‘Star Trek: Discovery’ Cast And EPs Talk Roddenberry’s Vision, Burnham’s Future, Spock’s Beard And More

Yesterday the cast of Star Trek: Discovery, along with executive producers Alex Kurtzman and Heather Kadin, attended PaleyFest LA in Hollywood. TrekMovie was there to bring you highlights from the event.

The ‘Star Trek: Discovery’ panel at PaleyFestLA 2019 (Emily Kneeter for The Paley Center for Media)

Kurtzman says Roddenberry’s vision is needed now more than ever

The panel started out with showrunner Alex Kurtzman responding to a question about what it is about Star Trek that endures, where he pointed to the show’s creator:

Gene Roddenberry created a vision of the future that was defined by hope, and that was marked that the idea of that the best of us will endure in the future in which diversity was an assumption. It really was an amazing thing and the more I have got to know about Gene’s history, the more I understand he really was a visionary beyond all the ways in which he has already been defined. He saw something that nobody could see. I think that need for optimism, that need for hope, that belief that the bridge crew comes together as a family and ensures our survival, is a message that endures because we need it to, now more than ever.

Michael Burnham is on a journey to the captain’s chair

When discussing the development of Discovery, Heather Kadin pointed out how the show has a different approach for the lead character Michael Burnham:

What was important and unique about this character was to have a character that wasn’t yet captain. All of Star Trek for years you have been following an established captain and the journeys they are taken, but you haven’t really got to experience the journey itself of getting there. And that is such a relatable quest for people.

For her part, Sonequa Martin-Green spoke about what it meant to her to be cast as the lead in the series:

I always want to be able to communicate what it means [to be cast as lead in Star Trek: Discovery], but I don’t think I can. I can continue to try. It is overwhelming as an artist, and as a human being. As a woman of faith, it is overwhelming, for so many reasons. Because of the franchise and how long-standing it is. Because of the impact it has already had. Because of how vast the universe is. Because of these kind of people I get to work with. Because of the complications in the story and character. Being a black woman in the midst of all this diversity we are championing, I can’t really describe it. I think it lives beyond.

Why Ethan Peck was cast as Spock, and why he has a beard

One of the biggest additions to the second season was the introduction of the character Spock. The casting process was long, but Alex Kurtzman revealed that why Ethan Peck was chosen:

I could tell he was thinking and feeling so deeply about what to do with this character in a way that honored everything, both with what Leonard [Nimoy] brought to it what Zach [Quinto] brought to it, but also, I could tell he was just going to immerse himself in the part and live it constantly and fully. He was asking very deep and thoughtful questions about it…He had been doing lots of work just on the tactical of the material without necessarily bringing all the attachments to Spock to it. And that is what I was looking for the most. Who is the human being in there? And how is this not just going to be a performance you have seen two other really excellent actors do. How do you honor what is there, but also bring something new to it. I saw his thoughtfulness. I could tell he wanted to bring a volatility to it, which I thought was totally fresh and interesting. And it inspired us in how to write Spock, which is a version of Spock you haven’t fully seen yet. You have seen shades of it, but not fully. And in all our conversations he kept saying: “I’m terrified.” And we would say “it’s okay, you should be.”

After the moderator joked about all the beards on the show, Alex Kurtzman took it as an opportunity to talk about why Spock has a beard on Discovery:

Spock’s beard was a real choice because we hadn’t really seen him like that – he had long hair in The Motion Picture – but it says a lot about the state he is in when we first meet him. He is clearly not the neat, ordered, manicured Vulcan from TOS, or any iteration of Trek. It sort of announced, this is not going to be what you expect. It doesn’t mean it wont get there, but it is not going to start there.

Doug Jones, Ethan Peck and Tig Notaro at PaleyFestLA 2019 (Emily Kneeter for The Paley Center for Media)

Tig is ready for more Reno

So far comedian Tig Notaro has only been seen in a couple of episodes, playing the acerbic engineer Jett Reno. The role was created for her by Alex Kurtzman who has known her for years. At the event Tig leaned into her dry wit describing what it was like:

I honestly thought I would just do an episode or two and then be on my way, especially because I did a terrible job…My first day, and actually the first two episodes I was like “oh my gosh, I cannot remember these words.” At a point a director came out and actually sat on set and just fed me my lines. I wrote Alex an email apologizing and said I know you said you wanted me as much as I am available, but I think after you see the footage you may change your mind. Please don’t feel you need to keep me, no hard feelings. He told me after that e-mail he decided to make my dialog even harder…I was on my own show, that took place in Mississippi which is where I thought I belonged, and now I am in space. And I having a blast, I have to say. The cast and crew – after I did my first two terrible episodes – I was: “I would love to come back and work with these people. It’s really so much fun, except for Anthony [Rapp].”

