Jonathan Frakes Says ‘Star Trek: Discovery’ Season 3 Will Be A “Big Tonal Shift” For The Show

The third season of Star Trek: Discovery is supposed to be coming soon. While we wait, director Jonathan Frakes continues to drop clues on what we can expect.

Frakes talks Disco season 3

The second season of Discovery ended with Michael Burnham and the U.S.S. Discovery—separately—jumping forward in time 930 years. TrekMovie recently reported on Jonathan Frakes discussing how Burnham and the Discovery crew will be reunited in the third episode of season 3, which is one of three he directed. Speaking to, Frakes offered more on where the new season is headed:

Michael Burnham has found a new core, not to mention a new partner in crime. So again, there’s a big tonal shift on that show, less driven by the pain and guilt of her past and more about the magical reunification of the Discovery crew and wherever she went off to. God knows where she went as the Red Angel. So those two things coming back together is very much the theme, and how grateful everyone is and what’s next. It’s got a lot of action-adventure and not so much pain.

Preview image from season 3 of Star Trek: Discovery, featuring Anthony Rapp as Stamets; Michelle Yeoh as Georgiou; Mary Wiseman as Tilly; Sonequa Martin-Green as Burnham

The “new partner in crime” Frakes is referring to is a new character named Book, played by David Ajala. Preview images and videos show Sonequa Martin-Green’s Burnham along with Book, likely from the first couple of episodes of the season. The new season of Discovery takes the series beyond any other point in time in Star Trek canon, giving the creative team more freedom of movement when it comes to defining the far future. Frakes has previously talked about the creative challenge ahead, saying, “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.”

David Ajala as Book and Sonequa Martin-Green as Burnham in a preview of season three of Star Trek: Discovery

Playing Riker in Picard finale was like a flashback for Frakes

Jonathan Frakes’ second appearance as Will Riker in Star Trek: Picard saw him as the acting captain of the U.S.S. Zheng He, leading a task force to save the day in the season finale. Frakes gave ComicBook some details:

That was a really different experience because I was alone. I was ‘self-directing.’ I was in a captain’s chair. I had a spacesuit on. I had my beard trimmed, my Riker hair put back on, my bald spots covered up. It felt very familiar, and it was like a flashback. Because of how well ‘Nepenthe’ went, I was less nervous and, I got to say, thrilled to have been asked back, to be perfectly frank.

Even though Star Trek: Picard is shot in Southern California, Frakes’ scenes on the U.S.S. Zheng He were shot in Toronto, on a redress of the U.S.S. Discovery bridge set. The scenes were shot while Frakes was directing an episode for the third season of Star Trek: Discovery.

Jonathan Frakes as William Riker in season one finale of Star Trek: Picard

The season one finale of Star Trek: Picard released a month ago featured a promo for Star Trek: Discovery season three, promising it will be “coming soon.” Production on it wrapped up in February and post-production is being done remotely, although earlier this month composer Jeff Russo told TrekMovie that recording the music with an orchestra will not be possible during the lockdown in California.

The first two seasons of Star Trek: Discovery and the first season of Star Trek: Picard are available to stream now on CBS All Access. If you haven’t yet subscribed, CBS has extended the free month promotion to May 10. To sign up: CLICK HERE to try CBS All Access FREE for 1 month. Use code ALL to redeem. 

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

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From Frakes, the new Talking Head of CBS.

What is that supposed to mean?

The guys been very involved, he’s earned to right.

If he wants to keep getting work I really can’t say anything less.

Call him the Max Headroom of Starfleet……*chuckle* Hey, he’s done a good job of carrying the torch for the franchise. There have been comments from other principals in the past with ideas that had the whole Trek universe stray too far out into the weeds. Anyway, Frakes gotta eat! LOL

Wish they had done more with that bridge set and the fleet itself. I assume it was time or budgetary concerns, but still.

Looking forward to discovery season 3, hope we get that soon.

