Star Trek Latest News http://startrek.com Star Trek Latest News Wed, 20 Sep 2017 11:24:28 -0700 info@startrek.com (Star Trek Team) en <![CDATA[The Discovery Premiere - A Night I Won't Soon Forget]]> http://www.startrek.com/article/the-discovery-premiere-a-night-i-wont-soon-forget

When “Encounter at Farpoint” first aired, I watched it in my Grandmother's kitchen in South Jersey. “Let him go watch his program,” she said, as the rest of the extended family sat in the living room. Now, a lifetime later, I saw the next chapter in Star Trek, Discovery, unveiled at its world premiere in the Cinerama Dome at Hollywood's Arclight Theater. A night I won't soon forget. 

I think the enormity of it all hit me when I was on the red (okay, blue) carpet, recording audio for ENGAGE: The Official Star Trek Podcast. Every actor, writer and producer I spoke to seemed like they were part of a circle of friends who knew a great story, and decided they were going to let you in on it.

Star Trek: Discovery, Heather Kadin

Some of them, like producer Heather Kadin, said she'd been working on Star Trek: Discovery for over two years. More than anything else, they just wanted to share. 

What grabbed me was the way this new and modern show has bent over backwards to respect the fifty years of franchise history. The “first fans” of Star Trek, Bjo and John Trimble, were some of the earlier guests to arrive, and a small collection of revelers in costume off to the side of the theater began shouting their names.

Star Trek: Discovery, Bjo & John Trimbles

The Trimbles initiated the first letter-writing campaign in the late 1960s which kept Star Trek on the air, thus granting the show a third season, meeting the threshold for rerun syndication - a domino effect that led us to today. Now, five decades later, they were taking selfies with young Trek fans.

Star Trek: Discovery, Mary Chieffo, Wilson Cruz

This respect for the elders was matched by enthusiasm for tomorrow. That same cosplay crowd went wild when Mary Chieffo, in an elegant green gown, and looking nothing like her Klingon character L'Rell, made her way down the carpet. In a way, it didn't make sense. No one had seen the show yet. For all they knew, they'd hate it. It is not logical to judge something before you've examined it yourself! But Chieffo has already been mixing it up with fans, talking about learning Klingon and her radical makeup. Her passion for this project is obvious. 

Star Trek: Discovery

I was privileged to stand just a few feet from a photo op of the whole Discovery gang posed with Nichelle Nichols and William Shatner.

Star Trek: Discovery, Nichelle Nichols, Sonequa Martin-Green, William Shatner

Moments later I spoke with Sonequa Martin-Green, who told me that that was the first time she'd met the original Uhura face to face. “This is yours now,” she told her. “Enjoy the ride.” It was another great example of the old and new coming together.

Inside (where I sat next to a gal who said “Wait, are you the podcast guy? I follow you on Twitter!”) a slew of producers and actors came onstage for a quick bow before screening the first two episodes. This show is huge and very modern, but still instantly recognizable as Trek. And when we first saw some closing credits, I couldn't tell if I'd seen only one or both episodes. I'd completely lost all sense of time. Traveling at warp can be disorienting. And I can't wait to take another ride. 

Jordan Hoffman is also the host of Engage: The Official Star Trek Podcast, from CBS Radio, CBS Local Digital Media and CBS Consumer Products. Engage is available via Play.it/StarTrekiTunes and StarTrek.com, with new episodes released weekly. Hoffman is also a writer, critic and lapsed filmmaker living in New York City. His work can be seen on Film.com, ScreenCrush and Badass Digest. On his BLOG, Jordan has reviewed all 727 Trek episodes and films, most of the comics and some of the novels. 

]]>

When “Encounter at Farpoint” first aired, I watched it in my Grandmother's kitchen in South Jersey. “Let him go watch his program,” she said, as the rest of the extended family sat in the living room. Now, a lifetime later, I saw the next chapter in Star Trek, Discovery, unveiled at its world premiere in the Cinerama Dome at Hollywood's Arclight Theater. A night I won't soon forget. 

I think the enormity of it all hit me when I was on the red (okay, blue) carpet, recording audio for ENGAGE: The Official Star Trek Podcast. Every actor, writer and producer I spoke to seemed like they were part of a circle of friends who knew a great story, and decided they were going to let you in on it.

Star Trek: Discovery, Heather Kadin

Some of them, like producer Heather Kadin, said she'd been working on Star Trek: Discovery for over two years. More than anything else, they just wanted to share. 

What grabbed me was the way this new and modern show has bent over backwards to respect the fifty years of franchise history. The “first fans” of Star Trek, Bjo and John Trimble, were some of the earlier guests to arrive, and a small collection of revelers in costume off to the side of the theater began shouting their names.

Star Trek: Discovery, Bjo & John Trimbles

The Trimbles initiated the first letter-writing campaign in the late 1960s which kept Star Trek on the air, thus granting the show a third season, meeting the threshold for rerun syndication - a domino effect that led us to today. Now, five decades later, they were taking selfies with young Trek fans.

Star Trek: Discovery, Mary Chieffo, Wilson Cruz

This respect for the elders was matched by enthusiasm for tomorrow. That same cosplay crowd went wild when Mary Chieffo, in an elegant green gown, and looking nothing like her Klingon character L'Rell, made her way down the carpet. In a way, it didn't make sense. No one had seen the show yet. For all they knew, they'd hate it. It is not logical to judge something before you've examined it yourself! But Chieffo has already been mixing it up with fans, talking about learning Klingon and her radical makeup. Her passion for this project is obvious. 

Star Trek: Discovery

I was privileged to stand just a few feet from a photo op of the whole Discovery gang posed with Nichelle Nichols and William Shatner.

Star Trek: Discovery, Nichelle Nichols, Sonequa Martin-Green, William Shatner

Moments later I spoke with Sonequa Martin-Green, who told me that that was the first time she'd met the original Uhura face to face. “This is yours now,” she told her. “Enjoy the ride.” It was another great example of the old and new coming together.

Inside (where I sat next to a gal who said “Wait, are you the podcast guy? I follow you on Twitter!”) a slew of producers and actors came onstage for a quick bow before screening the first two episodes. This show is huge and very modern, but still instantly recognizable as Trek. And when we first saw some closing credits, I couldn't tell if I'd seen only one or both episodes. I'd completely lost all sense of time. Traveling at warp can be disorienting. And I can't wait to take another ride. 

Jordan Hoffman is also the host of Engage: The Official Star Trek Podcast, from CBS Radio, CBS Local Digital Media and CBS Consumer Products. Engage is available via Play.it/StarTrekiTunes and StarTrek.com, with new episodes released weekly. Hoffman is also a writer, critic and lapsed filmmaker living in New York City. His work can be seen on Film.com, ScreenCrush and Badass Digest. On his BLOG, Jordan has reviewed all 727 Trek episodes and films, most of the comics and some of the novels. 

]]>
the-discovery-premiere-a-night-i-wont-soon-forget Wed, 20 Sep 2017 11:24:28 -0700
<![CDATA[Discovery's World Premiere]]> http://www.startrek.com/article/discoverys-world-premiere

This is the kind of night it was: William Shatner and Nichelle Nichols joined the cast and producers of Star Trek: Discovery for a group photo on the blue carpet at the Discovery world premiere, held Tuesday at the iconic Arclight Cinerama Dome in Hollywood. Standing on either side of Sonequa Martin-Green, Shatner and Nichols literally passed the torch to yet another generation. Special guests, spouses, friends, TV crews, cameramen, fans… everyone oohed and aah-ed and soaked in the moment, so memorable, cool, fun and historic it was.

For more than 90 minutes before and after that remarkable moment, Trek talent brand-spanking new, classic and everything in between walked the carpet and spoke to StarTrek.com:

Sonequa Martin-Green (Michael Burnham)

star trek discovery, sonequa martin-green, michael burnham

“The secret is out of the can!” the energetic actress enthused. “Honestly, I’m really excited to talk about the story. We’ve had to talk about a lot of things and sort of tiptoe around it because we don’t want to tease it or spoil it, but now I’m really excited to talk about the story, because I think it’s really courageous.” 

Akiva Goldsman (Discovery Executive Producer)

star trek discovery, akiva goldsman

“Discovery is ready to be born. It’s unlike any Star Trek you’ve ever seen, in that it is so fundamentally and essentially Star Trek, in a way that I’m terribly proud of. And yet it brings with it the scope and the breadth of a movie. That’s pretty exciting.”

Doug Jones (Discovery's Saru)

star trek discovery, doug jones, saru

Addressing whether he prefers people recognizing him or the anonymity provided by the many prosthetics-heavy characters he’s portrayed, the actor said, “I’m 57. I’ve been through 30 years of an acting career. I’ve had moments like this. I’ve had moments of going to Starbucks and nobody knows who I am. I’ve enjoyed both. So, when it’s announced who I am and why I’m there, I can do the celebrity thing. It’s great fun, but I don’t count on it. It’s not who I am. I want a minute at Starbucks having my mocha and talking to a friend in peace. That’s me, too.”

William Shatner (The Original Series)

star trek discovery, william shatner

“They asked me to come down and give a little history,” he said. “So, here I am. It’s understanding the anticipation of opening night. Even though it was filmed months ago, and it’s existed now in its final form for a while, it is opening night. Now, you and I and the rest of the world are going to look at it and say, ‘Oh, we like it or we don’t like.’ Opinion is going to be formed this evening as if the curtain went up. And that’s fun to be a part of.”  

Kirsten Beyer (Discovery Writer)

“Nineteen months later… it’s totally surreal," Beyer said, "but I’m also so excited for people to finally see it. I think they’re going to be blown away?” By what? “How current it actually feels, while at the same time totally being Star Trek.”   

Jeff Russo (Discovery Composer) 

star trek discovery, jeff russo, composer

Acknowledging the challenge of paying homage to the music that Trek fans know and love while creating fresh music as well, “It’s difficult,” he said.  “It’s difficult. I did a good amount of research and listening to all the themes, because it’s part of our world and part of our universe. But what I came to, for our main title theme, the importance was to go back to the beginning. And I posed this question to the producers. I was like, ‘Look, I know we want to write a new theme, and I really want to do that, but I feel like I need to tip my hat to Alexander Courage’s original theme.’ And not the middle part of it, which is the main part of it, but the big emotional moment that happens during that theme, which is the big fanfare. Alex Kurtzman said, ‘Absolutely, 100 percent do that.’ So, starting from there I worked backwards. I thought, ‘How can I fit that in? how is that going to work?’ And I wanted to make the middle sound a little more modern, a little more like what we might do today in a movie, but not be like the Star Trek movies. So, it was kind of a difficult thing. Finally, I wrote something and presented it to them, and they loved it.”  

Shazad Latif (Discovery's Ash Tyler)

star trek discovery, shazad latif, ash tyler

Among the highlights of his Discovery experience so far? Standing on the transporter. “It’s pretty incredible,” he raved. “It’s really weird because it’s all pretending. You know you’re not really transporting. It’s kind of weird acting. It’s actually one of the hardest things to act.”

Alex Kurtzman (Discovery Executive Producer)

star trek discovery, alex kurtzman

“I never could have imagined that we’d be showing this at the Cinerama Dome,” the writer-producer-co-creator said. “We definitely did set out to blur the line between television and movies, which television is doing now anyway. So, in building this universe, in building this version of Trek, we all wanted it to feel like a massive cinematic experience.” 

Bjo and John Trimble (The Couple That Saved Star Trek)

Star Trek Discovery, Bjo & John Trimble

“It’s wonderful to be here, amazing,” John told us. “I just wish I had a miniscule piece of the action!” Bjo echoed his comment. “Pretty much that,” she said. “Who knew? No one could have predicted this. They thought we were a bunch of crackpots…” John interrupted. “Well, we were a bunch of crackpots, but we were nice crackpots.” Bjo smiled and added, “That’s true. That’s what we were. But here we are, out in Hollywood, at this premiere. Amazing.”

Ted Sullivan (Discovery Writer)

“I just want people to see the actual show, so that they don’t have to theorize about it, fantasize about it, be conspirator-alizing about it,” Sullivan explained. “I just want the show to be seen because I’m so proud of it. Everyone associated with it is so proud of it. I think when people see it, they will realize why there really needs to be Star Trek right now. I’m so excited to be telling this story.”

Mary Wiseman (Discovery's Sylvia Tilly)

Star Trek Discovery, Mary Wiseman, Sylvia Tilly

The actress, much like her character, Tilly, is a newbie. “I get to live so close to my own experience,” Wiseman said. That makes it really easy. Some crazy sci-fi thing happens and I’m like, ‘Oh, my God! That’s so cool!’ And that ‘s how it feels. Plus, I have really warm, wonderful, capable people around me, which makes that even better.”  

John Billingsley (Enterprise)

Star Trek Discovery, John Billingsley

“We had a premiere for Enterprise,” he recalled. “It was at the Paramount lot. Everyone was so full of joy… for about 17 days! I would have no advice to give (the Discovery) cast because every animal is so different. You just can’t know, is it a hit? Is it a flop? Just enjoy it, whatever the hell it is.”

Anthony Montgomery (Enterprise)

Star Trek Discovery, Anthony Montgomery

“I’m rooting for them,” he said. “You know me, I’m always rooting for the best for everyone and for everything. I’ve seen what everyone else has so far, just the trailers. But I think this should be a very fun ride.”

Heather Kadin (Discovery Executive Producer)

Star Trek Discovery, Heather Kadin

“I just want the audience to bear with us and know that because we’re telling this story in a way we’ve never told a Trek story before, one story over 15 episodes, that by the end people are going to feel like, ‘Oh, they knew what they were doing. They tied everything up.’ I want people to know we’ve got them, and I want them to enjoy it.”

Other Favorite Blue Carpet Moments

Star Trek Discovery, Mary Chieffo, Kenneth Mitchell

Discovery's Mary Chieffo (L'Rell) & Kenneth Mitchell (Kol)

 

Star Trek Discovery, Aaron Harberts, Jonathan Frakes

Discovery Executive Producers Aaron Harberts & Gretchen J. Berg with The Next Generation's Jonathan Frakes

Star Trek Discovery, Glenn Hetrick, Neville Page

Discovery's Creature Designers Glenn Hetrick & Neville Page

Star Trek Discovery, Susan Nimoy

Julie Nimoy, daughter of Leonard Nimoy

Star Trek Discovery, Michelle Yeoh, Akiva Goldsman

Discovery's Michelle Yeoh (Philippa Georgiou) with Executive Producer Akiva Goldsman

Following the blue carpet festivities, it was into the screening, where an energized crowd was introduced to the producers and cast. Martin-Green spoke briefly, noting an inscription on a plaque aboard the U.S.S. Shenzhou. “It says, ‘All existing things are one,’” Martin-Green explained. “And we ARE one, and we are here together now.” She added, “Let’s be in it together and enjoy the ride.”

Star Trek Discovery, Nichelle Nichols, Sonequa Martin-Green, William Shatner

Following the screening, StarTrek.com talked for a moment with Nichelle Nichols. She “loved” the experience of helping Discovery launch and was “proud” to see Martin-Green up there on the big screen. “I felt,” Nichols said warmly, “like that was me up there.” Earlier, on the blue carpet Nichols told Martin-Green, "It's yours now. Enjoy the ride."

Premiere Party

And then it was on to the after-party at the Dream Hotel just a couple of block away. Fans cheered as the Trek stars arrived and entered the event, and StarTrek.com was inside to capture additional moments. Check out our pics:

Star Trek Discovery, Michelle Yeoh, Ted Sullivan

Discovery's Michelle Yeoh (Philippa Georgiou) with Discovery writer Ted Sullivan

 

Star Trek Discovery, Sonequa Martin-Green, Shazad Latif

Discovery's Sonequa Martin-Green (Michael Burnhman) & Shazad Latif (Ash Tyler)

Star Trek Discovery, Mary Wiseman, Shazad Latif

Discovery's Mary Wiseman (Sylvia Tilly) & Shazad Latif (Ash Tyler)

Star Trek Discovery, Nana Visitor

Deep Space Nine's Nana Visitor

Voyager's Roxann Dawson, Enterprise's Connor Trinneer & Deep Space Nine's Nicole de Boer

Star Trek Discovery, Wilson Cruz, Dr. Hugh Culber

Discovery's Wilson Cruz (Dr. Hugh Culber)

Star Trek Discovery, Jason Isaacs, Gabriel Lorca

Discovery's Jason Isaacs (Gabriel Lorca)

Star Trek Discovery, Mary Chieffo, Kenneth Mitchell

Discovery's Kenneth Mitchell (Kol) & Mary Chieffo (L'Rell)

Star Trek Discovery, Anthony Rapp, Paul Stamets

Discovery's Anthony Rapp (Paul Stamets)

Star Trek: Discovery will debut September 24 on CBS All Access in the U.S. and Space Channel in Canada. The series will premiere on Netflix in the rest of the world on September 25.

Star Trek Discovery CBS All Access

Star Trek Discovery Space Channel CraveTV

Star Trek Discovery Netflix

]]>

This is the kind of night it was: William Shatner and Nichelle Nichols joined the cast and producers of Star Trek: Discovery for a group photo on the blue carpet at the Discovery world premiere, held Tuesday at the iconic Arclight Cinerama Dome in Hollywood. Standing on either side of Sonequa Martin-Green, Shatner and Nichols literally passed the torch to yet another generation. Special guests, spouses, friends, TV crews, cameramen, fans… everyone oohed and aah-ed and soaked in the moment, so memorable, cool, fun and historic it was.

For more than 90 minutes before and after that remarkable moment, Trek talent brand-spanking new, classic and everything in between walked the carpet and spoke to StarTrek.com:

Sonequa Martin-Green (Michael Burnham)

star trek discovery, sonequa martin-green, michael burnham

“The secret is out of the can!” the energetic actress enthused. “Honestly, I’m really excited to talk about the story. We’ve had to talk about a lot of things and sort of tiptoe around it because we don’t want to tease it or spoil it, but now I’m really excited to talk about the story, because I think it’s really courageous.” 

Akiva Goldsman (Discovery Executive Producer)

star trek discovery, akiva goldsman

“Discovery is ready to be born. It’s unlike any Star Trek you’ve ever seen, in that it is so fundamentally and essentially Star Trek, in a way that I’m terribly proud of. And yet it brings with it the scope and the breadth of a movie. That’s pretty exciting.”

Doug Jones (Discovery's Saru)

star trek discovery, doug jones, saru

Addressing whether he prefers people recognizing him or the anonymity provided by the many prosthetics-heavy characters he’s portrayed, the actor said, “I’m 57. I’ve been through 30 years of an acting career. I’ve had moments like this. I’ve had moments of going to Starbucks and nobody knows who I am. I’ve enjoyed both. So, when it’s announced who I am and why I’m there, I can do the celebrity thing. It’s great fun, but I don’t count on it. It’s not who I am. I want a minute at Starbucks having my mocha and talking to a friend in peace. That’s me, too.”

William Shatner (The Original Series)

star trek discovery, william shatner

“They asked me to come down and give a little history,” he said. “So, here I am. It’s understanding the anticipation of opening night. Even though it was filmed months ago, and it’s existed now in its final form for a while, it is opening night. Now, you and I and the rest of the world are going to look at it and say, ‘Oh, we like it or we don’t like.’ Opinion is going to be formed this evening as if the curtain went up. And that’s fun to be a part of.”  

Kirsten Beyer (Discovery Writer)

“Nineteen months later… it’s totally surreal," Beyer said, "but I’m also so excited for people to finally see it. I think they’re going to be blown away?” By what? “How current it actually feels, while at the same time totally being Star Trek.”   

Jeff Russo (Discovery Composer) 

star trek discovery, jeff russo, composer

Acknowledging the challenge of paying homage to the music that Trek fans know and love while creating fresh music as well, “It’s difficult,” he said.  “It’s difficult. I did a good amount of research and listening to all the themes, because it’s part of our world and part of our universe. But what I came to, for our main title theme, the importance was to go back to the beginning. And I posed this question to the producers. I was like, ‘Look, I know we want to write a new theme, and I really want to do that, but I feel like I need to tip my hat to Alexander Courage’s original theme.’ And not the middle part of it, which is the main part of it, but the big emotional moment that happens during that theme, which is the big fanfare. Alex Kurtzman said, ‘Absolutely, 100 percent do that.’ So, starting from there I worked backwards. I thought, ‘How can I fit that in? how is that going to work?’ And I wanted to make the middle sound a little more modern, a little more like what we might do today in a movie, but not be like the Star Trek movies. So, it was kind of a difficult thing. Finally, I wrote something and presented it to them, and they loved it.”  

Shazad Latif (Discovery's Ash Tyler)

star trek discovery, shazad latif, ash tyler

Among the highlights of his Discovery experience so far? Standing on the transporter. “It’s pretty incredible,” he raved. “It’s really weird because it’s all pretending. You know you’re not really transporting. It’s kind of weird acting. It’s actually one of the hardest things to act.”

Alex Kurtzman (Discovery Executive Producer)

star trek discovery, alex kurtzman

“I never could have imagined that we’d be showing this at the Cinerama Dome,” the writer-producer-co-creator said. “We definitely did set out to blur the line between television and movies, which television is doing now anyway. So, in building this universe, in building this version of Trek, we all wanted it to feel like a massive cinematic experience.” 

Bjo and John Trimble (The Couple That Saved Star Trek)

Star Trek Discovery, Bjo & John Trimble

“It’s wonderful to be here, amazing,” John told us. “I just wish I had a miniscule piece of the action!” Bjo echoed his comment. “Pretty much that,” she said. “Who knew? No one could have predicted this. They thought we were a bunch of crackpots…” John interrupted. “Well, we were a bunch of crackpots, but we were nice crackpots.” Bjo smiled and added, “That’s true. That’s what we were. But here we are, out in Hollywood, at this premiere. Amazing.”

Ted Sullivan (Discovery Writer)

“I just want people to see the actual show, so that they don’t have to theorize about it, fantasize about it, be conspirator-alizing about it,” Sullivan explained. “I just want the show to be seen because I’m so proud of it. Everyone associated with it is so proud of it. I think when people see it, they will realize why there really needs to be Star Trek right now. I’m so excited to be telling this story.”

