WATCH: ‘Star Trek: Discovery’ Bonus Scene Reveals A Familiar Storyline For Season Two


The WonderCon Star Trek: Discovery “Visionaries” panel wrapped a little while ago, and TrekMovie will have a full report on that coming up. For now we can share the clip that was shown during the panel, and just released by CBS. The clip is a scene originally shot for the season finale, but was not used.

Showrunner Aaron Harberts introduced it saying “we are calling it a secret scene.” He said it was originally part of the finale, however they decided it would be “more exciting to bring it to a place like [WonderCon].” The scene takes place after Burnham and Georgiou parted company on Qo’noS. Harberts noted that the scene shows “where the Emperor ended up.” Check it out below. (NOTE: Clip is provided by CBS and so it is region-locked to the USA. For Canadian viewers Space has released their version. An international version has been released by Netflix.)


Welcome to Section 31

The scene features Michelle Yeoh as the former Terran Emperor Georgiou, now apparently running a bar in the Orion Compound on the Klingon homeworld. She is approached by a mysterious person who feels her talents are being wasted, so he recruits her into Section 31, proving the speculation about the black badges is correct. This means that there are (or at least were) Section 31 operatives on the USS Discovery.

Black badge confirmed to be part of Section 31

It was revealed at the panel that this Section 31 operative, named Leland, will be part of season two. This character is played by actor Alan Van Sprang (Reign, Shadowhunters), who made a surprise appearance at the panel, telling the audience he is honored to be part of Star Trek and is a big fan, especially of The Next Generation.

Section 31 operative played by Alan Van Sprang

UPDATE: New Photos

CBS has released 3 photos from this ‘bonus scene.’

Michelle Yeoh as Philippa Georgiou; Alan Van Sprang as Leland

Michelle Yeoh as Philippa Georgiou

Alan Van Sprang as Leland

More WonderCon 2018

Check out our report from earlier covering the IDW Star Trek comics panel, including the announcement of a new TNG mini-series.
Stay tuned for our full coverage of the Discovery panel and more.


Star Trek: Discovery is available exclusively in the USA on CBS All Access. It airs in Canada on the Space Channel and streams on CraveTV. It is available on Netflix everywhere else.

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

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This is awesome! Was wondering when 31 would formally show up. Their hands shoudl have been all over the war across Season 1… but, recruiting Mirror Georgiou will have to do for a start… and recruiting her makes perfect sense given the nature of her ‘mirror morality’. Perhaps this will also be the way they get Ash Tyler back into The Fold…

Yeah, more than likely they probably were there from the beginning under Fuller and maybe someone decided it would be better to push them back to season 2. I mean there was already a LOT going on lol.

And yeah them recruiting Mirror Georgiou makes a lot of sense. Can you imagine THAT partnership? Look out alpha quadrant. ;D

Yeah, since if you read about Section 31’s exploits on Qo’noS in the Ongoing comic series. Ash Tyler probably knew about them since he was security officer since Section 31 is a unpredictable threat as we’ve seen in ENT, Into Darkness & DS9. Who knows what they’ll do now that the War of 2256 is over.

OMG! This is great. I’m stoked. We basically just got a Discovery webisode out of the blue. (I read the article and understand what actually happened but that’s essentially how it ended up going down.)

Of course that’s what the black badges mean! After all, what sort of super-secret covert operations unit that most people don’t know even exists would they BE if they didn’t all wear an easy to see identifier right on their chest?

Hahaaa! Well this is Discovery after all…

The Federation will need to come up with some ‘official’ cover story for why some people wear those black badges.

Um… diversity? That always seems to work.

Hey, ‘black badges matter’ … what DSC ought to be tackling next should be ‘do clone lives matter?’ (just so we have a context for viewing Riker vaporizing clones of himself and shipmates in s2 TNG.)

It’s just such an exercise in stupidity

Maybe, at this point in time, they didn’t need to be so covert.

I envisage Section 31 as being a bit like the CIA where most of its agents are incognito, but there is also the equivalent of the Special Operations Group’s Paramilitary Operations Officers who take on security roles.

Everyone knew MI5 and MI6 existed for decades before they received any ‘official’ acknowledgement. The black badge would likely mean to people that the bearer is part of some creepy ask-no-questions branch of Federation security. They probably have the equivalent of James Bond movies in that era about a spy who works for Section 31. For that matter, was the man who arrested McCoy in STIII part of Section 31?

Leland appears to be a Trill, hmm…

I think we just heard Georgiou call him out as being a fake Trill.

If you watch the video, he also turns off his phony Trill spots.

Just some kind of holographic technology. Just watch the clip on youtube or the official site and you’ll see.

“Do you remember when we used to be explorers?”

Human exploration, ironically, has always come with such issues. Columbus didn’t come to the New World and say, “Wow, let’s catalog all this and leave it just like we found it.”

Annnnd today you learned that Columbus was a member of Section 31.

They still explore. Section 31 needs ships like Enterprise to figure out which new alien species is hostile and who they probably have to take out later if they prove to be A-holes.

Jean-Luc Picard. Wish they were in Insurrection and TNG. They would be interesting adversaries against Picard and his crew. Would surprise me if someone, besides Riker, knew about Section 31 especially since Pressman was Section 31 in “Orphans”.

Yep, when there was peace in the Alpha Quadrant. That would be like Sisko asking the same question at the height of the Dominion War. C’mon…

While the troglodytes are celebrating, like they always celebrate when anything with the name “Star Trek” slapped on is released, this “bonus” material proves the fundamentally cynical view of the current leadership regarding Star Trek in general and the Federation utopia in particular: not only did they not believe this Federation could fight a war without a genocidal fascist captain from an evil parallel universe at the helm, or that this Federation could end this war without the help of a genocidal fascist emperor from that same universe at the helm (and in the end, they did need her blow-up plan, even if executed in a somewhat less genocidal manner), no, they are now extending this ridiculousness into the indefinite future – this Discovery Federation is a sham that tells its children the power of its evolved values is what drives it to be a force of good in the universe when in actuality it is this unlegitimized secret organization with its black prisons and torture and, not to forget, genocidal fascist member formerly known as Evil Emperor Georgiou, that keeps the lights on in Utopia. Just how much more can the ideal of Gene Roddenberry and our optimistic future be subverted? This Federation and Utopian humanity was always meant to function on its own by virtue of a devastating world war that brought the species to the brink of extinction, and nothing more. What good is an ideal that is instantly devalued by its dishonesty?

Of course, despite the current leaderships’ belief they are oh so modern and “prestige TV” in their cynical darkness, they forget two decades ago Deep Space Nine under the influence of producer Bluebeard and the very overrated Ronald D. Moore already executed this dubious vision when they invented that same “Section 31”, with the same implications and dishonesty to what Star Trek stands for.

This also shows the real reason why this scene was not tacked on to the finale: it would have instantly devalued the relative idealism and “Star Trek-ness” of this episode compared to the rest of the season, and left the whole season with a bitter aftertaste. That aftertaste we still get now, and an uncertain outlook at season 2. At least, if this show is meant to be a metaphor for contemporary America with all its corrupted politics and institutions, both sides of the aisle, its message is clear as well: we need to be freed of this rotten leadership, we need regime change before more lasting damage is done!

Amen friend. Amen. Let’s not under-estimate the intelligence AND HEART of the fans of the previous five series… Just because the vocal online minority have censored any criticism of Discovery, doesn’t mean the fans of what Trek represented aren’t still out there. They’ve been silenced by name-calling and ridicule but they just find more creative ways to get their point across… and once the initial lustre dulls and nu-Trek crowd move on to the next shiny thing… the misguided Discovery production team will have to eat crow and back-track ala the last season of Enterprise and give the fanbase what it needs from it’s Trek… or it’ll just sink and be a forgotten experiment in bad sci-fi. It’s ends two ways. They won’t be able to coast on the name amd the TOS overture rif for more than a couple of seasons before the world wakes up to the emperor’s new clothes. The zeitgest is already laughing at lens flares, laboured gritty and dark story telling and angry moody characters – but as always, the hollywood hipsters in their ivory tower are yet to catch up. And catch-up they should before it’s too late for Discovery. There is better story telling out there, better morality tales, better humour, better character development with more integrity, better effects, better continuity, better sci-fi, and better homage to Roddenberry’s vision. They are urinating on so much of what we grew attached to, and asking us to pay for the priviledge of watching. It will end. One way or the other.


