Bryan Fuller on the Evolution of the U.S.S. Discovery Design

Star Trek: Discovery Executive Producer and Showrunner Bryan Fuller spoke with IGN regarding the continuing evolution of the design of the U.S.S. Discovery from the teaser that was shown at San Diego Comic Con. Fuller said that the ship has significantly changed as the version featured in the SDCC teaser was not the final design, but also confirmed that the Discovery is based on Ralph McQuarrie’s designs for the Enterprise in the Planet of the Titans aborted film.

Following Fuller’s announcement this week at the Television Critics Association press tour, where he revealed the setting for Star Trek: Discovery and talked about a number of the show’s lead characters, Fuller talked to IGN about the evolution of the U.S.S. Discovery’s design from what was first seen in a teaser for the series shown at SDCC.

Commenting on the design of Discovery as seen in the SDCC teaser, Fuller said:

“Everybody got a glimpse of what the ship looked like as a work in progress, and so much of that has already changed because that was — that design wasn’t even finalized. It was, like, ‘What can we share with folks at Comic-Con that lets them into the process?’ And already I look at that design and go like, ‘We’ve got different nacelles. We’ve got different lines there.’ So it’s an evolution, and we’re finding that look as we get closer and closer to production.”


Fuller also confirmed that the Discovery was based on Ralph McQuarrie’s Planet of the Titans design for the Enterprise. 

“One of the touchstones for the inspiration is we were looking at what is going to be the feel and aesthetic of a new Star Trek series? I think J.J. Abrams, in the 2009 movie, really launched a fantastic reimagining of what Star Trek could be in that Kelvin Timeline.”

Fuller noted that:

“we were looking to have something distinct about what our Star Trek was going to look [like], we looked back at — there was an abandoned Star Trek series in the 1970s. It was actually for a movie. And Ralph McQuarrie had done some wonderful illustrations, and we saw those and saw sort of harder lines of a ship.”

For the full article, head on over to IGN.

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I think the idea of releasing preliminary designs of the starship and then changing them after a lot of criticism from fans is similar to to what happened with Star Trek beyond (releasing an early trailer for a movie and then changing the tone in subsequent trailers because of negative fan feedback).


There is a difference: The ship we will see on Star Trek Discovery will actually be different from what we saw in the preview. Whether that’s based on fan criticism or just normal design process, is an open question. With Star Trek Beyond, they didn’t change the movie. Yes, the subsequent trailers shifted focus a little, but both the bike scene and the Beastie Boys music that caused that harsh fan reaction were still in the finished film.

They actually did change the movie a bit. There were several reshoots. The Admiral character at Yorktown was not even in the original script. (I loved Beyond, by the way).

But the re-shoots likely had nothing to do with the criticism of the early trailer. It isn’t uncommon for a movie to go back and shoot things the director/producer thinks would improve the film.

Richard Civil,

Re:It isn’t uncommon

And it is very common for those reshoots to be driven by the results of test screenings some of whose audiences which can and are affected by first release teases or full trailers.

I like that admiral. I love the way she spoke and her expressions.

If you did, you should watch SyFy’s excellent first season of The Expanse, as the actress, Shohreh Aghdashloo, has a significant role in it.

Wasn’t she? I thought they’d just recast the role.

@ Lostrod

Agreed. They should have left the Discovery design just as it was in the teaser. Listening to the complainers and making changes accordingly bodes ill for the way in which the final product is being developed, IMHO.

Yes, because evolving an idea and listening to feedback is a terrible thing.

@ Vokar

Sorry but you’re dead wrong. It’s the appeal to the fans, those who you know actually care about a series, that will make this show succeed or fail. If all the fans hate the ship, they’re not going to get very invested in the series and it’ll be much less likely to last for the long term.

It’s the same as it was with Enterprise. Personally, I loved the show and still do. But there were many many fans who were in shock and horror that the opening titles were not an orchestral ballad, but instead was a pop/rock style song. Also that the title of the show did not include the words “Star Trek” in it. With Enterprise they did finally “fix” one of things, but those kind of early impressions stick around in the minds of fans and will affect the long term future of the show.

It was either Cygnus or Ahmed. They have a collective circle jerk of whining posts about these new movies

This, of course, won’t stop the rabid hounds here from complaining.

Your right hoss..
People will continue to whine and throw temper tantrums over anything about Star Trek if it’s not up to their expectations

Whine and throw temper tantrums like Quinto’s Spock.

Spock whines – pisses and moans because he’s not allowed

man-cave time with Sula….Oooh……My….!

Right, cause the design & appeal of the ship means nothing- no importance at all.
Nit picking is one thing- but objecting to obviously wrong things like the design of the ship is another.

I personally like the saucer section; it looks about what I think a ship halfway between NX01 and NCC1701. Since thief numbers are so close, I’d expect that USS Discovery and USS Constellation would be the same class of ship. This would imply that whatever design we see in Discovery would be capable of being refit to somehatbConstitution Class specifications. The saucer of Discovery looks like it could be, but the triangular secondary hull, probably not. I’d go with a Miranda-type configuration, where a later refit oils add a secondary hull. By 2255, Constellation would have been refit, while Discovery had not.

When you have something that has been around as long as Star Trek and with as many different versions in TV series and movies you are never going to please everyone.