Mary Wiseman (Discovery's Sylvia Tilly)

Star Trek Discovery, Mary Wiseman, Sylvia Tilly

The actress, much like her character, Tilly, is a newbie. “I get to live so close to my own experience,” Wiseman said. That makes it really easy. Some crazy sci-fi thing happens and I’m like, ‘Oh, my God! That’s so cool!’ And that ‘s how it feels. Plus, I have really warm, wonderful, capable people around me, which makes that even better.”  

John Billingsley (Enterprise)

Star Trek Discovery, John Billingsley

“We had a premiere for Enterprise,” he recalled. “It was at the Paramount lot. Everyone was so full of joy… for about 17 days! I would have no advice to give (the Discovery) cast because every animal is so different. You just can’t know, is it a hit? Is it a flop? Just enjoy it, whatever the hell it is.”

Anthony Montgomery (Enterprise)

Star Trek Discovery, Anthony Montgomery

“I’m rooting for them,” he said. “You know me, I’m always rooting for the best for everyone and for everything. I’ve seen what everyone else has so far, just the trailers. But I think this should be a very fun ride.”

Heather Kadin (Discovery Executive Producer)

Star Trek Discovery, Heather Kadin

“I just want the audience to bear with us and know that because we’re telling this story in a way we’ve never told a Trek story before, one story over 15 episodes, that by the end people are going to feel like, ‘Oh, they knew what they were doing. They tied everything up.’ I want people to know we’ve got them, and I want them to enjoy it.”

Other Favorite Blue Carpet Moments

Star Trek Discovery, Mary Chieffo, Kenneth Mitchell

Discovery's Mary Chieffo (L'Rell) & Kenneth Mitchell (Kol)

 

Star Trek Discovery, Aaron Harberts, Jonathan Frakes

Discovery Executive Producers Aaron Harberts & Gretchen J. Berg with The Next Generation's Jonathan Frakes

Star Trek Discovery, Glenn Hetrick, Neville Page

Discovery's Creature Designers Glenn Hetrick & Neville Page

Star Trek Discovery, Susan Nimoy

Julie Nimoy, daughter of Leonard Nimoy

Star Trek Discovery, Michelle Yeoh, Akiva Goldsman

Discovery's Michelle Yeoh (Philippa Georgiou) with Executive Producer Akiva Goldsman

Following the blue carpet festivities, it was into the screening, where an energized crowd was introduced to the producers and cast. Martin-Green spoke briefly, noting an inscription on a plaque aboard the U.S.S. Shenzhou. “It says, ‘All existing things are one,’” Martin-Green explained. “And we ARE one, and we are here together now.” She added, “Let’s be in it together and enjoy the ride.”

Star Trek Discovery, Nichelle Nichols, Sonequa Martin-Green, William Shatner

Following the screening, StarTrek.com talked for a moment with Nichelle Nichols. She “loved” the experience of helping Discovery launch and was “proud” to see Martin-Green up there on the big screen. “I felt,” Nichols said warmly, “like that was me up there.” Earlier, on the blue carpet Nichols told Martin-Green, "It's yours now. Enjoy the ride."

Premiere Party

And then it was on to the after-party at the Dream Hotel just a couple of block away. Fans cheered as the Trek stars arrived and entered the event, and StarTrek.com was inside to capture additional moments. Check out our pics:

Star Trek Discovery, Michelle Yeoh, Ted Sullivan

Discovery's Michelle Yeoh (Philippa Georgiou) with Discovery writer Ted Sullivan

 

Star Trek Discovery, Sonequa Martin-Green, Shazad Latif

Discovery's Sonequa Martin-Green (Michael Burnhman) & Shazad Latif (Ash Tyler)

Star Trek Discovery, Mary Wiseman, Shazad Latif

Discovery's Mary Wiseman (Sylvia Tilly) & Shazad Latif (Ash Tyler)

Star Trek Discovery, Nana Visitor

Deep Space Nine's Nana Visitor

Voyager's Roxann Dawson, Enterprise's Connor Trinneer & Deep Space Nine's Nicole de Boer

Star Trek Discovery, Wilson Cruz, Dr. Hugh Culber

Discovery's Wilson Cruz (Dr. Hugh Culber)

Star Trek Discovery, Jason Isaacs, Gabriel Lorca

Discovery's Jason Isaacs (Gabriel Lorca)

Star Trek Discovery, Mary Chieffo, Kenneth Mitchell

Discovery's Kenneth Mitchell (Kol) & Mary Chieffo (L'Rell)

Star Trek Discovery, Anthony Rapp, Paul Stamets

Discovery's Anthony Rapp (Paul Stamets)

Star Trek: Discovery will debut September 24 on CBS All Access in the U.S. and Space Channel in Canada. The series will premiere on Netflix in the rest of the world on September 25.

Star Trek Discovery CBS All Access

Star Trek Discovery Space Channel CraveTV

Star Trek Discovery Netflix

]]>
discoverys-world-premiere Wed, 20 Sep 2017 00:45:35 -0700
<![CDATA[WATCH: First Officer Michael Burnham A Woman Of Two Worlds]]> http://www.startrek.com/article/watch-first-officer-michael-burnham-a-woman-of-two-worlds

CBS All Access has just released a new video revealing Michael Burnham's journey to self-discovery. Check out the Star Trek: Discovery video:

For a closer look at Star Trek: Discovery's main character, head to www.CBS.com.

Star Trek: Discovery premieres in the U.S. on CBS All Access Sunday, Sept. 24, following a broadcast premiere on the CBS Television Network.

]]>

CBS All Access has just released a new video revealing Michael Burnham's journey to self-discovery. Check out the Star Trek: Discovery video:

For a closer look at Star Trek: Discovery's main character, head to www.CBS.com.

Star Trek: Discovery premieres in the U.S. on CBS All Access Sunday, Sept. 24, following a broadcast premiere on the CBS Television Network.

]]>
watch-first-officer-michael-burnham-a-woman-of-two-worlds Tue, 19 Sep 2017 13:55:51 -0700
<![CDATA[WATCH: Behind-The-Scenes Look At Star Trek: Discovery's Artful Production]]> http://www.startrek.com/article/watch-behind-the-scenes-look-at-star-trek-discoverys-artful-production

CBS All Access has just released a new video revealing a behind-the-scenes look at Star Trek: Discovery and their artful Production. Check out the video:

To delve a little deeper into the massive production, head to www.CBS.com.

Star Trek: Discovery premieres in the U.S. on CBS All Access Sunday, Sept. 24, following a broadcast premiere on the CBS Television Network.

]]>

CBS All Access has just released a new video revealing a behind-the-scenes look at Star Trek: Discovery and their artful Production. Check out the video:

To delve a little deeper into the massive production, head to www.CBS.com.

Star Trek: Discovery premieres in the U.S. on CBS All Access Sunday, Sept. 24, following a broadcast premiere on the CBS Television Network.

]]>
watch-behind-the-scenes-look-at-star-trek-discoverys-artful-production Tue, 19 Sep 2017 11:52:41 -0700
<![CDATA[EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEWS: Discovery's Doug Jones and Shazad Latif ]]> http://www.startrek.com/article/exclusive-interviews-discoverys-doug-jones-and-shazad-latif

Doug Jones is a god in sci-fi circles. All right, maybe that’s a bit of hyperbole, but he’s a true genre favorite known for playing exotic creatures in too many sci-fi, fantasy and horror movies to count. But he had us at Buffy the Vampire Slayer, when he slayed at the Lead Gentleman, and again in Pan’s Labyrinth, when he brought to life El Fauno/Pale Man, or in the Hellboy films, where he portrayed Abe Sapien. And now, he’s playing yet another exotic character, Lt. Saru, on Star Trek: Discovery. Far less familiar to audiences – for the moment, anyway – is Shazad Latif, a British actor whose credits include Spooks, Black Mirror, The Man Who Knew Infinity and, most notably, Penny Dreadful, on which he co-starred as Dr. Henry Jekyll/Mr. Hyde. He’s also part of the Discovery cast, portraying Lt. Ash Tyler. Jones and Shazad were paired up for interviews during a recent Discovery press day. The two, for 20 minutes, chatted with a handful of journalists, including StarTrek.com, to discuss Discovery, their characters and more. Here’s what they had to say:

How well did you know Star Trek before you hooked up with Discovery?

Star Trek: Discovery, Shazad Latif

Latif: My granddad and my grandma were big fans. I grew up with mainly Next Generation, a lot of Patrick Stewart. And obviously Kirk, and Spock, and the original. I wasn't a super-fan, but I was definitely aware of the history of it, and how big it was.

Star Trek: Discovery, Doug Jones

Jones: I was born in 1960. So, that means that The Original Series was on TV, on the network when I was watching TV. That was my first experience, and I took a special liking to that tall, lanky Spock fellow. I understood his physicality, somehow. Then, of course, reruns happened almost immediately back in that era, and so when Next Generation came on, too... I'm a channel flipper, and so I'm one of those audience members that finds things because you're flipping a channel go and go, "Oh, I'll stay on this for a minute." So, that's how I stand on all the other Star Trek series. Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, Voyager and Enterprise were all because I would be like, "Oh, well here's a new one. OK, I'll watch that for a minute." And then I would get hooked on something and get to know those captains and those crews and those space ships.

What does it mean to both of you to be a part of a Star Trek show now?

Latif: To be part of that when you know it's got such a following, such a huge fan base (is exciting). And mostly for personal reasons. It’s something I can go to my great-uncle when I go visit, and say, "Look! I'm on the show you love!" And that's always stuff they can relate to, especially family members.

Jones: It's daunting to me, especially as an actor who's worn a lot of crazy makeup over my career. I've been every alien under the sun, and outside the sun for decades now, in my 30-year career. I keep getting asked, "Have you ever done anything in the Star Trek universe?" And I can finally, after 30 years ...

Latif: Shout it from the roof top.

Jones: Yeah, yeah, "Yes I am!" I understand the gravity of what this is, the legacy that this franchise has behind it, the audience that it brings with it. It's bigger than you can even fathom, so you try not to think about that while we're trying to do the job, because behind the cameras it's history and a huge audience, and there's so much.

Star Trek: Discovery, Doug Jones

Do you feel pressure, Doug, in that some people are comparing your character to Spock, to Data?

Jones: Pressure might have a negative connotation. I feel more of a responsibility. Yes, because I have been acquainted with Spock and Data already by the writers, and by anyone who has seen any previews, or any clips or whatever. Those analogies and those comparisons are already being made. I would like to think that Saru will hold his own, as his own character, and his own thing that will have his own charm and his own following, and his own legacy. Let's hope.

It's rare that anybody gets to create an alien character in Star Trek. You're starting from scratch, Doug, and in a serialized world. What does that offer you?

Jones: Right. I was very, very excited that I didn't have to dig into an already established species, and then get their quirks. That would have had some pressure behind it, like, "I better get this right, or the fans are going to hate me." This is like, "Well, no one is going to know if I'm getting it right or wrong because, it's starting right here!" Right? That's been exciting for me, that we're starting a new species, or, hopefully... I don't know if it can live on after this series because this is 10 years before The Original Series, so we'll see. It will be interesting to see what happens with him because, if this species never showed up anywhere after this in the timeline, the question remains, "What happened to the Kelpiens?" To get his backstory, and what the writers can tell me, and what physicality can come out of his look and his being, has been really fun to develop.

Star Trek: Discovery, Shazad Latif

Shazad, your character came from war and experienced war, whereas Star Trek has always been about hope and optimism. Discovery feels a bit darker than previous Treks. Does Lt. Tyler have this dark side, too?

Latif: Yeah, definitely. We meet him in a very dark place. He's a prisoner of war, and that's how we first see him. I think this version of what we're doing has a lot more complex darkness in it. I think that's very good, because it's very exciting to watch. It can be tough to watch, but very interesting. And that's the play entity as an audience member. So, there is that, yeah, there's a big darkness.

Tyler seems to be the most mysterious character so far, or at least the one we know the least about. What else can you tell about him?

Jones: Please watch our show! Sunday nights.

Latif: I always say it's good to have a little bit of mystery, because otherwise... Yeah, he's a POW. We explore PTSD. There's a relationship with Burnham, and there's chemistry there. I know you already know these things. That's as much as I can sort of say, really.

Jones: Tune in, though.

Star Trek has like hard core fans. Some of your colleagues told us stories about how they react to this fandom. What are your experiences with fans so far?

Star Trek: Discovery, Shazad Latif

Latif: When we came back from Comic-Con, on the plane, as soon as we arrived, there were people there already, which means they must have been following the flight. You're like, "Oh! So, it's going to be like…"  Suddenly, you realize how important it is to these fans. It's kind of beautiful. You've got a big responsibility.

Star Trek: Discovery, Doug Jones

Jones: One thing you don't have to worry about is, "Oh, will the show have legs under it? I don't know if it's going to take." Yeah, the audience is there. Even the fan base, what's beautiful about it is there's fans who are so excited for a new chapter, a new piece of the Star Trek universe. There's others who are the naysayers. But every new series that there has been throughout all of these decades, there has always been naysayers. Every series has looked different from the one before it. The Klingons have never looked the same in one series to the next, ever. So, why should ours be any different? There's always going to be someone that goes, "Ah, this is going suck. I don't know if I want to watch it or not." Well, that's the person who is going to be sitting there on the night of like this, like panting at the TV. I think all the talk is nothing but good for the show. Really, it is. I'm very happy about that.

Star Trek: Discovery, Doug Jones

The Kelpiens are prey species. Would you say that Saru he always feels threatened? And if so, or if not, will he feel less threatened the more he gets to know his crew?

Jones: Right. The best analogy in nature would be a gazelle. I'm kind of like a gazelle in the forest. When there's a lion about, I'm in danger. I could get chased down and eaten. When I'm among my pack, or my people, or my type, we have our moments where we're chewing on something green and at peace. But with the constant sixth sense, that animal instinct, that danger's afoot, I have to aware of that. So, I'm kind of born into a world where I'm always looking over my shoulder, yes. But, that's just kind of a part of who I am. Knowing true peace, where you don't have to worry about any threat at all, is not something that Saru is akin to. He doesn't know that. There's one episode that will explore that in more detail, which is really a fun one.

Star Trek: Discovery, Doug Jones

How much of a living entity is your makeup, especially with the threat ganglia? Are there moving parts on it?

Jones: Yes. It is a silicone prosthetic makeup mask glued onto me, head and hands. There is nothing going to be CG enhanced, except the threat ganglia. Nothing else has to be mechanically enhanced. There's no servos, there's no joysticks, there's nothing that needs to be puppeteered or CG enhanced, except for the threat ganglia. And they kind of come of the back of my head, back in here somewhere, around the back, behind the ear somewhere. We hadn't really seen what they look like exactly yet because I have to mime them, whenever I pop them back in. This is a really gift to the budget, to not have to use that much CG. And to give to me personally, the props can really be more, "all mine," once the makeup is on me, and all the artists that make that happen, which, if I can talk about the makeup ...

The shop is Alchemy Studios in Los Angeles. Neville Page, the designer who created my look, he's just a decorated production designer and creature designer. And Glenn Hetrick has partnered with him at Alchemy Studios to make this all facilitated and happen. And James MacKinnon is my lead makeup artist on set, and he has a Star Trek pedigree himself. He was a makeup artist on Deep Space Nine and Voyager, and First Contact, and another, one of the J.J. movies as well. So, he's got a lot of Star Trek in his background. For him to be on this is just another lovely legacy coming forth. Once all of that history, and all that expertise is on me, then it's my responsibility to make it move and work. It's all up to me at that point. It gives me a lot of ownership to know that it's not going to be all jimmied with CG in post-production.

How did each of you land your role on Star Trek? Did you hear about it and actively pursue it? Or did they call you?

Star Trek: Discovery, Shazad Latif

Latif: Funny enough, a week before my audition, my friend, a guy I know from drama school, she was auditioning for it. I ran a scene with her, and there was a Burnham scene, and then a week later I get a call and I did the take in my kitchen with my mum. I ended up directing her a bit, because she's you know, overacting, and I said, "Let's just play it. Let's play the scene." I always enjoy doing it with her, because she's quite good. And then I did a seven-way Skype audition. So, I didn't have to come out to L.A., which was a different thing. So, it was nice. Seven people on Skype and then that was it. I was very lucky. It's crazy.

Star Trek: Discovery, Doug Jones

Jones: My story started probably a bit earlier, because it was over a year ago now. It would have been, oh golly, July last year. Neville Page kind of wink-winked, nudge-nudged me and said, "Has anyone called you from Star Trek yet?" And I said, "Why would they? There's a Star Trek coming? What are you talking about?" He said, "Well, OK, but you didn't hear that from me." Finally, my manager called and said, "Hey, turns out there's a new Star Trek series, and they want you for this alien character. So, are you interested to pursue it further?" I said, "I don't have to audition? What are you talking about?" Bryan Fuller was our showrunner at the time. Between him, Neville Page and Glenn Hetrick, whom I've already worked with and known from before, when they were developing the character of Saru, they were like, "Doug Jones is the guy you have to have play this." Bryan was already apparently a fan of mine, thank heaven! So, he's like, "Great, well, I'd love to meet him!" So, I flew out to L.A. I was already working on The Shape of Water here in Toronto. Flew out to L.A. and had a meeting with Bryan, and we all fell in love with each other. And I met Aaron (Harberts) and Gretchen (Berg) on the same day. They were all part of the writing staff already anyway. We all fell in love with each other, and it was just kind of decided that day, "Well, all right then, I guess I'll be playing Saru. Thank you." That was too easy of a story, really. And frightening because, if I come with that much of a recommendation, I don't even have to audition, I better be good! Oh my gosh! Right?

Everyone wants to know about Discovery. How hard is it to keep secrets, to avoid the spoiler-y things when talking to fans, family, friends and us?

Jones: You have to watch who you talk to and what you say to them.

Latif: This is when you threaten.

Jones: My wife or close friends will run lines with me, and help me rehearse, but I threaten them with their life if they talk.

Star Trek shows tend to run several years. How ready are you for the possibility of five, six or even seven seasons?

Jones: You have to be ready for a long run. I think they were talking at least a five-year plan, hopefully. Let's hope it does.

Is that daunting, exciting, both?

Jones: Both of those things. That's the bulk of your life for the next five years is what it is. So, I'm OK with that. I'm OK with that.

Latif: It is daunting and exciting. It's work. Sometimes it's scary to plan that far ahead. But then, it's a show. (that can have) that kind of length, it seems. I usually don't plan that far ahead.

Jones: And at 57 years old, if it is a five-year plan, I'll be 62 once it's done, and I'm walking in these high heeled shoes with a skintight outfit on. I'll be ready to be done with that by about then.

Latif: Probably be in a wheelchair in season six.

Star Trek: Discovery will debut September 24 on CBS All Access in the U.S. and Space Channel in Canada. The series will premiere on Netflix in the rest of the world on September 25.

Star Trek Discovery CBS All Access

Star Trek Discovery Space Channel CraveTV

Star Trek Discovery Netflix

]]>

Doug Jones is a god in sci-fi circles. All right, maybe that’s a bit of hyperbole, but he’s a true genre favorite known for playing exotic creatures in too many sci-fi, fantasy and horror movies to count. But he had us at Buffy the Vampire Slayer, when he slayed at the Lead Gentleman, and again in Pan’s Labyrinth, when he brought to life El Fauno/Pale Man, or in the Hellboy films, where he portrayed Abe Sapien. And now, he’s playing yet another exotic character, Lt. Saru, on Star Trek: Discovery. Far less familiar to audiences – for the moment, anyway – is Shazad Latif, a British actor whose credits include Spooks, Black Mirror, The Man Who Knew Infinity and, most notably, Penny Dreadful, on which he co-starred as Dr. Henry Jekyll/Mr. Hyde. He’s also part of the Discovery cast, portraying Lt. Ash Tyler. Jones and Shazad were paired up for interviews during a recent Discovery press day. The two, for 20 minutes, chatted with a handful of journalists, including StarTrek.com, to discuss Discovery, their characters and more. Here’s what they had to say:

How well did you know Star Trek before you hooked up with Discovery?

Star Trek: Discovery, Shazad Latif

Latif: My granddad and my grandma were big fans. I grew up with mainly Next Generation, a lot of Patrick Stewart. And obviously Kirk, and Spock, and the original. I wasn't a super-fan, but I was definitely aware of the history of it, and how big it was.

Star Trek: Discovery, Doug Jones

Jones: I was born in 1960. So, that means that The Original Series was on TV, on the network when I was watching TV. That was my first experience, and I took a special liking to that tall, lanky Spock fellow. I understood his physicality, somehow. Then, of course, reruns happened almost immediately back in that era, and so when Next Generation came on, too... I'm a channel flipper, and so I'm one of those audience members that finds things because you're flipping a channel go and go, "Oh, I'll stay on this for a minute." So, that's how I stand on all the other Star Trek series. Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, Voyager and Enterprise were all because I would be like, "Oh, well here's a new one. OK, I'll watch that for a minute." And then I would get hooked on something and get to know those captains and those crews and those space ships.

What does it mean to both of you to be a part of a Star Trek show now?

Latif: To be part of that when you know it's got such a following, such a huge fan base (is exciting). And mostly for personal reasons. It’s something I can go to my great-uncle when I go visit, and say, "Look! I'm on the show you love!" And that's always stuff they can relate to, especially family members.

Jones: It's daunting to me, especially as an actor who's worn a lot of crazy makeup over my career. I've been every alien under the sun, and outside the sun for decades now, in my 30-year career. I keep getting asked, "Have you ever done anything in the Star Trek universe?" And I can finally, after 30 years ...

Latif: Shout it from the roof top.

Jones: Yeah, yeah, "Yes I am!" I understand the gravity of what this is, the legacy that this franchise has behind it, the audience that it brings with it. It's bigger than you can even fathom, so you try not to think about that while we're trying to do the job, because behind the cameras it's history and a huge audience, and there's so much.

Star Trek: Discovery, Doug Jones

Do you feel pressure, Doug, in that some people are comparing your character to Spock, to Data?