I have some issues with Discovery as well but to me its still Star Trek, its just a different type of show, which for me is good. I DON’T want it to be like the others and frankly I wish it didn’t attach itself to TOS at all but I’m happy its still going its own way. Yeah first season wasn’t great but it you listen to most Trek fans out there hardly any first season of Trek was great…or second for that matter.

I’m saying is maybe the second season will surprise you. Let’s not count it out just yet. I mean think of how people felt by TNGs first season, episode 15. To many of them at the time they argued it wasn’t ‘real’ Trek either (and being led by the guy who created it as well) but it got better. WAY better.

I agree. I didn’t want the same old thing. Far from perfect but it’s Star Trek

Tiger, if STD was on CBS I would be right there 100% with you giving it a shot to get better as it was just the first season. But it’s not. It’s on AP service that I’d say 99.9% of us subscribe to ONLY for STD. And I’d wager 80% (a conservative estimate IMHO) dumped the service after the season was complete. I think it completely fair and reasonable to be overly critical of STD and expect better than the other truck shows. It should be treated like a movie. If a track movie was bad moviegoers have the right to complain about the flaws. And generally don’t say things like “it’s OK because the sequel should be better. “

I think you’ll find that “vocal online minority” are those who DON’T like the show.

It never fails to amaze me how passionate haters can get over a bloody TV show- and I say this as somebody with Aspergers who becomes obsessed with things very easily. I’m sorry that you and Vulcan Soul feel the need to rant online about how you feel about a TV SHOW. It’s kind of sad actually.

Name calling and more, all in the space of a few replies to two posters voicing their dislike for Discovery. THAT is the vocal minority I am talking about. It’s happening in political discussion, it’s happening in university campus’, it’s happening everywhere – you are shut down and insulted, or worse, for having a differing opinion. I love diversity, am a gay man myself of ethnicity, I always relied on Trek to give me hope about society. I don’t get that from Discovery, nor do I get any integrity to it’s own story telling logic, and worst of all, a disregard for the series that came before in terms of continuity. All these people we angered… telling us “it’s a damn TV show” “how sad” “passionate hater” etc, perhaps YOU can all calm down and allow people to voice their dislikes and earnest and discuss the failings of a franchise they care about. It’s a Trek website, for Trek fans. If you dislike a discussion, move along bullies.

Well yes, the ones who complain are in fact minority. The majority of those who don’t like the show won’t bother complaining, they simply stop watching it.

Case in point, my niece, possibly the greatest trekkie I ever met. She owns all Trek movies and all shows up to Voyager, and knows them by heart, even though most of them were made before she was even born. She crafts her own memorabilia. She fan-translates Trek books because nobody wants to publish them here. She helped to invite Mulgrew and Picardo to our local convention. She acted in a fan movie. She speaks Klingon, or at least pretends it rather convincingly. She watched Discovery all the way to the fourth episode, and then she told me: “You don’t have to download any more of this. It’s just too weird for me.”

Towards the end of the season, she asked me: “So, the new show… did it turn into Star Trek yet?” It was only a day after I watched 1×13, so I had to tell her: “No. It’s even less Star Trek now than it ever was.” She smiled and said: “Told ya.” And then we ordered some pizza, cracked open a minikeg and watched the Genesis trilogy back-to-back for the forty-seventh time.

I have seen every minute of the franchise. All 800 to 900 hours or whatever the exact figure is. There is some Trek i don’t care for. Voyager I struggle to re-watch for instance. Trek 09 I am not hugely fond of. But they still feel like Trek. Up until know the only thing Trek that didn’t feel like Trek was Into Darkness, and I hate it with a passion. Sadly though, while I don’t hate it, Discovery is quickly sitting alongside Into Darkness as something that just doesn’t feel like Trek to me. Some people watch Trek for things like space battles and the like. I can see them taking this show on face value as Trek. But for me it lacks the Roddenberry spirit and on the rare occasions it has tried to tap into it it feels over simplified, tacked on and generally inconsistent with the tone of the show (something the “darker” DS9 never suffered from).

I was re-watching Enterprise over the past month and even in the much maligned first two seasons you have stories like Dear Doctor and Congenitor. Great stories that are quintessential Star Trek, dealing with moral dilemma and ethics. I sat there and thought to myself “where are these episodes of Discovery”? I would have swapped all of the mindless episodes of the second half of Discovery’s first season for just one story like that.

I’m not prepared to give up on the show yet as I like the idea that it will be more “Trekian” going forward. But right now it just feels like a lazy, by the numbers generic sci-fi reboot show that’s trading on the franchise name to placate the easily pleased.

I wouldn’t exactly say I “complain”, but I know what I think Trek does best and so I voice my view in the faint hope that the production people read these comment sections and forums for feedback. Why? Because I want my beloved franchise to be the best it can possibly be.

Karen, I’ve been here for a number of months and it looks like it is pretty evenly balanced between liking and not liking the show with a possible edge to not liking.

“Let’s not under-estimate the intelligence AND HEART of the fans of the previous five series…”

I mean, if you’re going to criticize the inclusion of Section 31 in DISCO, so be it, but two of those five previous series included Section 31 as well. DS9 introduced it as a major plot point. And all of the previous series referred to Federation intelligence agencies. So if Section 31 is inconsistent with the “spirit of Trek,” blame DS9, if not them all.

You must be real fun to hang around, it’s a damn TV show. Get over yourself !

Sorry Jason. Some of us don’t sit here and just willingly accept any piece of s**t that CBS has slapped together, put a Star Trek label on it, and are told “shut up, you’ll like what we tell you to like”. I’d like to think some of us have higher standards.

Lol and you people are here why?

Because we were promised Star Trek. So we’re hanging around waiting for them to deliver on the promise. :-P

LOL, they have nothing better to do.

“Lol and you people are here why?”

Because they are Trek fans. Just because the current show is not to their liking doesn’t decrease their devotion to the franchise. It just disappoints them. That’s fair.

Why the insults Jason? Two posters discuss their dislike of elements of Discovery in earnest and they are pounced on with ‘get a life’, ‘it’s only a tv show’ etc. The vocal minority arrive to shut down Star Trek fan’s opinions. You try to scare people into shutting up. Shame people into liking this new series, and before that, the god awful Abram movies. Nu-trek is fun, but we miss the integrity and cohesion of the previous incarnations. Can we say that in public without getting attacked? look in the mirror you bully. What makes two people disliking this series aggravate you so much? If it’s only a “damn tv show”.

Sure looks like Vulcan Soul kicked off the insults by using the word “troglodytes.” But what do I know. *sips tea*

Aww, poor lil gatekeeper. We’re enjoying the new show while you’re stuck in the past. Cherish the old, embrace the new.

I think what you meant is: cherish the old, embrace the latest crap. The newness isn’t the problem, the dull minds overseeing the show are the problem.

The old don’t need to be cherished. They need to be isolated and studied so it can be determine what nutrients they have that may be extracted for our personal use.

HN4 sounds like a villain.

Me, I’m guessing he sounds more like a replicant; I think there’s a lack of empathy, like what you’d associate with a sociopath.

I seem to recall a certain Starfleet captain hiring a former Cardassian agent to assassinate a Romulan senator. And Starfleet benefitting nicely by working with Section 31.

Sorry you feel that way about DS9, but to be fair, they only had Section 31 in a few shows (which makes sense, because their touch is supposed to be a largely unseen and unfelt one), not as a go-to. And while S31 is at the far end from later-day GR utopianism, it has always felt like it could have been part of Gene Coon’s writings, as it points up that happy endings are not guaranteed (check out his early BONANZA episode where the Cartwrights try to stop a slaughter of innocent Indians by Cavalry who have been misled, and arrive … too late, after the massacre has happened.)

I view the DS9 material as adding much-needed credibility to the notion of a TREK universe (needed very badly after TNG’s ridiculously over the top utopianism), and don’t see it as damaging the original GR vision of things getter better, not approaching perfection at all. One of the reasons it is easy to be a saint in paradise is because we will in all likelihood have a section 31 to do the things we don’t want to know from, just like most folks who wouldn’t feel good about hunting themselves will still keep scarfing up Big Macs from here till the final artery-hardening. The fact ENTERPRISE INCIDENT even shows us doing the bad spy stuff — and tries to present it in a positive light! — indicates that it was always a part of TREK to show that darkness, a necessary (or perceived as necessary) darkness.

