‘Star Trek: Discovery’ Cast And Producers Talk Section 31, Red Angel, What Pike Can Teach Spock, And More

TrekMovie had extensive coverage and interviews from New York Comic Con all about Star Trek: Discovery, but of course there were other outlets there as well. We have gathered some highlights from all the interesting comments made by the executive producers and cast about season two and more.

Does Georgiou want to take over Section 31?

One of the new elements in the second season of Discovery will be Section 31, with Michelle Yeoh’s Emperor Georgiou now a member of the secret organization. Speaking to IGN, Yeoh gave some details on what she’s up to with Section 31 in season two:

Section 31 has all the most updated gadgets, because they are the most informed, and she, as an engineer, she can hack into Section 31. And [the Section 31 member who recruited her] Leland thinks he’s in charge of the ship. But she finds out secrets. Because that’s what Section 31 does. It’s collected secrets all over the universe about certain people, and history, and things like that. And so, when you have [those] kind of secrets, it’s power. And for Philippa Georgiou, that’s perfect! So, if she has to be here, she wants to be in Section 31, and she wants to run it, right?

Michell Yeoh from episode #203 of Star Trek: Discovery

Red Angel questions for Burnham and Spock

The mystery of the seven signals and the “red angel” will be a big part of the second season, evidenced by how they feature prominently in both the SDCC and NYCC trailers and on the season two poster. Discovery lead actress Sonequa Martin-Green gave IGN a  little more detail on the search for the angel’s motives:

The Red Angel appears to Michael Burnham at a very, very critical moment. You can see from the trailer that we just released that it looks like a life or death moment. And I see this angel and I say that it gives me comfort and lets me know that everything is going to be okay. And then what I find out later is that Spock has also seen this same Red Angel, but when he was a child. And so it’s a huge mystery. And it’s one of the big themes of Season 2, finding out what this angel is, where this angel came from, what it wants, what it needs, what it’s doing. All those questions.

Burnham hugs Amanda with a display of the red Angel seen on Spock’s computer

Captain Pike has things to teach Spock

Much has been talked about regarding how season two will explore the relationship with Spock and his sister Michael Burnham, but what about Spock’s relationship with his captain? Speaking to Digital Spy, actor Anson Mount explained how Captain Pike can help Spock:

For me, at least, what I had imagined and brought to our first scene together, which was that he was almost like an older brother. Not a father figure, but maybe so. Because Sarek can only teach logic to Spock and that’s what kind of ends up creating this trauma in him, is not being able to reconcile his logic and emotion. I think for me, going into it, I chose Pike to be this beacon of humanity and human role model.

Anson Mount as Captain Pike in Star Trek: Discovery

Culber’s return won’t be without consequences

Ever since Dr. Culber was killed off in the first season, the showrunners and actor Wilson Cruz have made it clear that he will return, but exactly how remains a mystery. Speaking to Attitude, Cruz explained the death had a reason and the doesn’t sound easy either:

I can promise you that he really did have to go through that in order for us to tell the story that we’re about to tell you. We don’t dismiss it. We don’t act as if it didn’t happen. We extrapolate it in a very real way. We extend the story. And there are consequences. There’s a price to pay. But it’s a really exciting way of learning about this character. Honestly, after doing it I feel like we couldn’t have given a more satisfying answer to the question.

Lt. Stamets (Anthony Rapp )cradles the dead Dr. Culber (Wilson Cruz) in episode 11 of season 1

L’Rell takes on Klingon patriarchy

During the NYCC panel, Mary Chieffo spoke about how her L’Rell will face some obstacles as the new Chancellor of the Klingon Empire. Alex Kurtzman and Heather Kadin told IGN about the modern allegory for this plotline, with Kurtzman pointing out, “There’s a female Klingon leading a war-faring, mostly male-dominated race,” and Kadin responding, “And it can be hard for women to have a position of power without being questioned. I don’t know if you are aware of that.”

Kurtzman then discussed how this plotline is in the Trek tradition of taking on contemporary issues:

So it’s in the spirit of all great Trek. We’re mirroring so much of what is happening in our world now. And what she’s dealing with is what every woman who’s in a position like that, and not in a position like that, is dealing with when it comes to the way they are living in a patriarchy. So, very much, that is what we’re tackling. And L’Rell is strong, and she is … you know, she has to meet their fire with — not just fire, but actually real consideration and thoughtfulness and strategy. And it’s really interesting to see L’Rell grow into the leader that she becomes this season.

Mary Chieffo as L’Rell in the Star Trek: Discovery season two NYCC trailer


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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RikersMailbox

In the famous Simpsons episode, ‘Lisa the Skeptic,’ Lisa refuses to call the presumed archaeological find an ‘Angel’ even though it looks like one, because there is simply no proof of it being so. I hope that young Spock is as logical as Lisa Simpson or this is going to be a long season.

