Exclusive: Wilson Cruz Promises Exploration And An Epic Love Story In ‘Star Trek: Discovery’ Season 2

TrekMovie had the chance to chat with some of the cast of Star Trek: Discovery at the Star Trek Las Vegas convention, including actor Wilson Cruz. We talked about the mysterious return of his Dr. Hugh Culber, how season two is different and how Cruz was impacted by fan reaction’s to the death of Culber in season one. We have highlights and full video of the interview below.

Discovery will be exploring in season two

Wilson Cruz assessed how the tone of the second season of Star Trek: Discovery will be different by talking about what we will see more of this time around:

We are not in wartime, so I feel the stories are not as dark. I feel there is more humor this season, there is more room for that. There is more exploration of the universe. So, in that way, it is a more forward looking season.

Wilson Cruz as Dr. Hugh Culber in season one of Star Trek: Discovery

Season two allows time to mourn

Wilson Cruz would not get into details on how his character returns from the dead in the second season and would only vaguely agree that Hugh Culber in some way helps Stamets cope with the loss of Culber. But, Picking up on what Anthony Rapp said in his STLV TrekMovie.com interview, the actor talked about how season two will allow Stamets the time to finally reflect on that loss:

We were at war last season and although it was heartbreaking for him to know that his partner was killed in such a violent and unneccessary way, we had a moment in the mycelial network where we were kind of able to kind of say goodbye in a way. And he had to finish the war. They had to finish the war, so it didn’t give him enough time to mourn. I think it is fair to say, he will have an opportunity to do that, come season two.

Stamets never had time to mourn in season one, but will in season two

Payoff to epic love story is coming

When asked about fan reaction to the death of Culber in season one, Cruz made a pledge about what is coming in season two:

I heard a lot about it. I felt terrible, except for the fact that it was really good storytelling and I knew where the story was going and I knew that was a neccessary part of where we were about to go. So, it was immediate pain for a really great payoff later, I promise.

The actor also added some context to the character’s death:

I have to say – I get emotional thinking about it – I was very moved by the way fans have reacted to me and that character and the way they reacted to his murder. It broke my heart in many ways. But I knew things they did not, which is why it was so important to me to go out and reassure fans, as soon as it happened, to let them know it was the end of a chapter and not the end of a story. We were promising them an epic love story and part of an epic love story is heartbreak. There has to be some of that. Peaks and valleys, all relationships are made up of it.

Watch the full interview with Wilson Cruz


We have one more interview from STLV coming up, so stay tuned.  Click here to see all of our STLV coverage to date.

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Exploration = Step in the right direction.

Epic love story? Well, if it means we’ll be treated to something that gives meaning to Culber’s matter of fact death I’m all for that. Cheesy resurrections that reduce the impact of it I am not.

“Cheesy resurrections that reduce the impact of it I am not.”

On the same page there. Culber’s death was the one and only one “Holy Crap!” moment the producers were hoping to provide on a near weekly basis. I’ve always felt bringing characters back from the dead, even Spock, was a cheat and undermined the drama.

Nobody liked that Hank died in a Breaking Bad, but at least after that shock and loss he was dead dead.

Whaaaaaaat? Exploration in a Star Trek show?? Wow Discovery is finally starting to sound like one. ;D

Yeah it really does sound like they heard the complaints and making changes. Put some hair on the Klingons and you may get a few more fans over it!

True but more importantly… The plotting and writing have to be at LEAST mediocre for fans to get more on board. If they want praise from more than just fans they need to up the bar to “good”. Preferably “Great”.

I don’t want to see an epic love story on Star Trek. I want epic scifi.

Star Trek is about human beings first and foremost. Indeed, sci-fi is about dealing with human issues in a fantastical advanced science setting. I’m surprised you haven’t picked that up in your own self claimed near 50 years of watching Trek.

You want to see nothing but rayguns and explosions I suggest you watch something else.

What’s with your personal attack on me? Seriously???