Jones: Pressure might have a negative connotation. I feel more of a responsibility. Yes, because I have been acquainted with Spock and Data already by the writers, and by anyone who has seen any previews, or any clips or whatever. Those analogies and those comparisons are already being made. I would like to think that Saru will hold his own, as his own character, and his own thing that will have his own charm and his own following, and his own legacy. Let's hope.

It's rare that anybody gets to create an alien character in Star Trek. You're starting from scratch, Doug, and in a serialized world. What does that offer you?

Jones: Right. I was very, very excited that I didn't have to dig into an already established species, and then get their quirks. That would have had some pressure behind it, like, "I better get this right, or the fans are going to hate me." This is like, "Well, no one is going to know if I'm getting it right or wrong because, it's starting right here!" Right? That's been exciting for me, that we're starting a new species, or, hopefully... I don't know if it can live on after this series because this is 10 years before The Original Series, so we'll see. It will be interesting to see what happens with him because, if this species never showed up anywhere after this in the timeline, the question remains, "What happened to the Kelpiens?" To get his backstory, and what the writers can tell me, and what physicality can come out of his look and his being, has been really fun to develop.

Star Trek: Discovery, Shazad Latif

Shazad, your character came from war and experienced war, whereas Star Trek has always been about hope and optimism. Discovery feels a bit darker than previous Treks. Does Lt. Tyler have this dark side, too?

Latif: Yeah, definitely. We meet him in a very dark place. He's a prisoner of war, and that's how we first see him. I think this version of what we're doing has a lot more complex darkness in it. I think that's very good, because it's very exciting to watch. It can be tough to watch, but very interesting. And that's the play entity as an audience member. So, there is that, yeah, there's a big darkness.

Tyler seems to be the most mysterious character so far, or at least the one we know the least about. What else can you tell about him?

Jones: Please watch our show! Sunday nights.

Latif: I always say it's good to have a little bit of mystery, because otherwise... Yeah, he's a POW. We explore PTSD. There's a relationship with Burnham, and there's chemistry there. I know you already know these things. That's as much as I can sort of say, really.

Jones: Tune in, though.

Star Trek has like hard core fans. Some of your colleagues told us stories about how they react to this fandom. What are your experiences with fans so far?

Star Trek: Discovery, Shazad Latif

Latif: When we came back from Comic-Con, on the plane, as soon as we arrived, there were people there already, which means they must have been following the flight. You're like, "Oh! So, it's going to be like…"  Suddenly, you realize how important it is to these fans. It's kind of beautiful. You've got a big responsibility.

Star Trek: Discovery, Doug Jones

Jones: One thing you don't have to worry about is, "Oh, will the show have legs under it? I don't know if it's going to take." Yeah, the audience is there. Even the fan base, what's beautiful about it is there's fans who are so excited for a new chapter, a new piece of the Star Trek universe. There's others who are the naysayers. But every new series that there has been throughout all of these decades, there has always been naysayers. Every series has looked different from the one before it. The Klingons have never looked the same in one series to the next, ever. So, why should ours be any different? There's always going to be someone that goes, "Ah, this is going suck. I don't know if I want to watch it or not." Well, that's the person who is going to be sitting there on the night of like this, like panting at the TV. I think all the talk is nothing but good for the show. Really, it is. I'm very happy about that.

Star Trek: Discovery, Doug Jones

The Kelpiens are prey species. Would you say that Saru he always feels threatened? And if so, or if not, will he feel less threatened the more he gets to know his crew?

Jones: Right. The best analogy in nature would be a gazelle. I'm kind of like a gazelle in the forest. When there's a lion about, I'm in danger. I could get chased down and eaten. When I'm among my pack, or my people, or my type, we have our moments where we're chewing on something green and at peace. But with the constant sixth sense, that animal instinct, that danger's afoot, I have to aware of that. So, I'm kind of born into a world where I'm always looking over my shoulder, yes. But, that's just kind of a part of who I am. Knowing true peace, where you don't have to worry about any threat at all, is not something that Saru is akin to. He doesn't know that. There's one episode that will explore that in more detail, which is really a fun one.

Star Trek: Discovery, Doug Jones

How much of a living entity is your makeup, especially with the threat ganglia? Are there moving parts on it?

Jones: Yes. It is a silicone prosthetic makeup mask glued onto me, head and hands. There is nothing going to be CG enhanced, except the threat ganglia. Nothing else has to be mechanically enhanced. There's no servos, there's no joysticks, there's nothing that needs to be puppeteered or CG enhanced, except for the threat ganglia. And they kind of come of the back of my head, back in here somewhere, around the back, behind the ear somewhere. We hadn't really seen what they look like exactly yet because I have to mime them, whenever I pop them back in. This is a really gift to the budget, to not have to use that much CG. And to give to me personally, the props can really be more, "all mine," once the makeup is on me, and all the artists that make that happen, which, if I can talk about the makeup ...

The shop is Alchemy Studios in Los Angeles. Neville Page, the designer who created my look, he's just a decorated production designer and creature designer. And Glenn Hetrick has partnered with him at Alchemy Studios to make this all facilitated and happen. And James MacKinnon is my lead makeup artist on set, and he has a Star Trek pedigree himself. He was a makeup artist on Deep Space Nine and Voyager, and First Contact, and another, one of the J.J. movies as well. So, he's got a lot of Star Trek in his background. For him to be on this is just another lovely legacy coming forth. Once all of that history, and all that expertise is on me, then it's my responsibility to make it move and work. It's all up to me at that point. It gives me a lot of ownership to know that it's not going to be all jimmied with CG in post-production.

How did each of you land your role on Star Trek? Did you hear about it and actively pursue it? Or did they call you?

Star Trek: Discovery, Shazad Latif

Latif: Funny enough, a week before my audition, my friend, a guy I know from drama school, she was auditioning for it. I ran a scene with her, and there was a Burnham scene, and then a week later I get a call and I did the take in my kitchen with my mum. I ended up directing her a bit, because she's you know, overacting, and I said, "Let's just play it. Let's play the scene." I always enjoy doing it with her, because she's quite good. And then I did a seven-way Skype audition. So, I didn't have to come out to L.A., which was a different thing. So, it was nice. Seven people on Skype and then that was it. I was very lucky. It's crazy.

Star Trek: Discovery, Doug Jones

Jones: My story started probably a bit earlier, because it was over a year ago now. It would have been, oh golly, July last year. Neville Page kind of wink-winked, nudge-nudged me and said, "Has anyone called you from Star Trek yet?" And I said, "Why would they? There's a Star Trek coming? What are you talking about?" He said, "Well, OK, but you didn't hear that from me." Finally, my manager called and said, "Hey, turns out there's a new Star Trek series, and they want you for this alien character. So, are you interested to pursue it further?" I said, "I don't have to audition? What are you talking about?" Bryan Fuller was our showrunner at the time. Between him, Neville Page and Glenn Hetrick, whom I've already worked with and known from before, when they were developing the character of Saru, they were like, "Doug Jones is the guy you have to have play this." Bryan was already apparently a fan of mine, thank heaven! So, he's like, "Great, well, I'd love to meet him!" So, I flew out to L.A. I was already working on The Shape of Water here in Toronto. Flew out to L.A. and had a meeting with Bryan, and we all fell in love with each other. And I met Aaron (Harberts) and Gretchen (Berg) on the same day. They were all part of the writing staff already anyway. We all fell in love with each other, and it was just kind of decided that day, "Well, all right then, I guess I'll be playing Saru. Thank you." That was too easy of a story, really. And frightening because, if I come with that much of a recommendation, I don't even have to audition, I better be good! Oh my gosh! Right?

Everyone wants to know about Discovery. How hard is it to keep secrets, to avoid the spoiler-y things when talking to fans, family, friends and us?

Jones: You have to watch who you talk to and what you say to them.

Latif: This is when you threaten.

Jones: My wife or close friends will run lines with me, and help me rehearse, but I threaten them with their life if they talk.

Star Trek shows tend to run several years. How ready are you for the possibility of five, six or even seven seasons?

Jones: You have to be ready for a long run. I think they were talking at least a five-year plan, hopefully. Let's hope it does.

Is that daunting, exciting, both?

Jones: Both of those things. That's the bulk of your life for the next five years is what it is. So, I'm OK with that. I'm OK with that.

Latif: It is daunting and exciting. It's work. Sometimes it's scary to plan that far ahead. But then, it's a show. (that can have) that kind of length, it seems. I usually don't plan that far ahead.

Jones: And at 57 years old, if it is a five-year plan, I'll be 62 once it's done, and I'm walking in these high heeled shoes with a skintight outfit on. I'll be ready to be done with that by about then.

Latif: Probably be in a wheelchair in season six.

Star Trek: Discovery will debut September 24 on CBS All Access in the U.S. and Space Channel in Canada. The series will premiere on Netflix in the rest of the world on September 25.

Star Trek Discovery CBS All Access

Star Trek Discovery Space Channel CraveTV

Star Trek Discovery Netflix

]]>
exclusive-interviews-discoverys-doug-jones-and-shazad-latif Tue, 19 Sep 2017 09:53:58 -0700
<![CDATA[Behind the Scenes: Discovery Costumes]]> http://www.startrek.com/article/behind-the-scenes-discovery-costumes

StarTrek.com continues our immersive visit to the sets of Star Trek: Discovery by chronicling our time with Gersha Phillips, the show’s uber-busy costume designer. Phillips was in her natural habitat… or habitats. The costume department is spread across several rooms in Discovery’s production facility. One smallish, cramped room is hodgepodge of costumes, patterns, design books, and more, and on the walls are sketches of current and in-the-works costumes. It’s here that Phillips – whose credits include Walking Tall, A Raisin in the Sun, Falling Skies, The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones and My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 – introducing herself to the small group of journalists checking out her workspace.

Star Trek: Discovery

“This is sort of where we started with our uniforms,” Phillips explained as she stood in front of a rack of uniforms from Discovery… and uniforms that inspired what viewers will see on Discovery. “We started with our colors. We were trying to honor, I guess, in a way, TOS, The Original Series. So, we had our gold, which is command, and we're going with this is our red, which is our operations, and blue is science. Then, we went from that direction into a little deeper color. And we also created these panels, which we used as sort of a body-monitoring device. And we started making them out of a corded ribbon inside, and then it's made with a neoprene material on the outside.

Star Trek: Discovery

Star Trek: Discovery

Star Trek: Discovery

“Then we went on to what we do now, which is they’re printed,” continued Phillips, who proudly showed off her team’s handiwork.

“So, it's printed with a puff paint. Then we foil them, and then that's how we get over there to what we have now, which are the foiled versions. And then our foiled colors are… Our copper is operations, and our silver is science and gold is command. Those are our three colors. Then we have the medical. I don't know if you can see it there, the white one, behind, over on that side.”

Star Trek: Discovery

And there was more.

“These are some of our Vulcan costumes,” the designer said. “This is one of Sarek's first outfits that he wears in the first episode.”

It took several months to come up with the final colors, Phillips said, as the design department and producers contemplated assorted shades and brightness /darkness levels, conducted dye tests, and ventured to Switzerland seeking fabric. Ultimately, a Swiss fabric company called Schoeller was tapped. “The fabric is a four-way stretch (material),” Phillips noted. “It has wicking capabilities. It's very durable. And it's a nod to a futuristic fabric. It's something that we'll all be wearing shortly.”

Our group then moved into other connected rooms where we glimpsed fitting rooms, a wall of actor photos (all of whom will need to be measured and fitted for costumes), additional racks of costumes, and more. Then it was into a separate, entirely different area, a much larger, more-open space that served as both a storage section and a workplace for Phillips’ cadre of artisans. Here, at a variety of stations, costumes were being sewn together or fixed or having ornamentation added to them. To one side was a seemingly endless – endlessly long, high and wide – costume collection, including Starfleet, Vulcan and Klingon costumes, with a wide selection of Klingon costumes representing the multiple houses viewers will see represented on the show.

So, how big a Trek fan was Phillips heading into Discovery? And helpful was it to be or not to be? “I think definitely helpful,” she replied. “It was interesting, because when I started on the show, my brothers were super-excited, more than I was in the beginning. I wouldn't say I was a fan, but I definitely watched the show growing up. So, I definitely was conscious of Star Trek. I've seen quite a few of the shows and the movies. I've seen all the movies.”

Phillips went on to describe Discovery as a creative playground. “It’s the best playground you could ever have to design and create in,” she raved. “I think this is my biggest opportunity that I've had to design and be creative. It's been amazing.” But does she ever feel constrained by franchise’s long history and all the many costumes that preceded her creations? “Well, definitely, because you're always looking to what's happened in the past and what has been established in the other shows,” Phillips replied. “But I think the mandate from the showrunner was to go boldly where no one's gone before. Did I just say that? So, yeah, I feel like it was definitely a push to do something great and something different. I think, especially with the Klingons and with the Vulcans, we've been a little bit more limitless and done stuff that I feel like nobody else has done so far. Hopefully. And, hopefully, they'll be well-received and everybody will love them.”

At this point, Phillips pulled out a Klingon costume, actually a stunt version of the costume. It’s made of rubber, making it far easier for the actor or stunt person to maneuver in, yet the camera and the audience at home won’t notice the difference. Little red gems protrude from it. “The Klingons are in a full-prosthetic, and then they have their hands covered, so we had to do a lot of different maneuvering and different techniques to put them together,” Phillips noted. “So, you can see inside… This one opens to the back. Now, you are seeing all the skeletons. It’s quite a lot to figure out how to get them together. It’s great for me to come up with a great design, but then this team has to put it together. It takes a lot of us prototyping, playing with different design ideas and different ways of putting them together, building them.”

Star Trek fans are legendary for making and/or purchasing costumes to cosplay in at events and conventions. In fact, a few fans at Comic-Con and Star Trek Las Vegas this past summer sported Discovery-inspired costumes. Phillips sounded very familiar with the phenomenon of people wearing costumes from a project that hadn’t even debuted yet.

“I did a movie called The Mortal Instruments, and it happened on that,” she recounted. “But, never to this extent. I have to say, this is completely a whole different experience. It's quite something to see the fans take it on the way they have. It's very cool, very cool, very exciting, I have to say.”

Star Trek: Discovery will debut September 24 on CBS All Access in the U.S. and Space Channel in Canada. The series will premiere on Netflix in the rest of the world on September 25.

Star Trek Discovery CBS All Access

Star Trek Discovery Space Channel CraveTV

Star Trek Discovery Netflix

]]>

StarTrek.com continues our immersive visit to the sets of Star Trek: Discovery by chronicling our time with Gersha Phillips, the show’s uber-busy costume designer. Phillips was in her natural habitat… or habitats. The costume department is spread across several rooms in Discovery’s production facility. One smallish, cramped room is hodgepodge of costumes, patterns, design books, and more, and on the walls are sketches of current and in-the-works costumes. It’s here that Phillips – whose credits include Walking Tall, A Raisin in the Sun, Falling Skies, The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones and My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 – introducing herself to the small group of journalists checking out her workspace.

Star Trek: Discovery

“This is sort of where we started with our uniforms,” Phillips explained as she stood in front of a rack of uniforms from Discovery… and uniforms that inspired what viewers will see on Discovery. “We started with our colors. We were trying to honor, I guess, in a way, TOS, The Original Series. So, we had our gold, which is command, and we're going with this is our red, which is our operations, and blue is science. Then, we went from that direction into a little deeper color. And we also created these panels, which we used as sort of a body-monitoring device. And we started making them out of a corded ribbon inside, and then it's made with a neoprene material on the outside.

Star Trek: Discovery

Star Trek: Discovery

Star Trek: Discovery

“Then we went on to what we do now, which is they’re printed,” continued Phillips, who proudly showed off her team’s handiwork.

“So, it's printed with a puff paint. Then we foil them, and then that's how we get over there to what we have now, which are the foiled versions. And then our foiled colors are… Our copper is operations, and our silver is science and gold is command. Those are our three colors. Then we have the medical. I don't know if you can see it there, the white one, behind, over on that side.”

Star Trek: Discovery

And there was more.

“These are some of our Vulcan costumes,” the designer said. “This is one of Sarek's first outfits that he wears in the first episode.”

It took several months to come up with the final colors, Phillips said, as the design department and producers contemplated assorted shades and brightness /darkness levels, conducted dye tests, and ventured to Switzerland seeking fabric. Ultimately, a Swiss fabric company called Schoeller was tapped. “The fabric is a four-way stretch (material),” Phillips noted. “It has wicking capabilities. It's very durable. And it's a nod to a futuristic fabric. It's something that we'll all be wearing shortly.”

Our group then moved into other connected rooms where we glimpsed fitting rooms, a wall of actor photos (all of whom will need to be measured and fitted for costumes), additional racks of costumes, and more. Then it was into a separate, entirely different area, a much larger, more-open space that served as both a storage section and a workplace for Phillips’ cadre of artisans. Here, at a variety of stations, costumes were being sewn together or fixed or having ornamentation added to them. To one side was a seemingly endless – endlessly long, high and wide – costume collection, including Starfleet, Vulcan and Klingon costumes, with a wide selection of Klingon costumes representing the multiple houses viewers will see represented on the show.

So, how big a Trek fan was Phillips heading into Discovery? And helpful was it to be or not to be? “I think definitely helpful,” she replied. “It was interesting, because when I started on the show, my brothers were super-excited, more than I was in the beginning. I wouldn't say I was a fan, but I definitely watched the show growing up. So, I definitely was conscious of Star Trek. I've seen quite a few of the shows and the movies. I've seen all the movies.”

Phillips went on to describe Discovery as a creative playground. “It’s the best playground you could ever have to design and create in,” she raved. “I think this is my biggest opportunity that I've had to design and be creative. It's been amazing.” But does she ever feel constrained by franchise’s long history and all the many costumes that preceded her creations? “Well, definitely, because you're always looking to what's happened in the past and what has been established in the other shows,” Phillips replied. “But I think the mandate from the showrunner was to go boldly where no one's gone before. Did I just say that? So, yeah, I feel like it was definitely a push to do something great and something different. I think, especially with the Klingons and with the Vulcans, we've been a little bit more limitless and done stuff that I feel like nobody else has done so far. Hopefully. And, hopefully, they'll be well-received and everybody will love them.”

At this point, Phillips pulled out a Klingon costume, actually a stunt version of the costume. It’s made of rubber, making it far easier for the actor or stunt person to maneuver in, yet the camera and the audience at home won’t notice the difference. Little red gems protrude from it. “The Klingons are in a full-prosthetic, and then they have their hands covered, so we had to do a lot of different maneuvering and different techniques to put them together,” Phillips noted. “So, you can see inside… This one opens to the back. Now, you are seeing all the skeletons. It’s quite a lot to figure out how to get them together. It’s great for me to come up with a great design, but then this team has to put it together. It takes a lot of us prototyping, playing with different design ideas and different ways of putting them together, building them.”

Star Trek fans are legendary for making and/or purchasing costumes to cosplay in at events and conventions. In fact, a few fans at Comic-Con and Star Trek Las Vegas this past summer sported Discovery-inspired costumes. Phillips sounded very familiar with the phenomenon of people wearing costumes from a project that hadn’t even debuted yet.

“I did a movie called The Mortal Instruments, and it happened on that,” she recounted. “But, never to this extent. I have to say, this is completely a whole different experience. It's quite something to see the fans take it on the way they have. It's very cool, very cool, very exciting, I have to say.”

Star Trek: Discovery will debut September 24 on CBS All Access in the U.S. and Space Channel in Canada. The series will premiere on Netflix in the rest of the world on September 25.

Star Trek Discovery CBS All Access

Star Trek Discovery Space Channel CraveTV

Star Trek Discovery Netflix

]]>
behind-the-scenes-discovery-costumes Mon, 18 Sep 2017 15:28:35 -0700
<![CDATA[WATCH: First Four Discovery Episode Titles Revealed]]> http://www.startrek.com/article/watch-first-four-discovery-episode-titles-revealed

CBS All Access has just released a new video revealing the titles of the first four episodes of Star Trek: Discovery. The titles are "The Vulcan Hello," "Battle at the Binary Stars," "Context Is for Kings" and "The Butcher's Knife Cares Not for the Lamb's Cry." Check out the video:

Star Trek: Discovery premieres in the U.S. on CBS All Access Sunday, Sept. 24, following a broadcast premiere on the CBS Television Network.

]]>

CBS All Access has just released a new video revealing the titles of the first four episodes of Star Trek: Discovery. The titles are "The Vulcan Hello," "Battle at the Binary Stars," "Context Is for Kings" and "The Butcher's Knife Cares Not for the Lamb's Cry." Check out the video:

Star Trek: Discovery premieres in the U.S. on CBS All Access Sunday, Sept. 24, following a broadcast premiere on the CBS Television Network.

]]>
watch-first-four-discovery-episode-titles-revealed Mon, 18 Sep 2017 13:06:15 -0700
<![CDATA[TNG Tikis Ready to Party]]> http://www.startrek.com/article/tng-tikis-ready-to-party

Beeline Creative knows how to throw a party. Their Star Trek: The Original Series Geeki Tikis -- namely Kirk, Spock, Dr. McCoy, the Mugato, a Klingon and the Gorn -- are getting together with Beeline Creative's next wave of Star Trek Tikis... Captain Picard, Geordi La Forge, Worf, a Cardassian, a Ferengi and a Borg. These six Star Trek: The Next Generation mugs hold around 14 oz. each, and they'll look great next to your Horga'hn fertility statue.

The Next Generation Geeki Tikis are available for purchase exclusively from ThinkGeek, and are available online and in stores. Visit ThinkGeek.com for more information or to purchase. Go to www.GeekiTikis.com to sign up for the Beeline Creative newsletter and for product alerts, and follow them at @beelinecreative.

]]>

Beeline Creative knows how to throw a party. Their Star Trek: The Original Series Geeki Tikis -- namely Kirk, Spock, Dr. McCoy, the Mugato, a Klingon and the Gorn -- are getting together with Beeline Creative's next wave of Star Trek Tikis... Captain Picard, Geordi La Forge, Worf, a Cardassian, a Ferengi and a Borg. These six Star Trek: The Next Generation mugs hold around 14 oz. each, and they'll look great next to your Horga'hn fertility statue.