Wally

It could be a nickname, a placeholder, until the true identity is known. “Red Angel” is a little more catchy and mysterious than the “Maroon Buzzard” or the “Crimson Fly Fly Man.”

khambattafan

Not appropriate for Spock, at any age, to be using a term like “angel” to refer to a phenomenon. Yet another example of tonal wrongness by the programme.

Afterburn

I can see a situation where he accepts the moniker due to “it’s uncanny resemblance to the deities of early Earth cultures.”

Your comments are simply nitpicking for the sake of nitpicking.

kmart

No, they’re not nitpicking, they speak directly to the kind of misconnect some writers have demonstrated with Trek in the past. Thing is, the folks running things are supposed to catch and correct that. The idea that these folks will actually run with the ‘angel’ desig makes me think they still don’t know the voices they are writing for, which at this point in time seems utterly crazy.

An example: I wrote a spec TNG script (rejected) that related a lot to black holes. Based on my research, I found that ‘hypermass’ was a good synonym for black hole and also didn’t sound played-out, so I had Data referring to it as a hypermass repeatedly until Picard, who was stressing plainspeak with him, emphatically overrode him by declaring it a black hole. That’s an example of the word use coming out of character and POV. You’d have to have a similar exchange in DSC to justify Spock falling back on ‘angel’ slang, as it would not apply unless in an academic discussion. Unless of course they try to explain it as ancient Vulcan history has references to angels and therefore this is appropriate if it is the same being(s) involved — Spock admits that Sargon’s folks may be responsible for Vulcan going by old tales in RETURN TO TOMORROW, but even there he doesn’t use that kind of verbiage to describe the advanced lifeform.

I'm Dead Jim

No, it is clearly nitpicking.

Afterburn

KMART’s long-winded response is irrefutably nitpicking (the fact that you wrote a spec script also speaks to your overboard ness as a diehard who nitpicks a little too much. I am not judging– I think it’s wonderful that you love Trek so much to write your own stories, but that level of fandom usually is accompanied by an almost obsessive level of nitpickyness).

To put it simply: this is a minor thing. Spock is a far more nuanced character than just pure logic. As was Lisa Simpson.

In that episode it’s worth noting her insistence over not calling it an angel had as much to do with her anger towards those that would as her own belief and logical take on the situation. That was the entire point of the episode: for her to learn that other people’s beliefs should be respected, no matter how she personally felt about them.

In short, Lisa’s stance was as emotionally driven as it was logical. Spock would not fall prey to that. I suspect that the ill-logic of the “Red Angel” is what causes his dilemma to begin with.

Jack

It’s also nitpicking something nobody has seen yet.

I get that predicting catastrophe is part of fandom, but why fret about something that might not even be a problem?

And characters have crises and setbacks. And they make mistakes.

kmart

Hey, another of my specs got me in to pitch there, so don’t try to shoehorn me into some fanboy niche (I didn’t even like TNG much, just knew I could write that way.) And I’ve been a professional writer since 1990, earning between 60-100% of my annual income that way.

I do think this will be worth revisiting once the series starts airing again, just to see if this is grievous, or just dumb, or actually a non-issue. It’s not enough to get me to watch it again, though.

kmart

Thanks for that oh-so detailed and informed response. Perhaps you can also declare for us in a single sentence-snipe who we should vote for and how we should behave?

Marja

For heavens’ sake, kmart, 1) Spock was apparently a child when he first saw the thing. 2) He may have used the term to communicate it to Amanda, and been corrected by his father or Michael. 3) we haven’t even seen the flippin’ episode yet.

I do agreed with most of your post regarding writing dialogue for establishing character, though. I’d just like to see what the writers did before we wade in too deep.

Captain Ransom

It is definitely nitpicking for the sake of nitpicking. This is the problem with fanboys, no matter what…a fanboy will find something to nitpick about. Be like the rest of us Trek fans and enjoy a some new Trek on TV. Sheesh.

Phil

Yeah, it wouldn’t have been appropriate for Spock to ‘nod nod wink wink’ to Yeoman Rand (on the Bridge!?!) that she secretly likes it rough after Kirk attacked her, either…..oh, wait.

These are written characters. Appropriate is going to be what ever the moment demands, not necessarily what is right or wrong.

Afterburn

Additionally there is no “wrong or right”. Characters, like people, are constantly evolving. We’ve seen Spock in what, 80 episodes of Trek, and 7 movies? Can we really say we know everything about him? Next you’ll be telling me Pike better behave a certain way to be consistent with his ONE appearance in The Cage.

And this is a Spock 10 years before TOS. People change a lot in a decade. I’m certainly not the same person at 36 that I was at 26.

Another thing I hate about fandom is when the audience expects every portrayal of a character to be exactly the same. People are multi-faceted, and just because they behave one way in a situation does not mean they’ll behave exactly the same the next time they encounter an identical situation.

