Ted Sullivan Talks Mirror Universe, USS Defiant, Season 2 And More During ‘Star Trek: Discovery’ Q&A

(Photo: Ted Sullivan)

As he has in the past, today Ted Sullivan used time waiting for a flight to do an impromptu fan Q&A on Twitter. The Star Trek: Discovery co-executive producer was on his way to New York to appear on Sunday’s After Trek.  The Q&A covered a lot of issues, including clarifying a hot topic regarding the USS Defiant in “Despite Yourself,” as well as talking about season 2. We grabbed the highlights and organized them into topics for you to find out what was said.

Explaining why USS Defiant looked different

One of the issues coming out of last week’s episode (“Despite Yourself”) is why the USS Defiant wireframe image appeared different than the known design of the TOS Constitution Class ship.

Constitution Class USS Defiant as seen in “Despite Yourself” has some differences

Ted confirmed that while it has been in the Mirror Universe (after it was brought over in the 22nd century in Enterprise’s “In a Mirror, Darkly”), the ship has had some work done. 

Defending the new look of Discovery

As a couple of fans in the Twitter thread debated how Discovery has introduced new looks, Ted jumped in again on the conversation noting that it is expected for a modern show to make changes vs the original series from 50 years ago.

Finding a “unique” (and less sexual) approach to Mirror Universe

Some of the questions covered how Discovery team wanted to do a “unique” take on the Mirror Universe, which was introduced in last weekend’s episode “Despite Yourself.”

More familiar faces coming to Discovery…Shran and Q?

Ted also fielded some questions about additional characters from Trek canon like Sarek and Harry Mudd being used in the future.

What about the lesser known bridge crew?

Ted also confirmed that we will learn more about some of the lesser known characters from the USS Discovery bridge crew.

Work progressing on Season 2 … with some new writers

We still don’t know when the second season of Discovery will debut, but work on it has been ongoing for a while already, including some new writers.

Behind the scenes with writers, cast and crew

Ted also fielded a number of questions about life as a writer on Star Trek: Discovery.

More from Ted Sunday night on After Trek

You can hear more from Ted tomorrow night as he is one of the guests on the official Discovery after show, along with Shazad Latif (Lt. Tyler). You can submit questions via Twitter to @startrekcbs using the hashtag #AfterTrek.

Star Trek: Discovery is available exclusively 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.

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Has Joe Menosky left the writing staff? His name has not been on the opening credits the last few episodes. A shame if true.

I still think the whole “update for a modern audience “when it comes to ship design is a cop out. If you check the web youll dons some excellent designs for ships which add detail and yet still pay homage to canon. Just look at how the TOS Enterprise was handled on TNG, DS9 and the Defiant on Enterprise. She looked great had added detail and yet was still the ship we all loved. I’m sorry, this idea about a younger audience is fine, but you have millions of fans in the late 30’s and up who watched all the series, have the buying power for the enevitanle merchandising etc, and will watch the shows . I still feel some deference should be given to us, since without us their would have been no Discovery!

Really. And what did you think about the redesign of every single visual element done for the Motion Picture? Why was that done? Certainly not to keep the look and feel of what the fans from TOS had cherished. Realistically how does an entire universe change in what should have been less then 5 years time. As for fans of the original show, you do realize that most of us should realistically speaking be deceased by now. Certainly the average viewer should be passed the average life expectancy for that era.

The idea isn’t necessarily a younger audience (though with a property of over 50 years, it’s statistically extremely likely), it’s a newer audience. Reaching people who might not have ever been exposed to the previous series let alone one from 5 decades previous.

Thanks to the Netflix deal for the vast portion of the world’s audience and the limit of CBS All Access for the US, this show is most likely getting viewed by newcomers (or at least those who aren’t well established fans) far more then what happened with previous shows.

As for your opinion about updated ships designs, you do realize that the Discovery is a fairly mild update from design work from the 70’s. As for the wireframe of the Defiant shown. Well it’s not that far removed from the original design. And consider that in universe the model in the Motion Picture (let alone every single set inside) is supposed to be a refit from the ship in TOS. Something that took what almost 2 years per dialogue from the Motion Picture. Yet the mirror Universe has had possession of th eDefiant for over 70 years to make changes.