Culber needs time to get used to his (pristine) new body

When asked about Hugh Culber’s post-resurrection breakup with his partner Paul Stamets, actor Wilson Cruz provided some context, with a bit of levity:

I see it as this man who has come back from the dead is trying to figure out how to live. I just think he is trying to save [Paul Stamets] a little trauma by saying: “You know what, I need a minute to figure out what this thing does.” [points to his body] Because it’s pristine, I don’t know if you noticed.

Stamets actor Anthony Rapp picked up on this topic as well, saying:

We are still in the midst of this and things continue to evolve. We are grateful that we were given something authentic and complicated and rich. If you were to come back are you just going to wash your hands of that and be done? That is sort of the old way of doing TV. Things would happen and characters weren’t changed by them.

The topic wrapped up with Cruz noting that Culber is taking a Marie Kondo approach to his new life:

I love the fact that we – the writers and Alex – took an opportunity to say who is this person? Let’s figure it out and flesh him out. I love that Hugh is kind of looking at his life and seeing what sparks joy. I have this second chance at life. What worked before and what could have been better. Maybe there is some stuff that doesn’t work anymore because this is a new life and a new opportunity.

Saru’s Kelpien revolution was a Trek story waiting to be told

Doug Jones talked about the big change for Saru in the second season, going through Vahar’ai:

I did not see that coming. The character of Saru was developed with the understanding that he is based on fear. He has a predator species on his home planet that keeps them in line and brings us to our demise when it is our time, and that is all we ever known. So with episode 4 this year, when I saw the script I was “Oh!” So, the threat ganglia fall out and I have a new sense of self and no fear. For me personally, that has been a ride to go on because I live my life in fear. I understood Saru before and now I am inspired by Saru.

Alex Kurtzman picked up on the discussion to explain why the writers took Saru in a new direction in season two:

Doug’s range is extraordinary that we felt like we have told the story of what it means to live in fear, so what happens when you go the other way. It was just a tremendously different dramatic opportunity. And then the question becomes: how much fear is a good thing? What happens when you jettison it entirely? I think what touched us most as writers was the story about somebody who felt this planet was where they were the lemmings walking off the cliff, and there was one person who said: “I don’t think I want that.” And he wasn’t allowed to think that way, so he had to make the biggest sacrifice, which was to say I am going to give up my family and follow my heart, believing there is something better for me. That is the kind of story that demands consequences and he comes back to the world sees what is happening is a very complicated fractional relationship with his sister. But ultimately it is his courage that ends up freeing the Kelpiens from their bonds too. So, had he not been the one to have the courage in the beginning, his planet would still be enslaved. It was just a message that felt very Trek. What is exciting for us is that it is not a closed chapter, there is a lot to learn from that choice.

How the hair helps L’Rell

Season two also brought hair back to the Klingons. L’Rell actress Mary Chieffo explained how she saw this as important for her character’s arc:

She literally and metaphorically let her hair down this season. I do think it has been really fun to play both with the hair and the Chancellor aesthetic…This combination of femininity and power which I believe exists, very strongly and something that we need to see more of. With the hair and the beautiful head pieces and the design, it’s all about this feminine archetype, which I think is very, very important to explore and very, very proactive and interesting.  So, for me, as in that final speech I had [in “Point of Light”] the woman with that crazy metal thing on my head and the long, draping motherly ensemble, it just feels deep, and Greek, and Shakespearean. And I think the hair really does help with that.

Anthony Rapp, Mary Chieffo and Shazad Latif at PaleyFestLA 2019 (Emily Kneeter for The Paley Center for Media)

More from PaleyFest LA

In case you missed it, we also covered Alex Kurtzman’s comments about the upcoming Picard show from PaleyFest. TrekMovie has more coverage from PaleyFest, including red carpet interviews. So stay tuned.


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

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Out of Character

Spock’s ass, though.

