‘After Trek’ Reveals Tardigrade Monster Importance to ‘Discovery,’ Lorca’s Gorn Skeleton And More

The second episode of After Trek, saw the Star Trek: Discovery live after-show settling down with improvements over the inaugural episode. Host Matt Mira toned down the volume and seems more comfortable in his role as well, but still kept it light.

To talk about the third episode of Discovery (“Context Is for Kings”), the in-studio guests were co-showrunner Aaron Harberts and actress Mary Wiseman (Cadet Sylvia Tilly). There were some interesting reveals on the show which we have highlighted and we also have a few clips that have been released.

Tardigrade monster is “vital”

As noted in our review and yesterday’s Jason Isaacs interview roundup, there is a lot of mystery related to the creature beamed over from the USS Glenn. Harberts revealed that it will be an important element and drew some interesting parallels with the giant tardigrade , saying:

We don’t introduce anything to just not pay it off. This creature is vital to our show. This creature is vital to Burnham’s journey. And the audience should look at this “monster” as sort of a metaphor for [Michael] Burnham. And in the next episode Burnham is going to be confronting what that means. Is she a monster or is she not?

Lorca’s new pet will play an important role

Yes, that is a Gorn in Lorca’s mystery menagerie

Discussion also turned to Lorca’s mysterious “study” which is also referred to as his “menagerie.” Lorca indeed has a Gorn skeleton and noted they are aware that this is years before the TOS episode “Arena,”  noting that it doesn’t necessarily mean he encountered the Gorn. It is all part of the mystery of Lorca, with Harberts noting “where did he get it?” Harberts also noted that Lorca’s tribble is “spayed and neutered.” Watch the segment below.

Watch behind the scenes on the USS Glenn

The episode featured a number of behind the scenes clips from the show, including a look at how the USS Glenn segment was shot, which you can see below.

The real Stamets talks spore drive and panspermia

The Skype-in guest for the week was real-life mycologist Paul Stamets. Harberts revealed that it was Bryan Fuller who had been inspired the scientist to create the character of Lt. Stamets on the show. The writers all watched his Ted Talk and he even called in to chat with the writer’s room early in the development of the series. You can watch the interview with the real Stamets below.

Other bits from After Trek episode 2

  • Ensign Tilly was named after co-showrunner Gretchen J. Berg’s 2 year-old niece.
  • Season 1 will not include visit Saru’s home planet.
  • Harberts described Landry (Rekha Sharma) as a “true believer” in Lorca, who “loves Lorca”

They also showed a clip from episode 4 “Butcher’s Knife Cares Not For The Lamb’s Cry,” featuring Burnham and Saru bantering in a turbolift about how she is triggering his “threat ganglia.” Hopefully the clip will be released officially later this week.




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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I was pretty hard on this show last week, but thought that last Sunday’s edition went down a lot easier than the first. Much more intelligent questions and commentary about the actual subject matter from the host, and fewer self-congratulatory attempts at looking clever. More of this, please.

Yep, I agree completely, and thought the same thing when I watched ‘After Trek’ this week.

I didn’t even make it through all of After Trek’s first episode. I turned it off about half way in. It was just too much talking about nothing very deep or interesting. But based on what’s been said about the improvements in week 2, I’ll check it out.

Is Harberts sweater Lokai or Bele?

Let That Be Your Last Sweater…

Ha ha, good one.

And The Sweater Shall Lead Them

I bet Discovery is a Section 31 Ship.

Uss Discivery 1031 ;-) coincidence!??

Yes, Brian Fuller loves Halloween and the number is 10.31. ;) No really i read a statement about this. Hmm if i think about it Discovery could be the USS Halloween 1031

Hmm. That would be like a secretive CIA aeroplane having CIA emblazoned on its fuselage.
I don’t know – I can’t recall – was Section 31 actually called by name during ENT? If not, then perhaps the Section later took its name not just from the charter paragraph, but after the Discovery ship too, maybe ( if indeed Discovery turns out to be a key Starfleet black ops operation )?

interesting premise

It was called Section 31 in ENT, if not explicitly: “he did tell Archer that “Article 14, Section 31″ of the Starfleet Charter justified his actions” [from MA].