While I do admit I am not a fan of the Klingon ships we have seen, we also don’t have a single Klingon reference ship from this period. We don’t see a D7 in universe for another 13 years.

Indeed. Updating the looks for HD is one thing – adding useless, nonsensical “elbows” on nacelle pylons is entirely different thing. Changes for the sake of changes… who needs that?

It’s like making Murder on the Orient Express and changing the train into a monorail for the sake of “modern global audience” :-P

I 100% agree with you. People who are new to Trek could care less about what the ships look like. However these guys changing just fr the sake of changing is lame. Star Trek 2009 at least had an alternate timeline. This is really lame. I tried hard to like this show but it misses many things. I’m enjoying the high end fan productions and Orville. Not perfect but have the spirit of Trek!

I totally agree! I remember the same conversations when Star Trek Enterprise launched. However, In a Mirror Darkly proved that the original ship design held up just fine for the modern audience of 2005. Up-to-date lighting and camera techniques go a long way to making the classic designs look far more modern than how things looked in 1966 (even though the sets were virtually identical). Although I really do enjoy Disco, I do get annoyed when they change things just to change them. For example, the Terran Empire logo. Unnecessary to change a detail like that especially when they kept things like the Klingon logo looking like the correct classic design. I would love to see more honoring the past rather than completely changing the look of everything.

Yes, to use Enterprise as an example of what audiences will embrace; a show few people watched and fewer liked.

Surely because of the visuals…

I understand and agree with the ship design argument in general. They set it 10 years before TOS in the prime universe it needs to be modernized, sure, but it still needs to look like it will fit in with the TOS visual style. That said, regarding the Defiant, one must remember that ship has been in the mirror universe for for some 130 years. It really DOES make sense it would be altered in some way just to stay operational.

I disagree. It looked fantastic to people like you and me that have grew up watching the show but those episodes benefitted from nostalgia and being one offs. You couldn’t, and I say this with some sadness, but you really couldn’t use ship models and sets like the 1701 A’s shown in episodes like Relics, Trials and Tribbelations and In a Mirror Darkly on a weekly basis and expect to appeal to a broader audience.

You mean like how Star Wars hasn’t updated it’s look in over 40 years? Look at all those mods and tweaks to the Millenium Falcon and Star Destroyers and Xwings.

Big blasts visuals are not a good substitute for good stories that spans decades. I’d be less concerned with Visuals and tell him to write a better story with less plot holes.

I’m not a fan of the snarky writer remarks on “cheap 60s show” like it’s something to scoff at.

Starwars started its life as a movie with a vastly larger budget and detailed ships. Their designs hold up easier than those of TOS.

No, just watched rogue 1 the big old toggle buttons and ugly screens with 70s graphics. Not to mention Darth Vader’s 70s era toggle buttons on his chest. You telling us an advanced society would have buttons you’d find in a 70s era Monte Carlo?

No touchscreens and lensflares Star Wars was literally made 6 years after Trek.

How dare trek have a jeweled button on a console. Wanting to change and revamp everything is an excuse for bad writing.

Perfectly said. The “update for a modern audience” is a complete copout!! Details can be updated and added while still retaining the original look. That goes from everything from ship design to costume, etc.

I LOVE the original series. That’s my Trek. I also love Next Gen. But, at this point, someone should simply move forward and not backward, telling new stories aboard a new Post Next Gen Enterprise with some connection to the original series. There’d be less cannon problems, and more freedom.

I am following the storyline of this new series, seeing clips, etc., but will not be paying for CBS streaming just to watch it.

Too bad Michelle Yeoh will probably pop up again. What a shitty actress. She really stinks up the place.

Hi Harry, I’ve often liked and respected your views on the writing in the JJ Trek movies, but I’m afraid I can’t share your opinion of Michelle Yeoh. Obviously, this is your view and I respect your right to share it.
However, I thought she was the best part of the Discovery season openers and I really regretted that her character would not be contributing further.

