Writing For Star Trek Section 31 Series Has Already Started

Last week’s episode of Star Trek: Discovery (“Point of Light”) introduced a new Section 31 storyline for the show. This was led by Michelle Yeoh’s Emperor Georgiou, who is now an operative for the Federation’s nefarious black ops organization, first introduced in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and seen again in Enterprise and Star Trek Into Darkness.  The Discovery storyline could be seen as giving the first hints about the new Section 31 series featuring Yeoh that was announced to be in development in January.

As we reported last week from the coverage at TCA, this Section 31 show is still considered to be in “development” and still has not been given a full series order, unlike the Picard show that goes into production this spring and the animated show Star Trek: Lower Decks. Now, more detailed reports from TCA add more info on the status of the show, including when it may show up on CBS All Access.

Showrunners already fleshing out Section 31 series

Speaking to the press at TCA (via IndieWire and ComicBook.com), executive producer Alex Kurtzman revealed that the Section 31 series showrunners (and Discovery writers and co-executive producers Bo Yeon Kim and Erkia Lippoldt) are already working on the new show. ComicBook.com quotes Kurtzman saying:

“Well, Erika [Lippoldt] and Bo [Yeon Kim] are writing it now, so we’re breaking story now. And they’re amazing, and they’re a big part of Discovery, so they’re on our staff too. So they’re doing double duty this year, and our hope is that we will have a script in the next couple months.

Bo Yeon Kim and Erika Lippoldt (on set of Star Trek: Discovery) are showrunners for new Star Trek Section 31 series (Photo: Twitter/Bo Yeon Kim)

Section 31 series will have to wait

Assuming CBS gives the Section 31 show a full series order, there still remains the question as to when it might air. In January the head of programming for CBS Access indicated it could be a long way off. At the TCA event, Kurtzman didn’t give a date, but did note when he imagines the show would come in the order of things, saying:

…as soon as Discovery Season Three is over we’re rolling right into that show. That’s my hope.

It’s worth noting that TrekMovie’s coverage of the season two premiere quoted Kurtzman saying Yeoh would appear in the third season of the Discovery. In a more recent interview with TV Line, Julie McNamara, CBS All Access’ head of programming, talked about the Section 31 series, also noting how Yeoh is part of Discovery and they have time to consider when to start the Section 31 show:

Section 31 has always been of interest to fans, and she’s such a phenomenal character in Discovery that it only made sense to explore what a series could be. Michelle is still very much a part of the cast of Discovery, so there is time for this to develop before we would consider when it might air.

A third season for Discovery has yet to get an official green light, however, it was described by Variety as a “fait acompli” (effectively a done deal). At the TCA event, Kurtzman did say they already had “big ideas” for the third season. It also follows that they would have to have some major elements of it mapped out if the Section 31 show is set to follow, assuming the storyline picks up where the third season ends.

Michelle Yeoh as Philippa Georgiou and Alan Van Sprang as Leland from Star Trek: Discovery season one “bonus scene” showing her recruitment into Section 31

Yeoh pitched idea for spin-off

Apparently, the idea of Michelle Yeoh leading her own Star Trek spin-off started long ago, well before her connection to Section 31 was established. IndieWire quotes Kurtzman explaining the concept originated before Discovery’s first season even started:

Michelle came to me and said let’s do a spinoff of this character, and I took a minute because it was truly such a brilliant idea — except the series hadn’t aired yet. So really, no one knew what it was going to be and no one knew if it was going to be successful, so the moment it became successful we started that conversation.

It’s likely that  Yeoh had her original character of Captain Phillipa Georgiou of the Prime Universe (who was killed off in the second episode of the series) in mind, and not Emperor Georgiou of the Terran Empire (and now Section 31), introduced late in the first season.

Michelle Yeoh as Captain Phillipa Georgiou of the USS Shenzhou

How much will carry over from Discovery?

The third episode of Discovery’s second season provided our first glimpse of Yeoh as an operative for Section 31, but it also introduced a number of other elements that could be part of a future Section 31 series. Alan Van Sprang (re)made his debut, playing Section 31’s Leland who recruited Georgiou and is in command of a Section 31 ship, which is a new design and has a shiny new set. “Point of Light” also featured Shazad Latif’s Tyler (formerly Voq) exiting life on Qo’noS and being recruited by Section 31. He has also been featured in a Section 31 outfit in a publicity image.