Just a random thought about trek’s future history backstory: for all we know, the mid 21st century events that result in radioactive elements in Earth’s atmo are all directly resulting from folks growing up right now in other countries, who fashioned outsized responses to things that went down when they were kids, due directly to current US policies and non-policies. So incorporating all that business of how we got from now to then (which ENT failed at miserably) is still something TREK could address, vie either time travel or throwaway backstory dialog (which would be another callback to TOS, like when Kirk muses about the doomsday machine.)

Personally I’ve always thought the notion of the Federation IS a sham, if for no other reason than that the Prime Directive is a policy supporting, even demanding, mass murder. (that’s not an original thought, but something from one of the Bantam novels, from an impressive antagonist named Omne — before the magazine of that name came out.) If the Federation was really committed to non-interference, it would keep other folks — not just Starfleet — from interfering, and Starfleet’s whole job would be picket duty, trying to keep undeveloped worlds from being exploited by Harry Mudd and the Ferengi and other starfaring races. The need to support that PD policy would drain all the massive Fed resources till the entire thing was like a house of cards.

“Personally I’ve always thought the notion of the Federation IS a sham” Sorry to say this, but in my opinion, you really don’t belong on a Star Trek website if you see the Federation as a sham. “Prime Directive is a policy supporting, even demanding, mass murder. ” It’s a policy of non-interference in more primitive cultures so that they evolve naturally, nothing at all to do with mass murder. Talk about misunderstanding the issues.

No, honestly, it is a matter of gaming out things and looking deeper than the shows themselves did. I’m just as much a sucker as anybody else, which is why I own up to the fact that when Data lets everybody hear the little girl asking on the radio where he went — and then the whole room, Picard included, falls for it — I understand. If they didn’t react that way, they wouldn’t be human (so far as I understand the definition.)

Saying, I won’t let my arm of gov’t interfere, while letting everybody else’s poach and interfere is misguided beyond belief and utterly reprehensible. But Starfleet doesn’t seem to have programs to protect these worlds, which suggests a really sinister ‘look the other way’ aspect to the Federation. If you don’t want to look the other way, then you have to delve deeper — and then the flaws appear ever more readily, triggering more questions.

Kmart, I was never a fan of Section 31 when it appeared in DS9. But as you said, it only appeared in a few episodes. Which made it more palatable.

I would also like to point out that the prime directive was challenged in “A Private Little War”. Klingons were interfering big time. Kirk opted to arm the other side with the exact same tech advancement the Klingons were giving. It’s an unappealing solution to an ugly situation. But Kirk didn’t really have a lot of options. The society was already interfered with and Kirk did what he could to maintain the “balance”.

The ending of PRIVATE is one of my fave downer endings in TOS.

Spot on, Vulcan soul. Very well thought-out and argued. Star Trek was designed to be a positive vision for what humanity could be. I’ve had it with Harberts and Berg or whatever their names are. They don’t get Star Trek and they could not be Star Trek fans. They should be writing a typical dystopian science fiction show that fits in circa 2018 and would look like a period piece by 2020, and keep their trendy, mediocre, unimaginative, and uninspiring hands off Star Trek. And to those who say they want something different in Star Trek, different doesn’t mean antithetical.
I know I sound angry, and perhaps that’s not the best method of communication. But this scene just dashed all my hope that these guys would bring the show back to a semblance of Roddenberry’s vision I sound angry, because I am. And behind that, I am sad. Anger always comes from hurt. These people have damaged something special. They have put out the light in the darkness. Our world doesn’t need more darkness. But this scene shows they will keep serving more of it up. Something wonderful has been lost.

You’re right but not about everything; nothing wonderful has been ‘lost’ because we can continue to watch the older shows to get that positive vision of what Trek was supposed to be. Those who want to destroy it, because they do not understand – or hate – its values, can have their day, but they cannot actually achieve what they set out to do because, quite frankly, nothing beats the shows that feature Kirk and Picard. I hope that Discovery rediscovers its heart and soul and gets on track… maybe explores some fun storylines with Pike and crew… but if it doesn’t really do any of this, does it really matter? There’s umpteen episdoes of Voyager and DS9 which I don’t consider to be real Trek, what do I care really if anything past TNG stands the test of time. It’s for them to prove their show’s worth to me, not the other way around.

Kirk routinely ignores the Prime Directive in the original series and periodically disobeys orders for the common good. The Federation has never been presented as perfect.

Out of all the Captains, I would say Picard has honored the prime directive the most and he even he has broken it a few times which goes to show just how difficult of a concept it can be for some.

But yes agreed, the Federation has NEVER been perfect on any of the shows. There has always been some form of corruption, descent or mistrust on every show. The Federation is like America, EU, etc where its ideals might be lofty its still run and inhabited by people who are flawed and doesn’t always live up to them.

This proves why Trek fans rarely seem to be on the same page. I don’t know why Voyager wouldn’t be consider real Trek since it goes out its way to honor the ideas of the other shows. DS9 IS different for sure but it honors Trek to me personally, its just a different angle.

And I think Discovery as well, again its just a different angle. But sure all of it can be debated I guess and its fine for you to have that opinion. I guess my point is no matter WHAT they did with Discovery someone will still have an issue with it and why its not ‘real Trek’.

Not shocking- Section 31 guy is a cartoon villain who literally has an evil moustache. Disco Trek: markedly less subtle than those DC animated movies enjoyed by children. Harberts & Berg … the best duo since Tango & Cash. Saw Harberts on Twitter: “OMG so moved by my writers showing up every day to save the universe! OMG you guys!” Maybe they should set their sights a little lower- like putting a few coherent sentences together.

Great scene except for the black badge, which makes no sense whatsoever.
“We’re the secret organization, no one is supposed to know about us. Here, put on this black badge. And just to be even more obvious, your black hat will be delivered next week…”

Disco Trek? Not making sense?? Impossible!!!

ONLY way to make this work — and this is a massive cheat, much bigger than tribbles hissing at klingons — is that only the audience (and fellow s31 members) sees these as black badges, and everybody else sees them as normal. I guess you could reveal this via mind meld — but if anybody takes me up on this, then at least let me in to do a pitch session after you steal it.

Look at the romulans. There super secret group isn’t so secret either.

The difference being the Romulan Empire is, well, an empire. The Tal Shiar doesn’t have to worry about staying secret in their own society, much like the Gestapo. They thrive on people fearing them.

Exactly, Tal Shiar and Obsidian Order are like KGB, the name itself intimidates. S31 is supposed to be really buried, not even vaguely semi-visible like DIA, which my wife had never heard of till I told her about them.

@kmart, with due respect to your wife, the Defense Intelligence Agency is hardly a secret. People in foreign affairs/defense/intelligence community policy circles are well familiar with it. Indeed, the lack of coordination among various intelligence agencies (DIA, CIA, NSC, and so on) was a major issue after 9/11.

Not claiming otherwise, political, just an indicator that a normally well-read person hadn’t heard of it – or it didn’t register with her, which would be odd given her memory.

Why has nobody asked why the Klingons, who were trying to maintain their racial purity, preserve their culture and avoid any outside influence, would allow an alien marketplace to be established on their home planet Qo’nos?

Then again nothing else on this show makes any f**king sense, so I shouldn’t expect an answer.

Remember that there was a revolt *against* the supposed racial watering-down of the Empire.

The Orion Embassy is on the grounds of a former sect who worshipped Molor. Ergo: the Klingons gave the Orion a bit of a land they didn’t want.

Dear Star Trek: Discovery,
You made the Klingons look like orcs from a fantasy franchise but left the Orions as people painted green. You could’ve at least painted them red.
Disappointed in Manitoba

Haha! NOTHING the production team says has any integrity. They claim they’re not out to shock or upset people, that every decision they make is to help the characters and story – so visually rebooting the Klingons and their tech, has helped how? No, it’s pure shock value to set themselves apart from the stagnation of the Berman series. And BEFORE that claim… yet another zinger, telling us the Kilingons were a diverse race and ‘why did they have to look like Klingons we’d already seen?’… So where is the diversity, when they are all hairless and have cone heads? Bizarre and insulting, both to the cohesion of the series that came before and to the intelligence of the fans. Cue the nu-Trek police to scream insults and shut any critism of Disc or JJ films down… Sad times for Trek. Still pinching myself that Orville exists in these lens flare over substance times.


Love this, ok to those of you who complan that this isn’t Star Trek did you watch Deep Space Nine or Voayger, or any Trek beyond TNG, The Star Trek Francishe like any other can’t Survive on the loyal fan base alone, yes I know there are many fans who would like Trek to stay true to what they liked about TNG, unfountally the way modern Audances outside Trek like TV shows has changed and that means Trek must change too, that doesn’t mean that this isn’t Trek, it is just that it is closer Trek to Deep Space Nine then TNG or lighter Voayger.

