Interview: ‘Star Trek: Discovery’ Producers Talk Planets, Canon And Why Season 2 Needs Spock

Alex Kurtzman and Heather Kadin at NYCC Star Trek: Discovery press roundtable

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 executive producers Alex Kurtzman and Heather Kadin. We discussed the influence of “The Cage,” the evolution of Spock, and the writers’ room. Watch the full video below the interview.

Is “The Cage” a touchstone for bringing this season into alignment with canon?

Alex Kurtzman: We are going to bring everything into alignment at the end of the season, and “The Cage” will be touched on, but in ways that I think are hopefully surprising and unexpected. I think one of the things that I’ve really enjoyed in my time working on Star Trek is looking at stories that have been told but then really examining them for the gray areas, the areas where certain things can be filled in or built on, without violating canon. So that’s a big part of what we’re doing this season.

Star Trek’s first pilot “The Cage”

Which character arc was most satisfying to develop for season 2?

Alex Kurtzman: Spock, in many ways. I mean, my heart is always with Michael Burnham. Her journey, that’s the one that’s most accessible to me as a writer when I sit down to write a script, but I think that I am very excited about Spock this season because this is literally the only season in which we can tell this story about Spock. So there’s a big reason to do it now. And I’m excited about that, I’m excited for people to get to see that.

Heather Kadin: Saru’s arc is also – I mean, they’re all good. But Doug Jones is such a gift. I mean, again, they all are, I say that and … but I mean, I’m literally weeping watching a rough cut, I mean he’s just such a beautiful soul. You see it, right? Like that’s him, and through all that latex, you still see it. But his story is pretty spectacular.

Michael Burnham and Saru share a moment, from the NYCC season two trailer

What made you decide to introduce Spock, after saying you were not going to do so?

Alex Kurtzman: What gets me so excited about the story that we get to tell with Spock this season is that it’s the unwritten chapter of Spock. This is not the Spock that you know from the beginning of TOS, this is pre-TOS. He is not that formed Vulcan yet. His experience with the Red Angel and the signals has fried his logical brain. He cannot make sense of it. And he is emotionally ill-equipped to deal with it. So both logic and emotion are failing him, totally. And he is totally unsure of himself and trying to figure out how to make sense of the mystery and where he fits into the world. And it’s through his complicated relationship with his sister that he’s able to figure out how to become and actualize himself as the Spock that we know from TOS. And that’s really exciting to us because it in no way violates canon, it just builds on what’s been set before.

Early, more emotional Spock

Were you extra sensitive in casting Number One, since it was Majel Barrett’s role?

Alex Kurtzman: You know, I really credit the Roddenberrys and Rod Roddenberry for – not only was she a critical character on Star Trek, she also happened to be his mother. He was very supportive, and really has been nothing but supportive. So yes, obviously we have to be delicate and careful in what we were doing, but the truth is, we didn’t really know much about Number One. So there’s a lot of room to build.

Are we going to find out Number One’s name?

Alex Kurtzman: You’ll have to watch and see…

Two Number Ones – Rebecca Romijn in Discovery and Majel Barrett in “The Cage”

Are you going to visit any planets this season?

Alex Kurtzman: You will see a few planets this season, yes.

Are you visiting planets we’ve seen before?

Alex Kurtzman: Talos. We’re going to Talos.

Talos IV, as seen in “The Cage”

Have the behind-the-scenes changes affected the direction of season 2?

Alex Kurtzman: We always had certain pillars – here’s how I like to structure a season when you’re in the room: you spend the first couple of months talking about what you want the show to be, and you ideally decide on an outcome. We want the finale to be here, this is where we’re going to end. And so once you know that, you can reverse engineer your season very strategically to get to that outcome. It’s really critical. So I always think of it as like there are going to be four major pivot points that I want to identify at the beginning, to know how to get to that place. But I don’t want to fill in too many of the gaps, because if I fill in too many of the gaps, it doesn’t leave any room to be surprised as we continue to break story throughout the season. So it’s a matter of having a structure that allows you the freedom to improvise.

Saru and Pike in the first episode of the second season

Can you tell us about any of the new writers on the team?

Alex Kurtzman: Yeah, there’s a ton. There’s a woman who came in, name of Michelle Paradise, she’s fantastic. Alan McElroy‘s amazing. Erika and Boey have been incredible this year. I could go on and on about each one, but they’re–

Heather Kadin: We have an amazing staff.

Michelle Paradise and Alan McElroy

Star Trek: Discovery season 2 writers include Michelle Paradise and Alan McElroy

Watch the full interview

More from NYCC

We will have a second part of the producers from NYCC tomorrow. Check out all the rest of our New York Comic Con coverage.


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.

The first season of Star Trek: Discovery will be released on Blu-ray and DVD on November 13th.

Keep up with all the Star Trek: Discovery news here at TrekMovie.

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Mathew

Seriously? Going to Talos? I would love to see how they get away with that and still claim they’re keeping with the Prime continuity.

Tiger2

I don’t understand, why wouldn’t that be canon? Isn’t this happening after Pike’s first visit?

El Chup

Thing is, The Cage isn’t really canon anyway. It’s the footage of The Cage as in incorporated into The Menagerie that is, and the latter contradicts the former. So I don’t think they need to be too slavish with The Cage, given that it is an unaired show.

Land O'Calrissian

Of course “The Cage” is canon. That’s a ridiculous thing to say.

Corylea

Nearly all of “The Cage” is in “The Menagerie.” They only left out a small part of it, so MOST of it is canon.

Michael Hall

I don’t agree with that at all. “Canon” is what you decide it to be, in any case.

Corylea

In “The Menagerie,” Mendez tells Kirk that the Enterprise was the only ship ever to visit Talos IV. So the Discovery can’t go there and stay within canon.

Corinthian7

@Corylea Unless it’s the Enterprise and not Discovery that visits Talos IV or they don’t tell anybody and keep it out the logs given that it’s a capital offence, it could even be part of a covert Section 31 operation. Basically there’s loads of ways you could come up with that don’t violate canon.

ML31

Oh boy… The old “it’s classified” trope. God, please… No more.

Corinthian7

@ML31 None of the examples I gave fallback on the “it’s classified” trope. In the first scenario The Enterprise would visit Talos IV so they’d still be the only ship to go there, in the second example I was suggesting that the crew go there in defiance of general order 7 and simply don’t get caught and the 3rd suggestion involved section 31, a rogue, off book organisation that work independently of Starfleet.

ML31

OK. Fair enough. I misread.

Corinthian7

No probs dude.

Michael Hall

They can if Mendez doesn’t know about it, because it’s not in the official record.

FLB

Don’t forget though that’s it’s not really Mendez speaking to Kirk but rather a Talosian illusion of Mendez provided to Kirk.

Michael Hall

Well . . . Not really. The replacement of Mendez with the Talosian illusion probably came sometime after that conversation, as they were boarding the shuttle, though the script admittedly doesn’t make that clear.

navamske

I don’t watch Discovery, but I think from what I’ve read is that Disco takes place after Pike’s visit to Talos. Which means that going to Talos is a capital crime.

Disinvited

navamske,

We only know that by Kirk’s command it is a capital death penalty crime. We have no idea how long the debate took took to legislate it so.

Who cares

I can come up with several off the top of my head. Expository flashback as he duscusses Talos with Michael, Talosian long range telepathic contact with Pike causing him to see Talos, or simply Pike’s nightmares. All of which would let the audience “see” Talos and violate nothing.

Shadowknight1

Plus we don’t know when Starfleet put in the order prohibiting contact with Talos IV. In fact, a return visit might provide the reason FOR the regulation.

Vulcan Soul

That is true. The rule was stated in The Menagerie, not The Cage. Technically anything before TOS can violate it.

Tiger2

Well my question was ignored, but its been answered here lol. I forgot about the prohibiting contact thing but its Star Trek (and Discovery) my guess is they will find a reason to run around this and its probably going to be some classified thing.

They classified the fact they know about a completely different universe even though the Emperor from that universe is now in theirs, this is going to be a walk in the park. ;)

Curious Cadet

@Shadowknight1 — yes, good point. In fact there are a lot of unanswered questions about the Menagerie. How did Spock know the Talosians would take Pike? Was he in communication with them before he set out on his illegal plan? Why would starfleet just ignore that Spock broke Federation law, regardless of the outcome? How did Spock know that Pike wouldn’t be used to start the Talosian’s slave population with Vena? Etc.

So this might be a way to lay the groundwork for the logical explanation of those later events.