Richard Civil,

Re:never going to please everyone

In other words, you are going to gete a wide, some would describe as darn near infinite, and diverse set of opinions which its creator claimed it celebrated and there’s even a diverse set of opinions on that, with some even suggesting that a profit motive is TOO diverse and incompatible with IDIC which seems absurd upon its suggestion.

I think I shall wait and see what I see.

I’m a Trekkie from all the way back to day one, and you never forget your first love – in starships or anything else. Matt Jeffries hit a uniquely beautiful note with NCC-1701. But I give Fuller and company props for not trying to copy the gallant lady.

I’m looking forward to this series but I do worry that this is yet again a prequel to the original series and not just something further into Star Trek’s future which kind of ties it’s hand and that the look of the series is going to be something that can’t/won’t look like a prequel to TOS. Surely if this is set 10 years before TOS and is set in the original prime universe, this show has got to look like TOS and not like the 2016 equivalent of TOS… Not the Kelvin Timeline equivalent of TOS.

If it doesn’t look like 10 years prior to that 60’s style then wont it loose all believability as being set in the prime universe and a prequel to TOS?

So how many centuries in the future must Star Trek go just to keep the 1960s ideas (and production values) about future technology relevant? The aged and dated look of the 1960s sci-if and the inability to be flexible with the look of it all, is what ties its hands.

Eventually the entirety of Star Trek will need to be rebooted to more modern production standards and ideals.

Trellium G,

Re:aged and dated look of the 1960s sci-if

I eventually felt the same way about the self-landing on its tail Rocketship XM type of sf vehicles of my youth, but lately I’ve been seeing the Space X and other private rocketship companies building and landing their ships exactly the way the fictional private rocketship companies of the sf of the 50s and 60s did and now I don’t find it so dated at all over half a century later. Heck, it even feels like the rail gun launch of FIREBALL XL5 is just around the corner.

Also when you’ve lived as long as I have, you realize styles come and go in cycles with retro nods to the past as common and old as the Romans adopting that of the Ancient Greeks.

So, I have no doubt that some future new generation a couple of hundred years hence will become bored with their noisy noisy world where every device talks back to them and tries to engage them in conversation, and falls in love all over a gain with the tactility and simplicity of toggle switches, knobs, dials and blinken lights. And that design aesthetic era too will eventually pass and return again.

In fact with all the diverse cultures of the Federation, I am a bit surprised these HUGE starships don’t have a mish-mash of the various design aesthetics of the homeworlds of their diverse crews bordering on the chaotic inside the ship.

It can be current and look like TOS. The Defiant on Enterprise looked great.

Agreed that it should look at least close to TOS, because we’ve already seen the design aesthetic from THIRTEEN years prior to TOS, during the ‘The Menagerie” flashback footage (taken of course from the first pilot, ‘The Cage’). So, unless they can explain this away as a testbed ship for some sort of new tech (possibly FAILED new tech?), they really should make all the design match TOS.

The Concorde looks nothing like A300, and yet they are both European airplanes designed in the 60s.

Also, check USS Grissom from STIII (Oberth class). Isn’t she similar to the Discovery concept in certain details – that embossed saucer, or that flat, wide aft-deck? It could very well come from the same design office:

As someone who appreciates consistency with canon, I also would prefer some nods to original uniforms and interior aesthetics from what we have already seen of this era. However, I also realize that they need to make this show relevant with modern production standards. If the Discovery was built quite a bit earlier than the Enterprise, which is implied by the registry number, then there could be an explanation. I recall Dax saying in Trials and Tribblestions that she loved mid-23rd century designs. This implied to me that “the look” of TOS was a design fad that didn’t last very long. Discovery’s aesthetic may be closer to the Kelvin, which to me looked like a logical progression from NX-01. Now, I’m not quite sure yet how they will handle the uniforms, since I doubt those will look like those worn in The Cage, but maybe there will be a few seen from time to time among other ships or Starfleet personnel.

I don’t think it will lose any credibility. As we saw with ‘In a Mirror, Darkly’, TOS design aesthetics done in (relatively) modern production values worked rather well. That said, I thin we’re missing the point that ten years prior to TOS has already been shown, in ‘The Menagerie’, where the footage from THIRTEEN years prior was shown at Spock’s trial. So, unless the Discovery is some sort of testbed vehicle for some new (possibly FAILED?) technology, I cannot see the aesthetic being RADICALLY different.

Oh well. My two quatloos.

Couldn’t agree with you more.

It will look more modern because it will be a product of its time (just as the original series was a product of its time, the 1960s). The believability should come from how well the stories fit within our imagined universe, not from having the aesthetics of the production being restricted to the production standards of the 60s (well, the 1950s if we’re going 10 years prior to TOS). That said, I wouldn’t mind if there was a slight nod to mid-century design in the aesthetic of DSC. Perhaps that’s why I like the look of the Discovery itself, it has that retrofuturistic feel and I’m all about that.

Agree 100% Enterprise had the advantage of being 100 years before TOS, leaving plenty of leaway. Setting Discovery a mere 10 years before TOS (for no particular reason) pretty much ties them into a look. If they didn’t want that, they shouldn’t have picked that era.

(from the IGN article) “And Ralph McQuarrie had done some wonderful illustrations, and we saw those and saw sort of harder lines of a ship and started talking about race cars and Lamborghinis in the ’70s and James Bond cars and started working on the designs, taking those inspirations and coming up with something completely unique to us.”

