References to ‘God’ Allowed in ‘Star Trek: Discovery’ After All + Jason Isaacs Is Looking For A Catchphrase

Last week we reported an anecdote from the new Star Trek: Discovery cover story in Entertainment Weekly which involving a frustrated Captain Lorca, where actor Jason Isaacs ad libbed the line “For God’s sake.” According to EW Isaacs was told that was a no go:

The episode’s writer, Kirsten Beyer, approaches to give a correction on his “for God’s sakes” ad lib.

“Wait, I can’t say ‘God’?” Isaacs asks, amused. “I thought I could say ‘God’ or ‘damn’ but not ‘goddamn.’ ”

Beyer explains that Star Trek is creator Gene Roddenberry’s vision of a science-driven 23rd-century future where religion basically no longer exists.

This brief passage in the EW story became big news prompting headlines like “God Banned From Upcoming Star Trek Series” from the Christian Broadcasting Network. And it wasn’t just religious outlets, many in the mainstream press jumped on the story too such as the UK’s Telegraph reporting “New Star Trek series confirms there is no God in the Trek universe.”

But it seems it was all a misunderstanding. At this week’s TCA Summer Tour, The Nerdist caught up with Discovery producer Gretchen Berg to clarify the situation:

[Berg] confirmed the word “God” is, in fact, allowed on Star Trek: Discovery for religious and exclamation purposes.

“In our room, it’s something we discuss a lot,” Berg said. “I don’t necessarily agree with [Isaacs’] quote. On a show about diversity and with different points of view, I feel like you have to accept that some people believe in God, some people want to worship a potato, and some people don’t want to believe in anything. I think there is room for that on Star Trek.”

In fact, she’s pretty sure it’s already been said in the new Trek show: “I think it’s actually been in this series quite a bit. They are allowed to say it [God]. God fits in the patchwork in everything that is represented by Star Trek.”


Jason Isaacs Wants a Catchphrase

Patrick Stewart’s Captain Jean-Luc Picard was given catchphrases, such as “make it so” and “engage,” that have become part of pop culture lexicon. According to another anecdote reported by Entertainment Weekly, Jason Isaacs felt that his Captain Lorca should also have a memorable catch phrase. It turns out that Captain Lorca hails from the southern United States, and Isaacs plays the character with a slight southern accent. Remaining true to his character’s roots, the Liverpool-born actor decided, on his first day on set, that Lorca’s catch phrase would be “Git’r done!”

“I was so cocky,” Isaacs recalls. “I’ve only been here an hour, and already I have my catchphrase “

Then the producers then explained: “Git’r done” was already taken. By the comic Larry the Cable Guy. Who even has it copyrighted. Still, Isaacs’ instincts were totally correct — “git’r done” is demonstrably catchy.

While Entertainment Weekly does not make it clear whether Isaacs was simply having a bit of fun on set, thankfully the Captain of the Discovery will not be using a catch phrase made popular by Larry the Cable Guy.

UPDATE: After we published this article, DSC Executive Producer and co-showrunner Aaron Harberts confirmed that Isaacs had found his catchphrase:

Isaacs on His Uniform, DSC, Lorca

Isaacs also talked about growing up with TOS, his initial uniform fitting, and Captain Lorca:

Isaacs says he was a huge fan of The Original Series when growing up, though he admits to feeling relieved that the Discovery uniforms were blue (which matches his eyes) rather than Captain Kirk’s old-school gold shirt. But there was some trial and error with the costume department regarding the extremely slim-fitting blue one-piece (how much bulginess for the male actors, exactly, is too much?). But aside from that, Isaacs dove right in.

“It’s very different from other Star Trek shows; there’s a lot more emotional and personal interaction than plot,” Isaacs said. “There’s a layered story that you aren’t used to in Star Trek. This is a complicated guy.”

Jason Isaacs as Captain Gabriel Lorca in Star Trek: Discovery

Lorca happy to be in blue

Michael’s moving badge

Speaking of that Entertainment Weekly cover story. We have already shown off the three collectible covers from the latest issue, but apparently one of those isn’t exactly right. On cover number 3 Sonequa Martin-Green’s insignia badge is on the wrong side in the printed edition. Apparently they caught the mistake for the digital version later.

Print version on the left – oops

Star Trek: Discovery premieres on September 24th on CBS with all subsequent episodes on CBS All Access in the US.  In Canada Star Trek: Discovery will premiere  on Bell Media’s CTV and the Space Channel on the same night. Netflix will launch Star Trek: Discovery on Monday, September 25 to countries outside of the U.S. and Canada.

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

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Gods are bad science fiction from when before science even existed.

Again with your entertaining cluelessness!! Yet another nonsensical statement! Classic ineptitude!!

“There was no deity involved, Mr Scott. It was my cross circuuting to B.” -Spock

“It’s not the sun up in the sky,….it’s the son of God.” -Uhura

“Then they had them both,…Ceasar and Christ, and the word is only spreading now”. – Kirk

“GodDamn Irresponsible” Mccoy STV

“My God man, drilling holes in his head is not the answer! The artery must be repaired! Now, put away your butcher’s knives and let me save this patient before it’s too late!” STIV

Hell, STV was all about GOD and Kirk fought a greek GOD and Gods and religion is constantly all over TREK. Are they sure these Star Trek experts know what they’re talking about? These are the people checking and adhering to Canon?

I believe the Atheists have got a hold of her Jim and they aren’t letting go.

Oh, relax. So needless melodrama.

It seems like much of life these days is an exercise in people looking for reasons to get pissed-off.

I think it’s weird to base your pre-TOS Trek show on the mind of a post-TOS and high-on-his-own-success Gene Roddenberry.

It’s cheap virtue signalling by what are in effect third generation fundamentalists in the writers’ room. It’s people interpreting the ideas of a man who’s been dead nigh on 30 years in an extreme manner. Strangely enough, I can think of comparisons to various religious figures in a similar context…

There’s that famous quote by Whoopi Goldberg where she says that she used to watch “Star Trek” and, because of Lt. Uhura, it was the first time that she had seen a program where people like her were in the future.