Michael Hall

From the Keeper’s dialogue it’s pretty apparent at the end of the episode that Spock and the Talosians had planned the whole kidnap/court-martial scenario in advance. (That they could use their abilities over light-years is a given, and he’s a telepath besides, so why not?) That Spock got off the hook so easily is quite a stretch, I’ll grant, but this was TV in the Sixties, where pushing the reset button was a necessary weekly occurrence. Not much use in overthinking these things, especially when the episode was otherwise such a good one.

Corylea

But Mendez tells Kirk in “The Menagerie” that the Enterprise was the only ship ever to visit Talos IV, so the Discovery can’t go there and stay within canon. But as Who cares mentions, there are ways to show us footage of Talos IV that would get around that.

Jack

Uh, Mendez could just not have known, or it could have been classified or he could have been lying.

Land O'Calrissian

Discovery is a Section 31 ship. Chances are, most people in Starfleet have no knowledge of its activities.

Spiked Canon

that was the original meaning for it. Hopefully its going back to it. Which will solve a lot of the canon stuff

ML31

It is? I must have missed the episode where that was explained. Which is funny because I thought I saw all the episodes.

Tiger2

I’m pretty sure that’s what the ship was suppose to be originally under Fuller since we now know the black badges does in fact represent Section 31 but it looks like that was dropped.

And it looks like the Section 31 plot line will be different from what from what Pike will be doing although they may tie in at some point.

FASAfan

All that sounds super-cool! Hence, I must temper my expectations…

Michael Hall

Always sound advice. 😋

Land O'Calrissian

There is no reason that visiting Talos IV would violate Prime continuity.

Kirk1701

I’m not certain he isn’t being facetious. Kadin laughs when he says that. There is some, “wait, what?” energy there, but I’ll believe it when I see it. I predicted the Spock angle, mind, so I’m not just a naysayer.

Corinthian7

Pike will most likely go to Talos to save Spock. We know that Spock is not going to be himself so I would speculate that only the enhanced mental capabilities of the Talosians can help him. Mount stated on his round table interview that it was The Menagerie moreso than The Cage that informs his performance and the relationship between Pike and Spock. We may therefore see why that bond was so strong and why Spock was willing to sacrifice so much to take Pike back there.

Spiked Canon

makes a lot of sense

Trek in a Cafe

Talos. Yum.

dprescott

One man’s yum, is another man’s “Why?”

Michael Hall

One man’s “why?” is another’s “watch the show before passing judgment.”

Afterburn

Bingo! All the criticism of Season 1 (even if I heartily disagree with it) was fair AFTER it aired, but the folks lambasting it before viewing it were ridiculous. Same for Season 2. You can’t criticize the things he describes (Spock’s return, visiting Talos) until we see how it’s done.

ML31

Which is why I said it concerns me. Not that it would result in a bad story if they did it. I feel the odds are high for that but it could be done if done well. So I’m concerned.

DS9 is King

Heather Kadin is a Wimp I read in a interview she said ”This World Scares me” what a Wimp who says that.

GermanTrekkie

The world can be a scary place. The question is how to deal with it. Courage is to put yourself out there despite your fears and confront them.

Some faceless Internet commentator pretending he is never scared and tries to sound hard… thats more like i picture a wimp.

PaulB

DS9, stop trying to sound tough over the Internet, you silly child.

Tiger2

Dude you seriously sound like you are WAY over compensating for something here. You really need to take some of this stuff down a notch. You’re impressing no one here.

And you don’t have to be a ‘wimp’ to feel that way. You lived enough, seen some or gone through some real shit in life, you can easily feel that way. I grew up in a neighborhood where people got killed yearly in it. I know exactly what she means.

In fact its why I watched Star Trek in the first place, to forget how bad the real world is.

Jako

Yeah DS9 is King ….
World isnt terrifying till it punches you in your privileged face.
Better a Wimp than a Moron.

Land O'Calrissian

Did you have a point to make, DS9? You didn’t make one.

Dr Beckett

Shocking and immature comment. Not very Trek-like :(

Dennis C

The world scares a lot of people. It doesn’t make them wimps and I’m not sure what your point is.

DataMat

I am scared of lots and lots of things most would consider wimpish… like flying (which I can’t even afford anyway!), driving on (which I don’t either..), and job interviews… I am very big wimp! But I’m alive and that’s good enough for now.

Michael Hall

Flying used to be a pleasure. These days, you’re not missing much, trust me.

Michael Hall

If this world doesn’t scare you, at least on occasion, you’re either a liar, or a fool.

ML31

The world doesn’t scare me. Certain parts of it can. But in general, I like our world. It has water. Air. Pretty good ecosystem.

Visitor1982

“I am very excited about Spock this season because this is literally the only season in which we can tell this story about Spock.”

So the 20 years time jump at the end of this season is true?

Tiger2

Uh…what?

Visitor1982

There have been rumours floating around that Discovery will time jump 20 years or more to the future and stay there.

https://tvline.com/2018/09/26/blind-item-time-jump-20-years-drama-series/

Just Another Salt Vampire

Nowhere in this article is Star Trek Discovery mentioned or hinted at even obliquely.

Tiger2

Seriously?

This what gets frustrating about the internet sometimes. You took an article that is already based on a shaky claim a show without giving ANY names would jump 20 years and so you automatically assume it’s Discovery? There are literally a hundred shows currently running when you add up all the network, cable and now streaming platforms together so it could be anything if its even true.

What’s funny is this reminds me of something a few years back on IMDB when another one of these ridiculous ‘blind items’ jumped online that a famous movie character was going to pop up on a TV show and a lot of people on the Agents of Shield board took it to mean Iron Man was showing up on that show. No joke.

These aren’t ‘rumors’ it’s just mindless speculation off an already fishy story at best.

DIGINON

As pointed out by others, the article doesn’t mention Discovery at all. However, it does mention that the time jump for that mysterious show is only in the planning stage. Discovery’s season 2 has almost finished shooting.

Just Another Salt Vampire

What are you referring to about a 20 year time jump? Where are you getting this information?

Vulcan Soul

It DOES sound like the kind of WTF twisty thing these producers would do though, judging from season one. That, and evil alien space nazis as season cliffhanger are taken already ;-)

jako

i would love a 20 years timejump….

Danpaine

A 20, or 50 year time jump would be most welcome.

ML31

That comment bugged me too. They really could bring in Spock in ANY season. No reason it HAD to be season 2.

Ometiklan

Since you know nothing of their plans for Spock, Michael, or anyone else, you don’t have any basis for saying there is “no” reason.

ML31

Any such plans really have nothing to do with the fact that they could engineer a Spock appearance at any time considering the time frame they set the show in. They could kill off Burnham next season and still bring in Spock two seasons later. (assuming it survives that long)

Wait, do they know the show won’t get a 3rd season? That would be the only reason Spock appearing HAD to be season 2….

Vulcan Soul

I like THAT speculation alot more! Let’s end this sorry excuse of a Trek show and get on with the real meat (Picard) :P

ghostwriter

What I took it to mean -based largely on what the writers and producers have said themselves- is that they see an opening here where Spock is not yet Kirk’s first officer. We know about Spock’s childhood. We know he served under Pike and visited Taos IV. Then years later he was on Enterprise with Kirk. Then he left, did the whole Kohlinar thing, returned, etc. All that stuff has been told.

So that gap between the Cage and Where No Man is basically wide open for storytelling; hence the idea that it is the “only time” they could utilize Spock. The closer they get to Kirk time, the harder it would be to tell a Spock story without bumping up against too many canon issues. It made complete sense to me; I’m surprised this is even a question

I don’t know why they’re trying to confuse things (and wrecking their own show in the process) by trying to tie it in to previous Trek. That ship has sailed. Just acknowledge the reboot and move on with integrity.

Anyone who was going to watch based on the marketing of it as Prime has done so. Anyone who saw the first season and left saying to themselves “this is a reboot” won’t be brought back by new hair or painted-over Disco uniforms.

Discovery just needs to be itself. Feigning a tie-in to TOS just causes strife in the fanbase. Ask Kathleen Kennedy and her slowed Star Wars schedule how that works out.

Afterburn

That’s like acknowledging you’re from Venus. Weird to do because you’re not.

Thanks for proving the point about strife in the fanbase.

I don’t expect 100% consistency, but it used to be the little fractions of a percent that started long, involved discussions among a generally united fanbase about the meaning or history of this or that.

Alas, that’s gone, and instead we get dismissiveness of those with contrary opinions about the newest major continuity breaks.