Yeah, I’m not seeing Lamborghinis or Aston Martins in the NCC-1031 design so far. Those cars are sleek, aerodynamic, curvy, sexy. I await the next version of the NCC-1031, but so far it’s blocky and uninspiring. I’m not seeing the influence at all.


It depends on how far back you go in car design history.

However, I am in love with your tacit suggestion that the DSC production flush with profits not just talk about it but take it to Detroit for polishing and realization. Besides what was it Robert Zemeckis & Bob Gale said, “why not do it with some style?”

Disinvited Today 12:36 am

I was looking at what they said — Lamborghinis from the 1970s and Aston Martins from the James Bond films.


Re:I was looking at what they said

As was I. Race cars and James Bond carS cover a wider range than you were mentioning.

For example:

Oh, I guess they could have been thinking of the Lotus, which is kind of angular. I was only thinking Aston Martin.

There are Aston Martins other than those James Bond drove. Google the Aston Martin Lagonda. You can see lots of similarities with the Discovery

Lamborghini Countach. Top view:comment image

Discovery. Bottom view:×437.png

It would be more obvious if the ship was bright white with black details. ;)

Paul Today 6:37 am

Which one would you rather be seen in: the Countach or the Discovery?

More of a Lotus Esprit aesthetic.

Speaking of starship designs, is it you who runs the starship plans archive? I love that place.

U.S.S. Legoprise.


Checkout kmart’s article that he posted over at the ‘Star Trek Beyond Spoiler Discussion ‘ comment chain:

Wouldn’t you say that Sean Hargreave is right up our discussion here’s alley? Would it be too bold to suggest Kurtzman and Fuller would have to be blithering fools not to sign him to finalize their Discovery?

I’m not a fan of the secondary hull, but my biggest issue is the nacelle buzzards. The three lights thing just looks weird. I’m hoping that will be updated when they put more time into it. I know the buzzards have changed over time, but since we are only 10 years form the 1701, shouldn’t we have something closer to the red spinning buzzards of the Constitution class?

And yeah, the blocky secondary hull makes me think tug boat more than starship, but since the functional Deep Space Nine was the set piece for my favorite series, I can get behind the tug boat if its a tug boat driven by good writing.

The series is set 10 years before the 1701, but that doesn’t mean the ship is brand new. It could have been built 50 years before that or something.

Even so, the nacelles make no sense.

It does if it was an interim solution to high warp problems, before the new Warp 8 engines were available. I see the Stargazer-like ships in the same light. Those four nacelles were a gapfiller until the big new engines of the Enterprise-C and -D came along. Not efficient, and probably a maintenance headache, but they get the job done. The pre-TOS solution was clustered nacelles?

I don’t mind them. They look like old school Corvette taillights. And nothing is cooler than a ’63 Stingray coupe.

There is a great 3D rendering of the Discovery at this link.

After seeing it from all angles, it has grown on me. Still some parts that aren’t great, but I’m confident that they will tweak it before the series.

That ship is plain ugly in any number of dimensions!

Yup. Ugly as sin. Horrible look.

I love it. Taking the McQuarrie design and evening out the proportions perfectly. Would prefer a more TOS Enterprise texture and colour, tho.

It would be better if the necelles are brought in a bit more (not so wide) and a subtle arc was added to the front of the struts.

Cool link, thanks. Any idea where the shuttle bay is? No shuttles would be lame.

Here it is. I love how wide the door of the bay appears to be.

Wow, cool! I love it! Change the nacelles (which they’ve already done!) and give it a tweak here and there and it could easily be the coolest ship since 1964…

I don’t get the naysayers. I just love that ship design… the Starfleet Delta used as a primary hull is just so cool…

To me, McQuarries design looked like an unfinished concept – and also like he just stuck a saucer and nacelles onto an Imperial star destroyer. The scale/proportions don’t work, like a lot if folks here have said.

I like how it looks from the top – almost like an ungainly IDIC. But I wish they’d lose or change the neck. It would makr more sence, visually, if the saucer was more integrated, like the Enterprise-E’s.

I think if there’s a good scientific sounding reason for a look that differs drastically from the designs established across a couple centuries of Earth based ships then go for it. But, if it’s purely because they “liked the hard lines” from a rejected design 50 years ago, then they need to give it some more thought.

Yes, for sure. However, there’s no getting away from the idea that a fictional starship has to look right rather than be right, because none of us knows how warp drive would affect the looks, if at all. The Borg cube makes the most sense to me because it is modular and easy to build. The Federation saucer emerges from 50s notions of flying saucers. Curved walls waste room, therefore air, therefore power. Unless aerodynamics are a consideration, it makes no sense to round off the corners.

So I just kinda go with it

This is a Klingon ship.

It looks more advanced than the original Enterprise and yet it is set before the original series…..don’t think they thought about that one.

Unless you go back to models on a string and 50 year old cameras, it’s going to look more advanced.

@ Mac – I’m with you. If the ‘Discovery’ is actually meant to be a ‘Federation’ craft set in a ‘slighty pre-TOS’ era…then I reckon the thing I’d want re-designed the MOST since the preview, would be it’s awful nacelle lights!

At least if it’s given some rounded, ‘spinning’ nacelle lights, it might actually seem to fit into the 60’s era shows aesthetic a lot better. The effect was replicated well enough for the ‘remastered’ TOS Enterprise effects, and was always one of the more interesting aspects of the original ship design for me. I was actually gutted that it wasn’t replicated for the otherwise excellent ST:TMP re-design at the time, as it always evoked the feeling that the ship was running on ‘dilithium crystals’ in the classic show.