It’s unrealistic to watch, essentially, 3 days worth of a person’s life and think you know everything about them.

kmart

Not that you know everything about him, but there are definitive aspects. He says that if he drops a hammer, he doesn’t have to watch it fall to know it will (and that is a defense of knowing Kirk’s character!) By way of comparison, I think TUC is a perfect example of character assassination, just to serve the needs of the story. Spock’s pride and Kirk’s prejudice are there so they can have a character arc, not in support of what we’ve seen of them. I think that what we see in the later trek films in Kirk is more TJ HOOKER than the Captain, especially if you go by Shatner’s own take, that Kirk was heroic whereas Hooker was angry. The Kirk at the beginning of TVH is an enormous grind, and in fact he goes off on Spock late in the movie (“haven’t you got any ___damned feelings about that!”) in a way that seemed very arbitrary, again just to get Spock to turn in the right direction later in the story. This isn’t a deliberate engineering things for an effect like Kirk taunting Spock in THIS SIDE OF PARADISE, this is a guy fretting and pissed off, and while Kirk has his unfortunate moments from time to time, this just seemed whiney and mean. Well, there are those who say David’s death was enough to sour Kirk, but I never bought that. He barely knew the guy, and while Kirk might be legendary on short acquaintance, there is nothing special about David at all … shoot, opening day for SFS in San Jose at the Century theaters, the audience applauded every name that came up in the credits until Buttrick’s … and then there was a kind of embarrassed laughter over the silence at his name, which… Read more »

Marja

Phil, yes, Spock’s outright leer at Rand’s bosom at the end of “Charlie X” is a little tough to reconcile, innit.

Also his evident appreciation of Mudd’s women.

Curious Cadet

@Marja — hence why visual canon is best ignored. An actor’s leer is but one interpretation of a performance, not necessarily an intention by the writers and creators.

Marja

But Curious … but … what, then, is canon?
OMG not this again
LOL

ML31

And why that smile in a pilot episode never meant to be seen ought to be ignored as well.

Locutus

Given how L’Rell is depicted basically raping Ash Tyler in season 1, I don’t think she is the best exemplar of the #metoo movement. Yes, Tyler is actually Voq but did he have the capacity to consent when they had sex?

Vulcan Soul

They just can’t help shoehorning in this divisive, partisan BS… to abuse Chekov’s Russian proverb: if the shoe doesn’t fit, make it fit until it bleeds!

Jack

Yes, how dare an actress have an opinion.

And it’s digusting that you think talking about sexism, sexual harassment and abuse is either divisive or partisan.

Marja

Jack, you have said it so much more elegantly and, emm, cleanly than I would have :^)

Afterburn

Seriously, WOW, how is rape, harassment, and abuse a partisan political issue? A topical issue, to be sure, but partisan? Nonense. Ban this guy.

AdAstraPerAspera

This is disgusting and abhorrent. Saying that about the #MeToo movement says a great deal about your character.

Olaf

Oh come on, all these so-called movements are largely blown out of proportion these days. Yes, at the core, it’s important and every victim has my deepest sympathies, but a lot of people (in this case: women) jump on the train and say “me too”, when in fact it’s not always black or white, and they’re maybe just as responsible (or even more so) for what happened as the man they’re accusing of something. There are examples of strong women that stood up and said “ok, then I don’t take the job, thank you, but no thank you!”. Doesn’t make the attempt of sexual harassement any more acceptable, but would have avoided the consequences.

And, for me, shoving it down our throats, is just as much jumping on the train and not really needed. I want to be entertained, not pushed towarsd everything that’s wrong with our world today (and that’s a lot!). Star Trek (or TV in genreal) can be thoughtful without stating the obvious…

Right. Star Trek has never stated the obvious. Riiiiiiiiiiight….

Turns out, if you don’t keep stating the obvious, there are plenty of cretins in the world who’ll never learn those obvious things.

kmart

You need to do more than just keep stating the obvious, they need to walk the walk as well as talk the talk. I mean, even though TOS had women as officers on the bridge, they also had Marla quite definitely being dominated by Khan in a way that didn’t really suggest equality between sexes, one that also showed her betraying her position of responsibility. I remember being very disturbed by that scene as a kid, and thinking that it really gave some creepy credence to the ‘act like a jerk — or worse — to get the chicks’ routine.

Danpaine

Agreed. But I do have to say I look to Star Trek for a certain level of escapism, not more of what I’m seeing on literally every type of media these days. I get both points.

PaulB

“…and they’re maybe just as responsible (or even more so) for what happened as the man they’re accusing of something.”

Fuck off and die, you victim-blaming piece of shit.

Vulcan Soul

Olaf has said it much more elegantly than I would have :)

Brainulo

For the false Tyler creation, it was tape. For Voq, it was the only comfort L’Rell could offer that could reach the equally traumatized Klingon warrior within.

Marja

Brainulo, This has bothered me for so long. I’m glad to have your interpretation, because I couldn’t make anything fit before. Thanks.

