Interview: Mario Moreira and Gersha Phillips On Keeping It Real For ‘Star Trek: Discovery’ Props and Costumes

(Photo: Aaron Harvey)

Costume designer Gersha Phillips and props master Mario Moreira work closely together on Star Trek: Discovery to kit out the crew. Following the Star Trek: Discovery “Visionaries” panel at WonderCon, TrekMovie sat down with Gersha and Mario and some other journalists at a roundtable interview to talk about how they make the props and costumes feel real, and what they hope for in season two.

Mario Moreira and Gersha Phillips at WonderCon 2018

Ready to have some more fun for season 2

What can you tell us about costumes for the second season?

Phillips: We aren’t really allowed to say anything.

Moreira: I think what we’ve been saying is that we set the bar so high for ourselves this year that we are just going to keep pushing and pushing and give you something even more awesome and spectacular.

What kind of guidance are you getting? What freedom do you have in your designs?

Phillips: It comes from the story. Basically, when it is written that’s where I start. The story is my basis and then I pull from that. What costumes I have to design, what is new, what can we reuse? That’s the process. I feel like last year went so well, they were pretty happy, so I feel they are giving me a little more leeway. They said the other day when I asked about a character, “Just do what you do.”

Moreira: We’ve gotten to a level of trust. I think we’ve gained that trust. They let us really explore first, and then we present to them and they may say, “Oh, you know we didn’t think of this,” or “I was thinking more like this but I like what you’ve done so can we find a middle ground?” We are in that world now where we get to really explore and have a bit of fun.

When do you feel that sense of trust finally started to appear?

Phillips: I think Mirror Universe was a tipping point and episode 15 was the icing on the cake. That went really well.

Emperor Georgiou from the Mirror Universe had a unique costume and sword

Challenges from uniforms to bat’leths

Is there anything in particular in Season 1 that was more of a challenge for each of you?

Phillips: Everything. Except the Disco workout shirt. That one was easy. When they told me they wanted me to do this shirt I thought it was a joke. I put it aside and didn’t even think about it until I got asked about it later. So, that was funny. The Starfleet uniform itself took us 6 months to get to. Luckily, we had that prep time because the sets weren’t ready. That was a journey.

Moriera: Part of that journey for me was the badges. Because they are really a reflection of the costume because as the costume changed, so did the badge. When Gersha landed on it, I knew we were able to land on it as well. We really came to a point together and could finally present that final version of the uniform.

What was the most difficult prop to create?

Moreira: For me there was a lot of collaboration with the bat’leth. That took a while to really get to. The bat’leth and the phaser were tough ones.  The phaser for me — I’d wake up in sweats because it was so iconic. It’s such a thing and I thought “Man, I got to nail this thing.” We got there, and I was so proud of it. The bat’leth, we just kept circling around different colors and shapes. We were sort of putting a new stamp on the Klingons and wanted to show this aesthetic warrior culture, and we needed to create a weapon that was a piece of art.

We heard Glenn [Hetrick] talk earlier about all the different houses of Klingons and their design. Does this extend to their weapons?

Moreira: Yes. There are different shapes of mek’leth as well for different houses. We have worked some of that out, with different shapes for different characters, and I would like to introduce some new bat’leths for different houses if it comes up.

House of T’Kuvma bat’leth on display at San Diego Comic Con 2017

Nerding out with NASA and JPL to get it right

Are you watching other Trek series for inspiration in your designs, and if so, which ones?

Phillips: Depending on what the story line was, I dipped into many different versions of Trek. I go to other inspirations as well. I looked at a lot of other sci-fi and other futuristic films, series, etcetera, just sort of combing the world. Also, when we were doing the space suit, the EV suit, we looked at NASA and that lightweight space suit a woman there was designing.

Moreira: And we were talking to Jet Propulsion Laboratories almost every day and asking things like “How would this function? What’s the standard for this?” And of course, there isn’t one, and calling Jet Propulsion isn’t the easiest thing to do, but when you say you’re from Star Trek everyone there wants to get on the phone.