Shazad Latif in Star Trek: Discovery season two publicity shot

It could be that Van Sprang and Latif could end up as Yeoh’s co-stars on the series, with the fancy new ship as a major part of the show, or possibly even the focus. We know we will see more of Yeoh, Latif and the ship during the second season of Discovery, which will also likely introduce more elements that could end up carrying over.

Shazad Latif as Ash Tyler; Michelle Yeoh as Philippa Georgiou in “Point of Light”


Keep up with all the news on the Section 31 show and other upcoming Star Trek TV shows here at TrekMovie.com.

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A34

Awesome. Bo Yeon Kim and Erkia Lippoldt are great.

khambattafan

Based on one (released, so far) episode of Discovery, one Short Trek, and two episodes of Reign on CW, which makes up their entire writing resume? Does that meet your definition of greatness?

A34

You jealous?

kmart

I’m jealous of everyone who gets the opportunity, regardless of what they do with it. I can still like their stuff, but wish it was me ‘fixing those problems.’

slider

Why?

Tiger2

I know a lot of people are still not fond of this idea but I am interested to see how they will do it. As the article said we have two seasons of them on Discovery at least before the spin off even starts so people will either be pretty use to the idea of Section 31 by then or sick to death of them lol. I’m looking forward to how they will be developed this season now that we know Tyler will be a member and I really do like their ship. The little we saw of them last episode was promising to me.

It’s still crazy to know at this moment three live Star Trek shows are in production: Discovery, Picard and Section 31 (even if its not ‘official’ yet). And obviously doesn’t include Lower Decks but we still know nothing about that yet other than its animated and basic premise. It’s an exciting time to be a Trek fan again!

Afterburn

No, you’re right, there ARE three in full production. All three are officially announced. One is in post production (Discovery), one is in pre-production (Picard), Section 31 is in active development (Section 31).

The crazy thing is that I have a feeling that they’ll add a FOURTH series so there’s always one show in a different stage of production (development, pre-pro, filming, post-pro/airing). Because, ultimately, that’s the only way to keep 2 shows airing new seasons every year if they plan to take 6-9month gaps between seasons.

Jai

”I know a lot of people are still not fond of this idea but I am interested to see how they will do it.”

Tiger2, yes, it all depends on exactly what the writers have in mind. Unfortunately, Yeoh’s recent description of the show as “fun” and other publicity describing Leland’s unit as a group of “misfits” make this sound more like Marvel’s Agents of Shield. Not exactly the better aspects of the Bourne franchise or anything realistic; a show dealing with this subject should actually be pretty dark and very complex. But as you said, it’s best to wait for more details on the final product. There are enough precedents involving films and shows (including Trek) turning out to be much better than expected, others much worse, and it’s not necessarily predictable. Not when different writers are involved, anyway.

Tiger2

Actually I really love AoS, but I agree I would expect something a bit more darker and complex since they are a agency that does things on the fringes and usually against Federation values (where SHIELD actually does try to do things within the law, before we knew Hydra took it over lol).

But we know it can’t be too dark either. That was already DIS problem in season one. I think they will tread the line between villain and maybe closer to anti-hero. This season will probably tell us everything about them in terms of their portrayal at least.

Jai

Also, Tiger2, a belated comment on Trekmovie discussions about the concept of Section 31 undermining the very basis of the Federation’s idealistic principles: Page 30 of Iain M Banks’ “Consider Phlebas” goes into detail about this exact subject! It replaces “Federation” with “Culture”, and “Section 31” with “Special Circumstances”, but apart from that the next couple of pages analyse the same stuff people here were recently arguing about.

The pages also discuss the stressful psychological impact on such agents — the cognitive dissonance between their civilisation’s ideals and the dark actions they have to take to protect it — plus the way these agents are treated by fellow citizens who don’t have to get their hands dirty.

Worth glancing at if you’ve already bought the book, or the next time you’re in a bookstore. (Those pages are fairly spoiler-free).

A34

Consider Phlebas is becoming a show on Amazon Prime. Love the Culture.

Denny C

I’m on board with this one. If we start to see stories that begin to deconstruct some of the bigger moments of established Star Trek history that’s when they’ll start to lose me.

