More ‘Star Trek: Discovery’ Episode Titles Plus Character and Story Descriptions Revealed [UPDATED]

We are now in the home stretch with Star Trek: Discovery premiering this weekend. Today brings a flurry of bits including more episode titles, some details on an episode, information on a robot, and some behind the scenes images too.

UPDATE: Titles for episodes 2-4 revealed

On Saturday we reported the title of the first episode of Star Trek: Discovery is “The Vulcan Hello.” In the original version of this article from this morning we reported on the names for episodes 2 and 3 and now CBS has now released a video showing the names of the first four episodes.

Episode 2: “Battle at the Binary Stars”

The second episode of Star Trek: Discovery (the second part of the two-hour pilot coming this Sunday) is titled “Battle at the Binary Stars.” The title is clearly a reference to the star system at the edge of the Federation space where the Klingon incident with Burnham happens. The stunning binary star system has been seen in promotional material since the first May “upfronts” trailer.

Episode 3: “Context is for Kings”

The title for episode three of Star Trek Discovery (to be released on October 1st in US and Canada) is “Context is for Kings.” There is no episode description, so the meaning is anyone’s guess. There is an alliterative similarity to The Original Series episode titled “The Conscience of the King.”

Episode 4: “The Butcher’s Knife Cares Not for the Lamb’s Cry”

The fourth episode titled “The Butcher’s Knife Cares Not for the Lamb’s Cry” will be released on October 8th. This title may be long, but it’s still shorter than the TOS episode title “For the World is Hollow and I Have Touched the Sky.” The reference to a knife may not be literal, but we have seen some nasty looking Klingon knives for Discovery.

Klingon Torchbearer D’k tahg shown at SDCC Discovery exhibit

One of the episodes apparently has a Klingon focus, based on this tweet from actress Mary Chieff (L’Rell) in reaction to the episode names being revealed.

Groundhog Discovery

The latest issue of Entertainment Weekly has another article on Star Trek: Discovery. It contains some quotes from Harberts, Jason Isaacs and others that have been released before or are repeats from other interviews. But there was this one tidbit noting that even though the show is heavily serialized, there will be some traditional Trek in the first season:

For Trek traditionalists, there are still rousing self-contained adventures along the way (such as an episode that plays like Groundhog Day in space).

Of course Trek already has done some Groundhog Day types of stories, such as with TNG’s fifth season episode “Cause and Effect,” with the USS Enterprise experiencing a series of time loops ending with a cameo from Kelsey Grammer. Hopefully Discovery’s take on Groundhog Day won’t just be a repeat.

TNG did a Groundhog Day type of episode with “Cause and Effect”

The Discovery has a robot

The official Star Trek site has posted details from the Discovery set, a lot of which were covered in our previous story on set visits, but there were some new tidbits, such as some nice details on some props, including a shoutout to Tellarites and a gun for Harry Mudd:

There’s even a Klingon torture device that’s appropriately gruesome. Also pretty cool, a Tellarite bazooka, a Vulcan staff and Harry Mudd’s gun, the last of which is based on a revolver and feels a bit art deco.

The biggest bit of news in the new report was about a unique new character. Back in 2016 co-creator Bryan Fuller back said he wanted robots, and apparently he got one with the character “Airiam.” Here is a description:

MacKinnon then invited Villasenor to talk about the makeup/prosthetics for a character named Airiam, as he’s the artist responsible for her look. It’s an exotic-looking prosthetic, which makes sense since the character is a robot. He described the prosthetic as “almost like a jigsaw puzzle,” with assorted pieces, a helmet, contact lenses and more. Airiam, who works on the Discovery bridge and will usually be seen off to Lorca’s side, needs to look smooth on the screen and that may be accomplished on occasion with complementary CGI.

It isn’t clear if we have seen this character Airiam in any of the promos, but it is possible we have. There has been fewer images and clips with the USS Discovery bridge crew but in the promo released over the weekend there was a character in the background that might be Airiam.

Is this Airiam the robot?

More BTS from Ted

Co-executive producer Ted Sullivan has been making good on his promise to continue to tweet out behind the scenes images. His latest batch focuses on interfaces.

In addition to those interface images, Ted just tweeted this bit of detail from the Klingon Sarcophagus ship.