Is there someone there at JPL who is an official consultant?

Phillips: Yes, someone set it up. I think Vincenzo [Natali] did it for Bryan [Fuller]. It was very important that what we design would actually be able to function. When we had the illustration for the EV suit, we sent it to them and got on the phone and had a conversation about the reality of it and what the pieces were.  I actually feel like there was nothing that came down to us about what we needed to do…

Moreira: No, I think we got it!

Phillips: He was pretty happy with what we had done. That was cool.  For season two, I was watching Interstellar. There are some really great backstories about how they came up with the script. What was really interesting was listening to [physicist] Kip Thorn, talk about science and space travel and all that. It was really cool and interesting for me because I’m not a science person.

Moreira: She’s turned into a nerd!

Phillips: I know, but the thing to me is being in a room and having these conversations about certain subjects and thinking “I’m way over my head and I don’t know what I’m doing.” I had to do a lot of research on the fly. Whenever they had specific thing for us to do, I had my team split up researching and reporting back. As Aaron [Harberts] kept saying, it’s got to be grounded in some form of reality and it’s got to make sense to us.

Yes, the Trekkies will call you on that.

Phillips: I feel like the first iteration of Trek did do a little of that. In the ’60s, you couldn’t fact check things like you can now. There was no Internet available to you. So, I feel like they got away with a lot more than we do. And also, they don’t have the history to deal with.

Original Star Trek inspired a lot of real life technology. It sounds like real life technology is inspiring you. Can you speak about that?

Moreira: What I want to do specifically with prop design, is not just nod to The Original Series, but as Gersha discussed with me earlier, The Original Series inspired the cell phone, medical scanners, iPads, and so many things. That’s what we want to do now with [Discovery]. We want to inspire someone to go, “hey that could work.”

When you are designing a prop, a piece of technology, how deep do you go into the rabbit hole of how these things work, or is it more about being camera ready and looking good?

Moreira: For me, it has to function in my head. I have to know what every button does on it. I have to know how far the communicator can communicate.  We have to know these things so that when an actor on set asks “what does this do?” we have the answer for them. Because we are not just designing things, we are building a world for the actors to live in. So if we don’t have the answers for them, they can’t fully develop their characters. So, we have to fully develop our props and costumes so that they can do their jobs.

EV suit on display at San Diego Comic Con 2017

More TrekMovie WonderCon 2018 coverage

Interview: ‘Star Trek: Discovery’ Composer Jeff Russo Talks New Soundtrack Release, Season 2 And More

Interview: ‘Star Trek: Discovery’ Makeup Team On Klingon And Tellarite Updates And Borg Hopes

Interview: Jason Zimmerman Talks USS Enterprise And 5,000 VFX Shots For ‘Star Trek: Discovery’

Interview: Mary Chieffo Talks Klingon Sex And L’Rell’s Future

Full Star Trek: Discovery Visionaries panel video

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

‘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

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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“In the ’60s, you couldn’t fact check things like you can now. There was no Internet available to you. So, I feel like they got away with a lot more than we do.” They didn’t get away with anything in the 60s, they didn’t need to. It was an original series that had free reign to go in any direction artistically, creatively that it wanted. It wasn’t a prequel and it wasn’t plagiarising, adapting, re-envisioning, rebooting or rehashing anyone else’s work. The Discovery production team’s comments are really defensive when it comes to fans. That’s been the running theme of these last few articles. Being asked reasonable questions but firing back brash statements.

They seem to have created this imaginary ‘hard-core fan monster’ in their minds, that ‘fact checks’ and is scornful of any tiny change. But I see through it… and you see it in politics a lot too – They pull this imagined boogie man out as a tool in answering any question, because the more extreme and unreasonable they paint the concerns of the other party, the more they can silence detractors with a simple ‘sexist’ ‘racist’ ‘homophobe’ ‘stuck in the past’ ‘bigot’ ‘…lives in their parents basement’ whatever. Mock the people who you’re asking to pay for this contrived, blue saturated, badly written mess. That’s good business.

