Get A Better Look At Hugh In ‘Star Trek: Picard’, The Making Of Animated ‘Short Treks’, And More

We’ve rounded up the few morsels of Trek goodness that happened over the holiday break for your enjoyment.

Get a better look at Hugh in Star Trek: Picard

TVLine got an exclusive look at the new state of Hugh (the ex-Borg?) just before Christmas. This new look for Hugh (Jonathan Del Arco) is reminiscent of the bits and pieces 7 of 9 still has, but it looks a bit more gruesome. What is likely a synthetic (or harvested) human eye can be seen. Also of interest is the costume Hugh wears; the yoke piece is similar to the Romulan uniforms seen in TNG.

Full Borgified Hugh from TNG

The new Hugh.

Hugh’s costume has some similarities to the TNG Romulan wardrobe.

Children of Mars?

In the recent trailer released on Facebook (and also shown in theaters), a planet that pretty clearly looked like Mars was shown in a nightmare/flashback. Our resident scientists (Kayla and Andy) have identified that it is indeed Mars, and even specified the region: it is a mirrored image of Syrtis Major.

It’s possible the image was flipped to make it seem like a different planet (which was a common technique in older Trek productions) or just an oversight. Mars may, in fact, come to play, with the final Short Treks episode of the second season (due to be released January 10) being a prequel tie-in to Picard season one, titled “Children of Mars.”

Behind the scenes of toon Short Treks

CBS put up some videos about the making of the animated shorts, with interviews and behind-the-scenes looks at creating the animation.


TNG cast gathers for holiday party

It’s well known that the Next Generation cast enjoys spending time together, and the holiday season is no exception. In the mix are the families of LeVar Burton, Michael Dorn, Brent Spiner, ’90s Trek head honcho Rick Berman in the middle, Wil Wheaton, Gates McFadden, Jonathan Frakes, and Marina Sirtis.

Discovery films at historic Canadian penitentiary

Just before the holidays, the Discovery cast and crew spent 2 weeks filming in Kingston, Ontario. The local newspaper, The Kingstonist, shared the gossip just before the holidays: The DSC crew had been filming at the Kingston Penitentiary, a historical prison site that’s now used for tourism. Alex Jansen, Film Commissioner with the Kingston Film Office is quoted in the article: “The Kingston Film Office did indeed host Season Three of Star Trek: Discovery in Kingston over the past two weeks. We kept everything entirely confidential at the express request of the production, but I can confirm that we hosted them for five days of pre-production, two days of shooting, and they’re in the process of finishing three days of wrap-up.”

An aerial view of the decommissioned prison, now a spot for local tourism and TV and film projects.

Inside the shop of the prison makes for a great place to film.

CBS Trek productions get an official science consultant

Dr. Erin MacDonald, a huge Trekkie and a face that many Star Trek Las Vegas-goers may recognize for her space talks, took to social media to let fans know she’s been engaged as the official science consultant for the CBS Trek franchise. This is welcome news, and we look forward to her input shaping the science in the science fiction of Star Trek.

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Something I noticed the other day, while the shape of the yolk piece on Hugh is reminiscent of the Romulans, the pattern on it is more reminiscent of similar parts of Bremen uniforms.


@Mike P

“Breen and Breen, what is Breen?”

The print just looks like circuitry. It could just be something that interacts with leftover Borg tech still in the body.

Finally a science consultant! I hope they listen to her!

Agreed. Though I’d have more confidence if she wasn’t already a longtime fan of ST.

The key thing is that the writers will listen to her challenges and advice so that the Trek-science they present is more internally consistent.

Dr. Erin Mac doesn’t seem have the hubris that she knows it all herself, and will know when she needs to read further or reach out : something that has been an evident gap in recent seasons.

If she doesn’t fall into the Berman Trek mode of simply filling in multi-syllable, sciency-sounding terms wherever a writer has written [TECH] into the dialogue as a means of saying “make this magical premise work.” Since a fan-centric mind might consider that to be Trek’s longstanding tradition.

I don’t disagree after STD season two that Trek needs a science advisor.

After seeing STD they need more than a science advisor. They need a Trek advisor.

