EXCLUSIVE: ‘Star Trek: Discovery’ Executive Producers Reveal Who Is Playing Amanda And Talk Season 2

At the Hollywood blue carpet premiere of Star Trek: Discovery, TrekMovie had a chance to speak with executive producers and showrunners Aaron Harberts and Gretchen J. Berg along with executive producer Heather Kadin. They revealed how much of a greenlight they have for a second season, gave up the actress playing Amanda, and talked about how Discovery will fit into the canon of Star Trek. The full video interview and highlights are below.

NOTE: Video contains previously reported spoiler.

Amanda played by Mia Kirshner in Discovery

When asked how much of Sarek’s family we will be seeing this season, the three EPs remained tight-lipped on if Spock or Sybok might show up; however, they did confirm Sarek’s human wife Amanda Grayson will appear. Aaron Harberts revealed Canadian actress Mia Kirshner will play the role originated by Jane Wyatt in the Star Trek episode “Journey to Babel” (and returned in Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home). Amanda was portrayed by Winona Ryder in the 2009 Star Trek feature film.

Kirshner may be best known for her recurring role as Mandy the assassin in three seasons of 24. The 42 year-old actress was also a series regular on the L Word, had a recurring role on Vampire Diaries and was a regular as Kenya Rosewater in the Syfy series Defiance

Mia Kirshner to play Amanda Grayson in Star Trek: Discovery

No reset button for Discovery

When asked if the events of Star Trek: Discovery would flow through to the rest of the prime timeline and would be available if someone could look up USS Discovery from Captain Picard’s computer, the EPs assured it will all fit in the end.

Harberts: In term of canon, we want to make sure that all of that stuff tracks. So whatever you pull up in Picard’s computer needs to be correct by the time we end our run

As for why we never heard of Michael Burnham before, the Harberts said that will all be sorted out:

Harberts: So far we know we have never heard about her. We have never heard Spock and Sarek speak about her. So it is our job to make sure that what we have seen, still holds water.

Sarek and his ward Michael Burnham in Star Trek: Discovery

On that Frakes spoiler

When asked about the spoiler dropped by Jonathan Frakes at a recent convention, the three executive producers joked a bit but would not confirm it, except to say:

Gretchen Berg: We’ve certainly been inspired all of the series and going back to your question on canon, we are existing in the world of the other series. So, there will be a lot of nods to things that seem familiar to fans of Trek. 

Season 2 not official, but…

When asked if CBS haven given them a green light yet for a second season, Harberts replied:

Aaron Harberts: It’s a hopeful green light…I do want to see a green light. I would say we would be getting a little ahead of ourselves, but this show take so much time and so much pre-planning that I would be lying if I said they weren’t asking us to – at the very least – consider possibilities for storylines. In terms of a season 2, nothing is official. And in terms of the storytelling, everything is sort of in the Crock-Pot, just plugged in. I don’t even know if we have put the lid on the Crock-Pot.

All three said that as for determining if the first season is a success, they aren’t even sure if CBS All Access will be providing them with viewership numbers or metrics, so for them they will judge it by how much fans like the show.

CBS has asked the Discovery team to start thinking about season 2

More from Hollywood premiere

 

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

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

Mary Chieffo Talks L’Rell And Klingon Episodes Of ‘Star Trek: Discovery’

Ted Sullivan On Canon Challenge Of Fitting ‘Star Trek: Discovery’ Between ‘Enterprise’ and TOS

Sonequa Martin-Green On ‘Star Trek: Discovery’ Captain’s Chair And Nichelle Nichols Blessing

Neville Page And Glenn Hetrick Talk Designs For Different ‘Star Trek: Discovery’ Klingon Houses

Jason Isaacs on how Lorca isn’t like other captains

 

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

 


 

Star Trek: Discovery is available exclusive in the US on CBS All Access with new episodes released Sundays at 8:30 pm ET. In Canada Star Trek: Discovery airs on the Space Channel at the same time. Discovery is available on Netflix outside the USA and Canada with new episodes made available Monday at 8 am BST.

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

 

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85 Comments on "EXCLUSIVE: ‘Star Trek: Discovery’ Executive Producers Reveal Who Is Playing Amanda And Talk Season 2"

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As always, great coverage by this site. You guys don’t get near-enough thank yous for your efforts, so, well, I’m saying it.