If you would pay attention to the scene in question and the context of it, Ash Tyler had a flashback of a normal sex scene with L’rell, where he was still Voq, he just projected himself in to Voq and for him Ash it was torture as from his perspective he is a Starfleet officer in war with the Klingons.

khambattafan

The dialogue makes pretty clear that L’Rell was abusing Tyler (post Voq) with her “sick affections” and Tyler went along with it to stay alive, as a prisoner. They’re trying to rewrite this as Tyler’s jumbled memories, because it doesn’t jibe with the decision to make L’Rell a #MeToo activist.

khambattafan

I meant Tyler was under the impression he was going along with her “sick affections” to stay alive as a prisoner. He describes to Lorca and Burnham abuse at the hands of L’Rell. He tells Lorca in the cell, “she’s taken a liking to me” – so this isn’t a jumbled Voq memory (like the flashbacks). It’s an implanted memory? No, the implanted memories were from the real Ash Tyler. Thus, insisting that Ash and L’Rell didn’t have sexual relations is a retcon.

Ian

Yeah the nature of that development means we are left to assume that at some point, once Voq became Ash, any time they had sex it was rape. It’s a really uncomfortable writing decision to try to parse, I wish they hadn’t been so clumsy about it..

PEB

I don’t think she raped him. I think that whole thing was Voq and Ash’s memories clashing with each other. Voq loved her, Ash had flashes of what I’m sure would be pretty traumatic for a human (unless you’re into Klingons like that). I thought that was even explained near the season when Ash/Voq had to be separated.

Afterburn

I took that scene to portray a sexual encounter that was consensual at the time, but was remembered differently (because it could only be half-remembered) once his memories were wiped and/or altered.

Regardless of how we interpret it, it’s pretty clear it was not meant to be as literal as some took it.

DS9 is King

This Red Angel mystery is becoming more and more Curious, I still call it it’s a Time Traveler from the Future.

Marja

I like this idea! Then perhaps Discovery vaults forward in time … using the DASH drive as she was designed to do, as Stamets was assigned to do … I want to see a solution to the DNA manipulation/mycelial network problem. I hope they don’t just forget all about it.

Perhaps Disco will be a top-secret, time-travelling ship working under Section 31. Hmmmmmmmmmm

PEB

I could ultimately see it being a Section 31 ship

EBHT

Well the hull registry is, after all, 1031 (but I recall the showrunners saying prior to S1 being released that it was because Halloween was their favorite day but that never stuck with me).

Danpaine

I said the same on a thread here a while ago, Marja – it would be a very neat concept if Discovery became a time-jumping, even universe-jumping ship. That would show some real imagination, imo, and the opportunities for true exploration and adventure would be endless.

ML31

Star Trek: Who. ;)

Marja

Me too, Dan … several months ago, I postulated that if Disco could jump forward nine months in time, it would be really cool to see a starship that can not only jump anywhere instantaneously, but anyWHEN.

Just imagine! I’m with you on this 100. I just hope they don’t get too deep into Temporal Mechanics. As someone famously said, I HATE Temporal Mechanics ….

Tiger2

As usual, right there with you Marja! ;)

I would love the idea Discovery was revealed to be a Section 31 ship that jumps forward in time. I’m not AS hopeful by it now that the Picard show is coming but I still think it would be a cool idea to put them somewhere else entirely. I would be fine if they even ended up in another universe (not mirror).

Marja

Yes, because whole new concepts, whole new races, worlds, etc., as some fans who are crying out against the Prequel concept have been communicating … me, I don’t particularly care, but I think it’d be a really cool idea to have Disco travelling here, there and anywhen.

Tiger2

Exactly! At the end of the day for a lot of us who don’t like prequels, thats what this is really about and we just want NEW things again. Its why I liked Voyager because they were forced to come up with new worlds and aliens because they were in another part of space that was alien to them. They found ways to bring in more familiar aliens here and there but 80% of that show presented new ideas, even if they all weren’t great ones.

Discovery is obviously still new but its only really created one unique idea so far, the spore drive and mycelial network, but IMO one of the BEST ideas Star Trek has created because of the story potential it now gives them. So yes now that they confirmed the spore drive can take them any place and time it would be great to see it used at their full advantage. I would love to see what a 25th century Federation in a parallel universe looks like. I don’t think it will happen but the beauty is it CAN happen now at least!

ML31

I’m not a fan of the spore drive because it essentially gives our guys a super power. A way out of nearly every single scrape they would find themselves in. The only way it works is to come up with some rules for why you can’t use it as readily as one would like to.

albatrosity

They can’t make Disco a S-31 ship for one reason: its registry is 1031. It would be too much of a coincidence.

Tiger2

But we already know Section 31 was on the ship in the third episode with the badges. They may not run the ship but they could be part of it.

Marja

I thought that was why she had that number! Then I found out it was the first showrunner’s favorite number

Marja

This thing with Emperor Georgiou trying to take on Section 31? I don’t have a great feeling about it. Plotwise, I mean. WTH are they going to do with that? A pure evil villain versus a shady organization … hmmmm … ugh?

El Chup

Agreed. The whole idea has me rolling my eyes before I’ve even seen it.