Hi Winkie, I appreciate that we all have different opinions. It’s like disagreeing on a song you might like or hate.

Very true, imagine the nightmare world where we all liked the same stuff!

Best wishes Harry

Not really the same. Liking or disliking a song is subjective. Someone being a good actor isn’t. Whether you like them as an actor is. But saying she can’t act is factually incorrect.

Sorry TUP but thats subjective too. People argue ALL the time if an actor can really act or not. I take Tom Cruise, some people really like him because he’s so committed to every role he does. Others think he’s a bad actor because it feels like he’s just playing Tom Cruise all the time even if he’s believable. No one is really right or wrong, its just their perception.

I think Yeoh is a great actress but I would be lying if I said her work on Discovery has been amazing. I like her character but some of her lines did feel forced in the pilot for some reason. It didn’t feel natural but it doesn’t mean I didn’t like her either.

I find her dialogue delivery very wooden as if she’s reading her lines off a TelePrompTer that she is seeing for the very first time. I can’t understand what people find so amazing and compelling about her performance.

She is definitely the weakest of this cast’s actors. She’s so wooden, she’s practically a tree.

You are certainly an authority on stinking up the place.

I am a big Michelle Yeow fan. Still waiting for the Marco Polo spin-off: Lotus & Hundred Eyes & a Pizza Joint.

Well, crap. I’m such a fan, I misspelled her name. Still a fan, though.

yeah…very stilted performance…be it natural or by direction, it was very cookie cutter and life-less. Our lead was no better…or the actor portraying Sarek, for that matter. That’s why I wonder if they are being directed to have this solemn, wooden demeanor. It’s like some weird “this is how starfleet is” sort of thing, mandate…kind of like Lucas and his atrocious direction of Natalie Portman and others in his prequels. Because of colorful performances by others, I’m leaning towards less-than-stellar acting chops. But if it IS direction, I wish they would stop. Amazing acting is deeply engaging and hard to not watch…so far, in Discovery, I’m spending way too much time watching the sets instead of the people.

There’s a big difference between a visual reboot and a visual update. Look at doctor who as an example of a visual update. Or rogue one. Perfect. There’s really no excuse for sneaking around the issue! That being said, I’m enjoying the show. It’s good fun.

Wow a lot of great insight. I would LOVE a Q popping up, that would be great. Oh wait, its a prequel and Q first showed up in TNG so we can’t use him I guess. Oh wait, no Starfleet ship showed up in the MU either until TOS and yet here we are, so yeah anything is possible in a prequel when you retcon everything. ;)

The reasons for Defiant looking different though makes sense. Its been a century since we seen it so yeah I expect them to upgrade in and in fact every ship seems to get upgrades after 10-20 years….imagine a hundred?

Thing is that, even by the time of Discovery, Defiant is still a decade more advanced that anything Terrans have. What exactly would they upgrade it with, if it is their most advanced piece of technology?

After all, it’s the Defiant from late 2260s, so it’s likely already been upgraded over the basic 2240s Constitution class.


100 years of putting your best scientists in charge of understanding the advanced tech, retro-engineering the work and advancing it…

It considerably changes the Mirror Universe’s travel abilities and materiel, including possibly allowing the ISS Enterprise to annihilate the likes of the Halkans.

Plus, the ISS Enterprise 10 year’s later doesn’t have these “upgrades” meaning they would have made the Defiant more battle ready and then designed newer ships based on what they learned 100 years earlier.

@TF73 — based on what? The shots of the CAGE pilot enterprise being shown in reverse? Even that ship is different looking — and older — than what they inherited with the Defiant. Basing anything on visual canon established in the 1960s is ridiculous.


It could be that the ISS Enterprise simply had more advanced onboard systems – ‘under the bonnet,’ effectively. The points on the MI Enterprise’s nacelles could have been weapons, for example. The Lexington, Constellation or Excalibur could have been even wilder looking in the MU, but we haven’t seen them yet.