I’m sorry, but you all know what I’m talking about. It was glorious and intimidating and intoxicating. I don’t believe that we should objectify one another and yet here I am. When Gersha Phillips and the producers saw Spock in his environmental suit, they had to have thought about the sexual excitement it would engender.

ALL of the female costumes in TOS.
Troi’s costumes in TNG.
Kira’s costumes later in DS9.
Seven of Nine in VOY.
T’Pol in ENT.

Spock’s ass in DSC. It’s time.

Professor Spock

LOL what’s your point?

Out of Character

My point: a little base, male objectification can be fun. And is perhaps past due.

John Chilton

Good point, well made! And from the point of view of a man who is gay, objectify away with Spoack’s rather pert spacesuit covered bum! “It’s time!”

Michael Hall

Roddenberry was often given to say, maybe a little defensively, that the men on TOS were also objectified to an extent (Kirk’s torn shirt and so forth). I’m just glad that Peck turned out to be such a good fit for the role, whatever the qualities of his posterior.

It would seem that Spock has a nice ass.

I mean, I’m a guy who generally tends to go for the ladies, and I noticed that ass. So shiny!

Athus

So, you forget about Kirk been shirtless most of the time? Or Rike hairy chest? You JSW see only what you want to see.

Ixley

To be fair, they’ve never filmed Riker or Kirk in the way that they shot female characters like Seven of Nine. No matter who you are, I think we all remember those Seven of Nine Jeffries Tubes scenes! ;-)

IMO, this might be the first time that Star Trek has ever done an ‘upskirting scene’ with a male character. The low camera angles, the high reflectiveness thanks to the lighting, the calculated framing, and the sheer amount of focus that Peck’s butt gets… that’s not the norm.

Personally I don’t have a problem with stuff like this in Trek.

Marja

I am still thankful to the lighting designer for “Choose Your Pain.” Captain Lorca is very, very fit.

John Chilton

Believe me Athus … there was NOTHING pleasing about a shirtless Kirk or a topless Riker. NOTHING.

Tezna

Trip in ENT was rather visually pleasing….

Tiger2

Now that I think about it he and Archer had their shirt off a LOT on that show lol. But those guys were really in shape. In fact I think all the guys on Enterprise were a lot more ripped than you found on the other shows.

PEB

Oh never forget Trip and the decontamination chamber!

The Enterprise crew actually seemed like a crew who could actually pass a Starfleet fitness exam (I’m sure such thing exists in-universe). The TOS crew too I suppose were 60s fit and then the Disco crew is fit as well. It makes me think of actual astronauts and military members who are fit and look the part.

John Chilton

Oh my lordy, i’d forgotten about Trip! He was a slice of Trek heaven!!!

Calastir

Male body shaming is also wrong, okay?

PEB

Anthus what is a JSW?

Anyway, Kirk shirtless was never fun to look at to be honest. And Riker looked too much like someone’s dad to be considered hot. But you can go back in EVERY previous Trek show and can tell when they were playing up a shot of a female character that was supposed to be “sexy.”

I think he meant SJW – social justice warrior.

Jemini

The struggle is real.

Tiger2

Being a guy I admit I never thought to notice it the first time I watched the last episode. But then I went on another site and thats all people were talking about lol. So on my second rewatch I definitely noticed and wow, its pretty glorious! ;)

PEB

See, I was thinking it but haven’t made a comment anywhere about this. When I saw Spock in his EV suit, I was like “oh this is buff Spock?” I’m here for it…

Marja

Nimoy was pretty buff himself, slender and well-muscled, although not with today’s clear-cut “6-pack abs”. I recall watching “Patterns of Force” with great interest….

He looked a lot better than Shatner to me!

Silvereyes

Interesting observation. In fact, now that you mention it, I did notice Spock’s butt in that spacesuit. Although being a straight man I thought more about the suit being too tight than Spock’s butt being, uh, intoxicating. But yes I do agree that there’s nothing wrong with objectifying males, considering what Star Trek has done with women (7 of 9 but even more so T’Pol).

The shower scene with T’Pol and that engineer who’s name I forget was just too obviously a manipulation to get a certain demographic to watch. Just give us a good script and we’ll watch… T’Pol and 7 of 9 were just eye candy, irrespective of their acting abilities. I would expect the actresses would find that very insulting.