Even if we ignore the fact that a visual “reimagine” doesn’t make sense in an audio-visual storytelling medium because you just can’t magically separate the pair, the simple fact is that the storyline explicitly fails to match up in matters great and small with existing works from TOS and the TNG-ENT production era. There are direct contradictions that have occurred, over and above any obvious contrariness from new things the writers may feel they’ve inserted into gaps.

You may feel confident ignoring the problems or spending time and effort trying to rationalize them in the very middle of watching old Trek adventures, but for most of us one of Star Trek’s strengths was how well it kept itself together in its first forty years.

Openly acknowledging that it was a full reboot would please everyone. You could still assume Prime facts where you wanted to, and nullisporian Prime fans wouldn’t be the infidels so many Discovery fans treat them as now.

Danpaine

Very good points, Robert. Some of us have said from the beginning, if the showrunners would simply call this a reboot, or state it’s taking place in a slightly different universe than ‘prime,’ I think the show would be much better received, at least by some of us.

Michael Hall

Interesting how you complain about all these horrific canon violations both great and small without managing to be specific about any of them. But here’s the thing, in any case: I really have more pressing things to be concerned about. I sincerely envy you, if you don’t,

Zashun

There is no singular acknowledgement that would “please everyone”.

IMO, the visual re-imagining is linked to Discovery being in an slight alternate timeline. I like to think that Star Trek First Contact was a Narada-like event that lead to visual changes in the prime timeline. for example, instead of a ring ship we got the NX-01 which could easily have been influenced by Cochrane’s peep show of the Ent-E. So Ent forward will all have an evolving visual change from what came before in TOS/TNG/DS9/VOY.

Just like “Q-Who” was a catalyst for Starfleet to focus on improving defensive technologies, “Regeneration” did the same. The events of “Broken Bow” involving future tech being used by the Suliban could even have a ripple effect in advancing medical technology. When Antaak tries to restore forehead ridges post-Affliction/Divergence, latent DNA is unexpectedly triggered leading to how Klingons look in Disco. Heck, Arik Soong could have had a much better go of cybernetics after “The Augments” which is why we’re seeing that “augmented human” Airiam on the bridge of Discovery.

This is obviously ALL head canon, but it works for me. With as much time travel has been used throughout TOS/TNG/DS9/VOY this essentially allows the prime timeline to be a sort of Mobius Time Loop feeding into itself.

Tiger2

Agree completely Robert!

Just admit it was suppose to be a reboot, the show would actually make sense. I don’t think people would suddenly stop watching it if they knew that since I can’t think of one reboot in a franchise that turned people away for being one. The Kelvin films are basically just a reboot anyway and they got a lot of people on board…at least the first two.

Tiger2

It’s kind of funny hearing them talk more about season 2 because one of the things I remembered people saying they DIDN’T like about Enterprise fourth season was that it felt was turning into a TOS fan service show. And oddly enough that’s what DIS second season is starting to sound like lol. It’s bad enough Pike is in 13 freaking episodes but now they are going back to Talos IV??? Is this REALLY necessary? At least move on from the Cage and focus on new stuff with Discovery.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m still VERY excited about season 2 but I am getting the feeling more and more this is just going to be a big nostalgia trip with Spock and Pike and hints to ‘the future’. At least Enterprise couldn’t tie anything directly into TOS because it was still hundred years away. But I’m getting the feeling CBS is telling them the subs for AA is super low and to get fans on board by any means necessary just like Enterprise tried in its fourth season. And I loved Enterprise fourth season but with DIS my fear is this WILL turn into a direct TOS tie in since it stops nothing from bringing in all those characters unlike Enterprise.

Then again that is when most people really started to like Enterprise so I guess I can’t blame them much.

albatrosity

It is pretty weak from an imagination standpoint to incorporate both Pike and Talos in the same story, again. It’s like STID with Carol Marcus and Khan — they went together last time so therefore they must go together this go around. Like whaaaa? Does Commander Shelby have to only be in stories that feature the Borg? Like come on writers…the industry is so starved of ideas it’s eating itself, and I’m really kinda over it. That said, I’ll give season one props for having the courage to tell a unique story.

Tiger2

Hit the nail on the head for me. This does feel like another version of STID in a way. It seems to be Kurtzman play book, take a story we already know and seen but tell it with a different angle. The Talos IV thing screams that. Its not to say it won’t be good, I just don’t understand why it needs to be done when that story has already been told? But now that they have Pike it’s like they can’t help themselves to visit it again.

I don’t have a lot of hate or remorse for Kurtzman like some do in the fan base. I can tell his heart is in the right place but not everything needs to be revisited all the time nor do we need an excuse to bring in a character who is clearly there for fan service but I have a feeling a lot of that will be a big part of the season sadly.

Hopefully the red angel element is a unique story and its sounding like it is.

alphantrion

This is why I always wanted at least 3-4 seasons before really going to the well of TOS characters full time. We need to learn and be more familiar with the Discovery characters first before their screen time is stolen by characters already relatively established. This only makes the universe more smaller, like there are only certain characters that they can use and reuse. I hate it when properties with potential for huge universes limit their originality and creativity because they want to only use certain characters. Star Wars is also suffering from this problem I think. Both of these vast universe need to be opened up, we need to start going to places where we haven’t been before in both universes.

Tiger2

Agree as well! And I have said this myself many times that I don’t actually have a problem with Pike and Spock showing up, but I also just wish they waited until the third or fourth season to do it. Second season seems way to early to bring them in, at least on this level. If it was a one or two season episode appearance that would’ve been OK. But now that we know the season is basically about them as it would’ve made sense to focus only DIS second season to flesh out their characters and universe first before diving into the TOS stuff so early.

It’s crazy when you realize we still don’t know what the show is about because what it started with, the Klingon war, is done. And since the show only has 13 episodes a season this should be the season to establish the show as much as possible with completely original stories. As you said it feels like Star Wars keep doing, finding new ways to tell us about characters and stories we already know about when the universe they play in is so vast they can go in any direction. But I do think this is partly a directive from CBS to get the subs up as I seriously doubt while DIS was a ‘hit’ for AA, it didn’t bring in the viewers they hoped for and why to this day they have never said how many are actually watching the show.

ML31

I think STD is a “hit” only in the sense that it is likely the most streamed thing on CBSAA. But that’s like being the best student in a class when you get a D and everyone else fails.

Tiger2

Yeah that’s how I describe it as well, which is why it’s hard to really call it a hit or not. It really just depends on your point of view of it I guess.

But it is crazy. On one hand DIS probably proves that Star Trek is popular on AA since its probably the only show that got some real attention on that site so far. On the other its probably not doing what they hoped either and trying everything to make it more popular, by doing things fans were suggesting they should’ve done on day one like making it feel more connected to TOS. Of course that doesn’t mean to literally bring in TOS characters and stories but this is how networks think.

And I still don’t know if its going to really work. I think a lot of people who have resigned to hate the show, resent having to pay for it via AA or both have dug in their heels at this point. Its not to say it can’t work, I just won’t be shocked if it doesn’t. Hopefully its good enough to convince more people at least.

Corylea

This is unlike any other Star Trek spinoff series in that it’s on a PAY network, so they need to attract viewers by pulling out their big guns. One big gun is Picard, and they’re starting a whole new show with him. Star Trek’s other big gun is Spock, so it makes sense that they’re putting him in Discovery.

I mean, I didn’t WANT them to put Spock in Discovery, but given that they need to attract viewers to a pay network, I understand why they’re doing it.

Danpaine

Absolutely agree, Corylea. It’s all about getting subs.

Corinthian7

Perhaps but they always intended to bring in Spock from day one or they never would have made Burnham his foster sister.

ML31

Agreed. I just think they brought him in earlier than expected because the show failed to bring in the subscribers CBS had hoped for.

BTW… I still think we will see Lt. Kirk if the show goes on long enough.

Corinthian7

Yeah I’d be surprised as well if Kirk doesn’t show up. I don’t really know how they’re doing in terms of subscribers. I would assume that the show has been reasonably successful given the fact that CBS are prepared to invest heavily in expanding the universe. That’s not necessarily saying that DSC is bringing in a stellar audience but they must be satisfied that it’s at least growing their subscriber base or maybe it’s the Netflix money that’s making it lucrative. Nevertheless, I think you’re right that something has spooked them because they’re really going out their way to make it fit with “your fathers Star Trek”. Certainly there were elements of season one that were divisive to say the least. The fact that they haven’t agreed an international distribution deal shows that there is perhaps some strain in their relationship With Netflix. In fact it wouldn’t surprise me if Netflix have applied some pressure in terms of making the show feel more like Star Trek.