I’m among the 3/4 or so of Americans who identify as Christian. With the exception of that one “Bread and Circuses” episode from the original series 50 years ago, I’ve yet to see people like me in the future on Star Trek.

That is likely because Roddenberry was a firm believer that Humanity would have left all our superstitions behind by the time of Star Trek, which is really going to happen anyway once we unify as a species because if there’s no fighting over the nature of a supposed ‘supreme being’, there’s no need for dogma… no need for dogma and then no need for organized religion and even less a need to self-identify as religious as it’s not a thing that matters anymore. Much like I doubt we’ll see Lt. Paul Stamets say “I’m gay” because it’s not a thing that matters anymore to people, it’s just going to be a thing that everyone likely accepts.

It’s patently clear that may Trek characters are deist though, believing in a ‘God’ but not one specific dogmatic interpretation of God… and without dogmatic religion there’s just no need to identify as a believer when it doesn’t matter. I will grant that we see religious tradition more in alien cultures, but even amongst humans in starfleet, religious tradition still perseveres even if it’s not wholly steeped in a single religions traditions.

I feel DS9 is the one that tackles belief and religion the best as it’s never made at all clear if the Prophets are Gods or just hype advanced Aliens that live outside out space-time continuum. It is the most realistic and reasoned view of religion in that sense when trying to balance it with science and reason.

Also, I’m not sorry to say that religion in on a drastic decline in America in the past couple decades, and picking up speed as millennials are now something like 30% non-religions and non-religious is the fastest growing religious category in the US. Now, non-religious does not mean atheist, it simply means someone who does not follow an organized religion, and I prefer people believe because they believe… not because they are raised believing or told to believe. Faith is something that should be personal, not worn on your sleeve (the interesting thing is in this sense I have the bible on my side “And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.”)

As a secular humanist myself, (or as some people prefer, atheist), I find the values and morals of Star Trek and more lax religious people to be completely compatible regardless of dogma and canon… it’s when people try to force me to live by their religions rule that I’m going to pitch a fit.

There is a difference between race (Whoopi Goldberg quote) and religion. Religions are essentially a combination of two things: the belief in some magical being with powers, and a collection of social norms/rules. That second part (social norms) tends to change over time. So today’s “Christianity” differs quite a lot from the “Christianity” from a few centuries ago (you could replace that with any other religion). There is also a wide range among Christians of which of these norms they choose to follow or ignore.
More and more, social norms are no longer dictated by the heads of some religious organization, which doesn’t mean that social norms no longer form the basis of people living together in communities. The Federation we see in Star Trek also follows a set of social norms. These may not be called “Christian” but they are, in essence, what Christian-based social norms may develop into within another 200 years. Plus we have seen people on Trek who believe in magical beings in the sky.

What you call “social norms/rules” are Christian morals that have been usurped by atheists attempting to claim the moral high ground & blame the Christians they’ve borrowed from for all that is wrong with the world. It has been statistically proven that the moral decline in the U.S. directly coincided with the removal of prayer from public schools in 1962. Additionally, the rise in divorce & children out of wedlock also coincide with that event in American history. All statistical fact.

“I’m among the 3/4 or so of Americans who identify as Christian. …I’ve yet to see people like me in the future on Star Trek.”

David G., I feel your pain. I’m a Christian believer and a pastor, and a major Star Trek fan. Star Trek’s relationship with religion has been problematic and simplistic all along. Even though I’ve only watched the first season (so far) of Babylon 5, I’ve appreciated the way that show dealt with the plurality of religions as opposed to Star Trek’s approach, which is strange. You would think that the best way to point to a utopian future in which people with differences get along would be to – you know – DEPICT people with sincere differences getting along. Trek’s approach on religion has largely been to ignore it, to pretend it doesn’t exist, or to treat it as baseless superstition. Something humanity needs to mature OUT OF, instead of something humanity can mature IN. Babylon 5 shows people of different, and sincerely-held, faiths interacting well with each other, learning from each other, respecting one another. Star Trek doesn’t allow its characters to have religious beliefs, and so makes the discussion impossible.

Of course, in that whole paragraph above, I’m omitting Deep Space Nine, which had Trek’s most nuanced and rich depiction and discussion of religious beliefs. Again, as a Christian and as a pastor, I found DS9 to be the most mature Trek of all in the area of people’s deeply-held beliefs. Of course, none of those beliefs were Earth religions, but it was something, and I appreciated it.

“You would think that the best way to point to a utopian future in which people with differences get along would be to – you know – DEPICT people with sincere differences getting along.”

Pastor, this agnostic could not agree with you more.

That was, of course, Trek making analogies to present-day social issues without being overly specific. Ronald D. Moore made religion a big part of the reimagined Battlestar Galactica – the monotheistic Cylons vs the polytheistic humans – and you had a range of beliefs among the Colonials, with different traditions, practices and levels of orthodoxy. Even a short-lived cult of Baltar…

Trek’s take has always been to point out where blind adherence of any kind is toxic to society, be it religious, political, social, or otherwise. The Mark of Gideon, A Taste of Armageddon, Patterns of Force, Return of the Archons, Distant Origin, Cogenitor, etc. all point to societies that adopted ways of thinking that at best, stunted their worldview, at worst, caused death and suffering to their citizens. I don’t think it’s anti-religious any more than it’s anti-government.

Uh well, there was that crewwoman in “Balance of Terror” who was presumably Catholic.
And then I can’t be the only one who always thought that the character of Bones had to be a convinced Christian…

JAGT, you see the crewwoman (Angela Martine?) as Catholic – because Kirk found her in the chapel after Tomlinson’s death? Good spotting! Although, I didn’t see anything particularly Catholic about the scene. Religious? More than likely.

@Denes House,

Just before the ceremony and Kirk’s famous “wooden vessels” speech, Angela kneels before the altar, then seems to cross herself before rising. It’s a pretty subtle gesture, and mostly off-camera, but it’s definitely there and you can certainly make a reasonable argument for it being Catholic, even though it’s a totally non-denominational wedding otherwise.