Right, and it’s kind of a moot point if Lorca exhibits all the traits of a Section 31 agent but is never confirmed as such. Walks like a duck, talks like a duck…

“That would be like a secretive CIA aeroplane having CIA emblazoned on its fuselage.

Same issue with the distinctive black badges. CIA agents on clandestine missions deliberately don’t wear any special insignia (or carry any CIA ID) identifying who they really are. No intelligence agencies anywhere in the world do this, especially when engaged in black ops missions.

DSC probably has all this for dramatic effect. Fair enough, but it does take the intelligence and “realism” credibility angle down several notches. It would have been better for the ship registry and badges to be regular Starfleet stuff, or the Discovery even appearing to have a different affiliation as a misleading “front”, with Burnham and the audience gradually realising there’s actually something very different going on.

There’s another, even bigger issue. It looks like Lorca is using the Discovery to research biological weapons against the Klingons. If the ship’s secret mission really does involve illegal activities, even impending war crimes, in reality neither the Discovery’s configuration and registry nor the crew’s uniforms should be anything traceable to Federation authorities (especially Starfleet, even if it’s actually Section 31 instead).

So this is further dramatic license for entertainment purposes — or the writers/showrunners didn’t properly think things through.

Dramatic license is a wonderful thing. Everyone loves James Bond, even though in reality, he’s the worst spy ever. The guy might as well have SPY – MI VI embroidered on the back of his jacket, that’s how obvious he is.

I do think that the registry is just a coincidence and that Discovery ISN’T a Section 31.

If it is, it would be too on-the-nose and obvious. Which is not how 31 operate as best we know.

Agreed. This is WAY too out of character with Section 31, to emblazon their mark on a starship. The only way I could see a connection is if, as others have speculated, they are not yet named and the Discovery is instrumental in that so they do it to honor the Discovery. But even still, that still seems too on the nose. If they’re trying to cover their tracks, why would they name their organization with such an obvious clue to such important clues to figuring them out?

Section 31 could be present on the ship with the half-black delta pins. As I am sure others have pointed out. They have and do wear black uniforms in other series so the pins could be their uniform at this time. Plus it would make sense to have them out a ship like the Discovery. I agree though that kind of registry number doesn’t seem to fit what we know about them. Then again section 31 has not always been portrayed very well across series and movies. DS9, the creators of it, did them the best. Everywhere else they just seemed to turn into the token bad people.

Again this is what bothers me about doing prequels with the whole Gorn thing. Clearly the writers wanted a Gorn so they can say “see, we know TOS!’ which is fine. But as said, like so many things in prequels like this, they have to constantly explain things away that didn’t show up to much earlier. In other words the writers always have to twist themselves into knots justfiy bringing in stuff from the Borg to tribbles earlier but same time its obvious they bring those things in earlier because they want to build story lines around them but know they technically can’t.

As fans we of course explain all of it away for them, so their jobs isn’t that hard lol. And I’m not really bothered by this so much as I’m saying they would’ve made their jobs easier presenting a lot of this stuff in a post-TOS world. I’m not even saying post TNG world, maybe after TUC or something where every Easter egg doesn’t have to be a long explanation of why its there when we know its not suppose to be.

Clearly the writers wanted a Gorn so they can say “see, we know TOS!’

You sound like a paranoid crazy girlfriend who doesn’t trust anything her partner says.

I agree with you 100%, Tiger. Set it in a later time period, all those continuity questions go away. Show me a Gorn skeleton post TUC, show me Romulans, show me cloaking technology, no biggie whatsoever.

There are no questions if you just assume the skeleton was found long after death.

He bought it on the 23rd Century version of eBay.

Its not a continuity error. And Im not sure how basing a show after all the other series and films would somehow eliminate all continuity errors. If anything, it would make them worse.

