‘Star Trek: Discovery’ Update: Jason Isaacs’ Mask, Doug Jones’ Action Mishap, and Starfleet HQ

Jason Isaacs getting a plaster cast made of his head for Star Trek: Discovery

This past week has seen a lot of news about Star Trek: Discovery, but there’s still a little bit more! One bit of news was the first look at Jason Isaacs as Capt. Gabriel Lorca of the USS Discovery, revealing that he is playing a human (or at least very human-looking species), and revealing his first name. And last night, Isaacs shared a behind-the-scenes video on Instagram of him having a lifecast made. It does not look fun.


Trying to make a good impression.

A post shared by Jason Isaacs (@therealjasonisaacs) on

It wasn’t explained why Isaacs had to sit through what is clearly an uncomfortable experience, but lifecasts like this are often made in order to create prosthetic makeup appliances.

Doug Jones overdoes it in action scene

This weekend actor Doug Jones, the alien Lt. Saru on Star Trek: Discovery, was supposed to make an appearance at Fanboy Expo in Tennessee but he had to cancel at the last minute. In a video posted on Twitter, Jones explained that “because of a very exciting action sequence I did a little something to my shoulder” so he had to stay in Toronto to have it looked at. He was very apologetic to fans:

We here at TrekMovie hope all is well and Jones can return to the set to keep the crew laughing and continue sensing the coming of death.

Discovery visits Starfleet HQ

An article from the Toronto Star about the growing film and TV production industry there included some discussion about Star Trek: Discovery, which is shot locally at Pinewood Studios. The article noted that Discovery is being filmed on the biggest sound stage available at Pinewood, one previously been used for the the films Pacific Rim, Suicide Squad and Total Recall. The report from Pinewood included this interesting tidbit:

…production workers are diligently stenciling the words “STARFLEET COMMAND” in giant letters on concrete. Behind them is a militaristic and imposing grey-toned set representing Federation headquarters.

Having scenes take place at Starfleet Command and Starfleet Headuarters is not exactly surprising for a Star Trek show, and it’s a reasonable guess that Starfleet HQ is where we will see Admiral Anderson, played by Terry Serpico.

Terry Serpico plays Admiral Anderson in Discovery

Starfleet’s San Francisco HQ has been seen in many incarnations of Star Trek shows and films, in both the Prime and Kelvin timelines. One exception was the original Star Trek series (also set in the 23rd century like Discovery), but it was seen in some of the TOS-era feature films. It even was in Star Trek: Enterprise, set a century before Discovery.

Past Star Trek series from the ’90s and ’00s used the Tillman Water Reclamation Plant in Van Nuys for exterior shots of Starfleet HQ, since Discovery is shot in Toronto it’s unlikely they returned to that much-used location.

Starfleet HQ from Star Trek: Enterprise

Catching up on all the Discovery news

As noted before, this was a big week! In case you missed anything, here’s a wrap-up:

Release DateSeptember 24th

New synopsis:

Star Trek: Discovery will follow the voyages of Starfleet on their missions to discover new worlds and new lifeforms, and one Starfleet officer who must learn that to truly understand all things alien, you must first understand yourself. The series will feature a new ship, new characters and new missions, while embracing the same ideology and hope for the future that inspired a generation of dreamers and doers.


New key quotes:

This show is so rich and deep that all of us huge nerds/fans always need to make sure we get details right
Supervising producer Ted Sullivan in fan Q&A

You can’t cut corners or have 95 percent of what’s on screen be completely original and inspired and then have five percent something you bought at a store. It has to be cohesive — and it is. I’m so proud of what’s on screen, it’s so beautiful and it’s taking world-building to a whole new level.
Co-showrunner Gretchen J. Berg explaining show’s delay

I have an inner war and it’s a journey of self discovery and finding out what it means to be alive, to be human, to be a Starfleet officer, what it means to be a hero…I have the Vulcan conflict in my life from Sarek and Amanda so there’s always going to be that inner conflict with me.
Sonequa Martin-Green on her character of Michael Burnham

Sarek [James Frain] plays an important role in her life, which has been completely planned until she makes a very difficult choice that sends her life on a very different path. When we meet her, she’s the first officer on the starship Shenzhou. And Burnham’s choice that we’re alluding to is the most difficult choice you can make – it affects her, affects Starfleet, affects the Federation; it affects the entire universe.
Co-showrunner Aaron Harberts on Michael Burnham’s character arc

We go pound for pound with Game of Thrones
Ted Sullivan on if Discovery will resemble Game of Thrones in scope in another fan Q&A

New images

This week saw the official release of a launch  poster, the Shenzhou transporter room, and Jason Issacs on the USS Discovery bridge.

New infographic

TrekMovie pored over all the new and previously released images and videos to create a new infographic detailing the new Starfleet uniforms.