I have to watch that episode again! It’s one of the best.

Pretty sure Picard was Christian if his celebration of Christmas in the Nexus is any indication

Really?! I’ve often celebrated Christmas with family for fun and tradition, and I’m a secular Jew.

Based on everything he said over the course of TNG’s run, if Picard is a Christian he’s certainly a non-traditional one. Inferring his religious proclivities based on a scene from one not very well received cinematic follow-up is quite a stretch.

Maybe he’s just really good at keeping it to himself! You’re right tho, celebrating Christmas doesn’t necessarily mean anything. And honestly I think the OP is right that Christians should be featured in Trek, same with other religions. A secular humanity sounds very boring to me. As long as we aren’t letting religion get in the way of our progress, by all means, keep praying.

Really only because of “diversity” are they allowing “God” on their show? And what’s this about “”some people want to worship a potato, and some people don’t want to believe in anything.”” as if he just dismisses God entirely in the same context. I don’t care how damn progressive, utopian, or supposed “Forward” thinking you are but this is some BS. I bet you anything Issacs had it right the first time when he was told “no” about saying the word “God”.


“In our room, it’s something we discuss a lot,” Berg said. “I don’t necessarily agree with [Isaacs’] quote. On a show about diversity and with different points of view, I feel like you have to accept that some people believe in God, some people want to worship a potato, and some people don’t want to believe in anything. I think there is room for that on Star Trek.”

It’s stupid to lie to fans “Roddenberry was born a Bhuddist but was an atheist”….So, now he’s gone,while he was involved god was ok, but now you say it never was? Fans aren’t stupid. Treat fans like we’re stupid, and you’ll lose that show. You’ve got a terrific cast. Let them work their paces, they were hired because they know their jobs. Please, LET THEM DO THEIR JOBS!

Star Trek takes place hundreds of years in the future, and since it predicts an enlightened and progressive society, it’s fairly obvious that organized religion, especially of the Abrahamic kind, would be extinct. Gene Roddenberry has been quite clear of his distaste for organized religion. Even in present day, the more educated a society, the less religious. So a future society that’s highly educated would have no need for god, gods, mysticism, astrology, or other forms of cultural and political mass delusion.

KIRK: Mankind has no need for gods. We find the one quite adequate.

I think I read somewhere that that was forced in by a higher up, but I can’t seem to find a source now (maybe it was in Mission Log but I can’t recall).

However, given the climate of the 1960s it wouldn’t surprise me if somebody decided to force that line in. This was an era when stations and affiliates would stop a broadcast because a Kirk and Uhura kissed.

Funny how all of humanity in Star Trek just happens to follow the same philosophy as Gene Roddenberry. More like Ego Trek!

But seriously, getting everyone to agree on religion is far-fetched. The world couldn’t even agree what color a dress was.

See you don’t get it. God has been in Star Trek read the quotes in the other comments. And please don’t give me this”more educated less religious” bs. We are just as religious today just have more restrictions placed upon the religious by those who would rather not believe in God as if believing in something was a bad thing or taboo with people like Atheists. There is a reason why God has been a part of humanity from the beginning and it has little to do with lack of knowledge. Or would you call the creators of the Pyramids stupid?

Watch: Do Science and God Mix a Lecture by John Lennox a Oxford trained and Professor of Mathmatics and a Christian

I will agree that belief has been involved with humanity since near the very beginning, after all early peoples buried their dead with symbols and possessions indicating a belief in an afterlife if nothing else. However the first major religion in the world didn’t even have a single deity, it was polytheistic and is called Hinduism. However, religion as a whole is designed for explaining the world, laying down rules for people, and controlling them. There is no denying this in history, regardless of whatever morals and teachings are passed down, those are the functions of dogma. As we come to know more and more about the natural world religious explanation stops being necessary (especially since a lot of time it makes little sense) and the dogmatic parts of religion become less important when we finally start to understand that people are not unclean if they have sex, or that a female’s menstruation is not something that requires her to be avoided, or that women must remain virginal and men must pay 50 shekels of silver to the father of women he rapes (because the woman is property and has now been spoiled).

I take some umbrage at “more restrictions placed upon the religious by those who would rather not believe in God” I don’t care what you believe in, that is fully your right to believe what you want, and nobody is trying to take that right from you. Now, do I want people to stop trying to legislate that other people live by their religious views? Yes, very much so, because I don’t want to live in a world where rape is a simply property transaction, or a person who has sex outside of marriage is to be stoned by fellow citizens… that is what happens when religions take over, people suddenly become disposable if they don’t fully conform.

“I condemn false prophets, I condemn the effort to take away the power of rational decision, to drain people of their free will — and a hell of a lot of money in the bargain. Religions vary in their degree of idiocy, but I reject them all. For most people, religion is nothing more than a substitute for a malfunctioning brain.” (Gene Roddenberry)

Those pyramid-builders worshipped many gods. Like Pharoh, remember? Do you think they were stupid?

“Human beings built the pyramids, because they’re clever and they work hard.”
-Gene Roddenberry

“Religions vary in their degree of idiocy, but I reject them all. For most people, religion is nothing more than a substitute for a malfunctioning brain.”
-Gene Roddenberry

Yes, it’s entirely possible to be clever and still believe in stupid things. Somehow, I doubt you’re citing their cleverness as an argument for polytheism.

Religion, in one form or another, has been a part of the human condition for thousands of years. But ya, 300 years more and -poof- gone. Because progressive, highly educated society.

Man the air is thin up here.

That’s akin to N. Meyer’s argument that people aren’t going to stop smoking in the next 300 years … yet smoking, just since 1982, has plummeted in many areas. I wouldn’t be surprised to find the percentage of ‘practicing Christians’ (as opposed to the ‘to church on Sunday and to Hell on Monday’ brand) has declined as well, if not by as much just yet.

I use Keerist! and Jesus! and various God-____ all the time and I have no religious beliefs at all in deity or deities, haven’t since before I was a teen. But those words travel well when cursing, so I can see them lasting longer as an exclamation than as something religious, and wouldn’t have objected unduly to Isaac’s line myself.