It is definitelly not a continuity error. People interpret the canon very differently than how it should be. If you interpret the cannon based on first appearances on shows, big mistake. The Gorn existed long before the Federation was a thing. And highly probable that between ENT and TOS era there is a giant gap to fill. The Gorn are part of Star Trek lore, they could have been encountered in any time in between. Lorca seem to be the guy that went to places no one has gone before.

Or, you can just relax. :-)

Not at all. They chose a Gorn to imply mystery and questions. Not because “ohhh TOS Cred!”

TUP is right and it is exactly what Aaron Harberts said in the episode.

Which makes sense because they didn’t explain how the skeleton got there. We also know that the Federation keeps an eye out for warp capable species before making first contact. Gathering intelligence and the like so things can go much smoother. (TNG episode First Contact.) Maybe they got the Gorn skeleton during something like that.

And all it really means is that they found alien bones after the creature died.

Starfleet made first contact with species without warp capabilities, even more so during ENT era since there was no real prime directive. They are just more cautious about sharing technology with pre-warp species, and also follow strict rules about not intervening in species evolution.
But they have quite a few times they made first contact with pre-warp species. Vulcan on the other end follow a much stricter rule, they have no interest in seeking contact with pre-warp species.

Sorry but if you think they put a Gorn skeleton in to claim TOS knowledge that’s blatantly wrong based on the many TOS easter eggs that have been sprinkled in. Some people just won’t be satisfied with the show, and that’s ok obviously, but you’ve got to come with more credible arguments.

Given that the Gorn Claim that they were Long there before others it isn’t that far off to believe that IS actually a Fossil found on some Planet.

We know it’s a Gorn because we have seen it before. We knew dinosaurs were big scaly lizards…until we discovered some with feathers. My point, Starfleet may have plenty of ‘unknown’ discoveries in their databanks or on display waiting to be identified in the future. At least this Gorn skeleton bears a resemblance to the one that Kirk did his tango with, and not the humanoid looking T-Rex that turned up in Enterprise….

Forced to agree with you Tiger2. Do those things in a post TOS time and it’s not an issue. Do them pre TOS and you need to start explaining how it’s not a continuity problem. Set it in the Kelvin timeline and it all goes away. Which is why I’m sorta treating this like it’s in the KT until it starts fitting in the prime one better.

the issue here is that you base the canon on first appearance in a show. But Star Trek is all about respecting a timeline and it is very possible that we knew about Gorn race way before a certain episode. It was just unspoken of. Keep in mind that TOS was Star Trek in its infancy, and since it was the first show, it is easy to base anything Star Trek upon TOS. But now that we have prequel shows as ENT and now DIS, the game have changed. And so far nothing is corrupting the canon. It follows a timeline and like time itself, it is bound to be distorted anyways. It’s Star Trek afterall.

That screen, together with LAB-A/LAB-B readouts and diagram of the beast, gives me a Doom 3 feel :)

Well, is there any chance for non-american viewer to see “After Trek” ?
Region-lock is a plague.

After trek is available on Netflix here in the U.K.

And on Space in Canada.

So I wonder, does the “tardigrade” originate from the mushroom dimension? Did it get pulled into our universe during some sort of “Black Mesa event” aboard USS Glenn?

Is this Star Trek, or Twin Peaks at warp? Tardigrades are not what they seem! ;)

I figure it’s from another dimension.

Isnt it a micro organism type deal…massively increased in size?

That would be interesting, especially given Burnhams reference to Alice’s size in the chase sequence.