ML31

I really think this is all CBS. I don’t think it unreasonable to conclude the subscriber numbers are not what they hoped for. If they numbers were good, I’m pretty sure they would be crowing about it very publicly. They did for the first two episodes. But precious little since. That suggests strongly that the numbers did not escalate. In fact, I suspect they dropped. Hence, the 2nd season addition of Spock and Pike and running out to get Stewart and the expansion of the STEU. If STD was doing well I am doubting we would be seeing any of that this quickly.

Corinthian7

It’s possible that the Picard show would have been produced in any case as there have been murmurings of additional content being developed for quite a while. I think the first suggestion of this was when Nicholas Meyer let slip that he was working on another Trek project not related to DSC. You do present a plausible theory though which is potentially substantiated by the mixed messages that CBS are sending out. On the one hand they’re showing a lot of confidence in the franchise by developing so much new content and on the other they appear to be back peddling significantly in order to appease a large section of the fan base.

Tiger2

Good points Corinthian7!

To be fair about AA I don’t think it’s all that black and white. In some areas its probably considered a modest success, in others not so much. We obviously don’t know but that’s also a big reason why people suspect the site isn’t the hit CBS was hoping at this stage so far because they are pretty silent about its success.

Moonves was talking it up every few months when DIS was in development. But after it premiered, I think I read one article from him about it after the first few episodes saying that AA got its higher number of sign ups since the show started and we didn’t hear anymore about AA since. It’s funny how many times he kept talking about the service leading up to the the show and then basically silence about it once it started to actually air. This isn’t brain surgery, clearly the numbers weren’t pulling in as much as he thought or we would’ve heard about it constantly.

And then we learn AA only has 2.5 million subscribers which is hardly nothing. And who knows outside of that how many are watching DIS even if the majority are? So I think there is a worry the show is not attracting as much as they want and my guess is there was a bigger drop off as it continued and why they are so busy getting on the TOS bandwagon and changing so much of it up this soon.

Corinthian7

I suspect a large amount of the subscribers are watching DSC but they’re going to need more than just Star Trek to sustain the service. The Twilight Show reboot sounds intriguing, it might help them hold on to some of the people that cancel between Star Trek seasons but I wouldn’t have thought it would attract a lot of new customers on it’s own. I’m surprised they haven’t tried to develop NCIS content that’s exclusive to CBSAA.

Tiger2

Agreed! Although as a Star Trek fan I’m happy they are throwing so many new shows on it I don’t think that alone will solve the problem because you’re still going to need more variety to drive that site like any site. And I’m sure thats the plan, but sadly The Twilight Zone seem to be the only show outside of Discovery that is making any waves so far. People said the Good Fight has some buzz but honestly I have not heard a single thing about the show since it’s first season although I’m sure its getting decent views.

And I’m actually surprised too that they haven’t pulled out their bigger guns like an NCIS or Criminal Minds spin off. Or even another reality show spin off like another Big Brother they did when it first premiered or how about even a different Survivor show? Its not like CBS doesn’t have tons of options from their very large audience base to put on a huge variety of spin offs on that site.

ML31

I haven’t seen Big Brother but a streaming site feels like the perfect place to let viewers tap into live cameras in the house. Or let people watch the recorded live feeds from when the show was taped. Or does CBS think no one is interested in that?

I recall one or two people here speaking about The Good Fight but absolutely nothing about it since. I’ve heard of the new TZ which I personally am curious about but I’ve seen no promotion for it. And I’ve seen spots for Tell me a Story on the CBS over the air network. But that’s it. I think their marketing is terrible to be honest. I am thinking if I wasn’t interested in Star Trek I may never even be aware of any programming on CBSAA.

Corinthian7

@Tiger2 Me too, I’m delighted with all the new Trek shows popping up I just think that they need to support it with some of the other jewels in their crown. I’m not from the US so I’m not always sure which of the big shows are on which network but I know that NCIS and Big Bang Theory are both on there which is why I mention them but yeah they could develop spin offs from any of their big dramas or companion shows to run alongside any of their reality offerings. Survivor, Big Brother and Criminal Minds are all big enough shows to consider for sure. I’ve speculated that maybe they are reluctant to take some of their more lucrative properties like NCIS away from the parent company because they’re well aware that they won’t be able to generate anything like the amount of ad revenue that they bring in from network broadcasts when streaming on CBS AA. However, if they want to make a success of it I feel they’re going to have to take a gamble on taking a short term hit on revenue in order to build up a strong customer base for the streaming side.

ML31

My guess… The NCIS demographics skew older. Streaming service buyers skew younger. Hence, there is likely little interest in CBS putting an NCIS show on AA.

Corinthian7

@ML31 I’m not really sure what the demographics are with NCIS but you could ask the same question of Big Bang Theory, that’s coming to an end so why not develop a spin off there. You could argue that the Young Sheldon series could have been developed to support the streaming service. My feeling is they’ve pushed Star Trek on AA because the fan base has always been prepared to put their hands in their pockets for merchandise, box sets etc but the property is in no way guaranteed to be a ratings winner on network tv. NCIS and Big Bang Theory on the other hand must bring in a ridiculous amount of ad revenue and I think that CBS doesn’t want to take it off the network because it knows that any new NCIS or BBT spin off would only bring in a fraction of what they would earn if they were shown on the network, the thing is if CBS really wants to attract a bigger audience to AA then it needs to provide an incentive even if this means taking a short term hit on ad revenue.

ML31

I suppose it’s possible that is what Meyer was talking about. Most simply assumed he was talking about his Khan on Ceti Alpha show that has been rumored for some time. My guess is there was a plan to create a Star Trek EU but that it wouldn’t come out this fast. I theorize it was sped up considerably when the first season Disco numbers were not what they wanted. I think CBS is invested heavily in AA and is going all in. Just guesswork mind you. I have no special inside information like all of us.

Corinthian7

Yes it’s the Khan series that I’m talking about, the fact that CBS were considering this indicates that they were always planning to increase there Trek content.

Dennis C

Yup. Gotta bring in people so fall back on the familiar to bring people in.

Afterburn

Bingo. It’s less about servicing existing fans and far more about attracting new ones by utilizing the things that Trek is best known for. Things like the Klingons, The Starship Enterprise, Spock, etc.

I mean, it’s really the same reason they did Star Trek at all, rather than a new original sci-fi show: Because it’s a brand and name people know. Starships, Phasers, Tricorders; the delta, all of that. Now they’re in round two: familiar characters (Spock), ships (the Enterprise), and settings (Q’onos).

It’s very predictable in that this is how modern media works. A relaunch and a spinoff these days is only as strong as how recognizable the content of that spinoff is. I think they went a little TOO different in Season 1 (Thanks to Bryan Fuller) and are now going a little bit in the opposite direction for season 2 to correct that.

They’ll meet somewhere in the middle by the end of this arc, and I’d bet season 3 is when Discovery will really come into its own (just like TNG and DS9).

ML31

“Then again that is when most people really started to like Enterprise so I guess I can’t blame them much.”

But the hard core fans liked it. However keeping the hardcore fans isn’t enough to save the show. You need an audience beyond just the fans. I honestly do not see this potential fan service in S2 adding any more subscribers to CBSAA. In fact, the upcoming Picard show will likley add more than anything STD does, IMHO.

Afterburn

You’re living an alternate timeline. In the real world, Trekkies went gaga for their lord and savior Manny Coto BECAUSE he turned it into TOS Fan Service ShowTM.

Tiger2

You clearly didn’t read the entire post lol. I said MOST people did like the fourth season INCLUDING me! I think it was very popular for fans and the reason why they did it in the first place. So I’m not living in an ‘alternative timeline’. ;) But my POINT is the critics of that show simply thought they went TOO far with it at times, which I also agree. The Klingon augment story line for example has been brought up here and a lot of other places lately over the retcon Klingon hair bit DIS is doing and a great example of tying it to TOS just a bit too far. I’m not saying thats where DIS is headed of course I’m only saying for some it can still be TOO MUCH tying in if everything gets over explained and analyzed. Or nothing but constant call backs to that show. All the discussions over Spock seems to bare that out. To be fair the show itself hasn’t shown much of anything about the character yet but all the analysis over ‘what’ Spock we will see is kind of eye rolling to me. None of it is necessary but its only being discussed because he’s in it obviously. I personally just don’t care what Spock we will get. None of that matters to me. Mostly because it feels like throwing something in just for the sake of doing it, not because its needed. So as I SAID I can’t blame them for using the Enterprise playbook but it still can feel like too much too soon, especially because they can turn it into a quasi TOS show since technically no character is off limits. And at least Enterprise tried to be its own thing the first three seasons before it… Read more »

Corinthian7

I think the plan has always been to tie it into TOS but the they’ve had to speed up the timetable due to the negative reaction to certain elements and how they fitted into canon. For my part I loved Enterprise season 4 (although I preferred the Xindi War) and I’ve always wanted to see more adventures involving Pike’s Enterprise so I’m really happy with the current direction.

