Interview: ‘Star Trek: Discovery’ Showrunners Reveal Season 2 Theme, Plans For Burnham, Airiam And More

(Photo: Aaron Harvey)

At WonderCon over the weekend, TrekMovie participated in a number of roundtable interviews with members of the Star Trek: Discovery “Visionaries” panel. We will be providing highlights from these roundtable interviews all week long, starting with our sit down with executive producers/co-showrunners Gretchen J. Berg and Aaron Harberts.

Berg and Harberts at center of the “Visionaries” panel group at WonderCon 2018

Season 2 to focus on science vs. faith in the Federation

Will season two be like season one with an over-arching story and character arc?

Aaron Harberts: So, last season was war and finding a way to peace. So, for this season – for lack of a better word – is sort of about “spirituality” in Star Trek. What is the role of serendipity versus science? Is there a story about faith to be told? Leaps of faith. We are dealing with space. We are dealing with things that can’t be explained and you have a character like Michael Burnham who believes there is an explanation for everything.

And it doesn’t just mean religion. It means patterns in our lives. It means connections you can’t explain. Who enters your life and who leaves your life and these indelible impressions people make, and the journey you take and don’t realize that along the way you gather things up you need. That is one of our biggest ideas now and it is threading through all of our characters’ lives. We’ve talked about how the Federation is an interesting organization and how everybody had managed to come together and put aside differences, but that is one area that we felt hadn’t necessarily been explored.

Gretchen J. Berg: We also find that for this show, when we get good debates in the writers’ room or just walking by the casting room or the kitchen, when we are talking about things in a certain way it tends many times to lean into storytelling for the show. What we love to present [are] many different points of view. We are never wanting to say “this is the one way things have to be.” One of the joyous things about the Federation and Starfleet is so many different points of view are represented and that is what we are going to continue to do on the show.

Michael Burnham in the season one finale

Expect more of Michael’s backstory

How do the bombing of the Vulcan Learning center and the death of her parents affect Michael Burnham?

Harberts: Those are all seminal moments in [Michael Burnham’s] timeline.  We are going to discover a little bit more this season about what happened after the Learning Center bombing. There are some pretty big things that Michael took away from that. There are some things that we are going to uncover that not only talk about what happened then, but what are some of the ramifications are from that horrible terrorist event that was waged on this innocent child. We will see the ripple effects of that.

Aftermath of Klingon attack on the Vulcan outpost which orphaned young Michael Burnham

Still getting over the Lorca hangover

Can we expect to see the prime universe version of Lorca?

Berg: The thing about Star Trek is there are so many possibilities for story. Every other show we worked on, you look at the beginning of a season and think “Oh, we have to fill 22, 15, 13 hours.” I don’t feel that way on this show because there is so much story to be told and there are so many possibilities. I would say in season two so far, discussions of that particular thing have not come up, but that doesn’t mean it won’t come up in the future.

Harberts: I think our characters are having a little bit of a Lorca hangover. They were lied to, and they were manipulated, and he was brilliant at it. So, they have to get him out of their systems for a little bit. But that is the beauty of it. Never say never. And people pop up on our show at unexpected times.

Jason Isaacs as Gabriel Lorca

Getting to know Airiam and the rest of the bridge crew

Will we learn more about the augmented human Airiam’s abilities?

Berg: She is fascinating. We haven’t actually established that she has any special abilities. She is a character we will learn a little bit more about this year, and it is because she has captured the imagination. So, I don’t want to give too much away.

Harberts: One of the things we hear a lot is, “Tell us more about [the bridge crew]. Who are they?” We have a chance to do that this year. Airiam is part of the bridge crew and we have a lot of thoughts of who she was and what the augments are all about.

Berg: On a show like this and where teamwork is so important, they can’t just be these human props. They are part of the DNA of how that ship works and how the show works. We always had the desire to get to know them. For us, it was exciting that the audience wanted to get to know them too. It was always going to be in due time, but it seems it is all happening at the right time.

Harberts: There is only so much you can do with an ensemble cast with how you divvy up your time and how you allocate time to different characters. We didn’t even meet the Discovery crew until episode three, so we were already limited in the amount of time we could really create five or six characters that the audience would bond with and love. But now that people know who they are and have accepted them, now you have the space to start pulling people into things.

We are not at war anymore. It is our hope we are going to be doing more away missions and a lot more exploration. Those people are on the bridge for a reason. They all have special skills and we will start learning more about them.

The Discovery crew

Stunned season one came together, ready for more character moments in season two

What do you feel worked with season one and what do you wish you could do differently?

Berg: I feel almost stunned that things went as well as they did and that is only because we knew who our team was when we all started and we all jumped in together, but we didn’t know them because we hadn’t gone through the process together yet. So it’s the journey that builds the relationship. I have never met a group that is more ready to put in 110% than our crew, our cast, our writers. Everybody loved this show and were so proud of it. In the moment, I was day-by-day’ing it just trying to keep above water. There was so much to track. It didn’t give a lot of opportunity to look up and look around.

When you finally looked up it was “Oh my gosh, look what we did.” It was very exciting. We did a lot. It was the first time we had done a show like this in terms of the history and the canon and the expectations and you just have to focus on what is right in front of you. In a lot ways, season two is different because we have the knowledge that we didn’t have before of what people thought. It is in the world. Before it was something we knew about and no one else knew about it yet.

Harberts:  This season it was almost a blessing that we were almost done once it started airing, because though the feedback is great to get from the audience, it can paralyze you in ways. For us to survive this, there had to be a singularity of purpose where everybody locked arms – crew, cast, everybody. So, we just said, “This is our vision and this is what we are doing.” Being able to do that in a vacuum was actually really, really good. Now it is out in the world and I really can’t believe it. How rare is it to have a cast that all get along and they embrace their characters? They just clicked. You never get that with an ensemble out of the gate.