Keep up with all the Star Trek: Discovery news at TrekMovie.


Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

An experience like that looks as if it could produce claustrophobia in a block of granite; how much worse must it be for anything as sensitive as a human being! I’m amazed at all that actors go through in order to entertain us.

Yeah to be forced to stay calm and breathe through your nose and not itch or sneeze or anything. I don’t know if I could handle such an experience.

Me, neither. It must take a lot of trust, to let somebody do that to you!

Did it when I was in college – I went to art school – it is a pretty awful experience. The worst part was what your friends would do to you while you were in the chair. They put a cool ranch Dorito over the nose hole of one guy….I still count my blessings they didn’t do that to me.

I wonder if the “Pound for pound with Game of Thrones” means actor Isacs will get his head chopped off? lol

I live about two miles from Pinewood studios in Toronto. I should try to sneak in sometime.

For the good of the many

And not getting caught would be for the good of the one!

Could they please change the Discovery crew’s insignia, which is an insignia only worn by the crew of the USS Enterprise NCC-1701 until after Kirk’s five-year mission, which doesn’t end until 15 years after the start of Star Trek: Discovery. It’s annoying to see such ignorance of Star Trek in a Star Trek show. It’s like Enterprise all over again.

Funny you call it ignorance there Zoe…
You seem to be unaware that the delta was to be used for any starship crew, any ideas of it being strictly for the Enterprise are fan made theories to explain the costuming mistakes made during TOS Season 2. There has never been a canonical explanation either way, but there is a behind the scenes answer.


Sadly, Zoe’s ignorance is not bliss.

Costuming mistakes? You mean where the crew of the Exeter have a different emblem? Or where the crew of the Excalibur have a different emblem…different not only from Enterprise crew, but also of Exeter’s crew? Looks to me like the mistakes where those made when filming the first season episode Court Martial because they didn’t have a lot of money. They didn’t ‘accidentally’ make extra, very different emblems & then sew them onto costumes for guest stars playing characters from other starships.

Might want to check out the three volumes by Marc Cushman called “These Are The Voyages”. They chronicle every single written document made during the creation of TOS.


You might wanna check your own facts. If you read the link I posted. There’s a memo from Bob Justman explaining that all starships (ex. Constitution-class ships) get the delta from late-1967. There were two mistakes made in Season 2. The Constellation and the Exeter should not have had special patches. Bill Theiss went off book and did whatever he wanted. So it is mistake in the sense that it not what the producers had intended.

Furthermore, you’re incorrect that the Excalibur’s insignia was ever seen on screen, that ship was only spoken about. Any insignia floating around is fan made.

Cushman’s books are rather flawed, and they do not contain every memo made during TOS. There are many more in the Roddenberry archives at UCLA. Including the Justman memo I’m referring to.

Right or wrong, does it matter? TOS was a god awful show that most modern viewers wouldn’t be able to stomach for more than 30 seconds, and the details and costumes and sets are trash. Good riddance.

Just tried watching a bit of Court Martial. Ugh, it’s painful. But noteworthy that Spock refers to himself as “Vulcanian.” Where’s the outrage over that contradiction? It’s okay for TOS to mess with continuity because TOS is the almight GENE-GOD and THE ORIGINAL INFALLIBLE SERIES.

Matt this is the bozo you banned a few years ago.


That’s funny.

It’s not a god awful show; there are some real classics in it.

I see the appeal, I do, I am still a fan of The Twilight Zone, and thematically and technically they are very similar– there’s just something about TOS that’s hard to stomach for me.

Torchwood, including the simple words “in my opinion” every time you blast TOS (or William Shatner) would go a long way. This is a Star Trek site. One Hell of a lot of people here love TOS. You don’t, good for you, but your opinion is just that – yours.

I don’t think I will, Danpaine. And let me hitherto explain why.

Chiefly it is because the tack-on qualifier “in my opinion” is unnecessary considering that it is something we can assume is the case any time someone talks bout the quality of a creative endeavor.

“Wrath of Khan is the best Trek movie, bar none.”

See, I don’t need to say that this an opinion (even if I humbly disagree with it) because we all understand– as rational people– that when some says something is good, bad, the best, the worst– or even “complete and total garbage that I would only ever use to torture terrorists” it’s a subjective opinion.

Movie reviews don’t need to include the phrase “in my opinion” or “I believe that” before every statement they make about a film’s quality, the style of directing, cinematography, or level of acting. We all understand it is the reviewer’s opinion.

Likewise, when an anonymous person comes onto a Star Trek website such as this, and deems, harshly or otherwise, that TOS is terrible, it is to be assumed that it is his opinion and his opinion alone. This hypothetical internet poster understands that it may not be a popular opinion, but it is still his opinion nonetheless.

Secondarily, but just as importantly, I will not be including “in my opinion” in my statements regarding my subjective analysis of any Star Trek program because it would be a waste of my time.