Matdg

Best part of the video is at 1:51. Watch Mary Chieffo…. :D

Picard’s Patty

What if Discovery is the manifestation of a Talosian hallucination. What if Michael is part of this illusion, and this is why Spock doesn’t refer to her once he is free from this alternate reality?

Sebi

Star Trek is not Dallas…

FLB

The Return-of-Patrick-Duffy-Dallas scenario?

Land O'Calrissian

There is no chance of what you’re describing actually happening. And this isn’t an alternate reality. Spock doesn’t refer to her for the same reason he never referred to Sybok, or told Kirk that Sarek was his dad, or that T’Pau as connected to his family, or that he was engaged, or about any of a dozen other things Spock never mentioned due to his being extremely secretive.

albatrosity

Let’s not forget the entire Star Trek universe [and BSG, Stargate, X-Files, Seinfeld etc.] is all just an interconnected hallucination in the imaginative mind of Tommy Westphall

mrbleasdale

Are all the die hard Star Trek fans complaining on here under the age of 25?

DIGINON

I’m not sure why you’re asking but more likely there are very few under the age of 25 here.

Dennis C

Ah, shoot. You beat me to it but, yeah, unlikely there are many under the age of 25 here.

FLB

I can sense the coming of Saru’s death.

VZX

I don’t get why Kurtzman states he is excited to write for a pre-TOS Spock when he already did that in the first two Kelvin-verse movies. Isn’t the Quinto-Spock also a pre-TOS Spock? I guess he just really likes going back to that well.

I will watch, but I’d rather not have the Spock character in it. If you have to have TOS characters in your show, then why not go with one that was rarely used? Like Lt. Riley or even Sybock?

Danpaine

To get more subscribers to CBSAA. Riley or Sybok wouldn’t do that.

Precision Control

As portrayed, the Kelvin timeline Spock is very much fully formed as the Spock we already are familiar with from TOS, in terms of his demeanor, his devotion to logic, and his rank. So no, Kurtzman didn’t really deal with this early Spock before — not the one who could be seen literally laughing and smiling in “The Cage.”

ML31

Except the “laughing and smiling” thing was before ANY of Spock’s character was formed. A lot of things change from pilot to series. A LOT. It is foolish to be a slave to that ONE time in the PILOT where Spock smiled.

Michael Hall

Except that the footage of him smiling is included in “The Menagerie,” which is not the series pilot. So even if you don’t consider “The Cage” to be “canon” — and I certainly do, though I don’t use the word itself — that scene certainly is, and it has always begged explanation.

ML31

Except it doesn’t. That shot was used but it was still a shot from a pilot episode before Spock was Spock. It does not beg for explanation beyond that anymore than the Klingon appearance change begged for an explanation.

Tiger2

Agreed. It doesn’t at all. Nimoy said Spock smiled in the Cage because that’s what the director told him to do. I mean yeah I’m stating the obvious but so did he for a REASON and there was no inherit idea or hidden meaning behind it at the time. It was a new show, Spock was in his infancy in development and it looks like when they shot the second pilot someone decided he should come off a bit more stoic than before and was from that point on, end of story.

But sadly this being Star Trek it has now built up to some ridiculous monumental moment in its lore because a character smiled for a few seconds in an unaired pilot.

I have ALSO pointed out they had literally 25 years in both TOS and their films to go back to that moment if someone felt it needed ‘explaining’ and yet in all that time no one ever felt the need to do it. They could’ve even done it in Menagerie itself with Kirk cracking a joke to Spock over him smiling and Spock saying maybe it was something in the atmosphere that day and moved on. No one did because no one cared enough even then.

And yet fifty years later, here we are lol. THIS is why I hate prequels!

ML31

For me, it’s not that I hate prequels. I can really enjoy them but for the most part, prequels just exude fan service. Let’s face it. That is their main function. Enterprise a little less so because it was set so very far before TOS. But the STD guys latching on to one second from a character doing something in an unaired PILOT because the director told him to, not because it had anything to do with what the character would ultimately be seems a tad ignorant to me. Like Kurtzman wants to show what a fan he is because he is aware of that moment enough to hinge an entire 13 episodes around. I find that disingenuous. Sure, some things getting explained away is nice. (forced to admit I was happy with the Solo Kessel run explanation finally) But others have no obvious need for an explanation. Like the Klingon appearance change. Or ANYTHING that happened in a pilot show that was never ever intended to be seen by anyone other than network executives.

Michael Hall

Thius ssyeth the fan who routinely writes veritable essays on why the inconsistencies between two series produced many decades apart are so profoundly disturbing to him. Sheesh.

ML31

Every single inference in Michael Hall’s above comment is 100% wrong. SMDH.

Michael Hall

Jeez. I’m no canonista, and frankly find all the fretting over DSC’s inconsistencies with TOS to be amongst the most boring and nerdy conversations imaginable. But that few seconds’ worth of footage in “The Menagerie” — which on its surface clearly contradict the most important personality trait of the series’ co-lead character — is every bit as much TOS ‘canon’ as any other detail that fans have been obsessing over for the past fifty years. There have, in fact, been playful rationalizations for Spock’s behavior in that scene in several of the novels and any number of fan publications over the years, because it’s part of the TOS continuity and stating “it’s just an inconsistency from the pilot” doesn’t cut it in that context.

While it can be fun to toss these bits of trivia around, to paraphrase a line from another episode: “Some people don’t argue for reasons. They simply argue.”

ML31

““Some people don’t argue for reasons. They simply argue.””

As Micheal Hall’s comment clearly demonstrates.

Tiger2

All people are saying is that ‘contradiction’ is just a production issue from an unaired pilot and hence why no one CARED to ever fix it, because it didn’t need fixing. I’ll say it again, Roddenberry knew Spock smiling came off as a contradiction when he decided to use footage from the Cage in the Menagerie, how come he didn’t try to correct it then? They could’ve even edited it out completely if they wanted to.

The reality is because it just wasn’t that important. No one has ever commented on this who actually worked on the production at the time. Nimoy himself dismissed it as just a production decision and never remotely seemed bothered by it. They had decades to give any excuse for it, even an off camera one which is done all the time. No one even bothered to do that.

That just speaks to the fact they recognize its still just a TV show and not every little minutiae has to be explained all the time. If there is some inherit story contradiction, thats one thing. This isn’t. This is the weird obsession Trek fans has a reputation for like people were losing sleep over it or something.

ML31

Thank you. There are quite a few little “contradictions” from TOS that don’t line up later. None of them are really big deals and I find it odd that people feel it necessary to explain away even the tiniest of them. But if coming up with a reason why Mitchel put an ‘R’ on Kirk’s tombstone gives you pleasure then knock yourself out. I know what was going on there and don’t feel such things need an in universe explanation.

Corylea

EVERYTHING from “The Cage” that was in “The Menagerie” is an illusion sent by the Talosians. According to Spock and Pike, most of what we saw in those illusions was accurate, but anything that doesn’t fit with subsequent characterization — like Spock smiling — can be a little joke that the Talosians slipped in. :-)

Michael Hall

Not a bad explanation, if something of a reach.

Jemini

Kelvin Spock is more contemporary and as such, he has conflict but he doesn’t deny his human side. He finds himself sooner for a series of reasons that aren’t part of Spock Prime’s past. In a way, he’s more authentic as a person than tos Spock was at first, even if Kurtzman&co here seems to want to rewrite history now and pretend that tos Spock was this flawless dude and a complete character with no remaining grow or journey to have.

Michael Hall

Jeez, that’s not what he said at all. Personally, I didn’t care much for the way Spock was depicted in Trek 2009 (or much else in that film) — and remember, Kurtman was at least partially responsible for that — but you don’t have to defend it by making stuff up.

albatrosity

Technically KT Spock is just KT Spock, he isn’t pre-TOS cuz TOS was a different timeline. But I prayyy they do not butcher the Spock character as they did with Quinto Spock. I want a recognizable Spock, not a mopey punchy one.

Danpaine

I’m predicting a ‘tween’ version of Spock – immature and emotional, and this way Michael can be the one responsible for helping him ’embrace his logic,’ setting him on the path to one day becoming the Spock we’re familiar with.