@kmart – this exactly! He was cursing! – which technically is against one of their commandments. Yet the quick to be offended among them jump on it like trek is feeding them to the lions. People need to calm down! For god’s sake ;)

So true – this made me laugh, because you don’t have to believe in God to curse. Religion will never completely go away – after all we still have a Flat Earth Society – people who genuinely still believe the earth is flat. And considering the epidemic of obesity, it’s fair to say quite a few people worship potatoes on a regular basis.

and isn’t it weird that CBN got upset that “there’s no God in Star Trek” when Jason Isaacs’ character takes God’s name in vain!?


Kind of like those religious conservatives getting their panties in a bunch over a business encouraging its employees to say “Happy Holidays” over “Merry Christmas,” rather than the birthday of their Savior being appropriated by soulless corporations to sell cheap junk manufactured by slave labor in a Communist country. Weird.

It is not against a commandment to use God in a curse. You don’t know what you are talking about. The commandment to ‘not use god’s name in vein’ is to not commit a crime or do evil in Gods name. This video does a good job of explaining.

Good point. And even if folks still do smoke in 2250, it’s not likely they’d be doing it on a starship. But Nick Meyer’s penchant for anachronisms are part of the charm of that film, for better or worse.

I always think it’s funny when Woody Allen, a Jew, says “Jeesus,” in “Annie Hall,” and Diane Keaton says the same to him.

Well, women got from the kitchen stove to high politics in less than fifty years – because progressive, highly educated society. ;)

It’s not that implausible that religion as a whole will go away within 300 years. In many parts of the world, religious people are already the laughing stock of the majority populace. At this moment, the discovery of sentient extraterrestrial life would be the final blow – especially for Abrahamic religions, because they so are hopelessly anthropocentric and thus impossible to reconcile with the existence of extraterrestrial beings.

Gretchen showed contempt for folks who believe in God.

No. She showed that she doesn’t believe that religion has a place historically in the Trek franchise. She’s wrong, IMHO, but the ‘contempt’ is just supposition on your part.

Her remark was INTOLERANT. If you want to dismiss someone, just compare their belief in God to someone who “worships” a vegetable. Maybe she meant no harm, but it absolutely revealed her non belief and maybe even contempt for religion. THAT IS NOT INCLUSIVE. Label me all you want Michael, it doesn’t change what she said.

I think she was just making the point, Captain, that everyone is entitled to respect, irrespective of what they choose, or choose not, to worship. Potato-worship is a little extreme, but she was using that extreme example to make the point. And what makes you superior to a potato-worshipper in any case? I’m a secular Jew, and I’m sure not. :-)

Religion might not exist in the 23rd Century, but I’m sure old and archaic terms and phrases still exist ( much as they still do in our time ).

I agree about the language part of it especially. As an agnostic I say things like Oh my god etc. all the time. To take that away from the show would make it feel unnatural. As for whether or not religion will exist…. I can’t say one way or another. I do know that it’s show that’s suppose to reflect the time we live in today at least allegorically. Would it not be a better message that despite your relegious beliefs, or lack there of, we can all find a way to get along? As long as those beliefs stay within the boundaries of the law of course.

Maybe he could say

Hey that would work! ;)

The real question here should be: Does this God need a Starship?

(thumbs up!)

Hopefully religion will be extinct when we enter the 23rd century.

Nah, Trek fandom will still be around. ;-)

The day religion goes “extinct” is the day humanity ceases to exist on earth. God will be with us till the last day and on the last day we will no longer be needing to be here.

How tolerant of you.

I would just like to point out that on the EW article there is more to the quote that TrekMovie conveniently decided to omit. After Isaacs says “I thought I could say God or damn” he says “how about for f***s sake?” and Beyer says he can say that before he can say God. Everyone go check it out for yourself. Thanks TrekMovie for clearly showing your bias and omitting a very important part of the quote, so yes it is a big deal and people have the right to lose their minds over this, and how ironic that you say “without taking the time to confirm the facts” cause apparently you guys flat out ignored them. Here’s the article everyone and here’s the exact quote:

The episode’s writer, Kirsten Beyer, approaches to give a correction on his “for God’s sakes” ad lib.

“Wait, I can’t say ‘God’?” Isaacs asks, amused. “I thought I could say ‘God’ or ‘damn’ but not ‘goddamn.’ ”

Beyer explains that Star Trek is creator Gene Roddenberry’s vision of a science-driven 23rd-century future where religion basically no longer exists.

“How about ‘for f—’s sake’?” he shoots back. “Can I say that?”

“You can say that before you can say ‘God,’ ” she dryly replies.

We should all be pissed about this, not only is this idiot Beyer so stupid that she doesn’t realize that Star Trek is filled with religion, but it also goes to show that people are trying to censor people of faith. And I’m really upset that TrekMovie decided to omit the rest of the quote and pass it off as if people were making a big deal out of nothing when clearly we’re not. Pretty screwed up bias.

They omit because they do not believe. Sadly freedom of religion has been twisted in this country to be freedom from religion… They don’t understand that God is with us no matter what science we learn and what materialistic items we create.

Roddenberry was a self-professed atheist, right? He’s not the be all/end all of Trek, but he was clearly setting up a future based on his beliefs.

Honestly the most important thing in putting together the show and talking about it is to be respectful of the range of beliefs of the audience.

Trying to be everything for everybody means it will end up being nothing for nobody. Atheists will get offended because there’s too much religious gobbledygook. Christians will get offended because there’s not enough religious gobbledygook. Muslims will get offended because the religious gobbledygook is christian-based, not theirs. Buddhist will get offended because once again they will be shown as bald-headed clowns in dressing gowns, making everybody confuse them for the Krishna movement. And so on.

You can’t make everybody happy. So, I’d say, just concentrate on making your core audience happy, and ignore the rest. It worked for TNG.

Buddhists generally do not get offended. They tend to live and let live. If someone makes an error, they forgive.

“They omit because they do not believe.”

