Heather Kadin: Section 31 Show And “Calypso” Could Tie Into ‘Star Trek: Discovery’ Season 3

One of the people who will be on stage this weekend for the big Star Trek Universe San Diego Comic-Con panel is Heather Kadin, president of Alex Kurtzman’s Secret Hideout production company and his partner and fellow executive producer on Star Trek: Discovery and other upcoming Star Trek projects. In an interview with AssignmentX, conducted during the Winter TCAs in January but only released recently, Kadin dropped a few hints about what is coming next on Discovery.

Executive Producer, Alex Kurtzman; Executive Producer, Heather Kadin during the STAR TREK: DISCOVERY Winter TCA Panel, held at The Langham Huntington, Pasadena on January 30th, 2019 (CBS)

Georgiou in ‘Discovery’ Season 3

The third season of Discovery started production recently and one of the big questions regarding the show is about Michelle Yeoh’s character of former emperor Georgiou. Georgiou was last seen aboard the USS Discovery as it wormholed its way into the far future in the season two finale. Kadin didn’t get into specifics, but again confirmed that Yeoh would be part of the third season, and dropped an intriguing hint about how the upcoming Section 31 show may tie into Discovery season 3:

AX: Are you guys having internal debate about how much to use Michelle Yeoh in Season 3, because they’re spinning off her character?

KADIN: We want to use Michelle Yeoh as much as possible. Our plan is, she’ll be used throughout Season 3. The spin-off wouldn’t happen until after that.

AX: So the spin-off wouldn’t happen until you’re no longer doing Star Trek: Discovery, or the spin-off wouldn’t happen until after Season 3?

KADIN: Or in the middle of Season 3, let’s say, but we have every intention of using her – you’ll see her all of this season [season 2], and then most of next.

Michelle Yeoh as Georgiou in the Star Trek: Discovery season 2 finale (CBS)

The return of “Calypso”?

When Discovery ended its season, jumping the show far into the future led to speculation about if it might tie into the Short Treks episode “Calypso,” also set far in the future. Kadin didn’t get into specifics, but confirmed there is interest in returning to elements of “Calypso” and in particular to the character of Craft played by Aldis Hodge:

AX: The Short Treks segment “Calypso” was set a thousand years in the future. Will we see more of that, or was that one and done?

KADIN: The idea with the Short Treks, it’s funny, because originally, you had people like Michael Chabon saying, “Oh, my God. I’m a huge Star Trek fan. I’d love to do something.” “Oh, hey, you could write a short. And it was such a gift. The idea originally, I think, was just to tell these standalone stories that, in themselves, would be their own thing, and then the more in love with each one of them we became, the more we decided we really wanted to use them. And you’ll see a lot of that coming through at the end of our season [2]. We definitely want to deal with that story in particular down the line, and especially with that actor, Aldis Hodge. He was magnificent. So you’ll see sometime down the line, for sure.

Aldis Hodge as Craft in Short Treks “Calypso” (CBS)


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.

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Luke Montgomery

Im so excited where Discovery is going. LOVE LOVE LOVE this show.

Tiger2

I admit I been hot and cold on the show for two seasons now but I have to admit I’m really really excited to see where its going next season where practically everything will be new or at least seen from a different light. This show is going to open up the universe in a way we haven’t really seen since TNG debut. And to think my biggest complaint about it originally was that it was just going to be nothing more than a nostalgic romp for all things TOS. So glad to be so wrong.

John Chilton

Not being a Discovery creative team fan … the ONE thing I’ve thoroughly enjoyed was the short Calypso AND Aldis Hodge was brilliant. BRILLIANT!

unhappening

that’s such a fanboy thing… not being a fan of a creative team. haha… so weird.

VZX

They’re still doing this Section 31 show? Sounds like somebody’s vanity project

Afterburn

I think you misunderstand the term “vanity project.” That’s usually something that is intensely personal, an original concept, is creator driven– often stars the person behind it– and otherwise would never be greenlit without the creator’s powerful name attached.