And this crew just stepped up and found ways to pull this off. When we got to the Mirror Universe, that required a complete world creation. And at that point in the series you have spent a lot of money, and people are tired, and yet our designers and our crew came back with a version of the Terran Empire that just blew us away. So, it’s a miracle that it happened. So, again with season two, we are sort of analyzing that whole idea of miracles.

Having it [Season 1] air and having people talk about what they liked and didn’t like – one of the things I am excited to hear is that the fans are open to more scenes where things have “stopped down,” scenes where characters are checking in and where we are learning more about stuff, where the plot isn’t necessarily driving the whole thing. I am proud of all the turns, but I am glad to know people are interested in these quieter moments. Mix it up, have a more of a “slice of life” flavor.

Saru and Burnham share a moment

More WonderCon 2018

Earlier coverage:

‘Star Trek: Discovery’ Showrunners Confirm Number Of Episodes In Season 2, Give Production Update

7 Things We Learned About ‘Star Trek: Discovery’ Season 2 At WonderCon Visionaries Panel

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

WonderCon18: IDW Announces ‘Star Trek: The Next Generation: Terra Incognita’ + Talk ‘Discovery’ Comics

And there is more to come, so stay tuned.

newest oldest
AdAstraPerAspera

I’m gonna take that as confirmation that we’ll see Prime Lorca in Season 2 or 3!

Gary 8.5

Sounds good to me.
Looking forward to season two!

Brian

That all sounds good to me :)

RikersMailbox

Berg and Harberts answer questions like political spinsters.

What do you feel worked with season one and what do you wish you could do differently?

Neither of them said ONE THING that critiqued the choices they made story-wise. Kubrick and Spielberg could drone on about things they regretted, even when talking about their masterpieces. I don’t understand why they refuse to candidly self-reflect. It would do them a world of good.

Dennis C

Because they’re not Kubrick or Spielberg. They’re hired guns and have to tow the company line.

Holden

They are in a tough spot. On the one hand, being a little more thoughtful about what worked and what didn’t would certainly give them more credibility as serious storytellers and not just as self-congratulating corporate cheerleaders. On the other hand, if they admit to anything that didn’t work like they hoped (though I’m hoping they’ve learned from mistakes as everyone should), some fans will pounce and say “told you so.” So some of this is on us as well.

Martin

The 11th hour ‘fellow klingons, let’s wrap this war up now because they planted a bomb in our planet’ was laughable. A whole long winded season, wrapped up in one episode. Mirror universe episodes, because focusing on the ‘alleged’ Prime Universe would have been too much of an obvious choice for a first season. Selective visual reboots, new ship design, new cone headed Klingons, but you leave the poor Andorians and Vulcans alone… oh and paint the Orion slaves a polite light shade of green because vibrant green would be uncool. Introduce Trek’s first gay couple, for only one of them to be killed off and the other one seemingly never brushes his teeth. They need to self-reflect, quickly, before this whole mushroom travesty becomes remembered as the clown of Star Trek legacy. We just lost Stephen Hawking. What future greats will Star Trek Discovery inspire? Poor writing, poor science, poor internal logic. Why not embrace the franchise you’ve taken over? You apologise for the brand enough, the mainstream will see you as desperate for relevance and the core fans will feel disappointed you’re embarassed of your own show. Grow a pair CBS.

David

Orions tan dark green.
If they stay inside in the dark, they’re pale bluish green.

DataMat

Did Spielberg critic his own work very soon after it actually got made though? It would be self harming to critise your own project/tv series/film when it is still actively being produced. I am sure they will reflect on the positives and negatives in the years to come when Discovery is done and dusted.

Marja

Agreed, DataMat.

If I were the one being asked these questions I wouldn’t criticize the work I and my team did in Season One if I was about to start making Season Two. That’s a lot to ask. I would simply and gradually work into a different path.

It sounds as if they are doing some reflection on what they could have done better.

TUP

PR is part of the game. The directors you mentioned are/were mega stars who could do and say whatever they wanted.

Plus, there are fans who critique and rip apart every syllable they utter. So why wouldn’t they be careful what they say or “overly positive”?

I think we can assume two things:

1) There were major issues with season 1 behind the scenes (as far as Fuller leaving and creative differences/changes)

2) They are very proud of what they were able to create and accomplish.

Makes sense they focus on point 2.

MisterAtoz

“We’re all very pleased.”
–Rick Berman, regarding Star Trek productions 1995-2005

TUP

hey, the cheques were never late and they all cleared. That always pleases me too.

Benjamin Adams

You have no idea how PR works or what it’s for, do you?

RikersMailbox

I did work in a marketing position for a number of years, so I’m familiar with how effective PR works.

Jaro Stun

Because it is not allowed to even hint that STD is anything less then perfect, a savior of Star Trek

Phil

There are certainly stories of science AND faith that could be told, I’m not sure Trek is going to be able to resist the urge to label it all stone age smoke and mirrors….

Mirror Galt

Oh you’re thinking of Roddenberry Star Trek. Now we’re on to Gossip Girl Star Trek. #Fierce

Mirror Galt

Aaron & Gretchy dish on bringing that glossy CW Network sheen to Star Trek … breaking now – CW Network’s Alan Van Sprang will have a major role in Season 2, giving us a CW Network take on Section 31!

Captain Ransom

Please Galt, for the love of God… Shut up!

Martin

Mirror Galt, NEVER shut up. God forbid fan voiced criticism. Don’t be intimidated by the bullies here… and by the way, your comments always have me and my partner in stitches.