AJinMoscow

I always saw Section 31 as another on of those “go-to” devices for DS9 to get “grittier” (the word used when Trek gets boring–used again for S3 of Enterprise when they decided to make Archer seem unhinged instead of putting viewers to sleep every week. They then revived S31 again on ENT which was nearly just as memorable). Kurtzman and Orci then blew it to max stupidity in “Into Darkness.” Let’s hope this time it’s done with a bit more sophistication and finesse. The organization is supposed to be super-secret, and really goes against the entire message of the show, so as a stand-alone outing needs to have more to go on than just showing that the Federation is a big lie with a dark and deadly underbelly. If L’Rell is really a Federation lackey, unless she gets blown away (with revenge coming from her son the Albino!), it sort of ruins the whole Klingon thing in TOS and beyond. Now, Temporal Investigations? THERE’S a show.

UthertheGreenShirt

Doctor who?

Afterburn

I never saw S31 as a “go-to” for DS9, considering they only appeared in 3 episodes, and two of them were in the last 10 episodes of the series. They actually popped up in more episodes of Enterprise, which always surprises me when I remember that fact.

Danpaine

Done right (depicting the time period they’re investigating properly), I think a temporal investigation show could be compelling.

slider

“Let’s hope this time it’s done with a bit more sophistication and finesse.” Ahahahaha! Sorry, I was just laughing at that sentence.

I’d rather this show didn’t happen, personally. But who knows, maybe they can win me over. Anything’s possible, I guess.

UthertheGreenShirt

I dont think they will be as “evil” as some people think. CIA mi6 KGB style mission should be the norm or rooting out other agents. Lots of possiblity for recon episodes to mines that house secret research or even to influence planets to join the fed.

Tiger2

I don’t know, I imagine anyone who turns down Section 31 offer to join the Federation probably finds the head of a Sehlat in their bed.

Jai

Tiger2, Section 31’s “encouragements” probably involve infiltration and political string-pulling, rather than something as direct as: “We’d like you to join the Federation.” “No thanks.” “Well…that’s a nice civilisation you have there. Be a shame if anything happened to it.”

;)

I also suspect they’ll show Section 31 as not actually evil — not at the outset, anyway — but MU Georgiou’s toxic influence will result in matters gradually becoming nastier. Leland may think he can control her, but instead she’ll corrupt Section 31 from the inside.

At least, that’s what would be realistic. However, for all we know, the writers plan on turning Section 31 into Marvel’s Shield (also see my other reply to you), and Leland and his band of merry misfits will eventually cause Georgiou to “see the light”. Such things happen — but not with psychopaths.

ML31

And that’s the thing. I’m not all that interested in a section 31 show but if done right I suppose it COULD work. But throw Space Hitler into the mix and I just don’t see how it would fly. Unless the idea is to go sickening schmaltz way and have Georgeau “grow and become a better MU person”. Which would lead to more groans and eyerolls than anything besides the Lorca twist that I can think of.

In the broader scheme of things, it’s not a huge suspension of disbelief to understand that Starfleet or the Federation has an intelligence agency. The problem is going to be that Georgio is a known genocidal megalomaniac, can she be converted to the Federations way of thinking, or is she the wolf in the henhouse?

ML31

Using Georgeau in Section 31 feels more in line with Suicide Squad than Star Trek. Did S31 implant a microscopic bomb in her neck, too? I mean, we saw here working in the field unsupervised.

JAGT

Even though I myself am not too excited about that show’s premise (and the way S31 has been treated on DISCO so far – “black ops” my arse! They’re dark grey now if anything; everyone seems to know about them), I like the fact that there’s a bit of “delegation” going on in the franchise right now. Not only concerning the writers staff but also the general themes. You like dark action-Trek? – This might be the show for you! You like introspective Trek? – Picard show it is then! And so on. Going out on a limb here, since my guess is as good as anyone’s concerning the actual tone of those shows, but it might still end up being a bit as it was in the Berman-era, but hopefully more considerate. I mean, back in the nineties, there were devoted DS9-fans who didn’t really like any other Trek show and I also know a couple of people who used to watch VOY with their families, even though they weren’t exactly into Trek otherwise. I for one watched all of these shows and it was only ENT that gave me (and unfortunately many others) a certain feeling of “franchise fatigue”. And I’m not even saying the ENT was generally a bad show (I still consider it the weakest Berman-era show, but let’s not kid ourselves here: VOY’s final seasons had just as many instances of “lazy”… or rather “tired” writing as ENT’s first two seasons), but it did feel as though all the really interesting stories had already been told. Now that’s actually a risk they’re steering clear of by focusing on entirely different aspects of the franchise – I just hope that there won’t be a time when the S31-show gets “DISCOfied” or DISCO suddenly gets “Picardified”, if… Read more »

Vulcan Soul

JAGT: “I like the fact that there’s a bit of “delegation” going on in the franchise right now.”