The Next Generation Geeki Tikis are available for purchase exclusively from ThinkGeek, and are available online and in stores. Visit ThinkGeek.com for more information or to purchase. Go to www.GeekiTikis.com to sign up for the Beeline Creative newsletter and for product alerts, and follow them at @beelinecreative.

]]>
tng-tikis-ready-to-party Mon, 18 Sep 2017 08:17:58 -0700
<![CDATA[Behind the Scenes: Discovery Props & Prosthetics]]> http://www.startrek.com/article/behind-the-scenes-discovery-props-prosthetics

StarTrek.com’s recent visit to the set of Star Trek: Discovery in Toronto included not only a behind-the-scenes look at the actual sets, but also peeks at the props and prosthetics. Our guide for the day, executive producer and co-showrunner Aaron Harberts introduced James MacKinnon, Department Head Prosthetics, and Hugo Villasenor, Key Prosthetics, as well as Sang Maier, Props Buyer, who displayed their respective wares and took us through what they are and how they were crafted.

“We could not do this show with their departments,” Harberts began. “They add so much to what we're doing and like, I said, these aren't crew members. These are artists who just happen to ply their trade by putting their art on camera. And we really, really, appreciate them."

Star Trek: Discovery

MacKinnon showed several Discovery makeups, including Saru, played by Doug Jones. It's a five-piece prosthetic that includes a cowl, a face piece, a chin piece and an upper lip. It takes approximately two hours to apply. Interestingly, it’s made of silicone, not latex. “We still use latex quite a bit,” MacKinnon explained. “But technology has changed since the original Star Trek shows, and I've been lucky enough to work on Deep Space Nine and Voyager, First Contact. I'm in my late forties, so I've been around a little while. Foam latex was around back then. Silicone was not around at that time. Silicone is our new product that we use because instead of it being opaque and we're painting the color on with paint, intrinsically, the color is in there, so we're doing washes on top instead of a full paint job."

Star Trek: Discovery

Yes, if you’re wondering, Jones gets a new Saru face every time. “Just for the quality of the show,” MacKinnon noted, “since it's such a big show, each time we use this, this goes in the garbage. We potentially could use it twice, but there's no reason to lessen the quality.”

Star Trek: Discovery

All of the prosthetics are designed and built in California at Alchemy Effects, with Glenn Hetrick and Neville Page as the designer. One early surprise? Jones’s nose was completely covered, so they ended up having to figure out how to get him to be able to breathe, not just through his mouth because then he’d sound very nasally. “We ended up scrubbing out a piece from his nose up to his breathing hole on the prosthetic,” MacKinnon said. “So, now he can not be a mouth breather. He's more comfortable through the day. They get the voice that they want from him and a little less ADR probably.”

Star Trek: Discovery

Next up were Sarek ears. Oddly enough, MacKinnon acknowledged, James Frain’s makeup takes just as long as Jones’s. “So, with James we do ears,” he explained, “and eyebrow blockers. We block out his eyebrows and then we do lace extensions to bring them up. Even though this is very detailed, that just takes just as long to do this makeup. He's in the chair about an hour and 45 minutes to 2 hours, but that's jumping back from regular makeup to hair and then back to us.”

Airiam

MacKinnon then invited Villasenor to talk about the makeup/prosthetics for a character named Airiam, as he’s the artist responsible for her look. It’s an exotic-looking prosthetic, which makes sense since the character is a robot. He described the prosthetic as “almost like a jigsaw puzzle,” with assorted pieces, a helmet, contact lenses and more. Airiam, who works on the Discovery bridge and will usually be seen off to Lorca’s side, needs to look smooth on the screen and that may be accomplished on occasion with complementary CGI.

Oscnullus

Next, we were introduced to another character, Oscnullus, who’ll be one of a couple alien characters views will see in the mess hall, walking down the corridors, etc.

“We had a dinner on Saturday, meeting some cast members, and this beautiful blonde woman comes up and she says, ‘Hi, I'm Sara!’” Harberts recalled. “And I say, ‘Hi, I'm Aaron. It's nice to meet you.’ She goes, ‘I'm Airiam.’ I had no idea. It was one of those moments, just like, ‘What?’ It was like meeting the long-lost friend you didn't know was your friend. Anyway, the transformation is pretty incredible.”

Star Trek: Discovery

Harberts then passed the torch to Maier, who looked like a kid in a candy shop as he showed off all the items on the props table. We’re talking communicators, bat’leths, phasers, pulse rifles, badges, knives and more. Most of the props, he noted, “especially the iconic ones,” took a long time to develop. He cited the communicator as “a good example of where we wanted a certain design language.” The inspiration was the TOS communicator,” and at one point it had an actual phone inside, though it has a Nano.

Star Trek: Discovery

“The tricorder is another classic prop that we've made,” Maier said, “and we wanted to do the two-handed one.” It lights up, has a hand scanner and is updated a bit, though “it also has the same significant color scheme, the gun metal with the buttons that are chrome and brass.”

Star Trek: Discovery

Then it was on to a phaser, delta shields, etc. Pretty much everything you’ll see on the Shenzhou and Discovery boasts a metallic look. That’s meant to secure a unity sort of design, a common language across everything from the props to the bridge to the uniforms. “It was all really a holistic approach that the set reflects, the costumes reflect, the props and everything else,” Maier stressed. “That color palette, that color language, is basically throughout the whole show. They want us to stay consistent, which obviously takes, when we were prepping, a lot of planning. Some things don't come out of thin air. You really do have to plan accordingly and stick with your guns as well to pull through that.”

Star Trek: Discovery

Many of the Klingon props, Maier said, are framed in aluminum, with the detailing molded on top. Rubber versions are used in fight scenes, “and you can’t tell them apart.” There’s even a Klingon torture device that’s appropriately gruesome. Also pretty cool, a Tellarite bazooka, a Vulcan staff and Harry Mudd’s gun, the last of which is based on a revolver and feels a bit art deco.

Star Trek: Discovery will debut September 24 on CBS All Access in the U.S. and Space Channel in Canada. The series will premiere on Netflix in the rest of the world on September 25.

Star Trek Discovery CBS All Access

Star Trek Discovery Space Channel CraveTV

Star Trek Discovery Netflix

]]>

StarTrek.com’s recent visit to the set of Star Trek: Discovery in Toronto included not only a behind-the-scenes look at the actual sets, but also peeks at the props and prosthetics. Our guide for the day, executive producer and co-showrunner Aaron Harberts introduced James MacKinnon, Department Head Prosthetics, and Hugo Villasenor, Key Prosthetics, as well as Sang Maier, Props Buyer, who displayed their respective wares and took us through what they are and how they were crafted.

“We could not do this show with their departments,” Harberts began. “They add so much to what we're doing and like, I said, these aren't crew members. These are artists who just happen to ply their trade by putting their art on camera. And we really, really, appreciate them."

Star Trek: Discovery

MacKinnon showed several Discovery makeups, including Saru, played by Doug Jones. It's a five-piece prosthetic that includes a cowl, a face piece, a chin piece and an upper lip. It takes approximately two hours to apply. Interestingly, it’s made of silicone, not latex. “We still use latex quite a bit,” MacKinnon explained. “But technology has changed since the original Star Trek shows, and I've been lucky enough to work on Deep Space Nine and Voyager, First Contact. I'm in my late forties, so I've been around a little while. Foam latex was around back then. Silicone was not around at that time. Silicone is our new product that we use because instead of it being opaque and we're painting the color on with paint, intrinsically, the color is in there, so we're doing washes on top instead of a full paint job."

Star Trek: Discovery

Yes, if you’re wondering, Jones gets a new Saru face every time. “Just for the quality of the show,” MacKinnon noted, “since it's such a big show, each time we use this, this goes in the garbage. We potentially could use it twice, but there's no reason to lessen the quality.”

Star Trek: Discovery

All of the prosthetics are designed and built in California at Alchemy Effects, with Glenn Hetrick and Neville Page as the designer. One early surprise? Jones’s nose was completely covered, so they ended up having to figure out how to get him to be able to breathe, not just through his mouth because then he’d sound very nasally. “We ended up scrubbing out a piece from his nose up to his breathing hole on the prosthetic,” MacKinnon said. “So, now he can not be a mouth breather. He's more comfortable through the day. They get the voice that they want from him and a little less ADR probably.”

Star Trek: Discovery

Next up were Sarek ears. Oddly enough, MacKinnon acknowledged, James Frain’s makeup takes just as long as Jones’s. “So, with James we do ears,” he explained, “and eyebrow blockers. We block out his eyebrows and then we do lace extensions to bring them up. Even though this is very detailed, that just takes just as long to do this makeup. He's in the chair about an hour and 45 minutes to 2 hours, but that's jumping back from regular makeup to hair and then back to us.”

Airiam

MacKinnon then invited Villasenor to talk about the makeup/prosthetics for a character named Airiam, as he’s the artist responsible for her look. It’s an exotic-looking prosthetic, which makes sense since the character is a robot. He described the prosthetic as “almost like a jigsaw puzzle,” with assorted pieces, a helmet, contact lenses and more. Airiam, who works on the Discovery bridge and will usually be seen off to Lorca’s side, needs to look smooth on the screen and that may be accomplished on occasion with complementary CGI.

Oscnullus

Next, we were introduced to another character, Oscnullus, who’ll be one of a couple alien characters views will see in the mess hall, walking down the corridors, etc.

“We had a dinner on Saturday, meeting some cast members, and this beautiful blonde woman comes up and she says, ‘Hi, I'm Sara!’” Harberts recalled. “And I say, ‘Hi, I'm Aaron. It's nice to meet you.’ She goes, ‘I'm Airiam.’ I had no idea. It was one of those moments, just like, ‘What?’ It was like meeting the long-lost friend you didn't know was your friend. Anyway, the transformation is pretty incredible.”

Star Trek: Discovery

Harberts then passed the torch to Maier, who looked like a kid in a candy shop as he showed off all the items on the props table. We’re talking communicators, bat’leths, phasers, pulse rifles, badges, knives and more. Most of the props, he noted, “especially the iconic ones,” took a long time to develop. He cited the communicator as “a good example of where we wanted a certain design language.” The inspiration was the TOS communicator,” and at one point it had an actual phone inside, though it has a Nano.

Star Trek: Discovery

“The tricorder is another classic prop that we've made,” Maier said, “and we wanted to do the two-handed one.” It lights up, has a hand scanner and is updated a bit, though “it also has the same significant color scheme, the gun metal with the buttons that are chrome and brass.”

Star Trek: Discovery

Then it was on to a phaser, delta shields, etc. Pretty much everything you’ll see on the Shenzhou and Discovery boasts a metallic look. That’s meant to secure a unity sort of design, a common language across everything from the props to the bridge to the uniforms. “It was all really a holistic approach that the set reflects, the costumes reflect, the props and everything else,” Maier stressed. “That color palette, that color language, is basically throughout the whole show. They want us to stay consistent, which obviously takes, when we were prepping, a lot of planning. Some things don't come out of thin air. You really do have to plan accordingly and stick with your guns as well to pull through that.”

Star Trek: Discovery

Many of the Klingon props, Maier said, are framed in aluminum, with the detailing molded on top. Rubber versions are used in fight scenes, “and you can’t tell them apart.” There’s even a Klingon torture device that’s appropriately gruesome. Also pretty cool, a Tellarite bazooka, a Vulcan staff and Harry Mudd’s gun, the last of which is based on a revolver and feels a bit art deco.

Star Trek: Discovery will debut September 24 on CBS All Access in the U.S. and Space Channel in Canada. The series will premiere on Netflix in the rest of the world on September 25.

Star Trek Discovery CBS All Access

Star Trek Discovery Space Channel CraveTV

Star Trek Discovery Netflix

]]>
behind-the-scenes-discovery-props-prosthetics Sun, 17 Sep 2017 07:40:59 -0700
<![CDATA[Poll Says YOU Are This Trek Character]]> http://www.startrek.com/article/poll-says-you-are-this-trek-character

Which Star Trek character are YOU? That's the question StarTrek.com asked for this week's poll, and we went with an unusual selection of reply options -- ie., no Kirk or Picard or Sisko or Janeway or Archer. Fans could choose from Spock, Data, Worf, Seven of Nine, Quark, Neelix, Uhura, Jadzia Dax, Trip Tucker and T'Pol. Here are the results, based on thousands of votes:

Spock (25%)

Data (17%)

Trip Tucker (15%)

Worf (10%)

Jadzia Dax (8%)

Seven of Nine (7%)

Neelix (6%)

Quark (5%)

Uhura (4%)

T'Pol (3%)

And how did YOUR character of choice fare in the results?

]]>

Which Star Trek character are YOU? That's the question StarTrek.com asked for this week's poll, and we went with an unusual selection of reply options -- ie., no Kirk or Picard or Sisko or Janeway or Archer. Fans could choose from Spock, Data, Worf, Seven of Nine, Quark, Neelix, Uhura, Jadzia Dax, Trip Tucker and T'Pol. Here are the results, based on thousands of votes:

Spock (25%)

Data (17%)

Trip Tucker (15%)

Worf (10%)

Jadzia Dax (8%)

Seven of Nine (7%)

Neelix (6%)

Quark (5%)

Uhura (4%)

T'Pol (3%)

And how did YOUR character of choice fare in the results?

]]>
poll-says-you-are-this-trek-character Sun, 17 Sep 2017 07:40:11 -0700
<![CDATA[WATCH: Audi Orchestra Performs TOS Theme]]> http://www.startrek.com/article/watch-audi-orchestra-performs-tos-theme

Ladies and gentlemen, we present, for your viewing and listening pleasure, the Audi Orchestra, as they perform the original Star Trek theme. Now, this is no ordinary orchestra. It features musicians, including a horn player and harpist, joined by an Audi R8 V10 Plus, SQ5 and TT RS, in bringing the tune to life. The spot is timed to the Emmy Awards broadcast, which will air Sunday on CBS, and celebrates the fact that in 1967, Star Trek: The Original Series was nominated for Outstanding Drama.

Check it out:

]]>

Ladies and gentlemen, we present, for your viewing and listening pleasure, the Audi Orchestra, as they perform the original Star Trek theme. Now, this is no ordinary orchestra. It features musicians, including a horn player and harpist, joined by an Audi R8 V10 Plus, SQ5 and TT RS, in bringing the tune to life. The spot is timed to the Emmy Awards broadcast, which will air Sunday on CBS, and celebrates the fact that in 1967, Star Trek: The Original Series was nominated for Outstanding Drama.

Check it out:

]]>
watch-audi-orchestra-performs-tos-theme Sat, 16 Sep 2017 16:06:49 -0700
<![CDATA[A Day on the Discovery Sets]]> http://www.startrek.com/article/a-day-on-the-discovery-sets

Stardate: August 21, 2017.

On this day, all across North America, millions of people trained their eyes on the skies above, as they checked out the rare total eclipse. Meanwhile, over at Pinewood Studios in Toronto, Canada, a couple of dozen journalists from outlets worldwide – including yours truly from StarTrek.com -- happily missed the eclipse in order to experience something even more infrequent: a visit to the sets of the upcoming Star Trek: Discovery series.

Now, let me put this in some perspective. Over the years, for New York Times Syndicate, Starlog, the official Deep Space Nine and Voyager magazines, as well as Star Trek Monthly, I’ve had the honor of visiting the sets of The Voyage Home, TNG, DS9, Voyager, Enterprise, Generations, First Contact, Insurrection and Nemesis. My visit to The Voyage Home set will never, ever be beat, as it was the day the cast and crew transformed the parking lot at Paramount into the San Francisco Bay, wind and lightning machines crackled and whirred, and Leonard Nimoy stood, in a white robe, megaphone in hand, orchestrating the chaos like a conductor as Shatner, Kelley, Takei, Nichols, Doohan, Koenig and Catherine Hicks stepped off a Klingon Bird-of-Prey and into the drink. That was pure, old-school Hollywood magic. I’d not visited the set of any of the J.J.-verse films, however, so I was stoked to see what was in store when it came to Discovery.

Star Trek: Discovery

Aaron Harberts, Discovery's executive producer and co-showrunner, proceeded to lead our group through an informative, time-efficient, well-structured Discovery set visit experience that started with us watching a bit of filming of a scene from later in the season. All in all, the production utilizes as many as eight stages at Pinewood, including the largest one in North America. Some sets, like the mess hall, which Harberts identified as one of his favorites (because interpersonal character stories play out there) were already down, while others were being erected right as we looked on; sorry, we’re not allowed to describe those! And, for the record, Brutalist architecture dominates everything, everywhere around here. Here are some highlights:

U.S.S. DISCOVERY

Star Trek: Discovery

The U.S.S. Discovery bridge is a sight to behold. It’s sleek and clean and shiny. Oh, and massive. Size-wise, it’s worth noting, it seemed comparable to the Enterprise-D and Voyager bridge sets, as well as more colorful/less muted than both. The centerpiece is Captain Lorca’s chair, though he apparently hardly ever sits in it. He’s a standup guy, literally, and prefers to move about and get his hands dirty. But for the sake of providing an overview, assume Lorca’s chair is dead center. Just in front of him, to his left and right, are ops stations, and right in front of them is where audiences will see a viewscreen. But don’t get too used to viewscreens. Holographic projections will be the preferred method of communicating.

Right behind Lorca’s chair, on either side, are Burnham and Saru’s stations, and further along both sides are other crew stations. At the back of the bridge, there’s a turbolift and also Lorca’s super-spartan ready room. And lit monitors on the wall reveal the current state of the Federation-Klingon war; we’re not sure, but it doesn’t seem to be going well for the good guys.

A closer examination of some of the above reveals actual buttons and knobs on the assorted consoles. Harberts referred to it as “a little bit of analog stuff.” Conversely, the transparent screens at the crew stations are uber-high-tech. They’re monitors that are actually future televisions developed by a company and soon to become available to the public. The previous sets I’d been on had nothing like it, though the J.J.-verse sets likely did. “We’re trying to bring things up just a little bit so that we were living in our present-day language or what the future's going to be bringing us,” Harberts explained, “but also continuing to sort of stay nestled in those 10 years before The Original Series.” All of the graphics are pre-programmed, so if a character interfaces with the graphics, they will either do it in time with the graphics or the graphics will be burned in later during post-production.

ENGINEERING

Star Trek: Discovery

Anyone who has ventured up to Ticonderoga, New York, to check out The Original Series Set Tour surely marveled that the engineering room was far smaller than their imagination probably compelled them to believe. It’s the same thing up here in Toronto. Discovery's engineering section is highly functional and there’s an enclosed, well-illuminated set called a “reaction cube.” Harberts suggested keeping an eye out for the reaction cube as events on the show unfold. “Engineering is a really important set for the show,” the executive producer noted. “Burnham and Tilly are here a lot. Stamets is often on the other side.” This set, FYI, was previously utilized as a torpedo bay. I’d seen that a lot on various Trek sets in the past, as the construction crews carefully and inventively redressed sets as required by the demands of a script, budgetary concerns and/or space limitations.

U.S.S. SHENZHOU

The Shenzhou is probably a brilliant set, but our group of intrepid visitors sadly did not get to explore it. For several reasons. One, construction work was being done on it. Two, it apparently takes many steps to reach and, once you’re inside, it features several sunken areas, stations the characters/actors must step down into, and more than a few people have bonked their heads or tripped, or both. Cue the blooper reel. Three, the entire Shenzhou set is raised, as the ship’s bridge is based at the bottom of the saucer section.

From our vantage point on the ground, though, it’s worth noting that the Shenzhou set faced a huge green screen/curtain. The Shenzhou is located on stage, #8, is Discovery’s green screen stage. So, not only does the Shenzhou crew see space ahead of them courtesy of the green screen and subsequent VFX, but, for example, scenes set on Vulcan were shot in front of the green screen. Visiting this particular set reminded me of what I witnessed when I toured the First Contact sets. The Enterprise-E hull set, which would be walked on by Picard, Worf and Hawk, featured a huge green screen around and behind it, and the set pretty much filled a soundstage on its own.   

“The Shenzhou feels almost more like a battle ship, even though it's a Starfleet vessel and intended for exploration, diplomacy,” Harberts said. “There's an intensity when you step onto this bridge. Not to say that Discovery isn't (intense, too), but the angles, the sharp lines, the ceiling kind of comes down to a much... The headroom there is a lot narrower. I would say it's almost more Hunt for Red October inside that bridge. It feels a little more cramped."

U.S.S. DISCOVERY CORRIDORS, TRANSPORTER & MORE

Stage #4, the aforementioned largest soundstage in North America, is home to pretty much all the major U.S.S. Discovery sets, except the bridge. There are the corridors, which are solid and feature guide lighting. The med bay is here, too, as is an airlock. So is the brig, which is, quite appropriately, a claustrophobic little space. As a veteran of Trek set visits, these all felt very familiar to me. Also here – and quite unique to anything I’d ever experienced -- was the quarters shared by Stamets and Culber. Harberts happily pointed out the bathroom and noted that the characters will share information about their respective days as they brush their teeth.

Star Trek: Discovery

And then there's the transporter room. It’s every Trek fan’s dream to “energize,” and all of us visitors got our moment to stand on the transporter and flash the Vulcan greeting, grouse like Dr. McCoy or hum a beaming sound. This was one cool, elaborate set and, whereas the engineering room somehow felt small, this one feels enormous and wide open. I’d swear that, physically, it was bigger than I remember the transporter room sets from the various other Trek productions.

“This is another one of my favorite sets, just because it's so iconic, and it photographs so beautifully,” Harberts explained. “When you see our cast on the pads, you just can't help but get a rush. We switch this room back and forth between Discovery transporter room and Shenzhou transporter room. It's a huge switch."

"The transport technology on the Shenzhou is different, is older, quote-unquote, so you'll see a different style of transport. The shower stalls, as we call them, echo more the TOS version. But we're in here quite a bit. Off to the sides, you have lockers for EV suits, phasers, pulse rifles, things like that, for landing teams.”

So, while a set is a set is a set, the Discovery sets were mighty impressive. They’re also highly, highly detailed, as HD cameras and HD televisions can -- and do -- reveal so much more than ever before. And, clearly, the permanent sets have been built to last, which signals that the Discovery team is thinking far beyond season one. May the show live long and prosper.