Mirror Galt

I could dial back the snark a little, I suppose. It’s just that the first season finale was so bad that I actually had the sensation of leaving my body. Maybe I should be grateful for the experience. But I will respectfully wait until the first few episodes of Season 2 to see if Aaron & Gretch are capable of better with a clean slate, free of Bryan Fuller’s non sequitur fever dreams. Gretchen does seem like a lovely person; half of her tweets are about the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Tiger2

No the season finale WAS bad, but I think there was more good than bad overall in the season. But yes I think the one thing they CAN learn is not to throw in too many plots. It was too much going on with all the body switching, parallel universe jumping, time warping, fake outs, shock twists, etc that by the time we got to the actual finale it felt pretty tame and bland by comparison. It just felt like they knew they needed to wrap it up and they came up with the most simplified way to do it, almost to the point of absurdity.

But I WILL say those episodes in the MU were great IMO. Even though I felt Lorca was disposed of too quickly I kind of wish the season was just about that and make the story a bit tighter.

So I have hope for season two, mostly they don’t over do it with all the arcs.

DataMat

Let’s hope that the coming seasons will up the bar.

For me, the departure of Jason Isaccs is really unfortunate, as he was my favourite actor in the cast. I am not entirely sure why they let him go? What a great asset to have in your show! Big Loss!

The Enterprise showing up is somewhat silly; Is the galaxy that small that the Enterprise just had to show up in the finale? Fan service gone too far?

The Klingon war did not work for me, like many others feel it didn’t work either. Clearly the somewhat hap-hazard behind the scenes creative turmoil had hurt the show early on, and led to an unfocused narrative. I have not real opinion of the mirror universe episodes and I’ll need to watch those again eventually.
I am not a big fan of the ‘mirror’ universe narrative anyway,maybe it’s the Doctor Who vibe?

Marja

DataMat, There’s a lot you’ve said above that I agree with. It was a shame that Isaacs was a Mirror guy all along, but there’s some fun in re-watching Season 1 to see how he played every nuance. Masterful! I hope we get to see Isaacs again, and not in some two-parter, but as a recurring character. Enterprise, yep, seemed like fanservice to me. As did all the cheering about “This is who we are!” in the season finale. I think if they’d gone with Fuller’s original idea of a Section 31 ship in the Klingon war, it may have worked better. That long diversion in the Mirrorverse, I feel, was a mistake, and shortchanged all the careful work the Klingon actors did, not to mention all the wonderful design. I’ve never been crazy about the Mirror Universe episodes in Trek because they usually seemed kind of campy and over the top. This MU was a lot harsher, probably more like a brutal totalitarian regime would be. [Of course we can get another view in “The Death of Stalin.” It was really too bad, I thought, that Mirror Lorca didn’t come back to wage a revolutionary war to make the MU a better place for people; but instead turned out to be a worse tyrant than Mirror Georgiou. It would have been nice if he had learned some Federation values while he was on “this” side, and carried them back to “his” universe. Alas. At least Isaacs had a grand… Read more »

Kirok

Marja, I didn’t see any difference between Lorca and Georgiou. Essentially it’s like death by fireing squad or death by hanging. As Harry Mudd said the key word here is “death”.

Marja

Except Mirror Georgiou is still alive and Mirror Lorca spent around a year among the Federation and Starfleet folks.

AS WRITTEN, there’s little difference. What could have been written could’ve been reflective of Federation ideals [they’re contagious]. Oh well.

AdAstraPerAspera

Your bad attitude and tired sarcasm is really starting to grate. Do yourself a favour and stop embarrassing yourself.

It never fails to amaze me how people who hate Discovery spend their time griping about it. Get a life!

It is just as bad listening to you Discovery soap fans whining about how we should just “get over” these showrunners changing our beloved 50 year franchise into a soap in space to make it relatable to a younger generation who is just too shallow to get actual Star Trek. Get a life!

Dennis C

Star Trek Riverdale. Hmmmm…..

Jonboc

Dear Lord, it sounds even more disengaging than season 1. Set phasers on weak! Was hoping for some good character moments with Pike…but I’m sure not counting on it.

Martin

Perfect word for it, disengaging. They introduce the Pike-era Enterprise but the season will be about things in the universe which are unexplainable, faith and coincidence. How about some frickin’ new worlds and new civilisations, new technology and inspiring stuff? No, the hipster writers just want to smell their own mushroom farts.

Danpaine

Agreed. I read nothing in their comments to make me the least bit interested in next season. Hopefully that changes later on this year as they release more details, but…not psyched at all right now.

ML31

My problem with the comments is that the producers have talked a great talk going back to before S1. Yet look at what they ended up giving us. Nothing they say can be taken seriously at all. Maybe this is what they HOPE to have but if last season was any indication the next season will have very little of what they are talking about.

TUP

For example?

Also keep in mind they underwent a major creative change…so what was said then and what they did might have been less than in tune due to that big change.

That is no excuse. When we look into why that big change took place, we can see CBS bringing down the hammer on these kids to bring the show in line with the rest of Star Trek. From the beginning, the forecasts included the “built in” fanbase for Star Trek which is in the tens of millions worldwide. But we have rejected this show because it just isn’t Star Trek.

TUP

I agree. I imagine the Enterprise warps away within 5 seconds of the opening episode.

Or…they were speaking in broad strokes because they like to keep things secretive.

Dennis C

Secretive, sure, but fans were two steps ahead the entire season.

TUP

Had Frakes not leaked the mirror thing, it wouldnt have been as big a story.