It was doing fine for FIFTY YEARS being its own thing. Making it more like something else because that’s what someone thinks “modern audiences” want isn’t just off base, it’s downright foolish. This is the same problem that DC and WB have with the films. They think “yeah, modern audiences want to see everything be more like Batman”, and they’re paying the price for it now.

I always point to what Frank Zappa once said that the old guys wearing suits and chomping on cigars with their feet on the desks in the 60’s who would take a chance on experimental music would say “I don’t know what this is, but let’s take a chance on it and see if it sells”. Then when it sold a few million copies they’d say “I don’t know what happened, but let’s do it again, go out and find me a hippy”. Then they’d hire a hippy to get the coffee and bring in the mail, and then they’d say “okay he’s a good kid he brought the mail in on time, give him a real job, make him an A&R man”. Now the hippy is the guy with his feet up on the desk, and he’s actually MORE conservative than the guy with the cigar, and the hippy says “no, no, no, that’s not what the audience wants, I know what the audience wants”. The hippy is less willing to take a chance on something than the old guy with the cigar, because he feels that he’s the final arbiter of taste.

Isn’t that now what we’re seeing with guys like Alex Kurtzman? They bring him in, and he starts remaking Star Trek thinking he knows what the audience wants, and he’s LESS willing to take a chance on something new. Which is why we now have “dark and gritty” Star Trek. That’s why everything on television and in movies looks and sounds the same. And until we get back to “Let’s take a chance on it”, we’re going to be stuck with more of this BAD version of Star Trek.

The fanbase was not able to save ENT though it liked it, What you want is CBS to say we don’t care about getting new Viewers or General Audiences, let just focus on what the hardcore fanbase wants, that is not a Profitable way to keep on getting them to make new Trek.

The Hardcore Fanbase belives that it IS ALL that should matter, but CBS is a Bussness and a Bussness makes more money by selling to the Widest Audance possable not a narrow segment that goes we want TNG Foumla to always be Trek no matter if its a $$$ loser, WE have been loyal, our Loyaltaly must be Rewared by ingoreing anything but what we say, sorry WE don’t want to Create a New Generation of Trek fans if they won’t get on board with our Vison of Trek, which must always be more TNG like, the model of Trek must never Challange certin perconciptions of what Trek is cause it hurting what we love…

Times move on, So does Trek, it can’t stay in an unprofitable model just cause there is a hardcore fan base that loves the old stuff…

Actually most of the fanbase seem to have hated Enterprise lol. It was later long after it was cancelled more started to appreciate it and even now there are still many that hate it. More did start to love it in its fourth season when it started to tie closer to TOS but too many people had already dropped the show to save it by then.

My question is – how does bald cone headed klingons, selective visual rebooting attract new audience? It just SMELLS of a franchise that is embarassed of itself, unsure of it’s identity. And like people, if you smell insecurity in someone, that isn’t someone you would put your faith in. Had Discovery embraced canon MORE, kept the dark tone and grit and contrived lens flares but didn’t urinate on the previous series continuity so much, the mainstream would see it is a stronger entity – not just ‘yet another desperate Trek incarnation trying to be relevant’. Most of the fanbase hated Enterprise. Another arguement could be, had Enterprise not been such a self-hating exercise, like Discovery parades as Trek but ultimately hates itself – perhaps more fans would have got behind it. Enterprise was an embarassed, non-commited prequel that force fed laboured story arcs, instead of catering more to inspiration, exploration, social commentary and exciting sci-fi concepts – had it done those things early on, it would have had more support from Trek fans and new mainstream fans.

Canon was never really hard and fast in Trek beyond a few points and even that was retroconed over time, Fans want them to Stick closer to Cannon cause these are the things we are comftable with, if it Stifles the creative process then it’s a bit of a problem, many wrtiers on VOY and ENT kind of hated parts of Cannon cause it did kind of Weigh down the Creative process for the show, Cannon is great when it is light but Trek Cannon had become hevey and at times didn’t allow for certin story telling that was more Creative in the mind of the writers.

Yeah canon can definitely be an issue which is why you have to scratch your head and wonder why they put this show inbetween two other shows, Enterprise and TOS. That only makes their job harder and as people been saying, they haven’t been that great threading the line so far.

And its of course why the Kelvin films just put their stories in another universe entirely so they can do whatever they want…and fans still complained.

Its just not easy to write for this franchise with such a fickle audience.

You just need good writers, a good cast and a good understanding of what Trek is. Really if you have all that, you’re set.

Again the problem is its easier to say that than done. There is not a single Trek show or film series that isn’t criticized in some way by not being real Star Trek. Gene Roddenberry himself had a different view of Star Trek that wasn’t really highlighted in TOS, but he included those elements because its what the network wanted for it to even get aired. But its really pilots like the Cage, early TNG and TMP thats really his true version of it, many that fans had rejected them.

And then of course fan favorites like WOK and TUC, Roddenberry himself has reported not to have liked them because he felt they strayed too much from his version of Trek. So its not black or white and end of the day as long as enough people watch to keep it on thats all that really matters to most but I suspect Discovery will be a very divided show for a long time because it is trying to do something different than the other shows, which is a positive to me, even if I still have issues of the show myself. And I like all the shows, but like Discovery have issues with some of them.

I still say STD works better in the KU. But the way season 1 wrapped up would have still sucked.

I’d just like to say, as a ‘loyal’ fan of Star Trek… I didn’t like ENT. I thought it was awful.

Bill, Actually the fact that it is on a streaming only platform means even LESS a need to go for the lowest common denominator. They CAN cater to the Trek fan base. In fact, they were counting on the Trek fan base to subscribe to the service. I promise you not a whole lot of non Trek fans were subscribing to CBSAA. Just look at what they offer apart from Trek!

“I promise you not a whole lot of non Trek fans were subscribing to CBSAA.”

That’s pretty clearly contradicted by Moonves’ public comments (on a financial analyst conference call, IIRC), and you don’t just get to lie about those things when you’re the CEO of a publicly-traded company.

@ML31 – I’m still paying for All Access. Money well spent.


Moonves is forced to put a positive spin on everything. He’s NEVER going to publicly say “The subscriber base for CBSAA made a tremendous drop after the final episode of Discovery was streamned.” He will only remind us of the numbers that were there when the show was on.

HN4, I’m glad you find All Access to your liking. This would place you among the “not a lot of” I referenced earlier. I’m sure CBS is hoping there are more like you than there likely are.

I say this as someone who likes going back and re-watching the old stuff, I like the way Disocery challanges my preconceptions about Trek, I loved TNG for what it was, it really doesn’t work well in this age where people want drama and storytelling that has twist that is more unpriictable then what you had on TNG, they like Deep Space Nine Model more, the choices made are not cause they hate the fanbase but undestand Ecnomcally they must reach beyond the fanbase which means making part of the fanbase unhappy cause they feel that they should reward for being fathful by having their demands met, that is really a form of Gatekeeping Gene was never for and I am not for as a Fan of Star Trek.

I don’t disagree with you but same time I wonder if they actually are reaching many people beyond the fan base? At least reading online it doesn’t feel that way. It seems like its mostly the same people whose been watching Trek forever. Of course the hardcore fans will always be more invested but I would be curious to see how much of a percentage of people who watch Discovery are watching Trek for the first time? Honestly if its higher than 10% I would be shocked frankly. I don’t know ANYONE watching this show in the real world, new or old fans.

And I also think the number of actual viewers is pretty low as well. Of course its on a streaming site so it can probably get away with it more but I doubt there are more people watching this show than people who was watching Enterprise in its last season, which was around 3-4 million.

I do miss the old days of Trek when it felt more in the mainstream like the 90s although you can argue the Kelvin films feel that way.

Funny, I keep hearing that TNG wouldn’t work today. With updated production values, why not? People forget that when it aired there was no sci-fi on TV AT ALL! It revived sci-fi on TV.

Trek needs to be daring and forward moving. Discovery is instead not only generic action sci-fi but it is aping every other dark and gritty serialised drama show that is more about twist, shocks and cliffhangers than it is intelligent, thought provoking storytelling. It’s fight to hard to be of today that it doesn’t want to be of tomorrow and forward thinking. It’s forgettable and generally just sits alongside every other average TV show. Trek needs to be better than that. It needs to be different from that. It’s the uniqueness of Trek that has sustained it for 50 years and that’s what these showrunners don’t seem to get. The more they make the show “of today” for “modern audiences” the more likely it is to be forgotten. Case in point, when Trek 09 came out I felt it was too much a generic blockbuster to survive as Trek. Into Darkness even more so. So I said ta the time interest will wane. Sure enough the performance of Beyond showed just that.