She’s a space tyrant. Why would she even care about the Federation as Section 31 are meant to? If this is all building to some awful “Mirror Georgiou tries to take over the Federation from within” nonsense then someone is going to have to pass me a vomit bag. I don’t need moustache twirlers. I’d much rather have Prime Georgiou back, who was far more interesting and befitting of Yeoh’s talents.

mrbleasdale

Her talents are much more shown as the Emp! Georgiou character was quite bland

ML31

I hate to say it but I think Yeoh was miscast to begin with. Her style of acting just doesn’t play well either Prime or MU Georgeau. She comes across as far too wooden when playing both parts. It worked well in Crazy Rich Asians. And in most of her other works. But not here.

Afterburn

In general I do not really like Michelle Yeoh. Perhaps she is better in her native language but I find her acting to be quite terrible, and am always confused when people speak of her as a brilliant actress in her English language films.

Marja

I thought she was just fine. She does a lot with her eyes and microexpressions. Is it possible that men are just not as tuned in to that sort of thing? Not to be all sexist, but for our survival women have had to learn to read faces and body language quite thoroughly to ensure survival.

People used to say the same thing about Jon Hamm as Don Draper. He was brilliant, but people said he was “wooden.”

ML31

A little off topic but since you brought up Mad Men… I only watched one season of Mad Men. Draper was dull and I had zero interest in a show centered around the guy. Not only was he dull but he was an A-hole as well. There were other characters who were WAY more interesting but not enough to keep watching for. Much of the story in S1 focused on Drapers past. Which again, I had zero interest in. So that show got abandoned by me and I feel it was one of the more overrated showed ever. There. I said it.

khambattafan

Yeoh isn’t a great actress by Western standards (or Chinese ones), but has icon status for her work in Hong Kong action cinema, and became world famous for Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. So when people gush about her on Discovery, it’s more about her persona than any dramatic acting ability. I don’t mind her campy performance on Discovery, but a little is enough.

Marja

I thought she was very good in “Crazy Rich Asians” as well. I haven’t seen any people gushing over her. Mostly people here criticize her. Any Terran comes across campy, though Yeoh brought something to it as Jason Isaacs did [more successfully, IMO]. She had a steely determination underneath, not just hyper-manic agression. Both actors went deeper than most of the mirror Trek performances I’ve seen, which are painful to watch for the most part.

Praetor Tal

Twenty-five dollars to the imperial treasury of Norton I for uttering the abominable stump of a word “Emp,” which is without linguistic or other warrant.

Marja

It’ll be interesting if they retcon it as, “she was Prime Georgiou all along” … except … the Klingons ate her body.

albatrosity

No it makes perfect sense if you don’t think about it: Section 31 needs to recruit a brilliant ruthless rogue from another time/place to design weapons and warships to realize a vision of a militarized Starfleet and oh wait

PEB

Just look at modern politics today. Seems relevant.

Phil

Yeah, I really don’t want to see much more of Section 31. Then again, a third of last season in the mirror universe was overkill, too…..but then, no one asked my opinion.

Marja

First season def took some byways. I hope they manage to write better and smoother arcs that make sense in S2.

ML31

I agree. Keeping space Hitler around on the show is feeling like it will be a tremendous mistake. Of course, our feelings could be wrong and it ends up being the most intriguing part of the season. But from what they are telling us here it is just not sounding positive in any way shape or form.

Marja

Somethin’ wrong for 31
Who you gonna call?
SPACE HITLER!

[sorry folks, couldn’t resist] #NeverLeaveMeAnOpening

albatrosity

Maybe mirrior Georgiou actually turns out to be a redeemable character in the end, that would be cool to see

Danpaine

Honestly I think the showrunners are just so eager to keep her on the show – for a number of reasons, likely – this is the result. They never should have brought her over from the mirror universe. She’s a criminal, a bad seed. Of course she’s going to cause trouble.

Afterburn

My guess would be that it satisfies investors who want a big name draw, or they think it will help viewership in Asia.

Marja

Yup. But IS there viewership in Asia?

Mr Isaacs is a pretty big draw himself, but most of Europe is on board anyway …. that said, he was one of the best things about S1, until he turned all EEEEVIL.

Boy, I just do not give a CRAP about Section 31. I thought it sucked on DS9, and I predict it will suck here, too.

kmart

I absolutely loved S31 in DS9, and think it (along with the crappy way the Fed dealt with the whole maquis situation) is the most important bit of Fed history that came out of all those century 24 eps, but concur that it will likely suck here. A lot of it is more than ideas, it is execution.

TonyD

I never cared for Section 31 either; it was another one of DS9’s deconstructive “contributions” that flew in the face of what Trek was supposed to be.

I also hope Pike is written smart enough to eventually see thru Georgiou’s deception and figure out that she is not who she appears to be.

ML31

Bryant, I am forced to agree. DS9 was the best of the sinoffs but when they threw section 31 in there everything came to a stop. It always caused a facepalm. Didn’t like how it was handled on Enterprise, either. Maybe I could feel differently if one of the future shows could be a Section 31 series and we get an in depth look at the organization? But for now, it’s been pointless.

