Information about Star Trek: Discovery has been trickling out almost daily from Entertainment Weekly, and the latest round-up article has a few details that haven’t surfaced in previous articles. More information is likely to come at San Diego Comic-Con, where we know there’s going to be a full Star Trek: Discovery panel, but in the meantime, here’s the latest scoop on the series.
The Klingons are important
EW says to expect “a lot of Klingons.” The time period we’re in is during the cold war between the Klingon Empire and the Federation, but things will come to a head at the beginning of the series, and the Klingon we’ll get to know the best is T’Kuvma, played by Chris Obi (who’s also on Bryan Fuller’s American Gods). T’Kvuma is a Klingon leader, and is determined to unite the Klingon houses “by any means necessary.” Ominous.
Game of Thrones is an influence
In a separate article just released by EW today, showrunners Gretchen J. Berg and Aaron Harberts, talked about the way HBO’s Game of Thrones has influenced television and is likely to influence Star Trek: Discovery. Said Berg,
“Game of Thrones changed television. They almost made it difficult to fall in love with people because you didn’t know if they were going to be taken away from you. That show’s had an influence on all TV dramas that have come after it.”
Harberts added, “Death isn’t treated gratuitously on this show. It’s not for shock value. But when it happens we want to make sure that people really feel it.”
Thematically, this isn’t brand new territory for the franchise, which has seen the deaths of Captain Kirk, Spock, and Sarek and the departure of Captain Sisko, but perhaps most closely echoes Tasha Yar, who died early on in The Next Generation‘s run and thus had an impact on the ship’s crew for a long time afterwards, or Jadzia Dax, who was killed off late in Deep Space Nine’s run and deeply affected everyone left behind. (And yes, we’re assuming this is more about the effect death can have on other characters and viewers as opposed to referencing beheadings and squishy-sounding swords-in-the-guts deaths.)
The U.S.S. Discovery is a science vessel
According to EW, the Discovery is primarily a science vessel, and that’s where Lt. Commander Michael Burnham (Sonequa Martin-Green, the show’s star) will find herself after the “difficult choice that sends her life on a very different path” described by Aaron Harberts, who added,
“That choice leads her to a different ship, the USS Discovery and there we begin what [co-showrunner] Gretchen [Berg] and I call our second pilot.”
The Discovery will be more modern than the Shenzhou, and it’s especially interesting that EW is calling it a science vessel; we hadn’t heard that yet and it does seem to be at odds with the information that Captain Lorca (Jason Isaacs) is a brilliant military tactician. This could lead to some of the in-crew conflict that’s been talked about, or it could be a detail that isn’t quite nailed down yet.
Harry Mudd won’t be quite so outrageous
We already know that Rainn Wilson (of The Office) will be playing Harry Mudd, and that he’ll appear in at least a couple of episodes. EW has given us just a little bit more information on him–the Harry Mudd we meet will be “a more grounded version” of the one we know from the original series episodes “Mudd’s Women” and “I, Mudd.” He’ll be younger of course, due to Discovery‘s time period, and if this is a calmer version of Mudd, we can expect fewer shenanigans from him, although he’s still a con man who operates outside of Starfleet.
Expect to see some retro tech
This is always a big topic for Trek fans. Do they base the tech on what was created for the 1960s show to stay within canon? Are we talking about the James Kirk era or the Captain Pike era? How does Enterprise‘s tech affect the way everything will look? Likely EW has had a closer look at some of the images and footage from the show, and they say we should “expect some retro ’60s design in the new show, complete with old school phasers, tricorders, and communicators.” What we’ve seen in several of the recently released photos seems to confirm this.
More “lower deck” storylines
Since Martin-Green’s Burnham is the star of the show and NOT the captain, we will be getting a different perspective than we’re used to in our Captain-centric Star Trek shows of the past. EW says,
“And as the first non-captain Trek lead, focusing on Burnham takes viewers off the bridge, into more parts of the ship, and explores lower-deck story lines.”
For anyone who’s a fan of the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode “Lower Decks,” this is good news, as it means we’ll see life on a Federation starship from a point of view we may not have seen very much in the past.
Stay tuned to TrekMovie for all the latest on Star Trek: Discovery, including the news that Jonathan Frakes is directing an episode.