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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DataMat

Looking forward to the first episode. I really hope it hits the ground running. I am quite confident that this will be the best first season of any of the post-1987 Trek series’s. That is not actually a very high bar, so I hope it works out.

Michael Hall

The DS9 pilot was actually pretty good. Other than that, you’re right, it shouldn’t be hard.

DataMat

Your probably quite right with regards to Emissary. It was much better and sharper than Farpoint, had better plot, was a great introduction to all the characters. Overall though, first season of Ds9 was mostly quite poor with only a handful of decent episodes, same with TNG, same with VOY.

TUP

I just watched the DS9 premiere a couple of weeks ago and was surprised with how good it was. It was basically a rehash of Farpoint but done so much better. And the actors assembled for DS9 were much better over-all, with apologies to the great Patrick Stewart. Most of all, they all seemed to have characters that hinted at depth and storylines and relationships were established easily.

A very good pilot. So far, the best in Star Trek.

Etymologicool

Time loop episodes are sort of a staple of Trek. Whether it was TNG’s “Cause & Effect” or “Time Squared,” Voyager’s “Coda”, or ENT’s “Future Tense.”

Playing with time in weird ways are stories I’ve always loved (“Timescape” and “The Visionary” are also favorites of mine).

Glad to see Discovery take a stab at it.

TUP

I loved Cause & Effect to the point my friend, who had religiously recorded every episode got sick of me requesting to watch it lol I dont know why, just thought it was a fun episode with them slowly figuring it out.

And seeing a TOS Film style uni/ship was cool.

Danpaine

Yeah for some reason I gravitate back to that one again and again, too.

It’s a fun episode! One of Brannon’s best. I remember watching it for the first time and I was annoyed at first, thinking that my VCR had messed up and started recording in the middle of the episode. 8-)

David Ryan

If you want a good time loop episode of a show, check out the fourth episode of the third season of Dark Matter, titled “All The Time In The World”. It has one character experiencing the time loop and having to come up with creative ways to convince the other members of the crew they are stuck in a time loop.

Etymologicool

I will check that out. I’m a sucker for a good time travel story, and have never seen Dark Matter. Thanks for the tip!

Michael Hall

I agree. This and, especially, “Frame of Mind,” were very solid and even Twilight Zone-ish.

CaptainSheridan

Sounds like your own personal groundhog day! :)

PaulyAndrew

Of course there is the Stargate SG1 episode ‘Window of Opportunity’. Just something about O’Neill and his froot loops. That and I am sure he holds the record for the longest drive in golf history.

Tiger2

Yes I love time look stories as well. All of them: TNG, Voyager and Enterprise had some great ones. I hope Discovery will be good. This and back to the Mirror Universe, we are going to get trippy Trek stories again. I love it!

Its also great to know there will be some time travel on the show.

cdr cody

Here’s an idea. The Shenzhou gets blasted in episode 2 and is shown the rest of the time in flash backs. The first season is Burnham’s attempt to get it back by some type of time travel.

El Chup

Hearing more things I like in the lead up. Feeling a bit more confident than I was a few weeks ago.

Shilliam Watner

On a side note, I wonder if Ron Tracy is a captain in this time frame? It would be cool to see him.

Phil

Okay, who would play him?

Michael Hall

Someone big, imposing, and mean-looking. Terrible episode, but I always found it intriguing that Tracy was a regular human who could handily whip Kirk’s a$$, with no apologies. That was a pretty rare thing, in TOS.

Trek in a Cafe

Michael Shannon.

kmart

Too big for TV, but otherwise an inspired choice!

TUP

Ohhhh Michael Shannon as a Starfleet Captain would be TREMENDOUS! That guy has such incredible screen presence.

Trek fan 67

If he was younger, Powers Boothe. He had that same presence that Morgan Woodward had.

Unfortunately, I don’t think Zombie Powers Boothe will be available this season or next.

Michael Hall

He sure was great on Deadwood, though.

kmart

SOUTHERN COMFORT. Boothe rules in that one. And EXTREME PREJUDICE, if you can actually get into that schizophrenic flick. Have always wanted to see his private eye series from HBO early 80s.

