Check Out Concept Art And Behind-The-Scenes Photos From ‘Star Trek: Discovery’ Season 1

It’s time once again to round up interesting Star Trek: Discovery-related goings-on in the last week or two.

Concept art from season one

Concept illustrator Samuel Michlap, whose work has been seen online before, now has a number of his Discovery works posted on his ArtStation portfolio. The designs are primarily for the Klingon ships, with emphasis on the Sarcophagus ship. You can see multiple iterations of ideas, including some that would be tweaked and used as extra ships in the fleet on screen.

Sarcophagus ship (Samuel Michlap)

There are also design explorations and alternative versions of what became the Klingon sarcophagus ship.

Klingon ship explorations (Samuel Michlap)

Early design idea for Klingon ship (Samuel Michlap)

Plus he has some detailed close-up looks at some set pieces, such as this Klingon bridge chair prop “that could move along a vertical track.”

Klingon Bridge chair (Samuel Michlap)

And here is some cool concept art for a Vulcan city.

Vulcan planet (Samuel Michlap)

Behind-the-scenes photos from Season 1

CBS released four behind-the-scenes photos from the first season of  Star Trek: Discovery on Twitter, in honor of World Photography Day.

Welcoming New Spock

The big news last week was the announcement that Ethan Peck has been cast as Spock for the show’s second season. Many from the cast and crew of Star Trek: Discovery, including Anthony Rapp, Anson Mount with the message “Welcome, Mr. Spock. Let’s set a course.,” and Mary Chieffo saying “Qapla’ and welcome to the family @ethangpeck !!!! The Klingon Empire salutes you and wishes you all the best on your journey as Mr. Spock.”

Wilson Cruz =shared a heartfelt message that indicated they may have already worked together on the second season.

Sarek actor James Frain had a simple fun message for the new Spock.

Star Trek: The Next Generation star and periodic Discovery director Jonathan Frakes also welcomed the new Spock.

And Enterprise actor John Billingsley had a little fun with the announcement.

Peck was welcomed by the Nimoy family, including Leonard Nimoy’s granddaughter Dani,  daughter Julie, son Adam (joined by Adam’s recent bride and Trek alum Terry Farrell),  all taking to social media to praise the casting.

Peck’s girlfriend shared that moment he got the good news.

Disco cast join Yeoh for Crazy Rich Asians viewing

Michelle Yeoh is starring in the new film Crazy Rich Asians, based on the bestselling novel of the same name, with a 93% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The film opened over the weekend and she hosted a screening for her Star Trek: Discovery family, some of whom shared images on social media.

Ted in Toronto

Writer/Producer Ted Sullivan has returned to Toronto. As he often did during Season 1, Sullivan and other writers take turns going up to the sets in Toronto to help with the production of an episode, typically one the writer had a hand in creating. They’re available for any last-minute issues or revisions, and of course, they get to see their work come to life. While there, Ted shared a random moment that happened while he was out and about in Toronto, and ran into Disco production designer Tamara Deverell.

CBS All Access on Amazon Prime Video – now in 2 flavors

Back in January CBS partnered with Amazon to let Prime users subscribe directly to All Access via Amazon Prime Video. Initially, the only version you could subscribe to was the $9.99/month tier without any advertisements. They promised that eventually the less expensive $5.99/month tier that includes advertisements would be made available for Prime Video users. The new lower-priced tier launched on Monday.

The CBS All Access streaming service is available as a Prime Video Channel add-on for Amazon Prime Video customers. While the cost is the same, it can be more convenient for Amazon Prime customers to get the All Access content via the Amazon app (like you can with other add-on channels like HBO and Showtime). Also, the Amazon Prime Video app is nearly ubiquitous, available on most Smart TVs and many other streaming and handheld devices, which may not offer the standalone CBS All Access app.


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.

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If you already subscribe to All Access, and have Prime, is there a way to link the two together? Or do you need to do a new subscription to All Access via your Amazon account?

Sadly, you have to drop one. If you want it through Amazon, it’s billed via Amazon. So it’s an entirely separate subscription.