Star Trek: Discovery will debut September 24 on CBS All Access in the U.S. and Space Channel in Canada. The series will premiere on Netflix in the rest of the world on September 25.

Star Trek Discovery CBS All Access

Star Trek Discovery Space Channel CraveTV

Star Trek Discovery Netflix

]]>

Stardate: August 21, 2017.

On this day, all across North America, millions of people trained their eyes on the skies above, as they checked out the rare total eclipse. Meanwhile, over at Pinewood Studios in Toronto, Canada, a couple of dozen journalists from outlets worldwide – including yours truly from StarTrek.com -- happily missed the eclipse in order to experience something even more infrequent: a visit to the sets of the upcoming Star Trek: Discovery series.

Now, let me put this in some perspective. Over the years, for New York Times Syndicate, Starlog, the official Deep Space Nine and Voyager magazines, as well as Star Trek Monthly, I’ve had the honor of visiting the sets of The Voyage Home, TNG, DS9, Voyager, Enterprise, Generations, First Contact, Insurrection and Nemesis. My visit to The Voyage Home set will never, ever be beat, as it was the day the cast and crew transformed the parking lot at Paramount into the San Francisco Bay, wind and lightning machines crackled and whirred, and Leonard Nimoy stood, in a white robe, megaphone in hand, orchestrating the chaos like a conductor as Shatner, Kelley, Takei, Nichols, Doohan, Koenig and Catherine Hicks stepped off a Klingon Bird-of-Prey and into the drink. That was pure, old-school Hollywood magic. I’d not visited the set of any of the J.J.-verse films, however, so I was stoked to see what was in store when it came to Discovery.

Star Trek: Discovery

Aaron Harberts, Discovery's executive producer and co-showrunner, proceeded to lead our group through an informative, time-efficient, well-structured Discovery set visit experience that started with us watching a bit of filming of a scene from later in the season. All in all, the production utilizes as many as eight stages at Pinewood, including the largest one in North America. Some sets, like the mess hall, which Harberts identified as one of his favorites (because interpersonal character stories play out there) were already down, while others were being erected right as we looked on; sorry, we’re not allowed to describe those! And, for the record, Brutalist architecture dominates everything, everywhere around here. Here are some highlights:

U.S.S. DISCOVERY

Star Trek: Discovery

The U.S.S. Discovery bridge is a sight to behold. It’s sleek and clean and shiny. Oh, and massive. Size-wise, it’s worth noting, it seemed comparable to the Enterprise-D and Voyager bridge sets, as well as more colorful/less muted than both. The centerpiece is Captain Lorca’s chair, though he apparently hardly ever sits in it. He’s a standup guy, literally, and prefers to move about and get his hands dirty. But for the sake of providing an overview, assume Lorca’s chair is dead center. Just in front of him, to his left and right, are ops stations, and right in front of them is where audiences will see a viewscreen. But don’t get too used to viewscreens. Holographic projections will be the preferred method of communicating.

Right behind Lorca’s chair, on either side, are Burnham and Saru’s stations, and further along both sides are other crew stations. At the back of the bridge, there’s a turbolift and also Lorca’s super-spartan ready room. And lit monitors on the wall reveal the current state of the Federation-Klingon war; we’re not sure, but it doesn’t seem to be going well for the good guys.

A closer examination of some of the above reveals actual buttons and knobs on the assorted consoles. Harberts referred to it as “a little bit of analog stuff.” Conversely, the transparent screens at the crew stations are uber-high-tech. They’re monitors that are actually future televisions developed by a company and soon to become available to the public. The previous sets I’d been on had nothing like it, though the J.J.-verse sets likely did. “We’re trying to bring things up just a little bit so that we were living in our present-day language or what the future's going to be bringing us,” Harberts explained, “but also continuing to sort of stay nestled in those 10 years before The Original Series.” All of the graphics are pre-programmed, so if a character interfaces with the graphics, they will either do it in time with the graphics or the graphics will be burned in later during post-production.

ENGINEERING

Star Trek: Discovery

Anyone who has ventured up to Ticonderoga, New York, to check out The Original Series Set Tour surely marveled that the engineering room was far smaller than their imagination probably compelled them to believe. It’s the same thing up here in Toronto. Discovery's engineering section is highly functional and there’s an enclosed, well-illuminated set called a “reaction cube.” Harberts suggested keeping an eye out for the reaction cube as events on the show unfold. “Engineering is a really important set for the show,” the executive producer noted. “Burnham and Tilly are here a lot. Stamets is often on the other side.” This set, FYI, was previously utilized as a torpedo bay. I’d seen that a lot on various Trek sets in the past, as the construction crews carefully and inventively redressed sets as required by the demands of a script, budgetary concerns and/or space limitations.

U.S.S. SHENZHOU

The Shenzhou is probably a brilliant set, but our group of intrepid visitors sadly did not get to explore it. For several reasons. One, construction work was being done on it. Two, it apparently takes many steps to reach and, once you’re inside, it features several sunken areas, stations the characters/actors must step down into, and more than a few people have bonked their heads or tripped, or both. Cue the blooper reel. Three, the entire Shenzhou set is raised, as the ship’s bridge is based at the bottom of the saucer section.

From our vantage point on the ground, though, it’s worth noting that the Shenzhou set faced a huge green screen/curtain. The Shenzhou is located on stage, #8, is Discovery’s green screen stage. So, not only does the Shenzhou crew see space ahead of them courtesy of the green screen and subsequent VFX, but, for example, scenes set on Vulcan were shot in front of the green screen. Visiting this particular set reminded me of what I witnessed when I toured the First Contact sets. The Enterprise-E hull set, which would be walked on by Picard, Worf and Hawk, featured a huge green screen around and behind it, and the set pretty much filled a soundstage on its own.   

“The Shenzhou feels almost more like a battle ship, even though it's a Starfleet vessel and intended for exploration, diplomacy,” Harberts said. “There's an intensity when you step onto this bridge. Not to say that Discovery isn't (intense, too), but the angles, the sharp lines, the ceiling kind of comes down to a much... The headroom there is a lot narrower. I would say it's almost more Hunt for Red October inside that bridge. It feels a little more cramped."

U.S.S. DISCOVERY CORRIDORS, TRANSPORTER & MORE

Stage #4, the aforementioned largest soundstage in North America, is home to pretty much all the major U.S.S. Discovery sets, except the bridge. There are the corridors, which are solid and feature guide lighting. The med bay is here, too, as is an airlock. So is the brig, which is, quite appropriately, a claustrophobic little space. As a veteran of Trek set visits, these all felt very familiar to me. Also here – and quite unique to anything I’d ever experienced -- was the quarters shared by Stamets and Culber. Harberts happily pointed out the bathroom and noted that the characters will share information about their respective days as they brush their teeth.

Star Trek: Discovery

And then there's the transporter room. It’s every Trek fan’s dream to “energize,” and all of us visitors got our moment to stand on the transporter and flash the Vulcan greeting, grouse like Dr. McCoy or hum a beaming sound. This was one cool, elaborate set and, whereas the engineering room somehow felt small, this one feels enormous and wide open. I’d swear that, physically, it was bigger than I remember the transporter room sets from the various other Trek productions.

“This is another one of my favorite sets, just because it's so iconic, and it photographs so beautifully,” Harberts explained. “When you see our cast on the pads, you just can't help but get a rush. We switch this room back and forth between Discovery transporter room and Shenzhou transporter room. It's a huge switch."

"The transport technology on the Shenzhou is different, is older, quote-unquote, so you'll see a different style of transport. The shower stalls, as we call them, echo more the TOS version. But we're in here quite a bit. Off to the sides, you have lockers for EV suits, phasers, pulse rifles, things like that, for landing teams.”

So, while a set is a set is a set, the Discovery sets were mighty impressive. They’re also highly, highly detailed, as HD cameras and HD televisions can -- and do -- reveal so much more than ever before. And, clearly, the permanent sets have been built to last, which signals that the Discovery team is thinking far beyond season one. May the show live long and prosper.

Star Trek: Discovery will debut September 24 on CBS All Access in the U.S. and Space Channel in Canada. The series will premiere on Netflix in the rest of the world on September 25.

Star Trek Discovery CBS All Access

Star Trek Discovery Space Channel CraveTV

Star Trek Discovery Netflix

]]>
a-day-on-the-discovery-sets Sat, 16 Sep 2017 06:12:21 -0700
<![CDATA[Burnham, Voq & Sarek FanSets Pins Ready for Launch]]> http://www.startrek.com/article/burnham-voq-sarek-fansets-pins-ready-for-launch

FanSets is adding to its line of Star Trek pins, with fans now able to purchase Discovery pins featuring the already-available Georgiou, T’Kuvma, Saru, Discovery logo and the U.S.S. Shenzhou, as well as the brand-new Burnham (Gold), Voq and Sarek. The logo and ship pins cost $9.95 each, while the character pins are priced at $5.95 apiece.

Star Trek: Discovery, FanSets Pins

 

Star Trek: Discovery, FanSets Pins

Star Trek: Discovery, FanSets Pins

Star Trek: Discovery, FanSets Pins

As previously reported, FanSets offers limited-edition Star Trek pins and pin sets, with unique art and technology, designed to appeal to casual and serious Trek collectors alike. The pins feature Star Trek characters, ships, actor autographs, sound effects and music, as well as cutting-edge, patent-pending Augmented Reality (AR) technology. FanSets will produce pins inspired by The Original Series, The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, Voyager, Enterprise, The Animated Series, Discovery and feature films 1-10.

One of the partners of FanSets is Dan Madsen. A longtime StarTrek.com guest blogger, Madsen is the former founder, president and publisher of both the Official Star Trek Fan Club and Official Star Trek Communicator magazine.

Go to www.fansets.com to check out the full Trek collection.

]]>

FanSets is adding to its line of Star Trek pins, with fans now able to purchase Discovery pins featuring the already-available Georgiou, T’Kuvma, Saru, Discovery logo and the U.S.S. Shenzhou, as well as the brand-new Burnham (Gold), Voq and Sarek. The logo and ship pins cost $9.95 each, while the character pins are priced at $5.95 apiece.

Star Trek: Discovery, FanSets Pins

 

Star Trek: Discovery, FanSets Pins

Star Trek: Discovery, FanSets Pins

Star Trek: Discovery, FanSets Pins

As previously reported, FanSets offers limited-edition Star Trek pins and pin sets, with unique art and technology, designed to appeal to casual and serious Trek collectors alike. The pins feature Star Trek characters, ships, actor autographs, sound effects and music, as well as cutting-edge, patent-pending Augmented Reality (AR) technology. FanSets will produce pins inspired by The Original Series, The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, Voyager, Enterprise, The Animated Series, Discovery and feature films 1-10.

One of the partners of FanSets is Dan Madsen. A longtime StarTrek.com guest blogger, Madsen is the former founder, president and publisher of both the Official Star Trek Fan Club and Official Star Trek Communicator magazine.

Go to www.fansets.com to check out the full Trek collection.

]]>
burnham-voq-sarek-fansets-pins-ready-for-launch Fri, 15 Sep 2017 10:57:55 -0700
<![CDATA[INTERVIEW: Discovery Showrunner Aaron Harberts, Part 2 ]]> http://www.startrek.com/article/interview-discovery-showrunner-aaron-harberts-part-2

Aaron Harberts, you’ve written and produced for such shows as Roswell, John Doe, Wonderfalls, Pushing Daisies, Revenge and Reign. What are you going to do next? The answer is Star Trek: Discovery. Harberts and his longtime writing-producing partner, Gretchen Berg, had collaborated often over the years with Discovery co-creator Bryan Fuller. They were already on board for Discovery when Fuller exited the series, and CBS All Access promptly tapped them to serve as showrunners. Harberts recently sat down with StarTrek.com and a small contingent of journalists -- during a Discovery press day in Toronto -- for a roundtable conversation about Discovery, which will debut in just a couple of weeks. The interview clocked in at nearly 40 minutes and covered a wide variety of subjects. Below is part two of our conversation; click HERE to read part one.

Star Trek: Discovery, Sonequa Martin-Green, Michelle Yeoh

How different is it making a show for streaming vs. traditional television, and how will it alter what the viewer sees at home?

A couple of seasons ago, before streaming really took over, writers were flocking to it because you could tell darker stories and the protagonists that were awful and... You could do everything that you couldn't do in network television, or that they didn't want you to do in network TV. Things were grim. So, I think on a lot of streaming services you tend to find, unless they're comedies, a lot of dystopian stuff. That's not something we wanted to do. We wanted to make sure that this was a show that leaves you with a feeling of hope at the end. Even though there might be dark themes or tough times, a tough setting, we always wanted to make sure our characters were putting their best foot forward. We always wanted to make sure that at the end of the episode, you’d be like, "Wow!" rather than, "Aw." The other thing just slightly different from what I think has been happening in streaming is, our storytelling is really tight. I've noticed on a lot of the streaming shows that run times are often almost too long. The storytelling gets a little saggy in spots, so yes, we're streaming, but I also feel like we're making sure our stories feel like the right length for the story we're telling.

We do have the option, and it's super-compelling to use violence, language, nudity beyond what you can do (on traditional television), but I wouldn't say it works that great on Star Trek. It's really interesting. There's something about it. We can show a bat'leth going through somebody. We could show a mek'leth slicing someone's throat maybe a little bit more than we could on network TV, and that's cool. We don't tend to use a ton of language. When we do, it's got to be for a real reason. We aren't really doing a ton of nudity. It just doesn't quite feel right and, I don't know... I think if you're a fan of the show, you understand what I'm saying. It's just not quite right.

To answer your question... I think what makes us a streaming show is getting to tell stories about characters that you wouldn't necessarily get to see on network television. Getting to do some internal, emotional, darker, people confronting maybe darker sides of themselves or more complicated sides of themselves that you wouldn't necessarily get to do, or if you did it on network, you'd have to tie it up with a bow in one episode. We're allowed to stretch that out a little bit longer.

Star Trek: Discovery, Anthony Rapp, Wilson Cruz

You have Star Trek's first fully explored gay couple on Discovery. Do you think that could be on traditional television?

Yes. That couple, yes. As a gay man myself, it was just important to me for the couple to be a couple. What's more interesting to me is that they've made a choice to work together and to be a couple, which is to me far more insane than being a couple. How do their work lives impact their personal lives? That's one of the big stories we're telling for them. Lt. Stamets makes a couple of choices that really put his partner in a tough situation. What happens in a time of war when your partner becomes a key to helping win the war? But what are the costs? The fact that Dr. Culber (Wilson Cruz) is a doctor only adds to that. The sexuality, obviously, is part of who they are, but the moments that are most special to me are the moments where they're downloading about their day while they're brushing their teeth. We're doing bathrooms in Star Trek.

They're still doing toothbrushes?

They're still doing the toothbrush.

Following up on your comments about streaming and shows running long in some cases. Will the running times of the Discovery episodes be uniform or vary?

We have a range. We definitely have a range. It really is more about how the episodes play. It really is about the rhythm of the story. Some will be high, high 40s, some into the 50s, and then some might be a little bit shorter than that. There's a nice, wide range, but it's got to be the story that dictates. It's different. One thing you asked about, what was it like taking on a show like this? Writing scripts, you might write, "They had a space battle." One sentence, and then suddenly that's five minutes, or, "They fight in the turbolift."

Millions of dollars...

Right, exactly. I'm still learning what kind of script produces what kind of episode. I don't think we're going to quite know yet for another couple of seasons, because it's still pretty amazing how they can expand or contract depending.

Star Trek: Discovery, Anthony Rapp

Is there one character you personally most relate to? And... why?

That's a really good question. I see myself in a lot of them. I think I relate most to Stamets. Stamets is this curmudgeonly, slightly sassy, slightly doesn't suffer fools gladly (guy), but right underneath the surface is somebody who would take the shirt off his back for his crew. His voice is sort of my voice. I also absolutely adore... If we talk about characters I love to write, Mary Wiseman's character Tilly is a joy to write for. She’s unbridled, she's optimistic, she's a nonstop talker. She's Burnham's roommate and Michael, who's so intense, and a woman of few words, when partnered with this young cadet, their scenes are really fun to write.

Star Trek: Discover, Sonequa Martin-Green

Why is Michael Burnham’s name… Michael?

All right, so here we go. We've worked on a number of Bryan Fuller shows… Wonderfalls, Pushing Daisies. Many of his female protagonists have typically what you would call male names. Chuck was one. Jaye was another. When we all sat down, of course, the idea was going to be that she was going to have a male name, or typically male name. We were just pitching around the writers' room. We had a couple on the board and I said, "Well, how about Michael?" Because I had remembered a gossip columnist in Chicago. I used to work in Chicago in publicity, and Michael Sneed, she wrote for the Chicago Sun Times. Then, there was the bass player for The Bangles, a musician named Michael Steele. I'd always thought that the name Michael was just really cool and different. We pitched that to Bryan and he was like, "Let me think about that." That's how we seized on it, but I think it's a really cool name, and maybe we'll see some more women Michaels. Who knows?

Going back to Stamets and Culber, why do you think it’s taken so long to have the LGBTQ represented on Trek?

I don't know. I have no answer for that. Sometimes you try. In television, oftentimes there's nothing, there's not too much behind it. You may create a gay couple, and the actor who reads... Say it's a gay male couple, and none of the actors who come in are the part, and then suddenly you open it up and a woman comes in and reads the part and it's like, “OK, that part just changed.” The other thing about this particular iteration of Star Trek is that it was very important for us to have an out gay actor playing a gay character. That's hard to find. We still live in an age where actors, women or men, are closeted for one reason or another. It took us a long time to find two actors in Anthony (Rapp) and Wilson (Cruz), who were fine doing it. Also, back when Enterprise ended, I still don't think we were at a place where a lot of actors felt comfortable wanting to do it. I don't know why, because you’d think Trek would have tackled that in a certain way. I think sometimes it depends on the writing staff and if they feel... For me, I wouldn't want to do it just to do it. I think that's the other thing, too. I guess the time was right now. Again, I'm proud of Wilson and Anthony for being out actors and being willing to jump in and take it on. It's almost easier to find a straight man who wants to play gay, or who will. It takes a ton of courage, and they're incredible in the roles, and we'll do more, we'll do more.

Star Trek: The Original Series

Nichelle Nichols on TOS was groundbreaking. Now, more than 50 years later, you have two women as leads. You have an openly gay couple. Is it a victory for Discovery, and also for television in general?

Well, I think TV is exciting right now because you are, at least the streaming world, seeing lots of different portrayals of different types of characters. I think for Star Trek, and for launching CBS's streaming service, I'm super-proud that you see a bridge crew that reflects what the world looks like. Is it a victory? I hope not. I hope it's the norm. We can always do better.

How much fun are you having doing little throwbacks to TOS? And can we assume there will be Easter eggs for the eagle-eyed hardcore fans?

Akiva (Goldsman) wanted a Tribble. He's like, "We're having a tribble." "OK, we'll have a Tribble." Harry Mudd, huge throwback, but one that reaped huge dividends. We had met with Rainn Wilson about maybe playing a different part on the show, maybe one of the parts that was a little more prosthetic-heavy and that's a lot of work. Rainn was a huge fan, and he just wanted to come in and have a talk about what we were doing, which was terrific. We said, "Well, we'll keep in touch." He left, and we got into thinking about these little Easter eggs and someone said, "Oh, Harry Mudd has to make an appearance." That's when we said, "Oh my God, that's Rainn." Those two episodes were super-fun, because we'll nod to a couple things from Harry's life as well that will be tiny little Easter eggs. It's always a kick when we make them work.

It's always our wanting to make a show for two different tiers of viewers. One would be the huge Star Trek fans who will maybe get a little bit of the extra stuff out of it. Then, another version for the uninitiated, who can come to it and, I think, really watch it without needing to know a heck of a lot.

Star Trek: Discovery, Aaron Harberts

I'm sure you're busy enough with the show, but there are other legs of this, with the comic books and the novels. How mindful are you of the other spokes in the Discovery rollout?

I can't keep it all straight. Oftentimes, a lot of stuff we've discussed in the writers' room ends up being fodder for the books. Then, Kirsten (Beyer) goes away to the comic book writers and the book writers, and basically develops stories that are spoking off of (episodes). Then, she'll come back and say, "OK, this is what we're doing for here." Sometimes we'll pitch a story and she'll say, "Oh, we're actually doing that in the book." Sometimes we will say, like in the early phases of the book, "Sorry, we're stealing it back." The writers of the books and comic books are reading all of our scripts and Kirsten knows exactly what they're all doing, so I'm really hoping it's going to be a pretty cool, symbiotic, really synergistic (situation). The writers of those books, I think they're just brilliant, and some of the best feedback we've gotten has been from those authors. That is what warms my heart. When Kirsten comes back and one of her writers is like, "I did not see that coming and I have read every script. I can't believe you guys just did that." That's been pretty gratifying because they're hardcore.

Star Trek: Discovery will debut September 24 on CBS All Access in the U.S. and Space Channel in Canada. The series will premiere on Netflix in the rest of the world on September 25.

Star Trek Discovery CBS All Access

Star Trek Discovery Space Channel CraveTV

Star Trek Discovery Netflix

]]>

Aaron Harberts, you’ve written and produced for such shows as Roswell, John Doe, Wonderfalls, Pushing Daisies, Revenge and Reign. What are you going to do next? The answer is Star Trek: Discovery. Harberts and his longtime writing-producing partner, Gretchen Berg, had collaborated often over the years with Discovery co-creator Bryan Fuller. They were already on board for Discovery when Fuller exited the series, and CBS All Access promptly tapped them to serve as showrunners. Harberts recently sat down with StarTrek.com and a small contingent of journalists -- during a Discovery press day in Toronto -- for a roundtable conversation about Discovery, which will debut in just a couple of weeks. The interview clocked in at nearly 40 minutes and covered a wide variety of subjects. Below is part two of our conversation; click HERE to read part one.

Star Trek: Discovery, Sonequa Martin-Green, Michelle Yeoh

How different is it making a show for streaming vs. traditional television, and how will it alter what the viewer sees at home?