The Ash thing had clues so it wasnt meant to be a complete shocker. In the internet age, its almost impossible to keep major plot points a secret. They do a good job. How many knew about the Enterprise in the finale?

albatrosity

Yes, I like the faith angle. I’m just hoping the writers don’t make some late-game decisions in their season arc that undermines everything it had going in the beginning. Season 1 had a lot of good stuff, but on the whole was somewhat underwhelming. I know, everybody’s a critic. But when a good story holds together through the end, as a viewer you really feel it, and I didn’t feel that when Disco ended — I just felt a mediocre “meh, okay then.”

Gary 8.5

well it didn’t quite end, it lead into the next season..
Ironically if they ended the series, the conclusion would have been more definitive.

albatrosity

Did it really “lead” into the next season? Or did they just put a last second cliffhanger to keep our interest? It kinda reminds me of the end of the ENT 3rd season finale, when literally the last 45 seconds an alien Nazi appeared out of nowhere. Like is that really a lead in? Or is it a ten second trailer for next season

Danpaine

…if a cliffhanger was their intention, it was lost upon me. I simply turned to another channel when the finale was over and pretty much forgot about it.

TUP

Im not sure “cliffhanger” is a feeling. Its a fact of how the show ended. Whether you were excited or suffer short term memory issues is not relevant to the fact of how the show ended.

Danpaine

Oh, I remember it just fine, TUP. Just wasn’t impressed, and as we speak, not on the edge of my seat as to what happens next on the show. Trust me, I wanted to like it a lot more than I did. I’ll stick around for more, but mainly due to my own admitted devotion to the franchise I’ve followed all my life, misguided as it may be.

TUP

To be fair, Im sort of excited but not edge of my seat either. But I think its more the way they did it.

If you compare it to, say, Part one of Best of Both Worlds where they spent the whole episode building to that one dramatic moment where the tension was off the charts and in a seemingly no win scenario…we waited all summer dying to know what happened (as it turns out, nothing! lol)

In this case, there was no dramatic tension. Just a hint of “somethings up” which was actually quickly over-shadowed by ship itself. The “what” was over shadowed by the “who”.

Its still a cliffhanger and I dont think it failed dramatically. I think it was as they intended, to simply end Season 1 with the premise of Season 2 (or a hint of the premise).

So I agree it wasnt exciting in a real sense.

Danpaine

Excellent example, The Best of Both Worlds, TUP. That summer was absolutely brutal, waiting to see what happened. I remember yelling at the TV as the part one credits rolled – “No Way!!”

albatrosity

I second everything in this thread, especially your comment Danpaine that the only reason I’m coming back next season is my fan obligation to watch all things Trek. Here’s hoping they grow the beard next year. I think Saru could pull off a beard.

Marja

Danpaine,
I remember the delicious suspense also.
But what with the interwebz I admire any show that can keep secrets nowadays.

albatrosity

To be fair I felt the same way about Beyond, a lightweight story that somehow didn’t have the payoff I guess I was looking for. Maybe I’m just not a Star Trek fan and like to complain.

TUP

That was the issue with Beyond. It was a very small story. Im critical of STID, rightly so, but it was a far more epic story (just poorly told).

albatrosity

For all its gigantic flaws, I think STID is the best Kelvin Trek movie and I still rewatch it regularly, unlike either of the others. It’s the truest Trek blockbuster and also peak postmodernism, which makes it more interesting from like a meta level. But otherwise it’s just a bunch of head-scratching action schlock and I hope nothing like it ever happens again.

Starlordtheoutlaw

Definitely agree. Beyond was good Star Trek, but was less successful at being a summer blockbuster in comparison to ST09 and Into Darkness, both of which had a much more epic feel.

Tiger2

I’ll have to agree as well. STID was far from perfect but its definitely the most entertaining out of three and the one I have easily watched the most. And BC was definitely fun to watch even if you didn’t like the reveal itself. Oh and yeah, Section 31! ;)

Marja

I really liked Beyond. It wasn’t EPIC but as I’ve said many times on TM, I think it’s a mistake to position Trek as a “blockbuster.” Not next to Marvel it ain’t. Trek is about people first, people exploring and finding things out, and being a family of co-workers, and gaining understanding of things wholly different from ourselves and our world.

It shouldn’t have to be about Big Bad Villains and smash-bang-boom. Again — Marvel territory.

Martin

Albatrosity, you’re right to say ‘when it ended’ – it was the season finale, the season ended and the conclusion to the long winded war arc was concluded with ‘ladies and gentlemen, they planted a bomb in our home planet’s crust… we were totally winning the war and everything but now we should just call a cease fire’. It was laughable and insulting. Much of Star Trek: DISregard has been. Give us new races, new stories, inspire us and uplift us! No… just lots of angry acting and more lens flares.

Marja

I liked all the episodes, and have favorites [“The Butcher’s Knife &c.” “Lethe” and “Magic to Make the Sanest &c.” these bear repeating and I have enjoyed them.

But that last episode! Except for Mary Wiseman’s comedic moments, Yeoh striding in her leather with her feather cape like a boss, and Burnham and Ash saying farewell, it was WEAK. The weakest of the season. Poor L’Rell with only a detonator to protect her as a leader! I wish we had had more development of her climb to the top rather than a deus ex machina [quite literally].

Oh well, there are always highs and lows, and at least the cast is top-notch, the writing often is very good, and the costumes are gorgeous.

And unlike many I like the tech, ESPECIALLY THE DASH DRIVE. I hope they’re not getting rid of that concept, because it is a very cool concept. And it could take Discovery ANYWHERE — and ANYWHEN.