To admit that fans had reasonable expectations and that they continually missed these expectations and intend on continuing to miss them would be honest. Let’s face it, there is no ‘half way’ point between this production and the investment we the fans have made to that beautifully detailed and cohesive universe that spans 50 years and 5 series – But honesty wouldn’t have got them their subscriptions for this badly produced experiment. Melding with what has come before DOES matter if you want your product to live in that universe. This is simply a re-imagining of Star Trek. I.e a studio trying to make money off an asset. No vision, no philosophy, no soul and no relationship the stories and ethos of what came before, Stop telling us it’s Prime anything. We’re not fact checking. We’re face palming.

“They seem to have created this imaginary ‘hard-core fan monster’ in their minds, that ‘fact checks’ and is scornful of any tiny change.”

They haven’t even imagined anything. Those fan monsters exist. Some of them are on this very website, attacking any sort of change to their expectations of what a Trek series can be about. In fact, I have lurked here enough to know that YOU have been extremely rude about the production staff and the choice made. YOU could be easily cast in this “fan monster” light.

I really do have to ask why you continue to read articles and post rude comments on a television show you don’t like? Surely you have something better to do with your day?

That “hardcore fan monster” does indeed exist, but then so does his mirror, the obsequious hardcore lover who will defend every single decision the showrunners make, even if they produce an episode that is fifty minutes of a turd slowly revolving in a microwave…and the truth is that the latter usually outweigh the former. Hell, you should stop by the DSC Facebook page. You can’t even say a episode was a mixed back woithout being rounded on like rabid wolves on a carcass. Generally most of teh critics aren’t mindless haters and do take the time to articulate themselves but still get lumped in with the haters by the “Discovery can do no wrong” crowd.

I think that if a person takes their time to articulate their complaints well then they at least deserve to be listened to and not dismissed at the flick of a wrist. The correct response would be to offer a similarly articulated rebuttal if you disagrees, rather than labels or one sentence responses like so many offer. Whether you like the show, dislike the show or, like me, are on the fence but think there are problems, I think any reasonable person would accept and acknowledge that there are controversial elements about the show that are going to lead to debate and fan decision. The Klingon redesign. Consistency with canon. Their claims of prime timeline yet presenting a reboot when it suits and as on. Long terms fans of the franchise, who have invested years of time and money into it, deserve more than to be dismissed as old, stuck in the past nitpicking losers who should (bizarrely) be running off and watching The Orville. That is the narrative they are getting from fans of the show and, to a certain degree, the showrunners themselves. It’s unfair because without us long termers sticking around for decades, the franchise name would not have the power it has and there would be no Discovery or JJ Trek films for that matter. We have at least done enough to deserve an opinion, whether others like the opinion or not.

Bad decisions like they have made deserve to be pointed out
That woman is a hack, she tried to turn the crew into the fantastic four

Please answer me honestly: why do you continually feel the need to comment on a television show you clearly don’t like?

But, my dear CBS Posse, you already know the answer to that, don’t you. Star Trek fans tend to think Star Trek is culturally important, and if hacks like Alex Kurtzman are butchering it, concerned Star Trek fans (or “Trekkies” or “Treksters” or “Trekesians” as they’re called) will remain vigilant until said hacks are fired, upon which time they can go work on Haim Saban’s Power Rangers. As for me, I guess I’m somewhat morbid. There’s a certain sad fascination in seeing something you love killed in real time. But there are some glimmers of hope, granted. We’re all brimming with anticipation as we wait for Season 2 – Aaron says it will be about the magic of serendipity and how science might not be able to explain those chance encounters that bring you towards the people who like totally keep you going up with love, laughter, and light. And really, what could be more Star Trek than that?

I get tired of the ‘irrational basement dweller’ smear myself. I went to art school, got a degree in philosophy, and went on to a normal, well-adjusted adulthood. Whether I talk about the art or the writing, I’m not a ravening, hysterical “fanboy,” whatever that is (I assume it’s another word for “basement dweller”). My critiques are rational and well-considered. I suspect there are other people here, normal people, who have offered up reasonable criticisms only to be shot down with an uninformed ad hominem characterization.