But keep in mind the role is “advisor”. There is nothing compelling any production to follow her suggestions. If they need a story element to work but the science advisor says it won’t, that likely won’t stop the production from going forward with the plan anyway. So if something like that happens in some future production, let’s not be so quick to blame the “advisor”.

For years, been listening to people complain that new talent on the show aren’t fans. So they hire a science consultant who’s a fan, and that’s a problem, too??

Then it would seem I’ve obviously not been one of the people making that complaint, wouldn’t it.

LOL exactly Phil!

Yeah I second that haha! No matter what CBSAA does will not satisfy SOME of the naysayer fanboys! You also have to take SOME of the negative posts on places like Youtube with a grain of salt. As certain video channels build up their subscribers, then they are forced to maintain the negativity simply to keep their revenue stream going. It doesn’t discount ALL of their posts but one certainly has to suspect their motives for posting certain opinions and that is too bad – because sometimes they may actually have good critiques of our favorite franchises. IMO thank goodness for sites like where one can find both positive and negative opinions about today’s Trek universe.

Anyone here who knows my handle knows I have been both very positive and very negative on Discovery at times, like I have all the shows frankly at some point. But yes that’s the difference here, few people look at the show as all positive or negative and frankly views like that are not reality for most shows or films. No matter how much you hate a show, you probably can find some positives and same no matter how much you love something.

That said, yes its certainly nothing wrong if someone completely loves or hates a show, which some do here on this site. What I hate is when they expect others to feel the same way as they do and attack or troll others over it. THOSE people shouldn’t be here, period. Fortunately most of those have been banned. And if you can’t handle basic criticism of said show (and there is a LOT to criticize) then you shouldn’t be here either.

But yes the Youtube thing is different. I DON’T doubt they have genuine concerns with Discovery because many DO in fact have them, I include myself in that. But as you said, the issue with YT is once they get a big enough fanbase of watchers then that just becomes the narrative to keep them and there is no nuance. It’s basically everything always sucks. And its the same issue with Star Wars as well. A lot of people are bitter over the new sequel trilogy and the content makers know that and keep emphasizing it. AGAIN, its not to say they don’t feel the same way but its obvious just keep to that narrative no matter what because they know that’s what gets them clicks.

That’s why I don’t take them seriously EVEN when I agree with some of their issues. There is a thing called nuance as well which I feel this board mostly does. Yes some people think very black and white over this stuff sadly, but they are in the minority. You can look at DIS first season where it was VERY divided versus its second where people have come around a bit more to the show. Again NOT everyone but certainly more than first season at least.

And even the people who still hate the show seemed to have liked certain aspects like Pike and Spock. It proves not everyone is out to just ‘hate’ the show which many people was accused of in its first season, including myself. On YT though, its just one bitter hate pill for a lot of them and it mostly seen driven for clicks and not any real introspection.

Very well said Tiger2. I should have restrained my distaste for some of the critiques seen on YT, but occasionally I can’t help myself. All franchises including Star Trek are far from perfect and the latest incarnation of our collective favorite franchise is certainly not. That said, I am really looking forward to seeing what is in store for the audience starting on January 23rd and I hope it is something most of us can enjoy. Happy New Year everyone, have a great 2020 and LLAP.

Btw, I like that they have signed a science consultant who is both an astrophysicist and an engineer. One of the things some fans like about Star Trek is the fact that certain scientific principles and equipment seen in TOS and other series are rooted in science and have actually been invented since the shows originally aired. The flat panel video display seen in Requiem for Methuselah, the use of voice activated computer searches or the flip-style personal communicators are just a few examples. Having someone a lot smarter than fans like myself helping guide the new shows can only be seen as a positive.

yeah, she just got hired and already she is being accused of being a shill!

To prevent things like sonar in space, or Burnham surviving more g than physically possible, they didn’t even need a science consultant. All they needed was someone who wasn’t asleep during high school physics lessons. So, she’s more than qualified for the job – her fandom status notwithstanding. ;)

I suppose a science consultant is wise for Star Trek. And what a cool job for her! She must be super happy. But I also hope that she doesn’t end up having to help writers produce more magical techno-babble solutions, as we saw so much of in Discovery. Please, please, do not let the writers do more “science is awesome” lines.

The last PhD physicist who became a Trek science consultant was Naren Shankar in the 90s.