So what do the fans of episodic Trek watch then (which was the norm before 2005)? And don’t say 700 hours of reruns!

ML31

If someone today is looking for episodic television their only option seems to be the situation comedy. And even those are kinda sorta serialized. Modern dramas have all gone the way of season long story arcs. If you don’t like it then turn your TV off for a number of years and wait to see what the next trend will be. Not being snarky. Just realistic.

Mark Calcagno

I get what you’re saying, but 700 hours of one thing should be a justification to try something different. Watching tv is a democracy, and if enough people don’t like it, then they’ll go back.

I don’t like Star Trek being limited to one series at a time with little continuity from one week to the next. There’s a place for it, but that can’t be all it is.

slider

But it’ll be as fantastically well written as Discovery.

J.S.

I find this an excuse to move away from “Star Trek” as far as possible yet still “piggyback” on the “Star Trek” brand (sort of what Discovery is doing IMO)

Danpaine

That’s my impression too, J.S., as well as a green light for the writers to bring in any species/aliens they want from any era, since it’s ‘covert.’ But if I’m signed up for CBSAA at the time it comes out, I’ll probably give it a look. It’s not a destination show for me, though. By no means.

The River Temarc

+1

Matt

Leland mentioned “Control” at the end of point of light, which I hope is referring to the Director of Section 31 from David Mack’s Section 31 novel, control.

The Uraei AI was an awesome concept, and allegory for Facebook or Google data collection and would be a great tool for story telling. Just because it is beta Canon doesn’t mean they have to junk it.

Land O'Calrissian

No, it’s not a reference to the novels. The shows don’t take the novels into account. Everyone knows this.

Tiger2

That doesn’t mean they can’t take stuff from the novels if they choose too though. The EU wasn’t canon to Star Wars films and they have taken stuff from those in the past as well.

Matt

You certain of that? Because I can think of a few examples.

Uhura’s first name Nyota was originally from the 1982 book Star Trek II Biographies, it wouldn’t be canonised until Star Trek 2009.

All of the Animated Series was at one time, not considered canon. But Enterprise brought in elements from it for its 4th season, including Vulcan’s capital city ShiKahr and the shelat creature.

Discovery itself already has pulled from the it’s own semi-canon novels – Burnham’s description of the death of her parents from the penultimate episode of season one was written for the novel desperate hours, before that episode was written, and wouldn’t you know it, it’s the same author that wrote Section31: Control, David Mack. So he has a relationship with the writers room already.

Kirsten Beyer is also a writer on discovery and the upcoming picard series, I doubt she wants to wipe out all of the last 10 years of her career unless its for a good story. I’m sure she’d rather build on what her and her fellow authors from CBS licensing have already created.

Tiger2

Thank you Matt!

I was just too lazy to look for examples lol. But I knew they had already used non canon material before, I just couldn’t think of anything specific outside of knowing Lt. Detmer name first came from Mack’s Discovery novel. But I wasn’t sure if they had already known it but just printed it in the novel first or did they decide to use it after the fact.

And I didn’t realize he also wrote the Section 31 book as well, so you’re right they probably taking elements directly from his novel since they are already working so closely with him on Discovery.

And I agree about Kirsten Beyer. This woman has basically created a post-Nemesis mythology out of a dozen of her books and now in charge of the Picard show. It would be strange she would ignore everything of what she spent years creating. I always assumed she is running the Picard show because of what she already created from those Voyager novels.

Matt

I asked David Mack on Twitter if Leland was referencing Uraei and he didn’t respond (he wouldn’t be allowed or feels he couldn’t if those were actual story elements).

He has answered me in the past about book / canon questions, so I feel there is weight in his silence.

Tiger2

Interesting! I think we’re going to find out pretty soon but to throw out a line that ties so closely to his novel probably suggest they will use it in some way or why use that name at all? Just call it something else. Clearly they did that because they want fans speculating over it so chances are you’re right.

