*) in “Star Trek Discovery”.

Fans of Star Trek: The Original Series and The Animated Series will remember Harry Mudd as being a scoundrel.  Mudd is a known for always trying to pull off a con wherever he can.  He’s one of those characters that you just have to hate – or love to hate.

Harry Lives On

Harry Mudd is known to have an extensive police record of criminal activities
Harry Mudd is known to have an extensive police record of criminal activities

While he only appeared in a total of three episodes, Harry Mudd  has lived on in large part thanks to the many Star Trek novels.

StarTrek.com has a great profile writeup about him which can be found here.

* Here’s some more aliases Mudd goes by: H.F. Mudd, Harcourt Fenton, Leo Francis Walsh, Blackbeard Teach, Socrates, Grand Qaal of Eulus, Emperor Mudd the First, Harry Patton

Quick Poll
Rainn Wilson will play Harry Mudd in "Star Trek Discovery". Are you glad to see Harry Mudd come back?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

“Star Trek Discovery” Cast, Including Sonequa Martin-Green, Dine in Toronto

Cast of Star Trek Discovery sharing a meal in Toronto

Discovery Cast Spotting

Production on Star Trek Discovery commenced in Toronto back in late January 2017.  Since that time there have been relatively few spottings of any of the cast involved in the production.  Most, if not all, of the images that have shown up on social media and news sites have been posted by people involved in the production or the cast members themselves.  So it was not so much a surprise when Chris Obi, who plays the Klingon T’Kuvma, posted this image to his Instagram account.  The image has since been removed from public view.

Peaceful Negotiations

The photo is a clear indication that Sarek has opened up peace talks on neutral ground (Toronto) between the Federation and the Klingon Empire as both organizations are represented at the table.  In seriousness though, it’s likely the dinner, hosted in Toronto’s Buca Osteria & Bar was a celebration James Frain’s birthday.  Frain plays Sarek, Spock’s farther, in the new Star Trek series.

Beyond being one of the first photos we’ve seen of the cast together, there’s something interesting going on in the picture.

The main protagonist of Star Trek Discovery is Lieutenant Commander Rainsford – aka Number One.  She’s played by Sonequa Martin-Green.  Or at least that’s what we (and many other sources) have reported.  There has actually been no official announcement made about Sonequa by CBS.  That’s because she has an ongoing role in the television series The Walking Dead.  Playing both roles could mean scheduling conflicts.  It’s more likely that Sonequa’s character in The Walking Dead is about to be – dead.

In an effort to no spoil the surprise death of her character, CBS likely held off on making an official announcement.  This picture, which includes Sonequa (and her husband) is proof that she is indeed playing Rainsford in Star Trek Discovery.

Official Casting Announcement

Now that we know Sonequa is in Toronto and is no-doubt making regular appearances to the Star Trek Discovery set, can we expect that CBS will be making an announcement soon?  Given her characters recent progress in The Walking Dead, can we expect to hear something official from CBS and StarTrek.com over the next few days?

Second Episode of “Star Trek Discovery” Now Filming

Star Trek Discovery News

Pictures Posted by Discovery Writer

It appears that Star Trek Discovery has started filming its second episode.  Discovery writer Ted Sullivan recently made the trek to Toronto where Discovery is currently filming at Pinewood Studios.  Sullivan, a self-proclaimed Star Trek fan, took some time to post pictures from the set to Twitter.

Among those pictures was this one of a slate indicating filming of the second episode of the first season had commenced either today, or fairly recently.  The date states March 17, 2017 (the day of this writing).

Ted Sullivan posted this picture from the Star Trek Discovery set
Ted Sullivan posted this picture from the Star Trek Discovery set

We can see that this slate indicates that filming of the second episode of Discovery has begun.  This may explain why Ted Sullivan, Chris Obi, Sam Vartholomeos, Michelle Yeoh, and various local extras, have all reported they’re back on the set.

Additionally, it appears the second episode is being directed by Adam Kane.  David Semel directed the first episode, which will also be aired on CBS.

Premiere, or Standalone Episode?

Most Star Trek television series launch with a two hour premiere.  Traditionally the episode is considered to be two episodes.  That’s because usually the show airs for one hour each week.  So after the initial premiere date, the episode is split into two one-hour episodes and aired over a two-week period.  Since Star Trek Discovery is only expected to air once on television and will be streamed online thereafter, it’s unclear if this second episode is actually part of a two-hour premiere or a standalone episode (as in 3rd hour of the series).

Having two directors for a single episode might lead to a strange result, so for now we’re assuming the second episode now being filmed is not part of the premiere.  The past few weeks saw little to none of the main cast being in Toronto.  This was likely because the premiere has already been filmed in full and time was needed for new sets to be constructed, halting filming.

Excited that progress is finally being made?  Let us know below.

Photos From “Star Trek Discovery” Set Revealed

Green screen on the set of Star Trek Discovery - courtesy Ted Sullivan

Pictures From the Set

(Updated March 17)  See bottom for new images.

This past January, Star Trek Discovery started filming in Toronto, Canada.  Slated to come out later in 2017, Discovery is the latest series in the Star Trek television franchise, by CBS.  Rather than having its run on traditional tv, it will be streamed via CBS AllAccess, Netflix, and CraveTV.

The show boasts a number of writers that have been penning the first season’s 13 episodes for some time now.  One of those writers, Ted Sullivan, is currently on set in Toronto for the filming of the show.

Sullivan has taken to Twitter the past few days, providing glimpses of the set in photos.

Star Trek Discovery "Locations", courtesy Ted Sullivan
Star Trek Discovery “Locations”, courtesy Ted Sullivan

Massive Green Screen

Prominent in one of the photos that Sullivan posted, which can be seen below, is a very large green screen.  It can be assumed by the scale of the screen that a lot of visual effects will be going into Star Trek Discovery, and that at least one of the regular sets will be either fully digital, or digitally-enhanced.  This isn’t surprising to us, given the show is reported to be budgeted at $6-$7 million+ per episode.  That’s a huge jump from any previous Star Trek incarnation.

Green screen on the set of Star Trek Discovery - courtesy Ted Sullivan
Green screen on the set of Star Trek Discovery – courtesy Ted Sullivan

Beneath the Bridge of the USS Discovery

Also noticeable is the scale of the set’s woodwork, and therefore the sets for Discovery.  It is widely believe that, in the image below, Sullivan hinted we’re seeing beneath the bridge of the USS Discovery.

We’ve tried to enhance the photo, looking for possible hidden gems, but our efforts didn’t produce any results.  Well done, Ted!

Star Trek Discovery set, courtesy Ted Sullivan
Star Trek Discovery set, courtesy Ted Sullivan

So not a whole lot of details can be made out from the pictures, and that’s obviously by intent.  CBS and the producers of Discovery are being very tight lipped about specifics surrounding the new series.

Update: We Have Lots More

That was quite the Twitter blast!