You know, like the Orville.

VZX

Crap you’re right. What would be the correct term for a project that only exists because a person thinks it will work regardless of what the research and everyone thinks? And this person has an over inflated sense of talent?

What research? I’d love to read that one…

Afterburn

There is no such term.

See, there’s no data or research saying a Section 31 show won’t work, there’s no test audience for the pilot to tell them what they think of it.

You’re just projecting your likes, dislikes and wants onto this. That has a term. Unfortunately, it’s not one I can type without getting banned.

VZX

Yeah I’m biased. I normally would not care about a show I have no interest in. It’s just that I feel that the resources going into this Section 31 show would be put to a better use in a different Star Trek show I’d rather enjoy. And as a paying subscriber to CBSAA I think I have a right to voice my concern. What’s the term to describe that?

I’m pretty sure it’s just called being right.

I’m pretty sure your concern is not based on research, so you shouldn’t make false statements to support your opinion. It doesn’t help your cause at all.

VZX

Research is a broad term. I suppose one could go through the comments here on Trekmovie ever since the Section 31 show was announced and count the number of comments for and against the concept of the show. But you are right that I should not have used the term research in that context. For that I am sorry. But I think my point still stands that most people, at least the ones that comment on this website, seem to be upset that this show is being produced when we would rather those resources go into another show. For me, I would rather the Captain Pike/Number One/ Spock/ Enterprise show.

Danpaine

Whatever the term, VZX, I agree with you.

ML31

I agree with VZX as well. And my issue really isn’t with the concept of a section 31 show. Which I’m not that keen on to begin with but can understand why some might be into such a concept. My problem is with the character of evil-Georgeau. It feels like they brought her back and planned on giving her a lead ONLY because she was the biggest name in the cast of Discovery. Not because the character was good.

Afterburn

Glad you agree, but that doesn’t make you right. In fact, your agreement with someone’s opinion is neither right or wrong. The attitude that you have more people on your side actually means absolutely nothing. Galileo calls.

What you are LIKELY right about is why the show exists: because they have access to a big star, and one who is popular globally. And I see nothing wrong with that. I think the character has a lot of potential– in fact, I think she has more potential as a lead than as a recurring guest star. If we got to know her better, her backstory, and how she operates on a regular basis, I think she could be one of the most interesting character in the DSC pantheon.

ML31

Holy crap… There seems to be no end to your pestiferous personality.

And again, you are LIKELY overstating Yeoh’s global star power. At her height 10-20 years ago she was big regionally. Never globally. And at this point, her star power has waned quite a bit. Further, her character is a one dimensional big bad. There is no further potential there. Her back story is that she is from opposite land. If you think that is deep and fascinating then more power to you. Judging from fan reaction, you are in the minority. Which, yes, doesn’t make you wrong. But it doesn’t make you right, either. Thank you for reminding us all of the super obvious.

Afterburn

You have every right to voice your opinion, but i’m not sure how that’s relevant to your initial comment about a vanity project

martin

This story’s comments on Section 31 show is from January 30 – and it states “Our plan is, she’ll be used throughout Season 3. The spin-off wouldn’t happen until after that.”

This does not mean a plan doesn’t change. The plan for Discovery would be that we would never see Spock – and that changed at the conclusion of Season one.

Also it says the spin-off (Section 31 show) “wouldn’t happen” – would does not mean the same thing as will.

Now we have more current news that refers to a “secret project” – and we have a short treks which includes #1 and Spock. Lets see if in SDCC and in STLV how much news there is on the S31 show.

erpa

Agreed, very few people want this. Not in the form S31 are in with Disco anyway.

TG47

I loved Calypso, and am all the more curious about when and how Discovery will catch up with it…

..not to mention Georgiou going forward with Discovery. I’m convinced she’s got a role to place in connecting up the dots. And I still wonder if she has the right mitochondrial DNA to use the Red Angel suit.

