One of the biggest new elements added to the second season of Star Trek: Discovery is the introduction of Section 31, the shadowy organization first introduced into the canon in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. A new video released this morning by CBS takes a closer look at Discovery’s take on Section 31.
Inside Section 31
This week’s “Moments of Discovery” video focuses on Section 31 and includes commentary from executive producer Alex Kurtzman and others in charge with creating the look of the organization’s ship, wardrobe, and props.
NOTE: Like all CBS promotional videos this is region locked to the USA.
A closer look at Section 31’s stuff
The new video offered a closer glimpse at some of Section 31’s production design, wardrobe and props.
Prop master Mario Moreira explains that Section 31’s props come “from a darker realm” and use technology that is 20 years more advanced than standard Starfleet tech.
Moreira also noted how the Section 31 phaser (which was first seen in last night’s episode) was machined out of aluminum and when it’s set from stun to kill, the barrel extends out “because it looks cool.”
Costume designer Gersha Phillips discussed how leather is the base of Section 31 costumes, with Michelle Yeoh noting how much she loves the black looks and “dominatrix” corset for her costume.
A different take on Section 31
Showrunner Alex Kurtzman describes Section 31 in the new video:
Section 31 is an organization that is dedicated to protecting the universe by any means necessary…unlike Starfleet—who has very clear rules and regulations—Section 31 operates in the grey areas. They bend the rules and try not to break them, but ultimately given the threats that are coming in season two, the challenge for Section 31 is to figure out how to protect our freedoms without violating them.
Executive producer Olatunde Osunsanmi adds:
Section 31 is a super-secret organization very similar to the CIA. And they are participating with the Discovery, with Captain Pike and Burnham in the hunt for the Red Angel.
That Section 31 is a known entity in the Discovery era with their own badges and ships and is part of the Starfleet chain of command is something different than seen before, notably in the 24th century when they were shown to be a more covert and rogue operation. This is something that Kurtzman previously addressed at the TCA event in January:
If you know Section 31, you know that by the time Deep Space Nine comes around they’ve gone underground and they are this mysterious organization—but there’s nothing official about it. In the promos [for season 2] that you’ve seen so far, Section 31 has a badge. There’s a ship and all these different things, so the question is: how do they get from here to there? What happened in that window of time between those two pivot points in Section 31’s evolution?
This question about the nature of Section 31 is something we could see explored during the second season and perhaps the decisions they make, which Kurtzman alludes to in the new video, may have an impact regarding their status. It is expected that Section 31 will continue to be part of the show into the third season as Michelle Yeoh—who plays a Section 31 operative—has been confirmed to be returning. Yeoh has also signed on to lead a new Section 31 series currently in development, which is expected to debut after the third season of Discovery if it goes to series.
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.
Keep up with all the Star Trek: Discovery news at TrekMovie.