This morning Variety Magazine released a cover story on Star Trek: Discovery containing new information along with some photos which give us a good look at the bridge of the U.S.S. Discovery. The article includes comments from some of the cast and behind the scenes people as well.
Martin-Green understands the stakes – Isaacs wants to send a message
Variety talked to show stars Sonequa Martin Green (First Officer Michael Burnham) and Jason Isaacs (Captain Gabriel Lorca). For her part, Martin-Green made it clear she understands the stakes involved in bringing Trek back to TV:
“Anyone doing a new iteration of ‘Star Trek,’ you have to understand how deep it is; you have to understand how important it is,” she tells Variety. “You have to understand how much of a pillar it is to our culture. I think you need that in order to really give it the weight it deserves, and I think that — I hope that more than anything — people get the sense of how serious we take this.”
As for Isaacs, anyone who follows him on Twitter knows he is outspoken with his political views, and apparently this is one of the reasons he signed on:
“The world is complicated and horrible, and I don’t know how to explain to my children the insanity of the people who are in charge of it at the moment,” he says. “I thought it was a good story to tell — and something I would be happy to watch — about presenting a vision of the world that’s full of drama but also full of resolution and unity.”
More details on Fuller departure
Much of the piece is dedicated to the history of the production, including the multiple delays. As noted by Variety, co-creator Bryan Fuller was brought on board by CBS at least partly because they wanted someone who had “cred” with Star Trek fans, due to his history as a writer on Deep Space Nine and Voyager and love of the show. CBS Studios President David Stapf is quoted by Variety saying:
“We felt like it would be smart business to give the fans what they wanted. There’s not a whole lot of people who have the visionary capability along with the ‘Star Trek’ credibility and experience. So Bryan became a good and obvious choice to do that.”
The official line regarding Fuller’s departure describes it as a “mutual and amicable decision” due to to conflicts with his other show, American Gods. However, Variety sources confirm other reports that Fuller was “pushed out.” One reason given was that Fuller “is not known as someone who prioritizes deadlines and budgets above all else. In short: He is not a typical CBS showrunner.”
Apparently Fuller “failed to deliver scripts months after they were due.” Last fall, a month after informing CBS CEO Les Moonves the show would not meet its expected release date, Fuller was gone. Fuller declined Variety’s request to comment for the article.
An expensive show
The article also highlights the costs of Star Trek: Discovery, noting that an average episode costs between $8 million-$8.5 million. The high cost is at least partly due to a show like Discovery needing to create virtually everything from scratch and requiring multiple soundstages at Toronto-based Pinewood Studios. According to the report, the Klingon ship set alone cost $3 million. However, Variety also reports that “CBS considers the series paid for” due to expected new subscriptions to All Access and of course the Netflix deal.
Seasons 2 and 3 being mapped out plus more classic characters?
Another interesting tidbit from the Variety article is regarding how showrunners Gretchen J. Berg and Aaron Harberts “have a road map for season two and the beginnings of one for season three.” No more details were provided, but executive producer Alex Kurtzman has recently said that the second season will not continue the Klingon war arc from season one, but it will deal with the aftermath of that war.
Variety also notes that Discovery “reintroduces multiple classic characters” from Star Trek. It is already known that Spock’s parents Sarek and Amanda will be characters, but this suggests there may be more.
There is much more in the Variety cover story, so check it out.
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.