It was just something that added a lot of interest to the ship shots for me. personally, and here’s acouple of examples – abd

On the other hand…if this ship actually turns out to have some kind of ‘Klingon’ (or ‘future’) technology incorporated as some have speculated, then I can live with the current lights as they are, I guess.

I thought it does have rounded spinning nacelle lights, just clustered in threes on each pylon. Perhaps some pre-Constitution-class attempt to improve performance while awaiting development of the new Warp 8 engines/coils/nacelles.

“Comment awaiting moderation”
never seen that before…
I feel so insulted.

I’ve always been fascinated by Star Trek Planet of Titans. The screenplay is kind of a holy grail of lost/unproduced Trek lore. That being said I love the Enterprise design from those sketches, very proto “Star Warsesque”. But I believe they came before Star Wars. Either way I love the Discovery design and really want to see what they come up with.

” I think J.J. Abrams, in the 2009 movie, really launched a fantastic reimagining of what Star Trek could be in that Kelvin Timeline.”

Good to know Fuller is smarter than the KT haters here. There is some hope for Trek if that attitude is carried into the new series.

This is a nightmare. First JJPrise and now this.

It’s apparent that Fuller, like Abrams, could care less about the fans. So be it.

I think it’s possible some fans will never be happy either. After reading this board, mostly silently, for over a year now that has become quiet apparent. I’ve enjoyed and continue to look forward to star trek in all its forms. Like GR’s original vision – I’m optimistic for the future.

Quite apparent

C’mon, make the deflector bigger and put some impulse engines on that primary hull, otherwise, it looks like some secret prototype if it’s supposed to be a federation vessel.

This is what I’m seeing with those nacelles:

I’ve always liked this 2011 interpretation of the Ralph McQuarrie Enterprise

Isn’t that basically USS Voyager? I definitely like the rounded lines much better. That’s a good looking ship. But it’s very different than the ,pmcquarrie ship.

@ CC – that example is very different from McQuarrie’s design indeed. It’s also very different to the current design too, due to the fact that it’s a hundred times better-looking than both of them in many ways.

Unfortunately, it looks to me as if it’s too advanced for a ‘pre-TOS’ setting…but I would far rather that design any day over the current design. It’s certainly got some lovely curves on it, and I bet that would look wonderful on screen.

Your post wasn’t censored like mine was, the previous day.
i.e. “Comment awaiting moderation”

What else can be explored? Where can a crew boldly go, what could be storywise interesting after 50 years of Star Trek and where a prime directive will be more important than ever? Its time. The crew will explore different eras of the federation, the Discovery will be able to go in time! Thats why this Series is told like anthalogy ! You read it here first!

@ CK – I was speculating on the previous topic that this show MIGHT end up being split between Human/Klingon/and Section 31 ‘crews’, with their storylines intertwined. That would certainly make for a bit more variety than sticking with the usual single ‘Federation’ crew scenario, but it’s only a theory which could be way off base.

I also hoped that if this show is popular and revives Trek on tv, then it would be neat for any ‘spin-offs’ to be given a more ‘anthology’ setting due to having different ‘future’ eras in the ‘Prime Timeline’ as others had originally hoped. (including one set during a future point in the supposed ‘Kelvin Timeline’ universe too, why not?)

However, I think your notion of a single crew aboard a ‘time=travelling’ ship to different eras (within the ‘Prime Timeline’ I take it) would certainly make for an equally interesting ‘anthology’-type show. But if the ‘Discovery’ is deliberately setting out to regularly flit back and fore to various eras on various missions…then it strikes me that it will have a very different agenda to the usual ‘Federation’ shows we’ve seen. I think this would mean that the ship was part of darker ‘Section 31’ agena, and involved in various underhand shennanigans. The ‘crew’ agenda might not be for the betterment of Humankind as a whole, and just be a tool of certain powerful individuals who have their own selfish agenda. An ‘ANTI-Trek’ type of show in other words…featuring a ‘Discovery’ crew who are not necessarily out to meet and great our ‘celestial neighbours’ with a true hand of frIiendship!

All speculation at this point of course, but that could be a whole lotta fun to watch.

Sorry for typos. Yes, that should have said ‘meet and greet our ‘celestial neighbours’.


“We’ve got different nacelles.”

YES! Best…news…ever… the nacelles had been my biggest problem with the design…the rest is just fine…

@ smike – best…news…ever…IF they turn out to be better-looking. No guarantees yet.

Oh, and it’s current plating color was getting a lot of pelters too, while they’re at it. ;)

I posted this article over in the Beyond section. Its for fans who may get discouraged by the small clique of wet blanket pseudo fans that frequent these boards with negative comments and can make reading and commenting here unpleasant. I suggest fans take the authors advice.

It was either Cygnus or Ahmed. They have a collective circle jerk of whining when it comes to the new movies.

Lol, well It really is a good article and explains this type of behavior pretty succinctly . My advice, ignore em, their not even really communicating in a cogent way. Your just replying to a self absorbed tape recorder, its a waist of time.

@ hugh – Agreed see above they are downright giddy the movie is doing poorly at the box office despite generally positive reviews and audiences liking it that have seen it. These will be the same guys crying in their soup if the new show fails

Only idiots base the greatness of a movie based on its box office take. One of the greatest cult classic sci-fi movies of all times, Blade Runner, was a bomb at the box office. Shawshank Redemption is another. Hell Citizen Kane was considered a flop and panned by critics when it was released. Ted is right, there are two many loud mouths here that are happy Beyond isn’t doing well but their opinion is worthless.