Trek needs its unique selling point.

My partner and I are watching TNG from series 3 and before we started she wasn’t a fan of it, but now she’s changed her mind. So TNG really does work now, don’t let anyone tell you it doesn’t. The drama is still there.

Go on Reddit, there are people discovering Star Trek, specifically TNG all the time. It still easily seems to be the most popular show in the franchise and I have no idea why it wouldn’t work today? Not all sci fi on TV is raw, bleak and gritty.

Curious that you started at season 3, though; that’s when TNG started its own proto-serialization, and uncoincidentally, when it matured into the first-rate series it became.

“ more about twist, shocks and cliffhangers than it is intelligent, thought provoking storytelling.”

Oh, please. “Best of Both Worlds” (not to mention all the subsequent TNG season finales and February sweeps) wasn’t a cliffhanger?

It WASN’T fine doing “it’s own thing”. It began floundering in the late 90s with only DS9 doing anything remotely original.

Voyager was a pale imitation of TNG, ENT was garbage, the TNG movies were- for the most part- a mixed bag. At some point the traditional Trek formula stopped working and yet everyone carried on as normal. On a larger scale,
TV began moving away from standalone narratives to ongoing arcs. ENT tried but by that point- nobody cared.

If a franchise wants to grow and survive in a volatile industry where things change rapidly from one year to the next- then it has to adapt. I’m sorry that you don’t like Discovery, that you can’t move past a stale formula- I really am. Love and light to you.

Berman Trek failed eventually because it was all too similar in terms of production style. But the core intelligence and moral dilemmas of Trek pre-update the Berman era. They weren’t created by the Berman era. They were the core of TOS and Discovery hasn’t carried those ideals forward.

You clearly missed the entire point of Season 1: when the world around you becomes dark and unforgiving and your back is pressed against the wall- you have to remain true to the values you hold dear. Burnham forgot that at the start of the series but by the finale she had remembered and she stopped Starfleet from doing something so profoundly terrible and forced its members to remember it’s values. There are other instances scattered throughout the first series.

But the point is- the show DID hold itself to the ideals of established Trek- it told a timely parable that resonates with today’s world. We live in a world where a vicioua bully occupies the most powerful office on the planet and where minorities are routinely oppressed.

Some of the fandom simply won’t accept this argument because all they can see is the surface and they wrote the series off the moment they heard it because it doesn’t follow their stale, cherished formula.

I have no problem with Darker Trek or Sexy Trek or Lady Trek – but actually this show strikes me more as Sanctimony Trek and Simplistic Yet Very Muddled Trek, and Produced by Mediocre Minds Trek.

“Medicore minds” is it. The need new writers to come on to the show because so far the ones they have just aren’t that intelligent IMO.

Me too. I have no issue with a different kind of Trek. In fact, I welcome it. I applaud the STD team for “trying”. But they tried and failed. I hope such a failure doesn’t stop someone from trying again in the future….

Give Star Trek fans more credit. Nobody minds the darker tone of Discovery, many wish DS9 had taken it further than it did. That Voyager had shown us bigger repercussions from being stranded, etc – we don’t mind dark, we don’t mind grit. We were all ready for that… And we don’t mind attracting more mainstream audience either (because guess what, most of us also enjoy mainstream shows too) but Discovery comes along and tries to reinvent the wheel and badly. It’s a 50 year institution and the cohesive nature of the previous series, though not always perfect – tried to connect the dots, and created a huge emotional investable universe for the fan. Discovery disregards that and most insulting of all, pretends it still cares. A visual reboot, but selectively, is silly. A show called Discovery but discovers nothing. Is silly. It’s the emperor’s new clothes and I am so glad to read more and more fans being brave enough to step up snd say ‘This is not Trek’. We wanted to explore new worlds and be challenged by questions and morality tales – instead the only challenge is not throwing up, that something that is so elaborately dressed up, has zero content, The spoilt, precocious, contrived, lens flare ridden choices of the production team – serve nothing of value. I enjoy Discovery on Netflix, it’s easy to zone out to, it’s fun. Is it an inspiring, thought-provoking series that I feel up-lifted about humanity’s future? Something I would relish in revisiting, I’d buy and display proudly with my other Trek boxsets? No. It wasn’t made to inspire. It was made to capitalise on a famous name, not made by people who love the franchise. It just isn’t Star Trek for me, and yes, the show being more respectful of what came before it, would help that. But hairless cone head Klingons aside, the story telling is bad – a whole series dedidcated to war, led by a captain who didn’t belong in that universe, for the enemy to withdraw because someone plants a bomb in the planet… all wrapped up in one finale. Bonkers. Not Trek. Not soul food. Not inspiring. Just bonkers.

Actualy it is Trek, I get it, you want Trek to fit a Fourmla you like, and sence Discovery went diffrent Dirction that forumla, this is esentally Trek Gatekeeping, telling CBS, Trek can only by Fourmla X or we the fans have the right to say it isn’t Trek, CBS owns Trek and has a right to make Trek in a way that works for them, What you want is a Return to the TNG formula, IF there is a story arc, it must fall into the TNG forumla , any Deviation from the fourmla must not be accpted, The one True Trek msut always be done in the mold of the TNG Era no matter how much it might not be profitable for CBS.

Telling thought provoking and optimistic stories about the human condition, about dilemmas and ethics, about discovery and exploration of the universe and of one’s self – these are the core of what Star Trek is. It’s not a formula. It’s what Trek is. A story about the triumph of the human spirit. Not Starfleet Command, phasers and warp speed. Flash Gordon had ray guns and spaceships. You need to ask yourself what it is about TOS that set itself apart from all that came before.

Yeah, a good summation of how I feel.

Why do you assume that those who have problems with or flat out dislike Voyager are TNG fans? Very bizarre. I am a fan of the entire franchise and I became a fan when we just had TOS.

For me the problem (so far) is that Discovery lacks the Roddenberry heart and soul that the other incarnations had, well beyond just TNG. Discovery is too much like generic modern sci-fi…and I really don’t think the production people get Star Trek as much as previous production teams did.

I kinda agree… To a point. But to continue to harp on the “Roddenberry heart” and such I feel is a mistake. Roddenberry created the Trek concept but beyond that he really wasn’t that great a contributor. TOS didn’t get better until Roddenberry had less control over the show. The same was true of TNG. The better movies Roddenberry himself did not like. Gene came up with the concept but it was better people who made that concept work.

YES! Section 31 is BACK!!! I’m so excited now. We all know they were rumored to be in the first season, it just sounds like when Fuller left they reshuffled things a bit. So Discovery probably WAS a Section 31 ship since there was clearly crew with the black badges on. And I think it could’ve explained why the Spore drive existed, ie, it was a heavily classified Section 31 technology. At least how I see it.

I’m honestly stoked for this news. I loved them on DS9 and Enterprise and in STID. The only issue about ID was that the whole film should’ve been about them and not evolve to the Khan show we got, but oh well.

Interesting scene, but not a fan of 31. Who exactly is Section 31 fooling? — not the Melkot, not the Organians, Vulcans (telepathic) or the Metrons, who would have destroyed the Enterprise and Starfleet had this thing existed. And somebody needs to tell Kirk he’s been putting his life in jeopardy by extolling his (and Starfleet and humanity’s) sterling reputation all over the place to save his (and the crew’s) butt. There’s way too many telepaths around for 31 to be of any value. Don’t think Kirk and Spock would put up with being puppets very long. 31 makes no sense against anybody more advanced than Earth.

Section 31 is just another covert intelligence agency like Starfleet intelligence is. The difference is they don’t answer directly to Starfleet so Starfleet can deny any involvement in what they do. Starfleet intelligence can’t do the same thing if caught. So it gives S31 more leeway in their methods.

And what do telepaths have to do with it? Sure, they have to worry about getting caught but thats why they are so good at what they do lol. And why do you think only Kirk and Spock would be ‘puppets’? Thats the point, few people in Starfleet even heard of them. They mostly work in secret and much of Starfleet is simply in the dark to what they are doing or their existence.

That was the entire point of STID. Section 31 was suppose to be completely secret and was planning a covert war with the Klingons when the time came for it. But Khan destroyed that idea by basically declaring war on them and outed them. But if Khan wasn’t there, Kirk and the others would’ve never knew either Section 31 pressence or their plans to create war ships to attack the Klingons until it was too late.

