Behind-The-Scenes Photos from the Making of Star Trek: Discovery Season 3

Featuring never-before-seen photos from Discovery's epic journey!

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Behind-The-Scenes Photos from the Making of Star Trek: Discovery Season 3

Phew! Thirteen action-packed Star Trek: Discovery episodes have finished airing on CBS All Access in the US. Before we get too excited for Season 4, let's take a look back at just how much action takes place behind the camera. 

It took eight months and hundreds of hard-working people to film the latest season. Still photographers were on set to capture it all. 

Here are 50 behind-the-scenes photos from that journey, featuring never-before-seen photos from the filming of Discovery Season 3!
 

Star Trek: Discovery streams on CBS All Access in the United States, airs on Bell Media’s CTV Sci-Fi Channel and streams on Crave in Canada, and on Netflix in 190 countries.

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Welcome back!

Despite being displaced by time, the Discovery crew is all smiles while filming the season premiere. 

Watch every season of Star Trek: Discovery on CBS All Access.

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Frakes back in the fray

Jonathan Frakes continued his prolific directing career by returning to helm “People of Earth,” “The Sanctuary,” and “There Is a Tide…”
 

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Osunsanmi bookends the season

Olatunde Osunsanmi returned to direct the first two and the last episode of Season 3. Osunsanmi previously directed episodes in seasons 1-2 of Discovery, as well as the Short Treks “Calypso” and "The Girl Who Made the Stars". Here he is talking to Jake Weber (Zareh).

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If you want something done right...

Osunsanmi pulls double duty as a camera operator. Those handheld camera rigs can weigh around 100 lbs!

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New cast members!

Frakes discussing a scene with Adira Tal (Blu del Barrio). Adira is the first recurring character in franchise history to use they/them/theirs pronouns. They are also the first known human to permanently host a Trill symbiont. 

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Fight!

Christopher McGuire, the stunt coordinator, works with Michelle Yeoh while her stunt double, Shara Kim, looks on. McGuire has served as the stunt coordinator for all three seasons of Discovery

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Action!

The stunt performers do their thing for the camera. 

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Bonding on, and off, screen

Sonequa Martin-Green (Michael Burnham) and Oyin Oladejo (Lt. Joann Owosekun) enjoy some downtime. Discovery was Oyin Loadejo’s first major acting role. You can watch her episode of The Ready Room with the rest of the bridge crew here

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Fancy a dip?

Martin-Green, Barrio and Andreas Apergis (Xi) in the Caves of Mak’ala. The Caves of Mak’ala have previously appeared in the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episodes “Equilibrium” and “Afterimage.”

Watch every season of Star Trek: Discovery on CBS All Access.
 

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Are you making us look good?

The Starfleet crew tries to get a peek at how they look on the monitor. 

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McElroy and his lead

Alan B. McElroy returned to write "Forget Me Not" and "Terra Firma Parts 1 & 2." He had previously written "An Obol for Charon" and "Perpetual Infinity" from Season 2. 

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Talking it through at video village

Frakes with Anthony Rapp and supervising producers Bo Yeon Kim and Erika Lippoldt. Kim and Lippoldt are writing partners who are also part of the Discovery room.
 

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Meeting in the medical bay

A boom operator holds the microphone just above Saru’s head to clear the frame.

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Nice take, bro

Patrick Kwok-Choon (Lt. Gen Rhys) and Ronnie Rowe (Lt. R.A. Bryce) fist bump. Kwok-Choon has said that social issues have been at the heart of Star Trek since the beginning, and he believes Discovery continues to promote change for the better. 
 

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From the page to the performance

Kim and Lippoldt go over their script with David Ajala for the third episode, “Far From Home.”

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A unified vision

Frakes with director of photography Crescenzo G.P. Notarile. Notarile worked on five episodes of Season 3. Before that, he worked on shows such as CSI and Gotham.

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Culpepper composes a shot

Barrio and Ian Alexander (Gray Tal) block a 180-degree camera move with director Hanelle M. Culpepper. Culpepper also directed the first three episodes of Star Trek: Picard

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Try it like this...

Culpepper, Alexander, and Barrio work out a scene from “Forget Me Not” while the crew looks on. 

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Iceland!

Martin-Green gets into character on location in Iceland as the crew slates the camera. Executive producer Alex Kurtzman chose Iceland for Burnham’s crash-landing because of how foreign and dramatic the landscape is. Plus, who doesn’t want to go to Iceland?