Given the quality of TNG episodes he wrote (e.g. Face of the Enemy), and his trajectory as a showrunner (now of The Expanse), Dr. Erin Mac has a good precedent to follow.

Gotta say, the new Hugh looks pretty menacing, one could almost say ‘gritty.’ Looking forward to Picard. Hope the story is on par with the production values.

I’m really glad to see that there will be more novel location shoots again this season.

As much as some American Trek fans seem to revel in the nostalgia of seeing the same SW California location sites used repeatedly, for many of us who live in different geography, it makes the Trek universe very small and breaks the suspension of disbelief.

That said, the Kingston federal penitentiary site would be a grim place to spend a couple of weeks working. It’s not long ago that Kingston Max housed some of Canada’s most horrific serial murderers.

It comes down to cost though doesn’t it with regards to location shooting. Nothing to do with nostalgia that’s for sure.

I don’t think people REALLY care about that though. I mean DIS gets LOTS of complaints around here, I don’t think I heard one person say they don’t like the show because it doesn’t show enough of Malibu.

But sure people get use to seeing certain locations but I don’t think people really care that much. I grew up in L.A., live 20 minutes from the studio where the shows were shot but its not like I watched the show to see if I could identify a place. If you live in L.A., you’re use to shows and movies being shot here all the time, but a lot of time that KILLS your interest in a show or film at times as well when you know how much they cheat or misrepresent something. And that’s any big city that gets a lot of shooting like New York, London, Toronto, etc.

I do like the fact Picard is back in L.A., but I don’t really care where they shoot it end of the day. I just like saying I live in the same place where the show is shot, but actual locations doesn’t matter.

Well the LA area set tour folk seem to be over the moon that the trailer/mobile home shown in the Picard trailer was situated precisely where Kirk fought the Gorn in TOS.

Not what I would call a plus.

That’s a minus in my book.

Yeah but that’s really an exception. That location has become iconic for some reason and honestly I don’t understand it either lol. I didn’t even realize other episodes were shot there outside of the Gorn one until the last few years.

I will admit the ONE location I was a bit disappointed they didn’t use again for Picard was the Starfleet headquarters we saw in the 24th century shows. That was shot in Pasadena but for Picard they shot it at the Anaheim convention center (which I actually see quite a bit since I’m always at Disneyland lol). But again not because its about L.A., that’s just where Starfleet had been established and like to see the consistency but yeah not a big deal of course.

There definitely are the ‘Trek ought to be made in So Cal’ fan voices out there.

But there are also those in Canada that believe that Trek after TOS suffered for a lack of Canadians in lead roles.

I still think nostalgia does have a lot to do with it, despite ostensible acceptance of IDIC values.

OK, fair enough!

The Orville has that same problem of visiting exotic alien species who all clearly live in the Greater Los Angeles area. I don’t miss that with Discovery, kudos to the line producers and production managers who make far-flung location shoots work for shows like Trek and Doctor Who!

I feel the same way as a US citizen – not just with Trek, but a near infinite number of TV episodes and movies filmed here for nearly a century now!

December has been full on Star Wars overload for me lol
Now slowing I can turn my attention back to Star Trek in January. I do hope Picard is good, fingers crossed.
I’m cautious about it right now. It looks like it has potential but we need a decent story and we need the actors on good form.

I am predicting that Picard’s nightmare is of Locutus of Borg attacking Mars during the battle of Wolf 359. The short film Children of Mars will depict the aftermath of that.

Nah, this is a new attack on Mars that drove Picard from Starfleet. They mentioned a horrible tragedy making Picard retire, it could be this.

I’d love to see the new Short Treks, but I can’t seem to watch them during my 7-day free trial. Guess I will wait to see if they appear when the paid part starts.


That seems similar to the situation in iTunes, where there are “extras” for, say, Disco and they’re free, but you can’t get them unless you buy the entire season at once (as opposed to buying the entire season episode-by-episode).

I get the feeling that we’re fortunate with BellMedia’s approach in Canada.

BellMedia’s CTV Sci-fi channel (premium cable) is broadcasting the Short Treks as its own series on release, but also has this year’s episodes ‘on demand’ for CTV Sci-fi subscribers on BellFibe as well as the CTV Sci-fi channel app. BellMedia’s crave streaming has pretty much the same, but also has S1.