I really hope the writer’s room has taken a deep breath and the time to sort out the continuity and coherence issues that followed the shake-up pre-season last year.

Last thing, this interview is a good reminder that Kadin and Kurtzman are shrewdly willing to experiment and run with what works.

I’m really looking forward to the next batch of Short Treks.

Legate Damar

Why woul she have the right DNA? She isn’t at all related to Gabrielle Burnham. She was Michael’s adopted mother in another universe, but thag wouldn’t affect her genes.

TG47

What was the connection in the Mirror Universe that led to the adoption? Perhaps there is a genetic relationship that Prime mama Burnham isn’t aware of.

One suspects that Park’s connections in the Prime Universe may have led to his being approached about the placement.

Long lost and hidden family relationships are just the kind of thing that would fit in Discovery’s twists and turns.

TG47

Sarek not Park…

Argh…I seem to have a sneaky after-the-fact auto-editor.

Afterburn

Well Park was a nice typo, becuase there was a theory that Georgiou is a descendent, either by blood or marriage– of the first Mirror Universe Empress– Hoshi Sato (played by Linda Park). I’d love for them to make that official.

The River Temarc

Yeah, if you think that all Asians look the same and Japanese are the same as Straits Chinese. Sheesh.

However, I suppose if you get Benedict Cumberbatch paying a Desi character, anything’s possible.

ML31

Well, that Desi character was first played by a Latino, sooo….

TG47

I can’t speak for others, but I suspect that it is more the casting experts that treat east/north Asians as a single group than the fans on this site.

Which is how Park was cast as Sato, or Garret Wang as Kim.

In the case of the Burnhams, mama Burnham was played by an actor of mixed Korean descent.

So, yes Korean and Malaysian Chinese are far apart in reality but in casting it seems not so far. If there was to be a great reveal of a hidden familial relationship, I wouldn’t be surprised.

After all, Yorkshire’s Patrick Stewart is playing a Frenchman.

On the other hand, MU Georgiou’s genuine attachment to a child with no genetic relationship would be an indication that she is redeemable.

Afterburn

Ah you accuse me of casual racism. No. Sorry, go elsewhere with your nonsense. This was a common theory, and one addressed by the writers, who also mentioned her greek name. In the future in particular it would be very possible for Sato to have married a Chinese person, and their offspring a greek person, with Sato’s great Grand-daughter being Phillipa Georgiou.

Btw, Sato (a Japanese character) was played by a Korean, so who are you rolling your eyes at exactly? Get lost.

A34

Aldis Hodge should get his own Star Trek show.

Holy smokes — I just agreed with A34 on something!

A34

Thanks, I guess.

Harry Ballz

They’re going with Michelle Yeoh over Anson Mount?

STUPID!

They choose a BORING actor over a DYNAMIC one all because of the foreign markets?

STUPID!

Go with the interesting character and it WILL get the numbers!

TG47

What’s with the either/or sibling rivalry stuff?!

Could this stop already?

There is room for both, and Kurtzman has said openly that they are looking for a way to make some kind of Pike product happen.

TPTB have been saying for a long time that Georgiou in S3 Discovery would transition to the S31 show that should premiere closely after. No real news…

Pike’s Enterprise would be a new offering, with a new concept, development etc. prior to any announcement. No announcement doesn’t mean it won’t happen. And in the meantime, there is a Short Trek with Number One and Spock to look forward to.

Douglass Abramson

I’m trying to process the concept that Michelle Yeoh is boring! 😕

Harry Ballz

Douglass, when I say boring I mean dull, wooden, uninspired, mechanical, shallow, amateurish, one-dimensional….the list goes on. Not just in Trek. She really stunk up the place in Crazy Rich Asians.

When it comes to Yeoh, I’ve seen MUCH better acting in high school plays.