Marja

Now THAT might be cooler than having them messing about in starship business, I think. But the political angle would be really interesting.

Let’s see Philip and Elizabeth Jennings[“The Americans”] in space! [LOL]

There are a WHOLE lot of possible spin-offs. IF they are done well, and are not rushed.

ML31

A compromised Federation couple giving intel to the Klingons perhaps?

Have you seen the Americans finale yet? I don’t think it was their best work but it was pretty good and a satisfying ending to the story.

Danpaine

Agreed.

Afterburn

Loved S31 on DS9– finally something new and interesting about the Federation that both retconned a lot of past trek (or has the potential too), and showed a different side to humanity. If used properly it can be an excellent tool for telling nuanced political stories. The scene at the end of the first episode (“Inquisition”) where Sisko, Bashir, Odo, and Kira realize S31 is real, and has existed since the before founding of the Federation has a lot of powerful statements in it about government, power, and human nature.

It was never explored to its fullest potential in Enterprise, and I was kind of confused by DSC’s use of it in Season 1 (didn’t seem to really be necessary) but I’m holding out for an interesting storyline next season.

Tiger2

Count me in as one of those people who also loved Section 31 on DS9. For some reason I’m just completely fascinated by that group. And its what is making me more excited for season 2. Clearly though their presence is very divided among the fanbase and for valid reasons, but I think do they represent a reality if there was a Federation in the future when you got the likes of Romulans, Dominion and the Cardassians running around.

As Worf once said the Federation does have enemies and they aren’t going to just fight you with photon torpedoes and ships but try to destroy you from the inside as well and why Section 31 is an interesting group to have even if you disagree with some of their methods.

Hopefully they won’t suck on Discovery though but the jury is still out.

Marja

I think [as kmart says below], it’s execution that’s key. I’m not sure I’m confident about that.

But 31 could bring some very interesting spycraft subplots … IDK, I find that sort of interesting. And their f888ups are pretty significant historically and inter-planetary-wise, so there’s that. Disco could go in to “repair” situations …

Probably no use conjecturing, based on @extspace tweets, the season’s almost completely written by now.

I wonder why the writers are always on such tight deadlines. Mightn’t it be better to let them take all the time they needed to construct really solid stories that tie well together?

Curious Cadet

@Bryant Burnette — I agree. I hate Section 31. The whole point of Star Trek and the Federation is that it is supposedly above the kind of corruption, and secretive, above the law organizations that plague our governments and society today. If they want to do such a story about internal corruption, then do it, and show how such things could be dealt with in the future such that they are impossible to exist. Suggesting that Starfleet has actually backed such a rogue element within their ranks is the reverse of the message I grew up with. The sin here goes way beyond the concept that such a sanctioned organization exists, but rather that the series focus an unacceptable amount of time dealing with them.

The best stories for me have always been where Trek dealt with this kind of corruption and abuse of power in other alien cultures, which serve as the Stand-in reflecting our own modern failures. Focusing the story on themselves does nothing but diminish the message that humanity can rise above the issues which plague us today. Above all Starfleet should be accountable on all levels. But it turns out it’s no different than the flawed organizations we see in a Jason Bourne movie. And maybe that’s the point some Hollywood writers seized upon — it works for other movies, and audiences love it, so why not Trek?

ML31

“way beyond the concept that such a sanctioned organization exists, but rather that the series focus an unacceptable amount of time dealing with them.”

This I am forced to agree with. I don’t really have an issue with the fact that the organization exists. But it feels like once it was revealed shows spent too much time with them. I think an entire show devoted to Section 31 on it’s own would work better than injecting it into other Trek shows. But maybe that’s just me.

Mark Calcagno

You know, I just realized that the parent-daughter relationship of Georgiou, Sarek and Michael is exactly the same as Pike, Sarek and Spock; someone caught between worlds being guided by someone from both.

I hope they can make it feel different, but on paper, they read the same.

I love the show, but I still cannot understand why they made Michael Spock’s adopted sister. It would have made more sense as a 25th century show.

ML31

I understand why they made her Spock’s adoptive sister. So they could link it closely with Spock and the TOS universe if they felt they needed the boost. Looks like they needed it far earlier than they thought.

Danpaine

“It would have made more sense as a 25th century show.”

This^. All day long.

Afterburn

Keep saying that, it doesn’t make it true. Makes perfect sense to me as what it is.

Danpaine

Good for you, glad it’s working out for you.

Afterburn

You don’t seem very happy.

Tiger2

Because he’s clearly not happy with the show. But he doesn’t seem to have any issues if others do like it.

Mark Calcagno

Please, stop trying to start an argument. You have an opinion. That’s great. We have a different opinion. This is also great.

Tone is a really important thing in verbal conversation, but the internet is absent of it, so we project our own tone. Since you disagree with me and Danpaine, I fear you put a tone on his comment that was not put forth by him.