I haven’t noticed a ‘try free for a week’ promotion for either, but we already subscribe.

Love that picture of the entire TNG cast together! I think out of all the shows, its clear the TNG cast are definitely the closest to being a family. It’s nice they get to work together on Picard again even if they aren’t there full time.

Also love the look of Hugh! He does resemble a lot like 7 of 9. And great eye TM that he is dressed similar to a Romulan. That brings up tons of new questions. I can not wait until this show starts!!

I am so glad the Michael Burnham animated character has been modeled to better represent the inclusiveness of people like me who suffer from ocular gargantuanitis, or in layman’s terms when your eyeball diameter vastly exceeds the diameter of your neck.

Is that you, Doctor McCoy?

Still filming for season 3? It takes to long !

They only started production for S3 in late July, and they’re scheduled to finish in mid February. That said 8 months to shoot 12 episodes is a lot.

Definitely, the era of 6 days production per episode of the 90s Trek is gone. Those big wide screen HD shots take much more choreography. One wonders though whether Discovery could be more efficiently produced in 2 episode blocs the way Picard was.

(We should also keep in mind that when TOS was in production they worked Saturdays – a 6 day week.)

It baffles me, how long it takes to make an episode of DSC, especially with all the modern technology.

13 episodes. But you’re also assuming that they’ve filmed non-stop. Season 2 had a break midway (that was extended a bit with the showrunner change). I wouldn’t be surprised if they took a big chunk of December off. Then there’s also the filming in Iceland which was a separate portion of time that didn’t involve the whole cast, and that probably involved a break afterwards. All the location shooting also adds a lot of time since you’re dependent of the lighting. This isn’t Berman-era Trek, which was 99% on soundstages.

Matt R, a few points:

The Iceland shoot took place a couple of weeks in July before main production started in Toronto.

Berman Trek used the Paramount backlot as well as the overused caves and rocks at Vasquez nearby.

More to the point, there are many shows that are shot principally on location in and around Vancouver or Toronto that shoot more quickly.

Anson Mount has said in a few panel discussions at cons that he found Discovery S2 took a lot of time to shoot each episode, and compared to other shows was largely on sound stages. Discovery also seems to take longer to produce a season than The Expanse which is also using Pinecrest Studios Toronto and nearby locations.

Part of it may be the set up and choreography of ship scenes, even after they built more corridor sets to avoid the set up time and wear and tear of dressing sets. There’s definitely something not quite efficient.

A friend of mine said that, in comparison with Riker and Troi, Picard looks like he’s hardly aged at all. I said I agreed and added, “But does that mean he looks like a 47-year-old man now, or that he looked like a 78-year-old man when he was on TNG?”

isn’t picard supposed to be way older than 78 in the TNG timeline?

Yes, but he was supposed to be older than 47 when he took command of the Enterprise-D. Even at an accelerated rate, it’s unlikely he could have taken command of the Stargazer at 27 (and we know he commanded Stargazer for 25 years).

The in-universe answer is that people in the 24th century age more slowly due to medical advances. The real world challenge is that most actors in our time age at a rate typical of our time.

I have such high hopes for this show, but as I’m finally watching season 2 of discovery, I’m full of doubt.

The only positive out of season 2 disco so far has been Anson Mount’s performance. Good lord, Tilly is the most obnoxious and immature character in modern science fiction. How this person could ever serve in a uniformed service is beyond logic.

Well I don’t agree at all about Tilly. However you’re probably not wrong to doubt the Kurtzman/CBS Trek machine at this point.

Regardless of how far you are into STD S2 (because one can say this without even needing to ask whether it’s two episodes or six) the season already makes as much sense as it’s ever going to make. The writing room never figured out their mystery, except in the most superficial sense. They even forgot more than half of what they’d set up until the final episode.

It really is the most baffling thing I’ve ever seen on television.

I liked Tilly in first season but was never a huge fan of hers. Unfortunately they made her over-the-top ridiculous in the second season. I’m trying to imagine how long she would’ve lasted on any other ship in Starfleet. Maybe would’ve lasted on Voyager because they were so desperate for the help to get home. It certainly explains Neelix. ;)

As far as second season, I honestly like it WAY more than first season, because the episodes in general were more fun, exciting and actually felt like Star Trek. And most importantly 90% less Klingons! But yes it had tons of issues too. I still can’t figure out how most of the time travel stuff works. I get a headache trying to understand it lol.

