“What’s Past Is Prologue” was the subject of last night’s After Trek, as host Matt Mira led a conversation with Star Trek: Discovery co-executive producer and episode writer Ted Sullivan, Rekha Sharma and Jason Isaacs, with Sullivan and Sharma in the studio in Manhattan and Isaacs participating via Skype.
Here are our top eight After Trek takeaways:
Isaacs Is a Liar
Lorca, from the start of Discovery, was Mirror Lorca, his every move designed to find/protect/reunite with Michael Burnham. “Why have I been lying to everyone?” Isaacs joked. “I just want to start with a groveling apology… I couldn’t tell you. The would have sued me. They would have taken my kidneys out through my nose.” Yes, Isaacs knew Lorca’s true identity from the get-to. Yes, Burnham was Lorca’s fatal flaw, “which makes it a Shakespearean tragedy.”
Starfleet Briefing #1
A Starfleet Briefing interstitial segment revealed that one of the most-challenging sets to create was Emperor Georgiou’s throne room. Production designer Tamara Deverell was inspired by, of all things, the Bund Finance Center in Shanghai.
The actors and Sullivan discussed the joys and challenges of operating within the Mirror Universe. Isaacs liked the decision to not make the Prime and Mirror versions of the characters too wildly different. Everyone had a laugh about the observation that Mirror Landry smiles much more than Prime Landry. Noted Sharma: “I think the prime different between the two… sorry… would be that in the Prime universe, Landry is Starfleet. She’s above board. She’s the one in charge and actually in charge of everyone’s well-being, whereas in the Mirror Universe, she’s the underdog, she’s oppressed and trying to be free.”
Everyone lauded Doug Jones for his delivery of Saru’s rousing speech to the Discovery crew in the wake of the Lorca blockbuster. Isaacs pointed out that Jones did a particularly outstanding job given that he had to emote through all the rubber on his face. “That’s actually my favorite thing I’ve ever done in my professional career,” Sullivan noted. “Doug was amazing on set… For me, as a lifelong Star Trek fan, it was an opportunity to lean into the ideology of Starfleet, the ideology of what I love so much about Star Trek, and to, finally, after 13 episodes, give the fans the moment that says, ‘Yeah, no, we get it. We believe in Star Trek and Starfleet, too.’ We just had to go through this journey for 12 episodes (to get there).” Sullivan added that the crew has now “come together” as a team, as a family, with everyone being a part of the solution. It was all a slow build and “very, very intentional.”
Mira shared that he had a little surprise for everyone and played a short video of Sonequa Martin-Green bidding farewell to Isaacs, Sharma and Wilson Cruz. “It’s really hard to say goodbye,” Martin-Green explained. “Jason, I am so grateful I got to tell this story with you, my friend… Rekha, I’m happy I got to share one last moment with you… Star Trek family never ends. Live long and prosper.”
Tales from the Set
In a cool bumper video, Discovery props master Mario Moreira told an amusing anecdote about going to the airport, with Emperor Georgiou’s big, heavy broad sword in hand, to meet with Michelle Yeoh for a sword test.
What’s in Store for the Spore?
Claire, a fan in attendance at the After Trek taping in New York City, asked Sullivan about the single spore that dropped onto Tilly’s shoulder. “What is up with that spore?” Sullivan joked. “Mary Wiseman came to me on set and said, ‘What was up with the spore?’ Wait til season two!” Sullivan went on to mention an unlikely inspiration for “What’s Past Is Prologue.” It was… Die Hard.
Starfleet Briefing #2
Another short bumper divulged that Saru, in an initial incarnation, had 10 eyes and a triangle-shaped head. An image then flashed of writer Bo Yeon Kim’s sketch of that original Saru look.
FYI: Mira introduced a clip from next week’s episode of Discovery. In it, heavily armed rebels board Discovery, joined an instant later by… Admiral Cornwell, who literally shuts down the ship, and Sarek.
The After Trek journey does not stop with the show. Visit www.aftertrek.tv on Wednesdays at 4 p.m. ET for Starfleet trivia and a chance to win prizes.
Next week’s After Trek guests will be: director Olatunde Osunsanmi, Doug Jones and Trek superfan Justin Simien (creator of Dear White People).