Trek fan 67

I guess you skipped over when I wrote “if he was younger…”

Etymologicool

Nobody missed it, TF. Because what you should have said was, “if he were alive.”

Trek fan 67

I know he’s dead… but I was thinking of a younger Powers Boothe in his prime. He was great in a couple of series from the 80s…. Skag and Philip Marlowe privare eye. Not sure who these days would compare to Boothe when he was in his prime.

Arathorn

^

Legate Damar

I hope this doesn’t conflict with Data being the first advanced artificial life form in the Federation. I assume this new guy will be an alien robot or something.

TUP

Thats my first inkling too. As long as its more of a programmed robot rather then a fully sentient android, it makes sense. We’re advancing in robotics so much now that it would be strange not to have robots in the future.

Now, will it be a piece of equipment or an officer? It should not be the latter, to remain consistent with TNG.

Meurik

Listening to Jason Isaacs comments (throwing out the legacy of Kirk and Picard), it’s entirely possible this show might ignore TNG canon (and piss of alot of fans in the process).

TUP

Where did he say that? Everything the writers have said is that it respects canon and pays homage.

Michael Hall

Isaacs didn’t say anything about throwing out anyone’s legacy (which Picard wouldn’t technically have in the DSC timeline anyway). He just indicated that he didn’t want those earlier performances, which he spoke very highly of, to intimidate him to the point he wouldn’t be effective in the role of Lorca, who’s evidently a different kind of Captain altogether anyway.

Why fans have to make so much out of so little is beyond me.

cdr cody

I wouldn’t worry about it. He is a first class actor and could pull off the role. I was glad to hear he was given the part.

Alex

What would be the point of ignoring TNG era canon and at the same time do things like the bottle of Chateau Picard wine?

Tiger2

No one ever said or hinted that TNG or other canon will be ignored. My god, spome of you people are whining about things that hasn’t even been sugested. Why do they keep bothering trying to mak new Star Trek?

FLB

What if TNG was its own timeline? That it wasn’t what we know as the Prime timeline after all? Or that timelines are in constant evolution and that there can’t be such a thing as a single canon?

TUP

There is nothing to be gained by CBS chopping up its property like that. You certainly dont gain new viewers who werent really fans to begin with and you absolutely dont retain the hardcore fans.

I maintain that part of the JJ films issue, albeit a small one, was the idea of a new universe sounded good on paper. But in practice, it made us not care about those “fake” characters. its why Kirk’s death in STID meant nothing (well that and it was silly and undone immediately in what was a super obvious scenario). Once they pulled the fake death crap, it was far too easy to check out emotionally. Same with BC as a completely new and different Khan, breaking their own rules for this new universe. Why care?

So if you start messing with the universe, you tell viewers that nothing really matters, nothing really fits into the franchise. Some might see 50 years of canon as a burden (like the Bad Robot guys). It should be seen as a wonderful thing…such rich depth to explore. Watching a new entry is like popping into family history and seeing it happen.

Etymologicool

I made up my own conspiracy theory rumor that it will be in the Star Wars Universe. And even though I made it up myself, I’m so mad that I’m boycotting.

Curious Cadet

@Legate Damar — Right, since we’ve clearly seen autonomous robots notably introduced in TOS very early on with “What Are Little Girls Made Of” and later with iMudd. Wasn’t data the first artificial lifeform enlisted in Starfleet, which is what gave them their presumed claim over him? Certainly there’s also Lore, and “B4” as well.

Curious Cadet

@Legate — There’s also Requiem for Methuselah … so I’d say having an autonomous android pre-TOS does not violate canon at all, so long as this android is either not a member of starfleet, or doesn’t rise to the sentience level Data does. Then again, I’m having trouble finding anything in memory alpha that makes either of these conditions essential.

lawrence

The last remnants of unmodern old trek shows will be swept awau for the new DSC.

Arathorn

Just as you have swept awau the old spelling of “away”

:P

Phil

There were plenty of examples of fairly advanced androids in TOS. Data’s claim to fame is solely based on his enrolling in Starfleet, instead of conquering the Federation single-handedly.

Etymologicool

Wasn’t the replica of Ilia a fully functioning android/machine, too?