Yeah they could have spiced things up on that bridge but what we got was alright. Discovery season 3 is my dessert after dinner that was Picard.

I was positively surprised that they didn’t turn it into a long battle between the Romulan fleet and Starfleet.
Given the short screen time it got it wouldn’t really make sense if they had spent more money on that bridge than doing a quick redress of the Discovery bridge.

They totally do not get that generic fleet battles where they just race at each other, starships a plenty, get pretty old really fast. Spacedock did a great video on “How to write space battles” and nailed it. There would have been no strategy at all.

Cmd. B., I watched the vid. Loved it. Great for roleplayers, too.

It wasn’t time or budgetary, they just didn’t care. Like Children of Mars with Disco ships and Picard’s shuttles being 130 year old spacecraft… they simply didn’t care.

Then they must not have cared a whole lot on TNG because I see Miranda-classes everywhere, not to mention cadets wearing fifty year old uniforms

Right which is…cheap! They did it on TNG to save money. They throw so much money at Disco and Picard that you’d think they’d be able to come up with some variety. Even the starships are just copy/pasted times a hundred each. It’s so sloppy.

Yeah comparing it to TNG is apples and oranges. Besides the fact TNG had less money they also had 26 episodes a year to fill things in, so it made sense to use old ships whenever they could. Picard had just 10 episodes, they had way more time and money. It really did feel lazy.

The vast numbers of mostly all the same starships was simply overblown. Instead of an amazing appearance of an impressive number of diverse Starfleet ships (like in DS9 or TNG), it just felt laughable to have rows of the same ship. Too bad they went so cheap on this – especially with the millions of budget that they had for DSC and PIC. Very disappointing.

Someone edited that scene with various ships appearing in that to show how easily it could’ve been done:

And before someone starts typing I’m not suggesting it has to be the Enterprise or any of these particular ships, but c’mon, if someone can do it over Youtube with basic edit software there is really no excuse not to add a least a few other ships with so many resources and money other than just going cheap. Especially when DS9 was doing it on a grand scale with multiple ships, sometimes several times a season. This was ONE three minute scene, no battles, anything, they could’ve done more. They just chose not to.

@Tiger2: Not to take away from the effort in the Youtube video but this person used existing 3D models of ships from earlier shows and also basically just copy-pasted them. And if you actually look at the scene you see that these are not “professional” models.
The problem with the scene in Star Trek Picard was that they probably didn’t have enough time to fully design several new ship classes and build them from scratch. So what they did were a few small variations around a similar base design.

Your argument about DS9 doesn’t really count because DS9 mostly kept reusing the same few ship types. They didn’t design new ships for each of those battle scenes. Once you have your 3D models it’s a question of processing power how many instances of those ships you can put into your scene (and of course coming up with an interesting choreography).
Star Trek Picard certainly had the processing power to put in a large number of ships, they just didn’t have the variety of preexisting models at their disposal.

Of course not, I’m only saying if one guy can do something like this in a day or two on Youtube, its NO EXCUSE for the actual production not to do more when they had MONTHS and an actual budget. Again, its literally just a three minute scene and it felt so lazy and tacked on to just copy and paste the same ship and literally the only time we saw any actual star ships in season one.

And I don’t know how my argument for DS9 doesn’t count when that was literally my point lol. No one is suggesting Picard HAD to design all new ships. I never said or implied that in any way but in fact saying they could’ve done what DS9 did and added other known classes along with the ONE new ship we saw in the finale. People would’ve enjoyed that more anyway. Give a mixture of old and new which Star Trek has been doing since TNG anyway.

I admit, I don’t know a lot about how FX is done besides the most basic information out there but I also refuse to believe it couldn’t have been done much better than this either. DS9 was able to show these huge CGI ship squadrons and it was the first Star Trek show to really start using CGI. Its amazing how well those scenes holds up even now (the HD scene from Sacrifice of Angels shown in the DS9 documentary is so beautiful). You mean 25 years later and with a MUCH bigger budget, way more time and they couldn’t do something similar for Picard for one scene? Why?

