New Discovery Teaser
CBS released a 60-second teaser trailer for Star Trek: Discovery on January 31, 2017. In it we get a number of goodies to drool over, including: <click any link below to jump>
Klingon set design and construction, props, a Starfleet uniform, video display screen including an apparent new class of starship, the USS Shenzhou bridge, something that’s potentially VR, alien, or robot, what may be a diagram of the USS Discovery’s bridge, a possible re-write of Trek history, what may be Klingon uniforms, and other random show components. We’re going to dissect the video, give your our thoughts on it.
If you haven’t seen the Star Trek Discovery January 2017 Teaser Trailer yet, we recommend that you watch it after reading this article.
Klingon Ship Interior is Featured in the Teaser
Some of you may remember when a series of Star Trek Discovery concept art images were accidentally released onto the Internet. (A Google image search brings some up) Those images are the creation of Mark Worthington, set designer. The renderings first surfaced around summer of 2016 so it’s likely changes to the sets they represent have happened. However there’s at least one thing that appears to have undergone few modifications since then.
We believe the below image from the teaser was taken during construction of a Klingon ship. We can see three dark curved beams. Then just slightly left of center we see a brown wooden curved beam in an opposite direction.
Also above, we also see a series of unfinished stairs. It’s important to note that there is design to these stairs. They’re not purely utilitarian for construction purposes. There’s also a large area open to the section below, which can easily be filled in during post-production using green-screen.
Now compare that to the below image by Mark Worthington. It depicts the Klingon ship. We’ve animated and highlighted curved areas that we believe represent the aforementioned pillars in the image above. The two thinner inner curves are the brown wooden curves pictured above. The thicker outer curves are the darker curved beams.
Also note the stylized stair cases which nearly match up with the image above. We’re highly confident that the above image is set construction based on the rendering depicted below of a Klingon ship interior.
In case we need even further proof, here’s another picture of the same set but from a different angle and time of construction. We can see that the three darker pillars on the left and three on the right form a mirrored view, just like in the rendering above.
Here’s that same set, further along in the construction phase. It’s more enclosed here and likely nearing its completion. We tried touching up the image to get a better look at the interior, but there wasn’t enough information within the video to get a clear shot.
We get a slight look at the new uniforms for Starfleet members aboard the USS Discovery and presumably the USS Shenzhou.
In our first image, we can see that this specific uniform appears to feature gold colour atop of blue. The blue used is very Star Trek Enterprise-esque. Of note is the collar at the top – much more formal than Enterprise uniforms, more in line with Star Trek movies. We can only see one collar here. Gold trimming encircles the arms and zipper, and the chevron is also gold plated.
The chevron takes on the same design as the newly-updated Star Trek Discovery logo, however with a detail addition at its center. This specific insignia design is for Operations, so it’s possibly an engineer’s uniform we’re looking at here, though it could also be either security or tactical.
Here’s a closer view of the collar on the new uniforms for Star Trek Discovery. Once again, we only get to see the collar on the officer’s left side – the right isn’t visible or doesn’t exist.
Below we’ve put together an edited image from a series of video frames to capture the uniform a bit more. We’re really starting to wonder if this is a single-side collar uniform, or if it’s just blocked from view in all frames. In any event, it’s a sharp collar, reminiscent of a current-day dress shirt.
Separate to the uniform, we notice the skin colour of this actor. We do not feel that this actor is any of the announced cast so far for Discovery. It’s either a to-be-announced cast member, or is an extra on the series.
Possible Star Trek History Rewrite
We want to take a moment and talk about the image below. In the Discovery teaser trailer, it speaks of Gene Roddenberry’s first three written words: “STAR TREK is…” and hints that Discovery will continue that sentence. The thing is, that sentence has already been finished – it already happened. Star Trek has gone to air, and in many incarnations. Trek history has been written.
Again, we already know what Star Trek is and what it means. But this seems to suggest that they’re about to change things so dramatically that we may be looking at a do-over. Obviously this wouldn’t go over well for many Star Trek fans, so perhaps it’s just marketing mumbo-jumbo that we shouldn’t read too much into.
The USS Shenzhou Bridge
Next up, we get an ever-so-slight glimps of the bridge layout for the USS Shenzhou under the command of Captain Georgiou, played by Michelle Yeoh. The letters “nzhou bridge” are just visible at the top left of the below screen capture.