Marja

Both Blalock and Ryan were very good at acting their roles; it is a shame they were SO objectified. I can see a tight space suit, but really, those cat suits were unbelievable. Unprofessional. And probably, in Ryan’s case, extremely uncomfortable, as it appears she was corseted most of the time. Ouch.

The funny thing is, when I watch Terry Farrell as Dax in DS9, she is equally attractive yet not so overexposed. I think Kira’s uniform got more skintight through the seasons though.

Lets face it, the costumes are there to show off assets. I have some of my son’s Navy uniforms in my garage, no one anywhere is going to look at the coveralls and conclude they need to be much more catsuit snug. We see this when a sci-fi production calls for armor – cleavage is lovingly crafted into the armor of the female characters, even those the people who actually still design this stuff all agree it’s not only not necessary, but for a practical design building in breasts actually weakens armor.

ML31

I’m awfully tired of two things that were brought up here. First, Gene’s vision. Ugh. Can we just please leave the praising of GR to, “thank you for creating this wonderful world” and leave it at that? So tired of hearing about Gene’s vision. And 2nd… The we can use a lot less of the cliche “now more than ever.” This is used frequently and it’s now used so much and so often that it really has no meaning anymore.

Professor Spock

I agree with you. Its so dumb they keep saying that in every Star Trek interview.

Disinvited

ML31,

Re: Gene’s vision

If by that, you mean he really didn’t give it much thought until AFTER the first series, I’m all sensor nodes. But there is no denying that after Gene came up with GENESIS II and THE QUESTOR TAPES which were shot down, he usurped STAR TREK to promote those denied “visions”.

Re:… now used so much and so often that it really has no meaning…

That’s equivalent to claiming the word “the” is now used so much and so often that it has no meaning. Neither is the case. What cliches lack is current hip lingo destined for clichehood’s currently enjoyed sex appeal which can be used to gain attention for some dry concept that would otherwise get ignored.

ML31

Very bad analogy, disinvited. Not even close. The word “the” is a part of speech and for the most part, is not only used appropriately but is also not over done. Unlike certainly cliches… “We need X now more than ever.” That is said all the time and it is simply not the case. It’s self serving at best. Worthless tripe worst.

Disinvited

ML31,

You simply do not understand what constitutes meaning in the dynamic language that is English, if you believe the singular article “the” has more meaning than the phrase “We need someone like Kirk, now, more than ever.” simply because it is a cliche.

As I have pointed out, I understand that you close your mind when you detect it, but that is something quite apart from claiming the phrase has no meaning or even less neaning than a sentence fragment consisting soley of “The”.

ML31

How typical. When someone points out a flaw you play the “closed mind” card. It’s arrogant and does not reflect well on the person choosing that road. You were the one making the flawed analogy, not me. The is not used so often that it loses it’s meaning. It has a meaning and is not a cliche as opposed to the other comment. Everything else you said is immaterial and designed just to throw the subject off track for reasons we can only guess at but only you know for sure.

Disinvited

ML31,

I did not say you were “closed minded” I used “close your mind” to refer the very real meaning the words making up a cliche have, which you ignore because it turns you off.

You will note from the OED entry for cliche:

“a phrase or opinion that is overused and betrays a lack of original thought”

nowhere is a cliche itself defined as something without meaning. That’s something personal to you. i.e. a definition for it that you invented out of whole cloth.

ML31

Pottayto potahto. You played the card. We both know it. Such semantics doen’t diminish it.

Both circumstances you cited are true. Overuse and losing meaning. Again, it doesn’t invalidate my comment in any way.

Disinvited

“Cliches becomes cliches because they are valid enough to bear endless repetition.” – Seth MacFarlane, “Identity, Pt. 2”, THE ORVILLE

Marja

Dis,
There are some phrases that have gotten overused and abandoned, or nearly so: “At the end of the day,” “Let’s unpack that,” “Let’s drill down,” and so on. There are many more, but those are off the top of my head [which is a more lasting cliche]. I think that’s the kind of overuse we’re talking about here.

Disinvited

Marja,

I have a clearing understanding of the attempted point from your elucidation, and I thank you for it, but English phrases and words losing meaning over time is not something unique to cliches or overuse.

And I wonder if what ML31 more precisely meant is that people currently resorting to loooooong overused cliches often haven’t a clue as to their original coinage, i.e. intent?

