Today Star Trek: Discovery executive producers and showrunners Aaron Harberts and Gretchen J. Berg participated in a panel on TV’s intersection about politics and social issues with EPs from other CBS shows at the Winter TCA Tour. They also talked about where Discovery is going for the rest of the first season and even talked a bit about the second.
Huge developments for second chapter of season 1
Here is how the AV Club reported on discussion for the remainder of season one:
Berg advised fans to “buckle up,” because the show is “introducing a huge new development.” “It’ll be fun for Trek fans,” Harberts chimed in, teasing a “nice nod to stuff from [The Original Series]. This back half—what happens tomorrow night firmly anchors the back half to the season. It’s definitely again a war story, as far as how it’ll play out, but our characters find themselves in a place where their identities are challenged. It’s an emotionally wrought back half. Very intense. The cast has done some amazing work.”
Berg also offered this hint that we may again see Michelle Yeoh’s Captain Georgiou:
“I’d say, keep watching, because Georgiou is such a huge part of the heart who was Michael Burnham. If that’s something you’re invested in, keep watching because I think you hopefully will enjoy what we’re going to do.”
Making news in season one
The issue of how the show has sparked some controversy was also discussed at the panel, as noted by Deadline:
Harberts reported his CBS All Access series had been “in the news quite a bit” because people thought that, in this iteration of the long-running franchise, the Klingon’s represented Donald Trump supporters what with being isolationists obsessed with racial purity. Some white male viewers complained they felt “marginalized” by this franchise iteration. But, Harberts told TV critics, their fan base is smart and told those complainers “if you can’t handle it, you’re not a Trek fan and you should walk away.”
And Variety picked up on talk about the same-sex relationship between Lt. Stamets and Dr. Culber:
Berg and Harberts pointed to the breakthrough on “Discovery” with the portrayal of the first gay relationship in the “Star Trek” universe. It was particularly meaningful that the two characters were not first defined for the audience as gay but rather as competent pros — a doctor and a scientist — with key positions on the starship. Their relationship was introduced matter-of-factly with little fanfare when the two were shown brushing their teeth together in the morning.
“We had them lead with competence,” Harberts said. “It was surprising the way the audience embraced them so quickly — it obviously touched a nerve in how people felt gay characters have been presented” in the past, he said.
Exploring for season 2
There was also some talk about the work that has recently commenced on developing the second season of Discovery (via AVClub):
Harberts pushes the more traditional Trek angle as something the duo “wants to explore more” in the new season, which they just started working last month. He acknowledges the “well-documented” embattled season-one production, but enthuses that “This year, we have a fantastic creative team in place, everybody knows each other. But we also have time this year—we have time to do things like more away missions, newer planets. These are stories that might fall a little bit more into a framework of allegory that people love to get from Trek. But we will always continue to have that overarching serialized thread.” And as for the themes or potential storylines, Harberts teased an exploration of faith and “science versus faith.” And again, there will be much more of the TOS canon that will at least be nodded to in the new episodes, which should temporarily please some sticklers.
Season 2 already being written – new writer added to team
For proof that they are indeed working on the second season, last week Harberts shared this image on Twitter.
— Aaron Harberts (@AaronHarberts) January 1, 2018
And earlier this week it was announced on Twitter a new writer had joined the Discovery team. Vaun Wilmott, formerly executive producer and writer for Fox’s Prison Break and Syfy’s Dominion, has joined the staff.
— Vaun Wilmott (@VaunWilmott) January 3, 2018
Star Trek: Discovery is available exclusive in the USA on CBS All Access. It airs in Canada on the Space Channel and on Netflix outside the USA and Canada.
Keep up with all the Star Trek: Discovery news at TrekMovie.