@Harry Plinkett,

“Only idiots base the greatness of a movie based on its box office take.”


Harry Plinkett
July 24, 2016 4:33 pm

STID was a great Trek movie compared to some of the older crap that came from the Next Gen. What where Insurrection and Nemesis Box Office numbers again?

Nice try chuckles. In the cases of Insurrection and Nemesis they were BOTH box office bombs as well as considered by most to be subpar films. Beyond is not considered a bad film and has quite a lot of good to great reviews. What YOU’RE doing is saying bad box office = bad movie. What your small mind isn’t getting in your gleeful need to quote me out of context, is that a movie with poor box office doesn’t mean it’s a bad movie. It can be but many times it isn’t, thus the classics I mentioned above. Keep trying though, you may yet have a cohesive thought but I’m not holding my breath.

@Harry Plinkett,

No, Sherlock. What I’m saying that “Beyond’ is underperforming everywhere, domestically and overseas, an inconvenient fact to morons like you. The reason for that? Who knows for sure, there could be many reasons from lousy marketing, bad release date or perhaps people are not interested anymore in a bland movie with nothing new to offer, shocker, right?

Frankly, it’s absolutely fun to see people like you trying now to pretend that they don’t care about box office numbers, the same people that until a few weeks ago kept referring to STID box office numbers as the ultimate proof of its success. And now you act like ‘Beyond”s numbers are not important!

And putting ‘Beyond’ next to these classics is idiotic to say the least, but not surprising coming from you.

First I’m not comparing Beyond to those classics. Please please learn how to really comprehend the english language better. What I said, now pay attention, is that box office does not equal the quality of a movie – ie Shawshank had very poor box office but now years later on home video it is a well liked movie and is considered a classic. I’m NOT saying nor will I ever say Beyond will reach that level what I’m saying you little tiny man is that bashing a movie based on box office alone is retarded, not something I did with Insurrection and Nemesis. The difference there is that (a) they had poor box office (b) they are poor movies which are NOT regarded as great movies today beyond a core fanbase.

Put away your hatred for these new movies and find something you enjoy. You’re a sad bitter little man who cries because the new toys JJ made aren’t too your liking. When the world starts revolving around you let me know, I’ll have a Napoleon outfit made for you.

@Harry Plinkett,

Well guess what? ‘Insurrection’ has 64 metacritic score and ‘Beyond’ has 68. And if you actually read some of the “great” reviews that ‘Beyond’ received, you will see that it was described as a two hours TV episode, similar to ‘Insurrection’.

And no one is bashing ‘Beyond’ based solo on its sorry box office numbers but you’re free to think so.

And Harry, you really can’t make a single post without insulting people left and right, compensating for something perhaps?

Give it a shot and try to say something constructive without restoring to insults, if you can’t, then get some help please.

@Ahmed – HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA Nice one! These clowns are like the emperor with no clothes. But they do keep things entertaining around here.

Harry Plinkett,

OK. so what were you so worried about here?:

“If Beyond drops more than 50% from week one to week two it could mean trouble” — Harry Plinkett

And why do you appear to be contradicting yourself by mentioning it, if it is ultimately of no importance?


HP is a hypocrite.

Not worried at all, disappointing for sure but it doesn’t keep me up at night. My concern at the time was a poor box office might mean a fourth movie wouldn’t happen but that doesn’t seem to be the case now as it seems the fourth movie is going forward regardless

Harry Plinkett.

Re:a poor box office might mean a fourth movie wouldn’t happen

I hope you can understand why I entertain doubts of your claim that that was on your mind, as here is the link to the thread where you felt moved to contribute that comment in the weekly BO article and none of the posters who originated or contributed to that sidebar before or after you as well as yourself felt the fourth movie important enough to mention at the time:

In fact, the article never mentions it and in the entire comment chain attached to the article no one mentions the next movie until after you made those contributions that Ahmed and I cited. And even though the fourth film was mentioned in 3 separate comments after by three distinct individuals in that BO article chain, not once did you avail yourself of those 3 opportunities to unburden yourself of the true focus of your growing concern.

Lastly, you mentioned “it seems the fourth movie is going forward regardless” but you don’t cite what has changed to quell your troubled concerns over that “drops more than 50% from week one to week two it could mean trouble”, which did in fact come to pass. What seems to have averted your vision of possible trouble? I mean, Paramount delayed officially cancelling the TERMINATOR:GENISYS sequels until 4 months after the end of its run and BEYOND isn’t even there yet. In light of that, your “doesn’t seem to be the case now” declaration seems premature, at best.

When did paramount announce the 4th movie had a green light? The last announcement I saw was before STB opened — before the box office tanked. Studios change their minds all the time. Most recently HBO cancelled the Martin Scorsese, Mick Jagger produced VINYL, after announcing it had been picked up for a second season following the pilot debut. Then the ratings tanked and they cancelled it before the first season ended. Paramount has even bigger corporate problems which could change their trajectory whatever support for Trek they may have otherwise.

@Hugh Hoyland,

More whining!

You need to learn to accept that people have different tastes than you. If you can’t stand a different opinion, then perhaps you should stay in your echo chamber where there is only one valid opinion, yours!