Curious Cadet

@Phil — if that’s the case, then is he laying claim to being the first Android to enroll in Starfleet? If so, there’s a potential canon violation there depending on how advanced this Android is. Would we consider Ash from Alien an Android equivalent to Data? I don’t think the crew of the Nostromo did. Neither would the Tyrell Corporation consider their replicants to be. So as long as the Android can be argued to exist on that level, Data’s canon is probably pretty safe. The real question then becomes, why did Starfleet stop using them prior to TOS (we have no idea if they used them or not in THE CAGE). If an alien android, then as long as Data isn’t the first “sentient” Android to enlist in Starfleet, then no problem — except, it would make a lot of the episodes around Data’s fight for his rights moot — unless of course those androids withdrew from Starfleet, over just such issues.

Luke Montgomery

The crew of the Nostromo didn’t know Ash was an android, or as Bishop preferred the term, “artificial person.”

Paul

Yes, there were plenty of androids in the original show, but (1) it was pretty much always alien technology, (2) every time the crew encountered any androids, they were surprised. Which would suggest that androids are in no way commonplace in Federation at the time. After all, if there *were* androids serving in Starfleet or used as workforce, encountering an android planet wouldn’t be such a great deal.

But well, that’s all just guesswork until we see how DSC deals with it. ;)

Curious Cadet

@Paul — it’s true they were always surprised, but consider the circumstances — they had no prior knowledge the androids in the episode were androids, they assumed they were the fiancee of Nurse Chapel, or a regular human crew member who just came on board, or Flint’s ward. And yes, I think the point is that it would be alien technology. Certainly it did not appear that Starfleet had any experience with the kinds of artificial bodies Sargon was building. Having an alien robot serving on board the ship might be so commonplace, it never required a mention in TOS — unless there’s something that directly contradicts it in canon. But I think the most important issue here is that to make a new Star Trek about our future would be remiss if it just ignored our current technological state, regardless of what was previously solidified in canon — that goes for the look, as well as the technology. There’s any number of ways they can handle canon to accommodate an android on the bridge of Discovery, but the reality is, it’s not even a problem if they never try to depict the TOS era again in the Prime Universe.

THK

Looking forward to the show, but man those interface panels just scream Abramsverse.

Etymologicool

They scream modern tech. Look at any sci-fi these days and you’ll see similar visual designs. That’s inherent to creating a sci-fi show or movie in the 2010s. See: Prometheus, Oblivion, and Ender’s Game for just a few recent examples.

In the end, they opted to go for something that feels like it grew out of contemporary technology, as TOS did, rather than something drastically different and unbelievably futuristic for the time, as TNG did.

kmart

I think the graphic displays in recent SF are hard to read and overly busy in a really annoying way. Can’t say the same about the current contemporary stuff in real world.

Etymologicool

I think that’s sort of part of the thinking, that if you took real world HUDs, and advanced them; that in the future we’d train our eyes from an early age to be able to zero in on relevant information on busy displays. Geordi has a line in that TNG episode where he describes how he interprets the abundance of info fed to him by his visor, by equating it to how we are able to pick out a single voice in a crowded, noisy room.

I think, visually and psychologically, the busy-ness of the display it tells the audience, this is the future: present style, evolved. The over abundance of information feels like overkill to us in the 21st century, but par for the course in the 23rd.

After all, show someone in the 1920s a typical HUD from today, and they’d feel bombarded by an “overly busy” interface.

Michael Hall

Good point. Anyway, Okudagrams could get pretty busy too. This is nothing new.

Fred Javelina

Ever peek at the cockpit of a 737? Even with a so-called glass cockpit theres tons of data, and that’s mostly just to deal with flight, not also tactical, science, environmental, engineering, comms, etc. Some of it is density for its own sake – i mean would it be exciting if they were flying the ship with a Windows 7 desktop app?

TUP

I kinda agree actually. But there is always going to be the compromise between real-world practicality and TV cool. lol I can live with them.

kmart

not to get bogged down about titles again, but BATTLE AT THE BINARY STARS doesn’t even SOUND right (more like a 70s ABC reality show.) Grammar wise it seems awkward too, and clunky. It’s like SHOWDOWN NEAR THE RUN-DOWN SALOON or worse.