You seem to forget that they didn’t spend months on that one scene. They spent months to do VFX for all the episodes. And the show has a lot more effects work than previous shows. Since it’s a new show (and a new VFX team) they had to build everything from scratch even if they reused some earlier designs. Most TV VFX work (and even movies) is done under very tight schedules so you don’t “waste” a lot of time on (designing and) building a bunch of different ship classes that may only be used in one short scene.
DS9 had a library of ship models that they kept reusing time and time again. They mostly used preexisting designs and they knew that they would keep using those models over and over so it made sense to invest the time once to build them all in 3D.

I seem to remember ALL the Trek shows like DS9 spending months to do VFX for all their episodes as well, literally more than twice the amount of episodes Picard had and YET didn’t go cheap/lazy route to cut and paste the same star ship in one episode. ;) And as said, they could’ve just shown older class models, no one would’ve cared, it’s ALREADY canon since as pointed out we seen older class models on TNG and DS9 already. And it wouldn’t feel ridiculous that literally ONE class of ship and ONLY one class of ship shows up in an urgent crisis…but in the hundreds.

And the ‘it’s a new show and they had to build things from scratch’ is a lame argument since Discovery was ALSO a new show that had to build everything from scratch too and yet they managed to design MULTIPLE starfleet ships in the first season and most of those ships were only shown in the opening pilot fighting the Klingon fleet. No one is saying Picard had to display 20 different ships, but they couldn’t do at least two, three or four? Really??

There is really no excuse for it. Every Star Trek show and film all managed to show multiple ships, many with less time and budgets. Sadly they either got cheap, lazy or had awful time management skills. Take your pick but none of it is good.

They did have more than 1 class. They just look quite similar but there are some differences between the ships in the fleet. Just look at the warp drives.
Most of the Federation fleet we saw on DS9 was destroyed during the Dominion War. Why would Starfleet rebuild their fleet using ship classes that were already decades old? They would build new ship classes. Riker expected to have to defend Picard and the Synths’ planet from the Romulans so it makes sense that he took a fleet of heavy cruisers (or whatever you call warships), not a fleet comprised of a mix of cruisers, research vessels, cargo ships and whatever. So while it may be less interesting visually, yes, it does make sense that he has a fleet made up of only a few ship classes. Specifically ships designed for the purpose of defense.
You can question the decision to use hundreds of ships but I guess that’s a side effect of having ever greater stakes. “Just” having a fleet of 5 or 10 ships probably isn’t impressive enough these days.

Really? Wow the fact most people don’t even seem to notice it must mean its veeeeeeery similar. ;)

Look we’re just going to agree to disagree. It was simply lazy and cheap to many. Not the end of the world but when you but you wait ten episodes to finally show off Starfleet ships, its a huge let down when its basically the same design plastered all over the screen.

The Miranda class only appears in four episodes of TNG and one of those times it is a background ship in a scrap yard.

The cadets in TNG don’t wear uniforms from any previous show or film. I presume you’re actually referring to flashback scenes, or old holo-recordings of Jack Crusher. That is actually what most people would consider a good tie in to the original series films.

It is a telling statement that it was shot with what appeared to be very minimal redress of what is supposed to be a 23rd century ship.

So true! Let’s be honest, they didn’t really need to redress the set all that much in general and make it pass for a 24th century ship, they just had to redress it enough so it wouldn’t just look like Discovery. ;)

They used TNG sets on some of the TOS movies, some of them barely redressed. So that’s nothing new that 23rd and 24th century ships look very similar on the inside. There’s a much bigger contrast between TOS and the TOS movies than between the 23rd and the 24th century. And we all know that because of when those shows/movies were made, not when they are supposed to take place.

The redress of those sets were pretty convincing. The only giveaway was the shape of the room. Everything else looked like it belonged in the TOS movie era. A difference in eras of over 75 years. The redress in back of Riker looked amazingly similar to an era over 100 years earlier than he was supposed to be in.