A couple of seasons ago, before streaming really took over, writers were flocking to it because you could tell darker stories and the protagonists that were awful and... You could do everything that you couldn't do in network television, or that they didn't want you to do in network TV. Things were grim. So, I think on a lot of streaming services you tend to find, unless they're comedies, a lot of dystopian stuff. That's not something we wanted to do. We wanted to make sure that this was a show that leaves you with a feeling of hope at the end. Even though there might be dark themes or tough times, a tough setting, we always wanted to make sure our characters were putting their best foot forward. We always wanted to make sure that at the end of the episode, you’d be like, "Wow!" rather than, "Aw." The other thing just slightly different from what I think has been happening in streaming is, our storytelling is really tight. I've noticed on a lot of the streaming shows that run times are often almost too long. The storytelling gets a little saggy in spots, so yes, we're streaming, but I also feel like we're making sure our stories feel like the right length for the story we're telling.

We do have the option, and it's super-compelling to use violence, language, nudity beyond what you can do (on traditional television), but I wouldn't say it works that great on Star Trek. It's really interesting. There's something about it. We can show a bat'leth going through somebody. We could show a mek'leth slicing someone's throat maybe a little bit more than we could on network TV, and that's cool. We don't tend to use a ton of language. When we do, it's got to be for a real reason. We aren't really doing a ton of nudity. It just doesn't quite feel right and, I don't know... I think if you're a fan of the show, you understand what I'm saying. It's just not quite right.

To answer your question... I think what makes us a streaming show is getting to tell stories about characters that you wouldn't necessarily get to see on network television. Getting to do some internal, emotional, darker, people confronting maybe darker sides of themselves or more complicated sides of themselves that you wouldn't necessarily get to do, or if you did it on network, you'd have to tie it up with a bow in one episode. We're allowed to stretch that out a little bit longer.

Star Trek: Discovery, Anthony Rapp, Wilson Cruz

You have Star Trek's first fully explored gay couple on Discovery. Do you think that could be on traditional television?

Yes. That couple, yes. As a gay man myself, it was just important to me for the couple to be a couple. What's more interesting to me is that they've made a choice to work together and to be a couple, which is to me far more insane than being a couple. How do their work lives impact their personal lives? That's one of the big stories we're telling for them. Lt. Stamets makes a couple of choices that really put his partner in a tough situation. What happens in a time of war when your partner becomes a key to helping win the war? But what are the costs? The fact that Dr. Culber (Wilson Cruz) is a doctor only adds to that. The sexuality, obviously, is part of who they are, but the moments that are most special to me are the moments where they're downloading about their day while they're brushing their teeth. We're doing bathrooms in Star Trek.

They're still doing toothbrushes?

They're still doing the toothbrush.

Following up on your comments about streaming and shows running long in some cases. Will the running times of the Discovery episodes be uniform or vary?

We have a range. We definitely have a range. It really is more about how the episodes play. It really is about the rhythm of the story. Some will be high, high 40s, some into the 50s, and then some might be a little bit shorter than that. There's a nice, wide range, but it's got to be the story that dictates. It's different. One thing you asked about, what was it like taking on a show like this? Writing scripts, you might write, "They had a space battle." One sentence, and then suddenly that's five minutes, or, "They fight in the turbolift."

Millions of dollars...

Right, exactly. I'm still learning what kind of script produces what kind of episode. I don't think we're going to quite know yet for another couple of seasons, because it's still pretty amazing how they can expand or contract depending.

Star Trek: Discovery, Anthony Rapp

Is there one character you personally most relate to? And... why?

That's a really good question. I see myself in a lot of them. I think I relate most to Stamets. Stamets is this curmudgeonly, slightly sassy, slightly doesn't suffer fools gladly (guy), but right underneath the surface is somebody who would take the shirt off his back for his crew. His voice is sort of my voice. I also absolutely adore... If we talk about characters I love to write, Mary Wiseman's character Tilly is a joy to write for. She’s unbridled, she's optimistic, she's a nonstop talker. She's Burnham's roommate and Michael, who's so intense, and a woman of few words, when partnered with this young cadet, their scenes are really fun to write.

Star Trek: Discover, Sonequa Martin-Green

Why is Michael Burnham’s name… Michael?

All right, so here we go. We've worked on a number of Bryan Fuller shows… Wonderfalls, Pushing Daisies. Many of his female protagonists have typically what you would call male names. Chuck was one. Jaye was another. When we all sat down, of course, the idea was going to be that she was going to have a male name, or typically male name. We were just pitching around the writers' room. We had a couple on the board and I said, "Well, how about Michael?" Because I had remembered a gossip columnist in Chicago. I used to work in Chicago in publicity, and Michael Sneed, she wrote for the Chicago Sun Times. Then, there was the bass player for The Bangles, a musician named Michael Steele. I'd always thought that the name Michael was just really cool and different. We pitched that to Bryan and he was like, "Let me think about that." That's how we seized on it, but I think it's a really cool name, and maybe we'll see some more women Michaels. Who knows?

Going back to Stamets and Culber, why do you think it’s taken so long to have the LGBTQ represented on Trek?

I don't know. I have no answer for that. Sometimes you try. In television, oftentimes there's nothing, there's not too much behind it. You may create a gay couple, and the actor who reads... Say it's a gay male couple, and none of the actors who come in are the part, and then suddenly you open it up and a woman comes in and reads the part and it's like, “OK, that part just changed.” The other thing about this particular iteration of Star Trek is that it was very important for us to have an out gay actor playing a gay character. That's hard to find. We still live in an age where actors, women or men, are closeted for one reason or another. It took us a long time to find two actors in Anthony (Rapp) and Wilson (Cruz), who were fine doing it. Also, back when Enterprise ended, I still don't think we were at a place where a lot of actors felt comfortable wanting to do it. I don't know why, because you’d think Trek would have tackled that in a certain way. I think sometimes it depends on the writing staff and if they feel... For me, I wouldn't want to do it just to do it. I think that's the other thing, too. I guess the time was right now. Again, I'm proud of Wilson and Anthony for being out actors and being willing to jump in and take it on. It's almost easier to find a straight man who wants to play gay, or who will. It takes a ton of courage, and they're incredible in the roles, and we'll do more, we'll do more.

Star Trek: The Original Series

Nichelle Nichols on TOS was groundbreaking. Now, more than 50 years later, you have two women as leads. You have an openly gay couple. Is it a victory for Discovery, and also for television in general?

Well, I think TV is exciting right now because you are, at least the streaming world, seeing lots of different portrayals of different types of characters. I think for Star Trek, and for launching CBS's streaming service, I'm super-proud that you see a bridge crew that reflects what the world looks like. Is it a victory? I hope not. I hope it's the norm. We can always do better.

How much fun are you having doing little throwbacks to TOS? And can we assume there will be Easter eggs for the eagle-eyed hardcore fans?

Akiva (Goldsman) wanted a Tribble. He's like, "We're having a tribble." "OK, we'll have a Tribble." Harry Mudd, huge throwback, but one that reaped huge dividends. We had met with Rainn Wilson about maybe playing a different part on the show, maybe one of the parts that was a little more prosthetic-heavy and that's a lot of work. Rainn was a huge fan, and he just wanted to come in and have a talk about what we were doing, which was terrific. We said, "Well, we'll keep in touch." He left, and we got into thinking about these little Easter eggs and someone said, "Oh, Harry Mudd has to make an appearance." That's when we said, "Oh my God, that's Rainn." Those two episodes were super-fun, because we'll nod to a couple things from Harry's life as well that will be tiny little Easter eggs. It's always a kick when we make them work.

It's always our wanting to make a show for two different tiers of viewers. One would be the huge Star Trek fans who will maybe get a little bit of the extra stuff out of it. Then, another version for the uninitiated, who can come to it and, I think, really watch it without needing to know a heck of a lot.

Star Trek: Discovery, Aaron Harberts

I'm sure you're busy enough with the show, but there are other legs of this, with the comic books and the novels. How mindful are you of the other spokes in the Discovery rollout?

I can't keep it all straight. Oftentimes, a lot of stuff we've discussed in the writers' room ends up being fodder for the books. Then, Kirsten (Beyer) goes away to the comic book writers and the book writers, and basically develops stories that are spoking off of (episodes). Then, she'll come back and say, "OK, this is what we're doing for here." Sometimes we'll pitch a story and she'll say, "Oh, we're actually doing that in the book." Sometimes we will say, like in the early phases of the book, "Sorry, we're stealing it back." The writers of the books and comic books are reading all of our scripts and Kirsten knows exactly what they're all doing, so I'm really hoping it's going to be a pretty cool, symbiotic, really synergistic (situation). The writers of those books, I think they're just brilliant, and some of the best feedback we've gotten has been from those authors. That is what warms my heart. When Kirsten comes back and one of her writers is like, "I did not see that coming and I have read every script. I can't believe you guys just did that." That's been pretty gratifying because they're hardcore.

Star Trek: Discovery will debut September 24 on CBS All Access in the U.S. and Space Channel in Canada. The series will premiere on Netflix in the rest of the world on September 25.

Star Trek Discovery CBS All Access

Star Trek Discovery Space Channel CraveTV

Star Trek Discovery Netflix

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interview-discovery-showrunner-aaron-harberts-part-2 Fri, 15 Sep 2017 09:49:53 -0700
<![CDATA[Announcing the Dranuur Colony Fleet Holding]]> http://www.startrek.com/article/announcing-the-dranuur-colony-fleet-holding

Following the events of “Mirrors and Smoke,” the Lukari and Kentari began efforts to work together. The culmination of this effort is the Dranuur Colony in the Alpha Quadrant. Both races will try and see if they can coexist peacefully, or if it is all but a pipe dream. With any luck, the two races will learn a thing or two about the other and how they can better their own lives.

With Season 14: Emergence, Dranuur Colony will become available as a new joint Lukari-Kentari-themed Fleet Holding, available to all Fleets in Star Trek Online. Your Fleet will assist the two races as they establish and develop an island on the newly-terraformed world.

For the first time since the introduction of the Fleet Starbase, player fleets will be presented with a full-sized Holding, comprised of a primary track and three subtracks, each with five tiers of progression. Each tier and subtrack will offer fleets new improvements to their Colony World holding, as well as access to new equipment and new gameplay options.

In addition to earning resources by participating in activities around the colony, your fleet will be able to enact training simulations for potential invasions – the Kentari haven’t survived this long without a healthy helping of paranoia, after all. Simulation Provisions (used to start the invasion simulation) will can be earned by completing fleet projects and can be used by your fleet leadership to trigger these map-wide invasion events. As your fleet advances, new simulation options will become available, allowing you some customization of the training simulation experience. Additionally, it will become easier to earn a stockpile of Simulation Provisions as you progress in the main track.

The invasion simulation is a multi-location wave defense event, which allows up to 20 fleet members to participate without needing to queue – simply travel to the Dranuur Colony, and start the event. After every five invasion waves, participants will be given a vote to stop and claim the rewards earned so far, or continue on to more difficult waves, risking their earned rewards in the process. Victory in this simulation rewards players with resources and Fleet Marks used to progress the Colony holding.

Best of luck, Captains. The future of the Lukari-Kentari Joint Initiative is in your hands.

Rob “CrypticRidi” Hrouda and Ryon “Melange” Levitt
Star Trek Online

]]>

Following the events of “Mirrors and Smoke,” the Lukari and Kentari began efforts to work together. The culmination of this effort is the Dranuur Colony in the Alpha Quadrant. Both races will try and see if they can coexist peacefully, or if it is all but a pipe dream. With any luck, the two races will learn a thing or two about the other and how they can better their own lives.

With Season 14: Emergence, Dranuur Colony will become available as a new joint Lukari-Kentari-themed Fleet Holding, available to all Fleets in Star Trek Online. Your Fleet will assist the two races as they establish and develop an island on the newly-terraformed world.

For the first time since the introduction of the Fleet Starbase, player fleets will be presented with a full-sized Holding, comprised of a primary track and three subtracks, each with five tiers of progression. Each tier and subtrack will offer fleets new improvements to their Colony World holding, as well as access to new equipment and new gameplay options.

In addition to earning resources by participating in activities around the colony, your fleet will be able to enact training simulations for potential invasions – the Kentari haven’t survived this long without a healthy helping of paranoia, after all. Simulation Provisions (used to start the invasion simulation) will can be earned by completing fleet projects and can be used by your fleet leadership to trigger these map-wide invasion events. As your fleet advances, new simulation options will become available, allowing you some customization of the training simulation experience. Additionally, it will become easier to earn a stockpile of Simulation Provisions as you progress in the main track.

The invasion simulation is a multi-location wave defense event, which allows up to 20 fleet members to participate without needing to queue – simply travel to the Dranuur Colony, and start the event. After every five invasion waves, participants will be given a vote to stop and claim the rewards earned so far, or continue on to more difficult waves, risking their earned rewards in the process. Victory in this simulation rewards players with resources and Fleet Marks used to progress the Colony holding.

Best of luck, Captains. The future of the Lukari-Kentari Joint Initiative is in your hands.

Rob “CrypticRidi” Hrouda and Ryon “Melange” Levitt
Star Trek Online

]]>
announcing-the-dranuur-colony-fleet-holding Fri, 15 Sep 2017 08:00:00 -0700
<![CDATA[WATCH: 'Discovery Props Go from Sketch to Build']]> http://www.startrek.com/article/watch-discovery-props-go-from-sketch-to-build

CBS All Access takes fans behind the scenes with Props Master Mario Moreira and his team in a just-released Star Trek: Discovery featurette. 

Check it out below:

To learn more about the process and how Moreira and his team took a "period piece" approach to creating the props for the show, head to www.CBS.com.

Star Trek: Discovery premieres in the U.S. on CBS All Access Sunday, Sept. 24, following a broadcast premiere on the CBS Television Network.

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CBS All Access takes fans behind the scenes with Props Master Mario Moreira and his team in a just-released Star Trek: Discovery featurette. 

Check it out below:

To learn more about the process and how Moreira and his team took a "period piece" approach to creating the props for the show, head to www.CBS.com.

Star Trek: Discovery premieres in the U.S. on CBS All Access Sunday, Sept. 24, following a broadcast premiere on the CBS Television Network.

]]>
watch-discovery-props-go-from-sketch-to-build Thu, 14 Sep 2017 11:48:34 -0700
<![CDATA[INTERVIEW: Discovery Showrunner Aaron Harberts]]> http://www.startrek.com/article/interview-discovery-showrunner-aaron-harberts

Aaron Harberts, you’ve written and produced for such shows as Roswell, John Doe, Wonderfalls, Pushing Daisies, Revenge and Reign. What are you going to do next? The answer is Star Trek: Discovery. Harberts and his longtime writing-producing partner, Gretchen Berg, had collaborated often over the years with Discovery co-creator Bryan Fuller. They were already on board for Discovery when Fuller exited the series, and CBS All Access promptly tapped them to serve as showrunners. Harberts recently sat down with StarTrek.com and a small contingent of journalists -- during a Discovery press day in Toronto -- for a roundtable conversation about Discovery, which will debut in just a couple of weeks. The interview clocked in at nearly 40 minutes and covered a wide variety of subjects. We’ve broken the chat in half, so please visit StarTrek.com again tomorrow to read part two.

Star Trek: Discovery, Aaron Harberts

How big a responsibility is it to take on a Star Trek show?

Biggest job I've ever had in my life.

In what ways?

We've run others shows, and when you run other shows, smaller shows… No show is small. The job is hard no matter what, but when you run a typical network drama, there's a little more autonomy as the showrunner. You're making certain decisions, and you're able to pivot and move, and bob and weave, and get things done. When you come on to Star Trek, and I'm guessing this was true for anybody who ran any version of Trek, the thing I realized so early out of the gate is this show is bigger than any of us. When I say Star Trek is bigger than any one of us, it really is true. Not only do the fans have a part of it, but just the massive amount of people at the network and the studio and production; it's a team effort. A lot of considerations have to be taken before you make a lot of moves.

Everyone gets their opinion and that's actually really great because what it does is the pressure gets spread. It's not all on you. It's been one of the most-challenging experiences of my life, truly, truly, truly. We have a fantastic writing staff. We have fantastic editorial. Our team is in Los Angeles and they're great. I think ignorance was also helpful. I had watched Trek and knew a lot about it, but when they asked us to come in when Bryan left, I think if I had known how hard it would be, I may have said, "Next." I'm thrilled that we're here, I'm thrilled that it's getting close to airing, streaming.

Star Trek

How often do the constrictions of canon affect you, where someone in the writers’ room says, “That’s been done” or “You can’t do that”?

It happens all the time. We have, five members of the writing staff are hardcore Trek fans. One of them writes a lot of the novels and pretty much has seen every episode and knows tons about it.

That's Kirsten?

Kirsten Beyer. Have you met her? She's awesome.

But you were saying…

It's frustrating when you're pitching story and you hear, "Ah, that's not possible." When I hear that, you just say, "OK, got it, that's the rule.” The last thing we want to do is feel like we came into somebody else's house and took the plates out and moved them somewhere else. You want to make sure that you feel like you're taking good care of the show, and that you're respecting canon, but what's been fun about it is every time you bump up against a limitation, it's fun to be able to sometimes take it head on and say, "We're going to twist that, but we're going to come back around and land it in a way where the audience can say, 'OK, they actually did wedge of piece of Aaron's storytelling now into what I know.'" I've always said I want the fans to be patient with us because sometimes you'll see us do what seem like a violation, but we'll fix it in the next episode. There's an amazing ship named Discovery that has a fantastic way to fly that you've never seen before, and no one ever talks about it. As we look to future seasons, it's all about tying it up so that we can move ahead, and the rest of the Star Trek universe can maintain intact.

Star Trek: Enterprise

Enterprise was a Trek prequel as well. What's its impact on Discovery

Enterprise has been so tough because they tried to rack on several things and sometimes it will be like, "Oh, if Enterprise had just left that alone we wouldn't be like painted into that corner," but they did and that's fine. We just find a way. When it comes to the fans, Gretchen and I made a choice to go off of social media. I'll tweet a little bit, but we really stayed off of that and off Facebook. We don't read press about show. We aren't looking at that because the expectation can get so great that you can buckle. We need to just keep our heads down and know that our team is guiding us on the best path.

What I hope happens is, after this first season, second season, we'll start creating our own slice of it so that we're adding to canon in our way, and those questions come up less and less. It's been very important, and look, you can't be perfect all the time… Some things just slip through the crack. Maybe an actor just says the wrong line and you miss it and suddenly you're on a mix stage and you're like, "Oh my God, oh God. Did they just use that phrase?" We'll try to fix it, but nothing's perfect. There will be tiny little mistakes, but I'll tell you something, our intentions are nothing but good.

The show is called Discovery. What will we be discovering?

We will be discovering the Federation and Starfleet in a time of war, and how the Federation has to look at itself and make some decisions about how it needs to behave and act. You're going to find a character in Michael Burnham, who was basically ready to be promoted to the Captain's chair and makes some choices that change her life, and for that reason, what she thought she was going to get, who she thought she was, all of her time with Sarek training to be a captain… is now sort of a far-off vision, and she's going to be discovering who she really is. We're going to be discovering the Klingons from a point of view I don't think we've done before.

Mainly, when you cut away to Klingons (in previous Treks), they're screaming "Qapla!" and firing torpedoes. (And on Discovery) you're going to find a race of people who have their own philosophy, know it's a philosophy of isolationism and it's a philosophy of wanting to maintain their own unity in the face of their own... The Klingons have never been more fractured at this time, and they want to unite. They want to focus on themselves rather than focus on anything else outside that. We'll discover that, too. We'll discover how a war breaks out sort of by watching it happen on both sides.

Star Trek: Discovery

Should we look for an analogy in Klingons, as they represented the Russians in previous Trek storytelling?

My take on the Klingons right now, and it's hard to say it's a perfect analogy because I believe too that things need to kind of move, but for me in the Klingons, I really look to the United States and the division that's happening within our own country.

That's a big change from the Russians?

That's a huge change. It's a huge change, but it felt apt. The Klingons want to unite, protect what they have. They don't want to let anybody else in. They're not interested in shaking Starfleet's hands. Then, you've got Starfleet, who is a little bit shoving their hands in their faces. Obviously, we've got division all around the world, but I just thought, we all thought as a writing staff, that what was happening in the States was pretty provocative, and it's almost like, “Well, we didn't have to look too far from home.” That will change and grow, and not everything is exactly analogous.

Please talk about the serialized storytelling elements of Discovery, and can we expect to have several Trek series in the future?

I think that would be great. You could pull stories from Next Gen, you could pull from TOS; there are tons of opportunities. I think that CBS needs to make sure that this is of the flagship, and that it's landed, and that people are getting behind it. And I think you slowly start introducing that. I think the other thing that's interesting is maybe you do three episodes, a three-episode movie about a chapter in one of the ship's histories that you haven't seen.

This season (of Discovery), these 15 episodes are, it's definitely a novel, serialized storytelling. Each episode is a chapter, but each of those chapters in a way is distinct enough that you'll be able to remember what happened. We always say like, when you write TV and you meet someone, "Oh, I'm a TV writer." "Oh, what do you write for?" "Star Trek." "Oh, what episode did you write?" This is one of those where you can say, "I wrote the one with Harry Mudd," and you'll be like, "Got it. I know exactly what happened." You will feel with each episode a contained storyline, and then a tug into the next one. The mythology will just continue to grow.

Star Trek: Discovery, SDCC

You and Gretchen are the showrunners at this point. Give us a sense of how you operate. What's a day in the life of the two of you?

A day in the life of the two of us. Well, we are the showrunners, but we have an amazing team with us. We have Akiva Goldsman, who's very actively involved, and Alex Kurtzman, who's also really actively involved. It's all about dividing and conquering. Alex may be meeting with Skywalker Sound to come up with the sound of the ships, because that's a music in and of itself. Alex may be working with our composer, Jeff Russo, and really locking down some of that stuff. Because Alex has got tons of other projects, but he's super-focused on Trek, we'll say, "Alex, there you go." Or, Alex is the guy who's calling the network and saying, "We need more money." He's awesome about that.