End of the day, I’m perfectly content with the visual look being updated to suit a 4K, 2.4:1 aspect ratio, 21st Century series. If they showed a Constitution-class Enterprise in Discovery, I’d be fine with the basic concept being used, but it’s ridiculous to think they’d use painted plywood sets with static 4:3 images on screens and flashing coloured switches that serve no purpose in this day and age. New Voyages and, especially, Continues were effectively season fours of Star Trek Remastered and used that to their advantage.

In the case of the new show, they haven’t been shy about taking the bull by the horns and imagining the design work as it would look from a 21st Century perspective, including the fabulous and terrifying new look Klingons that actually remind me a lot of the TMP Klingons.

I liked the design of the Defiant; it looked like a Constitution-class vessel to me, only a little more detailed. In general, it’s easy for people to get way too fussy about these things.

So sick to death of the discussion of visual updates, changes and continuity. We’ve been talking about it for almost two years solid.

At this point it’s moot. Better or worse, like it or loathe it, this is the way things are. Move along.

It definitely feels like a very broken record by now. If some people don’t like the direction the Star Trek franchise has taken I can understand that the visual updates are just another element that’s wrong to them. However, they have to realize that 60’s or even 90’s Trek is not coming back. On the other hand, there are fans who generally enjoy the show but are still hung up on the design choices or the setting. In a way it’s preventing them from fully enjoying the show for what it is, which is sad.

What I find funny is when sports fans yell at their tv, talk about what a team should do or who they should hire or heck even uniform choices, that’s all okay with people. When Trek fans do something similar it’s “old” or “tired arguments” or “it isn’t what is it.. it’s just a show”. Why can’t we be passionate about our show and although enjoy it and want kore – be critical about it if we think something isn’t right? The visuals are important to Trek because it’s a TV show and movies. It’s a visual medium! So yeah I can be passionate about my opinions since I’ve been a fan for 40years, gone to conventions, met most of the actors, bought plenty of merchandise and believe in the shows message. I think myself and others like me can contribute with our opinions and because we know the big wigs who run things actually look at these posts and articles on here- we’ll i will keep expressing my views. The visuals are not better, they should continue the design Aesthetic of the original show as much as possible while updating for the new generation and technologies. If people on the internet can do it with no budget, then they should be able to as well with the amount of money it costs to make each episode. Change for changes sake isn’t not necessarily a good thing. Star Trek has a history, the history should be respected. If watching a ww2 movie you saw a modern M1A2Abrams tank rolling around you’d be up in arms that they got it wrong and it doesn’t make sense! So that’s all I’m complaining about. I like Discovery, I watch Discovery but I don’t look at it as Trek because so much isn’t different with no feelings of continuity. Heck even the Klingon D-7 looks NOTHiNG like it should..

This is not analogous to sports. For one thing, sports teams change rosters and performance fluctuates on a constant basis. Complain about a slumping player or team and 3 weeks later that player may be the best performer, and the team might suddenly be in playoff contention.

Secondly, I do hate when people harp on a player or team ad nauseum.

As for your opinion, no one is going to stop you from expressing them but I’ll certainly let you know how tiresome and wasted they are. When my favorite comics character changed direction in the late 90s and was no longer what I wanted I was disappointed and saddened too… but I didn’t scream and shout like a baby for years, I stopped reading it and moved on like an adult.

Your silly looking Trek is dead. Move along.


Exactly. I didn’t care much for TNG through Enterprise or the TNG films, but I really ike Discovery. I loved Hartnell, Troughton and Tom Baker Doctor and pretty much hate the new show.

With longstanding franchises running for decades, there’ll inevitably be periods that drive one away and others might bring some fans back.

“So sick to death of the discussion of visual updates, changes and continuity.”

So stop reading about it.

I find this comment laughably ironic because of YOUR constant talking about it; if you don’t like the visual changes, stop talking about it.

For my part, I’m not reading about it. I don’t click on inspipid articles and obnoxious YouTube videos with titles like “40 ways Discovery has screwed up Star Trek continuity.”

Yet when I click on a review or discussion of a new episode I’m bombarded with dozens of Dana’s screaming the same tired arguments about how it doesn’t look like it takes place ten years before TOS.