USS Discovery Finds Her Captain, Starfleet Cadet

Star Trek Discovery - Jason Isaacs and Mary Wiseman

USS Discovery Beams Captain Aboard

← Share this with your friends now!

News just in that CBS has announced two additional cast members to Star Trek Discovery. Jason Isaacs and Mary Wiseman are the most recent to join the new television series, slated for CBS AllAccess and Netflix.  The announcement brings the total Discovery personnel to three (Lieutenant Commander Rainsford has still not officially been announced by CBS).  We previously wrote about the fact that the USS Shenzhou had a much larger cast than the USS Discovery.  The casting of Isaccs and Wiseman closes that gap.

The casting announcements comes well into the production of Star Trek Discovery, which began filming back in January 2017.

Jason Isaacs

Star Trek Discovery casts Jason Isaacs as Captain Lorca of the USS Discovery
Star Trek Discovery casts Jason Isaacs as Captain Lorca of the USS Discovery

Jason Isaacs will be staring as Lorca, Captain of the USS Discovery.  Isaacs is best known for his work in the Netflix series The OA, as well as Hotel Mumbai.

Unlike all previous Star Trek television shows, the captain of this series will not be the show’s main protagonist.  That will be given to Lieutenant Commander Rainsford.

Mary Wiseman

Star Trek Discovery casts Mary Wiseman as Cadet Tilly of Starfleet Academy
Star Trek Discovery casts Mary Wiseman as Cadet Tilly of Starfleet Academy

Mary Wiseman has also been added as a Starfleet Cadet aboard the USS Discovery.  Cadet Tilly is a student at Starfleet Academy assigned to the USS Discovery.  She is in her final year of study at the Academy.

This makes two Starfleet Academy students to be assigned to the Discovery, with Sam Vartholomeos playing Ensign Connor.

Stay tuned for our analysis about what these casting decisions may mean for Star Trek Discovery, and how these character may fit into the series.

Star Trek Discovery casts Sam Vartholomeos, Maulik Pancholy, Terry Serpico

Star Trek Discovery adds Maulik Pancholy, Sam Vartholomeos, and Terry Serpico to cast

CBS has announced three new cast members to the Star Trek Discovery team.  Newly announced are Sam Vartholomeos, Maulik Pancholy (we broken this news back on January 21st), and Terry Serpico.

Here’s what we know about the new Star Trek Discovery cast members, their names and their roles.

← Share this with your friends now!

Sam Vartholomeos

Star Trek Discovery - Sam Vartholomeos, Ensign Connor, a Junior Officer in Starfleet Academy, USS Shenzhou
Star Trek Discovery – Sam Vartholomeos, Ensign Connor, a Junior Officer in Starfleet Academy, USS Shenzhou

Sam Vartholomeos, who has previously been on The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, will be playing Ensign Connor.  Interestingly, Connor is still enlisted with Starfleet Academy but is also a Junior Officer assigned to the USS Shenzhou.

Maulik Pancholy

Star Trek Discovery - Maulik Pancholy, Chief Medical Officer Dr. Nambue, USS Shenzhou
Star Trek Discovery – Maulik Pancholy, Chief Medical Officer Dr. Nambue, USS Shenzhou

Maulik Pancholy has also been cast to Discovery.  Playing Chief Medical Officer Dr. Nambue, Pancholy’s character will also be aboard the starship Shenzhou. Pancholy is best known for his role on 30 Rock.  We also wrote about the possiblity of Pancholy being added to the Star Trek Discovery cast back in January.

Terry Serpico

Star Trek Discovery - Terry Serpico as Admiral Anderson
Star Trek Discovery – Terry Serpico as Admiral Anderson

Last but not least, Terry Serpico will play an Admiral named Anderson.  CBS has pointed out that Admiral Anderson is “a high-ranking Starfleet official”.  What that means, specifically, we don’t know (most Admirals are considered high-ranking just by their nature).  According to CBS, Serpico’s film and television credits include 100 Centre Street, The Departed, Army Wives, Rescue Me, Sneaky Pete, Elementary and The Purge: Election Year.

USS Shenzhou More Prominent Than Expected

With the announcements of two new major cast members on the USS Shenzhou, it seems that star ship is taking on more of a role in the season’s story line than originally thought.  We’ll be releasing our analysis on the USS Shenzhou soon, so stay tuned for that.  In the meanwhile, tell us what you think about the new casting announcement in the comments section below.

Star Trek Discovery Gets a New Logo

New Star Trek Discovery Logo

CBS has revealed that the logo for Star Trek: Discovery has been updated.  This comes just a week after announcing that Discovery no longer had a set release date.  Featured in the insignia is the stylized star that can be found in The Original Series movies and heavily throughout 23rd century Star Trek.  It can also be seen in the insignia’s on the uniforms of Christopher Pike’s USS Enterprise crew.  (Pike was pre-Kirk, and a failed pilot episode named ‘The Cage’).  This makes sense as The Cage takes place before Kirk’s 5-year mission.  Discovery is slated to happen about 10 years prior to that.

My personal opinion: I actually prefer the previous incarnation.  This update almost has a whipped-together feeling to it in its gold-plated texturing – even a little sloppy.  I’m unsure if there’s any meaning behind why the right side of the insignia appears to be farther behind the left side.

Filming of “Star Trek Discovery” Starts Today – January 24, 2017

Star Trek Discovery News and Articles

 

Star Trek: Discovery – Production Has Started

← Share this with your friends now!

Today is January 24th 2017 and that can mean only one thing –  Star Trek: Discovery begins filming today!

According to the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees in Toronto, production on Green Harvest starts January 24th (they’ve since removed the details from public view, but you can see our screen grab below).  It then wraps up on September 7th, 2017.  In case you don’t already know, “Green Harvest” is the code name for Star Trek Discovery.  Science fiction fans may find the name familiar.  “Blue Harvest” was the fake name given to Star Wars: Return of the Jedi during its filming.

IATSE 873 website reports that production on "Green Harvest", aka Star Trek Discovery begins today
IATSE 873 website reports that production on “Green Harvest”, aka Star Trek Discovery begins today

Show Has Had Setbacks

Making it to production has been a long road; even iffy.  Star Trek fans that have been following closely will already know that Discovery has been through more than a few setbacks.

Bryan Fuller - creator of Star Trek Discovery
Bryan Fuller – creator of Star Trek Discovery

Originally, Bryan Fuller was slated to be the show runner.  In fact, Fuller penned the first season story arc for the crew of the USS Discovery.  He was also involved in helping write at least the first two or three episodes of Star Trek Discovery.  However in late 2016 Fuller decided to leave the series due to time constraints imposed by his prior commitments.  He’s currently producing American Gods and Hannibal.  As a result, Star Trek Discovery, initially slated to air in January 2017, was delayed to May 2017.  Then, more recently, CBS announced that they no longer have a launch date for the series.  It’s still expected to happen in 2017 but there’s no revised date being provided.  Our guess is that it’ll happen in the fall.