Ok, but all that’s a retcon. My point is, when the Enterprise is exploring space to “seek out new life,” they’re telling people about how great the Federation is, and some of those civilizations would know Kirk is lying, and therefore, let’s say the Halkans, would never deal with humans and Starfleet again. If Kirk is representing humanity’s ideals, and he’s really just operating on a leash at Section 31’s discretion, then he’s a puppet and the Earth, Starfleet and the Federation have no real principles. Starfleet is the velvet glove, but Section 31 is the “dirty tricks” to use behind everyone’s back. You simply cannot hoodwink, let’s say, Balok, with a bunch of guys in black leather coats. How do you spy on an Organian? And let’s not forget how smug Picard was about humanity — certainly Q would have known virtually everything about 31, and roasted Picard for his hypocrisy. Just my point of view. Cheers.

Why would the Organians care about Section 31? They simply will not allow all-out war between the Federation and the Klingon Empire. Skirmishes continued (“Ellan of Troyius”, Star Trek III, Star Trek VI) and there is no reason to believe spying on each other didn’t continue.

Balok/First Federation only knew what was in the Enterprise’s computer records (which he noted could have been falsified) and everything we know about Section 31 is that they are decidedly NOT in the official records.

Exactly! Section 31 is an internal issue, the Oreganians doesn’t have any business in what they do. Section 31 don’t try and start wars, the purpose is to squash any real conflicts before war happens. Admiral Marcus was the exception though but he just assumed the Klingons were going to attack one way or the other.

Section 31 doesn’t control the Federation, they simply show up when major threats to the Federation shows up. In other words, if the people they meet are cool, peace loving and ALSO believes in the ideals of the Federation, then there no problems. They are just to stop the people who threaten Federation values, which honestly makes sense when you look our world today and we have democratic ideals in much of the world and yet we still have these shadowy groups acting on our interests, regardless if we like it or not.

You don’t seem to understand why they are there. And sure Q may know about them, but why would Q care? The point is they don’t control Starfleet, they just do any of the dirty work needed to keep it existing. I think Q would actually like them lol.

You dont seem to understand what is being said here:the Federation represents the best of humanity, what it can achieve by working together. Section 31 directly contradicts that idea by having some work covertly, in secret. Q would beat Picard hands down in their head to heads if the Federation’s values were merely a smokescreen for various covert and dirty ops. The whole point of Roddenberrys vision of humanity is that it has essentially evolved past these types of shady practices (i.e. barbarity, mistrust and general tendencies towards violence), probably via eliminating money, want and ignorance… and that humanity is starting to achieve its potential.

Roddenberry is dead. Time to move on.

I understand it just fine. The people who created Section 31 understand it just fine. But just like TOS always did, they are taking analogies from the real world and the fact is just like our own world not everyone believes in the idea of democracy and freedom in egalitarian societies not EVERYONE will believe in the Federation values and will try to destroy or corrupt it. Thats what Section 31 is, a necessary evil to keep those people at bay.

Again you don’t seem to be the one getting it, S31 isn’t there to be a ‘smokescreen’ to just do evil things, they are trying to uphold Federation ideals, its simply the tactics that are questionable.

Actually the speech Khan gave in STID is actually why S31 exists. He made the point that Starfleet had become too civilized to the point it can’t win in a real fight and why S31 used him because Starfleet has gotten too comfortable, too complacent in itself that it feels it can’t defend itself when something truly threatening shows up as Nero proved. He challenged Spock directly on that when he told him how can he be expected to break bones if he can’t break a rule. In other words, not everyone outside the Federation plays by their rules so you have to find a way to get as dirty as them. S31 is that rule breaker to keep the Federation whole. Its the loophole of how people can keep pretending everything and everyone around them lives in paradise. Yes its a good point even if people don’t like bringing it up.

Now of course, I’m not saying you’re wrong but this is WHY I love S31 lol, because just like we are debating these things, they always get debated every time S31 shows up somewhere. THIS is exactly why I like them, it shoves a light in the Federation faces many don’t want to see or acknowledge. Its also why DS9 was so great that it challenged the notion about being a saint in paradise. Sure the Federation is great but it also still exists in a universe with neutral zones, the Dominion, Caucasians and the Borg, all who wants to wipe it out tomorrow if they could. S31 helps keep the illusion going, that it can coexist in a galaxy where people believe in the opposite things without any real sacrifices to keep its values in tact.

The problem with taking analogies of the real world and then writing fiction around them and then trying to place them into a pre-existing fictional universe is that they don’t always fit. If the writer has to warp the universe they are writing for into something else then they should consider changing their ideas instead. Consider; if we want real world we have that, we live in it, it’s on the news 24 hours a day. For the viewer, the fiction is fundamentally a form of escapism, a type of fantasy. We, the Star Trek fans, don’t really want it to be mangled into a real world analogy. We want our utopian future Trek just as much as we want our dystopian future Terminator and we’d be just as unhappy if the dystopian vistas of Bladerunner were mangled into an exploration of the hippy movement in a third film. This is something writers have got to start to understand.

If they operate outside of Starfleet, why do they have Starfleet badges on Disco? lol

Yet another lack of understanding of the franchise’s past by the Discovery team I think.

Actually I take back what I said. Its not really an intelligence agency and more of an espionage one. But because of that they had a long time to refine their skills and learn how to operate under certain alien species.

Wouldn’t s31 have been in charge of Genesis? And if so, then Kirk had to know of its existence, didn’t he? Or is it so far outside chain-of-command that head of SF ops doesn’t know about it? So is Kirk complicit or naive? I’d guess both — complicit, given that he did the ‘stealing the cloak thing much earlier in his career, and naive, given that he didn’t see the TUC conspiracy coming in advance.

No, because they didn’t see it as a weapon.

WHO didn’t see it as a weapon? The scientists? If Bones can come up with the weapon notion based on a the demo tape, wouldn’t just about anybody also come up with that as a possibility? Whose hands ARE the right hands, and who is standing behind those that said ‘yes’ to the proposal? S31 fits rather nicely into a lot of Trek issues that have a benevolent public face (for all we know, transporters were first developed for inanimate objects like bombs to be beamed to destinations, till shields came about as a deterrent. the ‘beam a bomb to your enemy’ notion has been haunting me since about age 12, right after I first started watching the show daily in syndication.)

Doctor McCopy spotted it as a weapon within 5 minutes, but the Federation and Starfleet didn’t? lol.

Okay, you’re right. Also, that folds nicely into Carol Marcus being a weapons specialist in “Into Darkness”.

A secret organisation having their own badges, so you can identify them everywhere… This just doesn’t make any sense.

Hint: the people overseeing STD are not the brightest lights in Hollywoodland.

Nobody likes a troll.

Kween, don’t take it personally, Galt isn’t talking about you (so far as I know.)

Every Star Trek after DS9 had no idea how to handle S31. Enterprise’s storyline was pointless, in the Kelvin timeline they started to build their own ships and have their own uniforms, so now they even have their own badges. Maybe S31 before the 24th century was much less secretive? In DS9, it wasn’t even clear if there really way a S31 or if Sloane just made it all up.

The writers of Discovery don’t care and we’re being repeatedly told by the vocal minority online not to care too. Just give me a bluray boxset of DS9 and Voyager and watch the door slam behind me. I watch Discovery with this obsessive hope… that it will deliver the goods. But it’s half-baked and doesn’t really care. Even that lazy Flash animated opening sequence doesn’t care. Special badges for a security organisation not making sense? Klingons visually rebooted while others aren’t, bomb placed in volcano cave system ending a season long war? Look the other way. Don’t care. “It’s only a damn TV show”.

Its been one season. How much did you love TNG, DS9 or Enteprise in its first season? I get your point and even agree with some of it, but I think its funny that as Trek fans we forget it takes time for these shows to find their footing. Discovery may stay bad in your eyes but it also may improve. Its been 15 episodes, how great was most of Trek their first 15 episodes in?

But I agree the finale was awful.

The fact this BIG bit wasn’t in the original cut is odd. Will it be re-inserted into the version now available on Netflix?

More than likely they will just include in a new episode in season two.

Sorry, am bored s***less with all this Section 31 / covert intelligence, conspiracy rubbish – what’s wrong with having a series that lives up to its name – “Discovery” – out exploring the wonders and mysteries of the cosmos and, you know, seeking out strange new life and civilizations etc. Is that so boring that it has to be embellished with all this other guff?

s31 gives depth to the ‘boldly go’ notion — you don’t just get to go out and play with warp drive, you have to secure certain aspects first. (see pretty much every other post I made this morning for more.)

