After the Star Trek: Discovery panel at New York Comic Con, TrekMovie had a chance to talk with the panelists at roundtable interviews in the press room. We have been rolling them out all week and today we have returning cast members Doug Jones (Commander Saru) and Mary Wiseman (Ensign Tilly) talking about what’s new for their characters in season two, and their Short Treks episodes. Watch the full video below the interview.
Are you feeling less pressure now that season one is done?
Doug Jones: Wow, less pressure? I don’t know. It’s almost like when you finish a first season, and it went well, and it was successful and well-received, it’s like, ‘oh gosh we’ve got to come back as strong, if not stronger.’ I feel more pressure. I’m a self-doubter, in real life, it’s like, ‘I can’t do it, I think I’m done, I think I’ve shot the wad and now I’m done.’
Mary Wiseman: Yeah, when we were talking on set and I was on the bridge or something and I was like, “Doug, do you ever feel a deep fear that your character this season won’t match your character last season?” And you were like “YEAH!”
Doug Jones: We just talked about it just recently! We all go through that, yeah. Whatever works, will I find those moments again? That kind of thing.
So, you have a strong season two coming?
Doug Jones: We really do. Now that we’re nearing the end of season two, I think that we have a very strong season to present to you in January.
Mary Wiseman: And your shirtless scene is going to be … setting your head on fire.
Doug Jones: And my shirtless scene — that’s when they had to carry the makeup down all the way. So I was a Kelpien torso. Okay?
Does the storytelling style change this season?
Doug Jones: I think it’s a bit more episodic because… the seven signals you heard about? Each one of those signals starts a new storyline that will have some sort of completion. But the overall arc, they’re all very connected, and you need to watch the entire season to find out where it’s all going. So it’s a little bit of both.
Mary Wiseman: I think the rhythm, everything is a little more syncopated, because we also have mini-arcs within that that kind of flavor the story, but of course we’re always going to be a chapter-based television show. We do that a little bit more of little peeks inside someone’s journey right now, that’s a bit standalone, but will add up to something.
Doug Jones: There’s a lot of carry through now.
How does Saru feel about losing his captain status so quickly?
Doug Jones: Right, because I knew, Saru knew that settling into the captain’s chair in season one, we were heading toward Vulcan to be assigned a new captain. And I assured the crew, I’m just acting captain for now, that was a line I even said.
But I did not know that we would be intercepted by a distress call from the Enterprise, and that we would be boarded by Captain Pike. I didn’t know that part. So he does feel a little bit territorial, maybe, at the beginning of that. Because, hey, I JUST got into the captain’s chair, and you’re… already? Let me enjoy this for just – for the trip to Vulcan. Can I at least get that in me?
Mary, when does your Short Treks mini-episode (“Runaway”) take place?
Mary Wiseman: Yeah, I think it should take place sort of somewhere non-specific, in the timeline of season 2. So it’s not specific. And they wanted that so that it could be standalone. So people who don’t watch it, they can still appreciate the season, but also it’s an enriching sort of character story, deepens the character. So it’s set kind of where we are now, but not very specifically. We wanted to leave that open… Definitely after the medal ceremony, like you said.
Doug Jones: You’ll notice her hair, too. The hair might be a giveaway with where we are in the timeline.
Mary Wiseman: I was really obsessed with, just, you know, evolving from the bun into a pony.
Does “Runaway” affect what happens in season two?
Mary Wiseman: No, not sort of… super-specifically. The way that they exist in the world is more of a character study and a character deepening and a backstory – you get to see my mom, you know – it’s just like, I think it fleshes out a little bit who this character is. I don’t think we want it to directly affect the season, so if someone hasn’t seen it, they can still totally comprehend, and it will totally make sense.
Doug, can you tell us about your Short Treks episode (“The Brightest Star”)?
Doug Jones: The thing about all the four of the shorts we have so far, is that they’re all very different from each other, and they all take place in different moods, different time periods, different everything. Different characters. So mine is actually – you’re going to learn how Saru became a part of Starfleet. So mine goes back, so there are breadcrumbs that you’ll find in season 2 that you’ll find in the short film as well. So mine does have a direct tie with hints. But, like Mary just said, you can watch one or the other, with a complete story, without having to see the other one.
Watch the full interview
More from NYCC
There are still more interviews coming from all of our coverage of New York Comic Con. So stay tuned.
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. The second season will debut on All Access and Space on Thursday, January 17th, 2019, and on Netflix January 18th.
Keep up with all the Star Trek: Discovery news here at TrekMovie.