@rockoandsocko3 — what Matt said, and also, unless CBSAA has been working on improving their service over the Summer, Prime actually has a higher quality feed with Dolby 5.1 if that’s a concern. I’m hoping Amazon will add HDR support to 1080p as Netflix and Apple do soon, which I think will make a major difference to the picture.

I’m excited to subscribe this way for the Fall, as that’s one less account I have to worry about, and can just roll it into my Prime account. Many people have Prime subscriptions in the US, and this should make it much easier for people to subscribe to CBSAA to increase viewership. It will also be much easier to unsubscribe if CBSAA doesn’t offer me anything of interest thereafter.

I purchase all my services separate thus far, Cadet. How would subscribing through Amazon make it easier to cancel CBSAA, easier than going directly to the CBSAA app and doing so? Because other than that, if the picture quality is better, I may just get it through Amazon.

I’d recommend the Amazon Prime version. Amazon version streams at 1080p, while the CAA app I believe still streams at 720p.

@MattR — My TV reported 1080p native when I was streaming it from CBSAA.

Regardless of the number of pixels, the image quality of AA direct from CBS is quite mediocre, it has a lot of telltale signs of being over compressed.

Also note that streaming apps will upscale everything to the max resolution of the device being used, so seeing what your TV says the input signal is, is not actually displaying the stream info. For example: playing back an episode of DS9 or VOY the stream will be 480p, because it’s not available any higher, but the input info on your TV won’t know that, it will be scaled to the TV’s native res and/or the max output possible from the TV’s app or streaming device (if using an external streamer like a Roku).

Each app must chose to expose the actual stream info. AA does not. Netflix can give you tons of info from various standard and hidden menus. Amazon gives a hint of the current resolution of the stream on their playback bar in some versions of their app.

@Matt Wright — Odd. I have a 4K TV and am almost certain when I was using the internal Android TV CBSAA app, pressing the display button revealed a 1080p source — I remember doing this specifically, because I wanted to know if it was 24p or not, and it was not. But I switched to the Apple TV 4K shortly after the season started. I have no way to go back and confirm that now.

I feel that CBSAA has improved their stream greatly since Discovery kicked-off. don’t know what the numbers are but TNG looks amazing now. Looked like shit when I first signed up.

One of the bizarre shortcomings of All Access’s Trek library is that they only have the remastered TNG in HD for Seasons 1 & 2. Everything after is still the old DVD-era copies. Despite CBS owning all of Trek on TV, their own streaming service has odd holes like that. Both Netflix and Amazon Prime Video have all 7 seasons of TNG remastered in HD, and have for years.

Not sure what season you watched before, but it’s possible you sampled one from Season 3+ and then went back and looked at an episode from Season 1 or 2. An episode from the first two seasons will look substantially better simply because they are the modern HD versions.

@Matt Wright — my guess is that CBS has agreed to holdbacks on their own service based on the terms of the deal negotiated with Amazon and Netflix.

Yes but I believe those would have been done years ago. Back in 2012 Amazon negotiated to be the first to get TNG-R. But that seems to have passed, since Netflix now has all 7 seasons and has for a few years. Either way it’s not great for CBS, since they want to make AA the place to get Trek.

@Matt Wright, right, but those deals have to be renewed periodically. Our typical term deals are 8 year holdbacks with Netflix and Amazon on produced content. As you say, it just doesn’t otherwise make sense for CBSAA not to stream the highest quality masters they have on their own service, since it literally doesn’t cost them anything more.

OK, if assuming Yeoh screened “Crazy Rich Asians” in Toronto (which is wear most of the cast and crew presumably are right now), what is Jason Isaacs doing there? Did he just fly in for the filming? Could be, but that seems less likely.

I know you all are thinking what I am thinking. Here comes Prime Lorca!

Why would that be unlikely? This guy circle the globe doing everything from Harry Potter events to Trek cruises now. He considers these people his friends, they probably asked him if he wanted to join to support Yeoh, so he did.