The point is to showcase yet again how very off the mark the Discovery PD was.

The TOS movie bridge was used again as the basis for several sets and they usually hid it reasonably well (except for the basic shape of the room, of course). Ironically, the TOS movie bridge also changed quite extensively between movies.
However, they reused sets like the transporter room, engineering, Ten Forward, observation lounge, corridors and turbolifts with minimal changes and you can clearly see that those are the same.
That they looked convincing just goes to show how similar the visuals were.

It did change from film to film. But it still looked like it belonged in the established universe.

This discussion started out as a critique that they used a slightly redressed 23rd century set to stand in for a 24th century set.
I’ve shown you that this is actually a time honored tradition in Trek.
So you’ve changed the goal post and now are saying that at least the way they redressed the TOS bridge from TOS movie to TOS movie made it still look like it belonged in the established universe. Well, duh.
Previous Trek used sets built for the 24th century on movies taking place in the 23rd century. So how is this different from Picard using a slightly redressed 23rd century set to represent a 24th century ship?
Yes, overall Discovery’s design doesn’t fit with 23rd century design as established on previous shows but that’s besides the point here. Both Picard and Discovery look more modern than previous shows because they are made later in time. If TOS had done a story set in the 24th century back in the 60’s you can be sure that TNG wouldn’t have looked like that. The design has always been a product of its time.

Incorrect. I did not change any goalposts. It is NOT a time honored tradition to make a 23rd century bridge look like a 24th century one. It IS a tradition to reuse sets as much as possible. Your reaction of “duh” is really about your own comment. They redressed a set. Duh! The difference is the redress made the set look like it cohesively belonged in the era the movie it was redressed for. It did NOT look like a minimally redress of a 24th century set. There is a difference.

The fact that Discovery’s aesthetic does not fit with the era is is supposed to be in IS the point. It doesn’t matter what MIGHT have been had X happened. That is what is beside the point. I’m talking about what IS.

Your problem is that Discovery doesn’t fit 1960’s aesthetics, not 23rd century aesthetics.
23rd century aesthetics were never fixed. They have always evolved and reflected the times they were made in, except for episodes like Trials and Tribble-lations where they specifically went for nostalgia.
By the time of the later TOS movies 23rd century aesthetics had changed so much that Star Trek V and VI simply used TNG sets without even hiding it because, apparently, they thought that 23rd and 24th century interior designs were completely interchangeable. The real-world reason was that both productions happened at the same time.

Discovery doesn’t look like previous depictions of the 23rd century because it is made 25 years later. It’s simply a more modern interpretation of the 23rd century. Using a redress of the Discovery bridge for Picard doesn’t prove that Discovery belongs into Picard’s time. It only underlines that both shows are made during the same time and therefore follow similar aesthetics.

Your assessment of the problem is incorrect and that problem is not just mine. A LOT of fans had the same issue. Personally, I was not expecting them to fit 1960’s aesthetics. That would be foolish. I DID expect them to at the very least invoke the 23rd century aesthetic that was established in the franchise. That aesthetic was indeed fixed. It was referenced as such more than once. You say that was for nostalgic reasons. Regardless, at least three times sequel series’ showed that time frame and they duplicated it each and every time. Again, Discovery did not need to duplicate. Just evoke. They did NONE of that.

The feature films changed things, sure. But guess what? Over time aesthetics and styles change. Sure it was changed to look better for a movie. But said changes also made a modicum of sense. Trek V & VI did NOT use TNG sets. They used REDRESSES of TNG sets. Redressed to the point where it was completely believable they could be in the TOS movie era. No one thinks the two sets were “interchangeable.”

Using a minimally redressed Discovery set as the set of a show set over 100 years later shows how off the mark the PD of Discovery was to begin with. THAT is the point I was making.

We both agree that Discovery doesn’t match previously established 23rd century aesthetics. Let’s agree to disagree on the rest since this discussion is going nowhere.