Jemini

that’s my worry, actually. Because the Spock we’re familiar with wasn’t ‘better’ for embracing his logic more. He rejected his true self by pretending to be just vulcan when he in fact was human too. And he was confused and misguided about feelings and vulcans as well.

I find it depressing that people can so fundamentally misunderstand his character development to the extent it now seems like it’s his vulcan side that he needed to accept when it always was the other way around, and anyway the sense of his emotional development is that he’s ultimately BOTH human and vulcan not just one or the other. Tos Spock wasn’t a ‘resolved all issues’ Spock, it was merely the beginning of a character that gradually grew into the guy who accepted his real self more and who understood that his feelings didn’t make him weak or a vulcan failure. So yeah, I have huge issues if what they are trying to do is retonning his character conflict too now just to make Michael his mentor.

Michael Hall

Are you seriously saying that fans who saw Spock crying over his mother didn’t realize that the character was conflicted?

Jemini

whatever. Quinto is the only new Spock that was fully approved by Nimoy himself. Either way, kelvin Spock should be a ‘safe’ different Spock for purists. He’s rightfully different because he’s his counterpart from an alternate reality – one where he has different life experiences compared to tos Spock. The fact he has his own journey to make doesn’t conflict with canon, it doesn’t even ‘touch’ it or retcon it (and btw, they just accelerated his emotional development but everyone here seems to suddenly want to pretend he wasn’t half human too, and his whole arc wasn’t becoming the guy he eventually became in the movies who started to accept and embrace his feelings more and be less on denial about his heritage. Starting to believe Spock doesn’t have as many fans as I thought he had..).
The same can’t be said about Discovery Spock who, on the contrary, wants to be tos Spock or become him. They are retconning HIS story and canon. Something the reboot never really did.

albatrosity

Agreed on all points. I just personally dislike KT Spock as a character. Not my favorite guy. Kinda an a$$hole. Like Kirk. I guess Prime Kirk is kinda a dick too. Everyone can be at times, after all. But the whole extreme caricature thing doesn’t make for interesting characters to me.

Tiger2

Yes I think that is also my problem with KT Spock. He just doesn’t come off very likable. I wouldn’t call him an A-hole but he’s not someone I want to hang around with. Yes I guess people can say that about a lot of Vulcans lol but Nimoy’s Spock came off very personable and friendly. Certainly much more later in the films. Its actually amazing how warm Spock comes off in the movies (NOT TMP ;)). But even on the show I loved that relationship between him and Kirk and that they could play chess together or talk about their lives.

KT Spock just doesn’t do it for me in that way. They try to build this relationship and rapport between him and Kirk but it just rings hollow to me. The actors have good chemistry together but it doesn’t come off that natural like Shatner and Nimoy did. On the other hand I love the relationship between Kirk and Bones in the new movies. That really works. And actually I think Spock and Bones worked more too in Beyond. I think its why I love Urban’s Bones so much. He IS trying to come off like an A-hole lol but he’s actually one of the sincerest characters there. Quinto’s Spock however just feels off for some reason.

Jemini

Tbh, Nimoy’s Spock wasn’t so friendly and warm in tos. In comparison, kt Spock actually comes across as being more kind and friendly to me. That’s why spock/bones in beyond doesn’t work for me and Bones comes across as an a-hole: because this Spock, unlike Nimoy’s, doesn’t seem to reciprocate his dislike and he does nothing to justify Mccoy’s hostility; he doesn’t even deny he has feelings so some of the reasons why him and Mccoy clashed in tos essentially don’t exist here. Even Urban realized that this Spock is more contemporary and it makes their banter one-sided. I guess bullies or xenophobic people can be the most the sincere and funny people for some.. but still, I’m not sure why anyone would consider Spock an a-hole and yet give Mccoy a pass for his own annoying behavior.

The bromance between kirk and spock can certainly seem hollow and forced, but frankly so is the spock/mccoy dynamic in beyond: both exist only because they exist in tos, not really because of the natural chemistry of these characters in this specific story, or because it truly is useful to the plot more than other dynamics. I don’t honestly see a big difference here beside preference. I even was one of the people who wanted Spock to interact with Mccoy and anyone who wasn’t Kirk more, but beyond went too far with the writers forcing Spock and McCoy to interact for the whole movie to the extent Spock got less to do in general and he couldn’t interact with others much. No wonder why he may feel off when his screentime is used like that and he’s reduced to a sidekick character.

Tiger2

OK we’ll just have to agree to disagree then.

Jemini

Tiger, I guess we are proof that some things can be truly subjective and different people may perceive things differently ;) also, Spock fans are no more biased than the ones who favor Mccoy or Kirk instead.

albatrosity

Spock jettisoned Kirk onto the glacier planet of Delta Vega essentially leaving him for dead in ST09. I just think that’s the ultimate dick move. But I can see how you might see him as a warmer, friendlier person in the KT. Meh, I dunno how I feel now.

Jemini

Yes, Spock was antagonistic and cold with Kirk but Kirk deserved it a bit. You can’t call Spock an a-hole in the same breath you give Kirk and Mccoy a pass for their own annoying behavior, tbh. Cheating on a test, reacting with arrogance when getting called out on it, being insubordinate with superiors..Kirk hit the jackpot in that movie and from Spock’s pov, he had every reason to consider him a problem during a time of crisis. Anyone would also frankly have every reason to think that Pike was showing favoritism towards Kirk. Mccoy should also be grateful because he faced no consequences for essentially sneaking his friend aboard with him..he even got a promotion, lol. Point is, Spock is no saint in the first movie (it kind of is also purposeful that he seems cold at first so that when he is sweet and emotional it creates a contrast) but, certaintly, he isn’t the one character who acted the most unprofessional nor the most annoying without reasons. He has some competition in that regard .. And I reiterate that Mccoy’s hostility towards Spock is too by default and one-sided so he comes across as a bully, especially in stid and beyond. I hated the way he jumped to mock Spock about his girlfriend dumping him. So inappropriate and gratuitous. It almost seemed like he was envious that the alien had a girlfriend and he was satisfied about the idea he’d lose Uhura too after everything he had lost already (he’s the doctor, he should be the first to notice ptsd symptoms in Spock, btw) Of course, he isn’t like that (in many ways, Mccoy also is a character who, like Spock, may seem cold and mean apparently but he actually is a teddy) but he comes across like… Read more »

Jemini

Quinto-Spock is a pre-Tos Spock yes, but he also is an alternate reality version of him that is, or should be, set to have his own path and be more like the Spock he would’ve been if some circumstances were different and so were a lot of his life experiences.
He’s still Spock, probably more tos-Spock alike than Discovery will be, but he also is, in purpose, a different version. For one, Quinto-Spock still has the logic vs emotion conflict but he doesn’t really deny his human side and feelings, and that is not made mutually exclusive with him also embracing his vulcan culture and logic. He also knows, unlike tos Spock, that vulcans do have feelings too so endorsing the whole ‘they don’t have feelings’ myth would be illogical for him. Different fans and critics had proposed the idea that kelvin Spock had the emotional development tos Spock had, but it’s just accelerated because things happen to him that didn’t happen to the other so he’s sort of forced to understand some things sooner (e.g., he falls in love and has a relationship, he lost his planet and mother etc etc. Things that make it harder for him to avoid his feelings)

Michael Hall

In “The Naked Time,” the virus-addled Spock insists “I’m in control of my emotions!” Not, “I have no emotions!” That’s just a fundamental misunderstanding of the TOS character. As to the way he was portrayed in Trek 2009, Quinto did as well as he could under the circumstances, but the role just wasn’t well-written at all.

Tiger2

Did everyone notice in the interview Kurtzman completely avoided the question why they decided to bring in Spock after they said they never would bring him in lol. Totally side stepped it. Because I think the real answer is CBS demanded they do it OR told them they had to come up with a bigger connection to TOS and this was the way to go since they already made Burnham and Spock siblings and Spock is really popular.

Most people who aren’t big TOS fans probably never heard of or don’t remember Riley and Sybok might actually convince people NOT to watch lol. They probably had to get a big fan favorite to rally the base, hence why Picard is showing up again in his own show as well.

This is all about getting subs for AA as others said since hardly anyone has it now and most don’t seem to want it. So they have to do SOMETHING!

ML31

I did pick up on his line about how for some unstated reason S2 was the ONLY time they could bring in Spock. Trying to figure out why that is. Is it because the show was only approved for two seasons before it gets reevaluated to continue? That is the only reason I can think of because Spock literally can be shoehorned in at ANY time.