That the producers and staff have gotten into it, tilting at whatever windmills they choose to conjure for themselves, is too much. I just this evening cancelled my subscription. I’ll catch up after the inevitable network cancellation. Or not–I never went back to see the rest of Voyager, either.

But you’re right, Mirror Galt. There’s a sort of morbid fascination in watching a trainwreck in progress. Therefore I expect I will continue reading the articles here, for confirmation or schadenfreude. And I think that’s the answer to your question, AdAstra. Some commenters have an axe to grind, but others, myself included, have a hard time looking away from an awful spectacle.

Wow, that was so well-written I almost feel it was wasted posting it here. Not enough folks will appreciate it — but I do.

Thank you, Kmart, I appreciate it. I think there are a lot of sharp, discerning minds here, though. We shouldn’t despair and let the outliers color the whole.

We, the discerning ones, are the majority of critics of Discovery

The way I read it is that Martin loves Star Trek so much that he is being defensive of his love by voicing his concern that the creative staff are more into putting their own mark on the show rather than respect the creative direction that came before. One example: Klingon’s. How do these new Klingon’s respect the ones we’ve already come to love. You can’t put Santa in a blue suit- simply because it looks better in the light. No, I get it Martin, but I also understand Gersha and Mario have to love what they do enough to respect what makes it good. While these new Klingon’s are far removed from previous versions I can believe that their exposure to the rest of the galaxy will effect change on their species on things like growing hair, and beards, and wearing more modern armor in the next hundred years. I still don’t like their looks, but I think I get it.

You can’t put Santa in a blue suit- simply because it looks better in the light.

Pretty bad analogy here. The original Santa legend had him in a green suit which was changed to red for marketing purposes. The colour stuck- just as the new Klingon redesign is going to stick.Just as the rest of the visual reboots will stick. I’m not wild about it but you wont catch me complaining endlessly about it or being a snarky, immature brat like Mirror Galt and Martin.

Oh FFS, and it’s the critics who are the nitpickers, eh?

So Santa once had a green suit. So what? Way to entirely miss the point of the comment, which is that it is the red suit that is ingrained in modern culture. It’s what people expect to see. It is a common association with Santa that society now has. Just like how the post TMP Klingons became the definitive look of the race over many hundreds of hours of episodes and movies, including two series leads.

You can’t just wave your hand away at something that someone has watched for literally hundreds of hours and say “you’re am immature brat” if they want to see something more linked to those hundreds of hours.

It’s like taking Star Wars, turning Chewbacca into a lizard and then saying anyone is immature for thinking it might be a mistake.

Jesus, this question comes up over and over again and the answer is so simple. The person is a fan of the Star Trek franchise and has been for decades. When a new incarnation comes along he/she WANTS to like it. So if, for that person, it doesn’t that fan then feels frustrated and comments on what the problems are or what they’d like to see changed in some faint hope that their comment might contribute to feedback.

Why does every genius who says “why do you comment on a show you don’t like” seem blissfully unaware of the obvious?

Because it is unlikable
Because if we don’t speak up they will think they have gotten away with producing Crap & it won’t change

I agree with you in that the studio, in regards to Star Trek, can’t ever see the forest for the trees. They think a few unreasonable people wearing buttons and costumes are the “fans” who keep them from making any changes, but fail to see that the big audience they’re supposedly going for, the general audience, are the ones who appreciate Star Trek for what it is: action, adventure, exploration — universal themes that resonate. That’s why TOS and TNG, the two Roddenberry shows, are vastly more popular than the other spinoffs, including this one. There are core themes to “Star Trek” which have to be recognized for it to be successful.

Absolutely right. Great engaging characters. Humanistic themes. Optimism. Ethical dilemmas. Discovery and exploration of one’s self and the world at large. That is what Star Trek is about. Even when Trek tackles things like war and conflict it is within these parameters. That’s what the showrunners and, sadly, a lot of modern fans don’t get.