Yes I get what you’re thinking. But I’m pretty sure if they wanted to keep him coming back a secret then they wouldn’t have him showing up in cast photos to create the speculation you’re now doing.

And you could be 100% right, but these are the same people who created a fake actor to keep the Voq/Tyler twist a secret. They would make sure him being there to shoot would be completely secret.

Hmm that was also my first thought but Tiger2 is right. This guy is used to globetrotting the planet so making a pit stop to see his Disco friends is probably not worth speculating on. And Toronto is an absolutely awesome place to be – at least in the SUMMER time haha. One thing I do like is how much this cast seems to like hanging out together, just like Frakes said, they remind him of the TNG cast. If the show continues for another few years, then I definitely can see this group hanging out at STLV 2027 for the 10th anniversary reunion!!

Seeing these ships presented this way makes me think of ALIEN. Particularly the Special Ops Chair. That in part is what I really like about the new Klingons — they finally look truly alien to me. What I don’t like about them are some of these ship designs. They seem way to elaborate to be practically functional. Then again, once in space they could decorate them any way they wanted — it’s just a veneer. That said, I don’t care for most of them.

“Truly alien” – are you havin a laff? Sure, they gave the Klingons egghead macroencephaly, but they still look like unexpressive humans wearing silicone. They are many recent examples of genuinely alien-looking aliens in film/tv, but Disco ain’t it. They did succeed in making them truly dull lumbering oafs though, I will grant you that.

They had an OK idea for the Klingon ships – more “truly alien” than the familiar 80s Bird (or the Bad Robot ships that no one remembers), but the results tended toward, well, vomit. And I’m grading on a curve.

You really are a vile piece of work arent you, Galt? You never have anything nice to say, you are frequently abusive about female cast members and production staff, you are faecetious and now you are rude to people who have different views to you. You are a cretin. Shame on you.

I agree that the designs sure to look “alien”. The problem is that Klingons already have an established look and to tweak things too far from that established look means they pretty much aren’t Klingons anymore. Those designs would be great for some new alien Trek never saw before. But not for something as well known as Klingons.

I agree with every word in Cadet’s post. Alien, yes. Do I like? …not really. Disco’s ships need a lot of work IMO

Agreed. A lot of work, across the board. “Discoprise” looked decent I suppose, but I’m not going to get into that hornet’s nest.

Same. I don’t really care they look more alien or not. I just want them to look BETTER! Both the Klingons and the designs. A lot of it is off putting to me.

Yeah, I really don’t get all that spidery detail on the ships themselves either. Well, on the sarcophagus ship maybe – it’s an ancient “ceremonial” ship after all, so that “ancient aliens”-look would’ve been a rather plausible choice to set it apart from the other ships. But no, all Klingon ships from the BoP (a design which, in itself, is rather interesting IMO, but it’s still too much of everything – too much of an “organic” feel, too much ornamental stuff) to all those near-indistinguishable other ship types, just had to have that photo-etched-detail look to them. It’s just strange, considering there’s still a certain consensus on what Starfleet ships are supposed to look like so that they halfway fit visual canon, but it seems that the same cannot be said about Klingon ships.

@JAGT — The only saving grace here is that DISC is establishing that the Klingons are an unincorporated loose federation of Houses, with no real centralized military — so that easiuly explains that over the next 10 years, the Klingons came together, established the Empire and built the uniform looking ships we’re used to.

It should be noted that they also did a bit of a retcon or retread (sorta, kinda..) in “Will You Take My Hand” when they show those Klingon ships approaching Earth: In that episode (and ONLY in that episode) they changed the colour scheme of the ships, with the hulls being closer to the familiar gunmetal grey and the engines being lit in crimson red (most notably on the BoP, where they had hitherto been lit blue).

Very cool picture with the Nimoys. However, it’s thumbs out everyone.

Yeah. I wish people would stop doing that, unless perhaps they can’t physically do it with thumb out.

I liked the Vulcan city we got in “Lethe” much better, thanks.