Martin

I read through the entire thing… the entire bloody thing… not one thing they said excited me. Exploring patterns and why things happen to us and things in the universe that can’t be explained? Surely we want explainations, we want to make sense of the chaos and feel uplifted by a hopeful, discovery filled future… but no, it’s ‘discovery’ only in name. Do they even realise these damn hipster writers realise they’re even writing for a Star Trek show? Give us new civilisations, new planets, new technology and shine a light onto our own society by challenging us with difficult questions… and by shine a light I don’t mean lens flare. I watch Discovery like I watch any other Netflix ‘tv dinner’ fodder. I don’t take it seriously and how can I when it doesn’t take itself seriously. Mushroom anyone?

Don’t worry. We don’t take you seriously either. Nothing wrong with that. ;-)

Martin

Typical nu-Trek. Shut them down. Bully them. Nothing to see here. Star Trek fans are here in their droves, reading these comments and slowly finding the balls to speak the truth. Badly written show. Like your badly written reply. No content. Just mushroom gas.

Holden

Plenty of us Star Trek fans have expressed legit reservations about the show throughout its first run in more thoughtful, constructive and supportive ways. It’s ironic that someone hiding behind a pseudonym wants to lecture the rest of us about having “balls.”

Man, don’t like it? Don’t watch it. Stop whining. There’s no point. It is THEIR show, not yours. Do you feel bullied? And what are you doing to the writers of the show that, I repeat, is not yours, but theirs? Go watch whatever it pleases you and end your suffering. Life is too short to be spent complaining about things that are beyond your purview and control. Or, as the man wisely said a long while ago, “get a life!”

Holden

Yeah, I don’t agree with that attitude either. Without the fans, there would be no *their* show. The most depressing thing I can think of is people from the show trolling this site with any sense of entitlement at the same time they critique others for doing so.

Sigh. I tried.

Look, you may not like it. CBS has the property. CBS hired these writers to do it. It is THEIR show, no matter what you may think about the role of fans in Star Trek. Fans are fans — they either like it and watch it, or don’t. They don’t get to write the show or call the shots on what the show is about. They are the audience, not the artists, and nothing is going to change that.

Constructive criticism? Fine, bring it on. But it will never ever sound like this: “Do they even realise these damn hipster writers realise they’re even writing for a Star Trek show?”

Just a tip.

Holden

Well, its a good thing I never wrote anything like that! So thanks for the tip. I’m glad you’re not generalizing.

So I defend the show from simplistic criticisms from narrow minded haters, and then have to address your BS?

Ok, so let’s put it a different way: if there were no fans, CBS wouldn’t give a shit about the franchise, let alone try to build a streaming network on its back, and therefore would have no desire to make a show and therefore would have no desire to give a contract to anyone to make anything Trek related.
Or do you still think Hollywood hands out jobs like Halloween candy?

You are not helping the cause, right now, if that’s your point.

What cause? There is no “cause.” That’s my point exactly.

Holden

No. It should’ve been obvious that I meant *your* “cause” of ensuring that fans should shut up and enjoy whatever is fed to them. Geez. . . Public Relations 101.

Marja

Constructive criticism is the only valuable kind.

All the rest is a temper tantrum.

Marja

Martin, Give us new civilisations, new planets, new technology and shine a light onto our own society by challenging us with difficult questions

I think that exploring questions of “leaps of faith” certainly doesn’t prevent that. Remember how many leaps of faith Kirk and Picard and Sisko and Janeway took?

Fritz

It never fails to impress me how Hollywood folk “answer” questions. They’re ready for Washington. ;-)

More Troubles More Dribbles

Star Trek is: Wagon train to the stars- exploring new civilizations, new ideas, cultures, and new forms of life. It is about a traveling group of explorers on the frontier of discovery…
While the Dominion, Borg, and Klingon war arc’s were fun it’s time to get back to the roots of what Star Trek was, while taking into account that the world is fifty years older. It’s okay to go around keeping the peace in the galaxy, but that mandate was always secondary to the original aim of the 5 year mission.
Discovery should ..,.discover

Martin

I agree! They are embarassed by their own identity. This show will be everything BUT Star Trek before their last season when they race against the clock to do fan service, much like Enterprise in it’s last season. A shame, as the galaxy is so big, they are part of a federation who should constantly be making ne contact. Instead they decide the Klingons will visually morph into a new alien race, but we’ll keep everything else, but don’t paint the Orion slaves too green, as that’s uncool. I watch The Walking Dead for my zombies, I watch my Orange Is The New Black for my campy prison dramedy… I watch Star Trek to feel uplifted and inspired – Discovery is very beautiful and very stylish but it’s content has done nothing to inspire. It doesn’t like itself. And that doesn’t invest any audience, hard core fans or mainsteream with any confidence.

Capt Matt

I watch WALKING DEAD for my zombies, BILLIONS for my drama, and ORVILLE for my trek!

TUP

You watch The Walking Dead for the zombies? lol

Danpaine

…last episode TWD actually brought zombies back in a big way – it was a nice tight refreshing episode. It felt good.

TUP

Exactly! I said the same thing to my gf – “hey, there are zombies on this show?”

ST DISCO FAN

Given the sneak peak hint at “something wickedly Section 31 this way comes…”, I am excited at the possibility of Discovery discovering amazing things that Section 31 creates intrigues about.
Part of discovering is what you do with what you have discovered. Will we see exploitation of new worlds and civilisations not as advanced as the Trekkers via Section 31? Will there be really funny episodes showcasing diplomatic faux pas when meeting these new peoples? Or perhaps tense drama bordering on “the end of the world as we know it” because of first contact with the “alien other”?
And by the way… what other tricks — in addition to the spore drive — does Discovery have below decks, just waiting to be whipped out for deus ex machina solutions to any sticky situation they come across?
[And it would be lovely if and when such stories are told, we get a longer episode. 38 minutes does not cut it, and leaves one feeling irritatingly short-changed… Grrr!]
All in all, my feeling on Season 2 is — bring it!

HN4

So glad Gretchen is on this show.