Fool me once…

I hear that…agreed.

Shame on you…

Yup. More disjointed emotionally incoherent garbage on the way. Time to give Trek its burial until people who genuinely like respect and understand it are back in charge.

Seconded :’-(

LOL you guys are brutal! Maybe this season will change your mind on things. It’s weird I’m REALLY looking forward to next season but I hear what you guys are saying. But I’m going to stick to my argument that all Trek shows have improved in time and Discovery still has a chance to improve as well.

Then again, Discovery doesn’t follow traditional Star Trek way of storytelling, therefore we have no reason to hope it will somehow magically improve. All the fault points of previous season are still in place for third season: the same clueless showrunners; the same writers with zero genre experience; the same thin and drawn-out serialized storytelling; the same Wesley-surrogate main character. There’s only so much that can be done with ingredients like that.

I’d like to be pleasantly surprised – but I don’t really expect to.

I’m with you on this Boze. I have little reason to expect the show to be significantly better. I think the best we can reasonably expect is it is only marginally better. I am losing faith in Secret Hideout. It’s not completely lost yet. But one more bad or subpar season will likely get me 100% on the anti-Secret Hideout side of things.

Fair enough! All I can say is I thought it did do a good enough job to think it could improve at least. But I don’t know where you are getting this idea of writers with no genre experience? Most of them have done other sci fi shows and films. Kisten Beyer has written nothing but Star Trek novels before she came on.

And your point is funny to me because everyone who is saying Discovery sucks are also yelling that they want a Pike show. THey seem to think the show did a great job with that character and that somehow a Pike show WILL be magically better although it will most likely be the same people in charge of Discovery, which I have said if you are disappointed in both DIS and PIC then I don’t think that show is going to be something hugely different at this point either.

But everyone (or most) are screaming for it anyway even when they are disappointed in these shows.

For the record, Tiger… While I have been fully behind the concept of a Pike show with Mount I am VERY reluctant it be produced by Secret Hideout at this point. My fear is they will take what could be a great idea and screw it up.

That’s kind of where I’m at too. I’m not AS negative about Kurtzman Trek as you and others here but you know I said this in the past, if people think Pike is going to bring back a sense of TOS in the old format it’s probably as naive thinking Picard was going to be a return to TNG type of story telling. I don’t think its going to be any different than what we got with Discovery and since so many here really really hate Discovery I don’t know if Pike is going to satisfy them other than having familiar characters back on the Enterprise again. But that can get old very fast if you just don’t like the show.

Maybe Noah Hawley is writing a Pike-based feature? That might be the best of both planetoids, no? Mount’s a good enough actor to have been awesome on FARGO if I ever got the chance.

I kind of hate that Kurtzman would get credit for just being a trek figurehead over a specific series that ran w/o his hands-off involvement (like Berman on DS9 to a lesser degree), but I suppose I could live with that tradeoff if they got some good people in and then left them the hell along to get the work done right.

I’m thoroughly excited for this!

I like the sound of that.

I can’t wait for season 3.

That’s torture to think I was within a 15 minute drive of the waterfront studios in Toronto on whatever day he filmed the USS Zheng scene. I’ll never get over how weird it is that after a lifetime of watching Star Trek, it’s filmed here in Toronto. I’ll drive down Lakeshore towards Woodbine Beach where all the studios are and wonder what piece of Star Trek canon is happening beyond the walls…

If you have the flexibility try to be an extra on the show or another production. Been inside that studio many times as an extra and it’s a great experience.

Nice, Gymivo! Once your NDA has expired you should write an article for TrekMovie about your experiences on the set as an extra. I know I’d be interested in reading it.

Too hard to micro target being an extra on one specific show. I did get to watch Mr.Frakes direct S2E2 of Discovery, however. Amazing experience. My NDA doesn’t expire. :)

I’m so excited for Season 3! Loved the last season so much!

I’m intrigued…if a touch uneasy about the idea of a ‘magical reunion.’