Wikipedia description:

also known as water bears, space bears, or moss piglets)[2][3][4][5] are water-dwelling, eight-legged, segmented micro-animals.[2][6] They were first discovered by the German zoologist Johann August Ephraim Goeze in 1773. The name Tardigrada (meaning “slow stepper”) was given three years later by the Italian biologist Lazzaro Spallanzani.[7] They have been found everywhere: from mountaintops to the deep sea and mud volcanoes;[8] from tropical rain forests to the Antarctic.[9]

Tardigrades are one of the most resilient animals known.[10][11] Individual species of tardigrades can survive extreme conditions that would be rapidly fatal to nearly all other known life forms, including complete global mass extinction events due to astrophysical events, such as supernovae, gamma-ray bursts, or a large meteorite impacts.[10][11] Some tardigrades can withstand temperatures down to 1 K (−458 °F; −272 °C) (close to absolute zero) while others can withstand 420 K (300 °F; 150 °C)[12] for several minutes, pressures about six times greater than those found in the deepest ocean trenches, ionizing radiation at doses hundreds of times higher than the lethal dose for a human, and the vacuum of outer space.[13] They can go without food or water for more than 30 years, drying out to the point where they are 3% or less water, only to rehydrate, forage, and reproduce.[3][14][15][16] Tardigrades, living in harsh conditions, undergo an annual process of cyclomorphosis.

Tardigrades have barrel-shaped bodies with four pairs of stubby legs. Most range from 0.3 to 0.5 mm (0.012 to 0.020 in) in length, although the largest species may reach 1.2 mm

But they look so cuddly when they’re small — unless you’re algae or bacteria (which they eat). Also they live in water. And I don’t think they roar, but what do I know?

The first two paragraphs from the tardigrade entry in wikipedia explain a number of reasons why this animal might be included. And one of their pseudonames is “Space Bear”

Too bad they are showing behind the scenes. Takes the mystery away from the show. Discovery seems to be a Dark Star Trek. Alternate Universe Star Trek. Actually it’s only Star Trek by name and badge only. This show may be able to hold it’s own but it is not Gene Rodenberry’s Star Trek. It’s a hack. Sorry.

Trek needed to evolve in order to remain relevant. It was clear half way through VOY that the template laid down by Gene Roddenberry and Rick Berman in TNG was becoming stale. Take Endgame- it was essentially a phones in copy of All Good Things. ENT hammered the point home. 90s style Trek would not work in today’s TV environment. Each of Discovery’s three episodes feel brand new- and not rehashes of previous episodes from another sorry. It’s refreshing.

I’m sorry that you don’t enjoy this modern itineration, but I hope that you stick with it because the producers have spoken several times about how the show will get closer to the spirit of The Original Series as time goes by.

Gene Roddenberry has been dead for nearly 26 years.

And not all of his Star Trek was great. And it definitely had battles and conflict.

Gene Roddenberrys Star Trek also included writing never-used lyrics to the theme so he could cheat Mr. Courage out of 50% of his pay.

Someone actually did a jazz version of the theme a few years ago with the lyrics and, believe it or not, it wasn’t half-bad.

THE WRATH OF KHAN definitely wasn’t Gene Roddenberry’s Star Trek either. We know this, because he was fairly vocal about it at the time. That didn’t stop the majority of fans and critics from liking it, though.

A little help requested here. I’ve watched episode 3 twice, and still have no idea why a Klingon was aboard the Glenn. I must’ve missed the explanation.

Lil’ help? Thanks.

He was there to salvage weapons, and anything else of interest.

They said the Klingons likely came across a drifting Star Fleet ship and boarded it to gain intel.

What a vast improvement from last week. I enjoyed this After Trek very much.

I’m deliberately NOT watching After Trek, because I don’t want spoilers. You only get one shot at watching the Discovery episodes for the first time, and I want all the surprises the writers have built into the scripts. I might watch After Trek after the season has concluded, to get behind-the-scenes tidbits.

So, TrekMovie, I won’t be reading your articles about After Trek until the first season concludes, either. No offense meant. :-)

It’s *after*, there aren’t a lot of spoilers. But I agree, it takes some of the fun away.

I liked Episode 3 far, far more than the first two episodes. The idea that this is a show that follows a Section 31 ship — which is how I’m interpreting what’s on screen — is intriguing enough to keep me engaged a little longer.