Happy whining :)

Pot meet kettle

Ive never seen this weird behavior before. These few fans so personally offended by facts that they are attacking and insulting people as if those people manufactured the box office returns.

Box office is not a direct correlation to quality. In Beyond’s case, it is. But if people like it, then good for them. But the people seemingly taking it personally that so many others didnt like it is hilarious. And a bit disturbing. Must be a lot of Paramount stock owners here. lol

@Hugh Hoyland,

Stop whining, thanks.

Not whining ahmed, just a PAS for Trekkies :]

edit: PSA = Public Service Announcement.

Box Office: Star Trek Beyond is Pretty Much Toast Until China

Well, it’s three weeks later. Where do we stand on those chances for Star Trek 4 now?

Short answer: Um, ask again in a month.

Long answer: It’s not looking too hot right now, and that’s mostly because Beyond has been wiped out by Jason Bourne and Suicide Squad domestically and hasn’t hit several key foreign markets yet.

This might also be a reflection of these Abrams movies gradually losing an audience, with Star Trek being the peak ($257m domestic), Into Darkness ($228m) the downslide and Beyond the bottom.

In this, the 50 year anniversary of the franchise, it is worth pausing to point out that if you just go by box office receipts alone several of the prior Star Trek movies would look like money losers, specifically Nemesis, Insurrection and The Final Frontier, and two of those three still earned sequels. Plus, there’s no telling what kind of shot in the arm the franchise will receive from the forthcoming Star Trek: Discovery TV series, which will be unrelated to the current films and managed by a different company (CBS instead of Paramount, although they are oddly both owned by Viacom) but is still Star Trek.

Having an actual new Trek TV show up and running, available through Netflix pretty much everywhere in the world but the US, could at least keep the franchise in the public consciousness and embolden Paramount to crank out one more film, probably again co-financed with Alibaba. Or it could backfire and cause audiences to prefer to see a Star Trek: Discovery movie instead of Kirk and crew yet again.


Somehow I have trouble putting too much credence in a report that can’t even get its facts right that CBS and Paramount are NOT both owned by Viacom.

Disinvited Today 10:18 am

I take your point, but you have to admit that the whole Sumner Redstone/National Amusements/CBS/Viacom/Paramount corporate-structure saga over the years isn’t all that easy to follow (nor all that interesting).


At least they are aware that Star Trek is not run by Paramount only! But beside this point, the box office numbers & the trend are clear.

There are more articles written now about the weak BO performance, and in about three weeks we will find out if China, even with their current BO problems, will change that or not.



Do we have any source for what BEYOND will be up against and by that I mean not just its fellow imports but the native language local films the PRC promotes too? I’m curious to know if BEYOUND has clear field where it might have a shot to make up what’s lost.

Ahmed Today 9:21 am

If Paramount does decide to proceed with #4, I’d look for them to follow the PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN model of largely writing off the domestic market and tailoring the movie to foreign markets, the latter of which have an affinity for sequels and especially sequels in which American audiences have lost interest.


‘Beyond’ is the third most expensive film of the summer, after Civil War and Dory, and yet it is not making even half of their BO numbers. Paramount needs to cut the budget for the next one from $185 million to something reasonable.

Ahmed Today 11:02 am

In theory, yes. But, in practice cutting the budget for a movie so heavily reliant upon CGI, FX and action sequences might not be feasible. Where are they gonna cut? I’d like to see these BR Trek loyalists sit through one of those movies with the CGI and FX massively stripped away, never mind the average movie-goer who’s just looking for some action-spectacle to accompany his munchi-wunching on popcorn. Take away the action-spectacle and what are you left with? A thin plot, meaningless story, weak villain and some popcorn. It’d be interesting to cull away all of the critic reviews that tout the “breathtaking visuals” and “thrillride” aspects of these BR Trek movies. What RT score would they have with only the reviews that remain?

Take an overblown, large-budget movie like Star Trek: The Motion Picture, strip away the huge budget, relegate it to the TV wing of the studio, and you get . . . Star Trek II: TWOK. It’s all about using what you already have effectively.

How does that tie into the design of the USS Discovery? Sometimes I think the producers try too hard at these things. Enterprise could have been a Daedalus Class, Voyager would have been more effective as an Oberth Class, and Discovery would be great an a Connie, or a TOS Miranda, etc.

The irony here is that Paramount actually committed AMAZING resources to this trilogy; in the past, Trek has been given the bargain-basement treatment (except the first film). Nimoy and Shatner both complained about tight budgets while directing their films. I guess there’s not a direct return on investment with these.

So, given the massive investments, etc, maybe they shouldn’t have put it in an alternate universe with new actors replacing old favorites. After watching the 2009 movies, I thought that movie should have been placed in the Prime universe on the Enterprise-E. Kirk and company could have been new young characters. Like could have been Picard, etc.
During the opening scenes of Into Darkness, when Kirk and McCoy were stumbling through a first contact gone bad, it had the feel of early Starfleet. At that point I thought, and still do, that the movies should have been in the Prime universe, with a new young crew, aboard the Enterprise NCC210, a new-build “NX Refit-style ship in the 2170’s. Like would be replaced by Archer, and Khan’s character replaced by another batch of clones from the eugenics war.

Given the box office from a middlin’ effort, they should re-title the film for home video release; it should be called Star Trek: Meh.

They could do with making the Discovery’s saucer section a little bigger.

