Star Trek: Discovery’s cast and producers appeared at the Summer 2017 Television Critics Association (TCA) press tour to promote the show the show. This included previewing Discovery’s them (scored by Jeff Russo) for the first time. On hand were executive Producers Alex Kurtzman, Aaron Harberts, Gretchen Berg, Heather Kadin, Akiva Goldsman, along with cast members Sonequa Martin-Green (Michael Burnham), Jason Isaacs (Captain Gabriel Lorca), James Frain (Ambassador Sarek), and Mary Chieffo (L’Rell). CBS also announced some details on DSC’s aftershow,
Discovery set in a dark time of war – fighting for utopian ideals
Executive producer Akiva Goldsman gave some more detail on the war story backdrop of Star Trek: Discovery (via TV Guide):summary of the event, Discovery executive producer was quoted telling the assembled critics
“Part of what we’ve tried to do is speak to how those philosophical precepts came to be,” Goldsman continued. “We’re in a period of time that’s pre-[The Original Series]. We’re in a time of war. We’re trying to figure out who we are as a federation and who we are as a peoples in a set of adversity. It is a goal of the show to arrive at the [central] principles that are endemic to Star Trek.”
And executive producer and showrunner Aaron Harberts added saying (via THR):
We’re at a dark place in the history of the federation
But Sonequa Martin-Green pointed out how the show strives to present Star Trek’s optimistic tone (via CBS):
“It’s one thing to speak of a utopia,” said Sonequa Martin-Green (First Officer Michael Burnham) while explaining how those ideals have influenced the franchise and the new series. “To be able to see it in action, to see us aspiring to it, we haven’t reached this perfection yet, but we’re trying—and I think it’s going to be really compelling because you’re seeing us try and fail and try again.”
And Alex Kurtman also picked up on that thread saying:
“I think the defining characteristic of Mr. Roddenberry’s universe is optimism,” Kurtzman explained. “We talk about that all the time. We are working with [Roddenberry’s] son to make sure that legacy—it’s not a small thing we’ve inherited; it’s a huge thing.”
More serialized than DS9
Akiva Goldsman got more specific on how serialized Discovery is (via CBS):
“It’s the most serialized Star Trek,” Executive Producer Akiva Goldsman said of Discovery. “You will find this to be far more serialized than Deep Space Nine, even in its [last few] seasons … It’s long-form character storytelling.”
A ‘massive’ show
Alex Kurtzman spoke on the scale of the show when talking about why it was delayed (via CBS):
“This show is massive. It’s massive, massive, massive….We just wanted to do it right,” Kurtzman continued. “We took our time, and hopefully now you’re seeing the results of the work everyone has done here.”
Sonequa Martin-Green added on this note (via CBS):
“Everybody is so passionate, the craftsmanship here [in front of and behind the camera] is nothing short of stellar. This is an epically grand yet microscopically tuned, deeply emotional story. We don’t take it for granted. We don’t take it lightly; I certainly don’t.”
Fitting with canon – including Burnham as Sarek’s ‘ward’
And the producers talking about how Discovery will fit with Trek canon (via IGN):
“We’re mostly pretty much an object that takes its reference from the other shows,” executive producer Akiva Goldsman said at the 2017 TV Critics’ Association summer press tour. “Mostly what we’re doing is we’re trying to look at all the shows, including Enterprise, as canon, and trying to be very sensitive to all the interesting boundaries that exist. The number of things that are seen for the first time in Enterprise will blow your brain. … That’s sort of a great game to be able to navigate.”
The talk also turned to the much discussed revelation from SDCC that Michael Burnham was raised by Sarek:
We don’t necessarily call her the half sister, we tend to refer to her as Sarek’s ward or Sarek’s almost foster adopted daughter,” said executive producer Akiva Goldsman. “The relationship between Michael and Sarek plays a huge part in [where she was raised and what she brings to the ships she is on].” Additionally, being raised on Vulcan causes her to make decisions that have ripple effects on rest of show, and Discovery also explores how a Vulcan raising a human child affects their dynamic.
Keeping Bryan Fuller’s vision
The discussion with the critics also covered a lot about the departure of co-creator Bryan Fuller. The producers went out of their way to assure critics that Fuller may be gone but his vision remains (via Deadline):
Alex Kurtzman: Bryan [Fuller] and I were looking to bring something new, and to justify being on a premium cable service, we knew it had to be huge in emotion and character.
And new showrunner Aaron Harberts added detail on Fuller’s direction on the Klingon story:
Aaron Harberts: One of things that he wanted to do was shake up the design of the Klingons … that they wouldn’t be the thugs of the universe, that they’d be sexy and vital and different. There were discussions that got deep into their biology and sculpture.”
Theme Music previewed – picks up on original Courage score
CBS chose this event to preview a recording of the Star Trek: Discovery theme music scored by Jeff Russo and performed by a 60-piece orchestra. According to reports from the event the them picks up on the original Star Trek theme. More details (via Slashfilm):
The theme song runs a full minute and a half, and they intend it to play on every episode of the CBS All Access streaming service. The opening notes are familiar to the original series before it goes off in a new direction. It then ends with the traditional original series melody again. The clip showed Russo conducting the 60 piece orchestra, and we think you can hear all 60 instruments in it.
Talking Dead production company to make after show
CBS also announced they have picked Embassy Row to produce the Star Trek: Discovery after show. This is the same company that produces the Talking Dead and Taking Saul after shows for AMC. The after show will run approximately 30-40 minutes and have have social elements built in. There will be a new episode of the after show each night that CBS All Access has a new Star Trek: Discovery episode. No word yet on who will be the host.
CBS All Access adds 3 new shows
CBS also added three new original shows. The first is a drama called Strange Angel, created by Mark Heyman (Black Swan) with Ridley Scott as one of the executive producers “explores the dramatic intersection between genius and madness, science and science fiction.”
The second show is a comedy called No Activity from Will Ferrell, Adam McKay and Funny Or Die which is “set against the world of a major drug cartel bust, the series follows two low-level cops who have spent far too much time in a car together; two criminals who are largely kept in the dark; two dispatch workers who haven’t really clicked; and two Mexican tunnelers who are in way too small a space considering they’ve only just met.”
And the third show is a mystery/thriller called $1 “set in a small rust belt town in post-recession America, where a one-dollar bill changing hands connects a group of characters involved in a shocking multiple murder.”
These shows along with The Good Fight and Star Trek: Discovery expands the original programming for CBS All Access to five series. CBS also announced their CBSN 24-hour news network will be available on CBS All Access starting this week.
Keep up with all the Star Trek: Discovery news at TrekMovie.com.