James, for what it’s worth, I’m a member of the TrekMovie writing staff, and I believe. The folks here are good folks, and respectful of beliefs that they do not hold. I don’t believe the omission of that portion of the quote was malicious.

“Horrifying… Dr. Barron, your report describes how rational these people are. Millennia ago, they abandoned their belief in the supernatural. Now you are asking me to sabotage that achievement, to send them back into the dark ages of superstition and ignorance and fear? No!”

– Picard

Freedom of religion does indeed imply being able to worship any god, set of gods, or none at all, sorry. As McCoy said, “We represent many beliefs.” That’s a quote from a man whose society has respect for diversity in thought and belief, not a state religion.

Freedom of religion should include the people who choose not to believe in religion. Personally my beliefs are different from the so-called Christian Majority, but I don’t begrudge others their right to believe as they wish, so long as they do not require me to follow any religious dictates to participate in society, have rights to my own body, freedom to vote, and so on.

I do think that 300 years from now “religion” will modify, because even Abrahamic law has changed. Just look at Leviticus for some interesting and horrifying examples.

“We should all be pissed about this, not only is this idiot Beyer so stupid that she doesn’t realize that Star Trek is filled with religion, but it also goes to show that people are trying to censor people of faith.”

TM11, thanks for pointing out the rest of the quote, and I agree that the remainder of the quote is somewhat significant. Isaacs was talking about TV ratings limitations (“I thought I could say ‘God’ or ‘damn’ but not ‘goddamn.’”) whereas Beyer was talking about the limitations of Star Trek philosophy. I see the exchange as being as much about Isaacs’ Star Trek learning-curve as about Beyer’s secularism.

But I don’t think the solution is to “be pissed about this” or to call people “stupid” or “idiots.” Beyer is working out of her own biases and point of view, and is unlikely to be persuaded otherwise by anger. As to the fine folks I work with at, I’ll just say that the crew has been cranking out dozens of articles a week, while attending hundreds of hours of panel discussions, doing in-depth interviews of actors, producers, writers, and other artists, on very little sleep and for no pay, simply out of a love for Star Trek and in service of its fans. Not every editorial decision will be perfect, and everyone has biases. As I understand it, a hallmark of Christian virtue is extending grace to other people when they slip up. In my opinion, that will do a lot more good in the long run than anger and insults.

So it’s impossible to you that Ms. Beyer said what she said–which, as an agnostic, I very much disagree with, btw, TOS indeed being full of references to God–without that turning out to be the show’s official policy? My, how ideology warps the mind.

Michael Hall, you make a good point – that Beyer’s words don’t necessarily represent official show policy – and then wreck it with your statement about ideology. Why do we need to insult each other?

@Denes House–

Guess I thought I was answering stridency with stridency. Which does no good at all, as you say. Thanks for calling me out on it.

I appreciate your contributions to the discussion. We may differ in our respective philosophies, but I think we are similar in our approach to people.

quote: ” there’s a lot more emotional and personal interaction than plot,” Isaacs said.” Uhm…this does NOT sound good…it should be balanced… this sounds like the description of any random soap opera.

The same could be said of Oscar winning dramas. The use of “soap opera” as your point of comparison suggests you have a bias going in.

Yes, thanks. An actor talks drama and character, and the pew-pew set thinks “All My Children.”

Note to Mr. Isaacs: “Let’s be about it,” is also already taken. (Just sayin’)

It’s clear that Berg in the interview and Beyer in the quote from on set are saying different things, and if Berg’s interview is a course correction from the writer’s room, I think it’s a very good step in the right direction.

It’s like being the Press Secretary for a President (please, used for illustrative purposes only, not to start a political discussion). The President says something, position “A,” in public that turns out to be unwise, and the Press Secretary later stands behind a podium and says that no, the President has always steadfastly and unwaveringly held to position “B.” Maybe it’s spin, but at least it’s spin in a productive direction.

This is not a political comment – and I really TRIED (for all of 27.831 seconds) not to say this… [wry grin] But only a VERY short Press Secretary will be standing behind a podium. The thing they stand behind is a lectern. The podium is what they stand ON. (Sorry – it’s a compulsion.)

D’oh! Good point – and it’s a pet peeve of mine, too, and I fell into it. Thanks, Captain Dunsel, for correcting me with a spot of humor.

My problem with pet peeves, is I never know what to feed them – so they all seem to die on me!

I hold little burial services in the backyard. Maybe weird. A little?

In the Voyager two-parter “Scorpion”, Chakotay also utters the words “My God!” when seeing a group of Borg vessels approaching Voyager.

The point is, God DOES exist in Trek’s universe…or rather the belief of said God is present. Bones is a believer “You don’t ask the almighty for his ID”. Kirk is clearly agnostic. Maybe it is, maybe it isn’t, maybe it’s in out hearts. Also Kirk performs a marriage ceremony. Wouldn’t that type of ceremony be obsolete as well if religion had fallen by the wayside? He tells Kang to “go to the Devil”. Kang replies, “we have no Devil, Kirk, but we understand the habits of yours”…even the Klingons know of humanity’s religious practices. And the word “God” has been uttered time and time again. So it’s there. You don’t have to like it, but it is on screen…regardless of how anyone feels the real future will be…fact is, on screen, in Trek’s fictional 23rd century…the fictional universe where we suffered WW3 and Khan ruled the 90’s…God is alive and well. Discover supposedly takes place in that same fictional universe, 10 years prior to all of the instances cited above, so yes, of course God and religion should be there for those in Starfleet to worship, should they choose to.

Good points, jonboc – I’m not sure Bones’ line in Star Trek V indicates he’s a believer, but it’s a line I hadn’t considered.

I agree. Ms. Beyer was wrong. It’s apparently not official policy, though, so everyone could just can the outrage and move on. (Yeah, right.)

“According to myth, the earth was created in six days” – TWOK

I don’t recall any character praying or going to church.

Pretty much the only time God, or the devil, is used in Trek — previously-mentioned ’60s examples acknowledged — is when cursing. I’m agnostic – and I say variations of God, damn or Jesus all the time (especially since I’ve quit coffee). My 7th-day Adventist boyfriend finds it very offensive.