100% right
Unfortunately we are smarter than the people producing STD

Hear, hear. Decency and compassion should not the sole domain of one political wing or the other. And Star Trek points us to a future that transcends immature, intractable partisan politics. Why bring those politics here? It’s like traipsing a “lawn biscuit” inside. Leave it at the door.

The times in my life where I was getting outraged about Trek’s choices have all been times in my life where something was especially out of whack. That’s just me.

It’s been a odd “time” on this site recently. It seems to be a situation where a lot of new Discovery haters have come out of the woodwork at the same time that many new trolls have also emerged telling fans that they have no right to write anything about Star Trek on a Trek fan site that’s short of hagiographic. They seem to be feeding off each other. Ugly all around.

The House of T’Kuvma bat’leth is completely unfit for purpose as a weapon. Dan Curry’s bat’leth, based on exotic Chinese designs, is an effective weapon, if a bit of an unwieldy one. Phillips and Moreira’s design is a mere fantasy prop. which cannot be manipulated with anything like the elegance that Michael Dorn so expertly displayed. I do hope they re-introduce the classic practical design again. The new mek’leth designs are not so bad, but are still not as functional as the TNG ones. Basically, Phillips and Moreira should try to stick to the adage “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”.

They could have definitely kept the bat’leth design but made it sleeker. Looking at TNG now, it looks rather cumbersome and cheap.

I would have preferred an update on the old shape, but I can live with this one. Overall I can handle the newer Klingon equipment and uniforms. There are at least hints of a design lineage. It’s that they pretty completely threw out any kind of linage with the ship designs and the atrocious new make up that doesn’t sit so easily with me.

“…the Disco workout shirt. That one was easy. When they told me they wanted me to do this shirt I thought it was a joke.”

It is a joke… but they look SO fuckin’ cool!

Y’know, every time I read the comment section here I am reminded of why people make fun of Star Trek fans. The franchise was considered DOA in 2007 when they announced that JJ was doing a new movie (…spawning the genesis of this website) and a lot of folks here have done _nothing_ but bitch about everything that’s followed since.

After bitching about the movies non-stop, we got a TV show and then there was even MORE bitching because it doesn’t look like it was made out of cardboard and plywood like the show produced in the 1960s! Seriously?!?!?! And you wonder why the Disco production team sounds defensive in their interviews? It’s because of assholes like some folks on this site that nitpick and bicker about EVERYTHING from space being too “blue”, costumes not being TOS-y enough, scripts not living up their fanboy expectations, and any other number of bullshit complaints that they have.


“It’s not _MY_ Star Trek” they say. “This is NOTHING like TNG” they say. No, your Trek is 30-plus years old. The world has changed and passed you by. You are pining for days that will never come back. You might was well complain about how you never get to use your fax machine anymore or how much you miss your pager. Just stop already. Open yourself to new ideas and new interpretations of Trek.

Or, at the minimum, stop posting petty bullshit in the comments section. Because eventually, we all reap what we sow and in some strange way, this will all come back and bite the fans in the ass. Just wait for it.

Not one single person on Earth wants Trek to look like it was made out of cardboard and plywood. You might want to revisit your premises.


You sure about that?

Yeah, he’s sure. Only an extremely small minority think that TOS sets are feasible as they were. That doesn’t mean Discovery can’t still do more to fit the period in which it’s set and it also doesn’t give a pass to whatever design choices they make.

I’m sure Chris believes that. But keeping trolling for a fight, “HN4.”



Trek wasn’t dead on arrival at all. Berman Trek was over saturated and repetitive. That’s why people got tired of it.

The franchise needed fresh blood. But I refuse to accept the argument that dumb down blockbuster movies made primarily for the non-fan and soap opera action TV shows are the only options for the franchise. I believe to this day that both the movies and Trek on TV, especially the latter, can be all these things and still maintain the heart and soul of what Roddenberry and his earlier successors understood Trek to be.