Marti

Note how under positive fan opinions, there are seldom any replies. People critical of Discovery’s first season are too polite and respectful to splash urine on another person’s ideas. Nobody will call someone out for liking the show. But under each critical comment about Discovery, the cretins climb out from under their rocks, you get things like “shut up” and bullying and personal attacks. That says a lot to me. About the times we live in and the way these people operate. Star Trek fans should have a right to voice concerns, discuss their dislikes, without abuse. If I see a comment I disagree we, I am man enough to walk past it without needing to wee myself.

Mirror Galt

Certain Discovery cheerleaders definitely give off the vibe of being affiliated with CBS, there’s no other way to say it. I first noticed it in the comments section of the site “Jammer’s Reviews” – I used to be a message board moderator and some serial commenters on that site surely smacked of the astroturfing I used to encounter. A couple users kept on trying to shame and cow any Discovery-detractors in the most peculiar way. I mean, unless you had some personal investment in the show, or were on the payroll, why would care so much about some total stranger’s opinion of a new show, four episodes into its run? Shoot, the show hadn’t been on long enough to garner such fervent devotion, and yet there were the Moonvesians, stalking down the naysayers. Ha. (As for the huge number of highly suspect 10 out of 10 reviews of Discovery on IMDb, most of which are by users who have rated no other title, [I actually took the time to check every 10 score] I will leave that story for another day.)

Garth Lorca

You don’t need to be on anyone’s payroll to defend an official Star Trek series. It’s Star Trek! It may not be everyone’s dream-come-true, but it’s the way it is. I used to defend VOY and ENT back then, and despite some letdowns (Klingon redesign!), I’ll do the same for DSC. I’ve never been a huge fan of those naysayers trying to impose their personal visions for Trek while bashing the Trek we actually got. The franchise is everything, the fandom is convenient bonus experience at times.

kmart

GarthLorca,
To me the franchise is nothing. You’re stitching together different dramatic entities under the same brand, because they’re all supposed to be the same universe (more or LESS), but dramatically, aside from continuity band-aids, they are each their own thing. Which explains how I can love a whole lot of TOS and most of DS9 while finding VOY and ENT pretty much unwatchable, the Abrams directed features to be beneath abyssmal and most of TNG un-rewatchable. If you’re looking at it as a business, you want to package it as the ‘franchise,’ but as entertainment? It’s like you’re trying to apply the auteur theory to a studio (when it doesn’t really even work when applied to single filmmaker.)

The only way I can see anybody being able to get behind the whole enterprise is to be an uncritical lemming. And that’s not being a fan, it’s being a sycophant. I’ve never understood how anybody loved all of any series, except maybe THE WIRE, which had a few infuriating episodes, but even those were handled with taste and creative brilliance. But THE WIRE would be the exception to nearly any rule when it comes to television.

(now waiting for mn4 or hn4 or whatever he/she is called to trot out a ‘THE WIRE was more boring than TOS and 2001 put together’ snipe … )

HN4

@kmart – Never seen The Wire. I’m not into American crime shows. I like shows like BBC’s Luther. Much better.

kmart

Luther’s a really good show, but has no rewatchability.

TUP

I am legitimately amused that you think this. While the replies are certainly postive in the majority, there are plenty of negative remarks.

The difference is, a lot of the negativity is troll or at least troll -level (ie. quick insult and run). Among the regular naysayers, most of them can’t express what they dislike.

Also, welcome to a discussion forum where people who have a different opinion are free to post a reply.

Are you suggesting you’d prefer if the majority of people here who like Discovery stop posting so you can be all alone with the negative nancies?

TUP

I should also clarify that there are plenty of people here who engage in quality discussion about both the PROS and CONS of the show.

No show is perfect (either perfectly good or perfectly bad). Even the Sopranos, which was the greatest drama of all time (in my humble opinion) had its issues! ;-)

Marja

To me, that was always the difference between Trekkies and Trekkers: Trekkies were uncritical and got the actors mixed up with their characters, while Trekkers would do constructive criticism and still love Trek, and yes, we knew the diff between Nimoy and Spock ;^)

Garth Lorca

“Airiam is part of the bridge crew and we have a lot of thoughts of who she was and what the augments are all about.”

Airiam is Thanos’ long-lost third daughter secretely looking for the Spore Stone / Gem…

Fabio

Ok, this was a waste of time. I do not know more than I knew when I entered the note.

Jack

They’re rather good at using a lot of words to not actually say anything. And I mean that as a compliment.

albatrosity

Yeah like much of the entire first season lol

Garth Lorca

I’m beginning to believe this season will about an aggressively religious new player trying to “convert” the entire galaxy to their “one and only” faith system.

Sort of an intergalactic super sect not unlike Riddick’s Necromongers. The Enterprise has established first contact but now they are converting entire star systems… DISCO is sent to explore the new threat at its source either at the center of the galaxy, another dimension or another galaxy as it is the only ship able to get there via the Spores.

These Space Monks might actually worship the Mycelium Network as a holy entity and are pretty pi**ed the Federation has been tampering with it.

kmart

Sybok’s been there, though he won’t have done that yet for another 28 years or so.

FLB

Unless Season 2 is *about* Sybok?

Dennis C

But we get the impression that Sybok was already creating trouble on Vulcan. Spock runs off to Starfleet, Sybok embraces emotion and Michael turns out to be the child the Sarek has always hoped for. I suspect that Michael meets an untimely end prior to Kirk taking command of the Enterprise which resulted in the widening of the rift between Sarek and Spock.