Danpaine

Seriously, I’m glad Afterburn likes it. I’m hoping to join in that this-coming season! And you’re right, Mark. Online, email, etc., it’s all about tone.

More Troubles More Dribbles

I don’t recall any previous Star Trek series delving into modern political ideologies, and choosing a side like Current Trek does. I just wish the writers and producers would avoid divisive political narratives and stick to story telling.
I can see where some conservative fans would be insulted by some of the things being said behind the scenes- like referring to Discovery Klingon’s as Trump supporters, etc. And some of the cast and crew verbalizing their hatred for Trump while representing the franchise. Some may even wonder if this ideology find its way into the scripts. If they’ll disrespect one half of the country in public, how can they remove that bias from their work?
I fully expect to be- at the least- warned about my opinion by the page moderators but this needs to be said, AND heard. Star Trek fans are made up of all-kinds of people with varying political views, but we seem to all appreciate Trek’s all-inclusive practice. That practice ends when the writers, producers and cast publicly denounce one half of the country. It should stipulate contractually that- not only is it forbidden to discuss details of an episode before it airs, it’s also forbidden to voice your political opinions while representing the franchise.
That’s my opinion.

Curious Cadet

Star Trek has never been all inclusive.

Tiger2

Its your opinion but thankfully no one on the show has to follow it. This is how they define the show, its not illegal just because they are questioning the side you happen to be on. I mean I get why it bothers you but if it does that much you simply have the option not to watch it. That’s how it works. And if you don’t like people voicing their views against Trump, then don’t listen to them but they have every right to say how they feel just as you do.

Marja

You are welcome to mine as well. First of all, statistically, the Right does not comprise half of the US. It makes up some 30%.

Second, TOS was overtly political. At times they were neutrally exploring the situations, but at times, they were outspoken about what humans should aspire to be. Third, Nimoy was quite outspoken about his views as a “peacenik.”

I’m not sure about your statement that Klingons supposedly represent Trump supporters? I thought that was the Terrans, but I can’t go further with this statement here.

TOS taught me to question, be curious, and be open to possibilities. This has served me all of my life, and I am heartily glad for it.

Holden

I respect your right to your opinion, but honestly I’m so tired of this argument. Anyone who argues that Star Trek wasn’t ever political doesn’t, at best, understand the historical context of all the different iterations over the years. Star Trek was never not political. If people don’t agree with those politics now, it’s only because the franchise has left them behind.

albatrosity

There are those who think it’s disrespectful to hear someone express a negative opinion of the president. And then there are those who find disrespect in what the president says, which is filled with hateful, racist, sexist rhetoric, encourages the assault of journalists, and is designed to divide Americans against each other. Is it really disrespectful to call someone out for being a bully? Or is that just what respectable people do?

Tiger2

THANK YOU!

I am WAY more concerned about the nasty, hateful, divisive rhetoric Trump puts out for the entire world to hear weekly (he just recently said the Democrats creates mobs…now who is dividing half the population?) than an online show I’m guessing maybe 2 million people watch at best and gives only feint allusions to his rhetoric.

He doesn’t believe in uniting people, simply continues espousing fear in his supporters so they will continue voting for him. That is what is being called out.

More Troubles More Dribbles

It’s interesting to hear you all say that people have the right to express their political opinions. Okay, I guess I just imagined it when conservatives started voicing their opinions about Obama they were shut down faster than you can blink. Then it was practically a crime to speak out about Obama. Imagine the few conservatives we had working on ST: Enterprise speaking out negatively about Obama. They’d be out of a job receiving death threats. I’m sorry you folks are incapable of seeing the double standard when it doesn’t apply. Pray it never does.

Tiger2

Didn’t birther Trump question Obama about his birth certificate for a year while he was also the star and host of The Apprentice? Funny I don’t remember NBC canceling that show as the guy literally went around the country saying Obama isn’t really President for being born in Kenya. And NBC is not exactly conservative leaning either.

And now HE’S President and you’re upset people are speaking out about him? This is the guy who also opened an ‘investigation’ on Obama as well while he had said job.

When someone on that cast decides to do a nation wide media tour on why Trump shouldn’t be President questioning if he even qualifies to be President then you can feel more indignant about it. So far it’s just people giving their opinions about him and not trying to run him out of office as Trump did to Obama back then while an employee of NBCUniversal.

Or maybe I missed the ‘crime’ where he was alienated and ruined over it? Maybe I should’ve watched Fox news then.

tony

if trump was a ‘trek’ character then he would be the bad guy.
end of.

khambattafan

But if you just consider the onscreen content, Discovery wasn’t really that partisan. Yes, Lorca said “make Canada great again”, but Empress G is equally xenophobic and the audience is supposed to like her as a saucy antihero (I guess?). Most of the “messages” on Discovery aren’t that controversial – be nice to animals, manage your resources smartly, genocide is bad etc.