Currently, Trek newcomers Gretchen J. Berg and Aaron Harberts will oversee the show with the original writing and producing team.  Fuller is still credited with creating the series as he had already established the premise and direction of the show.

Michelle Yeoh visits Aaron Harberts, Gretchen J Berg, and the Star Trek Discovery writing crew
Michelle Yeoh visits Aaron Harberts, Gretchen J Berg, and the Star Trek Discovery writing crew

Berg and Harberts have already worked on numerous productions together.  Star Trek Discovery will be their biggest yet.  It has been widely reported that Discovery‘s budget is in the range of $6-$7 million per episode.  That’s a significantly larger budget than any other preceding Star Trek series.  Up to now the most expensive series was Star Trek: Enterprise, at about $3 million per episode.  That said, Star Trek Discovery has reportedly already made a profit on paper.  That’s mostly thanks to Netflix who paid for the rights to carry the show in 188 countries.

All of this bodes well for the series making it to at least a second season.  Or if everything goes really well, maybe we’ll end up with a full-run show.  The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, and Voyager all ran for 7 seasons each.

Star Trek Discovery Breaks New Ground

When Discovery starts shooting today it’s set to break new ground within the Star Trek franchise.  It’ll also set a bunch of new firsts.  Rather than focus around the Captain (or Commander-cum-Captain in DS9’s case), the show will focus more on “lower deck” crew of the USS Discovery.

← Share this with your friends now!

Over the past few months, there have been numerous casting announcements.  We’ve learned that Lt. Commander Rainsford (played by Sonequa Martin-Green)  will be the series lead character.  That’s akin to Lt. Commander Data in early seasons of The Next Generation being that show’s leading character.   While individual episodes of TNG did revolve around Data, the series itself followed Captain Picard and the crew of the USS Enterprise.  Sonequa will also be the first woman of colour in the star role of any Star Trek series.

Additionally, we know that Doug Jones will be playing Lt. Saru.  Saru is a science officer from an alien species previously unseen in Star Trek.  Then we have Anthony Rapp staring as Lt. Stamets, also a science officer, specializing in Astromycology (basically space fungus).  Televised Star Trek will finally gets its first openly gay character in Lt. Stamets (Sulu was retroactively made gay in the movie Star Trek Beyond).  Also in Star Trek Discovery is Michelle Yeoh as Captain Georgiou.  Her character breaks with the tradition of focusing on one ship (or station) and one crew.   Georgiou is Captain of the USS Shenzhou, not the USS Discovery.  She’s also the first captain of Asian ancestry in any of the tv shows. (Sulu got his captaincy in the movies, well after The Original Series aired)

Besides members of Starfleet, we also know a bit about a few other characters.  Chris Obi plays T’Kuvma, leader of the Klingon Empire, whose desire is a union of all the Klingon Houses.  Others include Shazad Latif who will play Kol, protege to T’Kuvma, and Mary Chieffo, playing L’Rell, Battle Deck Commander.  In case it’s not obvious by their character names, those last two are also Klingons.  Last week we also learned James Frain recently joined the cast, playing Sarek, Spock’s father.  Sarek has become a fan favorite with many Trekkies and Trekkers across two series and multiple movies.

Unfortunately we still don’t know who the USS Discovery’s captain will be, nor do we know if that’s even important.  With the way the series is shaping up, it’s possible that character will be a recurring role, not a primary cast member.

Now Filming in Toronto

Star Trek Discover - Pinewood Toronto
Star Trek Discovery, now filming at Pinewood Studios, Toronto

Now that we’ve covered some of the pre-production history and learned a bit about the characters, lets get back to the point of this article.

Filming of Star Trek Discovery is taking place starting today at Pinewood Studios in Toronto, making it the first series to shoot outside of California.  That means away missions could possibly take on a Northern Ontario topography instead of their typical Californian.  Assuming, of course, that away missions aren’t  mostly filmed in “caves” – a common TNG, DS9 and VOY recurring and money-saving scheme of set design.  We reached out to Discovery location scout crew, but were told no comment could be provided at this time.

← Share this with your friends now!

Filming in Toronto could also mean that Star Trek Discovery‘s budget goes further given that many productions get local tax breaks in that city.

Pinewood Studios Toronto is a very new facility, boasting the largest purpose-build sound stage in North America, at some 46,000 sq.ft.  It provides all of the latest in technology to assist with expediting the production process.  It’s unclear if Discovery will be using the 46k sq.ft sound stage, or one of the other large stages at Pinewoods Toronto.

What Happens Today During Production?

USS Discovery NCC-1031 - Captain's Chair, as tweeted by Bryan Fuller
USS Discovery NCC-1031 – Captain’s Chair, as tweeted by Bryan Fuller

So what can we expect to happen today with filming starting on Star Trek Discovery? Well, we’re not exactly sure, but we can make some guesses.

It’s likely the cast will have a chance to run through some lines on camera.  Chris Obi has made a few video posts that indicate he, and possibly other Discovery cast members, have already spent time together reading lines.  They may also spend a bit of time, being as the cast is now together, to do some on-set promotional photos.  It’s likely makeup tests have already happened, but given the late additions of some cast members there may still be some tests happening today.

Perhaps someone as-yet unnamed will even get to sit in a completed captain’s chair – the one pictured above – commanding their crew.  But whatever happens today, we know that Star Trek: Discovery is definitely happening, and we’ll soon have some new Trek on TV soon.

CBS Delays “Star Trek Discovery” Again! No New Date Set

Star Trek Discovery has been delayed

 

Don’t Lose Faith in “Star Trek Discovery”

← Share this with your friends now!

Well, we’re sure many of you have just lost all faith in Star Trek Discovery after reading another “delay” headline.  While it’s getting more easy to be dismayed, we say “don’t be”.

CBS has stated on more than one occasion that they want to do this right.  And if that means delaying the series, then so be it.  They said that when Discovery was delayed from it’s initial January 2017 to its more-recent May 2017.  They’re saying it again, only this time they aren’t providing a revised date.  Try not to read too much into that.  If they were to provide a new release date only to need more time to get it right, nobody could take anything they say about Star Trek Discovery with any seriousness.  So they’re forced to not release a date at this time.

Another thing to ponder is that filming of Star Trek Discovery starts in just a few days (this website broke that news before all others).  So it’s not as if things have stalled in any way.  Actually, they’re really starting to ramp up in speed.  Today, CBS announced that James Frain has been cast to play Sarek, the father of Spock.  This among the plethora of other recent casting announcements being made.  Progress is being made.  Dismay not!

When Will Star Trek Discovery Air?