What personal attack? Just citing your own self stated reason for knowing better than others. *shrug*

BK comes across as one of those who feels that if you disagree with him opinion it is a “personal attack.” That said, I think BK took “You want to see nothing but rayguns and explosions I suggest you watch something else” as a personal attack. Which it is not. It is a bit harsh and I wouldn’t tell people what they should watch. But it isn’t a personal attack.

@ El Chup. I apologize if I over-reacted, but your comment that I must mean “ray guns and explosions” and “seemingly” making fun of my 50 years of watching Star Trek seemed a bit over the top. I know the difference between sf and space opera — if I had said, “space opera,” you would have been right with your “ray guns and explosions” comment. But I am a pretty serious fan of science fiction, and don’t consider sf as “ray guns and explosions” as the way to generally describe the term — and you must admit that with the way you used that description, you obviously intended it to be insulting.

PS: ML31 is basically a “Reverse Groupie” of mine. He stalks my posts and continually makes reinforcing-sniping remarks about me indirectly to others who disagree with me. I have to admit, I’m kind of flattered to have a groupie – he’s like having a personal jester. LOL

How’s this for flattery? You have officially become the 3rd person on my self induced “ignore” list. I don’t make it a habit of feeding trolls so this will be the last time I do so in your case for a while.

Feel free to respond if you enjoy a response of crickets.

(Still wish the site had an ACTUAL ignore function but I’m capable of seeing the name and moving past the post)

Love stories are a part of sci-fi! Just ask Ray Bradbury, Isaac Asimov, etc. and dont some of the best Trek stories based on love stories? Like Edith Keeler and Kirk?

Some of the WORST Star Trek has been love stories too, like Chakotay and Seven of Nine suddenly being a couple, Neelix and Kes’ two-season long relationship, Lwaxana chasing after Picard, Chekov’s hippie girlfriend, etc, etc.

The Neelix and Kes think was so just so awkward and dumb. Just really bad writing, with unconvincing acting to boot.

None of them were what I would call “Epic”. In fact, I wouldn’t call any of the love stories in Trek as “epic”. Kirk and Edith come close as it was a VERY good story. But for me, “epic” needs to span at least an entire season. And be engaging. Neelix Kes was far from engaging. Same for Paris-Belana and even Sisco-Casidy Yates. Stammets and Cluber had the potential to be but he got aced so early it just can’t count. And bringing him back from the dead feels like it has to potential to undermine the entire drama of the loss. So the jury is still out on weather or not they can pull that off. My money is on they can’t.

Worf and Jadzia ‘s ongoinog love story was pretty cool. As well as Rom and Leeta’s. The Seven of Nine and Chakotay couple just didn’t fit right to me..nor did the Be’lana and Paris match.

Sure, I am fine with episodic stuff like Keeler and Kirk. A season-long epic love story arc though? Sorry, but I am just not so excited about that.

The Worf-Troi and Worf-Dax long-term stuff I always found distracting, and kind of cheesy.

And I read a ton of Asimov years ago, and can’t really recall (maybe because they are not all that memorable?) his love story scifi stuff that you are referring to, but I will take your word for it. Bradbury was more of a literary type of author who had scifi and fantasy elements in his stories…I don’t really consider him one of the science fiction greats, but certainly he was a great writer of fiction.

Agreed. If they are to do it, it should be subtle. If we see Stamets trying to deal with heart wrenching grief and it builds his character, great. If it’s just going to be building up to some cheesy scene with Culber in the network, Stamets visiting him and the former doing some sort of Aladdin magic carpet ride… no!

The best written love story is, of course, found in the best written Trek series: DS9 (apart from the number of times characters would start a sentence with “It’s ironic…” ergh).

Anyway, Commander Sisko losing his wife and the obvious pain and struggle he went through. Then the cruel way he encountered her mirror version, realised she wasn’t the same person and still lost her. Finally, meeting Kassidy and finding love again.