And for the record, I never heard of it until after the episode aired.

Matt

Mack thinks its a case of parallel development

https://www.trekbbs.com/threads/section-31-control-by-david-mack-review-thread.286813/page-30#post-12793421

A little disappointed, but the novels have always taken a back seat

ML31

One other… Tiberious was from TAS and not used canonically until TUC. Although I like to think of TAS as canon but I guess it’s status is now murky….

kmart

Pretty sure Ron Moore used something from TAS’ TIME TRAP on DS9 as well in addressing some klingon issue.

And there’s the old chestnut about ST 5’s devil at the heart of the galaxy being an unconscious remembrance of the ‘devil’ at the heart of the galaxy in MAGICKS OF MEGUS TWO. Admittedly, Shatner and Lowery’s original take was that the thing would be found at the ‘center of the universe’ (which gives you some idea about the lack of scientific research done prior to the script being given to a tech advisor), but it still seems awfully familiar.

I always thought they should have stuck with the idea of folks having figured out the origin point of the big bang, and having Sybok find or know of a wormhole that leapt them out of the Milky Way to that point, rather than the unspecified way the ship gets to the center in about 1/2 hour in the film.

That was my takeaway on first watch in 89, but for once, that didn’t spoil my enjoyment of the film, any more than the screwed up vfx or the tiny stupidities like the deck numbering – ST 5 remains my best first viewing of a trek film, because in terms of camera composition and subtle camera moves, it ‘felt’ like a movie to me, plus it did ‘the big 3’ in a way I’d be waiting for since first seeing THE EMPATH.

ML31

Forced to agree about the “big 3” use in TFF. That was something I have felt was missing from all of the previous 4 features. WoK had a moment but that was about it. TFF had the three together pretty much the entire time. I liked that.

Soren

Yeoh’s first idea I support, a show about prime Georgiou. What is the draw going to be for an audience if the main character is a total horror?

Matt

Redemption arc?

DS9 taught us that those on the other side aren’t all arse holes if given the proper motivation and influence

Vulcan Soul

I wonder what sort of “redemption arc” modern Hollywood would have written for Hitler after killing six million Jews if, you know, he hadn’t faked his death and set out for the far side of the Moon…

Matt

Not necessarily for the Empress, but for Section 31, maybe she twists 31 to not serve Federation goals.

Soren

Call me old fashioned but I still like the idea of having a main character to root for. All this trendy tosh I see now in shows with anti-heros usually translates into them being miserablist, depressing and more often than not, unwatchable.

I thought they’d learned that lesson after the lighter tone that was adopted at the start of season 2?

Afterburn

Lots of movies and TV shows have a villain at the center. Taxi Driver is a famous film example, while House of Cards does something similar. A show like Hannibal has dual leads: a hero and a villain. I’ve said it before but a solid concept for this show might be making it a dual lead series with an ambitious young officer recruited into Section 31, who acts as the more morally righteous side of the organization (like how Sloan spoke of Bashir), who always finds himself at odds with Georgiou.

kmart

Yeah, but at some point your virtuous person has to either come down in firm opposition or realize he/she has been corrupted and compromised and go with the flow. When you’ve got a situation like you describe, it is usually a ‘two fathers scenario, like the Oliver Stone films PLATOON and WALL STREET, where in both pictures Charlie Sheen has a good advisor (dafoe and Martin S) and a bad one (Tom Berenger and Michale Douglas.) If you don’t have things building to that kind of decision, then you’re on very squirrelly ethical grounds. Also, I kind of dispute your notion that TAXI DRIVER has a villain at its core. A psycho, yeah, and a monster, but is he the villain in his own narrative? No,there are monstrous outside forces as well as ones that just make him uncomfortable to the point of murder. It may be a fluke that he winds up accomplishing something good, and I could easily see another story about him in which he becomes a more actively and deliberately evil force, but I don’t see it in that one.I sure wouldn’t want to meet him, that’s for sure. I do agree with you about HOUSE OF CARDS, though, which is one thing that made me not watch it regularly, it was too much like JR on DALLAS, where after watching just one episode (because Morgan Fairchild was in it, not for any signficant reason), I knew I wasn’t about to spend any time invested in that bunch of lames. In fact, except for a single-season show starring Mitchell Ryan (the ‘dredd, no!’ guy who played Riker’s father) around 80 or 81, I don’t think I’ve ever watched a nighttime soap (and that one was probably because Sela Ward was in it, now that I remember… Read more »

slider

“Taxi Driver is a famous film example,”

(One employee notices another staring at him) Are you looking at me? Are YOU looking at me?!