Douglass Abramson

I understand what you mean by it. I just don’t comprehend you applying to her. It’s a free country though. You have the right to be wrong. 😉

Harry Ballz

I remember being wrong once…….it was August 1982. :>)

Sully

I couldn’t agree more with this assessment. I continually read what an amazing actress she is, but Yeoh’s performance range only strikes me as either bland or pantomime-esque. There isn’t an iota of subtlety to her acting palette, which is integral to a good actor. The Georgiou role is terribly cast and just as poorly written.

odradek

Maybe she just comes from a different school of acting. I’m pretty sure you would not like Gustaf Gründgens, either. Does not mean he was bad, just an other time, culture and style.

ML31

Yeoh is good ONLY when she gets the right part. And I think it obvious, both prime and evil Georgeau just did not work for her. She is not a good enough actor to pull off playing the wrong part. But in her defense, there are not many who could. Even Patrick Stewart was awful in Blunt Talk.

alphantrion

I think they are probably thinking that having a Pike show would return to what came before in Trek, perhaps even to more episodic storytelling and they just don’t want to do that. They wouldn’t want to have another white male commanding a starship show in this time and age. Having said this, there is a place for both in Trek, like TG47 said, this doesn’t need to be an either/or situation.

VZX

I agree with Harry. Pike >>>> Georgiou any day, any universe.

The Collector

It’s just all such a mess. I despair for Star Trek.

TG47

I was despairing when it looked like there was no appetite to come back to TV with new offerings.

Kurtzman sold CBS on dusting off the franchise, expanding it and moving beyond a one-size-fits-all marketing strategy.

As long as there is one new Trek offering that you will be happy to watch, the franchise will thrive.

Please stop describing Trek that successfully appeals to someone that is not you as a failure.

I’ve heard fans at cons express sincere excitement and anticipation for a show featuring Yeoh. It’s ok if you’re not one of them.

As a long-time Trek fan dating from the time of TOS, just the very idea that we could eventually have four or five Trek shows running at different times is exciting. If one or two of them aren’t to my liking, I can think back to late 1969 through early 1987 when there was NO Trek on TV. Let’s be grateful for what we got.

Chuck Abernathy

I cannot imagine that there won’t be connective tissue between “Calypso” and Discovery 3.0

Just Another Salt Vampire

“Calypso” foreshadowed the season finale of Discovery 2.0 with the leap to the future, so certainly seems connected. And Calypso left the mystery of why the crew abandoned Discovery and where they went.

I haven’t enjoyed Yeoh’s work on Discovery, for the most part, so I’ve got very little interest in a Section 31 show with her starring in it.

That said, I thought she got steadily better over the course of the second season; so if that trajectory continues, maybe they’ll have something on their hands.

100% onboard for more Aldis Hodge.

Tiger2

I’m starting to wonder is there just going to be some form of Section 31 in the 32nd century Georgiou becomes part of? Or are they really going to just send her back if Discovery is destined to stay there? Many believe she will get back on her own somehow if they don’t all end up back but since we know they literally can’t go back again maybe just maybe the Section 31 show will take place in that century too? Yeah its a long shot, but if someone told me six months ago Discovery would be taking place in the 32nd century next season I would’ve called them crazy too.

One thing we can say about the future of TV Trek is that all bets are off now. The fact we are even discussing a Section 31 show starring the Emperor from the MU already tells you that.

You might be onto something there.

alphantrion

Maybe she goes back to the MU from 32nd century and from the MU returns to the 23rd century again. I think people seem to forget the Mirror Universe still existing and Discovery’s spore drive can easily access it.

Chancellor Gowron

It would be cool to see the post-DS9 mirror universe. It’s been a while since I’ve seen Emperor’s New Cloak, but I’m pretty sure the Terran Rebellion was doing well when we last saw them. It would be interesting to see what the Terrans do once they defeat the Klingon-Cardsddian alliance. Do they learn there lesson and create a mirror Federation, or does the Terran Empire rise again?

Tiger2

Look if they want to bring her back to the 23rd century, thats not hard. It’s Star Trek, they can find pretty much any way they want to return just like how they got to the 32nd century in the first place. They built a time travel suit in about an hour in the finale lol. That’s not really the issue.