Then there’s the fact that you post is pathetically littered with the same old straw man retorts to any fan that has a criticism. We want it to look exactly like TOS. We want it to be like TNG. Blah, blah, blah. If you read the comments from critical fabs who actually articulate themselves very few, if any, make the claim that Trek going forward should be carbon copies of either show. Most reasonable fans accept that a new series needs to bring something new to the table. Your problem is that you’re easily pleased or so desperate for new Trek that you’ll just take whatever you’re given with little complaint. But that doesn’t mean that just because the modern, dumber Trek is okay for you it’s okay for some of us other long term fans.

Well, bad news: dumb-down blockbusters are what put asses in seats in the theaters and drive ad revenue for streaming broadcast. And those are the things that keep Trek in the production line.

I am a devoted reader of the website, usually checking it a couple of times a day just to make sure I see any news that pops up. I also read the comments, and add my own thoughts on one or two occasions. I don’t cherry-pick the comments I read, I read them all in chronological order (…because I’m a glutton for punishment, obviously). And what I see a lot of in EVERY THREAD is “I miss TNG”, “Why doesn’t it _look_ like TOS?”, amongst others. It’s absurd. Nobody is giving this show the chance to stand on it’s own feet. It’s just been a lot of shit-talk since the premise was announced. And, as a loyal fan of more than 30 years, I find it offensive.

Audiences are dumber because we live in a dumber society. We have a younger generation that are generally too stupid to process high-minded allegorical storytelling and an older generation that is desperately clinging to a past that is no longer relevant. Welcome to the 21st century.

“Audiences are dumber because we live in a dumber society. We have a younger generation that are generally too stupid to process high-minded allegorical storytelling and an older generation that is desperately clinging to a past that is no longer relevant. Welcome to the 21st century.”

This has to be one of the saddest, most defeatist cements I have read in 23 years on the internet. Society is dumber now so we just roll with it? How utterly offensive a sentiment…especially from a Star Trek fan. When TOS came out sci-fi was bug eyed monsters and Flash Gordon style rocket ships. Trek came along in an age where thought was also pretty regressive and offered something different. Something with thought. That came with chance and risk and despite being a short term failure it proved and enduring long term success because it had that uniqueness and intelligence. Your argument is that we just accept whatever comes along, that is generally indistinctive from everything else out there, and gets forgotten in a few years, because it earns short term ticket sales. Not only is that shirt sighted because these things have earned a fraction in long term merchandising that the earlier Treks have earned, but it also shows an alarming and very sad lack of aspiration from audience members like you, who would rather be drip fed easily digestible stuff rather than nothing than something with a little more depth. I’d rather have nothing if the price of more content is ripping the heart and brains out of the franchise.

Welcome to the 21st Century? The 21st Century is whatever we choose to make it.

I initially responded in a harmful and non-constructive fashion. It will not allow me to delete my comment all together, so I have edited my answer:
We shall have to agree to disagree.

trump is in the White House. We failed.

“Plywood sets” is a straw man argument, and disingenuous. No one is arguing for plywood sets (though, if you’re being honest, sets are still made with plywood). “You’re stuck in the past” is another fallacious argument, being both uninformedly ad hominem and too broad a generalization to be accurate or useful. I love TOS, but I would not live in the 1960s for love nor money. What attracts to TOS, and varying degrees to the Berman iterations, is the bright, shiny, optimistic future, and stories that challenge accepted wisdom. In short, it is a vision of the future, not some misplaced nostalgia for the 1960s, that draws me back to that particular well.

Another thought: Even if I dislike the timbre and art redesign, that’s not the only thing that bothers me (and why your “plywood sets” argument is reductive). I dislike the “epic distraction cinema” aesthetic. Flash! Bang! Look at this–No, look at this! These serve to distract from poor writing. You can’t focus on anything long enough to think about it, before they want you to look at the next thing. Because if you did linger on something–the Qo’noS bomb, for instance–you might realize it’s absurd. The ’09 movie and Into Darkness did the same thing. I was just watching an episode of DS9 the other day and saw a lingering reaction shot and thought to myself, This could never happen in the more recent productions. The eye is never allowed to rest on anything for more than a second or two. This, you must concede, is not a criticism of fandangled extruded plastic bulkheads or plexiglass displays.

