Last night Star Trek: Discovery delivered on the promised game-changing second season finale. Now the showrunners are talking about what it all means.
Kurtzman talks Discovery season 3
Speaking with The Hollywood Reporter, Star Trek: Discovery co-creator and co-showrunner Alex Kurtzman broke down the second season finale in some detail. He also removed any doubt as to where the show is headed:
We are jumping 950 years into the future for season three.
Kurtzman talked about how the decision to jump the show into the 33rd century frees them up:
We love playing within canon. It’s a delight and a privilege. It’s fun to explore nooks and crannies of the universe that people haven’t fully explored yet. That being said, we felt strongly that we wanted to give ourselves an entirely new energy for season three with a whole new set of problems. We’re farther than any Trek show has ever gone. I also had experience working on the [J.J. Abrams] films where we were stuck with canonical problems. We knew how Kirk had died, and we wondered how we could put him in jeopardy to make it feel real. That’s what led us to go with an alternate timeline; suddenly we could tell the story in a very unpredictable way. That’s the same thought process that went into jumping 950 years into the future. We’re now completely free of canon, and we have a whole new universe to explore.
When asked if characters from other Trek series might show up, Kurtzman again noted the time jump puts the show far beyond where Trek has been before:
There will be canonical references to everything that has happened in the various shows; we’re not erasing that. But we’re so far past that point that all of that is a very distant memory. We’re very excited to see how you put the elements of Star Trek in an entirely new universe.
No details were provided on what the crew of the Discovery will have to deal with in this 33rd century, but he did indicate that it isn’t going to be all smooth sailing:
All I can tell you is that Control is officially neutralized, but there will be much bigger problems when they get to the other side of that wormhole.
Kurtzman on Pike, Picard and Section 31
Kurtzman also talked about the expanding Star Trek universe he oversees, including the buzz around a series set on Pike’s USS Enterprise, making it clear they are aware of the interest:
The fans have been heard. Anything is possible in the world of Trek. I would love to bring back that crew more than anything. It was a huge risk for us. One of the most gratifying things is to see how deeply the fans have embraced Pike, Spock, Number One, and the Enterprise. The idea of getting to tell more stories with them would be a delight for all of us.
The next show to launch will be the Picard series starring Sir Patrick Stewart. Earlier this week, CBS announced three more actors had joined the cast. Speaking to THR, Kurtzman gave a little update on the status of the show:
[The Picard series] going amazingly. We start shooting soon. It will be really different from Discovery in tone, pace, and story. I’m so excited with how our cast came together. Hanelle Culpepper, our director, is absolutely crushing it. We’re so excited because it’s so different. Yet, I think people who like The Next Generation will recognize that it’s made by people who love it equally. It will be really interesting to see how people respond.
The executive producer also briefly discussed the Section 31 series planned to go into production after the third season of Discovery:
If you’re a fan of Deep Space Nine, you’ve probably spent the past two years saying, “What the hell are they doing with Section 31? That’s nothing like the Section 31 we know.” That’s exactly right. In Deep Space Nine, they did not have badges or ships. They’re an underground organization. What you see on Discovery and our upcoming show with Michelle Yeoh is how Section 31 became that organization and why it was so underground by the time Deep Space Nine comes around.
Paradise talks Discovery season 2 finale
Alex Kurtzman’s co-showrunner (and co-writer of the season finale) Michelle Paradise discussed “Such Sweet Sorrow” with Entertainment Tonight, explaining the reasoning behind the solution to how to sync the show with canon:
Wrapping this story up and being clear that because of the danger that Control presented, because of the spore drive, because of this time-traveling technology… for those reasons and to prevent any dangerous entities from trying to access these things again, we must nip it in the bud. The lying about it is a protection for Starfleet. That’s the reason that they do it and it is also to make sure that if Section 31 has any designs on doing the next version of Control, that it can’t get out of control — no pun intended — and create a similar problem in the future. It was about answering the season two story, eliminating the threat of Control so that we, as viewers, understand Control has been eliminated. The goal of this season was to take care of this problem and we have taken care of this problem successfully. And at the same time, that also puts us in line with canon. Those were the reasons that we did that.
The executive producer and writer provided some background on their approach to wrapping up the sibling arc of Spock and Burnham:
We had done a lot of work on the Burnham and Spock relationship over the course of this season. We knew from the beginning that we wanted to start them in a place where they were fractured and that the journey of the season would be to bring them back together and heal the wounds between them. Of course, he has to go on the Enterprise at some point, so you bring their relationship to a satisfying conclusion where the hurts of the past have been healed and where they have been able to help, support and influence one another. We talked a lot about what Spock could give to Burnham and what Burnham could give to Spock. Over the course of the season, we see that play out in a number of different episodes, leading to this culmination where they share with one another the ways in which they’re better and the ways in which they need one another and the ways in which they are okay knowing that she must go on to do this mission and he must return to the Enterprise. We were trying to find the best possible way to honor their sibling relationship and end them in a positive way.
Paradise also confirmed that when Michael was advising Spock to seek out his “opposite,” the writers were alluding to a specific character Spock will encounter in the future:
Absolutely. That is definitely Kirk.
Work on Season 3 has begun
As we have previously reported, production of the third season of Discovery is scheduled to begin in early July. Prep work has already started in Toronto: This morning, prop master Mario Moreira posted a tweet from his office saying he started prepping for season three this week and “couldn’t be more excited.”
— Mario Moreira (@Mario_Moreira72) April 19, 2019
Back in Los Angeles, the writers have already been working on the third season for a while. Yesterday the official writers’ room shared another of their fun “overheard in the room” tweets regarding a spoiler involving Michael Burnham and a sandwich.
Overheard in the room: “Burnham hits him with a sandwich!”
— Star Trek Writers (@StarTrekRoom) April 18, 2019
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.