I’m just wondering based on these comments do they really plan to send her back though? Maybe they will but it is odd NO ONE has yet just said they plan to have her come back to the 23rd century. Maybe they are saving that for a big future story line but it could also be something much bigger and different and that Section 31 will be a big presence in this century too.

ML31

Sending the ship to the future was pretty much the 2nd best cure for the show. So at least that. However, saying how much Georgeau will be around gives me massive doubts about the show. Her character was ill conceived to begin with and now they want MORE of her? It boggles the mind. Such comments do not bode well for season 3 of Discovery.

TG47

Who knows?

They may need her ‘watch your back’, ‘no trust’ MU perspective to make sense of where they are in the 32nd century.

I can envision some hearty ethical debates between Saru’s ‘We are Starfleet’; Georgiou’s ‘Forget Starfleet that so 7 centuries ago’; and Burnham’s ‘We have to get to Terralysium and find mom’ agendas.

ML31

The real problem here is her MU origins. Because of that nothing she says ought to be taken as genuine. Even if her intentions happen to align with Burnham’s at the moment. Everything she says and does should be deemed suspicious by everyone on that ship. In fact, if they were smart, they would find a way to send her back to the MU as quick as possible. They ought to realize she doesn’t belong in the PU. At the very least she should be put in the brig like Spock did to MU Kirk & Co. Including such a person in Section 31 is the height of foolishness both from a story and writing perspective.

Danpaine

Exactly what I took from the article, ML. And honestly the less they refer to last season’s menagerie (ha, ‘menagerie’) of a storyline, the better, imo. We shall see. I was heartened by sending the ship into the far future as well, but I’m not afraid to give it a couple of episodes then dump it if I don’t like it.

Tiger2

I agree as well ML31! Sending the ship into the future was the single best idea they came up with. Now I don’t know if sending it THAT far into the future is a good idea but I get it, they want to do their own thing and set up the universe however they want, ie, the complete opposite of what they could do with Discovery in its first two seasons. So its all great news for me.

As far as Georgiou is concerned, I’m hoping at the very least they change her character a bit in the third season and make her a bit more relatable. Of course the character is suppose to be this hard edge leader but no one seems to be in love with her. They need to find a way to make people like her even if they still can’t completely trust her. She can still stay terrain and be conniving and deceitful when she has to be but she can still be more likable in the process. If people think that’s impossible, Garek proved you can do both in spades. Of course the people who wrote for Garek were also amazing writers and gave him a really interesting and layered back story in the process.

ML31

The thing is, Tiger2… Garek was from the PU. Georgeau is from MU. Opposite land. It’s in her nature to be opposite of her PU counterpart. Given that, I just don’t see how they can give that character any kind of depth. There have been evil slimy characters who have been interesting (Frank Underwood comes immediately to mind) but it’s a rare thing to pull off. Even if you have a GOOD writing staff. And we have seen that the Discovery staff are likely not up to the challenge.

unhappening

yeah calypso was awesome… they could do a series about just the empty ship and the AI traveling the galaxy picking up hitchhikers and would be fine with that

Jake

I am intrigued with section 31, it is presented in that manner after all (and many are). Exposing more on s31 will pollute its allure and mystery more than discovery already has, had there only been glimpses after Dr. Bashirs run in with Sloane. The mystery and pique of S31 would be maintained. Doing more on it threatens my interest in it

Jake

I’d prefer shows of 1 season lengths of different ships in different times and time lines and even different species from all over the galaxy. Shows that really give a sense of foreboding of our well-known enemies a sense of wonder of the galaxy and genuine mystery that has kept star trek producing new shows. I want to FEEL that the federation IS as unique as it has been set up to be, I want to see ideas and glimpses of origins…. I want speculation and fan-fictions…. I want the logical, the preposterous, in the insane, the glorious, the bloody and the intriguing…. I might even be linked together in the end…. Or we might just want it to be