And as you can plainly see by the succinctness and brevity of this post, I am clearly a man who cares not to expend any unnecessary effort nor the unneeded verbiage when articulating my thoughts.

Isn’t that a give, Dan?

Given the effort alone you put into your explanation there, Torchwood, I do concede. Your brevity is noteworthy. Well played, Sir. Well played.


Seriously though… as the great Mister Shatner once said, Get a Life!


I believe in the episode “Court Martial”, many Starfleet personell on Starbase 11 were wearing the Enterprise Delta, even though it was evident that they were not part of the Enterprise Crew.

Yep, when Kirk visits the starbase bar, he runs into fellow classmates from Starfleet Academy and because they’re all from various visiting starships, they all have deltas.

As I said above, in Court Martial Spock also refers to himself as “Vulcanian.”

TOS was FULL of contradictions because the series was still finding it’s footing and writers weren’t checking the details as often and referentially as they do today.

They also never expected viewers to scrutinize the show to that degree from episode to episode, considering reruns were relatively new thing and home video was still a decade away.

And they certainly never expected it to last 50+ years, and a full fledged fictional universe covering thousands of hours of entertainment they’d have to match with continuity.

he may have been getting plastered for molds of his face so they could make dummies, look alikes, etc.

My most likely theories:

1) He’s Arik Soong’s first android, and they’ll show him getting assembled so they needed a fake version of his head.
2) he’s a clone of Picard sent back to the past to change the future– the molds are to add some prosthetics to give him features like Patrick Stewart.
3) he’s going to be assimilated by the borg, and they needed to create the head/face prosthetics.
4) At some point he’ll be revealed as a Ferengi, and will take off his human face.

On a side note, I have a theory that Kirk will guest star in an episode where the Klingon’s use a electrofractal demalcifier beam to rapidly age him by 50 years, and Shatner will cameo! As old man Kirk, Shatner will save Discovery — and the entire universe– from destruction, before reverting back to young Kirk, but not before getting to make out with whatever 22 year old actress is on set that day.

Mine? He’s being made into an action figure. In other words, this is for merchandising purposes.

In that case, wouldn’t they rather do a 3D scan of his face instead of a mold?

Yep these days they use 3D laser scanners to do action figures, it’s much more accurate. So his lifecast is almost certainly for some kind of makeup use.

I am totally Amazed how actors been doing all of this stuff just to entertain other people. Hats off.

Perhaps the mask/make up is proof that the show is sticking to the storyline of multiple dimensions. Maybe th make-up is for an alternative Lorca, in the same way early rumours had multiple variations of Sarek?

That IS one of the few ideas I’ve seen floating around that could make me check out from the show.
This odd notion that you’d have to use some dimensional shifting nonsense to explain why DSC Sarek doesn’t look like TOS/Movie/TNG Sarek.

Do we really need alternate dimensions to explain why a character has been played by multiple actors? Have we really become THAT nitpicky and closeminded?

Savik was played by Kirsty Alley and Robin Curtis. Nobody cared. Ziyal was played by three different actresses who looked recognizably different despite alien makeup. Nobody cared. Captain Braxton was replaced when he reappeared in “Future’s End.” Senator Creetak was two different actresses. And few people remember but even Admiral Paris was re-cast when he started popping up more regularly.

Two different actors have also played Zefram Cochane, and one– James Cromwell– also appeared as a human character (ie: recognizably James Cromwell) in the TNG episode ‘The High Ground.” When it comes to that, we’ve seen actors re-occur in different roles all the time, even when not hidden under alien make up. Nobody bats an eye.

But suddenly, with Discovery, we’re going to want it explained to us why we have different actors? People are just desperate to hate this show for any reason they can find it seems.

I bet all my money that Star Trek Discovery will be a 4-season show, and that CBS will make 1 or 2 more 4-season shows afterwards.

I’m not putting money on anything but if we got 6 seasons of this i’d be pretty happy (because it would also mean it was really good).

I am guardedly optimistic so far, but am trying to keep my excitement tempered, considering my tastes can be fickle.

Agreed. Thankfully, this is the first time Ive heard someone demand an in-universe reason for why James Frain doesn’t resemble Mark Lenard.

Nice, a transporter room with giant spin wheels.
Guess it will be lets spin the wheel and see where we end up!

Pinewood Studios is on the east side of Toronto harbour, so this doesn’t mean there won’t be exterior “bay” shots for Starfleet Command. Unlikely, as Toronto harbour doesn’t look very much like SF bay, but you never know. Toronto is an excellent actor. She’s played pretty much every other major city in the world.

I live about two miles from Pinewood studios in Toronto. I should try to sneak in sometime.

I should try to sneak in some time.

I wonder if the “Pound for pound with Game of Thrones” means actor Isacs will get his head chopped off? lol