Take your own advice.


Well said.

Shran was one of my favourite characters in Enterprise. Jeffrey Combs is a great actor and I love his performances in DS9 and Re-Animator.

Yeah, it is a shame they have established that Shran is dead. But I hope they use Combs in an other role.

When did they establish that?

Regarding TOS budgets: Ted’s facts are a bit out of order. TOS may look “cheap” by today’s standards, and yes, they continually struggled to stay on budget, but it certainly wasn’t cheap at the time, which was one of NBC’s complaints. When ST first aired it was one of the most expensive shows to produce on TV. Its per-episode budgets were second only to those of Mission: Impossible. The need to re-use props and costumes became particularly more pronounced in the third season, when Fred Freiberger was given clear marching orders to keep the show within budget – which it had frequently exceeded during the first two seasons under Roddenberry.

Regardless, the TOS costume and set design aesthetics simply look dated by today’s standards, so expecting Discovery to look anything like TOS beyond the nods already made would be unrealistic. I think they made the right decisions and that they’ve done a pretty good job (although I’m not a big fan of some of Eaves’ designs).

Agreed You want cheap-looking, watch Bonanza.

Of course TOS uniforms and costumes did receive a visual update for ’09 and it worked. It was never their intention to update the visual aesthetic so much as entirely rebooting it and that’s exactly what they did. It’s not that they couldn’t, they just didn’t want to.

Technically speaking they’re updating The Cage era uniforms, there’s nothing to say that they won’t go for something like the JJ movies the nearer they get to that time period.Imagine if they was doing a Stargazer era show, would anybody really expect them to use the adapted movie era uniforms that were shown in TNG? Likewise if they were doing a post Nemesis series should they go back to the uniforms shown in All Good Things? Of course not, these were costumes thrown together for one off episodes. Had they been producing a new show set in those periods they would have allocated a lot more funds to come up with an iconic design. As fond as we all out of the uniforms used in The Cage it was a pilot, a proof of concept if you will. Even Rodenberry ditched those uniforms at the first opportunity.

@TFFL — right! TV Shows produced today have the exact same budget constraints, attempting a more ambitious effort than their budget really supports. TOS was no different. The difference is, the technology used today allows for a much more sophisticated look than that used 50 years ago. So audiences expect something that looks much different today than was possible with the equivalent money then. And it’s not limited to cheap sets. It’s also about design concepts and vision. Regardless of how well the Jeffries’ Enterprise design holds up after 50 years, there are still things about it that are rooted in what was considered progressive from that time. There’s a reason why they updated the Enterprise look in 1979, and it wasn’t because of cheap TV production standards from 15 years earlier. I love the original Enterprise, but there’s plenty of times I see it on screen and think it looks awkward sometimes, and or it could be improved in various ways to appear more graceful and dare I say, modern.

I was really offended by his truly clueless statement.

I don’t completely dismiss everything negative but sometimes I think some naysayers simply complain for the sake of complaining. Regarding the Defiant, it has been stuck in the MU since Archer took the ship from the Tholians more than 100 years earlier, so OF COURSE IT IS GOING TO LOOK DIFFERENT!!

Discovery certainly has its flaws, it’s not perfect by any means. But some people act like pst Trek has been the pinnacle of visual style and storytelling. As if TOS is the gospel we should always be aspiring to.

Want to discuss Discovery’s narrative flaws? Or how the visuals might weaken the message the show is conveying? Make a fair argument backed up with logical points.

“It doesn’t look like a kids tv show from 1966!” is no longer worthy of discussion. It was a debatable and interesting discussion for a while but that ship has now sailed.

At this point some fans are just angry they didn’t get what they wanted and want to spew their bile to annoy the rest of us.

Well, mission accomplished!

But this is why its best just to avoid prequels, especially if you are going to completely change the look to everything that came before. I predicted two things months before we saw the first trailer. That A. The show would naturally look very updated and advance like the KT films and B. That it would anger many fans who expected a TOS aesthetic. Neither surprised me and here is another prediction, this will never be dropped UNLESS they figure out a way to show the older aesthetic in some form to please those and say ‘see, there is an example of what you want in our universe now shut up about it.’