USS Discovery NCC-1031 - Image: Cassius Adams
USS Discovery NCC-1031 – Image: Cassius Adams

When might Star Trek Discovery be aired?  It’s expected that filming will wrap up on Discovery by September 7th 2017.  The original plan was for episodes to become available on a weekly basis.  It’s unclear if CBS intends to change this, but no announcement has been made.  For now, we assume weekly releases to CBS All Access and Netflix (CraveTV if you’re in Canada).

There’s a lot of upfront work that needs to be done on this Star Trek series.  Everything from set design, to digital effects and assets, to costumes and more.  Since filming starts on January 24th, we’ll assume that sets and costumes are essentially done.  That leaves digital assets.  There’s also post-effects once filming of any given episode is complete, along with editing and sound.  All told, assuming CBS wants to release one episode each week, missing no weeks in between, our estimate is that the series will air in late summer or early fall of 2017.  That’s a significant delay, but one that may have been necessary to avoid the death of the television franchise – forever.

Disappointing that there’s no new Star Trek ahead in May, but if we look at the long-term, perhaps one of the better decisions made by CBS for the series.  There’s a lot of work to be done when you have a $6-$7 million budget per episode.

James Frain to Play Sarek, Spock’s Father, in “Star Trek Discovery”

James Frain will play Sarek (Spock's father) in the upcoming Star Trek Discovery tv series

 

Sarek – A Familiar Character

← Share this with your friends now!

The casting announcements just keep rolling in for Star Trek Discovery.  It seems that CBS is really leaving some decisions to the last minute, with filming of Star Trek Discovery starting in just a few days time.

Nonetheless, the character and casting announcement is indeed an interesting one.  This time, its someone familiar to us already.  Spock’s father, Sarek (originally portrayed by Mark Lenard), is slated to be played by English stage and screen actor James Frain.

Frain certainly has the look of a Vulcan; able to portray the perfect straight face.  Exactly how his Sarek character will fit in with Star Trek Discovery still remains to be seen.  It’s also unclear if Frain will be a series main character or if he’ll just have a recurring role.

Astrophysicist Sarek or Ambassador Sarek?

Spock's father, Sarek, was originally portrayed by Mark Lenard
Spock’s father, Sarek, was originally portrayed by Mark Lenard

We do know that Sarek is an astrophysicist, and later, the Vulcan ambassador to the United Federation of Planets.  It will be interesting to see which role he will be engaged in during Discovery’s time period.

Sarek has been a favourite character for decades among the fans.  He has appeared in Star Trek: The Original Series, Star Trek: The Next Generation, and a number of the movies, including the 2009 Star Trek reboot.

Whatever capacity he ends up playing in Star Trek Discovery, its sounding like the Vulcans may have a more significant role in the series than originally anticipated.  That makes Starfleet, the Klingons, and now the Vulcans apparent primaries on the series.  The series sounds like its shaping up to be as much about diplomacy as anything else.  This bodes well for most Star Trek fans, many of whom worry the series will take on a more Kelvin timeline style.  Star Trek, on television, has survived so long because of its cerebral nature.  Sarek was certainly a character that fits that description.

Star Trek Discovery Set to Begin Production in Toronto

Star Trek: Discovery Production Start

← Share this with your friends now!

Production on Star Trek Discovery may be set to begin in Toronto, Canada.

Update (January 13, 2017): It’s official.  Production of Star Trek Discovery is officially slated to begin on January 24th in Toronto, running through to September 7, 2017.  The IATSE 873 (International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees) updated their website a few minutes ago to represent the production update.  Look for Green Harvest on their site, Star Trek Discovery‘s code name.

Given that Discovery is slated to air in May with the final episode airing in late September, it’s likely we’ll get a new episode every two weeks.  It has been previously stated that Star Trek Discovery‘s first season will consist of 13 episodes with a single story arc across them.  That’s exactly how new episodes were aired for most of the other Star Trek franchises too.

Chris Obi Hints

Before confirmation by the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, we previously told you that Chris Obi will be playing T’Kuvma, leader of the Klingons. Obi has been taking the role very seriously – occasionally tweeting hints about his new gig. We also previously announced that Nicholas Meyer is on the primary writing staff for Star Trek Discovery‘s production. Meyer’s dog tweets from time to time, so we know they’re in Toronto now.

Over the last two days, Obi released these tweet.

It looks like something heavily related to the Star Trek Discovery production is being celebrated in the first tweet. Obi couldn’t be reached for comment, but it’s believed this may signify the start of filming – at least in ceremony. The second tweet is a very cute post of Obi practicing his Klingon voice, and quite successfully in our opinion.

We’re in Toronto and will continue trying to get verification of Discovery‘s start of filming.

Two New Star Trek Discovery Books Coming

Star Trek Discovery Novel - David Mack

Star Trek Discovery: Official Collector’s Edition

There’s no details being provided at this time, but it looks like there will be two new official Star Trek: Discovery books being released to go with the highly anticipated television series.

The first book, title Star Trek Discovery: Official Collector’s Edition will be released in hard cover format on May 2nd 2017.

All we know so far is that it’s being put out by Titan, and is up for pre-order on Amazon’s website.  Star Trek Discovery: Official Collector’s Edition will likely be more of a companion manual to the series.

Star Trek: Discovery #1

In tangentially-related news, David Mack will also be releasing a new novel, title Star Trek: Discovery #1 on May 23rd 2017.  We assume that “#1” in this context means the first novel of many, rather than Number One, as in the character.  This isn’t the first time we’ve head about Mack’s book, but it’s the first time we’ve gotten release date information about the novel.

Star Trek Discovery Lead Character Revealed!

Star Trek: Discovery - Sonequa Martin-Green

Star Trek Discover Main Lead Character Announced

It’s been a long road, getting from there to here.  The news has just come in.  After a months-long search, Star Trek Discovery has finally cast its leading character role.

It’s been over 10 years since there have been new episodes of Star Trek to hit the airwaves.   The creators of Discovery have taken their time with making final selections of who they want to crew the USS Discovery.  We now, unofficially at least, know who the main lead will be; and it has gotten fans excited.

Sonequa Martin-Green, best know for her role in The Walking Dead, will be the face and new lead of Star Trek Discovery.  The selection comes after hints by Bryan Fuller in mid-2016.  Fuller has stated on numerous occasions that the main character would likely be a visible minority, and likely also a woman.  This is in keeping with Star Trek‘s ideals.

Unlike previous incarnations of the tv series, Discovery won’t be focused mainly around the captain of the staring ship.  Instead, Sonequa’s character will be a Lieutenant Commander, suggesting that the series will focus more on the daily crew interactions than on captaining a ship.  “We’ve seen six series from the captain’s point of view,” Bryan Fuller explained. “To see a character from a (new) perspective on the starship; one who has different dynamic relationships with a captain, with subordinates, it gives us richer context.”

Deep Space Nine was the first series to stray from captain, making its lead, Benjamin Sisko, Commander of DS9.  Of course Sisko went on to become a Captain half way through that series. However Lieutenant Commander is an even lower rank, taking Star Trek into a new arena.