If you’re reading this Mr Fuller…can we have this colour and texture, pretty please?

Regarding the ships color – *if* the ‘Discovery’ turns out to be some kind of clandestine ‘Section 31’ tech (whether it’s capable of regular back-and-forth ‘time travel’ as Captain Kork speculated, or not)…then it might as well have a more sinister, dark look like STID’s ‘USS Vengeance’. I’d prefer that over the current brown ‘coppery’ look any day.

I suppose Discovery will be on Netflix in the USA the following year it’s aired and after the BD release.


With Les saying it is already profitable, it does seem like they’d chance a bd roll out outside the US at the very least.

Inside the US is a tough call. Any moves that could be perceived as distracting from ALL ACCESS subscriptions might be avoided.

Sadly, a BD/DVD release for Discovery isn’t a foregone conclusion in any territory. The selling point for most of these, particularly BDs was the accompanying special features but sadly, less and less people seem to be interested in these, which is why we’re getting so many vanilla discs now. We live in an ADHD world where people just want their quick fix before moving on to the next thing.
That being the case, CBS could very well decide, what with All-Access in the States and Netlfix everywhere else-why bother?

Anyone condoning theft is no true fan. And thats about the only time I’d say that. Idiots.

The ‘only’ time you’d say that, TUP? LOL.
Agree with you though, theft is totally unacceptable-but that doesn’t mean the usual suspects won’t give it a try.
Oh, and not that anyone’s interested, but I meant Netflix and not Netlfix. Damned tablet…


I see no reason for CBS to not release ‘Star Trek: Discovery’ on home media. After all Netflix released its top streaming original series ‘House of Cards’ & ‘Orange Is The New Black’ on DVD and Blu-ray, usually four months after the end of each season in the case of HOC.

Since I hate commercials, I’m going to buy a season pass from iTunes even if that mean waiting for 24 hours to watch a new episode.

You don’t have to wait a year, you can watch it on Kodi on your computer or other sites like Lucktv will probably have each episode the next day. No need to waste money on this crappy new service.

Harry Plinkett,

Re:You don’t have to wait a year

Perhaps you feel a bit insulated from CBS’ legal arm being a Canadian, but I doubt Moonves is going to reel in his legal hounds to let anything like what you suggest to pass here in the U.S. as long as he’s trying to maximize the subscriptions.

@Harry Plinkett,

Why am not surprised that you’re encouraging people to steal from CBS.

I wrote this on the earlier thread, but here’s the shorter version: People may not need to worry about the Discovery’s interior (especially the bridge) having the outdated 60s TOS aesthetic. If the ship really is a black project, the interior will probably look much more advanced than mainstream Starfleet ships from the period. Fuller should know this if he’s done his homework on real-life stealth aircraft.

The exterior can be improved by basing it on real-life examples too. Make the Discovery look like a huge, futuristic, interstellar version of real stealth planes. If Fuller wants to keep the “hard-angled look”, base it on the F-117 Nighthawk. If he’s open to other options, there’s the B-2 stealth bomber, the impending B-21, the X47B drone, and Lockheed’s famous A-12 from the 60s. They all look great, they’re all variations on the “delta” shape, and the audience will get the reference.

Also Lockheed’s very famous SR-71 Blackbird, which looks a bit more futuristic than the A-12.

@ Jai – I misssed your earlier comments about all this, can you let me know which thread you posted them on?

As you can see from my post here a couple of days ago, I’d like them to go full ‘black ops’ with the look of the ‘Discovery’ if it turns out that’s what the show is about!


I posted a more detailed comment about this here:

Fuller also said “The top-ranking member of the fleet will be a lieutenant commander, but with caveats.”

So the lead character is in charge, but she’s not a Starfleet officer in the conventional way. Makes sense if she’s a Starfleet Intelligence agent with the official rank of L-C, possibly Section 31.

@ Jai – thanks for the link. I reckon if the show is truly going to be set around a covert ‘black ops’ stealth vehicle (‘The Discovery’), then this would allow for a lot of lee-way in it’s exterior and interior design after all.

While I especially don’t like the ‘coppery’ color-scheme or the shape of it’s nacelles, this scenario at least explains the non-‘pre-TOS’ look of the preview video’s ship design.

I’m ready for this ‘Black Ops’ Anti-Star Trek show! ;)

I am so not interested in a Black Ops show. That seems to be the opposite of what they said they wanted to do. I’d like a little escapism, not a daily reminder of the world I live in …

Pre-TOS. So the ship is going to be out there unable to contact Starfleet command? The Klingons and Federation will be on the verge of war if not at war? Klingons with imperial conquests? The Federation will be in seemingly desperate need of dilithium crystals to the point they set up mines on inhospitable planets? A free market economy in the background with mines, smugglers, etc and Federation credits? Romulans in hiding? The Andorians and Vulcans aren’t best of friends despite both being in the Federation? Wow, that sounds exciting. What I think we will get – holodecks, unlimited energy for everyone, everyone best friends, peace with the Klingons, Romulans,…. in complete contrast to the source material that you know, was actually quite popular.