There’s also a series of images of the USS Discovery here too. We believe this to be an older design of the Discovery as Bryan Fuller said the ship’s design has been updated since the original Star Trek Discovery test footage trailer release. These images don’t look all that different from that test footage, except the blue engine at the rear of the warp nacelles and a few other small details.
Unfortuately there’s not much we can gather from this very quick shot of the Shenzhou bridge design. We can tell that, in typical Starfleet fashion, it has a circular or round design when viewed from above. Below is the best we could clean it up.
Later in the video, we also get a visual representation of a Starfleet starship. There’s no specific indication as to which ship this may be. For now we will assume it is not the USS Discovery, but that it may actually be the USS Shenzhou. Here’s a screen capture of that starship.
Here’s a closer view of whatever Starfleet starship this may be. Again, we think it’s the USS Shenzhou, but can’t be certain. In the image below, note that the area where a bridge would traditionally be located doesn’t protrude from the top of the ship (we’re presumably looking top down here). Generally, Starfleet ship bridges are circular in nature because of the shape of the protruding semi-sphere atop the saucer section. This doesn’t have that – just square and rectangular sections.
But on the other hand, there’s this….
Robot – VR – Alien?
This thing below – we’ll admit that we don’t know what to make of it. Frankly we’re really hoping that it’s not like the silly Romulan drone ship VR interface like the one seen in Star Trek Enterprise. Given that we’re not seeing this from the front, we’re going to assume they’re hiding something from us. Perhaps this is part of an elaborate alien helmet. There’s also a possibility that it’s part of a robot costume, as we’ve been told by Bryan Fuller that robots will be in the show.
USS Discovery Bridge Diagram
Next up, we have a construction diagram for a bridge. It’s likely either the layout for the USS Discovery or a closer view of the USS Shenzhou’s bridge. We feel this is the Discovery bridge as it looks different from the Shenzhou bridge schematic shown earlier in the teaser. There’s no reason why the Shenzhou would have an old and new construction diagram on set.
The construction schematic appears to also call for the ship hallways outside of the bridge to also be constructed. In The Next Generation and Voyager, both ships had turbolifts to get to different sections of the ship, Captain’s ready-room and the meeting room aside. Discovery doesn’t look like it’ll have a turbolift that directly exits onto the bridge unless those two sections to either side of the exit are turbolift entrances.
Starfleet Vessel Bridge
Now that we’ve looked at those bridge schematics, lets have a look at the below image take from the Discovery teaser. In the background, we see the bridge of a ship. From the image alone, it’s not possible to tell which ship this bridge belongs to. Given the style, we can confidently state that it is a Starfleet vessel, so it’s likely either the USS Discovery or the USS Shenzhou.
There is also a member of Starfleet that can be seen in the background. It’s too difficult to make out what their uniform looks like, but it’s most likely the same design as was shown earlier in an image above. It’s also unclear if the green surface towards the bottom-left is the ground, or if it’s something closer in the foreground obscuring the flooring of that area.
Alien Species Uniform, Likely Klingon
Here is the only good view we get throughout the teaser of what we may be seeing in terms of quality of wardrobe.
It’s quite possible these are uniforms that will be worn by the primary Klingon cast members. While they are a departure from what we’ve seen of the Klingons in Star Trek (with the possible exception of Into Darkness), we’d be happy to see Klingons in these. Or some other alien species. The quality of work looks very good.
Just before we finish up, there’s this little piece that we’re trying to figure out. It’s taken from about 32 seconds into the teaser. There’s someone that appears to have a blinking head. Our first impression was that this may be a robot, but they clearly have a human hand. So it’s more likely that this is a piece of head gear technology that will appear in the series.
What the purpose of this head gear is remains a mystery.
The Captain’s Chair
Last but not least is the captain’s chair. We won’t bother analyzing this because we figure it speaks for itself. But it’s interesting that this is the closing shot when we know the main character of Star Trek Discovery is Lieutenant Commander Rainsford, not a Captain. So why show the chair at all? Perhaps this hints that Rainsford will take on a much larger role than her designation initially suggests. A lieutenant commander “with caveats” as Bryan Fuller once put it.
And for reference, here’s the same chair earlier in it’s construction.
So what do you think? Do you disagree with any of our interpretations, or have you found something we’ve missed? Let us know in the comments section at the bottom.