(People continue to stand around talking but not making eye contact).

It’s going to be such an eventful show if it’s just like that.

alastair87

I feel like the Georgiou we see may quietly drop much of the evil empress aspects to make it work. Discovery is already mostly overlooking some aspects of season 1 such as Burnham’s conviction and the volcano drone, so far at least.

ML31

If we can pretend she is not a genocidal dictator from an alternate universe and is just the latest section 31 recruit… It might be easier to take.

slider

I think you answered your own question there. If people are attracted to the terrible characters of Discovery this is going to be what wets their appetite.

Afterburn

“It’s likely the character Yeoh had in mind was her original character of Captain Phillipa Georgiou”

I wouldn’t leap to that assumption. Since she was killed off so early, and Mirror Georgiou appeared in more episodes, it’s just as likely (if not moreso) that she made this comment while on set at the end of the season. It’s certainly possible she was hoping for a Georgiou prequel set on the Shenzou, but frankly, she seems like she’s having a blast playing a comic book villain, my guess is it was Mirror Georgiou she was talking about.

NiclovesTrek

Yes, Afterburner, I am in agreement. I saw an interview with her discussing the Mirror Georgiou and she was so excited about this character and being able to play her.

ML31

Possibly because no one in their right mind would give her the chance to portray such a scenery chewing villain. (judging by how she played Space Hitler) Such parts do not suit her style even if she WANTS to play them.

Denny C

She’s doing fine.

ML31

??? I’m sorry. Did I question how her career was going? Don’t think I did.

Afterburn

I think the part suits her just fine, i’m just not sure it suited the show. Though it’s worth noting that at least on DS9 and ENT, the Mirror Universe was always a comically overdone universe. Pretty much every character chewed the scenery, so much that i’m surprised there were any sets left after they finished filming (and the entire cast had food poisoning).

ML31

But those were one offs. Georgeau is going to be around a lot. There’s only so much MU type stuff one can take. And my threshold is admittedly lower than most.

odradek

She was not “killed off”, she is only declared dead by an unreliable narrator. They can bring her back any time they want to just like every character in Star Trek before. Yeoh of course knows that, so she could have had Prime Georgiou in mind and not just for a prequel.

Tiger2

The Klingons literally ate her corpse. She’s been dead dead since the third episode.

ML31

Of course, they COULD go the Republic Serial route and insert some scene of Section 31 providing a fake body for them to eat somehow and then spirit Prime Georgeau away with their super secret transporter and ship. If they wanted to… ;)

Tiger2

Yeah true but it still would strain credibility. They only ate her because they were stuck on a ship with no power for 6 months. And they would’ve had to rescue her literally that day or something if she was stabbed in the chest and presumed dead by the Klingons. If she wasn’t actually dead she clearly was dying fast.

And I would think Section 31 would be more into getting their hands on a cloaking device if they were going to raid that ship.

ML31

Yeah… I think you took the comment a little more seriously than I intended. Thought the mere fact that I referenced the old serial format would be enough. That’s why I’m not a professional writer. :)

Tiger2

LOL you’re just never sure. But I hear you now!

Jonboc

Tiger, just from watching Discovery, I think the last thing Trek’s new TV team is worried about is straining credibility. lol

Denny C

I would have to agree. As soon as that first script landed on her lap she knew that her character wouldn’t live past the pilot and you’re also right that she looks like she’s having a great time. She always plays a tough, smart honorable character. With this series she can still kick a** but without having to play the good guy.

slider

Maybe good Georgiou ends up being the lead character by accident and spends the series fooling everybody into thinking she’s bad?

No, no that’s too an intelligent idea for the writers, we can’t have that.

Trek in a Cafe

I sort of wonder if Yeoh’s contract, which none of us will ever see, stipulated some kind of spin-off development process. She made a big commitment to Star Trek, and this would be a way of TPTB making a commitment to her.

Drew

Recruit Ronald D. Moore, Bradley Thompson and David Weddle to write for the new Section 31 series!

Denny C

Oh, I like how you think. That would work.