For the record I’m VERY happy the show is updated of course and don’t mind it looks different but yes even I admit its distracting in a way because it really feels like it should be post Voyager but it is what it is. I just try to accept the show on its own and I know some people just tell themselves its ub another universe and not the prime universe. I think thats silly too but whatever it takes for people to like I guess.

Tiger2 you saved me a lot of typing. Ditto

Wasn’t Star Trek a pretty expensive show for its time, and not a “cheap” sci fi show. That’s one reason they cut the budget third season. Also the business about the neck and nacelles being easy targets. No, they’re not any more vulnerable than is the rest of the vessel to space weapons. The shield are the cornerstone of the ship’s strength. A hit on bare metal of the saucer or the engineering hull will still make severe trouble. Certainly if the nacelles haven’t flown off those spindly struts, Starfleet must have some awesome metals and construction methods. Vulnerability began in Star Trek II, when shields powerful enough to stop V’ger were neglected by the characters (via the script). The subsequent movies kind of ignored, or conveniently disabled, shield power so damage (exciting) could be shown. Did the reboot ship even have shields? Too Star Trekky? But let’s face it, since TMP, the Enterprise hasn’t encountered anything as powerful as what it faced in TOS.

@Kev-1 — Sullivan has it wrong, and pompously so … it’s not about the budget TOS had. Because, budget is not the whole story. Design sensibilities of the early 1960s come into play, just as they do today. They updated the Enterprise in 1979 too, partly because of budget, partly because of style.

I do agree that using STB is a weak excuse which the re-design he’s defending does little to support. The struts are still exposed in the same way. And what difference does it make if the engines are attached directly to the ship? If there’s no shields, they’ll just punch holes into the ship, as they did in STB, killing more crew, and just as effectively disabling the engines. The whole STB impulse engines being tied into the warp nacelles but wouldn’t engage because the saucer wasn’t separated properly was just stupid. And so is Sullivan, evidently, by using that as a defense for his changes.

Yeah, I’m getting a bit emotional there. I just meant to say it doesn’t matter what the Enterprise looks like, it could be made of wood; without shields it can’t survive at all. The sci-fi angle. Agree with your comments.

Ted’s responses could have been a bit more graceful. Referring to the original series as a ‘cheap 60s show’ is a response you would never have received from anyone who worked on any previous incarnation of Star Trek. He should have responded by saying that it was necessary to update the visual aesthetic for a global audience in much the same way TMP, Enterprise and JJ’s movie had done before.

He does not come across well here.

TOS was not “cheap” by any standards of the day. It was one of the most expensive shows on tv at the time. They simply didn’t have enough money to do the kind of show they were attempting. It was ground-breaking television.

He needs to know what he’s talking about before making statements like that.

Agreed. ALso, Matt Jeffries didn’t just design for the sake of design. He used split level and removable pie-wedges, for interesting cinematography…and everything is color-coded…it looks good and it makes sense. The angle of the controls, panels and screens above are have purpose. Everything he designed was practical, incorporating ergonomics into the aesthetics. Practical design and imaginative thought. Take the knob control on Spock’s viewer, for instance. It isn’t just a knob. It’s a weird…not of this time, one handed, user friendly interface with an outer rotating ring, rotated by holding a smaller rotating ” handle”. with another smaller fine-tuning, rotating knob on top of that! (see the video) it’s thinking out of the box…allows much functionality to be controlled by one hand. He didn’t have to do that. He could’ve glued a knob off a TV onto the side. But he didn’t.

All the polish and spit-shine in the world doesn’t help a set that is designed poorly…like maybe WAY too big…and all one color…loaded with impractical touch screens. Shut your eyes sometime and try to open and operate any specific app on your phone or tablet sometime. Non tactile controls…sorry Discovery…bad idea in high stress situations…your controls that mix both worlds are probably the best thought-out designs. try to keep it simple and practical or, like Spock’s viewer control, innovative…whether it’s ever explained on camera or not.

