On Thursday in Studio City, CA, CBS held a special “For Your Consideration” event as part of their promotional campaign for Emmy voters, with a series of panels hosted by Keltie Knight of Entertainment Tonight. On hand for Star Trek: Discovery were co-showrunners Aaron Harberts and Gretchen J. Berg. We have highlights from the event and full video below.
Season 2 is about family, wink wink
The panel ended with the moderator asking the pair what they could tease for season two, and Gretchen started by hinting about who might show up:
Gretchen J. Berg: You can see clues where we ended our last episode, episode 15. That’s all set up, and we are going to be paying off all the stuff that you saw. And the people that maybe were brought to mind, you may be seeing some of those folks too.
Harberts got even more cute when he started dropping hints too:
Aaron Harberts: The show this season, the themes we are tackling is a lot about family and the family that you choose, and the family that you don’t. And as Gretchen said, we ended our finale with the USS Enterprise and the Discovery and this tableau. So, when we talk about family, you can draw your own conclusion.
Of course the season one ended with the USS Enterprise under the command of Christopher Pike showing up. Anson Mount has already been announced as playing Captain Pike, so the most obvious other person that comes to mind from the USS Enterprise is Spock, son of Sarek and foster brother to Michael Burnham, both of whom are on the USS Discovery in the final moments of season one.
When the first season wrapped, producers were indicating that Spock would not be part of the second season, but clues that he will appear are piling up. In addition to the above hints, show star Sonequa Martin-Green recently said the second season will deal with Burnham’s “family dynamic,” and added, “We all know who is on the Enterprise.” Then the production teaser released in April showed a shot of Michael Burnham going into what appears to be Spock’s quarters on the Enterprise.
Michael’s struggle in season 2
In past discussions, showrunners have teased how the second season’s theme will focus on science and faith. Harberts gave a bit more detail on this and how it relates to the main character for the series:
Harberts: We are also tackling this season as well, where spirituality and science might interact. For Michael Burnham, the struggle between facts and feelings and faith.
Season 2 will cement Discovery into Trek’s canon
Aaron also echoed remarks given earlier this month by Gretchen that season two will make an effort to tie Discovery into the rest of Trek, saying:
Harberts: The other thing we are really excited about in season two is, for all the Star Trek fans that have been going bonkers about “How is this possible? Micheal Burnham is the foster sister of Spock… How come they don’t know about the mycelial network in the other [Star Trek shows]?” Part of our goal for this season is to cement Discovery firmly in the timeline of Star Trek canon. And to explain to the audience how these things reconcile.
Discovery designers raising the bar
In talking about the finer details on the show, Gretchen Berg talked about seeing an early cut of the first episode for the second season and how the team behind the camera have been raising the bar:
Berg: Star Trek is bigger than all of us and it really does take such a huge group of people, bringing their talents and bringing their passion. We just got to see an early cut of [the first episode] of the next season. And, I am blown away. I work on the show and have been part of every conversation, every vision board, and I am blown away when I watch it. The artistry is incredible. I really feel the bar has been raised by the talented team on this show.
And they have a plan
Harberts also talked about how the show is good for binge-watching, noting that they do have things worked out ahead of time:
Harberts: Creatively the show is meant to be watched multiple times, which is why we layer it with so many things and so many reveals. We know where we are going, for the most part, before we start shooting. The fun part is to go back. You can now go look at the show and enjoy the story points you may have missed and really start to look at the craft, down the detail.
How Discovery would be a different show on a network
The talk also touched on how Star Trek: Discovery is carried on the streaming service CBS All Access, with both showrunners highlighting the advantages to them as creatives. They said it allows them more freedom, such as not having to “always look at your watch” and make sure the show fits exactly into a typical network time slot. Harberts also noted that Star Trek fans are “sophisticated” and want “to be challenged,” and All Access gave them the freedom to give Michael Burnham a season-long arc, starting off from a difficult place:
Harberts: One of the big buzzwords on network TV is likability of a character. And our character Michael Burnham commits a mutiny in the first episode. I don’t think that a lot of networks would have been game for that, but it really did allow us to tell a pretty exciting chapter for that character and a journey. And they were absolutely willing and on board to things like that.
Watch the event
Here is the full event from CBS. (Special thanks to Terry Snyder for providing video)
Star Trek: Discovery is available exclusively in the USA on CBS All Access. It airs in Canada on Space and streams on CraveTV. It is available on Netflix everywhere else.
Keep up with all the Star Trek: Discovery news at TrekMovie.