I miss DS9… Discovery’s producers need to watch that show and learn how to make proper Trek.

Pretty much agree with everything you say — great post. Yes, I am fine with it being subtle, and I really loved the way they handled it with Cisco and his wife, and then him finally meeting Kassidy…that was done well, but it didn’t need to be spread over an entire season’s story arc, which is what concern’s me here.

While the Culber Stamets arc may span the whole season I’m pretty sure it’s not going to be the main story arc. So it probably won’t be Discovery: The Search for Culber the whole season long.

Agreed, Borg. Not ‘yet,’ anyway. This show has a lot of work to do presenting us with compelling science fiction, before characters can trot down the path arm-in-arm and we spend valuable story time on relationships. Create sexual tension, sure, great shows do that, and the payoff later can be great for viewers, if done right.


Neither one is mutually exclusive of the other, but your priority is so noted.

Sounds good. Also, FYI — it look like I was right all along on Hemsworth being previously signed for the new movie, given the studio is now pressuring him to reduce the cost of the deal.


Not if you actually bother to read THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER article as I already pointed out in reply to you which says:

“Hemsworth has been attached to Trek 4 since Paramount, then run by the previous regime headed by Brad Grey, announced the fourth installment in 2016, although his exact status remains murky.”

“Murky” in no way equates to “fully contracted” which is what we took you to task for claiming. He wasn’t then and still hasn’t now been paid his full fee to be in STAR TREK 4. Grey executed a standard option contract attachment, the terms of which the new Paramount regime is attempting to renege on and pay a less than his agreed upon fee to actually contract him to appear in their STAR TREK 4, one which you asserted was already paid to him with “fully contracted” which, by the way, means you are now making the ridiculous claim that Paramount is attempting to get him to return a portion if he was “fully contracted” as you stated. And to what end, if what you said had been true? To help finance a film that you said they wouldn’t have any problem financing?

LOL, Forbes, August 14th:

“Long-story short, the two Chris’s want the money that was promised/negotiated when Brad Grey first announced Star Trek 4 just before Star Trek Beyond was released. Paramount, under new management, wants them to take a pay cut considering Star Trek Beyond’s underperformance.”

You can’t take a paycut on a “murky thing” or whatever you want to call it. Obviously, Hemsworth was signed along with Pine, right before Beyond as this article states, just as I said, and now Paramount wants to reduce his deal.

You are like Fonzie on that famous Happy Days ep where he can’t say, “I was wrroooongh” LOL


LOL, Scott Mendelson doesn’t cite any other source but THR so you aren’t making things less murky by telling me what you think FORBES’ resident Trek fan thinks Borys Kit is telling us.

But if that’s how you want to roll, here’s what another Scott had to say:

“To further confound the situation, producers were apparently waiting to secure both Pine and Hemsworth before negotiating deals for other cast members Zachary Quinto (Spock), Zoe Saldana (Uhura) and Simon Pegg (Scotty), so the project sounds problematic at best.” – “‘Star Trek 4’ Now Uncertain as Chris Pine and Chris Hemsworth Drop Out: Report}
By Scott Snowden, Space.com


How could the TREK 4 producers, who you now seem to claim not only fully contracted Hemsworth but Pine as well, now be waiting to secure two actors that they already had secured in 2016 as you now contend?

Also Mendelson is clearly speculating on Brad Grey’s deal, how could Hemsworth have been fully contracted by Grey in 2016, as you now contend, when no actor is fully contracted for a production without a script?

“I can’t say too much — there’s not even a script — but I always thought, maybe, there was a possibility of him [George Kirk] coming back in some way.” Chris Hemsworth during 1/7/18 interview by IGN for 12 STRONG


IGN and Space.com — that’s all you got? That’s a gaming site and a space news site that are just repeating internet gossip.



Also, Quinto got the same 2016 deal from Grey as Pine and THR clearly reports they were waiting to make a TREK 4 deal with Quinto? How is that possible if Grey had already had him “fully contracted”?