Yeah, the lionizing of the man is a bit much, particularly so when you understanding that Genes visions tended to be filtered through a sexist lens….

Jemini

Yeah, I’m grateful for Gene creating it like everyone but this so called Gene’s vision is a myth. Santa doesn’t exist, kids. Tos was progressive for its time but for today standards? Eh.. And the guy was no saint.

Michael Hall

No, his vision was no myth. Just the idea of bringing intelligent SF to television was revolutionary for the time, and had to be fought for, constantly. You can thank GR for that, if not for his flawless ideas (they certainly weren’t) or sterling character. Very few saints have created great TV shows, or much of anything else.

Calastir

There are no perfect people, only perfect ideals.

Calastir

Sexy isn’t the same as sexist.

Disinvited

Phil,

Isn’t that something like saying the founding fathers’ shouldn’t have lionized Socrates, because, even though Plato says he reasoned out the equality of the sexes in an ideal republic, Socrates laid claim to being a product of the racist, sexist, slave economy based Greek state and died in obedient allegiance to it?

Hat Rick

Why should we tire of the vision? Generally speaking, we should tire of it if it means nothing or if it is used as an excuse for mediocrity. Neither applies. I’m never tired of the vision. I wish more people would see it.

Ask yourself this: If in a moment of existential crisis, you need the assistance of someone to help you, would you choose a person who believed in a future of harmony and love toward all, or just some random person you would meet on a New York City street at a random time of day? Both could be of assistance but I have ideas as to whom I would prefer.

I take the ideals of Trek seriously not because Gene said it, but because it taps a reserve of kindness. It is part of a philosophy of caring and compassion.

Since when is that philosophy so plentiful that we need to criticize its expression?

Elrond

You speak for me, too, Rick, but more eloquently.

Hat Rick

@Elrond, many thanks.

Calastir

“In the 24th century there will be no hunger, there will be no greed, and all the children will know how to read.”

Gene’s vision continues to inspire me.

ML31

First, I would get help from a good friend who I know and trust than either of those options you presented.

Next, the philosophy was not the original intent. That sort of evolved like a lot of things about the show. Gene’s “vision” was mainly to get a show in the air.

Disinvited

ML31,

I grew up in the 1950’s watching HAVE GUN, WILL TRAVEL.

I think Gene’s intent or vision was always to do an end-run for scripts he had written for it and other efforts that were shot down for inane bureaucratic corporate nonsense, often dripping in sexist and racist tripe passed off as “universal” truths guaranteeing their failure.

And, as you say, everything else just evolved off of that. One thing that I have never actually been able to finger in his life was what precise event led him to believe that he could make significant lucre pursuing that? But, thank the creative spark, or whatever it was, for driving him to create STAR TREK.

Calastir

There are no perfect people, only perfect ideals.

Disinvited

Calastir,

Hear! Hear! Bully!

Marja

It’s like they feel they transcribed the bible from the prophet or something. I love Gene Roddenberry’s original Star Trek. I love that he was a humanist and envisioned an end to so much human suffering. There is so much to love. OTOH he had an adolescent guy’s fascination with certain types of women, and designed and wrote some very sexist things.

He was a man of his time in that sense, and this disempowerment of women was only reinforced by the NBC network executives, who did not want to displease the audience they were trying to attract, middle-aged American men. [Honestly, it really sucked that they replaced the character of Number One with Nurse Chapel, who only joined the service’s nursing corps to search for her fiance, even though she was a qualified exobiologist — give me a break!]

So yes, Roddenberry created the Trek universe; he did have a lovely vision of the future in many ways, but Disco’s showrunners have only improved on that and I feel they should own that. Every actor seems to say “what a great honor and responsibility” &c., and talk about “the Great Vision” &c.; yes, let’s be thankful and happy and move on to what you are doing and going to do! Because I am very excited about Star Trek’s future!

Professor Spock

Gene’s vision. Everyone keeps talking about that. Oh well, so dumb they keep saying that.

kmart

He might steal that BUTCH CASSIDY line about having vision while the rest of the world wears bifocals, but update it to ‘the rest of the verse needs retinax.’