Nice to see the DSC cast getting on so well behind the scenes. Whatever you think of the show itself, they seem like genuinely nice people. Hopefully that real-life camaraderie will be more in evidence in Season 2.

Yeah I agree. It’s clear there is a lot of chaos happening on that show lol but it does look like the cast themselves are friends and really do get along.

I’m hoping season 2 be a much better show.

Yeah, the look of everything Vulcan in “Lethe” was actually really cool. The design of Sarek’s ship bridged the gap between the ENT-designs and the (hardly ever seen) TNG-era designs very nicely. And the surface shots of Vulcan were a neat way to establish, that Vulcan’s sky could be blue AND red and likely also yellowish (which settles that bit of controversy that ensued when Trek09 depicted Vulcan as having a blue sky). There was a lot of “silent reconciliation” going on, concerning the many, many continuity issues that arose over the years. I also feel that the famous “Vulcan has no moons” issue was solved rather effectively, since it was obvious that the celestial body seen in Vulcan’s sky was large enough to be a co-orbiting planet.

Cheers. Forget all that rubbish about a Star Trek actor making scandalous headlines around the world… what I want to focus on are KLINGON VOMIT SHIPS and Riverdale Spock’s Twitter mentions.

“Forget all that rubbish about a Star Trek actor making scandalous headlines around the world…”

What are you talking about?

Probably means the Jimmy Bennett / Asia Argento story.

That or his inability to ever say anything positive.

Probably the latter.

Thanks, William. Mirror Galt does degrade the level of conversation around here with his trolling.

@William — well I too, do wonder why it’s not being reported here.

So, you just come here troll?


Man Terry Ferrell is still hot!

Yes she certainly is…

While I initially found the concept of an ancient Klingon sarcophagus ship to be a really neat one – I liked the idea of them basically decorating their ship with generations of their dead, I find the overall design of the Klingon ships in the show to be horrendous. Lots of people are having a hard time with how the Klingons themselves look, fair enough, but my bigger problem is with the ship design.

And while Galt did paint a bit of an unnecessarily grim picture of the show above, “Riverdale” Spock is something I definitely expect to see in Season 2. A moody, emotional “tween.” And somehow his half-sister is going to be partly responsible for molding him into the more logical and stable Spock we know going forward. Why we need a backstory on Spock, much less why we need him in this show at all (besides the obvious attempt to lure in more viewers), will hopefully be made clear to me going forward.

Please no moody Spock please please the KT movies did that and it’s just horrible

Exactly. While Quinto is a fine actor, the way they wrote Spock for the KT movies really didn’t sit well with me. The only saving grace is that took place in another universe, so “our” prime Spock remained intact. Not the case here.

Danpaine, If Burnham is responsible for “molding” Spock into what we knew of him 9 years later on Kirk’s bridge then any hopes for the new show runners being better than the old ones are lost. That’s just a terrible idea. OK, not as bad as turning a fantastic character into a one dimensional black hat villain. But still a terrible one.

Just my prediction. I do hope I’m wrong.

So I’m assuming, as I had when I found out about this… Is that to get CBSAA through Amazon Prime you are essentially paying for two services instead of one. Sounds like another hoop to jump through to get the better stream that in all honesty, CBS should be providing themselves.

I honestly don’t understand the aesthetic choices behind the Klingons. From the hyper-detailing of the ships, down to the Klingons themselves, you’ve got something that barely recognizable as the species. Apart from the ships not looking related to each other, these could have been a new alien species all together. So much so, that if we weren’t told these were Klingons, we wouldn’t be able to tell just by looking at them. Why, before the show aired, Trek Yards was speculating that the (now known) Bird of Prey might have been a Romulan ship. Sorry, but the aesthetic they chose for the Klingons is just a mish-mesh of everything else “but Klingon”, if you ask me. As for the Starfleet ships? Not bad. Though, I think they mixed up their eras of technology, mixing TNG and TMP aesthetics. That IS recognizable as Starfleet, at least. Again, without being told, I could tell that was Starfleet warping in, not an alliance of different species.