Marja

IMO Georgiou is a much worse person than Lorca, but we saw a Lorca who was trying to fit in with the Federation Starfleet. So I was not very comfortable with the idea of Burnham a) being that stupid as to prioritize sentiment over reality and b) bringing her into the Prime Uni. Very very bad decision on the part of the showrunners. Villain in our midst.

Danpaine

I know everyone is in love with Mary Chieffo, but I really don’t see why there needs to be a constant Klingon sub-plot going on at all in this show. If they still have to be used, why can’t they show up to menace the Federation once in a while and shelve them until next time? With the Klingons, Pike, The Search for Spock, A Red Angel, Section 31…this is going to be a pretty crowded 13 episodes. If they’re so hot for Klingons, why not give them their own show?

ML31

I am worried about the same thing. It sounds like they are doing a LOT for just 13 episodes. If they had 22-24 then sure. Plenty of time. But time is not something they have when doing a story arc over a short season. I’m sure they plan for the Klingon story to crash into the Disco story at some point in the season. But at this point it just doesn’t feel necessary.

DIGINON

Game of Thrones manages to juggle a lot more parallel plot threads and their seasons are even shorter.

ML31

Good point. They do. I guess perhaps I’m still holding the new producers to the season one train wreck. Perhaps that is not entirely fair.

Marja

Just as a point of discussion — though OT — mightn’t you say that GoT has a simpler “world” to deal with?

I mean, struggle to overcome enemies; factions; betrayals; a *similar* worldview as far as fighting to get and maintain rule …? HOW they fight may differ, but ….

Saying this as just an occasional viewer of the show; nor am I a reader of G.R.R. Martin.

Marja

I hope they’re able to do it without being shallow about addressing the issues, but I agree; I wish the seasons could be longer. I hope they are treading very carefully.

Marja

That’s kind of an interesting idea, Dan. Although some fans seem to hate the new Klingons, I would find such a show interesting, in exploring the galaxy from a whole different point of view. I would basically follow Mary Chieffo and Ken Mitchell into a Klingon show, sure enough!

DeanH

Sorry, I know some will disagree but IMO it will be interesting to see how they play out the Section 31 story. Last night, I saw one of the few ST episodes I’ve missed over the years called “Inter Arma Enim Silent Leges” and it offered a lot of insight into the way the future Section 31 operates. Georgiou and her outfit looks perfect for the role. As for the DS9 episode, I always like to see well written stories that challenge our ideals and that particular story did just that. When I was a kid, I looked at things in a binary right or wrong, black or white way. Over the years, I have come to realize the world is often a shade of grey. Hmm that could be a good title for a future episode haha.

Tiger2

Not everyone disagrees with you and certainly not me. Section 31 brings out a lot of interesting but uncomfortable issues in Trek. That’s exactly why I love them. The episode you just cited was one of the best Section 31 stories if not one of the better DS9 stories in general.

I loved how it turned everything on its head from who how we viewed both the good and the bad guys. Shade of grey is right which is what DS9 has always prided itself on and Section 31 embodies that in ways no other group ever has.

But I understand people who like how the Federation is portrayed in TOS and TNG its makes them feel uneasy with having a group like Section 31 around or simply don’t like those type of stories told but they fascinate me to no end for some reason. And I just think it brings a level of realism Trek didn’t have before. As much as I like the notions of a peaceful and just society of the Federation Roddenberry created it still doesn’t make a lot of sense there is no space military when you live in an area with TWO neutral zones and the Borg out there. Why do you have space explorers and scientists fighting these battles when there should be a committed fleet from ALL Federation planets ready to go at a moments notice. Especially after Wolf 359?

All Section 31 is saying ‘hey, somebody got to do the dirty work.’

Afterburn

“But I understand people who like how the Federation is portrayed in TOS and TNG its makes them feel uneasy.”

And that was exactly the point. If it didn’t make you somewhat uneasy it failed. The best stories make you re-examine your own beliefs. Section 31 as you say was an acknowledgement that a utopia has a cost to maintain. It’s uncomfortable to confront what you must sacrifice to achieve and keep that utopia. Not in terms of lives, but morals.

How far is too far? If DSC is to do this right, their recruitment of a mass murder like mirror Georgiou will play with that question, as Into Darkness tried to (but ultimately failed by making Khan a sympathetic figure).

Marja

How far is too far? If DSC is to do this right, their recruitment of a mass murder like mirror Georgiou will play with that question

Hot dog, Afterburn, that could be excellent. Let us hope!

tony

‘it’s easy to be a saint in paradise’- ds9’s mantra.

khambattafan

I looked up the relevant quote by Ash Tyler. “That Klingon was more than just my captor. She was my torturer. One who took a particular interest in me. And I saw a way out. Her sick affections. Her obsession with me. Because if I hadn’t, I’d be dead, like all the others.” This does not sound like one of Voq’s memories. And it’s something Discovery should address going forward, if L’Rell or Tyler continue to be prominent characters.

Marja

Agreed, even if they find a clever way to retcon it re: Ash’s memories. It needs to be dealt with. It’s a very important issue. You don’t mess about with trauma and the resulting PTSD.