Discovery’s Lieutenant Commander  “Number One”

Star Trek Discovery's main leading character, Number One, to be played by Sonequa Martin-Green
Star Trek Discovery’s main leading character, Number One, to be played by Sonequa Martin-Green

(Updated: December 14, 2016 21:15 EST) It has been reported by deadline that the leading character’s name will be Lieutenant Commander Rainsford.  Before to today’s casting announcement, Discovery’s creators have been referring to her character only as “Number 1”.  Long-time Trek fans will recognize that title as being that of Majel Barrett’s character in the first pilot episode of Star Trek.  That was before James Kirk took command of the starship Enterprise for his 5-year mission.  Fans have speculated that Discovery’s Number 1, and the Number 1 character of The Original Series, were one and the same person.  Unless Discovery’s creators are rewriting canon, it’s unlikely Sonequa’s Number 1 will be the same character.  Time will tell.

The move of selecting a minority woman as a lead role in a science fiction series is way past due, even in Star Trek terms.  Selecting a black woman as the lead sets the franchise back on course.  Breaking new territory has always been a hallmark of what Star Trek does.  While this writer thinks it’s a long time in coming; better late than never.

Be sure to tell us what you think of the casting decision in the comments section below.

Star Trek: Discovery Adds Three More Characters! And They’re ALL KLINGONS!

CBS Announces New Characters – and They’re Klingons

Fans have been anxiously awaiting any and all news about the upcoming Star Trek: Discovery series. After learning in October that Bryan Fuller was stepping out as Executive Producer, fans were beginning to worry whether the new Trek would fail before it began.

Then, a few weeks ago, CBS released the first three members of the cast and gave some tid-bits of information about their characters. Today, they surprised us again with three more cast members… all of them Klingons!

Chris Obi, Shazad Latif and Mary Chieffo have all been added to ST:DISC’s cast, announced via the CBS website (Original Article link: http://www.cbs.com/shows/star-trek-discovery/news/1006273/star-trek-discovery-reveals-klingon-characters-/).

Chris Obi – Star Trek Discovery

Chris Obi - Star Trek Discovery
Chris Obi – Star Trek Discovery

Chris Obi, an actor and director best known for his involvement in American Gods and Snow White and the Huntsman, is slated to portray the character “T’Kuvma”, a leader of the Klingon Empire who desires to unite all of the Klingon Houses.

Shazad Latif – Star Trek Discovery

Shazad Latif - Star Trek Discovery
Shazad Latif – Star Trek Discovery

Shazad Latif is set to play “the Commanding Officer” Kol, and will be a protege to T’Kuvma. Shazad is a London-born actor of Pakistani descent, who is known for his roles in the movie “The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel” and for his role in the series “Penny Dreadful”. Will he be commanding the lead Klingon ship in the series?

Mary Chieffo – Star Trek Discovery

Mary Chieffo - Star Trek Discovery
Mary Chieffo – Star Trek Discovery

Mary Chieffo is slated to play “L’Rell”, the “Battle Deck Commander” of the Klingon ship (the ship has not been named yet, or if it has, it has not been revealed). Chieffo is no stranger to stage and screen, either, being born to actors Beth Grant and Michael Chieffo. She has held multiple stage roles and leads in various canon Shakespeare plays.

Klingons have long played a pivotal role in Star Trek since it’s inception in the 1960’s. They were regular bad-guys in the Original Series, and were featured often in future series and incarnations of Trek. The first regular Klingon character in Star Trek was Michael Dorn’s “Worf” in Star Trek: The Next Generation. He was followed by a string of series regulars, including the characters of Lursa & B’Etor, Gowron, Martok and even Worf’s son Alexander.

What does this mean? To this fan, it sounds like the main cast of “bad guys” is already set to square-off with the crew of the USS Discovery when it premieres in 2017, and judging from the reactions of fans on various social media outlets, we’re all excited about it!

SOURCES:

http://www.cbs.com/shows/star-trek-discovery/news/1006273/star-trek-discovery-reveals-klingon-characters-/

Alien and Gay Character Revealed, Star Trek Discovery

Captain Georgiou (Michelle Yeoh), Lieutenant Stamets (Anthony Rapp), and Lieutenant Saru (Doug Jones)

It’s been a busy week keeping track of all the Star Trek Discovery news coming out.  First, the recent confirmation by CBS that Michelle Yeoh will be playing Captain Georgiou of the USS Shenzhou.  If that wasn’t enough of a surprise, Star Trek Discovery now has two new members joining the upcoming show.  Both characters are males, but their diversity is in keeping with Star Trek tradition.  Not a whole lot has been revealed, but here’s what we do know about the new characters.. And the actors that will be playing them.

Lieutenant Saru of Starfleet

Doug Jones, Lt. Saru, Star Trek Discovery
Doug Jones, Lt. Saru, Star Trek Discovery

Doug Jones, best known for his role in Hellboy, will be playing Lieutenant Saru.  As previously reported, Saru is an alien from a species never seen before in Star Trek. He is also a Starfleet Science Officer.  Discussing Saru months back, all Bryan Fuller would say was “It’s a character named Saru who has… a wide… it’s a character named Saru.”  Not much meat in that.

Lieutenant Stamets of the USS Discovery

Anthony Rapp, Lt. Stamets Star Trek Discovery
Anthony Rapp, Lt. Stamets Star Trek Discovery

Remember the creepy guy from Road Trip?  Well, the other announcement is that Anthony Rapp will also be in Star Trek Discovery. Bryan Fuller has been saying that Star Trek television franchise will finally gets its first openly gay character.  Rapp’s character, Lieutenant Stamets, will play that role.  Stamets is an Astromycologist, specializing in fungi, and like Saru is also a Starfleet Science Officer.  ‘Astromycologist’..  We’re going to have to look that one up.

Stamets is a crew member of the USS Discovery. It’s unclear if Saru will also be aboard the Discovery, or possibly a member of the USS Shenzhou.

“Absolutely We’re Having a Gay Character”

Discovery’s executive producer Bryan Fuller, who is openly gay, has stated all along that it’s important for Star Trek to include a gay character.

Michelle Yeoh, Captain Han Bo/Georgiou, Star Trek Discovery
Michelle Yeoh, Captain Han Bo/Georgiou, Star Trek Discovery

And finally, Yeoh, who was previously reported as joining the cast, will play Captain Georgiou, the Starfleet Captain aboard the Starship USS Shenzhou.

Set Phasers to Stunned! Michelle Yeoh in Star Trek Discovery

Michelle Yeoh, Captain Han Bo of the USS Shenzhou

Crouching Klingon, Hidden Starship!

We’re setting our phasers to stunned!  Michelle Yeoh is rumored to have a major role in the upcoming Star Trek: Discovery TV series.  Discovery is being produce by CBS and Netflix.  If the news is true… Bam! Just How kick-ass is this show going to be?