Tiger2

Ronald D. Moore wrote probably the best Section 31 episode, if not one of the best Trek episodes to date, Inter Arma Enim Silent Leges. I would love for him to write for that show. Any Trek show basically.

khambattafan

Generally speaking, it’s doubtful Moore would work for Kurtzman. Moore presumably wouldn’t want to take instruction from Kurtzman, and Kurtzman would be threatened by someone like Moore. Yes, Kurtzman hired Chabon, but Chabon has no background in TV.

It’s notable that the named showrunners of Section 31 show have a whopping two writing credits (that’s two episodes total) on their resume prior to Discovery. Weddle & Thompson have dozens of writing credits. Wonder if they would want to work for those who are so inexperienced.

Jimmy

We are supposed to believe that the Federation have exonerated Georgiou and now trust her to work clandestinely, with the only justification being that she has certain “skills”. What skills, exactly?

It’s comic book storytelling, so the next argument is relevant only if we treat the show as a serious adult science fiction series that is about themes and issues rather than Science Fantasy.

OK, imagine if Goebbels hadn’t committed suicide. There’s no way that he wouldn’t have been arrested and ultimately executed for his role in the holocaust. Of course, he like Hitler never answered for his crimes and instead committed suicide.

For me, mirror Georgiou is the biggest mis-step in Discovery. I like the show well enough, but this stretches credulity to the absolute breaking point. Every time we see her hamming it up as a delightful baddie working for Section 31, I think that we are watching a show for kids.

ML31

You know what evil Georgeau reminded me of? PG-13 Rita Repulsa. I’m talking the cheezy 90’s TV version. (never saw the recent movie)

Jacob mitchell

So far as we can tell, she hasn’t harmed anybody (well, except for Kol-sha and his cronies now) in this universe. I’m not saying she’s got a clean slate as a character, but in the universe the federation exists in, she hasn’t hurt anyone. It begs the question of whether or not she can be held accountable in the prime universe for the harm and death to people that never existed in the first place.

Mark Calcagno

“It begs the question of whether or not she can be held accountable in the prime universe for the harm and death to people that never existed in the first place.”

Or who are still alive now in the prime timeline.

“You killed Lt. Cmdr. John Smith!”
“No, he’s right here.”
“I meant another John Smith, from another universe…”

If the people you killed are still alive, then how can you be charged. That should be when section 31 comes to get rid of her, she succeeds in outsmarting them, and THEN is recruited.

Denny C

She knows that her life would have ended in her universe but at least while here she can still command her own little corner of this universe. I think there’s a lot to work with here.

Denny C

Well, let’s think about this for a second. After World War II the U.S and U.S.S.R. snatched up as many scientists with murky pasts as possible to push their weapons and space programs. Goebbels, had he survived, had nothing to offer but the scientists who designed many of the same weapons that terrorized so many were given a pass.

Georgiou is an asset recruited by an organization of questionable ethics and as far as most in the Federation are concerned she survived at the hands of her captors and emerged as a hero of the war.

It’s really not as far fetched as it seems.

ML31

Do you hear yourself?

We all heard him. And he’s right. Look up: Operation Paperclip.

ML31

I’m aware. The thing is none of those German scientists were inclined to turn on those who snatched them up in an effort to return to their own universe without care or regard for who they killed or what they damaged in doing so. Nor would any of them harbor plans to take over their new organization for their own nefarious ends.

To sum up… Operation Paperclip did NOT give murderous psychopaths access to the most modern and deadly weapons available.

Jonboc

Yeah, not an interesting character in the least and I don’t think, for one minute, that fandom has been collectively clamoring for a section 31 series. I think she’s simply a very recognizable pawn being used to shoe horn the series into the Asian market and get that almighty Chinese $. Especially since Discovery has proved to be so underwhelming.

Tiger2

I don’t think it has anything to do with China though. If that was the case they would’ve never killed her off on Discovery and I don’t think the show is playing there at all since Netflix isn’t in China and I have heard no distribution rights.

Mark Calcagno

Here’s my 2 cents on Section 31: it’s a concept rife with possibilities, but should only be in the right hands.

DS9 got it right, in that they are a shadow organization no one knows about and operates in small ops. Why use a knife when you can use a scalpel?

Into Darkness got it wrong. They don’t make big ships with hyper advanced tech… The opening of that movie should have been a triumphant launch of the Vengeance, to the horror of the Enterprise crew. They operate in shadows, not in well-traveled space lanes.