Then Akiva, super-duper Trek fan, and we can say to him, "The script needs a little help. Take it, run with it." He's directing a lot of our episodes. He directs (two) this year. In season two, knock wood, he'll do a lot more. For us, the two of us, a day in the life is waking up to some sort of production issue in Toronto that happened three hours before I woke up and realizing that you're already three hours behind. There is no such thing anymore as a quiet, peaceful morning. When we get into in the morning, we're bopping back and forth between the writers' room, where we're trying to break stories, reading scripts where we're giving notes, rewriting things ourselves, going into post, and then trying to get to Toronto as much as we can because we have a great group here that really is keeping the show in hand, but it's always nice to come in and talk to the actors about where the show is going. It's busy. We're at it from 9:00, 8:30 a.m. until about 10:00, 10:30 at night, is when we are typically trudging out of the office.

The story being set 10 years before Kirk and Spock, you mentioned there's some limitations with canon and so forth. But, are there things that it actually offers you that maybe fans don't recognize today, but will see as this unfolds?

Yes. Absolutely, yes. We are going to be doing a few things that shake hands with TOS in a way that I think are going to be so fun. I think people will be pretty excited about what's coming down the pike. I mentioned off the record at one point one of the storylines we're doing to another reporter, and he's a Star Trek fan, and he literally like put his fist in his mouth and was like, "You're making this very hard for me." There were lots of, there are several opportunities and things we wanted to take advantage of and say, "Hey, let's tell a prequel to a couple of these TOS stories."

Star Trek: Discovery

You're doing a prequel to a show from 1966, and you’re making it in 2017. How hard is it in terms of technology, science and production values to reconcile that?

That's something that's always going to be an issue. It's impossible to get around it. I think when we all started talking about it, we just didn't think that it would be the best way to go, to just use toggles and just technology… It's funny now how iPads have caught up with Next Gen. All of that technology has now come to pass in a lot of ways. There is a certain analog quality. There's a certain analog quality to some of the ship's helm controls and things. It just feels tactile, but then there's also tons of monitors and graphics that they wouldn't have had in TOS. We had to strike a balance between not changing things that we thought were super-important, like the communicators and tricorder and phaser, but in terms of how graphics are done or how... We lean on holograms a lot, actually, instead of just going to the viewscreen. Just slightly different ways of making it feel a little more contemporary. But I don't think it's so in your face that you're going to say, "Wait, hold on a second." It was our plan to just sort of have a seamless integration. Some of those key props, we, Bryan… nobody wanted to really change those.

You mentioned Bryan. How much of his impact is still on the show?

I feel his impact every day. He left (when) we were about eight, nine months into working on the show. He and Alex really came up with the story, the arc of the show together. They are co-creators on the show, but Bryan had some... the Klingons, that's very much Bryan's legacy. A couple of the other things that I'm not at liberty to talk about now, but when you've seen a lot of the show, we can always go back and talk more about it and fill it out later. Some of the nods to TOS, some of those notions of stories or places to go also are straight from Bryan. He's with us all the time.

Star Trek: Discovery will debut September 24 on CBS All Access in the U.S. and Space Channel in Canada. The series will premiere on Netflix in the rest of the world on September 25.

Star Trek Discovery CBS All Access

Star Trek Discovery Space Channel CraveTV

Star Trek Discovery Netflix

]]>

Aaron Harberts, you’ve written and produced for such shows as Roswell, John Doe, Wonderfalls, Pushing Daisies, Revenge and Reign. What are you going to do next? The answer is Star Trek: Discovery. Harberts and his longtime writing-producing partner, Gretchen Berg, had collaborated often over the years with Discovery co-creator Bryan Fuller. They were already on board for Discovery when Fuller exited the series, and CBS All Access promptly tapped them to serve as showrunners. Harberts recently sat down with StarTrek.com and a small contingent of journalists -- during a Discovery press day in Toronto -- for a roundtable conversation about Discovery, which will debut in just a couple of weeks. The interview clocked in at nearly 40 minutes and covered a wide variety of subjects. We’ve broken the chat in half, so please visit StarTrek.com again tomorrow to read part two.

Star Trek: Discovery, Aaron Harberts

How big a responsibility is it to take on a Star Trek show?

Biggest job I've ever had in my life.

In what ways?

We've run others shows, and when you run other shows, smaller shows… No show is small. The job is hard no matter what, but when you run a typical network drama, there's a little more autonomy as the showrunner. You're making certain decisions, and you're able to pivot and move, and bob and weave, and get things done. When you come on to Star Trek, and I'm guessing this was true for anybody who ran any version of Trek, the thing I realized so early out of the gate is this show is bigger than any of us. When I say Star Trek is bigger than any one of us, it really is true. Not only do the fans have a part of it, but just the massive amount of people at the network and the studio and production; it's a team effort. A lot of considerations have to be taken before you make a lot of moves.

Everyone gets their opinion and that's actually really great because what it does is the pressure gets spread. It's not all on you. It's been one of the most-challenging experiences of my life, truly, truly, truly. We have a fantastic writing staff. We have fantastic editorial. Our team is in Los Angeles and they're great. I think ignorance was also helpful. I had watched Trek and knew a lot about it, but when they asked us to come in when Bryan left, I think if I had known how hard it would be, I may have said, "Next." I'm thrilled that we're here, I'm thrilled that it's getting close to airing, streaming.

Star Trek

How often do the constrictions of canon affect you, where someone in the writers’ room says, “That’s been done” or “You can’t do that”?

It happens all the time. We have, five members of the writing staff are hardcore Trek fans. One of them writes a lot of the novels and pretty much has seen every episode and knows tons about it.

That's Kirsten?

Kirsten Beyer. Have you met her? She's awesome.

But you were saying…

It's frustrating when you're pitching story and you hear, "Ah, that's not possible." When I hear that, you just say, "OK, got it, that's the rule.” The last thing we want to do is feel like we came into somebody else's house and took the plates out and moved them somewhere else. You want to make sure that you feel like you're taking good care of the show, and that you're respecting canon, but what's been fun about it is every time you bump up against a limitation, it's fun to be able to sometimes take it head on and say, "We're going to twist that, but we're going to come back around and land it in a way where the audience can say, 'OK, they actually did wedge of piece of Aaron's storytelling now into what I know.'" I've always said I want the fans to be patient with us because sometimes you'll see us do what seem like a violation, but we'll fix it in the next episode. There's an amazing ship named Discovery that has a fantastic way to fly that you've never seen before, and no one ever talks about it. As we look to future seasons, it's all about tying it up so that we can move ahead, and the rest of the Star Trek universe can maintain intact.

Star Trek: Enterprise

Enterprise was a Trek prequel as well. What's its impact on Discovery

Enterprise has been so tough because they tried to rack on several things and sometimes it will be like, "Oh, if Enterprise had just left that alone we wouldn't be like painted into that corner," but they did and that's fine. We just find a way. When it comes to the fans, Gretchen and I made a choice to go off of social media. I'll tweet a little bit, but we really stayed off of that and off Facebook. We don't read press about show. We aren't looking at that because the expectation can get so great that you can buckle. We need to just keep our heads down and know that our team is guiding us on the best path.

What I hope happens is, after this first season, second season, we'll start creating our own slice of it so that we're adding to canon in our way, and those questions come up less and less. It's been very important, and look, you can't be perfect all the time… Some things just slip through the crack. Maybe an actor just says the wrong line and you miss it and suddenly you're on a mix stage and you're like, "Oh my God, oh God. Did they just use that phrase?" We'll try to fix it, but nothing's perfect. There will be tiny little mistakes, but I'll tell you something, our intentions are nothing but good.

The show is called Discovery. What will we be discovering?

We will be discovering the Federation and Starfleet in a time of war, and how the Federation has to look at itself and make some decisions about how it needs to behave and act. You're going to find a character in Michael Burnham, who was basically ready to be promoted to the Captain's chair and makes some choices that change her life, and for that reason, what she thought she was going to get, who she thought she was, all of her time with Sarek training to be a captain… is now sort of a far-off vision, and she's going to be discovering who she really is. We're going to be discovering the Klingons from a point of view I don't think we've done before.

Mainly, when you cut away to Klingons (in previous Treks), they're screaming "Qapla!" and firing torpedoes. (And on Discovery) you're going to find a race of people who have their own philosophy, know it's a philosophy of isolationism and it's a philosophy of wanting to maintain their own unity in the face of their own... The Klingons have never been more fractured at this time, and they want to unite. They want to focus on themselves rather than focus on anything else outside that. We'll discover that, too. We'll discover how a war breaks out sort of by watching it happen on both sides.

Star Trek: Discovery

Should we look for an analogy in Klingons, as they represented the Russians in previous Trek storytelling?

My take on the Klingons right now, and it's hard to say it's a perfect analogy because I believe too that things need to kind of move, but for me in the Klingons, I really look to the United States and the division that's happening within our own country.

That's a big change from the Russians?

That's a huge change. It's a huge change, but it felt apt. The Klingons want to unite, protect what they have. They don't want to let anybody else in. They're not interested in shaking Starfleet's hands. Then, you've got Starfleet, who is a little bit shoving their hands in their faces. Obviously, we've got division all around the world, but I just thought, we all thought as a writing staff, that what was happening in the States was pretty provocative, and it's almost like, “Well, we didn't have to look too far from home.” That will change and grow, and not everything is exactly analogous.

Please talk about the serialized storytelling elements of Discovery, and can we expect to have several Trek series in the future?

I think that would be great. You could pull stories from Next Gen, you could pull from TOS; there are tons of opportunities. I think that CBS needs to make sure that this is of the flagship, and that it's landed, and that people are getting behind it. And I think you slowly start introducing that. I think the other thing that's interesting is maybe you do three episodes, a three-episode movie about a chapter in one of the ship's histories that you haven't seen.

This season (of Discovery), these 15 episodes are, it's definitely a novel, serialized storytelling. Each episode is a chapter, but each of those chapters in a way is distinct enough that you'll be able to remember what happened. We always say like, when you write TV and you meet someone, "Oh, I'm a TV writer." "Oh, what do you write for?" "Star Trek." "Oh, what episode did you write?" This is one of those where you can say, "I wrote the one with Harry Mudd," and you'll be like, "Got it. I know exactly what happened." You will feel with each episode a contained storyline, and then a tug into the next one. The mythology will just continue to grow.

Star Trek: Discovery, SDCC

You and Gretchen are the showrunners at this point. Give us a sense of how you operate. What's a day in the life of the two of you?

A day in the life of the two of us. Well, we are the showrunners, but we have an amazing team with us. We have Akiva Goldsman, who's very actively involved, and Alex Kurtzman, who's also really actively involved. It's all about dividing and conquering. Alex may be meeting with Skywalker Sound to come up with the sound of the ships, because that's a music in and of itself. Alex may be working with our composer, Jeff Russo, and really locking down some of that stuff. Because Alex has got tons of other projects, but he's super-focused on Trek, we'll say, "Alex, there you go." Or, Alex is the guy who's calling the network and saying, "We need more money." He's awesome about that.

Then Akiva, super-duper Trek fan, and we can say to him, "The script needs a little help. Take it, run with it." He's directing a lot of our episodes. He directs (two) this year. In season two, knock wood, he'll do a lot more. For us, the two of us, a day in the life is waking up to some sort of production issue in Toronto that happened three hours before I woke up and realizing that you're already three hours behind. There is no such thing anymore as a quiet, peaceful morning. When we get into in the morning, we're bopping back and forth between the writers' room, where we're trying to break stories, reading scripts where we're giving notes, rewriting things ourselves, going into post, and then trying to get to Toronto as much as we can because we have a great group here that really is keeping the show in hand, but it's always nice to come in and talk to the actors about where the show is going. It's busy. We're at it from 9:00, 8:30 a.m. until about 10:00, 10:30 at night, is when we are typically trudging out of the office.

The story being set 10 years before Kirk and Spock, you mentioned there's some limitations with canon and so forth. But, are there things that it actually offers you that maybe fans don't recognize today, but will see as this unfolds?

Yes. Absolutely, yes. We are going to be doing a few things that shake hands with TOS in a way that I think are going to be so fun. I think people will be pretty excited about what's coming down the pike. I mentioned off the record at one point one of the storylines we're doing to another reporter, and he's a Star Trek fan, and he literally like put his fist in his mouth and was like, "You're making this very hard for me." There were lots of, there are several opportunities and things we wanted to take advantage of and say, "Hey, let's tell a prequel to a couple of these TOS stories."

Star Trek: Discovery

You're doing a prequel to a show from 1966, and you’re making it in 2017. How hard is it in terms of technology, science and production values to reconcile that?

That's something that's always going to be an issue. It's impossible to get around it. I think when we all started talking about it, we just didn't think that it would be the best way to go, to just use toggles and just technology… It's funny now how iPads have caught up with Next Gen. All of that technology has now come to pass in a lot of ways. There is a certain analog quality. There's a certain analog quality to some of the ship's helm controls and things. It just feels tactile, but then there's also tons of monitors and graphics that they wouldn't have had in TOS. We had to strike a balance between not changing things that we thought were super-important, like the communicators and tricorder and phaser, but in terms of how graphics are done or how... We lean on holograms a lot, actually, instead of just going to the viewscreen. Just slightly different ways of making it feel a little more contemporary. But I don't think it's so in your face that you're going to say, "Wait, hold on a second." It was our plan to just sort of have a seamless integration. Some of those key props, we, Bryan… nobody wanted to really change those.

You mentioned Bryan. How much of his impact is still on the show?

I feel his impact every day. He left (when) we were about eight, nine months into working on the show. He and Alex really came up with the story, the arc of the show together. They are co-creators on the show, but Bryan had some... the Klingons, that's very much Bryan's legacy. A couple of the other things that I'm not at liberty to talk about now, but when you've seen a lot of the show, we can always go back and talk more about it and fill it out later. Some of the nods to TOS, some of those notions of stories or places to go also are straight from Bryan. He's with us all the time.

Star Trek: Discovery will debut September 24 on CBS All Access in the U.S. and Space Channel in Canada. The series will premiere on Netflix in the rest of the world on September 25.

Star Trek Discovery CBS All Access

Star Trek Discovery Space Channel CraveTV

Star Trek Discovery Netflix

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interview-discovery-showrunner-aaron-harberts Thu, 14 Sep 2017 09:11:56 -0700
<![CDATA[WATCH: 'We Embrace the Unknown']]> http://www.startrek.com/article/watch-we-embrace-the-unknown

The latest 30-second Star Trek: Discovery promo for U.S. fans was released today by CBS All Access as the crew embraces the unknown.

Check it out:

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The latest 30-second Star Trek: Discovery promo for U.S. fans was released today by CBS All Access as the crew embraces the unknown.

Check it out:

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watch-we-embrace-the-unknown Wed, 13 Sep 2017 10:58:33 -0700
<![CDATA[CHECK IT OUT: Darmok-Style Picard Uniform Jacket ]]> http://www.startrek.com/article/check-it-out-darmok-style-picard-uniform-jacket

The ANOVOS Star Trek design team is celebrating the 30th anniversary of Star Trek: The Next Generation by re-releasing Captain Picard's Uniform Jacket, but with its original iteration as introduced in the fifth season episode, "Darmok." Designed by Robert Blackman with direct input from Patrick Stewart, Captain Picard’s Uniform Jacket was intended to make the Captain stand out from the rest of the crew -- just as Captain Kirk’s wraparound tunics had a generation before. Between the suede leather of the uniform body and the shiny, smooth black vinyl yoke, this piece loudly contrasted against the standard duty uniforms worn on the show by the Enterprise-D's bridge crew.

The Captain Picard's Uniform Jacket is made of 100% real leather suede as per the "Darmok" iteration, which was color matched to a preserved, screen-used jacket from a private collection. Further, it features padded vinyl shoulder detail a la the original "Darmok" iteration and is patterned directly from screen-used jacket, used throughout TNG seasons five through seven. Other highlights include a satin interior lining for comfort, just like the original, no center front closure, cuff and waistband stitch detail, as well as hidden interior breast pockets for smaller items at both sides of jacket.

The product will ship in Spring 2018. Visit www.ANOVOS.com for pricing and additional details.

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The ANOVOS Star Trek design team is celebrating the 30th anniversary of Star Trek: The Next Generation by re-releasing Captain Picard's Uniform Jacket, but with its original iteration as introduced in the fifth season episode, "Darmok." Designed by Robert Blackman with direct input from Patrick Stewart, Captain Picard’s Uniform Jacket was intended to make the Captain stand out from the rest of the crew -- just as Captain Kirk’s wraparound tunics had a generation before. Between the suede leather of the uniform body and the shiny, smooth black vinyl yoke, this piece loudly contrasted against the standard duty uniforms worn on the show by the Enterprise-D's bridge crew.

The Captain Picard's Uniform Jacket is made of 100% real leather suede as per the "Darmok" iteration, which was color matched to a preserved, screen-used jacket from a private collection. Further, it features padded vinyl shoulder detail a la the original "Darmok" iteration and is patterned directly from screen-used jacket, used throughout TNG seasons five through seven. Other highlights include a satin interior lining for comfort, just like the original, no center front closure, cuff and waistband stitch detail, as well as hidden interior breast pockets for smaller items at both sides of jacket.

The product will ship in Spring 2018. Visit www.ANOVOS.com for pricing and additional details.

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check-it-out-darmok-style-picard-uniform-jacket Wed, 13 Sep 2017 07:33:43 -0700
<![CDATA[Jason Isaacs Talks Discovery, Genre Roles & More]]> http://www.startrek.com/article/jason-isaacs-talks-discovery-genre-roles-more

Jason Isaacs’ very long list of genre credits includes several Harry Potter films, Dragonheart, The OA, A Cure for Wellness, Event Horizon, Peter Pan, Armageddon, Awake and more. To that list, the respected British actor now adds Star Trek: Discovery, which will debut later this month. Isaacs plays Captain Gabriel Lorca of the U.S.S. Discovery, who leads a disparate crew that includes Michael Burnham (Sonequa Martin-Green). StarTrek.com recently ventured to Toronto and joined a small handful of other journalists for roundtable conversations about Discovery with the show's cast. Isaacs was talkative, but coy, serious, but funny as hell. Here’s what he had to say:

Star Trek: Discovery, Jason Isaacs, Captain Lorca

Let’s talk about the tone of Discovery. The Star Trek I saw when I was young was not very action-packed. There was action, but not much. What’s the balance in Discovery?

We have action. Obviously, the trailers are action-heavy because that's what you do in trailers, but that's not representative of the show. One of the great differences, and I think joys, of this version of Star Trek is it's a 15-hour unfolding narrative, like a novel, and the relationships can take twists and turns and they're dug into much more deeply. And it's far more about how we are with each other and what and who we are with each, other than it is about things blowing up. There's actually… not that there isn't some dynamic stuff and kinetic stuff, but it's mostly, as always, about moral dilemmas, and “What would I do if I was that person in this tricky situation?”

What's your sense of Lorca? It seems like he wants to win, that maybe he's not on a voyage of discovery…

Remember, this is 10 years before the place that we get to when Kirk sets out the Prime Directive. The Federation hasn't evolved at that stage yet. This is a time of war and time of crisis. You need to deal with people firing at you before you can work out what songs you want to sing around the camp fire. (laughter) He's the right guy to be in charge in a difficult time like that. But, again, I often come back to the same answer. I'm so sorry you'll have to distill it, but one of the luxuries you get when you tell a story over 15 hours is that nobody can be defined in a particular way. The press release has a paragraph about each of the characters, but, actually, which any one of us around the table could be defined by any sentence or two sentences? We're different day to day, week to week, depending on what's going on in our life that day. He changes, and he changes the way that he is and who is and how he is and his relationship with people changes. And I'm not sure that, like any well drawn character in narrative fiction, you can define him that easily. Or any character in real life.

Star Trek: Discovery, Jason Isaacs, Captain Lorca

What interests you most about him?

That aspect, the fact that I wasn't playing the same color over and over again, that there were hidden depths to this man, that he was going to react in surprising ways in different situations, that he had maybe other agendas at certain points with people that were... that they knew about themselves or they didn't know about themselves. He's in denial about certain things. That he was recognizably human, and that it was a story born out of our times to tell of our times, these very troubling, dark times we live in, divisive times we live in. And that it wasn't trying to retread anything. I didn't feel like I was filling the gap between adverts. I felt like it was something that would hold your interest round a camp fire.

Star Trek is a big franchise, really beloved. You recently said you don't mind outraging hardcore fans, which outraged hardcore fans. Do you feel pressure about being in a show like this?

Well, first of all, the word franchise means a thing that sells burgers or sells action figures or lunch boxes. I'm the storyteller. So, I don't think about anything else, but I think about telling stories. And what I actually said, it was a slight misquote, which is a shame, because I do like the controversy, but actually it was a misquote... What I said, I'm hoping we're telling stories that will attract a whole new generation of people who are facing a whole new generation of difficulties, and I wasn't or don't particularly care about attracting the diehard fans, because they're going to watch anyways, because that is the definition of a diehard fan (laughs). They'll be watching.

And most people, it was a huge outpouring of support for saying that, but a couple of voices -- because people like to draw attention -- there's always someone who wants to put their hand up in a crowd and say something stupid. And, a couple people poured out hatred and vitriol at me. "If you don't care about us, you can go f--k yourself." But, actually, even that stuff is just a sign to me of how much people care and how much people love this show. And most of the series that came, at their time, had their detractors. They're now much-beloved parts of canon. And I've no doubt this will be, too.

But what people will discover when they watch the show, if they watch the show, is it's been made by Trekkies. You don't get any more deep-core Trekkie than Akiva (Goldsman), who is the executive producer of this, who was at the very first Star Trek convention. And so, there's people obsessed with canon in the writer's room. So, all I meant was that I don't think about any of that stuff, because I couldn't go to work if I felt like the ghost of Bill Shatner and Patrick Stewart were breathing down my costume (laughter), and that there were 20 million people watching to see whether I cross my legs or press the left button or the right button. So, I try and forget about all of that stuff. I even try and forget what the people in Los Angeles were thinking when they wrote it, and I just try to tell the story in the moment. That's all.

 Star Trek: Discovery, Jason Isaacs

How aware of Star Trek were you prior to joining the Discovery cast?

