“I think we are acutely aware of the legacy…there’s no whimsy in anyone’s commitment.”
Trekkies and Trekkers can rejoice! After a decade of being off the air, the Star Trek franchise has a brand new series coming this fall to television! This past week at SDCC 2017, fans were treated to a cast and writers panel for the new show, Star Trek: Discovery. Set in time before the original series, the show will follow the voyages of Starfleet on their missions to discover new worlds and new life forms. One Starfleet officer who must learn that to truly understand all things alien, you must first understand yourself. The series will feature a new ship and new characters while embracing the same ideology and hope for the future that inspired a generation of dreamers and doers. Star Trek: Discovery is produced by CBS Television Studios in association with Alex Kurtzman’s Secret Hideout, Bryan Fuller’s Living Dead Guy Productions and Roddenberry Entertainment. Alex Kurtzman, Bryan Fuller, Heather Kadin, Gretchen J. Berg & Aaron Harberts, Akiva Goldsman, Rod Roddenberry and Trevor Roth serve as executive producers.
Cast members Sonequa Martin-Green (“First Officer Michael Burnham”), Jason Isaacs (“Captain Gabriel Lorca”), Doug Jones (“Lt. Saru”), Shazad Latif (“Lt. Ash Tyler”), Mary Wiseman (“Cadet Sylvia Tilly”), Anthony Rapp (“Lt. Paul Stamets”) and James Frain (“Ambassador Sarek”) participated in the group panel. They were joined by executive producers Alex Kurtzman, Gretchen J. Berg, Aaron Harberts, Heather Kadin and Akiva Goldsman, and Rainn Wilson (“Harry Mudd”) provided moderation. A brand new series trailer was unveiled during the discussion, leaving fans excited for the new generation of Federation explorers. Afterwards, the entire group gathered for a press conference to answer questions about the upcoming show.
When the panel was asked what their favorite scenes to film are so far, Mary Wiseman piped up and said
“There was a moment where a bunch of us rip down a hallway, and Akiva was there and said okay, now we gotta run and…I didn’t realize it was going to be six hours of running at a dead sprint…!”
Someone in the audience mentioned that Star Trek: Enterprise alum Jonathan Frakes will be directing an episode in the new series, and Jason Isaacs was quick to compliment him, saying
“He’s also very finely tuned to the nuances of what the actors are doing as a director, and it’s a joy.”
Inevitably, the talk turned to the sought after Captain’s chair, and Doug Jones shared a story in which they were waiting to shoot a scene and
“It happened so early and fast and I wasn’t expecting it. I said, I get to put my ass in this chair?”
The focus on diversity in the new series has been a hot topic even among the fans, and someone asked Sonequa Martin-Green about how she felt being passed the baton from Nichelle Nichols. She became emotional as she replied
“I certainly stand on Nichelle’s shoulders, and I think all of us stand on the shoulders of the innovation in the Star Trek canon and the progression and how this is the story of universality and coming together and really understanding that you really are one..”
Executive producer Alex Kurtzman added that
“I think first and foremost, the defining factor of Roddenberry’s vision is the optimistic view of the future. And the idea that he envisioned a world where all species, all races, came together not just to make our world better but to make all worlds better. I think that that’s something that can never be lost.”
Another person in the audience asked Sonequa what the differences were between The Walking Dead and Star Trek: Discovery, to which she answered
“It’s a different backdrop for sure, but I think the complexities of the stories and the dynamics of the relationships – honestly there’s this idea that we explore that’s one of my favorites that we explore on the show, which is acculturation isn’t assimilation.”
Finally, when asked what the challenges were in bringing a big screen feel to a television series, Alex stated that
“We got a lot of questions about why we delayed it so much, and the answer is that we knew we were going to push the technology to a place that took time. It takes time to build a world. It takes time to build a world right…The line between television and movies is blurred, it’s nonexistent now and so the show has to look like the movie, especially if we’re asking people to pay for it, it has to define itself.”
This looks to be quite the exciting new chapter in the massively popular science fiction franchise! We’ll definitely be tuning in to see if Star Trek: Discovery lives up to the hype, but will you? Share with us below!