Getting Frakes out talking up the new season sounds like a good idea. A new trailer is very much needed. We had at least 3 for S2 of Discovery. I’d expected at least one new trailer to come out before the April 23 deadline for subscriptions for the CBSAA free trial month.

It makes me wonder if the Comms/Marketing aren’t agile enough to let go of their traditional model of releasing trailers for the big festivals and cons. It could also be that they’re either on music.

Frakes’ comments don’t sound promising. Based on the little we’ve seen in the previews, I’m afraid of Discovery having traveled 950 years into the future only to find a defeated, broken Federation that’s gone backwards rather than continuing to progress. Surely I’m not the only viewer who would prefer to see more of “far future technology” and less of the “emotional” – we had plenty of the latter for the first two seasons of Discovery.

They might find a broken, defeated Federation, but I’m sure that it will be in better shape by the time that Discovery is finished.

And because the Goddess from the past will fix everything.

Exactly, ML. The Messiah.

My hope is that we’re looking at more of an ensemble in season 3 but that seems unlikely.

To paraphrase a great British film ‘She’s not the messiah she’s a naughty naughty girl’

. We know that this season will start in the 31st century but is it going to stay there? Perhaps in order to fix the situation they find the Federation in they have to travel back to an earlier point in the timeline.

Doubt they are coming back. Wouldn’t fit into any time line at all (where are all the magic mushroom starships in TOS, TNG?).

All the producers have said that the show won’t be going back to the 23rd century so while maybe they won’t stay in the 32nd, it doesn’t sound like they are going home any time soon either. I say stay there OR maybe go somewhere else?

But I hope it stays in the 32nd century instead of just jumping around and can really build in this era and make its own like TNG did the 24th and Enterprise the 22nd.

I’m wondering ‘which 32nd century?’ myself Tiger2.

If we leave the 24th century Prime Universe as untouchable cannon, anything after that could split up in a multiverse, especially knowing that there was a temporal war in the intervening centuries.

Burnham may have been back and forth across the multiverse just trying get to the same place as Discovery. Once we know that they didn’t arrive at the same place and/or time, it’s completely possible that the Red Angel and Discovery didn’t land in the same future universe.

Her efforts to get back to Discovery might take her back to the past. In fact, it seems as though she or someone else in the Red Angel suit would need to go back to the past to send the seventh and last red signal that Spock and the Enterprise saw in the epilogue portion of the season 2 finale.

So, could she have met Riker somewhere along the way? – Yes.

Alternatively, since it seems that Georgiou needs to go back in time somehow, perhaps she will cross paths with Riker.

Last thought: is there an alternate universe in the multiverse where Riker decided to keep his Q powers? Riker as a member of the Q-continuum could show up anywhere and anywhen across the multiverse.

I could enjoy seeing the Q-Riker annoying Riker, Troi, Thomas Riker and Delancie’s Q.

– You know that you are supposed to stay out of the timelines where you chose not to be Q.

– Who says? Being limited to a subset of timelines inherently makes me limited as a Q which would make me not fully Q. I’m not buying it.

Wow I really like these ideas! And an alternate universe Q Riker, that would be nuts! I don’t see it remotely happening but I would be game for it. ;) It would just be nice to see the Q back at some point. I think it’s a mater of when and not if now that they brought the Borg back. Anything seems literally possible at this point.

But your point about Georgiou needing to go back to the 23rn century, I’m not really convinced that’s what is going to happen. I USE to think that like everyone, but ever since we learned the season is about the fall of the Federation, I’ve had a theory maybe she doesn’t go back at all and just revitalize a form of Section 31 in this period. It could be the entire reason why she went to the future with them. I’m prepared to be completely wrong but I think its possible at least.

As for your point about Burnham being in another universe and finding her way back to prime, I would love to see that happen. That said it may be too much already jumping so far in the future and then being in another universe on top of it but I would love to see them push the envelope more and give us different versions of the Federation future.