Hi kmart – well, I respect your opinion and I’m glad that this concept is one that you’re interested in. For me, I find added depth in exotic astronomical phenomena,ideas around aliens and alien civilization, not murky human hijinks…

Still, it would be a terrible universe if we all liked the same things, so it’s good to diagree!

Hey, I like some of that same stuff you do. Of the three spec scripts I sent to TNG before getting to pitch, the one I thought was the surefire sell was the exotic sci-fi one, a conscious black hole (before Benford wrote his) that I hoped played like TMP meets DOOMSDAY MACHINE, but instead it was the least TNG-like one that got me an invitation (the one about conspiracies and dark chambers with judges hidden in backlight.)
And I did re-present the black hole story during the pitch, stressing all the hard sci-fi extrapolation, only to get, ‘well, we don’t do FANTASY,’ from Jeri Taylor (which may give you a little hint of how little regard I had for her, given I have never had any interest in ‘fantasy’ and am always at pains to differentiate SF from that realm.)

Oh well now I’m super impressed, interested and envious all at the same time (genuinely). Half a lifetime ago… more, when I was 18-20, around the time when TNG was in S2-S3, I really wanted to get into the industry as a writer/director. I wrote full-length screenplays, which I tried to sell, and I attempted to get into film school. None of that worked out, and after some detours I ended up working in science itself. So I find myself wishing for more accurate depictions of science in movies and TV, rather than the dumbed-down stuff of things like Salvation, Prometheus/Alien:Covenant, or the JJ-Trek movies; I never believed that you have to sacrifice accuracy on the altar of entertainment. And I think movies like Arrival bear that out.
Anyway, it’s probably a little late in life to worry about all this – I suppose it’s not too late, in my late forties, to write and sell something – so I just come on here an whinge about a show that seemed to promise so much and delivered (in my opinion) a couple of characters that really interested me… and sidelined or killed them off, whilst simultaneously twisting everything else I loved about the show in ways that seemed wrong.
Maybe I’m misguided to do this, but I can’t help contrast Discovery with what I saw in Star Trek Continues; sure, there were the old sets, some ‘interesting’ acting, but man-alive did it have the heart and soul of Star Trek, particularly towards the end.

I think they made the right decision.

@Winkie — A-men.

OK! That is very cool! Bring on season 2!

This would have made for a better ending to season 1 than that bullshit ending with the distress call from the Enterprise cornfluff. I’d much rather they explore Section 31 in season 2 than continue on with yet another CGI-redesign of the original Enterprise and show “Captain Pike” and “Spock” wearing the blue uniforms the Disco crew is wearing.

I don’t even want to think about it, it makes me so sick!

Me too. A selective visual reboot, that can’t commit to reinventing the wheel or just kicking the wheel in a bit and screwing around with the brakes. What will the hard core fans get from them ‘re-imaginging’ the Enterprise they know and love… and what will the new audience who couldn’t care less about TOS get? Both camps will be unhappy.

An entire season dedicated to a war which was wrapped up with a tidy bow when a bomb was planted under some tectonic plates on their homeworld. It’s just the most slapdash story telling I have ever come across and I’m genuinely ashamed as a Trek fan. As for the bald cone head “Klingons” who are wearing too much prothetics for the poor actors to emote. I can’t. I just can’t.

Yeah I’m way more excited about Section 31 than seeing the Enterprise again. Crazy huh? At least with Section 31 we can get more original story telling and not just go down nostalgia lane meeting Pike and Spock again.

I want to see Pike and crew and get some original story lines put around them, from the pilot, they are some interesting characters. Who really doesn’t want to see a fresh faced captain have an arc that ends with burnout? Just what could cause that, exactly? Lots can be done with that. Which is more than I can say about explorations of ‘Section 31’, a covert dirty ops super secret agency that believes the end justifies the means… I see that as an affront to the values of the Federation and suspect it was written in the first place to undermine them and will continue to be used as a weapon to do so. Because all visions of the future must be bleak, right? Wrong.

I just don’t need more nostalgia, thats all. I’m fine with the Enterprise showing up for an episode or two but the name of the show is called Discovery. And I don’t see S31 as bleak, simply necessary. Thats what makes them interesting to me.

Whats funny is we saw an entire season of S31 tactics on display from inventing questionable tech like the spore drive to use as a weapon to using an undercover operative to try and blow up a planet.

Look I get it, you think the show is too dark and thats a valid argument. But that IS the show. And why I have no issues with S31 a part of it.

Its not nostalgia if it’s new story lines that expand on a pre-existing premise. Doh. The bleak reference is a valid one. Go watch ‘Munich’ sometime to see a story of how working in real world secret services can affect people. It’s very much paranoia, lies, deceit, distrust, legalised violence, clandestine murders and betrayals. That’s bleak stuff. Give us back our vision of a Federation where humanity has gone past that.

Ugh. Figures. Season 2 is already starting out terribly.

Is this an outtake cut from Star Trek: Renegades? Or Hercules?

And All this huge budget and they are completely afraid to do what ST is meant to do: explore.

They said season 2 will have actual exploration.

They’ve said a lot of stuff that wasn’t true, so why should we believe them about season two?

To be fair a lot of the stuff that was said was when Fuller was in charge, like how we would understand the Klingons POV. But yeah things changed.

But yeah they could be lying about exploring but I’m going to take them at their word for now. I really do hope we see more of it though.

They’ve been lying the entire time since Fuller left. Understand Klingons’ POV? They’ve talked about that since Fuller. Wrap up Klingon war, explain canon changes, etc., etc…? They’ve been talking about that stuff since Fuller left.

These writers and producers have lost all of my trust.

No, there has simply been a change in some of the story lines, I don’t think they are lying (well they did actually lie lol, but stuff like Voq not being Tyler, etc).

And they DID wrap the Klingon war. Its over, so whats the problem. As far as explaining canon changes they said that would happen in season two although at this point I’m guessing most of it will be superficial since I don’t see them regressing to the 1960s look anytime soon. My guess is they will try to shoehorn a bit more TOS aesthetics here and there but its still going to look like the show we have. It would feel ridiculous otherwise.

But Paul, if you don’t ‘trust’ them, you can simply not watch anymore. I’m not trying to be glib about it, but you seem to have some personal anger about it and convinced they will keep ‘lying’ just watch something else.

To be fair, a lot of actors said things about season one AFTER they wrapped shooting. They knew what was coming yet they continued the same pre shooting rhetoric the producers gave us last year. Now I’m sure they were restricted from saying much. But they still were saying things that the show was dealing with they didn’t actually deal with at all. Better to just say they can’t say what’s coming or what to expect at all.

Introducing section 31 was as big a mistake as introducing the temporal agents. Both detract from the general message and purpose of Trek. Let the Klingons have secret police. The Federation should be above that. Re-watching some TOS episodes now, I tend to cringe when they delve into bashing the beuracracy of the Federation — my hope is 300 years from now, that too will be gone. The fact it exists in Roddenberry’s vision of the future however, suggests that all of these DS9/ENT/DISC kinds of darker departures are fair game.

But the point of Section 31 is that they need a real force to uphold Federation values, so I buy it. But yes I can understand why others have issues with it of course.

The point is that they don’t actually need that force. Section 31 does something bad to protect the Federation, which gives our protaganists a chance to stand up for the Federation’s true values.

But thats a pretty subjective call to make. We are talking an organization that doesn’t even have a standing army. The ‘explorers’ are the ones who ends up fighting the wars. And we have to remember Starfleets entire history has been plagued with wars, neutral zones and new villains constantly popping up. THe Federation was founded after a war kind of like how the UN was founded after WW 2. In other words, its entire history and existence has always been under threat and there are new enemies popping up all the time.

Now I’m not saying S31 are the ONLY people who can do it but I do understand why they feel they have to exist because Starfleet mission has never been one about defense or intelligence and YET they spend a great deal of time doing just that. I think they can probably find a more legitimate agency that directly deals with these threats but Starfleet is centuries old and yet there is still nothing there to defend it on a permanent basis…which is just bizarre.

I might suggest that it makes more financial sense to combine the exploration with the military. But Picard said they don’t have money. Which has caused me to wonder what the economics of the Trek universe are by Picards time…

Discovery got off to a shaky start for me; it really improved and then just kind of petered out anticlimactically over the final handful of episodes at the end.