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From one generation to the next

Martin-Green and Frakes share a moment while the crew readies the transport room.
 

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The quorum arrives

Tara Rosling (T’Rina), Emmanuel Kabongo (V’Kir), Stephanie Belding (Shira) and Oliver Becker (N’Raj) prepare for the scene where they beam aboard the Discovery in “Unification III.” 

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They’ve come a long way together

Mary Wiseman (Tilly) and Doug Jones (Saru) act out a scene from “Unification III.” 

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Cool people don’t look at explosions

David Ajala hopefully received camera operating credit for filming this scene from “The Sanctuary.”
 

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Getting it just right

Martin-Green receives a touchup from hair department head Ryan Reed.

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This ain’t Hollywood snow

Martin-Green, Yeoh and Paul Guilfoyle (Carl) film a crane shot in the Ontario snow. Discovery, which is based in Toronto, is the only Star Trek series not to have its home base in California. 

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En garde

Christopher McGuire watches as Martin-Green and Yeoh go through the fight choreography for a scene from “Terra Firma, Part 2.”

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It’s a collaborative effort

Rapp and Osunsanmi work out a scene from the season finale “That Hope Is You, Part 2.”

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Shoutout to the costume department

Yeoh is seen here in her stunning Emperor Georgiou costume from “Terra Firma, Part 1.

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All gold everything

A camera operator films Martin-Green and Yeoh squaring off in “Terra Firma, Part 1.”

Watch every season of Star Trek: Discovery on CBS All Access.

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The set designs have come a long way since The Original Series

Two camera operators film Martin-Green and Yeoh sharing dinner on one of the many rich and detailed sets built by the Star Trek crew. 

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The calm before the storm

The emperor is slated by both cameras before a scene in “Terra Firma, Part 2.”

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Chloe Domont in the mix

Yeoh being directed by Chloe Domont. “Terra Firma, Part 2” was her first directing effort for Star Trek

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Don’t let the smoke get in your eyes

The crew slates and tries to avoid the smoke effect seconds before action.

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Step by step

Director Norma Bailey working with the actors during “Su’Kal.” This is Bailey’s first Star Trek directing credit. 

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A star in the making

Martin-Green, Ajala and Raven Dauda (Dr. Tracy Pollard) pose with their newest co-star, a temperamental Maine Coon named Grudge. 

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Clearing up the vision

Martin-Green and Bailey discussing a scene from “Su’Kal.”

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Live long & prosper

A phrase attached to the Arri Alexa digital camera. The origin of this expression is unknown. 

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“Somehand hand me that jackhammer.”

Cutting a huge hole in the ceiling is a tried and true technique for filming with natural light. 

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Out of the blue

Ajala and Martin-Green inside the set of Booker’s ship. 


Watch every season of Star Trek: Discovery on CBS All Access.

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The vanity!

Martin-Green peeks into frame while Frakes works out a shot in “There Is A Tide…”

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“Trust me, I’ve done this before.”

Frakes directs Rapp and Martin-Green during the filming of “There Is A Tide…”

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Janet Kidder joins the cast

Oded Fehr (Admiral Vance) and Brendan Beiser (Dr. Eli) meet with Janet Kidder (Osyraa) in the penultimate episode. Janet Kidder said it was incredible to be in the third season and she would gladly be part of the Star Trek universe forever. You can read her full interview with StarTrek.com here

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How it’s filmed

Slow-moving shots circling the captain’s chair is one of the signature camera moves that makes Discovery look so cinematic. The crew executes one with the use of a dolly here. 

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Watch your step...

When shooting on location, the crew would have to place various apple boxes and build dolly tracks into the uneven ground to get a steady shot. Instead, they have opted to use a handheld stabilizer for this beautiful shot in the forest. These systems are very heavy (and expensive), which is why three camera team members are all supporting each other to keep it balanced. 

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Writer, director and actor

Jonathan Frakes and Ache Hernandez (Kyheem) discussing the script with Brandon Schultz. Schultz wrote this episode with Kenneth Lin. 

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Ready for my close-up

The camera operator gets a close-up for Michelle Yeoh’s intense performance. 

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Stay still…

Actors get into position while the camera assistants slate them in.

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The doctors

Frakes with Wilson Cruz (Dr. Hugh Culber) and Raven Dauda (Dr. Tracy Pollard). You can watch Cruz’s appearance with Anthony Rapp on The Ready Room here

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'Til next time!

The cast smiles for the camera after filming the season finale. 

Watch every season of Star Trek: Discovery on CBS All Access.

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