Totally agree! I’m just hating on the RL stuff,which has nothing to do with Trekmovie’s excellent coverage. Keep up the great work that you do,Trekmovie!

Ditto. Thank you folks!!

Agreed. This has become my go-to website for anything Trek-related.

Very true!

Season 2 is almost certainly happening. The second season will be the crunch period. If the viewership is not good by then, the plug could be pulled.

I think it is a good bet that Discovery will get minimum three seasons.

Is the viewership bad right now? Seems like everyone’s fairly happy with the numbers so far.

The premiere did well (and, ironically, in Live +3 matched The Orville’s 10.6 million viewers). The unknown is exactly how many viewers will watch on CBS All Access. Only CBS execs will know exactly how many people are watching each episode.

@Denny C,

Actually ‘The Orville’ Live+3 ratings was 11.3 million, and a 3.5 adults 18-49 rating.

It’ll most likely hinge on Netflix numbers. The Netflix license basically paid for the entire first season from what we’ve heard, so if Netflix wants to pay that sort of money for every season we could be golden no matter the CBS All Access impact.

Netflix isn’t going to pay for a second season, so it’s going to be down to how many subscribers CBS can sucker into All Access.

Forgive me if this is a little OT but seems like a good place to mention CBS’ misleading promoting. I went to sign up yesterday. Figuring my free week and one month would take me through to the Nov 5 first half finale. When I go to create my account it tells me that the commercial free version only has a TWO DAY free trial!! What the hell is up with that?? They have been promoting a free week EVERYWHERE! Nowhere, not even on this site, was it mentioned that the commercial free side only got you two days. It’s not so much the two free days compared to the 7 with the commercial filled option. It’s more than it wasn’t pointed out anywhere. It’s a drag that I was expecting to finally see episode 2 today. Looks like I’m waiting until October 4.

The more I find out about this CBSAA the more disappointing it gets.

Oh, relax.

There will never be a Series 2

Says the toxic nerd who makes ‘fat chick’ jokes.

Will Netflix not pay for a second season?

If Netflix doesn’t renew (and I don’t know why they wouldn’t), that would make Discovery the only Star Trek series to air in only a single country.

I think it should be cut for lack of viewers. Pretty pissy that I pay for Netflix (I know this is NOT Netflix’s doings), but yet, if I want to watch this show, they want us to pay again for all access, and they are doing this when we pay for tv anyways, but it’s going to start all the stations pulling this same crap. New shoes, oh, I pay $200 mo for tv now, I pay for Netflix, but the stations are going to force if we want to see their shows, to pay up again. Anyone paying for this should have their head examined, because you all are contributing to this. I’m already Nicole and dimes to death, I don’t need tv stations ransoming the new shows. They make plenty with their sponsors and ECT.

I’m happy to pay for it because I want to see new “Star Trek.” It costs me six bucks a month; less than two bucks per episode. If I’m not willing to pay under two bucks for new “Star Trek,” then I must not be much a Trekkie.

It should get a second season, I mean, a lot of money has been sunk into it. So far, it’s looking really promising, I greatly enjoyed the first couple of episodes. Even better when you rewatch it.

The Canadian government has just made an agreement with Netflix for the company to invest into Canadian productions. The Canadian Heritage Minister announced the new policy two days ago. If Discovery qualifies, it may get even more money from that source.

Netflix carries the show but CBS is footing the bill. It isn’t a Netflix production.

@ Denny C: rumour has it that the license fee Netflix paid to CBS covered most of the budget for the 1st season. If there’s a way to get money from the Canadian government you can be pretty sure that CBS and Netflix will do their best to get it. Unless they don’t want to move forward with a 2nd season.

Denny C
It’s not accurate to say “CBS is footing the bill”. Netflix actually paid a ton for DSC in 2016, they effectively co-produced it (bankrolled it), so they’re calling it a “Netflix Original” in the regions they serve because of it.

Quote from Netflix’s Ted Sarandos:
If you ever needed more proof that this isn’t a zero-sum game, on the Star Trek series we are doing it together. We are launching it outside of U.S. all over the world. And coming in as production partners, we have been great partners together on making a show that could have been smaller, bigger. It is a net gain for everybody.
https://trekmovie.com/2017/05/03/star-trek-discovery-back-on-for-fall-cbs-ceo-talks-netflix-importance/

And of course the earlier news from late-2016 where Netflix pre-paid a handsome sum:
http://www.fiercecable.com/online-video/moonves-netflix-int-l-sales-pay-for-entire-star-trek-production-cost

@Matt Wright,

And then the show went over-budget and was delayed from January to September, so CBS is footing the bill.