When Bryan Fuller first hinted at some of the main characters in Discovery, diversity was a major takeaway.  Diversity is, after all, one of Star Trek’s biggest themes, and Discovery’s intention is to continue that culture.  Fuller, recently taking a back-seat role on the show, would like Angela Bassett to captain a Trek series.  So it should come as no surprise to learn that the show may be getting Michelle Yeoh.  And with Yeoh’s past appearances on Netflix original content, this rumor is sounding true.  Plus, it’s already listed on her IMDB page.

Series writer Nicholas Meyer revealed that Michelle Yeoh was the first cast member to come aboard.  Star Trek: Discovery‘s casting continues.

What We (Think We) Know About Michelle Yeoh’s Star Trek Character

Yeoh’s character isn’t expected to be a member of the USS Discovery, indicating the show follows more than one ship.  This is also true to the wording used in the first teaser trailer that was released earlier in 2016.  Bryan Fuller has previously hinted that there’d be multiple crews involved in the series.  Except some serialized Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episodes, no Star Trek series focused on more than one crew.

USS Discovery - New Crews
The original teaser that CBS put out earlier this year hinted at “new crews” – plural.

Growing Star Trek’s Market

China recently entered the space race, making strides in space technology and related scientific achievements.  Star Trek Discovery looks to honor that legacy with the USS Shenzhou.  Michelle Yeoh will play ship’s Captain Han Bo according to Blastr.  (Update: CBS reports her as Captain Georgiou).  The starship Shenzhou is expected to play an important role in at least the first season story arc.  IMDB credits Michelle Yeoh with the pilot episode so it’s unknown how much of the season she’ll be in. This writer hopes many. Yeoh has proven herself to be able to deliver in her many passionate, emotional, wise, and action-packed roles. Few actors present the character believability she has in her career.

Michelle Yeoh, Captain Han Bo of the USS Shenzhou
Michelle Yeoh is rumoured to play Captain Han Bo of the USS Shenzhou in the new Star Trek Discovery TV Series

This move is a clear attempt to not only diversify characters but also to break into the Chinese market.  Star Trek doesn’t have the following in China or Asia that it does in most of the west.  Michelle Yeoh is undoubtedly one of China’s biggest stars; her career spanning across three decades.  This further enhances the global appeal expected for Star Trek: Discovery which is certainly what the producers, CBS, and Netflix are going for with the new series.

Future casting announcements for the crew of the USS Discovery are certain to come soon.  Still no word on who will be cast for the leading character. Star Trek Discovery airs May 2017 on CBS All Access (USA), Netflix (world), and CraveTV (Canada).

Show-Runner Bryan Fuller Takes Back Seat on Star Trek Discovery

Bryan Fuller Drops Off as Star Trek Discovery Show Runner

Star Trek Discovery creator and show runner Bryan Fuller has announced today (October 26th 2015) that he will no longer be taking the lead on the new series. Instead, he will be taking a less active role, leaving it to Gretchen J. Berg and Aaron Harberts to fill the role.

CBS Television put out the following statement: “We are extremely happy with the creative direction of Star Trek: Discovery and the strong foundation that Bryan Fuller has helped us create for the series. Due to Bryan’s other projects, he is no longer able to oversee the day-to-day of Star Trek, but he remains an executive producer, and will continue to map out the story arc for the entire season. Alex Kurtzman, co-creator and executive producer, along with Fuller’s producing partners and longtime collaborators, Gretchen Berg & Aaron Harberts, will also continue to oversee the show with the existing writing and producing team.”

Today, Fuller made the announcement on his twitter account, indicating that Berg and Harberts would be taking over the lead. Berg and Harberts have been involved with Star Trek: Discovery for some time.

The announcement of Fuller handing over the reins didn’t come as a surprise to many who saw the Star Trek Discovery show runner as being spread thin. He will continue to work with the series as an executive producer.

Long-Time Star Trek Fan

It’s all likely a heart-breaker for Fuller who has considered himself to be a huge Star Trek fan for much of his life, and was a member of Star Trek Voyager’s crew.  But given the amount of work he still has under other contracts, it’s probably for the best that the series gets the full attention it needs. CBS Television also remarked “Bryan is a brilliant creative talent and passionate Star Trek fan, who has helped us chart an exciting course for the series. We are all committed to seeing this vision through and look forward to premiering Star Trek: Discovery this coming May 2017.”

The good news is that Fuller will still be involved in the series.  He’s already penned two episodes and has mostly fleshed out the first season’s story arc already.  Of course that was done, no doubt, with the assistance of the writing staff.

Gretchen J. Berg Responds to Bryan Fuller

Updated October 29th:

Just today, Gretchen J. Berg responded to Fuller on Twitter, assuring Fuller that they (Berg and Harberts) would make him proud. [Looking at the tweet history of Berg and Harberts, neither appear to be very active on Twitter]

Gretchen J. Berg and Star Trek Discovery writing partner Aaron Harberts met when they were students attending Northwestern University in Evanston. Here’s to hoping that this means good synergies right from the start.

Star Trek Discovery to take themes from TOS episode ‘Balance of Terror’

Balance of Terror, Star Trek: The Original Series

Themes of ‘Other’, Respect, and of Understanding

Watch the Star Trek: The Original Series episode entitled ‘Balance of Terror’ for themes that may be relevant to the new series


The Romulans were first introduced in Star Trek: The Original Series episode ‘Balance of Terror‘ during the show’s first season.  Their introduction is one of war mongering as they attack Federation stations along the neutral zone.  At this point in Star Trek canon, Romulans have never been seen by any human, nor have they been heard from in over 100 years.  What transpires in the episode is just as valuable a lesson today as it was in the 1960’s when it first aired.

The Romulan commander, played by Mark Lenard, sets up a game of cat and mouse.  Most Star Trek fans will recognize Mark Lenard as being Spock’s father Sarek, in later episodes.

Vulcans and Romulans share a common ancestry

Having never seen Romulans, it comes as a shock that Romulan bodily appearance is almost identical to that of Vulcans.  Specist (as in racist) tension heats up for some human crew members who “other” Spock.  After all, he looks just like their enemy.  Meanwhile, thanks to a ship cloaking device, the Romulans manage to evade the USS Enterprise.

An Enemy Understood

It’s very much a submarine battle story set in space.  But in the 1960’s, during cold-war tensions between the USA and USSR, an interesting theme is presented.  Rather than write the Romulans as one-dimensional scary foe (like propaganda in the 60’s), writer Paul Schneider made them highly relate-able.  Their intellect, motives, and emotions were more than familiar.

Throughout the episode, the Romulan commander gains respect for Captain Kirk as each tries to outwit the other.  They may be enemies but there’s also an understanding that they’re more alike than different; just under different circumstances.