I have no idea why THR is confused on that, because I definitely read reports several years ago the Quinto and Pine were both signed for Trek 4 as part of their new deal. And obviously we now can easily conclude that Hemsworth got his deal set at that same time.

It’s up to us to sort through different bits of info and make logical conclusions about what is most likely going on. No personal offense meant, but you always seem to over-rely on THR, which is notorious for manufacturing “news” out of Hollywood gossip. Get back to me when Variety reports info like that and I will take it more seriously.


Let’s be very clear. You came at me with this THR report and contended it was conclusive evidence of your contentions, not the other way around.

And again, the only thing that fits is that Grey held STAR TREK 4 options on the 3 actors as we already pointed out to you. And now, the new regime attempted to contract Hemsworth and Pine for their Trek 4 production for less than the rosy optioned pricss Grey agreed he’d pay to fully contract them once the production’s finances were secured.

I don’t recall you (i.e. several months ago when we had the initial discussion on this) saying then that Hemsworth had an option? If you actually said that, then you have a point here.

“And now, the new regime attempted to contract Hemsworth and Pine for their Trek 4 production for less than the rosy optioned pricss Grey agreed he’d pay…”

No shit (lol) — that’s exactly what I have been trying to tell you. THANK YOU!


Re: I don’t recall

Normally, I’d say that’s because you are like most people and avoid painful embarrassing memories:


but prior to your style of posting I’ve only seen one poster here so actively determined to constantly revist such a life event solely for the sake of attempting to rewrite it to create a false showboating narrative of never having made a wrong prediction.

You are getting caught up in semantics here…an agreed to option is a business contract between two parties. I already admitted back then that I used bad wording in saying “fully” contracted. But an option is part of of contract, a contract that is signed by the parties involved, so yes, they were “contracted” and “signed” for Trek 4.

I have exposed you as being basically wrong on the idea that Hemsworth was signed for the movie, and you are hiding behind semantics to try to weasel out of it. An option is part of a signed agreement between an actor, agent and a studio, and is a legal contract by law, and is signed by the parties. Fine, I should never have said “fully, as the option was not exercised, but that is meaningless given they were signed and the paperwork is a legal contract.

And your rather obvious inference at the end of your post that I may be that other poster from the past smacks of desperation. Speaking of inference, I would not be shocked now if, all of a sudden, Curios Cadet were to magically show up here to back you up. ;-)


Re: Semantics

No, you made it very clear when you unambiguously and wrongly accused Curious Cadet and myself of being liars along with absolutely denying that you ever said “fully contracted”, that those words were what this was about. And the both of us were clear that that was to what we objected.

You then went on to claim that the difference between us was your willingness to admit when your were wrong even saying

“OK, I stand corrected on this one. I didn’t mean to define it that way, but obviously I said what I said, so: good point!

A big difference between you and I is I will freely admit when I was wrong on something versus misdirection and spin-doctoring.” — BorgKligon

And then you went on to play the semantics game of claiming that a statement that you thoroughly repudiated before admitting that you made it, which you claimed you never meant and made you different for admitting it was wrong, somehow was never wrong to begin with and made you right all along.

So, by omission in your response, you obviously you have nothing to show that you — not Curious Cadet — nothing to show that YOU YOURSELF said that Hemsworth was signed two years ago (as I had first said) before this new news story?

You keep bringing up Curious Cadet like his/her words you get to take credit for? I think he/she can take care of themselves…right. ;-) I am focusing here on what I said and what you said, since you are I are the ones conversing here, right? ;-)

PS: You have to admit, it is rather odd that the minute I brought up the touchy issue of Curious Cadet always showing up to support you several months back that, since then, NOT ONE TIME has that happened again? ;-)


Quit playing games that you accuse others of. I already pointed you to the original comment chain where twice I said:

“As far as I’ve seen reported from credible sources on contracts, all Paramount has done so far is exercise options on three actors.” — Disinvited

which, in context, were Quinto, Pine and Hemsworth. If you are trying to now claim that I was somehow not talking about contracts, that’s your semantics game – Not mine.