Luke Montgomery

“Faith” is nonsense and simply a holdover of superstitious silly primitive and absurd thinking. PLEASE don’t bore viewers with this false dichotomy that puts non-evidence-based beleifs on par and at equal value to testable facts and logic. Michael is far too intelligent go be caught up in such a dull-witted “question.”

kmart

I don’t think she has wielded that intelligence very well or consistently yet. Maybe the intended lesson of the season will be that she needs to trust in the trek equivalent of the force to succeed in cases where her intellect has failed or betrayed her. I’d consider that a bad idea for Trek, sort or like having to listen to FAITH OF THE HEART all the way through one whole time, something I don’t think I could do even if paid to endure the experience.

Marja

Dammit kmart,
now I have an earworm

JimSeals01

I’m still betting that we’ll be dealing with the expulsion of Sybok from Vulcan in this upcoming season.

TUP

I’d actually really enjoy them bringing Sybok in and expanding on him. It could make TFF more enjoyable in retrospect (if done right).

Dennis C

It’s worth exploring. An adopted human daughter who met the expectations of a father who was disappointed by his two Vulcan born sons, one who was half human and the other who fully embraced the emotion and passions of their ancestors.

Fritz

I wouldn’t mind seeing that. There’s a lot of things wrong with TFF, but I don’t think Sybok is one of them.

kmart

Too bad Oscar Isaac is too big a deal for this show, he could do it.

Fritz

Isaac as Sybok… hmm… yeah, I could see that. Definitely has the charisma.

Dan8472

Fascinating…

I became a Star Trek fan because I decided to give Discovery a go because there was nothing else to watch.

I really liked it and it was one of the best shows I’ve seen this year, I could never get into the older shows, but this one really clicked with me.

Was kind of hoping I would come here and find other fans who appreciated the show, however, all I read is a bunch of toxic comments about people complaining.

Which is fine, my friend warned me Star Trek fans were that way (to be far a lot of fandoms are too).

Well, it was fun being here while it lasted.

I think Discovery is amazing and I hope it continues for many seasons. I think the only thing that needs a reboot is its fan base.

98% of all the comments here are people complaining about it and then the rest of the comments that ensue are people complaining about their complaints and so the war continues.

Goodness.

I feel more comfortable saying I enjoy Discovery rather than saying I’m a “Star Trek” fan

This really is a toxic group of people.

Jerry Cigar

“It’s a FAKE!!!!”

Come on, man. No believes that made up story.

TUP

I feel your pain Dan. It can be tough to wade through the irrelevant complaining. But there are many people here who enjoy the series and many people here who know it can be even better.

Hopefully this site eventually adds ignore functions then those negative minority can be silenced and real discussions can dominate (both pros and cons).

AdAstraPerAspera

Unfortunately, the Star Trek has become increasingly toxic over the last several years.

I’m actually ashamed these days to be a fan because of the trolling and the whining- especially from posters on site. It amazes me that these comments are not moderated by the owners of the site.

TUP

The thing Im ashamed of us a fan is how many hateful bigoted people are apparently fans. Every thread about the content of the show contains examples. Very sad. And I agree, there should zero tolerance for some of this stuff.

HN4

The majority of fans that love Discovery never post to places like this. What you find here are just a small and loud minority of haters that claim to hate the show. That doesn’t seem to stop them from watching every episode though.

TUP

Good point.

Tiger2

Yeah you can say that about most Trek though lol. The same can be said about the Kelvin films. People here seem to loath them but for casual fans they seem pretty well liked and all got high critical reviews as well.

Although I will say on Reddit Discovery is definitely very mixed and thats a much bigger group of fans who seems to generally enjoy all of Star Trek. But also why I prefer it there than here because so many here oddly seem pretty stuck in their narrow preferences and also seems to be more negativity against the franchise as a whole here. Discovery is simply the latest of the hate.

HN4

@Tiger2 – People still go to Russian controlled reddit?

Tiger2

The Star Trek subreddit has 150 thousand members. Who knew the Russians loved Star Trek so much? But I guess that explains all the constaqnt threads about why Chekhov is the best character in the franchise. ;D

HN4

@Tiger2 – I got sick of all the racists, trolls and russians on reddit and deleted my account. I use to post on the star trek reddit all the time, you would probably know my handle.

Tiger2

Well I been on Reddit for years now and I haven’t had any of those problems. But I guess it depends on what subs you visit. The Star Trek board seems fine in that regard.

HN4

The Star Trek one was the worst.

Marja

Yes, you find haters here, but you also find lovers like myself. I love the show; I just had some issues with the execution in some episodes.

kmart

FASCINATING,
At the risk of being branded one of those toxic folk, I’d really like to know why in this era you couldn’t find anything else to watch. So long as you’re staying away from traditional networks, there is more good stuff than ever right now, plus a backlog of stuff from earlier this year century. And that’s just cable and streaming product.

I’d also be interested in finding out what you actually liked about DSC, in terms of stuff that you find satisfying about it. I liked some shows about 400% more than I expected, but overall found it a terrible mess, especially the 2nd half of the season.

Marja

Well, some of us here aren’t trolls, we just like to discuss Trek, much as we love it, and the parts that didn’t work for us. As for trolls, I tend to skip on down.

Tiger2

Exactly! Some of us actually come here to have an honest discussion, good or bad.

I don’t want it just honey and rainbows no more than I want it to be outright hatred. The balance is somewhere in the middle where you can say you enjoy something but still be critical of its flaws. But if you just think the show outright sucks with no redeeming qualities, why are you still here? Same time if you can’t bear to hear any criticism and feel offended not everyone is in love with something as you then you probably shouldn’t be on the internet at all.

madtrekfanuk

Can we just bring Nick Meyer back, you know who understands the “Human Condition” how to write about it within the context of the Star Trek universe and is great storyteller?