I can understand your points and will concede that your concerns are more focused on the storytelling style than anything, and I commend you for that. However, I will reply much in the same vein as I did with the user above: Audiences expectations for storytelling have changed significantly since TNG or DS9, let alone TOS. Attention spans are shorter, there is more of an appetite for graphic violence and convoluted plotting. Sure, you can make the argument that Trek should be leading the path back towards smarter stories, but that’s not how Hollywood works. You don’t have to like it,and I don’t particularly care for it either. But it comes down to a choice: dumber Trek for more people that will watch it and drive membership dollars and ad revenue, or No Trek at all. Which would you prefer?

Allow me to retract my last sentence and replace it with another:
You have a choice:
1) Dumber Trek for more people that will be a money-maker for all of the various powers that be.
2) No *new* Trek, just all the old favorites and greatest hits forever on “shuffle” through the various streaming services.

Personally speaking, I’d prefer some new content.

Thank you for your kind reply. I’ll always argue with money, but I don’t expect to win. It’s a tough call, whether I’d prefer dumb Trek or no Trek. It’s a shame that the choice is so binary. On one hand, I wouldn’t like to turn off the tap. It was a sad few years after they canceled Enterprise. But–on the other hand–because of the emphasis on “canon” the franchise has always had, a bad production nevertheless informs all future productions. Even throwaway lines can cause writers headaches decades later. So I don’t know, I’m conflicted. I know I skipped Voyager after the first couple seasons, and was no worse for the wear. I suppose this is no different. Perhaps the only thing that continues to animate me is a feel misled by the producers. It would have been easier to shrug off this particular iteration of the franchise had I not been led to think it would be something other than it has turned out to be. I dislike feeling lied to, manipulated, strung along, or otherwise messed with.

Most of the comments from those who love the show unconditionally to those who have well thought out reasons for not loving it are often misplaced. The typical comment of “you want cheap plywood sets” tells the reader the author does not understand the legitimate criticisms. Personally, I do know and accept that a new Trek needs to move forward. It cannot be the same as TOS or TNG. Season long story arcs are the way things are going now. Fine. Do that. Do something new and different with Trek. But no matter what is done with it, I, and a number of other enthusiasts it seems, would really appreciate it if it were better than mediocre. And we certainly don’t want it to suck. Yet that is what we got. Unimaginative and bad plots. A tired (and worthless it turns out) surgically altered Klingon. Been there. Done that. What else you got? And intriguing captain? Cool! No wait… He’s not really complex. He’s just a power mad wanna be dictator for the MU who will do literally ANYTHING to get back. In short, typical one dimensional bad guy. And also… ” Perhaps the only thing that continues to animate me is a feel misled by the producers. ” That. For me, another annoying thing is we were asked to pay the price of a movie specifically for essentially a new season of Trek. If I’m going to be asked to pay more than I already am I have higher expectations. You do not get the luxury of a season or two to “work out the kinks”. No. This gets treated like a movie. I go to a movie expecting it to be good as I have paid a specific fee just to go and view it. STD falls into that category. If it were on CBS or even Showtime for that matter it would not get such scrutiny. By putting it on CBSAA they have invited harsher than normal criticism. The less than positive reception this show seems to be getting is entirely CBS’s doing. And they have earned it.

I like the EV suit, though the feminine features are a little odd. I mean, why be that tailored, that body specific for something that’s meant for ‘off-roading,’ so to speak? It’s not a uniform.

I can think of many reasons. The smaller the surface area, the less there is to heat up / cool down when exposed to direct sunlight, for instance. The more form-fitting, the more comfortable and flexible it is for the wearer to perform extended tasks in space, including as we saw, combat. Compare that to today’s EVA suits which have a much more restricted range of motion, thick gloves reducing tactile sense when handling tools or objects, etc. Plus, the less bulk, the less energy required for the thruster pack to reach given velocities and/or maneuver. Given that they have proto-replicators on board, it makes sense that they could body-scan and produce a form-fitting suit in a relatively short time, and recycle it later.