In other words, just as I said, you never mentioned Hemsworth — looks like you weren’t confident enough to name the actors, but that is your concern, not mine. I did specifically mention Hemsworth, and now I’ve been proven correct on that.

We can go back and forth all you want, but I specifically said it was Hemsworth, and you were not willing to say that. Fact!


Re:In other words…

You were so embarrassed by your performance in that chain that you’d rather compound your errors with more pulled out of thin air in avoiding it rather than fairly review the record for yourself where you would have discovered that it was not as you prejudicially fantasized:


“The only credible contract reporting I’ve seen was that Paramount optioned 3 actors of which Hemsworth was one.” — Disinvited

Yeah, Kurtzman promised us that with Star Trek Into Darkness too (it would focus on exploration, have more depth than the 2009 movie, blah blah blah). I’ll believe it when I see it.

I’m of the opinion that if they didn’t shove Khan into it, if it was just Khan’s lieutenant or something, it would have been a much better film. The themes of sacrifice and family I feel would have resonated better.

But they STILL would have had the missteps of Kirk’s “death” and Spock’s Khan scream. Which was wrong on SO many levels. Even in an alternate time line some elements of the character just shouldn’t be messed with. Much less echoing elements from a far better movie.

J.J. Trek lost me when they had the temerity to blow up Vulcan. Also to first make Kirk this bad boy rebellious car stealing 10 year old and then have him fall backwards into the Captain’s chair he reminds me of Charlie Harper (2 and a Half Men).

They wouldn’t have had Spock’s Khan scream without Khan. That wouldn’t have made any sense.
I agree that less echoing of TWOK probably would have helped the movie. Plus, it wasn’t even necessary to tell the main story of Adm. Marcus and his Section 31 plot.

The whole Star Trek Into Darkness movie was forgettable, Spock’s Khaaaan! scream, Kirk’s death. Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan was iconic, Kirk’s KHAAAAAAN! scream and Spock’s death reverberate to this day. Plus STWOK is considered still the best big screen Star Trek movie out of all of the Trek movies(TO & TNG).

Hmm, I don’t recall Kurtzman ever promising that (more focus on exploration) before STID. They said all along it was going to focus more on societal issues.

“Fans don’t know what they want.” – Don Rickles. I remember seeing Wilson Cruz on My So-Called Life starring Patti D’Arbanville all those years ago and now he is leading Star Trek on an amazing journey to the outer limits of time, space, and the mysteries of love. “Sometimes a wind blows and the mysteries of love come clear.” – Universal Music Publishing Group

I think I will subscribe to CBS All Access right now, so I am ready when Wilson Cruz returns to the streams. I hear CBS All Access is better than ever with the intriguing Strange Angel, and the upcoming One Dollar, which looks to be as shocking as it is incisive.

He’s been cutting about the universe Katra’s go to, maybe that’s why Spock is so interested in red blobs.

Sounds like the epic love story he was referring to was last season? I think love stories can be hugely important, and the personal relationships on GOT are my favorite part of the story, the characters driving the plot. A transcendent love story can elevate the emotional stakes significantly and I really liked and miss Hugh Culber!

…kind of has a “Nimoy” look to him, not bad.

Refreshing, adventurous, character-building exploration of other worlds is welcome…sappy, pretentious soap opera is not. Fingers crossed for more of the former and none of the latter!

Culber was killed, and yes its Science fiction, and yes there are ways of bringing back a character but it better damn well be meaningful. As for the “Epic Love Story” I get Star Trek is about people and they want to explore various aspects of the characters lives but again, lets not shoe horn something in for the sake of doing it. Make it meaningful, believable and satisfying – however it looks – that goes for all the relationships on the ship. It was very hard to connect with any of the characters in season 1. Tilly, probably the easiest.