I don’t see Netflix would be excited to continue bankrolling a competitor giving that CBS All Access is planning to expand to other countries starting in 2018.

The sky is falling. The sky is falling. Lol

Yeah and we haven’t even had bad news yet.

@Ahmed, sure CBS is footing the bill for the overflow in production, yes. But that doesn’t change the fact Netflix paid for a ton of it, and gets to consider themselves co-producers. So no CBS is not solely paying for DSC. Much like other TV shows and movies, they have production partners (namely Netflix) that have money in it too.

@Matt Wright,

Yes, Netflix paid for the production in 2016 but situation changed now with CBS AA plan to expand outside the US.

The question now, why Netflix would continue financing a very expensive show for a potential competitor when they aren’t allowed to carry that show in their biggest market, North America with its 50 million subscribers?

That is an assumption ahmed. You have no hard facts that Netflix won’t pay for a second season.

Ahmed has no idea what he’s talking about.

@David F. Guy,

Can’t argue with simple facts.

Show going over-budget = Fact
Show delayed from January to September = Fact
CBS AA worldwide expansion = Fact

Ahmed… Orville went far over budget and is the most expensive TV show on Network television right now. If they don’t figure out a way to control their costs (cast cost is quite high for the principals as well as effects budget), FOX will end up cancelling them. Right now, the ratings are decent, but if they do drop, they will not be able to continue if ad revenues do not come in. Right now, Orville has more at risk than Discovery does.

@Captain Ransom,

“Orville went far over budget and is the most expensive TV show on Network television right now.”

Lol, do you have a media source or were told that by your crystal ball?

Ahmed, you are either stupid or uninformed. Look it up. When it was being produced it was touted as the most expensive production on NETWORK tv. That doesn’t include pay services or streaming. You talk a big game but always come across as a troll.

@Captain Ransom,

When asked for source, you come up empty and restore to name-calling, typical tr0ll.

Do your own research ahmed.

@Captain Ransom,

Learn not to present falsehoods as facts and then ask people to look for proof of your own lies.

Ahmed – are you too lazy that you have to have everything handed to you? Go do your own research. You go filter through tons of articles to satisfy your own needs. Otherwise, YOU give be proof of the opposite. And stop being a troll… everyone knows that you are one. You love the attention.

Hate to burst your bubble there Ahmed, but Netflix paid good money and locked in DSC. Moonves told his investors that DSC is still something Netflix retains even if AA expands into the market.
https://trekmovie.com/2017/08/07/les-moonves-tells-cbs-investors-first-six-episodes-of-star-trek-discovery-are-terrific/

https://twitter.com/NetflixANZ/status/902308476579307520

@Matt Wright,

What bubble are you talking about? All 3 items are indisputable facts.

However, Netflix retaining international rights for ‘Discovery’ even after CBS AA’s global expansion is a critical new information. In that case Netflix might very well continue financing the show.

Go away, Ahmed… you are needed on the Orville boards to cheerlead them.

Please give evidence. CBS said it was in profit and the money was banked. I have seen nothing to say it then went over budget and CBS’ profits were lost.

Netflix bankrolled it, it is shown here in UK as a Netflix Original, and unless something changes in the relationship with CBS, they will co-produce/pay for/towards season 2.

CBS may have some expansion plans, they won’t be everywhere. They’ve only just licensed older Trek to Netflix, as well as Discovery which they (as an Original) will keep for quite some time to come.

Sounds like a green light to me

She’s uncanny doppleganger to the original actress.

Correction: doppleganger.

She does look like Jane Wyatt. It would be nice to see some things from her point of view. Amanda after all has an interesting backstory of her own. A teacher who left Earth behind to marry a Vulcan ambassador and then have a half-human/half-Vulcan child with him. They also decided to raise Burnham after her parents died. While doing all of that she also had to cope with cultural and linguistic changes to meet the demands of her public role as Sarek’s wife. The exploration of an underused character in the Star Trek franchise is one of the benefits IMO to having the Sarek connection to Discovery.

I agree, it could be very interesting to explore what Amanda thinks and feels about everything that’s happening in her life. That might be the sort of thing they explore in a novel, though, rather than in an episode, given that there’s a war on.