Good points. Thank you.

Ok, I may regret this, but I’m gonna go out on a limb.

I’m going to try to channel the spirit of Joe Jennings from the TWOK special features, IIRC… as if he were the production designer for Discovery, giving an interview 6 months before the premiere.

“So we need to keep things smooth [on the ship exteriors] because it’s established that our fleet is smooth. We’re gonna find a way to avoid being so ‘one piece’ like TOS, but not go overboard with the ‘Aztec’ look [of the feature films]. I’m excited about what we’re coming up with. You’re still gonna see scale. We put lots of lighting on the ship. More even than The Motion Picture. I think they used dental mirrors to reflect little blips of light on the ship for that first picture. Our folks have it easy with CGI, boy oh boy.

“To answer a fan question, we don’t feel that we need to reconcile our ships with J.J. [Abrams], and if Paramount and CBS come back together and the money people want more similarity we can always deal with it then. We’re our own show in the original timeline, not that other J.J. dimension or reality or whatever the fans like to call it.

“Like I said about exteriors for the 2nd picture back in 1983 [sic], our fleet is smoother on the inside of the ships, too. ‘Enterprise’ had more doo-dads but they didn’t turn it into the Millenium Falcon. Now, I’m not saying we want to be J.J.’s Apple Store, either. I’m not poo-pooing J.J.’s team. But boy, they took heat for that [aesthetic] from some of the fans, even though it’s really quite amazing to look at on the screen.

“But when you think about it, from the 1960s to the 1990s, there was a smooth interior aesthetic, just like there was a smooth exterior aesthetic. That’s just the bag of marbles we play with in Star Trek, and you gotta always remember that. Sure, there were lights and switches, but the panels were smooth and the walls weren’t fussy. Some say BSG [the Battlestar Galactica reboot] rewrote the book but I don’t buy that. When we see Klingon or other alien environments, now THAT’S when we’ll get piece-y and it will feel very different and alien and almost off-putting compared to our people [on the Discovery]. There’s an Ancient ship that will amaze you but I can’t say more about that yet.

“Look, I’m not the costume designer, and Nick Meyer really changed things up in the ’80s, but I think the plan for our show is for the uniforms to be fairly sleek as a nod to TOS, without a lot of collars or flaps or zippers.

“I also put in my two cents about division and rank insignia. Have you ever served in the military? Well, I have. And even if this is more like the Coast Guard, it’s still true that you gotta be able to see from a distance who your people are, what their rank is, and what they do. You can’t be an efficient crew if you gotta be kissing distance to figure out someone’s rank! There’s hundreds of crew members on our ship, right?

“Anyway, I hope you’ll love ‘Discovery’ as much as I do.”

–Joe Jennings, production designer

This is the line that bothers me a lot…

” We’re our own show in the original timeline, ”

Because they really aren’t in their own timeline. They are in the PU timeline and specifically in an era TOS ans already defined. Or at least that is what the producers have told us.

If this were yet another time line or just an actual reboot all can be forgiven. But that is not what they are telling us. At all.

Your comment makes me wonder if Tamara Deverell’s comments drew any ire from the higher-ups, for being too frank and letting the cat out of the bag. Otherwise they may have tried to string us along another year. They might still.

I also found it interesting that they specifically mentioned the KU. Multiple times. As if it were vitally important they do nothing like it. Yet what they ended up with was a tone closer to that than it was to the established era and timeline we have been constantly told they are in.

No doubt they wanted to replicate much of the KU, but were being careful not to seem like they were infringing Viacom’s copyright. Perhaps if they say it’s the Prime universe often enough, it will become true. True to the lawyers, anyway.

I thought a lot of the sets, props, and costumes for the Klingons were pretty cool and interesting, but it’s just too bad we didn’t see more of it.

This is an ongoing problem but the uniforms and props and such look like they would work a ton better if the show was set some 75 years before TOS. Not the staffs fault really. They weren’t the ones who decided what era to set the show in.