EXCLUSIVE: Akiva Goldsman On Influence Of JJ Abrams Films On ‘Star Trek: Discovery’

At the Hollywood blue carpet premiere of Star Trek: Discovery, TrekMovie had a chance to speak with Akiva Goldsman, one of Discovery’s executive producers. Goldsman spoke about the influence the Kelvin-timeline films had on the style of Discovery, how representative the first two episodes are of the rest of the series, possible plans for season two, and the ability of serialized storytelling.

Influence of Abrams on Discovery

Goldsman, who is close with J.J. Abrams (and had cameos in Star Trek 2009 and Star Trek: Into Darkness), described how he felt that the Kelvin-timeline films influenced Discovery:

“scope, scale, the ability to be creative cinematically…the intimate discourse, the humanistic storytelling with the giant canvas that is Star Trek. A more kinetic camera, a more dynamic way of existing, a much greater use of practical sets so when you’re running down a corridor, you’re running down a corridor. A sense of rhythm…there is a sense of litheness, a kind of fluidity in the characterizations.”

How the premiere differs from rest of series

This weekend is the 2-part premiere of Discovery (comprised of two episodes: “The Vulcan Hello” and “Battle at the Binary Stars”). Goldsman contrasted how this 2-part premiere will differ from the other 13 episodes:

[The premiere] is very different…it is two-episodes combined…they are not different in terms of scope and scale but they are different in theme.  They are different in promise. Your feeling about the series and your understanding and expectation of what is coming will be very different 75 minutes in than it will be five minutes in. We are trying to not give you the first of what you will see many of. We are actually trying to start a story and because we get to do serialized storytelling, there is nothing about it that is like an episode except its length.

Season 2 arc structure TBA

When asked how a second season of Discovery would unfold, given that the Klingon conflict will have wrapped up, we asked Goldsman whether (if given a green light) season two would feature a new single serialized story. Goldsman noted:

“What we found in the first season is that we essentially got to tell 15-hour character stories. That allowed us to build a serialized story that included both plot and character. If we are lucky enough to have season two, I think we’ll sit down and talk about whether that makes sense to have that again.”

The first season covers a single arc with the war with the Klingons

More to come from Hollywood premiere

Doug Jones On Saru And Burnham Fighting Over The Captain’s Chair In ‘Star Trek: Discovery’

TrekMovie has more interviews with Discovery cast and crew. These will be posted over the next few days so stay tuned.


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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