Agreed. I wasn’t as sold on the whole Sarek-Burnham relationship as I expected to be, frankly. Part of that may be Frain’s overly dry and monotone line readings; he’s not bad in the role, but has a long way to go before he makes me forget Mark Lenard. (Vulcans are hard!). But I still think that a thoughtful exploration of Burnham’s background and her fractured psychology could be one of the most interesting and satisfying things about Discovery.

Excellent casting choice for Amanda!

Sybok? Don’t make me laugh!

I see what you did there.

Compared to James Frain who looks absolutely NOTHING like Mark Lenard, Mia Kirschner might actually be quite credible as a younger version of Jane Wyatt. At least her eyes are of a similar shape and colour – the rest is up to the makeup department.

Why didn’t they get the guy from the final frontier?

For one thing, that was 30 years ago. Who knows if that guy is even available, or fits the look anymore. Secondly, you can’t cast purely based on looks. You’d be excluding good actors for the sake of similarity.

The Sarek actor? Because he was playing a much younger version of Sarek. That was Spock’s birth, 35-ish years before Discovery.

Mike: You’re kidding… right?

Because James Frain is an amazing character actor, who fits the proper age of Sarek. Discovery got really lucky with that casting.

Frain actually does resemble Lenard a bit.

No he doesn’t at all and no ones voice will ever hold the gravitas that Lenards and Nimoys did.

Well, if no ones voice will match the of Nimoy and Nimoy, I guess no one will be good enough.

Nimoy and Lenard, I meant.

Who is Lenard?

“Aaron Harberts: It’s a hopeful green light…I do want to see a green light.”

But so far we’re seeing yellow light!

If the show gets renewed for four seasons, does that mean we get to yell “THERE ARE FOUR GREEN LIGHTS!!”

If it rubs tens years and is cancelled to make a film Ahmed will claim it was a failure lol.

TUP… so true. lol

Really looking forward to tomorrow evening’s episode and seeing Discovery and its crew for the first time (except for Burnham and Saru of course).

I loved the pilot, can’t wait for more

If they do not turn Star Trek into a tv social experiment by introducing very controversial subjects that could be left out and still have good trek, it will be fine. There is so much that could be explored, Romulans etc. If they do turn it into venue to please a few, or minority who did not grow up with Trek, I’m done and cancelling my CBS AA

The next episode features Trek’s first gay couple. There will be no Romulans in this show; it’s set ten years too early for that. You can cancel CBS AA now. You’re welcome.

Rekt, as the kids say. Hahaha

@Michael Hall,

“The next episode features Trek’s first gay couple.”

Not accurate. According to a recent set report, on tonight’s episode we will only meet Stamets and there will be zero mention of his sexuality or his partner.

They will introduce his partner Dr. Culber later in the season.

Just shut up and go away. Against “controversial” subjects? Star Trek has always addressed social issues since it’s inception. Have you ever even watched the show? #DeeplyDumb

Wow. So they’re still pretending this fits in the prime universe? Have they watched it yet?

It fits better than something like “Threshold” and the likes…

@SelorKiith,

Nonsense.

The best part of Star Trek Discovery was the main character getting life in prison so we don’t have to deal with her stupid character again…. Hopefully. She’s the new Basheer

People ask why is the Technology more Advanced 10 years before Kirk and the answer probably this, Remember at the end or near the end of Season 4 Archer and T Pol went into Daniels Quarters and they saw all that Future Tech, well what if Enterprise brought back all that Future Tech to Starfleet and Starfleet used that Future Technology to Improve there current Technology, so that maybe why this shows Tech is more Advanced.

…or maybe because this series is produced in 2017 and would look ridiculous using cardboard 1960’s era sets.

That is the most logical explanation I’ve heard and I love ENT. Thank you for that rational explanation. LLAP

Aaron Harberts: “It’s a hopeful green light… I do want to see a green light.”

I see … Four Green Lights! :-)

I see … the Great Gatsby

Sybock\'s Other Brother

You cannot ignore Sybok.

I suspect that the Discovery and the Glenn are controlled by Section 31. I bet that in the end what they do will be covered up. Look at Lorca’s menagerie. It has things the Federation is unaware of yet: tribbles, a Gorn skeleton, some Cardassian creatures, and more. This is secret knowledge, and the fact Lorca is able to do things like manipulate those transfers for Burnham, I am sure it was Section 31 making the moves.

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