Tiger2

That’s just what they have to do for PR reasons, remind people over and over again where Star Trek was born out of, even if its overplayed. Rick Berman brought it up in practically every interview, that while he was the keeper of Trek, every inch of it relied on Gene’s ‘vision’ although in reality a lot of what Roddenberry wanted in TNG was jettisoned once he was gone. The basic idea of a positive future stayed but the ultra Utopian view had vanished or Berman couldn’t have created DS9 in the first place.

To be fair I think they all mean it when they talk about his positive future where humanity has managed to overcome its biggest negatives and thrive. But when it comes to the details of what that means is when its just more talk than anything. Especially in Discovery case which really didn’t feel anything close to what Roddenbrry wanted in its first season, but has gotten back to some of it this season at least.

Calastir

“In the 24th century there will be no hunger, there will be no greed, and all the children will know how to read.”

Gene’s hopeful vision for the future continues to inspire me as well.

Hat Rick

Progress and the reconciliation of conflicts within and without: These are the voyages.

The writers here know it. Trek is about the internal as well as the external. Progress arises when it comes from the heart. When we are convinced. When we have the conviction. Even in the face of great adversity.

This was so from the beginning.

Spock is clearly the most pioneering character in all of Trek. Witness, for sample, what happened to him here:

https://youtu.be/iga0dKowHkU

He expererienced nothing that all of us do not experience, and yet we cannot experience what he did throughout his life. His entire life, from start to finish.

The logician meets fate. This is in a large measure what Trek is about.

How he handles it, and how we must and are fated so to do, is essential.

Spock’s story is told in DISC. And I, for one, am happy this is so.

I’m along for the ride.

Ixley

I’m so glad that this practically confirms we’ll get some more of Jett Reno!

kmart

Not sure which thread I should have put this into, but was rewatching the 2part THE MENAGERIE and seized on Spock saying Talos IV was 6 or 8 days away at maximum warp. If DSC indicated Talos is only 2 ly from that starbase (which is what I read here a week or so back), I’m guessing warp speed is moving at MUCH less than the usual speed of plot this decade, at least outside of the Abramsverse.

David

The Starbase was moved over the ten years to be much farther away from Talos. Next?

kmart

Next? really?

David, that doesn’t wash and even a cursory examination bears that out. If it was only 2 ly from Talos when the whole CAGE biz started and remained there up until post-DSC s2, then why would the Talosians have not influenced any or all of the ships passing by their sphere of influence in pre-Pike/Ent years? two visits? Pike may have been a ‘prime’ specimen, but Starfleet seems pretty rich in that department, nearly as many as the middle-management types that typify the Harve Bennett years.

Also, in the original, the Talosians pretty much say that humans are unsuitable for their purposes, so their threat is as self-stated, ended, which means moving a base shouldn’t be a factor (and it makes the death penalty notion that much more flimsy, but that is a whole sep issue), even if it was actually that close. And of course if it was that close, ships would have been hearing the subspace distress call all over the quadrant, and the base, which doesn’t look like it was just assembled yesterday, would have been among the first locales to hear it.

Talos would have HAD to be a decent ways off from Fed territory.

Jemini

The character doesn’t feel like Spock to me and I can’t reconcile with him being a backstory of Spock Prime, it’s easier for me to see the show as yet another reboot and different ‘reality’. That said, I have all respect for the actor because this is one of the hardest characters to play in terms of pressure. I hope the role brings him luck because he’s a good actor.

As for hope and optimism. .trek lately has very little of that, IMO. It is contemporary dark.. and doesn’t make me look up the sky and wonder about all the different worlds out there to explore. But, at least, it is more diverse and is following what it preaches about when it comes to that.

Hat Rick

@Jeninu I think I understand. When a show gives us a huge amount of darkness, you ask yourself: Why? Why do I even need this? Isn’t life horrible enough?

This is the sentiment I had regarding the BSG reboot. Altho’ I quite admired the writers and producers, at some point I had had enough. Enough of the violence, the sadness, the terror. And I tuned out. I don’t regret that.

I look forward to viewing the series at my own pace.

If one takes one’s own choices seriously, one realizes that we are all literally the authors of our own fate. We don’t just watch what is presented. We change the channel if it bothers us or if it bores.

Each of us is different in our stage of life and in our outlook. We can only hope to learn from that and from one another.

Hat Rick

@Jemini, I apologize for misspelling your name. It was unintentional.

Jemini

Being hopeful and optimistic in this age seems to be the boldest thing..