This Section 31 twist does nothing for me. I never liked the concept of Section 31; the whole idea behind it is kind of distasteful to me from a series that’s supposed to try to show humanity in its best light. I didn’t like it on DS9, didn’t like it on Enterprise and don’t care for it here. And having a secret organization advertising their existence via the black badges is just plain stupid (is that Goldsman I smell?).

I keep hoping Discovery will rise above the pedigree of some of the people working on it; then I see garbage like this.

Welcome to our super secret agency, btw here is your black badge to wear on your uniform.

So a tyrant is recruited by Section 31 to deal with Klingons and other threats to the Federation? Okey doke.

Star Trek Into Darkness: The Series! :-D

Since Section 31 will be coming to Discovery’s 2nd season, does this mean we might see people like Alexander Marcus come back? We all know that he might be Section 31 in the prime universe just like his Kelvin timeline counterpart. What would be more interesting than that would be if the Discovery’s crew learn more about this from Malcolm Reed’s brief stint in Section 31.

I’d be surprised that Leland had the same surgeon that Keyla Terrana had.

So, since this is a deleted scene, it isn’t canon, right?

I mean, unless they actually include this bit in Season 2.

Well they already said both Section 31 and the character in the clip is in season 2 so it probably is canon.

As much as I loved DS9 I always thought Section 31 was a bit silly. Sadly now both JJ Abrams and the Discovery folks seem to think it also serves as a way to have more moustache twirling villains for storylines and not have to spend too much time thinking about the sort of moral dilemmas Trek used to deal with.

“As much as I loved DS9 I always thought Section 31 was a bit silly.”

I am right with you on this one. Fortunately the section 31 influence on DS9 was minimal. And Darkness wasn’t bad because of section 31. It was bad for other bigger reasons. But including it didn’t help things….

Not that I don’t mind cloak and dagger stuff once in awhile, but I hope Discovery ditches this storyline sooner rather than later. Along with there being a lot of secret organizations and comic book style villains in TV and movies right now, this is well-trodden territory in Trek itself. Would be nice to see this series stand out. You know, boldly go to some weird places we’ve never seen before.

Not that there’s anything wrong with Section 31, the Klingons, the Mirror Universe, the USS Enterprise, but… we’ve been there. Many times.

Sorry, between the shallow fan service of the finale and the retread of this tired cynical plotline, I think I’ve lost interest in Discovery.

I think next season will be the first time I just tune out a new Trek unless I hear later they did something actually inspiring.

“Don’t be silly! Discovery isn’t *anything* to do with Section 31! The NCC-1031 registry is just the (American way of writing the) date of Halloween! Oh, by the way, on a completely unrelated note, those black badge security officers from episode three were Section 31 operatives…”

Seriously? 😒 They seem to have an unhealthy obsession with *blatantly* insulting the audience’s intelligence…

Maxwell Smart, Agent 86: When the moon is full, the tide is high.

Mrs. Green: You must want the spy school. That’s next door.

I grew up on GET SMART but don’t remember that exchange. I think a guy who helped me make my Bond spoof back in high school must have, because he drew a sign that humorously blew the cover for Bond’s workplace. We used it for the exterior of Universal Exports, home of Fleming’s version of MI-6 (or -7, if you listen at the beginning of DR NO.) It read:
1st floor IMPORTS
2nd floor EXPORTS

Why are people so fixated on the black badges? Section 31 doesn’t wear badges, that would be silly. The scene takes place on Quo’nos, there is no direct link between Leland and Discovery. You are drawing lines that don’t need to be made. Are there Section 31 operatives on Discovery, almost certainly yes. Are they wearing black badge? No that would be stupid.

People are fixated on the black badges because the show pointed them out to the audience in the third episode when the prisoners were brought aboard Discovery. Black badges? What could those mean? Something-something-mystery-serialization-stay tuned…


An organisation this clandestine definitely wouldn’t have any easily-identifiable insignia. It wouldn’t necessarily even have an official designation, although you can argue “Section 31” is just an informal euphemism.

It also wouldn’t be realistic to show Section 31 recruiting MU Georgiou unless the organisation was absolutely sure they could keep her under control and had failsafes in case she ever went rogue. Even before the deleted scene surfaced, when Starfleet (stupidly) released Georgiou I figured what should realistically and logically happen would be “Section 31 kidnapped her shortly afterwards, took her to a black site, forcibly extracted as much information as possible about the MU, and she was never seen alive again”.

But…Season 1 established that realism and logic aren’t necessarily priorities for DSC’s showrunners/writers ;) So far, in those aspects DSC is more like Agents of Shield than anything else. It’ll be interesting to see if there’s an overall improvement in storytelling quality in Season 2.

Just a fun retcon:

*As a condition of political asylum, Garak had secretly been recruited by Section 31 early on.*

He’s one of the Cardassian Empire’s most feared former intelligence operatives, and he’d know a huge amount of classified information about the Cardassians…but mysteriously he’s allowed to live on DS9, closely interacting with Starfleet officers, without ever being (publicly) contacted/interrogated by Starfleet Intelligence or Section 31.

Garak “groomed” Bashir, who was eventually targeted for recruitment by Section 31. Although Bashir never realised it, Garak was his handler.

Garak played a central role in the “Pale Moonlight” conspiracy, a plot which could never have gone ahead without Section 31 authorisation; and via his involvement in that plot, Garak helped fulfil Section 31’s stated goal of “ensuring the Federation’s survival by any means necessary”.

Makes perfect sense in hindsight, doesn’t it ;)

Martin said something interesting above, that Discovery is a Star Trek embarrassed by Star Trek. It’s an expensive outing in cognitive dissonance. “I like it, but it’s hokey, but I like it.” So they cut out whatever the find hokey, and try to put their own over-the-top stamp on it. Sadly, what they think is outmoded or dated is part of the DNA of the franchise and the engine behind its storytelling. What you end up with are retreads of old elements–yawn, Mirror Universe, yawn, Section 31–that come off as unimaginative self-pleasuring. It’s as if there are no worlds left to discover, so let’s just stew in the mythos, drown it in postmillenial cynicism, and cut out anything that makes Trek too Trek. The combination, this half-embrace, is ultimately unsatisfying. But I doubt they can back off or moderate their approach, even if they saw the wisdom of doing so.

Why do they make the videos so damn dark!

Look at the stills, plenty of light there! You can actually enjoy all the amazing detail they have put into costume and set design.

I get that in space things are supposed to be dark, so exterior shots of the ships are now blueish dark. But somebody please turn on the lights indoors!

Her accent still cracks me up. I’m sorry. Love her. But it can pull you out of the moment.

The reason that drama exists is that conflict exists. Take the conflict out of drama, and it is dry and sterile. In fact, drama without conflict is arguably not drama at all.

This brings me to Star Trek as often conceived. There are “guest aliens of the week” that have provided drama. There are high-concept episodes, such as infamous Warp 10 episode of VOY where people are turned into some kind strange animal. There are religious episodes such as those in the Bajor / prophet arc in DS9. There are other kinds of drama, such as those involving interpersonal conflicts; there are even dramas involving crises of faith, and the questioning of existential precepts (e.g., the VOY episode where Neelix finds himself unable to any longer believe in the tree of life sacred to his religion). Given the tenor of the conversation here, I don’t quite understand why the introduction of Section 31, which would involve a high potential for drama of all kinds, would be deemed contrary to the stories in Trek that could be of interest to viewers.

I fully understand that the utopian vision of Star Trek as emulated in some episodes of all of its series presents an almost therapeutic salve for those of us who are disgusted with the present world’s lack of idealism. But idealism can only be taken so far before it becomes boring, repetitive, and stale. Idealism also needs a foil.

Star Trek has never been “all idealism, all the time.” Its series have been science-fiction adventure-drama in overall scope. Star Trek challenges are current way of thinking, and not always by presenting an idealized world. In fact, the episodes that at the most interesting avoid outright preachiness and artificial virtue. They exude, rather, a sense of the unexpected.

For some reason, this debate reminds me a bit of “Living Witness” (VOY), another high-concept — and self-contained, episode, in the tendency for historical revisionism among fans. The same tendency toward emotionalism in “defending” a particular view seems to reveal itself. Time will tell whether this revisionism is helpful. As DSC moves forward, it seems have abandoned the template of single-episode, high-concept ideas, and this may be at the crux of the issue. For single-episodic stories, one may have to look at the quasi-Trek offering, “The Orville.”

Every time I read something about season 2, I get a little closer to deciding not to re-up All Access when the new episodes begin. These folks are not making a show I’m interested in.