I grew up with Star Trek. It's in my DNA. Oh, my God, yeah. It's the landscape of my childhood. My family and I, all we ever did together - it's a savage indictment of the cultural desert I was raised in, but anyway (laughter) - all we ever did was watch television. That's what we did. We watched television. When we weren't playing football, because I come from Liverpool now with three brothers, we watched television. We crammed ourselves into the smallest room in the house. We always had a slightly nicer room with that plastic on the furniture in case -- I've no idea who -- the Queen or President came to visit, but they never did... But we all lived in the smallest room, crammed on the sofa, watching television. And we fought, viciously, and I mean physically, about what channel we were going to watch. There weren't that many channels when I was a kid. There was two, then there was three, and finally there was four. And then remote controls came out, which at first were a click, and we fought over the remote control.

The only time we didn't fight was when Star Trek was on. That's what we all wanted to watch. And I must have seen those Original Series episodes, because they were repeated dozens of times. They were an iconic part of my childhood. I mean, I spent, Malcolm Gladwell's 10,000 hours trying to levitate a cup of coffee, because in "Where No Man Has Gone Before" Kirk's crewmate starts by levitating a cup of coffee and becomes a god and has all these godlike powers. I can't tell you how long I've tried. There's a few times I've thought maybe I saw a tremor or a cup move (laughter). Could have been the window shutting; I don't know.

And then, also, I had nightmares over Grup disease. Grup disease is… remember that episode? "Miri" is the episode where, when you hit adolescence, you get a wasting disease that is actually purple plasticine. Little did I know as a kid, it's an allegory for the horrors of puberty. But, to me, it's just a disease that kills you, which is what's great about Star Trek, when it works on many different levels. So, no, it was a huge part of my childhood, and when I heard it was being done again, I wanted no part of it. No interest in a reboot or re- or doing a horribly diluted version of something that was so brilliant. And you couldn't ever match what Bill Shatner and Leonard Nimoy did together. That relationship was, the core of it, was brilliant. But then, I set up a Skype, a slightly reluctant Skype, with these guys, and they had a great story to tell. They had a great character to play. And so, I shrugged off any of the yolk of the past and just jumped in to play this, to do this story.

 Star Trek: Discovery, Jason Isaacs, Captain Lorca

Spock and Kirk played off each other and brought out the best in each other as characters. Does your character have someone like that?

No. No. No. First of all, the show is Michael Burnham's show. That's one of the things that makes it good. It's a different perspective. It's from the crew. You're not in the offices with the generals. You're in the trenches with the privates. And it's a very different perspective from her perspective. She's lower-rank. She's lower down the totem pole, and that gives you a totally different experience of these wars and the conflicts in them. And so, A) there isn't, and B) I have a relationship with everybody. She has a relationship with everybody. The central relationships are hers with people. But he's more of a... He's not that guy. He keeps his cards most close to his chest, Lorca. He's a wartime leader, and too much fraternization, too much open vulnerability would not help people fight.

It reminded me in some ways… He's not like this. I don't make a comparison between the characters, but I played Mike Steele in Black Hawk Down, and I had very different, conflicting reports of who and how he was like from the soldiers with him, under him, in charge of him, from the Delta guys who had conflicts with him. But, definitely, it was true of him that he felt like, in order to keep his troop disciplined in line, there had to be a slight level of distance between him and his troops, which the Delta guys didn't have. And he got extremely worried when the Rangers started to display a lack of discipline. He thought it would kill them in theater. And in some ways, I think Lorca has that quality.

Can you give us some sense of his relationship with Burnham?

No. (laughter).

Star Trek: Discovery, Jason Isaacs, Captain Lorca

Is he a mentor? Does she look up to him?

Why would you want me to spoil the story for you?

Well, there’s the interaction in the Discovery trailer…

I see great potential in her, and I have an interest in her, but that may be slightly, hopefully, interesting, enigmatic for people and wonder why there is. And while it's not hard to wonder what it is… You look at her, she's incredibly capable. She's an incredibly capable character. She's raised on Vulcan, and she gets a bit of a second chance under my wing. But, she's a charismatic person on and off camera, Sonequa, and so everyone is slightly drawn into her web as well.

Going back to the tone, the other thing about The Original Series is the humor. Do we have anything like that in the new...

Definitely.

Because the trailers are very dark, gritty and modern.

They're not dark. It's kind of dark. I remember people were saying that Harry Potter got dark in the third one. No, it was just, you met the dementors. They were scarier than the people you met before. It became darker, because the story, written by Rowling, evolved to… but I don't think it's darker. It's just that they're getting older. The kids are getting older, and they're encountering more difficult things. Yes, there's definitely (humor in Discovery). First of all, Rainn Wilson, that episode, I defy you not to laugh at Rainn Wilson. It was very hard not to laugh at Rainn Wilson on set, extremely difficult. But there is at least one character who is... she's not comedy relief, because she's utterly brilliant in it, but she’ll become a fan favorite very, very quickly, because she's hysterically funny -- wittingly and unwittingly. And then, also, out of situations of enormous stress and conflict comes gallows humor, and there's definitely some of that in there, too. There's dry humor in it. It's not as camp as The Original Series. The Original Series is camp; not as camp, but it was made in the same era that Batman was made. There's a kind of knowing wink. We don't wink knowing the audience because the audience is expecting something, I think, different, than 21st century audiences.

Star Trek: Discovery, Jason Isaacs, Captain Lorca

You've put on different uniforms over your career. What does it mean to put on the Starfleet uniform?

Enormous pain and no lunch. (laughter). It was like putting on an external gastric bypass. I felt like trying to get into it was like someone making my body into a balloon animal. So, it meant that. I felt much more vulnerable, because I've worn uniforms with Kevlar before. I've played a lot of soldiers, a lot of defense sort of armor. And these are (futurist) fighting uniforms. And, well, you're not fighting hand to hand. So, they're very, very thin. I don't know if anyone goes skiing, or does sports things, you know that wicking material. But, an advancement of those things.

You really feel very vulnerable and very naked. You don't feel like you're ready to fight. And there's no pockets and no props to play with. As an actor, there's no Meryl Streep peeling oranges scene. There's nothing to do with your hands (laughter). And I did take advice. I looked around. Patrick (Stewart), obviously, tugged his jacket the whole time, because it turns out in the future there's no creases, either. If you watch very carefully, there's an obsession, an obsession where nobody ever crinkles. Jonathan Frakes said to me, "Do whatever you like with your hands, but don't put them on your hips. Just trust me. Trust me, I tried it." So, I've avoided that judiciously.

But there's no question that it's part of it. You put it on, it's a remarkable look. And she's a brilliant designer, Gersha Phillips, but God knows, the scripts… We’ll suddenly have a whole new world and a whole new species and (need all) new clothes, and then she comes up with stuff. But I know that the cost of the uniforms went through many, many iterations before they settled on what they came up with. I was thrilled that it wasn't that kind of baby diarrhea mustard that they had in The Original Series (laughter). Totally narcissistic that I was thrilled that they were blue. And relieved, of course, that I didn't have a red shirt. So, yeah, they are what they are. We work out with them. We do sports and we have a gym there and have a table tennis table. So, you can move in them, but you can move mostly because they're like body paint, they're so tight. There were many discussions about making sure they weren't so tight and so revealing that it became a very different show altogether.

Star Trek: Discovery, Jason Isaacs, Doug Jones

You've done a lot of sci-fi, horror and fantasy…

Event Horizon was 22 years ago!

Exactly. There’s Harry Potter, The OA, Event Horizon, Soldier, and on and on. What do you enjoy about genre fare?

Do you know, I just… It sounds ridiculous, but I like… I love telling stories, and fantasy is a prism through which we can often examine our real lives more honestly than (through) realistic drama. Sometimes, we feel free of our partisan politics or other kind of self-conscious traits when we're examining our lives and our politics and our world through the prism of fantasy. Things can be made clearer, and we can see things both at a distance and in a way that's more intimate. But that's true of the genre.

But, for me personally, I just like well-written characters that I believe. And since my job is make-believe, it's… Actually, it's not true. I was going to lie. I was going to say that ... The truth is I like all of it. I love realistic dramas, I love fantasy. I like things that live beyond the credits. That's all. I don't like telling stories that are a great journey when you watch something entertaining, and then the credits roll and you go "Let's read." I like to do “What would I do?” Stuff that provides fodder for conversation. And I think if we do (Discovery) right, it will do that. I know, God knows, that The OA has spawned a gazillion online hours of people theorizing about what should and shouldn't be, but also people come up to me and want to talk about spirituality and death. Many of the things I've been in have been lucky enough to be things that start a conversation. So, that's really all I care about. Fantasy starts lots of conversations when it's done right.

Star Trek: Discovery will debut September 24 on CBS All Access in the U.S. and Space Channel in Canada. The series will premiere on Netflix in the rest of the world on September 25.

Star Trek Discovery CBS All Access

Star Trek Discovery Space Channel CraveTV

Star Trek Discovery Netflix

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Jason Isaacs’ very long list of genre credits includes several Harry Potter films, Dragonheart, The OA, A Cure for Wellness, Event Horizon, Peter Pan, Armageddon, Awake and more. To that list, the respected British actor now adds Star Trek: Discovery, which will debut later this month. Isaacs plays Captain Gabriel Lorca of the U.S.S. Discovery, who leads a disparate crew that includes Michael Burnham (Sonequa Martin-Green). StarTrek.com recently ventured to Toronto and joined a small handful of other journalists for roundtable conversations about Discovery with the show's cast. Isaacs was talkative, but coy, serious, but funny as hell. Here’s what he had to say:

Star Trek: Discovery, Jason Isaacs, Captain Lorca

Let’s talk about the tone of Discovery. The Star Trek I saw when I was young was not very action-packed. There was action, but not much. What’s the balance in Discovery?

We have action. Obviously, the trailers are action-heavy because that's what you do in trailers, but that's not representative of the show. One of the great differences, and I think joys, of this version of Star Trek is it's a 15-hour unfolding narrative, like a novel, and the relationships can take twists and turns and they're dug into much more deeply. And it's far more about how we are with each other and what and who we are with each, other than it is about things blowing up. There's actually… not that there isn't some dynamic stuff and kinetic stuff, but it's mostly, as always, about moral dilemmas, and “What would I do if I was that person in this tricky situation?”

What's your sense of Lorca? It seems like he wants to win, that maybe he's not on a voyage of discovery…

Remember, this is 10 years before the place that we get to when Kirk sets out the Prime Directive. The Federation hasn't evolved at that stage yet. This is a time of war and time of crisis. You need to deal with people firing at you before you can work out what songs you want to sing around the camp fire. (laughter) He's the right guy to be in charge in a difficult time like that. But, again, I often come back to the same answer. I'm so sorry you'll have to distill it, but one of the luxuries you get when you tell a story over 15 hours is that nobody can be defined in a particular way. The press release has a paragraph about each of the characters, but, actually, which any one of us around the table could be defined by any sentence or two sentences? We're different day to day, week to week, depending on what's going on in our life that day. He changes, and he changes the way that he is and who is and how he is and his relationship with people changes. And I'm not sure that, like any well drawn character in narrative fiction, you can define him that easily. Or any character in real life.

Star Trek: Discovery, Jason Isaacs, Captain Lorca

What interests you most about him?

That aspect, the fact that I wasn't playing the same color over and over again, that there were hidden depths to this man, that he was going to react in surprising ways in different situations, that he had maybe other agendas at certain points with people that were... that they knew about themselves or they didn't know about themselves. He's in denial about certain things. That he was recognizably human, and that it was a story born out of our times to tell of our times, these very troubling, dark times we live in, divisive times we live in. And that it wasn't trying to retread anything. I didn't feel like I was filling the gap between adverts. I felt like it was something that would hold your interest round a camp fire.

Star Trek is a big franchise, really beloved. You recently said you don't mind outraging hardcore fans, which outraged hardcore fans. Do you feel pressure about being in a show like this?

Well, first of all, the word franchise means a thing that sells burgers or sells action figures or lunch boxes. I'm the storyteller. So, I don't think about anything else, but I think about telling stories. And what I actually said, it was a slight misquote, which is a shame, because I do like the controversy, but actually it was a misquote... What I said, I'm hoping we're telling stories that will attract a whole new generation of people who are facing a whole new generation of difficulties, and I wasn't or don't particularly care about attracting the diehard fans, because they're going to watch anyways, because that is the definition of a diehard fan (laughs). They'll be watching.

And most people, it was a huge outpouring of support for saying that, but a couple of voices -- because people like to draw attention -- there's always someone who wants to put their hand up in a crowd and say something stupid. And, a couple people poured out hatred and vitriol at me. "If you don't care about us, you can go f--k yourself." But, actually, even that stuff is just a sign to me of how much people care and how much people love this show. And most of the series that came, at their time, had their detractors. They're now much-beloved parts of canon. And I've no doubt this will be, too.

But what people will discover when they watch the show, if they watch the show, is it's been made by Trekkies. You don't get any more deep-core Trekkie than Akiva (Goldsman), who is the executive producer of this, who was at the very first Star Trek convention. And so, there's people obsessed with canon in the writer's room. So, all I meant was that I don't think about any of that stuff, because I couldn't go to work if I felt like the ghost of Bill Shatner and Patrick Stewart were breathing down my costume (laughter), and that there were 20 million people watching to see whether I cross my legs or press the left button or the right button. So, I try and forget about all of that stuff. I even try and forget what the people in Los Angeles were thinking when they wrote it, and I just try to tell the story in the moment. That's all.

 Star Trek: Discovery, Jason Isaacs

How aware of Star Trek were you prior to joining the Discovery cast?

I grew up with Star Trek. It's in my DNA. Oh, my God, yeah. It's the landscape of my childhood. My family and I, all we ever did together - it's a savage indictment of the cultural desert I was raised in, but anyway (laughter) - all we ever did was watch television. That's what we did. We watched television. When we weren't playing football, because I come from Liverpool now with three brothers, we watched television. We crammed ourselves into the smallest room in the house. We always had a slightly nicer room with that plastic on the furniture in case -- I've no idea who -- the Queen or President came to visit, but they never did... But we all lived in the smallest room, crammed on the sofa, watching television. And we fought, viciously, and I mean physically, about what channel we were going to watch. There weren't that many channels when I was a kid. There was two, then there was three, and finally there was four. And then remote controls came out, which at first were a click, and we fought over the remote control.

The only time we didn't fight was when Star Trek was on. That's what we all wanted to watch. And I must have seen those Original Series episodes, because they were repeated dozens of times. They were an iconic part of my childhood. I mean, I spent, Malcolm Gladwell's 10,000 hours trying to levitate a cup of coffee, because in "Where No Man Has Gone Before" Kirk's crewmate starts by levitating a cup of coffee and becomes a god and has all these godlike powers. I can't tell you how long I've tried. There's a few times I've thought maybe I saw a tremor or a cup move (laughter). Could have been the window shutting; I don't know.

And then, also, I had nightmares over Grup disease. Grup disease is… remember that episode? "Miri" is the episode where, when you hit adolescence, you get a wasting disease that is actually purple plasticine. Little did I know as a kid, it's an allegory for the horrors of puberty. But, to me, it's just a disease that kills you, which is what's great about Star Trek, when it works on many different levels. So, no, it was a huge part of my childhood, and when I heard it was being done again, I wanted no part of it. No interest in a reboot or re- or doing a horribly diluted version of something that was so brilliant. And you couldn't ever match what Bill Shatner and Leonard Nimoy did together. That relationship was, the core of it, was brilliant. But then, I set up a Skype, a slightly reluctant Skype, with these guys, and they had a great story to tell. They had a great character to play. And so, I shrugged off any of the yolk of the past and just jumped in to play this, to do this story.

 Star Trek: Discovery, Jason Isaacs, Captain Lorca

Spock and Kirk played off each other and brought out the best in each other as characters. Does your character have someone like that?

No. No. No. First of all, the show is Michael Burnham's show. That's one of the things that makes it good. It's a different perspective. It's from the crew. You're not in the offices with the generals. You're in the trenches with the privates. And it's a very different perspective from her perspective. She's lower-rank. She's lower down the totem pole, and that gives you a totally different experience of these wars and the conflicts in them. And so, A) there isn't, and B) I have a relationship with everybody. She has a relationship with everybody. The central relationships are hers with people. But he's more of a... He's not that guy. He keeps his cards most close to his chest, Lorca. He's a wartime leader, and too much fraternization, too much open vulnerability would not help people fight.

It reminded me in some ways… He's not like this. I don't make a comparison between the characters, but I played Mike Steele in Black Hawk Down, and I had very different, conflicting reports of who and how he was like from the soldiers with him, under him, in charge of him, from the Delta guys who had conflicts with him. But, definitely, it was true of him that he felt like, in order to keep his troop disciplined in line, there had to be a slight level of distance between him and his troops, which the Delta guys didn't have. And he got extremely worried when the Rangers started to display a lack of discipline. He thought it would kill them in theater. And in some ways, I think Lorca has that quality.

Can you give us some sense of his relationship with Burnham?

No. (laughter).

Star Trek: Discovery, Jason Isaacs, Captain Lorca

Is he a mentor? Does she look up to him?

Why would you want me to spoil the story for you?

Well, there’s the interaction in the Discovery trailer…

I see great potential in her, and I have an interest in her, but that may be slightly, hopefully, interesting, enigmatic for people and wonder why there is. And while it's not hard to wonder what it is… You look at her, she's incredibly capable. She's an incredibly capable character. She's raised on Vulcan, and she gets a bit of a second chance under my wing. But, she's a charismatic person on and off camera, Sonequa, and so everyone is slightly drawn into her web as well.

Going back to the tone, the other thing about The Original Series is the humor. Do we have anything like that in the new...

Definitely.

Because the trailers are very dark, gritty and modern.

They're not dark. It's kind of dark. I remember people were saying that Harry Potter got dark in the third one. No, it was just, you met the dementors. They were scarier than the people you met before. It became darker, because the story, written by Rowling, evolved to… but I don't think it's darker. It's just that they're getting older. The kids are getting older, and they're encountering more difficult things. Yes, there's definitely (humor in Discovery). First of all, Rainn Wilson, that episode, I defy you not to laugh at Rainn Wilson. It was very hard not to laugh at Rainn Wilson on set, extremely difficult. But there is at least one character who is... she's not comedy relief, because she's utterly brilliant in it, but she’ll become a fan favorite very, very quickly, because she's hysterically funny -- wittingly and unwittingly. And then, also, out of situations of enormous stress and conflict comes gallows humor, and there's definitely some of that in there, too. There's dry humor in it. It's not as camp as The Original Series. The Original Series is camp; not as camp, but it was made in the same era that Batman was made. There's a kind of knowing wink. We don't wink knowing the audience because the audience is expecting something, I think, different, than 21st century audiences.

Star Trek: Discovery, Jason Isaacs, Captain Lorca

You've put on different uniforms over your career. What does it mean to put on the Starfleet uniform?

Enormous pain and no lunch. (laughter). It was like putting on an external gastric bypass. I felt like trying to get into it was like someone making my body into a balloon animal. So, it meant that. I felt much more vulnerable, because I've worn uniforms with Kevlar before. I've played a lot of soldiers, a lot of defense sort of armor. And these are (futurist) fighting uniforms. And, well, you're not fighting hand to hand. So, they're very, very thin. I don't know if anyone goes skiing, or does sports things, you know that wicking material. But, an advancement of those things.

You really feel very vulnerable and very naked. You don't feel like you're ready to fight. And there's no pockets and no props to play with. As an actor, there's no Meryl Streep peeling oranges scene. There's nothing to do with your hands (laughter). And I did take advice. I looked around. Patrick (Stewart), obviously, tugged his jacket the whole time, because it turns out in the future there's no creases, either. If you watch very carefully, there's an obsession, an obsession where nobody ever crinkles. Jonathan Frakes said to me, "Do whatever you like with your hands, but don't put them on your hips. Just trust me. Trust me, I tried it." So, I've avoided that judiciously.

But there's no question that it's part of it. You put it on, it's a remarkable look. And she's a brilliant designer, Gersha Phillips, but God knows, the scripts… We’ll suddenly have a whole new world and a whole new species and (need all) new clothes, and then she comes up with stuff. But I know that the cost of the uniforms went through many, many iterations before they settled on what they came up with. I was thrilled that it wasn't that kind of baby diarrhea mustard that they had in The Original Series (laughter). Totally narcissistic that I was thrilled that they were blue. And relieved, of course, that I didn't have a red shirt. So, yeah, they are what they are. We work out with them. We do sports and we have a gym there and have a table tennis table. So, you can move in them, but you can move mostly because they're like body paint, they're so tight. There were many discussions about making sure they weren't so tight and so revealing that it became a very different show altogether.

Star Trek: Discovery, Jason Isaacs, Doug Jones

You've done a lot of sci-fi, horror and fantasy…

Event Horizon was 22 years ago!

Exactly. There’s Harry Potter, The OA, Event Horizon, Soldier, and on and on. What do you enjoy about genre fare?

Do you know, I just… It sounds ridiculous, but I like… I love telling stories, and fantasy is a prism through which we can often examine our real lives more honestly than (through) realistic drama. Sometimes, we feel free of our partisan politics or other kind of self-conscious traits when we're examining our lives and our politics and our world through the prism of fantasy. Things can be made clearer, and we can see things both at a distance and in a way that's more intimate. But that's true of the genre.

But, for me personally, I just like well-written characters that I believe. And since my job is make-believe, it's… Actually, it's not true. I was going to lie. I was going to say that ... The truth is I like all of it. I love realistic dramas, I love fantasy. I like things that live beyond the credits. That's all. I don't like telling stories that are a great journey when you watch something entertaining, and then the credits roll and you go "Let's read." I like to do “What would I do?” Stuff that provides fodder for conversation. And I think if we do (Discovery) right, it will do that. I know, God knows, that The OA has spawned a gazillion online hours of people theorizing about what should and shouldn't be, but also people come up to me and want to talk about spirituality and death. Many of the things I've been in have been lucky enough to be things that start a conversation. So, that's really all I care about. Fantasy starts lots of conversations when it's done right.

Star Trek: Discovery will debut September 24 on CBS All Access in the U.S. and Space Channel in Canada. The series will premiere on Netflix in the rest of the world on September 25.

Star Trek Discovery CBS All Access

Star Trek Discovery Space Channel CraveTV

Star Trek Discovery Netflix

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