Marja

I think Burnham is one of the most hopeful characters in Trek. She holds to the ideals of the Federation; she loves and explores science; she has great compassion — they are her inspiration. And she inspires others in turn [like Saru, Tilly and Tyler].

Denny C

Sisko didn’t start as a captain. In fact, his journey wasn’t even about being the captain of a starship, with his promotion to captain as something which was ultimately incidental as part of a larger story.

Tiger2

Great point!

In fact Sisko was the first main character to get an arc from the beginning. Kirk and Picard didn’t get anything more than just being good captains on a starship and they developed them as they went. But Sisko was given a lot of interesting background in the first episode. He was a Starfleet officer who recently lost his wife and raising a son on his own (and to this day the only Captain who was a family man in the entire franchise). And yes the first who didn’t start out as a Captain from the beginning. He was in a post he didn’t want to be in and of course he became the emissary, which is something he didn’t want either but accepted in time.

Thats why I say again and again why DS9 was my favorite show because it did things the other shows never really did and Sisko was the biggest example of that. I loved how we watched someone who really didn’t love his job or his place in the universe to someone who had accepted it all by the end. We got to see a real growth of a main character that was never tempted before or after.

I don’t mind the stuff they are doing with Burnham, but I REALLY wish this show stop acting like everything its doing is some huge leap for Star Trek. Yes, it is a modern day show and doing things faster the other shows did, but Burnham is neither the first main character who had to overcome an obstacle nor is it the first show whose main character is a person of color or a woman. Star Trek has had all these things literally decades ago now.

Danpaine

Fine post there, Tiger. DS9 wasn’t my personal favorite, but your points are well-taken. None of what DSC is doing here is remotely new or provocative with regard to recognizing POC or females in Trek. And literally every other show/film out there these days does the same.

ML31

Really the only thing “new and different” that Discovery is doing is the platform it is available on and the fact that theirs are the shortest seasons in all of Trek ever by some 10-12 episodes. Apart from that the only thing that was truly different was the main character was not in command of anything.

JetpackJesus

While technically true, Commander Sisko was still the commanding officer of DS9, so it’s a distinction without a difference in the context of what Kadin’s quote was trying to convey.

Jetpack Jesus it was a big deal to many people of colour in 1993 that Sisko, the first black show lead, did not start off in the premiere as a Captain — but instead a reluctant war-scarred Commander who would have likely retired had not the need for senior officers been so great after Wolf 359.

There was real concern that a message was being given that a black man could not be captain. With DS9 being the first serial Trek series, there was no expectation or confidence among fans that his character would grow and achieve promotion.

It was a very big issue.

Karin really needs to know this kind of history of the franchise.

boborci

love seeing Alex in charge of Trek!

Eric

Haha, prove to us you are the real deal.

Damien

…would have been nice to see you by his side man….

Eric

Well, @boborci, please tell us what you think of Discovery?! What works and what doesn’t?

LandruShoe

Why didn’t he ask you to come aboard Mr. Orci? I wish this show would have stayed canon. DC FONTANA created Spock’s background as an only child and said in an interview that she didn’t like him having a half brother in STAR TREK V. So I guess she wouldn’t like this either…

John Chilton

Re Heather Kadin and the new & unique journey towards Captainhood undertaken by Burnham! REALLY – it’s bad enough that the production creatives have no understanding of what came before on Trek, worse when they blatantly display their ignorance. Burnham is not the first character, whose journey to Captain we have followed. SISKO was first to hold that role. He was a reluctant Commander, more interested in his role as a father than a Starfleet officer – who was semi forced to take Command of DS9. He was promoted to Captain in his second year of command.
Come on guys – you’re the keeper of the Trek flame – KNOW WHAT YOU’RE TALKING ABOUT!

Hat Rick

It sounds increasingly that the events in DISC might be wished into the cornfield, as it were.

There are a limited number of ways by which this can be done.

One obvious way is that they are the machinations of the Talosians. None of this happened as presented onscreen. It was all a dream. All of it. Including the Mirror Universe.

Why else would Talos IV be quarantined?

Another is that this is an emanation from the Gate of Forever.

Both have their narrative merits.

Alex G

Hmm I thought being a Captain meant being able to make decisions between life and death.

The Recursion King

Hats off to Kurtzman, I think he really is understanding the heart of Star Trek these days!