I’m worried about Disco. The retcon that everyone knows or suspects there are black badges makes them less mysterious, and now they have a ship that will meet up with Disco, which is really conspicuous.

Jordan

Don’t give us too much Section 31. It’s meant to be mysterious to the viewer. The same thing happens when you show too much Borg—they become lacklustre. My opinion.

ML31

I’ll check it out because I’m such a Star Trek nerd. But this show does not sound promising to me. I never liked section 31 on DS9 nor Enterprise. At best the organization could show up on a series sparingly but an entire show devoted to it? I don’t know. I think it will be a VERY tough act to pull off.

Mark Calcagno

I’m reserving judgement until we see something more from Disco, but yeah, I’m leaning towards your way of thinking.

If Georgiou can grow throughout the season and begin to change, then maybe, but her character is a villain right now, not a hero to root for.

Jai

The other issue, as I’ve mentioned on previous threads, is DSC’s writers/showrunners have either misinterpreted what Section 31 actually is, or they’ve deliberately decided to depict it as the equivalent of Bourne’s Treadstone program. But much less “classified”. (Technically that makes it closest to Special Circumstances from the “Culture” novels — but I doubt *that* similarity was deliberate).

So you have the black badges, Pike knowing all about the organisation and discussing it openly etc, with the implication that Section 31 is either a formal part of Starfleet Intelligence or it’s another agency that’s also part of Starfleet. Previous canon completely contradicts this; Section 31 is actually a deep state network — and that’s been made explicit on-screen on DS9 and ENT.

Apart from questionable recruitment decisions, things would’ve been far less problematic if Georgiou was shown joining *Starfleet Intelligence*.

Jai

There’s also the risk of “comic book storytelling” rather than serious, realistic adult drama, as described by Jimmy upthread; I’ve made the same point elsewhere here. But I agree the best move is to reserve judgement at this point. There have been other films/dramas that defied expectations and turned out to be far better than predicted; Rogue One is a famous example, but the best TV example is Black Sails, a show that was so intelligent and highbrow, and with such eloquent dialogue, that you’d never believe the executive producer was…Michael Bay. It’s as though he’d consciously decided to create an artistic product that was the complete opposite of all his previous work, including the “other” pirates franchise. Similarly, Kurtzman recently said he now wants to create genuinely meaningful shows.

So, we may all be pleasantly surprised in the end.

Jonboc

I have zero interest in this idea. But it could work. The problem is, something layered with so much espionage and intrigue would have to be so expertly crafted and written so well, that I just don’t see the current crop of talent in the Trek offices capable of pulling it off. Maybe I’m wrong…but someone will have to tell me, because I won’t be watching.

Danpaine

Yeah this is something I’d have to wait, read Anthony’s review, see what people here have to say about it, walk my dog, wait some more, then maybe check it out. Not terribly interested.

khambattafan

Coolness. I wonder if Yeoh will have time to attend acting school. Or CBS could hire Ang Lee as a consultant, to learn how to make Yeoh more compelling than the wooden puppet she appears to be on Discov.

Tiger2

LOL, harsh!

ML31

I do tend to agree. In the right role Yeoh is very good. But in Trek she IS very wooden and is trying too hard to ham up her evil Georgeau role.

Says Khambatta fan. Oh my…

Jonboc

lol she is pretty bad in that role.

Chris vandever

I would to see it.

Tintin

So TylerVoq and L’Rell’s albino son has been left at the Klingon monastery, and as he will never know his parents he is effectively the “son of none”.

Voq was known as the “son of none”.

Anyone else wondering if the Voq story arc is going to end up being some sort of time jumping ouroboros, where TylerVoq and L’Rell are actually Voq’s parents?

Ishpeming Dude

3 problems 🤐
1. Too many apples in the Star Trek cart
2. Not enough good stories or competent writers for Disco let alone these other series
3. Where’s all the funding going to materialize from – Netflix – highly doubtful 😑
Of course the series with Picard is set in stone – I see it as being historically memorable

DarExc

I’m not against this show based on any content. The only reason I wish they wouldn’t do it now, is because it will be the 3rd Star Trek show while there may also be a new movie or two. We’ve seen what happens when Star Trek saturates itself and it isn’t good.

slider

I’m calling it: they’ll surprise us and make the most uplifting Star Trek show in the next ten years.