I don’t know if McCoy said “damnit, Jim” on the show – but by the ’70s and ’80s, it was required by anyone doing a McCoy impression (and the movies embraced it wholeheartedly).

The show was a product of the ’60s. Characters on the show also say pretty antiquated things about women. Does that mean this is how we’ll view women in 200 years?

–“From a fable you once heard in childhood.” Pretty daring stuff for 1964.

Engage (taken but could still be used)
Make it so (a Picard thing)
Steady as she goes (possible)
Beam me up Scotty (nope)
He’s dead Jim (nope)
Live long….(just forget it)
Punch it (been used by both franchises)
I have a bad feeling about this (nope)
Oh boy (possible if there is a time travel story)
Blast off?
Do it?
Just do it?
You can do it?

How about current corporate catchphrases…
Whenever a junior offices gives a report, Lorca follows up with “can you send me the deck please?”

Or whenever they encounter something the science officer doesn’t understand, he says “let’s unpack that”

Or when they’re in the briefing room and one officer disagrees with Lorca he can say, “let’s sidebar after this”


Give a listen to Weird Al Yankovic’s “Mission Statement”. It’s chock full of suggestions. ;)

One of my favorite songs!

Gawd no, if I hear “let’s unpack that” or “let’s drill down on that” once more I’ll ….
I’ll take the lord’s name in vain!

Hey! Ho! Let’s go!

I didn’t know about the Larry the Cable Guy catchphrase, but “Git ‘r done” is close to Capt. Edward Jellico’s catchphrase, “Get it done,” which he barks a few times during TNG’s “Chain of Command.” I hope somebody on the DSC staff remembered that, too, but we’re just not hearing about it.

Gretchen Berg equates a belief in God with “some people want(ing) to worship a potato”? In Gene’s day, diversity meant tolerance for all.

We have found today that tolerance has become a myth. If a person disagrees with you ur not allowed to speak aka Berkeley and other institutions not letting conservative speakers have their conferences. We live in sad times.

Uh-huh. How many liberals, let alone real leftists, have been invited to speak at Liberty University?

Bernie Sanders went to talk about true Christian values: care for the poor, “doing unto others as you’d have them do unto you.”

Actually the Golden Rule is common to many religions, but I shudder to think of what Jesus would say if he could see all the nonsense spouted in his name.

I have no idea how many “leftists” have been invited to a conservative university. But I know how many times protests, violence and/or rioting broke out against a liberal speaker; 0.

@captmatt — care to provide your source for that? I seem to recall protests and violence at a certain recent Central Park Shakespeare play about Julius Ceaser. Evidently free speech is not embraced by some conservatives. I’d suggest you expand the limits of your knowledge.

That’s still what it means. What you’re implying, though, is that the beliefs of Deists should be privileged over potato-worshippers. Well, okay–but what about Wiccans, Zoroastrians, or members of the Ethiopian Zion-Coptic Church? Who’s looking out for their ability to practice what they believe? Not the evangelical Right, that’s for sure.

Lorna hails from the southern United States? He is soooooo going to have a heel turn.

Lorca. Stupid autocorrect.

I’m reading Trekonomics and the author points out an ep of DS9 where Jake says he “sold” his first story to the Fed news service and when Quark prods, he says “just a figure of speech” which essentially retcons previous references to money, Fed credits, etc.

Don’t see why, if Trek is a potential future of US, the same couldn’t easily apply to something like “for God’s sake”

I never took it so literal from Picard when he said “money doesn’t exist” (First Contact) because other cultures still used money, and there had to be some mind of commerce between them. I always figured he meant it in more philosophical terms, explaining that money is not a part of how humans live their lives on Earth. They don’t seek money and don’t need it to live their lives as we do today.

But that doesn’t mean that nobody in the Federation uses money for commerce, and it doesn’t mean that even humans can’t have money/credits to obtain goods and services, particularly from other cultures.

The could do a barter system where money doesn’t change hands. Where the Federation gives them something they want and they give us something we want in return.

Could, but I doubt all cultures would do that, and Federation needs commerce with everyone.

It didn’t seem to me that Pere Sisko or Robert Picard gave away their fancy meals and vino for free. Maybe money and poverty don’t exist in the 24th century–and good riddance!–but I would guess there were still some type of financial transactions or bartering taking place between people. Something confined to the margins of life, where it properly belongs, IMHO.

Credits, I believe, were the means of transaction. See Cyrano Jones and Uhura in “The Trouble with Tribbles.”

Also, Kirk asks Spock “Do you know how much it cost Starfleet to train you?” [or words to that effect] in “The Apple” and Spock begins to quote an exact amount.

That was the 23rd century, Marja. The replicator seems to have been invented afterwards, and in terms of some kind of universal prosperity it would make all the difference.

I’m just thankful for brave religious educator who taught a semester long class about “Post-Holocaust” Jewish philosophy at an important Jewish institution. It opened our minds to the ultimate debate on the highest level. And my take away is that a deep dive into the unanswerable questions is the ticket out of dogmatic religious beliefs.

This conversation makes me particularly thankful I got the education in-house. It’s a rarity!

Roddenberry was infusing his own atheist beliefs into his utopian view of the future, but that’s one area where he was flat out wrong. He viewed spirituality as a superstition, rather than a source of personal strength. Clearly, we see cultures such as the Bajorans where spirituality is a rich benefit. Thankfully, Star Trek has evolved away from this Roddenberrian bias. The IDIC concept of diversity would include, not exclude, people of faith. A future true to Star Trek would include monotheistic beliefs such as various forms of Christianity, but they would be free from the secular hostility and stereotypes that are so prevalent in today’s society that prejudges Christians as ignorant bigots. It would be interesting, and, frankly, refreshing, to see a starship captain whose father or brother is, say, a Presbyterian minister, Catholic priest, or something similar. In fact, seeing Captain so-and-so’s mother portrayed as a Catholic priest would be completely inline with Star Trek’s utopian future.