Danpaine

Reminded me of Game Of Thrones’ Battle Of The Bastards, right off.

PEB

That’s what I was thinking Danpaine, but that’s a good thing in my mind.

Reminded me of classic Galactica episode titles.

Michael Hall

That’s not a good thing, Mr. Drew.

Ahmed

Yep. “Saga of a Star World”, “Murder on the Rising Star”, “War of the Gods” to name a few.

The 5th episode should be titled “Fire in Space” or “The Lost Warrior”

kmart

Does this mean when the streaming LOST IN SPACE starts we’ll have to call the 65 series a Classic?

Michael Hall

Grammar-wise, shouldn’t it be “Battle at the Binary Star,” singular? A binary star is, by definition, two stars, right?

(Damn, now you a$$holes have got me doing it! I’m becoming everything I hated!)

Drake

I immediately thought of the movie BATTLE BEYOND THE STARS.

Phillip Thorne

FWIW, the first thing I thought was “Battle at the Rainbow Star Cluster” from “Space Battleship Yamato,” which is the name of a battle, but not of the episode where it’s seen (that would be “Decisive Battle! Fight for Honor at the Rainbow Star Group!” or “The Battle of the Rainbow Galaxy” in SBY and “Star Blazers,” respectively). That’s the episode where things go extra-super Pacific War-in-space, with color-coded bad guy carriers and the drill missile.

Digging the titles for episodes three and four!

(Especially four… sounds brutal!)

Xon

And very Klingon somehow.

Ahmed

I like those two as well.

Something New

The longer episode titles for eps. three and four are very interesting. These longer titles are much more interesting then the titles for the first two episodes. The easy speculation for what titles three and four mean make me much more interested in these episodes.

JAGT

No Shakespeare quotes as titles yet? THIS IS AN OUTRAGE!

Ahmed

“There’s even a Klingon torture device that’s appropriately gruesome. ”

Aaron Harberts wasn’t kidding in his interview with the official Trek site.

Aaron Harberts: “We can show a bat’leth going through somebody. We could show a mek’leth slicing someone’s throat maybe a little bit more than we could on network TV, and that’s cool.”

No wonder they got MA rating, this is going to be bloody!

Etymologicool

Given the way Klingon’s have been shown in the past, it’s about damned time. They always felt kind of neutered on network TV, despite being described as a vicious, war-like alien race who favored bladed weapons over phasers.

Though there are certainly ways to show horrific violence in PG-13 (implied, off-screen, etc), I’m okay with them showing it. They used to feel a bit too kid-friendly for my liking, particularly on DS9, where, despite having these huge swords, would usually just bop people in the chin.

Michael Hall

I remember the TNG episode where they have to prove the Chancellor is dead by torturing the corpse. That was pretty cool. :-)

Ahmed

Can’t blame previous shows, they were restricted by the networks. Beside, excessive violence is not something associated with Star Trek in general.

I’ve no problem with showing violence but they need to tread carefully and not go overboard with it. It’s still a Star Trek show; and I don’t think people would like to see a prolonged torture-scene for example.

Etymologicool

Oh no blame on the shows, and that’s sort of my point. Without network restrictions we can finally see the Klingons the way they’ve been described.

I do agree, they should tread carefully. I don’t want this to become a gore-fest.

@MH. that was cool, but again, the pain sticks were a PG way of showing a violent culture.

Michael Hall

I agree with both of you that they need to tread a little carefully on the violence. That said, it’s 2017, and I’ve been a little surprised at even what The Orville has managed to get away with in terms of language in broadcast prime time. As a streaming show, I’ll be disappointed if DSC doesn’t push the boundaries somewhere, at least a little.

Trek fan 67

How many times did they say “penis” in the first episode of orville?

Hollyweird

They said “penis” twice. As part of the same joke.

Trek fan 67

I don’t believe they ever said it in 50 years of Trek. Just saying.

Tiger2

Data: “There was once a lady from Venus whose boday was shaped like a….”

Well, they ALMOST got there. ;)

Danpaine

Ha, saw that exact part the other night. Nice.

Trek fan 67

Kind of like Picard being tortured throughout an episode? No blood… but it was a very dark episode.