I’m just hoping that, like “Enterprise,” we get an in-universe explanation for the baffling change in Klingon appearance. (Personally, I suspect it will have to do with the Spore Drive, but we’ll just have to see.)

Why would a Spore Drive on Discovery alter the appearance of Klingons in other locations?

The change modernizes the show and frankly is fixing a problem that existed throughout Star Trek: All aliens looked too much “human”, at some point one riddle on a nose tip was the distinct mark of another specie. Never made sense. The change is very welcoming. In fact, there was quite a few changes to the Klingon appearance since TOS. And you can tell that they made the species in DIS very distinct. They look alien.

Soooooo…we can all agree that this is Section 31, right? Right?

No. Or, at least, I hope not.

As a writer, I don;t believe in sequels or prequels or midquels. I believe a story should be strong enough to stand on its own.
Here’s one of the problems with ST: Discovery which is the prequel to the original Star Trek. It takes place about ten years earlier when Kirk is still a cadet in Star Fleet. The science and technology discussed in EP 03 and Captain Lorca played by Jason Isaacs building of an organic propulsion system is far more advanced than the ST classic series with Capt, Kirk. Star Fleet has barely achieved basic hyperdrive”/”time warp” drive combination,. Trekkies know that throughout the limited three-season run the Enterprise went from doing warp 2.5 to warp 4.5 by season three end.
Organic instantaneous propulsion as discussed in ST: Discovery EP03 which takes place in the year 2256, is light years ahead of where the technology would be in the year 2266 with Capt Kirk at the helm. And since SF is still battling Klingons in Kirk’s time we know that Capt. Lorca must have failed with his organic instantaneous propulsion drive.
READ: http://www.eonline.com/…/star-trek-discovery-s-jason-isaacs…
About Warp Drive:
1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Warp_drive
2. The Vulcans were an interstellar civilization by 9th century BC and had reached the level of warp 7 by 2151. About the timeline of ST: Enterprise and Capt Archer 100 years before ST: Discovery

Lordy. No disrespect intended, but this is an old discussion. You can look just a few threads back and read what Jason Isaacs had to say about it, for goodness’ sake. Do you really think the writers haven’t even bothered to consider how this ultimately would fit into Trek continuity?

I find After Trek fun, funny, and engaging. I enjoy it.

I was confused by Harbert’s sweater. Did it have an unfortunate spore drive accident?

Looking forward to Sunday!

The tribble was spayed and neutered? What the hell is that crap? If tribbles are so common then why was McCoy making such an effort to see what keeps them alive?

I’m sorry but this reeks of an excuse to get a tribble on screen so fan boys can have a fan-gasm.

At this point I’m not caring what they say about it being in the prime timeline. From where I sit this has Kelvin timeline written all over it. That can change if they start adhering to established TOS canon better, however.

TOS is not what makes the canon. Sorry to break that bubble. The whole Star Trek universe including DIS IS the base of the cannon. If they do not break the currently known timeline of events of past history, they can’t be out of cannon. And episode order does not make the canon. If you see soemthing in a episode for the first time, it does not mean that you can write down the timestamp and say it was the first time something happened. Regarding technology: it appears that StarFleet might have explored other means of FTL locomotion. You really think they only researched warp drives? Discovery is probably only one of its kind, built specifically for “Scientific” research, but as it ends up, probably its true (secret) assignement is at the fringe of scientific research, and it is very highly probable that the technology to harness the multidimensional capability of the spores was kept secret (hint: only 2 ships were equipped, they were still trying to find how it worked, not without some breakthrough on the USS Glenn.

And it is easy to explain why we never heard of that before. First we first hear about it now. And then we know it will not resurface again according to the canon timeline. Guess what? Those were military secrets that might have died long time ago after some of the most advance tech was not needed or blatantly made illegal in the Federation, like cloaking devices and other military advantages. And certainly what we know about the Discovery captain is that he is not exactly one to follow the rules when his mandate gives him full authority on whatever mean necessary to win the war.