@ Cmd B – while I’m down for a twisty clandestine ‘Section 31’ scenaria for the show, I’d also be equally satisfied with the possibilities that your initial description offers. Like you, I sure hope it’s nothing like the latter half of your post…

Let’s hope not. Enterprise already failed at that. lol The pre-TOS timeline is exactly what I was hoping for when Enterprise was announced to be “different”. But it was the same old song and dance cranked out of the Berman-Trek sausage mill. The only hope I have for Discovery is that the people behind it are not from the Berman era. It is my hope that they can get on with the adventure aspects of the original series and not bog down in self-important, serialized soap-opera theatrics that seem to be a prerequisite for televised “drama” these days. The percieved “need” for Trek to babble on about the “human condition” has infected the franchise since the new and enlightened Majarishi Roddenberry brought it to the table in The Motion Picture. It was then mercifully excised from the franchise for the next 5 movies until Roddenberry brought in TNG. At that point the die was cast and it would be almost 20 years before it finally strangled itself. JJ put Trek back on track, i really hope Fuller and company don’t de-rail things.

Jonboc, I agree with your post completely.

When the duck bucks instead of quacks there’s no satisfying the all the cracked eggs.

So shut up and wait.

@ IKBIAB – i’ve no doubt that some here will love the show no matter what, just because it has a ‘Star Trek’ moniker attached to it. Even if it’s a big disappointment in many ways to others who might be more discerning about what they want from the show.

At this poiint however, the ‘possibilities’ are quite open-ended about how things could go, and there’s no harm in any of us speculating about any of it at this point.

I see Movie Pilot are now speculating that DSC’s female lead could be none other than Number One from ‘The Cage’.
I hope they’re way off base with this, as I’d prefer to see an original character in the lead.

I think having Number One as Captain would be fantastic!! Best news I’ve heard from ST: Discovery; it is as if someone knows their source material. Gives me hope this won’t be a holodeck bore.

They were speculating as to her being the lead, who is a Lieutenant Commander, not the Captain.
I suppose her being the Captain instead, as a secondary character, would sort of be okay (and makes more sense as she would surely have been promoted post-Cage)…but I don’t know. Doesn’t strike me as being particularly original.
That, together with the McQuarrie design and period setting, and the whole thing could smack of being a big budget fan series, rather than something more professional and forward looking (no disrespect).
Of course-it’s nothing but speculation!.

But how would we even know it’s Number One? Seriously, we don’t know her name. She’s just a an average woman with brunette hair. She’d literally have to talk about being Pike’s Number One on the Enterprise and going to Talos IV to confirm her identity. I mean Capt. Janeway could have been Number One having time traveled to the future.

That’s kind of cool. Canon wise it works. For all practical purposes, Number One is an original character. We don’t know anything about her, other than she’s very efficient at her job.

More interesting than the design, however, is the principal cast with a female commander (in rank) being the primary character rather than the captain. If the rumors are true and it’s my titular dad, this primary character is probably put into a tough spot with Dad going nuts and she gets embroiled in the mutiny that sent him to the funny farm. That might fill a 13-episode arc (maybe two if they do it 24-style with each episode being an hour. What’s the sequel in that case?

The Hollywood Reporter is making some claims about DSC’s other main characters:

”a female admiral, a male Klingon captain, a male admiral, a male adviser and a British male doctor.”

Trekmovie’s writers should try to confirm that.

A joint mission with a Klingon 10 years before TOS and The Organian Peace Treaty?

Some further details on DSC may be released in a few weeks:

“Beyer & Meyer Set for Discovery Panel at Mission New York. Star Trek: Mission New York is just around the corner now, and programming updates are coming in fast and furious. Case in point: Nicholas Meyer and Kirsten Beyer, who’ll serve as writers on Star Trek: Discovery, will share the stage for Meet the Writers panel. In fact, the whole panel schedule is live now, as are the autograph and photo op schedules. Mission New York, a three-day event, presented by CBS Consumer Products and ReedPop, will take place September 2-4 in Manhattan.”

Beyer? Hasn’t Meyer collaborated with her before?

As a couple of others have commented, the designs from TOS were never an issue, the production quality has simply changed. Trials and Tribbleations (sp?) and In a Mirror Darkly demonstrate this pretty well. That’s not to say things can’t be different, but if you want to explore this era in the ST continuity, then do it, you don’t have to reinvent the wheel, just make it awesome.

You raise an interesting point.

Just to clarify, with T&T and IAMD, you’re saying they have established that sets from that period have to match the original production values exactly? Because those two episodes did not deviate from the original 1960s designs. The difference was of course that DS9 looked appropriately futuristic comparatively. I’m not sure that ENT pulled that off, it wasn’t jarring, but then that wasn’t the point. IAMD was a one-off episode that was intended to excite the hard core fan base. It was a fun deviation from the “reality” of the rest of the series. And for that matter, so were the other series episodes that featured TOS sets.

I don’t think that STD can get away with that on a weekly basis. STD has to approach it more like ENT did, by acknowledging the technology we take for granted today and update the look accordingly. IAMD has to be looked at as an island within ENT, and not as canon per se.

I’m with you, definitely don’t think they have to mirror the original look piece for piece, just be mindful of it in a way that I think both Enterprise (the show) and the JJ Universe weren’t/aren’t. I don’t think we’ve seen a modern re-thinking of the TOS era yet that has done justice to that classic look and feel… I want that visual language to be maintained enough to say, yeah this flows into that.

*Coff* Wonderfull? Ralphs hsip was ugly than and it wont get better now. Stop dreaming!

That ship looks like a garbage scow. Wait. It should be hauled off AS garbage. Yes, that’s it: a huge chunk of wreckage. Flotsam! Meet Jetsam!