Tiger2, I think that it would be fairer to say that Tilly showed some growth in the first half of the 2nd season.

In particular, both the writer Kirsten Beyer and the director of the episode where she meets May in the mycelial network were intended to show her evolving potential.

However, with the switch in the writers room midseason, the thread of her development from science specialist to ambitious but struggling command-track young ensign was completely lost.

Yes she wasn’t too bad at the start of the season but she got really annoying by the end. I don’t hate her but they really need to dial it back next season.

And it is funny they spent an entire season showing her training for command and that look like that will just go out the window in season 3 for obvious reasons.

As with the rest of S2’s story, there’s nothing to understand with the time travel stuff. There is nothing there. It’s like trying to understand the methodology of our president when he’s rattling his crib toys together. That’s all the show is doing underneath the backpeddling fanservice that in itself made no sense but still won fans over.

Ironically, the Berman Trek-style Everything Washes Over reset that we dreaded (or I suppose many hoped) was coming would have actually been preferable to the show’s ultimate resolution for “syncing up with canon.”

I completely agree. Alongside Mirror Georghiou she is far and away the worst character ever dreamt up in every incarnation Star Trek. The character is unhinged, inept and rather than coming across as a charming, vulnerable character, she comes across as a remedial sociopath. Oh and even the most SJW of viewers doesn’t buy an obviously medically obese cadet winning a half marathon too. Weak pandering.

I have to admit that I really liked Tilly in the first season but since she got relegated a little to almost a second tier character in S2, I didn’t like her as much. That said, this whole idea that bigger people can’t be athletes, think again. Serena is probably one of the bigger stars out their (especially after having a child) and she continues to play at a world class level. I also have a friend who has always been 20-30 lbs overweight and he ran marathons on a regular basis for several years. SOME fans need to try not to question everything as PC. Remember women were not allowed to run the Olympic Marathon prior to 1984 or not expected do real push ups because they were considered far “too weak”! IMO I learned a long time ago to try to question your assumptions and keep an open mind for learning new things!

Medically obese? Seriously? She’s more fit than 60 percent of women (let alone 75 percent of men) living in Fat America of the 21st century. Most Aspergerish fans of Trek would consider themselves lucky if someone as physically attractive as her was even still available to them.

Agreed, and I said that early on about Tilly. Absolutely ridiculous, annoying and unrealistic character. Anson Mount was the only reason to watch season two, imo, even though the story was muddled and barely coherent. Season three is really going to have to do nearly a complete 180 for me to even consider the show viable. Honestly, DSC is not even on my radar at the moment.

I like Michael Burnham – you can tell that someone considered her as Number One (backstory on why she is logical, rational), etc. Tilly is OK as long as you do not entertain the concept anyone would consider her for command, unlike Bernham. That being said yes, loved Pike, Number One and Spock the best. You kind of wish in some ways it was the TOS Enterprise pulled into the future to save it from the stagnant TNG Federation.

You have good reason to be in doubt, my friend. And I am fully on board with Tilly. Maybe she could get through the training but the character is irritating as hell. The less we see of her the better. That said, as bad as the Tilly character is she is among the least of the problems Discovery has had over their two seasons. And I have to be honest, I don’t see those problems being solved by shoving them forward in time 900 years. The prime problems with Discovery will STILL be there. The writing and the characters. As well as the 2ndary problems.

That’s the shop at KP, not the main dome.

Looks like TrekMovie or the local paper were working off stock photos of the Kingston Pen.

Discovery could be using any part of it. Definitely sparks my curiosity.

I wonder if they will be updating or going for a historical look. The director listed for the episode is a very established Canadian director, Norma Bailey, who is known for historical and current productions. It’s not evident that she’s done sci-fi before. She’s likely used the KP site before though.

So I guess Hugh is getting the 7 of 9 de-borging treatment. I have to say I’m really not all that interested in the Borg. But hoping it is something that hasn’t been examined yet that is somewhat original and/or interesting. I have my doubts because it seems like the Borg have been done to death but it is what it is so now we just have to hope.