Tiger2

Thats a good point and I didn’t really think about that. It could just be hyperbole from these guys like they been doing with this show from day one (although to be fair most shows do this lol) and that he’s making it sound like this story line has some important turn for Spock at this stage in his life that will telegraph that character from this point on.

Thats what I got out of it but I don’t get why it can ONLY be told this season unless the show itself is going to make a major change next season or it could get cancelled as you suggested. But I don’t believe that. It could but I don’t remotely think that’s what he was suggesting. It could mean the show will just be in a different place and time by next season which many fans seem to want. But then I don’t know if I really believe that since it looks like they are pulling hard on the TOS coat strings and I imagine they want to keep doing that. But thats another possibility.

Or it could mean the opposite and they just want to focus on just DIS and her crew in season three alone………..nah! ;)

albatrosity

Because, as other commenters have suggested, they need the ratings push this year and know Spock will do it. It’s a financial reason, to be sure.

ML31

The subscriber reason could be the subtext in the comment. But still… Spock showing up later could accomplish the same thing. So I guess they need him now rather than later but still… Hard to buy that this was the ONLY season they could bring him in.

Ashley

I’m pretty sure the Talos comment was a joke. Not sure why y’all are taking it at face value.

PaulB

There is nothing to suggest it was a joke. He already said they’re going to tie in The Cage by the end of the season. Not sure why you’d think it was a joke. He didn’t look or sound joking.

Tiger2

This is the second time he has said Talos will be involved. He also said it to an open crowd at comic con around the time this interview was given. It’s not a joke, its happening.

ML31

Wow. Kurtzman just described Spock in The Motion Picture. How V’Ger’s signal was frying his logical brain and it stirred his human half while he was undergoing the Kholinar. It’s as if he never saw that movie at all. This is not very encouraging, I gotta be honest.

I’m also nervous about a return to Talos IV.

Mark Calcagno

I don’t find that concerning actually. It implies an understanding of the character, one that makes sense in the same way that Spock never mentions family until they become relevant. I, for one, am encouraged by that.

ML31

Wait… So retelling the story of an unsettled Spock (like they did in TMP) in season 2 of STD implies an understanding of the character? I’d say it implies they had no idea of the events that happened in ST:TMP. If they did they would know that Spock underwent a same or very similar event some 20-30 years after STD.

Mark Calcagno

Ah, but I think it lends itself well to a weakness of the character (in terms of a vulnerability, not poor writing). For almost all of TOS, Spock was a super being that had almost none of the weaknesses that humans did. Vulcans zigged when humans zagged. In TMP, he was the most compromised of them all, which for a movie I don’t enjoy, is a decision I admire. To see a similar telepathic threat compromise him in the same way, and when he’s younger no less, could be interesting to watch.

Jemini

except, tos Spock was always ‘compromised’ because he pretended to be who he wasn’t. But I’m starting to worry I didn’t watch the same tos others watched here where this amazing character had one specific character arc that is the core of his story through the series and the movies too. You all make it seems that tos Spock was flawless and without conflict when, truly, he was a mess. He was the most fu**ed up and conflicted character of them all.

Corylea

TOS Spock was conflicted, but he managed to be incredibly intelligent, wonderfully ethical, fabulously loyal, and amazingly competent, too. Sure, he Had Issues from being raised by parents who pulled him in two directions and from being taught that it was better to be Vulcan than human, but having issues doesn’t make him fu**ed up; it just makes him a person.

EVERYBODY has issues, but almost no one is as wonderful as Spock; he is justly admired. ;-)

ML31

But that’s the point. Spock went through this in TMP. Why do they need to have him go through pretty much the same thing? We, the audience, have seen this in him already. It really helped shape him into the settled person he became from WOK on. Of course we will wait to see for sure when we see the show in a few months. But it sure does sound like a retread of what he went through in TMP. I hope I’m wrong.

PaulB

ML31, I’m a huge fan of TMP, and I can’t figure out what you’re talking about here. There is nothing about what they’re saying here that sounds like Spock’s arc in TMP other than the most vague “character reacts to something and grows” sense.

They say the Red Angel fried Spock’s logical brain and he isn’t emotionally able to handle it. You say V’Ger’s signal was doing the same. NOPE. Not in the TMP that existed in 1979 or any edition sense.

In TMP, Spock is on the verge of purging his emotions when V’Ger’s presence (not signal) “stirs” his human half. It touches his emotions when he thought they were gone, and he has to find out why. Curiosity and a need for fulfillment, not scrambled/fried logic.

Then when Spock mind melds with V’Ger, he has the physical shock of the experience, but he isn’t fried or scrambled at all. He is, instead, WHOLE for the first time in his life. In sickbay, holding Kirk’s hand and talking about simple feeling, Spock is showing that his experience with V’Ger showed him that rejecting his emotions was illogical. No scrambled logic. No troubling understanding reality.

In TMP, the encounter with V’Ger doesn’t scramble or fry Spock. It heals him, helps his two halves peacefully coexist.

The DSC talk sounds like a young, still emotional Spock has had his sense of reality shattered by something illogical–again, NOTHING like his encounter with the utterly logical V’Ger.

Either way, Spock’s arc in TMP is my favorite character growth in the whole series. I’m sure DSC’s stuff with Spock will be about as dumb as the Kelvin version of Khan, sadly.

ML31

It certainly looked like Spock was still looking for himself at the beginning of TMP. I also said “same or similar”. You say it’s not the same. Fine. But it is difficult to deny that it is a VERY similar thing. Something in deep space stirs Spocks head to the point where he needs to go and find out what the deal is. And in the end he grows as a being. In TMP’s case, it was V’ger. In STD’s case, it’s those 7 signals, whatever they are. Like I said, we shall see when it airs, but it sure sounds similar.

And I also agree with others who think it sounds like Kurtzman thinks Spock in TOS is settled and the final version of himself when the rest of us know that is absolutely not the case.

PaulB

“But it is difficult to deny that it is a VERY similar thing.” Nope, it’s very easly to deny that claim. I did so with very specific logic and reasoning. Others have also denied it. “Spock experiences something and is changed by it” is the ONLY similarity that is clear, and that is true of pretty much every Spock story ever (or any character story ever).

Here is the quote about DSC’s Spock: “His experience with the Red Angel and the signals has fried his logical brain. He cannot make sense of it. And he is emotionally ill-equipped to deal with it. So both logic and emotion are failing him, totally. And he is totally unsure of himself and trying to figure out how to make sense of the mystery and where he fits into the world. And it’s through his complicated relationship with his sister that he’s able to figure out how to become and actualize himself as the Spock that we know from TOS.”

1 – experience fried his logical brain — Not similar to TMP
2 – logic & emotion fail him — Not similar to TMP (where he integrates them)
3 – totally unsure of himself — Not similar to TMP (where he is sure of himself until V’Ger clears his last difficulty and allows him to become whole, and thus TRULY sure of himself)
4 – relationship with sister needed to help him get through the Red Angel experience — Not similar to TMP (where he melded with V’Ger alone and then shared what he had learned with Kirk, who is only there to witness his friend’s joy at being whole)

Seriously, you’re grasping at straws to link it to TMP. Tiny straws. Cloaked straws. Quantum straws…

ML31

Sorry but no. It is similar. You are the only one I have seen who thinks it is very different.
1 – experience fried his logical brain. Similar to TMP. (Kholinar failure)
2 – logic & emotion fail him. Again, similar to TNG.
3 – totally unsure of himself. And again, similar to TNG.
4 – relationship with sister needed to help him get through the Red Angel experience. A: Speculation. And B, similar to TNG where he needs help from his friends to get through is personal crisis.

It’s pretty darn obvious. No straw grasping here. None. It reeks of Spock in TMP every way it’s sliced. I find it disingenuous to continue to deny it.

PaulB

ML31, you’re hilarious! You would have to redefine 90% of the words you use for your claims to be true. You’re simply, utterly, totally, and factually WRONG about what you saw of Spock in TMP. (Or in TNG, as you listed on 2 & 3. I don’t know if that’s a mistake or if you’re just detached from reality.)

Maybe try watching the movie again. You’re wrong. Period. End of story.

But hey, keep swinging away when everyone else here has shown you why you’re wrong. Makes us laugh. Thanks for the comedy!

ML31

I pretty much watch TMP every year. Everything that has been said about Spock in the upcoming S2 of STD sounds very much like what he went through in TMP. The similarities are obvious. All words properly defined. To go that route tells me your position has been legitimately compromised. Thank you.