TUP

To be fair we have no idea what the quality of Meyer’s contribution would be at this point. I love the guy for his Star Trek work as much as the next person, but we dont know why he was moved out.

Although Id someone to ask. Maybe we can get a Trek site to look into this matter or something lol

Michael

It surprised Aaron Harberts that the “fans are open to more scenes where things have “stopped down,” scenes where characters are checking in and where we are learning more about stuff, where the plot isn’t necessarily driving the whole thing….I am glad to know people are interested in these quieter moments. Mix it up, have a more of a “slice of life” flavor.?”

Does he realize he is running a Star Trek show?

They claim it is not JJ-Trek. but it sure seems like it. It’s not bad, actually better then JJ-Trek.

kmart

That’s the ‘tap dancing’ Bennett used to talk about, the grace notes that are most memorable rather than plot driven stuff. Amazing that they are surprised this is such a draw (and is why TOS bad shows are somewhat watchable, because of the alchemy/charisma effect.)

Michael

It sounds like they are going to avoid “religion” and talk about “Spirituality.” That is very unfortunate. They could really do something important and talk about how Earth and/or other planets deal with in-planet religious differences in a positive way, without trashing religion as voodoo magic and with out those differences leading to death and war, as has happened through time, up to and including today. If we have “evolved” that does not mean we have walked away from religion or the idea that there is something bigger then ourselves. THAT would be part of the Federation ideals as well.

Mirror Galt

WHAT IN LANDRU’S GREEN EARTH IS THIS MAN BLATHERING ON ABOUT? DID HE LEARN TO WRITE AT A GREETING CARD COMPANY? OR AT OPRAH MAGAZINE?? Harberts: “This season, for lack of a better word, is sort of about spirituality in ‘Star Trek.’ What is the role of serendipity versus science? Is there a story about faith to be told, leaps of faith? We are dealing with space; we are dealing with things that can’t be explained and you have a character like Michael Burnham who believes there is an explanation for everything.

So one of the things we’re very interested in is tackling that idea as it sort of rolls out — and it doesn’t just mean religion, it means patterns in our lives. It means connections that you just can’t explain. It’s about who enters your life, and who leaves your life, and these indelible impressions that people make and the journey that you take – and you don’t realize that along the way, you gather things up that you need.

That’s one of the biggest ideas right now, and it’s threaded through all of our characters’ lives.”

Dr C

I hope they don’t wrap up this theme in season 2. One of the most disappointing aspects of season 1 for me was how quickly and conveniently the Klingon War was wrapped up. It also casts some doubt on the seriousness of the Organian Peace Treaty if Qo’Nos can be ‘sploded at L’Rell’s command. Comparing the Klingon War to the Dominion War in DS9 (which was handled in a vastly superior way imho), there were longer-term ramifications across multiple seasons (particularly issues like Nog losing his leg in ‘the siege of AR558’ and his later PTSD in ‘paper moon’ – episode titles may be misremembered!). And the war developed slowly: first the Dominion advances quickly with the Federation on the back foot, then the Romulans join the war (in one of the best episodes ever), so the Dominion seek out the Breen and the tide turns again, with the Cardassians finally having an uprising thanks to how poorly the Dominion treated them. This all took place (if we include the preamble leading up to open war) over seasons 5, 6, and 7 of DS9. If you want to be pedantic, we can trace the origins of the war back to season 2 with the very first mentions of the Dominion. I’d like DSC to have its own identity (other than ‘kill the past if you have to’ which it seems to be at present), and I’d love it if the ‘themes’ developed more slowly and big, quadrant-altering issues were developed… Read more »

Marja

The Organian Peace Treaty didn’t happen until “Errand of Mercy” in TOS, 10 years after Discovery’s time.

But I agree with you on everything you said about the Dominion war on DS9.

I have a feeling hostilities with the Klingons will heat up again, and L’Rell will seek alliance with the Federation.

L’Rell is too popular a character to be left in the dust, thanks to Mary Chieffo.

Dr C

I hope you’re right :) although an alliance with the federation might make L’Rell an outcast in the Empire – relations seem fairly frosty by the time of TOS – assuming we eventually get to that point in the discoverse

And yeh that’s what I meant about the organian treaty – I would have thought that the threat of a giant bomb beneath the surface of Qo’Nos would have had far reaching ramifications – into Kirk’s time and beyond – meaning that the Organian treaty is essentially meaningless if the Klingon homeworld can be blown up at any point… but hopefully there’ll be a deeper and more detailed story involving the Klingons in the future!

Its just too late. This show has done so much damage to Star Trek that CBS better just go all out and go after the kids who are watching this show and just forget about that “built in” fanbase. They are OK with spore drives, soapy interpersonal drama and squabbles on the bridge and those absolutely AWFUL “Klingons” and the dumb ship redesigns. Nothing they do can fix it. The Orville is the only real Star Trek on the air now.

Marja

So, enjoy “The Orville.” I will continue to enjoy both Orville and Discovery.

Chacun a son gout!

JohnM

I will be very surprised if this show makes a third season. Why? There’s an almost complete lack of genuine chemistry between actors. Within the first 5 episodes of TOS it was there in spades. The comradery feels largely forced in this new series. Writing the characters is part of it, but actors either spark off each other or they don’t and it seems forced, mechanical. Especially now that Lorca has gone, I feel this is going to be another rather stale and very mixed season. A great cast is the glue that holds together a series and can wallpaper over some of the less impressively scripted episodes, as long as the actors genuinely play off each other well. With Shatner, Nimoy and DeForest I could have watched them in a western, or a medical drama instead, they worked so well together it would have been just as fun to watch. After one season the spark still isn’t there for me with this cast. There’s a lack of joy and wonder about discovery, and Discovery… Fingers crossed they’ll find their space legs together in S2.