The latest edition of Star Trek Magazine (#75) has just arrived with a number of great features and interviews, including one with Star Trek: The Next Generation star (and Star Trek: Discovery and Picard director) Jonathan Frakes. One highlight from Frakes’ interview is his discussion about Discovery’s upcoming third season.
On finding a future and Burnham’s new POV
The focus character of Star Trek: Discovery has gone through a lot in the first two seasons. Frakes reveals where Michael Burnham finds herself now.
Discovery feels to me like my home show now. I just finished Episode 3, Season 3. We’re far in the future now and Burnham has been separated from the [Discovery] crew, and then they reunite. I was talking with Sonequa. We were talking about acting. She’s one of those actors – not unlike Patrick – where you can give a note and it’s like a fine musician. It’s just enough to get in tune on that particular beat, or that micro transition, as opposed to when you give a note to somebody who doesn’t have the technique, and they drop everything else and only play the note you’ve just given them. Sonequa and Patrick and most of these actors have that [technique]. I said to her, “This character is so appealing and interesting and complicated, and always has been, but there’s a little more joy [now].” She said to me, “Because Burnham is now no longer driven by fear and guilt.” I thought, “Wow.”
The second season ended with Martin-Green’s Burnham in the red angel suit flying ahead and leading the USS Discovery through a wormhole into the distant future. Some preview images and clips for the third season have shown Burnham along with a new character (Book, played by David Ajala) on some planet. Frakes’ comment indicates she and the rest of the Discovery crew will remain separated for the first couple of episodes.
The third season finds the crew of the USS Discovery 930 years in the future, setting the show beyond all known Star Trek canon. Frakes told STM about the practicalities of this challenge.
They are all so thrilled. That’s the adventure, technically, financially, emotionally. You can create worlds that nobody has seen before because you’re not limited by anything. That’s freeing. But it’s also completely exhausting because even a show this big has to stay on a budget. Everything can’t be created digitally. Some of the stuff has to be real. We just have to have some things you can touch. In the future, obviously, there could be a lot of stuff that’s holographic or where your mind is connected to something. These are all things we know are coming, just from the way we use our iPhones to run our lives and plan our trips. So, finding a future that’s futuristic but is practical to shoot has been fascinating. You can’t get caught up in the technology. It is about maintaining a basic core of why we’re there, which is to tell emotionally compelling stories. That has been the driving force, as opposed to the other way around. Nobody is making the mistake of, “This has to look cool.” It’s great when things look cool, but if you don’t give a damn about the people or what’s happening, it doesn’t matter.
The third season of Star Trek: Discovery is currently in post-production. A teaser released last week promised it will arrive on CBS All Access “soon.”
Star Trek Magazine #75 on sale now
You can pick up Star Trek Magazine #75 directly from Titan for $10.
For Discovery fans, there is also an interview with Hannah Cheesman (Airiam). The latest issue also includes interviews with Star Trek: Picard‘s Isa Briones (Soji), Michelle Hurd (Raffi), Alison Pill (Dr. Jurati), and Santiago Cabrera (Rios) as well as a feature exploring how other Star Trek iterations have approached the theme of artificial intelligence. Some sample pages can be seen below.