Touchstone of Star Trek: Discovery

Earlier this week, Star Trek Discovery show runner Bryan Fuller tweeted that Balance of Terror would be a “touchstone” of the new series.  It’s unclear if his tweet referred specifically to the Romulans or to the themes presented in Balance of Terror.  This writer believes Bryan was referring to the latter.  Discovery takes place at least 10 years prior to Kirk’s Romulan encounter, at which point Romulans had never been seen.

Bryan specifically mentions the “story arc” in his post.  So it sounds like we may also be looking at a submarine-in-space tale over a 13-episode span. Star Trek Discovery’s first season is slated to be 13 episodes.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, this all feels more than familiar given the current political climate, including notions of xenophobia in the global zeitgeist.

In this writer’s opinion, Balance of Terror is Star Trek at its best.  If Star Trek Discovery’s writers take a cue from it, the series, and first season story arc, are bound to be one of Trek’s finest.

Majel Barrett may voice USS Discovery ship computer

Majel Barrett may voice USS Discovery's computer

Majel Barrett – Voice of Starfleet

Star Trek fans rejoice. It looks like Star Trek: Discovery may be getting the same voice featured in every series, and a few of the movies; Majel Barrett.  A tweet posted by an insider just a few days ago hints at what could be in store for us.

Majel Barrett played Nurse Chapel in Star Trek: The Original Series, and Lwaxana Troi on Star Trek: The Next Generation and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. In addition to her characters, most fans instantly recognize her voice as Starfleet’s computer voice.  Her vocals are featured on each of the USS (and NX) Enterprises, the USS Defiant, USS Voyager, and countless other vessels.  Barrett has literally voiced hundreds of Star Trek episodes over the years.

The voice of the computer has become synonymous with Majel Barrett.  So when she passed in 2008 it was difficult to picture who would, or even could, take her place as Starfleet’s computer voice.  Rod Roddenberry recently hinted that his mother may indeed return as ship’s voice of the USS Discovery.  Rod is son of Majel Barrett and Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry.

So there you have it.  Barrett’s voice was captured phonetically – making it possible to synthetically reproduce words in her voice.  It’s actually already been used in parts of the 2009 Star Trek reboot movie by J.J. Abrams.

It’s nice to know that there was forethought put into this and that Majel Barrett was willing to allow her voice to continue on with the mission of exploration.  And what a great way to be able to immediately tie-in Star Trek Discovery with the other series in the franchise.

Star Trek PADD and Apple iPad
Star Trek predicted a lot of technology, including the iPad by Apple.  That may go further if the voice featured in Star Trek’s computers gets ported into Siri on Apple’s devices.

Serendipitous Siri

Also mentioned is Siri, the iPhone and iPad’s built-in assistant.  If that were to happen, it’s an interesting twist of events.  Star Trek has always been known for pushing the boundaries on technology, envisioning what the future may hold.  Steve Jobs, for example, was quoted as saying the Apple iPad was inspired by the pad computer devices in Star Trek.

It’s interesting that those same devices may end up with the same computer voice on them that, in part, drew the original inspiration for their creation.

Star Trek Discovery Book & Comics to Accompany TV Series

Star Trek Discovery Writers Nicholas Meyer and Kirsten Beyer

Star Trek Discovery Book to Coincide With TV Series

Star Trek Discovery Novel - David Mack
David Mack to write novel to accompany Star Trek: Discovery tv series, with the assistance of Kirsten Beyer

During a panel on Star Trek: Discovery featuring Nick Meyer and Kirsten Beyer, at Star Trek: Mission New York, it was announced that Beyer was to lead the effort for a new Trek novel with David Mack.  Mack is best known for his freelance Star Trek books, but also has some Star Trek tv show experience under his belt too, having scripted an episode.  Kirsten Beyer is of course best known for her Star Trek: Voyager novels and is one of the primary writers of Discovery’s episodes.

The book is slated to go with new Star Trek: Discovery series and be released in tandem with the show, in either January or early in 2017.  Simon & Shuster will be publishing the Discovery book.

One Novel and Series of Comics

Star Trek Discover - Comic Books
Star Trek: Discovery will be accompanied by a novel and a comic series in 2017

And for those looking for something a little more visual and likely an easier-read, not only will there be an accompanying Star Trek Discovery book, it was also announced that there will be Star Trek Discovery comics!  IDW will publish the comics .  IDW has a long history of releasing Star Trek comics.  Beyer will be assisting Mike Johnson on the production of the Star Trek Discovery comic books.

The Star Trek Discovery comics will also coincide with release of the tv series, early 2017.

Kirsten Beyer will act as liaison to both IDW for the comic, and Simon & Shuster for the book.   “So I have the great fortune of working on the novel side of it with David Mack.  And teaching me about comics is Mike Johnson.  They’re meant to coincide with the show” she says.  Tony Shasteen, a regular artist for Star Trek, will join Mike Johnson on the comics.

But Are They Canon?

The one thing that didn’t get discussed during the panel was whether or not the Star Trek Discovery book or comics would be canon.  No book or comic has ever been considered canon in Star Trek – even the cartoon series wasn’t (that it is now is debatable in some circles).  But this is different.  Both the book and the comics seem to be officially sanctioned by the Star Trek Discovery writers, producers and how runners.  So they may just end up being canon and a part of the official story line of Discovery.

All we know for now is that the novel and comics will be “tied to” the series.

Name of Star Trek Discovery’s Main Character Revealed – Sort of…

There have been two "Number One" characters in Star Trek lore. There will soon be a third in Star Trek: Discovery

Lt Commander… Number One

Bryan Fuller was quoted as saying the main protagonist of Star Trek: Discovery will be referred to as Number One.  Most Star Trek fans will immediately recognize this as the name Captain Picard affectionately used for Commander William Riker.  But long before Star Trek: The Next Generation, and even before The Original Series, there was another Number One.  Originally played by Majel Barrett, the cool and rational female first officer of the USS Enterprise under the command of Captain Christopher Pike, was a woman referred to as Number One.  Of course that was only for one episode, the original Star Trek pilot that was rejected by NBC.

Interestingly, Number One’s real name will be withheld and will not be revealed until towards the end of the first season.

We’re unsure as to why that particular detail would be secret.  One suggestion is that it’s a character that we’ve heard of at some point throughout Star Trek canon, and that there is a relevant plot twist around that detail.

Fuller Explains The Origin of ‘Number One’

Quoting Bryan Fuller; “When we introduce our protagonist, she is called ‘Number One’ in honor of Majel Barrett’s character in the original pilot. And as we were first talking about the series, talking to CBS, we said initially we will only call this character Number One.”

Speculation About the Lt Commander

Could this mean that upon her introduction Number One is already commander of the USS Discovery NCC-1031 but will soon take over to captain the ship (perhaps while maintaining the rank of Lieutenant Commander)?

Italicized texts is unconfirmed and/or speculation

New Alien Character Revealed in Star Trek Discovery

Aliens of Star Trek

Saru, Member of New Species to be Featured in Star Trek Discovery

There’s a new alien in town, and his/her/its name is Saru.