PaulB

“The similarities are obvious.” Nope.
“All words properly defined.” Nope.
“To go that route tells me your position has been legitimately compromised.” HaHaHAHAHAHahahAHAhaha – Nope, just means I’m done arguing with a fool.

You’re funny. Do you have a stand-up routine too?

ML31

Spock senses signals from space that interrupt his life and cause him to investigate. True of TMP and of what is said about him in STD S2. Obvious similarities. You choose to ignore them. I don’t.

I suspect that when you are claiming I am not understanding the definition of words that you are being a nit picker and not seeing the bigger picture. Context is important. Context you have been ignoring.

And yes, your “hahaha” and insulting attitude further indicates a defensive attitude showing you know what I have said has merit but refuse to admit it.

Good luck to you, sir.

Jemini

the funny thing is that he’s probably using something like TMP but with a twist that changes Spock’s conflict altogether: they want to make Michael someone who helps him understand that he needs to embrace his vulcan side only to be himself, and thus deny his human one and his feelings. Here’s why tos Spock was so repressed and on denial about his human side! but wait, apparently now it’s a good thing for him and he didn’t really need to discover himself in tos and had no conflict to resolve…? brilliant.
I guess TMP Spock will be a Spock who suddenly realizes that his sister was wrong and his real self isn’t someone who gotta be more vulcan than vulcans themselves, after all.

ML31

I was lead to believe his decision to be more Vulcan was a result of him growing up on Vulcan and enduring what he endured growing up. Feels weird to have this new character change all that. If you are right then IMHO that does not bode well for S2.

Jemini

ML31, his childhood among vulcans and his complex relationship with Sarek surely is to blame for most of his conflict later. He was bullied by some vulcans because of his human side too. Like I said in another comment, I remember DC Fontana and Gene tried to explain why Spock was like that by proposing the idea, that the show never explored, that he went through some trauma, before he met kirk&co, and it was the last straw. Discovery could show that trauma, but they might totally change his conflict in order to make Michael a mentor and ally in a moment of his life where anyone who is the ‘reason’ why he becomes the guy we see in tos can only be, if they follow canon, a bad guy or at Sarek’s level.
Something here feels like a big contradiction. They are painting themselves into a corner like whoa.

Corinthian7

I’m not convinced that it will be Burnham that changes or fixes Spock, rather I think it will the Talosians. It’s clear we’re going to see a more emotional Spock but I think this will be a result of whatever happens to him when he’s off on his quest. Pike will risk everything to return him to Talos where the the Talosions will use there highly advanced mental capabilities to unscramble Spock’s mind and of course the Vulcan science office will return the favour a decade or so later.

Tiger2

Jesus if everything you said is true this is exactly why I don’t want DIS turned into a back door Cage sequel. But you could be right.

Corinthian7

@Tiger2 obviously it’s conjecture on my part, I’m basing it mostly on something Anson Mount said in his interview on this site. He was asked how much The Cage informed his performance and he remarked that The Menagerie was more significant further elaborating to discuss the huge sacrifice Spock was prepared to make to get Pike to Talos IV. This makes me think that we will find out why Spock felt he had to do this for Pike and why he thought it would be a good idea to go back to Talos IV. I guess it’s also possible that the Talosians are responsible for the religious visions experienced by Spock and Burnham. Certainly their previous appearances indicate that they have the mental prowess to do this although it would be surprising for Kurtzman to drop this big a clue before an episode of season 2 has even aired.

Tiger2

Your reasoning is sound. I could at least see that happening for Pike to help Spock and take him to the one place that could help him, even risking protocol. It would be a nice bookend with the Menagerie.

But it would also bother me a little. Not the story so much which sounds great if I’m being honest but it would be my direct fear of what this season is really about and a back door for TOS story lines. If you have to put Pike and Spock there, fine, but at least tell new stories with them. But I’m not going to whine about a theory though.

But I WILL say I prefer stuff like that then I do another war story arc so even I’m not in love with it I think its definitely the better way to go and will get a lot of TOS fans on board (which is the point).

ML31

Wow… That actually sounds plausible. Because it actually makes a ton of sense I have a hard time accepting that the STD guys would actually do it. But good work on that theory. and yes, I agree with Tiger. It would turn S2 into a back door Cage sequel but also a Menagerie prequel.

Corinthian7

@Tiger2 @ML31 Thanks guys. Of course I’m feeding off bread crumbs here, when we actually watch an episode it might turn out that I’ve took 2 and 2 and come up with 50.

Michael Hall

That’s a real reach, to equate those things at two different points in that character’s development, just based on some fairly loose conversation with the show’s producer. Not that I’m defending Kurtzman, who’s disappointed me more times than I care to remember. But I won’t judge what’s been done with this version of Spock until I’ve actually seen it.

Jemini

“And it’s through his complicated relationship with his sister that he’s able to figure out how to become and actualize himself as the Spock that we know from TOS. ” ..you mean a complex guy who lived on denial about his mixed heritage for most of his life, who was dysfunctionally uncomfortable about his human side, who, even by the time we see him in the movies and even after all the character evolution from the series, he’s STILL troubled by the same issues until the moment when he, finally, gets some sort of closure about his human side and feelings as he realizes that kolinahr isn’t for him? yeah, I still have a feeling they want Michael to be his mentor who helps him be his ‘real self’. Go figure how can you retcon the whole canon of a character like Spock, and pretend that he needed to accept his vulcan side (LOL! talk about plot twist), and then claim that you are still respecting canon. That seems disingenuous. why I don’t trust them: 1) they more or less ‘borrowed’ Spock’s original conflict using it for Michael already (she pretends to be an unfeeling vulcan, she accepts she’s actually human too and has feelings) hence, they probably feel like they need to give Spock a ‘different’ kind of conflict now that can parallel hers from the opposite perspective 2) the vibe I keep getting here is that they truly believe that tos Spock was this perfect guy, or at least a ‘better guy’ than the one who worked with Pike… except maybe he really wasn’t. DC Fontana and Roddenberry had the idea that the reason why Spock became so repressed by the time we see him in tos maybe lies in a trauma from when he was younger that… Read more »

Danpaine

Well put, Jemini – as I said above, what you outlined here is my prediction as well.

Jemini

also, I love Spock like the next person.. he’s my fav character. BUT Kurtzman being more excited about his character in this season than the actual protagonist and their own characters is depressing. If you are trying to reassure Discovery fans that the season will still be about the actual characters of this series and not the tos nods added mostly for old fans only, this really isn’t the most effective way IMO
People care about Michael and the other characters now and they want to see their stories. Spock shouldn’t even be there honestly, but if you need him SO MUCH he shouldn’t be more than a guest appearance. How many episodes they have anyway? If you focus too much on Spock and Pike what is left for Michael and the others?

HubcapDave

I’m going back to Talos, Talos, Talos
I’m going back to Talos. Hmmm, I don’t think so…..

Apologies to LL Cool J

PaulB

[slow applause]

Roger S

IMO, the more STD tries to rely on TOS for its story points, the more it fails. I would have more respect for the show if it would just stand on its own rather than limping along with TOS as a crutch.

Tiger2

Me too Roger…me too.

ML31

Another me too.

Danpaine

Annnd, another agreement.

Scott Patterson

Is season 2 the mission to Rigel VII?

alphantrion

Now I am wondering if Spock will be lik Luke Skywalker from The Last Jedi in terms of characterization while Michael will be the Rey character. Lets hope they don’t end up polarizing the fan-base as much as Star Wars did.

DIGINON

Well, we can be quite certain that Spock won’t sacrifice himself.

Captain Robert April

By going back to Talos IV, they have forfeited any and all claims at being canon. If it’s a prequel to “The Cage”, they violate the timeline and completely undermine the whole plotline of “The Cage”. If it’s a followup, they violate “The Menagerie”. And if it’s a flashback, it’s practically a given that they’ll completely screw it up beyond all recognition.

Just admit it’s a reboot already. Nobody’s being fooled anymore aside from the few who want to be sucked in. The rest of us are fed up with the games and the lies.

Zinc Saucier

So it sounds like we’re gonna get an early overly emotional Spock that’s going through some kind of crisis of faith with Vulcan logic caused by the appearance of the Red Angels. Ugh. Why can’t we just get a Spock that actually acts like Spock? Look I get it, it’s an origin story and shows how he became that Spock we all know and love, and maybe I’d be more interested in that story if Kurtzman hadn’t already burned me twice with his overly emotional Spock in ST09 and STID. It’s as if he doesn’t know how else to write the character to make him interesting. Oh well, I guess we’ll see.