Michael Hall

As I noted elsewhere, there was a scene on THE EXPANSE this year that I found more disturbing than just about anything I’ve seen on GoT, and not a single drop of blood was spilled. Gore doesn’t count for much compared to the emotional cost of what’s happening in the scene, and how you feel about who it’s happening to.

Hollyweird

The refugees trying to get on board the cargo ship?

Tiger2

Yeah The Expanise is BRUTAL lol. The first season finale I could barely even get through. And the second season of people being launched in space is just as disturbing as seeing blood (although they are good at that too).

Whatever Discovery shows, I’m pretty sure its still tame by most shows standards today.

Kitbash canon

Completely agree on nixing torture scenes. That was the reason I stopped watching 24. I got the creepy, Orwellian feeling that we were just being “conditioned” to accept renditioning, Guantanamo, “enhanced interrogation”, etc…I pulled the plug on that crap.

TUP

Good

CaptainSheridan

Like Worf’s bat’leth wobbling in Duras’s neck? Only more really looking? :)

Vinegar Tom

“This media could not be played”

Bugger Star Trek Discovery, if the makers can’t be bothered to promote it anywhere outside of the US or Canada, then they won’t get my money

I\'m Dead Jim

Anybody heard any news about the Talking Trek after show and who’s hosting it?

DataMat

The one thing I am looking forward too is the interface graphics on starships and so on. I mean, graphics have come a fair way since even Enterprise aired last in 2005 and leaps ahead of TNG in 1987-1994 (TNG Graphics hold up extremely well in my opinion, by the way!).

John

Jason Isaacs goes totally nuts, via hollywoodreporter.com

“British actor Jason Isaacs, in particular, didn’t hold back in an Instagram post in which he excoriated Spicer’s political past and his personal appearance. Describing the pol as a “modern day Goebbels” Isaacs knocked Spicer as short and “deeply unattractive, from inside and out,” with the “aura of a giant festering abscess.”

Isaacs’ full-throated criticism is doubly significant as he is set to play Captain Lorca in CBS’ hotly anticipated Star Trek: Discovery. CBS produced this year’s Emmys with the network’s star late-night talent Colbert taking on hosting duties.”

Whatever you think of Spicer, this language is not appropriate. Isaacs should read a WWII history book.

James

Everyone’s entitled to their opinion

TUP

There is a lot of well-deserved criticism for Spicer’s appearance. Just because he jumped off the ship doesnt mean he gets a pass.

Then again, CBS’ responsibility is producing an entertaining event. That’s their obligation. It doesnt speak to politics. But people upset at the helping hand it lent Spicer in rehabilitating his image, I can totally understand

Curious Cadet

@John — I completely disagree. That language seemed totally appropriate for the paid shill Spicer became and the abominable way he treated others for a paycheck. The fact that he’s recanting on that behavior now does not excuse him. He’s getting what he gave, and he’ll have to deal with it.

AdAstraPerAspera

I absolutely love “Context Is For Kings” and I don’t know why.

Arggggggh

I hope the title is “Context Is for Kings,” not “Context is for Kings.” All verbs, including “Is,” are capitalized in titles.

Jack C

Not looking forward to the episode “The Rainbow Incident”.

J.coleman

We should not have to pay extra to be able to watch this series .people already pay enough to watch TV. You guys are using blackmail tactics by showing preview to get people interested then tell them they have to purchase another channel to see rest of series .good luck with that.

Curious Cadet

@J.coleman — you have a rude awakening coming to you in the next few years.

Etymologicool

It’s not blackmail, it’s good marketing.

It’s funny, this thought that new shows have to be on services most people already have. Should all movies be on Netflix instead of in theaters?

If you choose to pay for cable, and feel stifled by its price, that’s YOUR choice, not CBS’. Just remember: THESE NETWORKS EXIST TO MAKE MONEY AND ALWAYS HAVE. They are not a public service or chair.

To this point, over-the-air TV has been profitable for them, but those profits are dwindling in todays competitive landscape of entertainment, so networks and companies like HBO, Fox, CBS, and Disney are experimenting with their own paid streaming services to find new ways to make their money.

It’s a costly and risky venture for them, and the market will decide whether they succeed or fail. But don’t begrudge them for trying.

Etymologicool

**public service or charity**