To celebrate the premiere of Star Trek: Discovery season two, the show’s producers and stars talked to us from the red carpet at Conrad New York. We’ll be bringing you more of those interviews throughout the week.
Executive Producers Alex Kurtzman and Heather Kadin spoke to us about some of the upcoming new shows in the Star Trek franchise, and speculated on the possible future of the movies as well.
You’ve said that you want each Star Trek show to be unique. But is there going to be any sort of common theme or anything that unites them all or is similar in all of them?
Kurtzman: Great storytelling is my hope, that the standard is great storytelling … that when you look at these shows, you know that that’s what you can expect. But if you’re asking me what is the Trek theme: optimism and hope. Above all. I think that was the core of Roddenberry’s vision and something that we all strive for. It doesn’t mean you can’t go into darker places. But it does mean that at the end of the day, that is the ideal that has to be held on to, and restored, and all of our shows are dealing with that in one way or another.
So when it comes to the Section 31 show, which is the darker place, is that going to be a limited series or ongoing?
Kurtzman and Kadin: It’ll be an ongoing series.
Kadin: And really, I think that we’ve all loved about Michelle Yeoh in this role, is, it’s not dark at all, and there’s something so delicious about it, and delicious about her relishing being in that part. So, our plan, it shouldn’t be dark at all, I think that we’re going to have a lot of fun with it.
With J.J. Abrams’ contract with Paramount ending and a possible CBS-Paramount merger, would you be interested in going back and “owning” the movie franchise as well?
Kurtzman: We haven’t had any conversations about that. I loved making those films. I loved it, and I think Star Trek is still so relevant, I think, in all platforms. So the movies brought a new vitality to the franchise in 2009, and the movie that Justin did was so great, Beyond was so great. I’d be really curious to see what the new version of a Star Trek movie would be, because I think it has to be something different now. I think that the movies we made were perfect for the time that we made them in. And now, things have changed, the world has changed, ideals have changed, and so the question would be, ‘How do you make it worth going to the movies for?’ Because the truth is, that you can get a pretty cinematic experience by watching Star Trek: Discovery, and you’re going to be able to get the same thing watching anything else. What might help is that when people see it on the big screen tonight, they’ll recognize that the line between movies and television’s really over. So I would approach it more from the point of view of what kinds of stories can’t we tell on television that are better for the screen.
Would you want to see the movies and the TV shows sync up?
Kadin: I think the dream is always when you’re working on a franchise to have everything play in the same universe. I mean especially for fans, who’ve been fans forever, of this franchise, I think it would only be a better experience for everybody.
Kurtzman: Obviously they have in the past. So the trick is, how do you not cannibalize each other – and maintain the television version and the movie version and if they do cross over, have that be a special event that feels worth going to the theater for. But look, I think anything’s possible is the short answer to your question.
Is there going to be a point when some kind of Star Trek series is on the air year-round? That Star Trek will be on all the time?
Kadin: I think the ideal would be yes, but it should never feel like it’s the same Star Trek show all the time. Especially with the announcement of Lower Decks, that Mike McMahan created, and he runs Rick and Morty, and it’s obviously not going to be as nihilistic as Rick and Morty, or as offensive as Rick and Morty, but it’s going to have that essence of why we all love that show. Which is completely different from Discovery. And so I think fans should not feel like, ‘Oh my god, it’s the same thing all the time,’ they should feel like, ‘Oh, now this is a different side of food for my dinner.’ I think it should feel different every time.
Can you give us an update on the Picard series?
Kurtzman: It’s going really well. I was just giving notes on a script right before we came here, as a matter of fact. Literally. Walked in and here we are. It’s going really well. We’re really excited. We’re excited to surprise people. Patrick has been an unbelievable partner, just unbelievable, it’s like everything you’d ever want him to be. A lot of people are just giving a lot of thought to ‘What is the state of Picard’s life 20 plus years after Next Gen? What happened to him that’s surprising, what happened to him that tests him in many ways?’ And I think it’s been really joyful. We’ve all thought very deeply and for a long time about how to make it special.
Will Jonathan Frakes be asked to direct any of the episodes?
Kurtzman: I will have Jonathan Frakes come and direct anything. He’s such an incredible–
Kadin: We hope he’ll direct it, yeah.
Kurtzman: He’s phenomenal.
Kadin: We love him.
Georgiou will appear in Star Trek: Discovery season three, Picard show hopefully coming this year
Kadin and Kurtzman then moved on to the next interviewer, but we heard them say that while there’s no timeline yet for the new Section 31 series, there are already plans for Georgiou to appear in season three of Discovery, which has yet to be officially announced. As for the other shows, Kurtzman was able to be a little more specific about at least the Picard series.
Kurtzman: We’re going to be seeing the Picard show first. And our hope is that we do it at the end of the year. It’s possible that, given production scheduling things, it might be the very beginning of next. But it’ll be within a very close window of that.
More from the season 2 premiere
There is more to come from our red carpet coverage of the season 2 premiere in NYC.
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 debuted on All Access and Space on Thursday, January 17th, 2019, and on Netflix January 18, 2019.