He’s enthusiastic. Gotta give him that.

As far as the cheap 60’s uniforms, they could have done like J.J. Abrams did and given them a modern twist.
It sure would be nice too if they would stop recycling TOS characters and plot elements.

Hey Ted, Star Trek wasn’t a “cheap 60s show”. It had a budget comparable to most dramas of the time. Your show clearly has no respect for the design aesthetic of that “cheap 60s show” which started all of this. A creative art department could have designed a modern show AND stayed true to the established Star Trek universe. You’re full of BS.

It’s fascinating to watch the actors and the production (business) leads on After Trek. You get the impression they’re ‘handlers’, making sure an actor doesn’t overstep. Just watch the facial/body language — speaks volumes.

I can’t watch After Trek. It’s nowhere near as informative or entertaining as Talking Dead.

Ha. Never expected to have my tweets quoted :D

Boy this Ted Sullivan sounds like a jerk. I think there is more creative redressing that could have been done to make TOS look similar but modernized. I’m thinking more toward Black Mirror’s Callister which had some of the same aesthetics but modernized a bit. They could up the modernizing a bit from BM’s Callister and still kept more of the feel. I think the Discovery props did a great job in this regard. Ship design, not so much IMHO.

I guess modern audiences prefer gaudy versions of classic Trek ship design? Baloney. But I can accept a toy shop version of the Constitution Class with silly rocket ship elbows and wonky proportions as a Terran Empire bastardization though. I’m glad to be a part of the modern audience.

His disrespect of TOS design as cheap when Enterprise proved you can have best of both worlds are one of the reasons that this show doesnt work for me.

That kind of line demonstrates a disrespect of Trek. And why DSC is my least fav Trek show

I think updating a Constitution Class Enterprise made more sense with Discovery. Also the spore (fungi) drive which I guess ties to similar threads called mycellium. Apparently the tardigrades can release or consume these spores and can travel between dimensions…and this is just plain stupid. Just keep the warp drive and maybe go transwarp which was I believe mentioned in one of the movies. Discovery should try to connect from the Klingon (with outfits and makeup that don’t look like Party City specials) and stick to the Klingon of the TOS era where the virus that inflected the Klingon culture caused the raised brow bridges, etc. Why change this? There are those who like Discovery because they have finally shown a gay relationship on a Starship. Beyond did that far better with the depiction of Sulu, his daughter and his spouse..made it normal without overemphasizing the issue. The writers and producers of this series are simply idiots.. I think now I understand why Fuller left. I watched a few episodes and between laughing and being upset about how the series made a mockery of years of Trek, I cancelled CBS All Access. It’ll probably be popular to the kids who eat Tide PODs.


The designs for sci fi TV shows almost always reflect a contemporary aesthetic of one simple concept.
“Does it look futuristic?”
In the 60s, 70s, 90s and so on the shows and movies have televisually and cinematically reflected what looks futuristic to the audience of the day.

If the makers of Discovery were making a show that was going to be beamed back in time then, sure, stick with 60s aesthetic. But they aren’t. They are making a show that has to stand up against an entire genre of work from other productions.

Star Wars is one of very few sci fi franchises that began its conceptual design without the intent of reflecting current fashion and ideas of how space stuff should be shiny, (by comparison look at the costumes and hair on the original BSG, which was to the 70s and 80s, what Trek was to the 60s in the design stakes.) and tonally in keeping with current film/TV making. That’s why most of the designs stand up to revisiting 40 years down the line. ST-TOS had no such intention. The designs if not the story lines were very much a 1960s vision of the future.

A lot has been made over the years about how Gene either influenced or predicted tech that has come along since the 1701 took its first flight. But few imagined that we would have skipped waaaaay past a lot of those ideas by the turn of the last century.

People watching the show, and I mean “people” not fans, don’t want their suspension of disbelief to be jarred by a spaceship, or control panel or vfx that looks like it came from the 1960s.

All of which is why designs are tweaked, nurdled and smoothed out, to look both reverent and… relevant.