Well said!

“A future true to Star Trek would include monotheistic beliefs such as various forms of Christianity, but they would be free from the secular hostility and stereotypes that are so prevalent in today’s society that prejudges Christians as ignorant bigots.”

Well, Ms. Lincoln, that would be nice. But that hostility runs both ways, you know.

Jim Kirk: “…Go To The Devil…” from Day of the Dove.

It’s ironic that Kirsten Beyer aka “Keeper of the Canon” wasn’t aware that the expression has been used throughout Star Trek shows/movies in one form or another.

At least it looks like Isaacs is having fun on the set. After finishing the scene with his “For God’s sakes” ad lib & the lecturing that he received from Beyer; the director of the episode said that he wants to try the scene again and Issacs shrugged and said: “Sure, it’s not my money”

The God thing…
Gene had a lot of good ideas about the future and a lot of bad ones as well. (bad: i.e.TNG episode : that a child in the future would not cry at the loss of his mother. huh? We’re still human in the 24th century. People grieve. People love.)

Star Trek is not all 100% of Gene’s creation – it the accumulation of hundreds people’s thoughts and ideas. He started it, they made it great. Just like society – take a whole lot of people.

Also in the Voyager episode “Scorpion”, when Janeway is considering forming an alliance with the Borg, she uses the phrase “What if I made an appeal…to the devil?”.

Haha, he could say, “…fecksake” but I doubt that would be allowed.
“My stars!” might be fun, a la Samantha on “Bewitched”
“Oh, for shipsake” but would be cut because, sounds like ….

“Oh, for the love of–!” and just let it fade out. Viewers can fill that one in.

“Let’s go” or … the old naval, “Very well.”
Is “proceed” taken?

Take a breath people… This is a show that has given its two main characters the names of the only two archangels named in all the Judeo-Christian (including Muslim) traditions, which are Michael and Gabriel. I’m waiting to hear that the chief medical officer is called a variation of Raphael. There’s a long history in much-anticipated series (and movies) to send red herrings out to the fans. This one may have been ill advised and just exploded in their faces.

Madbynorwest – first, I love your handle! “Hamlet” references are always a delight! Second, wow – I hadn’t put together the Michael/Gabriel connection. Fascinating! Thanks for pointing that out!

I wouldn’t make too much of two characters first names. I could just as easily cite “Paul” Stamets and “Phillipa” Georgiou, and say it was a reference to the American software developer, entrepreneur and poker player Paul Phillips.

Denes House – thank you and you’re welcome. :) I think Bryan Fuller probably also had someone in Medical called a variation of Raphael. I like the symmetry. We’ll see.
Lorca’s Outlaw – it’s Bryan Fuller. Let’s work it out (hmmm – Work it Out! good catchphrase, don’t you think?). What is American Gods about? Basically, my take on the essence of this show is that it’s about who we were, battling who we are, to determine who we will become. He was going to work on that show concurrently with ST:Discovery. Since the description of Michael Burnham’s character is straight out of the attributes of the archangel Michael (“I will save you…I will save all of you” for instance), I’m fairly confident that there was intent in naming the two leads (’cause otherwise, they’re really boring names for a sci-fi show meant to take place a few 100 years in the future). So if this premise is right, this show might, most likely, be about the battle between good and evil – the battle within us, the battle between us and the battle between what is us and what is not us. You can deal with good and evil without involving God and the devil but I doubt there is a ban on the word – it kinda smells like a herring rouge to me. And if you read about the attributes of the archangel Gabriel, that might explain Mr. Isaacs’ comments on his captain being the most f***ed up of all the captains. All this said, I don’t know really. I just like puzzles. Thank you for the opportunity to “work it out.”

Creator of ‘Babylon 5’ J. Michael Straczynski on the issue of religion in a science fiction setting:

“Let me just lay the foundation here for a moment in the area of religion and Babylon 5. I’m an atheist, that simple. But that’s me. If you look at the long history of human society, religion — whether you describe that as organized, disorganized, or the various degrees of accepted superstition — has always been present. And it will be present 200 years from now. That may not thrill me, but when one is a writer, one must deal with realities, and that’s one of them.

To totally ignore that part of the human equation would be as false and wrong-headed as ignoring the fact that people get mad, or passionate, or strive for better lives.”

JMS is probably right, but then, B5 was always a lot more ‘realistic’ (i.e., aspirational) than Trek. I remember that first season episode when Sinclair introduces the apparently mono-religious aliens to a whole array of Earth representatives of various religions. It was a pretty interesting contrast. I also liked how DS9 treated the Bajoran religion–all seemed to profess faith in the Prophets, but some like Major Kira were fairly secular, as opposed to the fundamentalists like Kai Wynn.

Whoops, meant “less aspirational.”

DS9 also showed that people of differing views could still come together and be friends. Jadzia Dax believed that the prophets were nothing more than wormhole aliens. Yet her and Kira were still able to from a deep friendship. A much needed message in our times. Here’s hoping the discovery writers come around on the issue.

Michael Hall – that episode of B5 has been much in my mind as we’ve had this discussion here in these threads. It’s hard for me to see Kira as “secular,” though! She prayed regularly, her beliefs impacted how she did her job, she had no “sacred/secular split” in her thinking. The difference between Kira and Wynn was not so much one of theology as of heart. Wynn pursued her faith for the purpose of power and control, whereas Kira pursued that same faith in order to love and serve her gods and other people.

I think that’s a fair reading of Kira/Kai Wynn. Perhaps I would have been better advised to use the word “pragmatic” in Kira’s case. She had to be, dealing with aliens (i.e., us) as part of her job.

Yes, it was. I still think about Michael O’Hare, and what became of him, from time to time. Life is strange.

I am thinking to wait until about late October – early November, when the first five or six episodes shall be available. I’ll pay for a couple of months, and likely cancel.

I don’t think you’ll be able to view the eps that way, from what I’ve read. One per week, at least at first.