Bryan Fuller recently revealed some minor details about a new alien character named Saru that will be featured in the upcoming Star Trek: Discovery tv series.  No details are known about what the species looks like or whether or not Saru will be a member of the USS Discovery crew.

Who is Saru?

USS Discovery - Aliens
Is this part of Saru’s makeup? All we know Saru is from a new species.

We don’t know – yet.  When asked to describe one of the new alien species in Star Trek Discovery, rather than respond directly about the species, Bryan Fuller briefly described a specific person from a new alien species according to DenOfGeek.  “It’s a character named Saru who has… a wide… it’s a character named Saru.”

That’s not a whole lot of details; barely even a teaser.  We’ll talk more about Saru as additional details are revealed.

Star Trek Discovery to Have Female Lead

Discovery’s Female Lead

It’s official.  CBS and Bryan Fuller have confirmed that Star Trek: Discovery will be lead by a female.  But there’s a catch!  The lead character is human female; but she is not a captain. Rather, she will be a Lieutenant Commander – “with caveats”.

Fuller stated “the story that is fascinating for me is, we’ve seen six series from captain’s points of view…”.  He followed up by saying “to see different characters from different perspectives, we thought it would give us different contexts.”  It most certainly will.  Every Star Trek series has focused around either a captain or a commander (in DS9, Sisko started off as a commander and was promoted to captain).

“In order to understand something that is so completely alien from her, she must first understand herself,” Fuller said. “That’s part of our journey on this planet to get along, and that’s part of our journey in this first season.”

We don’t yet know anything about who will act the main lead as she hasn’t been cast yet.  Bryan stated “we don’t know what level of diversity she will be” which may suggest that the specific ethnicity of the leading character hasn’t been defined in the story.

Set 10 Years Before Kirk’s Mission

Star Trek Discovery is set 10 years before Captain Kirk's 5-year mission
Star Trek Discovery is set 10 years before Captain Kirk’s 5-year mission

Bryan Fuller also confirmed that Star Trek: Discovery will take place 10 years before Captain Kirk’s 5-year mission.  This is a lot closer to the original series than most fans had thought.  It also explains why the USS Discovery seems familiar to the time period.

There’s a lot of Trek history in and around that timeframe.  When asked if he was open to familiar characters that we know of in that time, Fuller responded by saying “absolutely”. But he then followed up saying that first season will focus on new characters.

What’s Star Trek Discovery About?

Download the 3D USS Discovery app for your Android and move the Discovery around using your fingers
Download the 3D USS Discovery app for your Android and move the NCC-1031 around using your fingers

Well, we still really don’t know.  What we do know is that there’s an incident or event in Star Trek history that had been talked about in either the shows or the movies (update: it’s referenced in Star Trek: The Original Series) but had not been explored.  Its in this setting that Star Trek Discovery will exist.  It’s not the Kobiyashi Maru, it’s not set during, nor is it about the Romulan War (though Bryan Fuller hinted that this was close), and Section 31 isn’t the focus of the show.  In fact, the most juicy tidbit of details that we have is that Amanda Grayson (Spock’s mother) will “maybe” fit into the Star Trek Discovery story, but not be a central part of show.  “She’s not a central part of the show, but we love that character,”

Oh, and did we mention it’ll be during the Klingon Wars?

While there will be a 13-episode season long story arc, Star Trek: Discover will also feature closed-end stories with each weekly chapter.  As a long time Star Trek fan, episodic shows meant that social issues and stories could be dealt with and often resolved within a single episode.  No need to catch up with previous episodes – just start wherever, watch and enjoy.  Fuller stated that “each episode is a chapter, within each chapter will be a beginning, middle & end.”

We also know that Star Trek Discovery is slated to be a combo of lighter tones and darker tones.  Fuller says there may be slightly more graphic content and language. Standards not as strict for CBS All Access and Fuller is going to play a bit with that aspect of the Star Trek formula.  This Star Trek fan hopes he doesn’t take the darker tones too far as Trek has always been about optimism and an enlightened future.

Star Trek Discovery Casting

CBS also confirmed that casting for the new Star Trek series is still under way.  That means if Discovery is set to start filming in September, they need to get moving as September starts in just a few weeks.

What we do know is that Star Trek Discovery will feature and see a lot more aliens in cast than in past shows.  Fuller says that the series will uphold tradition of diverse cast, as has each previous incarnation of Star Trek.

New Aliens, Updates to Old Favorites

USS Discovery - Captain AAA
Just who or what is this unknown creature?

There will be new aliens, more aliens on the crew, and some thoughtful tweaks and changes to alien species we’ve seen before.  No word on which specific species of aliens Bryan was talking about, though it’s highly likely that we’ll see Klingons given the Klingon Wars.

Star Trek Series’ First Gay Character

Sulu was a master at fencing - and enhancing light sparkle from his skin
Sulu; master of fencing, lord of sweat shimmer

While Star Trek Beyond brought Sulu out of the closet, no openly gay character has ever been a mainstay of any Star Trek series.  “Absolutely we’re having a gay character”, said Bryan Fuller when asked if Star Trek: Discovery would feature an LGBTQ crew character.  No mention of which character it’ll be, or if it’ll be the leading female role.

Star Trek Discover Makeup Test Reveal

USS Discovery - Aliens

Yesterday, Star Trek: Discovery producer Bryan Fuller revealed a makeup test in an image he posted to twitter.

As the new Star Trek series daws closer, we’re beginning to get more details about the TV show, but still little is known about the crew. The question now is whether or not this makeup test is for a USS Discovery crew member, for a recurring character, or just the first episode. And is it Andorian or a different as-yet unseen alien species.

I’ll bring you more as soon as I find out.

Updated: Is this possibly the makeup for the alien character referred to as ‘Saru’?

Star Trek Discovery Announcement on August 10th TCA

It’s being reported that we may finally get answers about the crew of the USS Discovery and the actors that will be playing them.

Crew Announcement

On August 10th, the Television Critics Association (TCA) will feature CBS, creators of the new Star Trek show. The TCA is responsible for the dissemination of television show news and press releases, so it’s likely that CBS will make some official Discovery announcement at that time.

We’ll bring the news to you first.

Director Announced for First Episode of Star Trek: Discovery

Director of First Episode of Star Trek: Discovery

David Semel has been selected as first director a Star Trek Discovery episode.  StarTrek.com confirmed earlier this week stating “Semel is adept at both first episodes/pilots and sci-fi/fantasy.”  It also went on to list a number of the shows that Semel has previously directed.  “His pilots include those for Madam Secretary, Code Black, Person of Interest, Intelligence, Legends, American Dreams, Heroes and No Ordinary Family, as well as The Man in the High Castle and the upcoming shows Pure Genius and Goliath.”  In addition to “Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Roswell, Angel and My Own Worst Enemy”