Still don’t get the reluctance of fans to part with a few dollars a month to pay for new Trek (assuming it’s any good). Back in the day when I had very little spare cash but a huge love for the show, I’d have jumped at the chance.

My only issue with it being streaming has to do with the fact that with other shows that are organized that way through other networks……if everyone tries to access the show at the same time (when it drops) then there can be problems for people trying to watch it. However, if you wait a few hrs or even the next day, the problem doesn’t exist. I can certainly wait so it’s not a worry for me but it’s worth pointing out that patience is the key with certain shows on streaming services.

@Michael Hall,

“I don’t think you’ll be able to view the eps that way, from what I’ve read. One per week, at least at first.”

That makes no sense. Once an episode has been released it should be added to the content library. Basically if someone waited for a month they should be able to watch the 4 episodes that have been released in that period.

They are separating the releases though, like “Mad Men” did in its last 13 episodes. Seven episodes, one per week, then a several-month break, then the last six.

CBSAA will probably find some way to keep viewers from seeing all the eps at once [even in the latter half of the season] and cancelling service. That wouldn’t be a Moonves business model.


“They are separating the releases though, like “Mad Men” did in its last 13 episodes.”

Yeah, I did mention that in a response to comment by Denes House but for some reasons his & my comments were removed by Trekmovie!

Going by the method of releasing the episodes CBS is treating ‘Discovery’ a lot like any network show.

What bugs me with religion is – why – humans are the only species on Earth to believe in a higher power?

Animals do not believe in any god, so does that mean that they are some form of organic robots, are not conscious of their own existence? What about dinosaurs, and all the untold number of creatures on this planet, past and present? I surpose they do not go heaven or hell, whatever?

Death does scare me, because it seems so unbelievably bleak. Gone forever? I mean what is the purpose of this existence? What is the true reality of existence? The mind boggles! It is beyond all of us!

I could explain all of that to you in five minutes, but I’m busy right now. :-)

DataMat, I’m curious as to the source of your insights into the belief systems of animals. I have no idea what animals believe or don’t believe. Many if not most religious faiths believe that there is something in humans – something immaterial – which survives death, a “soul” or “spirit” of some sort. Whether animals have souls or not is a question on which religions differ, and even within religions.

My cats believe they are gods

(thumbs up!)

Preferred Lorca catch-phrase: “YOLO, Bitches!”

To lighten things up a little, here’s some Lorca catch phrase ideas…
“To Kronos, and beyond!”
“May the Federation be with you.”
“Never give up, never surrender!”
“Hasta la vista, Klingon!”
“I’ll be back.”
“You wouldn’t like me when I’m angry.”
“Take your paws off me, you dammed dirty Klingon!”
“Let’s just everybody, calm down… shall we?” (props if you get this one!)

Inspite of what Gene Roddenberry says, intolerance to personal beliefs is against what Star Trek is about. Remember? Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations? There’s room for EVERYBODY (along with their beliefs) in Star Trek. This has been seen so many times in the show across the decades. Klingons have Stovokor… the entire DS9 is predicated on people having faith and belief…the Enterprise is encountering planets and cultures with a belief system in varying degrees all the time. Do we tell those cultures, hey stupid, there’s no God. The Enterprise and other Federation ships have, in the many episodes I have seen, have always treated the cultures of planets they encounter with respect. No matter what kind of intellectual advancements humanity achieves, there will always be a need within a certain amount of the population to have a belief in a higher power. It is un Star Trek like to ridicule them, belittle them and shove them to the side.

Holy smokes! You’re Gerry Alanguilan, the inker for Superman: Birthright! Hello! I’m a big fan. (sorry, I’ll stop gushing) Love your stuff. (stopping now) Wow.

I think Captain Lorca’s catch phrase should be “Lorca no likey.” when something bad happens.


All the other characters have their badges in the right spot. :-)

Best SF TV show in recent memory — the Battlestar Galactica reboot — was built around religion. You’d have to be a special kind of moron to ban the topic or word from the series.

*Sigh*. The topic served the series well for much of its run, but mentions of the Colonial gods or the Cylon God didn’t keep it from running off the rails in its final year. By the finale, it was a real mythmash.

Oooh nooo. The last year was its best. The flaw in the series was its occasional failure to avoid veering sideways into soap opera. It’s success was from beginning to end, separate from the soap, keeping focus on a core story that is remarkable for the many things it touched on. Can machines turn out more religious than humans? Have we all been here before in a cosmic narrative loop? How sure are you that “All Along The Watch Tower” was a 1967 Bob Dylan song before anything else? How do you know the universe is as thin as the parts that just lightly tap the retina? Be happy to know what other series dramatized those ideas so well.

Well, that’s fine, delighted you enjoyed it. But for me, the series lost its way almost from the moment that Tighe whispers his dead wife’s name–she should have stayed dead–on that frigid beach. What had been a brilliant metaphor for our troubled time and its ethical and political challenges became endlessly self-referential, caught up in an overly complicated sci-fi backstory whose labored exposition subsumed much of the fascinating human politics that had been the spine of the show. Personally, for all his virtues as a wrist-producer I tend to blame Ron Moore for this. For three years his approach to the show was free-wheeling enough to be likened to throwing things at the wall to see what would stick (if you doubt this, check out his original plans for the first season finale), but talent and a fair bit of luck had made it work. And in the endgame, when it came time to tie it all together, he didn’t have a clue. Even Katee Sackhoff admitted that the show had written itself into a corner with respect to her character, and the finale (which I actually mostly liked) lost BSG the good will of some high-profile fans and critics like George R.R. Martin. Well, it is what it is, and again, if you liked that final year more power to you.

(And fwiw, nice to see you posting here again.)

“For God’s sake” isn’t necessarily a statement of religious belief, it’s just a colloquialism. I say it & I’m an atheist. I even say “Bless you” when people sneeze! Not allowing any mention of “God”, even as an abstract & implicitly fictional concept, is Orwellian ideological censorship 🙄

Quick!! No one watch “Deep Space Nine”. Prophets were called gods by the Bajoran.

“Lllllllllet’s go!” like from Most Extreme Elimination Challenge.