Assuming we’re still looking at a Section 31, Captain Georgiou will be returning to the 23rd century so there may be something to that.

Not necessarily. Could be Section 31 in the 32nd century. Or, hopefully, the 24th.

My question is did they write Discovery season three pre-Picard? Will they just ignore that now life = AI and that you can engineer yourself to life relatively long, breathe in space, be a hologram, have super strength, etc? And if not, why? Was Picard a jerk and kept it to himself (pretty sure he gave it the Borg who will have no need for organics now)?
Alternatively did they ban the technology because it provides no “prime directive” learning. That makes sense to me.
Then you can tell a good story where the Discovery has to bring back the drive for exploration and colonization and a want for adventure and danger to a stagnant boring dull Federation where everyone is back home on the winery, in the holodeck or at the cabin.

I suspect that it will be explored in season 2, but I wouldn’t be surprised if the technology doesn’t become widely available. The Soongs are notorious for inventing revolutionary technology and then not sharing it. Decades after Data was created, nobody was able to recreate Noonien’s work apart from his son and Maddox, and that was only by using a neuron from Data. Soong seems unable to create a new golem without Maddox’s help. Picard said that his gain was Soong’s loss. Once Soong dies, it is likely that the secret of creating golems will die with him. Even if scientists try to reverse engineer Picard’s body after he dies, they may not be able to recreate the brain transfer technology.

I think it will be fine if Discovery focused on synths next season but I think they can just leave that to Picard to explore. I do hope we see Zora next season though on Discovery (the ship’s computer who we know will become sentient) so that would be interesting.

Eitherway AI stories will probably be sticking around in these and other shows.

Frakes at this point has zero credibility. I used to like him, back in the days when he seemed ebullient and enthusiastic for TNG, and it was obvious it was a high quality product. Now though he just shills for whoever is paying his wages. A shameful spectacle all round.

As opposed to endless cynicism?

No. Not at all. I gave Kurtzman Trek endless chances for the first two years of Discovery, all the while telling myself that TNG was rocky in its first two years too. Picard proved however that the issues with DSC are hard wired into all new series. I’m sorry but it’s not my job as a viewer to treat a TV show like some sort of charity case and have to try my absolute hardest to see the good in it. What is being produced now is unwatchable swill. End of.

you’re still gonna hate watch it tho aren’t you?

Only if it is free and only if I don’t have something better to do. If my wife hadn’t been enthused about Mount, I woudn’t even have watched s2 (and yeah, he was the only good thing about it.)

I agree with Soren to a strong degree, though the hard-wiring he refers to has more to do with ‘creative’ team than just the ‘all new series’ blanket. Plenty of shows are winners right out of the gate, or get good very fast. We’ve had nearly three dozen of these cbs eps and I don’t know that I’d call any of them winners, and nothing even remotely rewatchable (as opposed to MANDALORIAN, which I’ve already rewatched twice in 2 weeks — it’s almost like having FIREFLY back in some ways.)

But Matt is right. It sounds like you’re going to watch it, right? So why not go in with some positivity if you are? I’m not saying DON’T watch it but I don’t get the hate watch thing either frankly? I understand people who are watching it and don’t like but watch it with the hope it will just start to improve. I think that’s 90% of people who may watch a show they are not loving in the beginning. But then there are people who seem not only determined to hate it but can’t be convinced other wise…but still watch it? I don’t understand this thinking at all? And yet I see it done here all the time. Again, its one thing to hear you think the show sucks but you still try to support it as a fan and HOPE it improves. It’s another when you have lost complete and utter faith in it no matter what.

As many people have said, we live in the “Golden Age” of television. There’s no reason to watch anything that you don’t enjoy. There was a time I’d stick with a show I didn’t enjoy until at least the end of the season, but if it doesn’t click from the beginning or my interest bottoms out while watching, why bother?

That kind of thinking often worked in decades past. Shows often needed to build momentum. Early episodes were often a bit rough around the edges. Plots/characters would develop and grow as the show went on, even on serialized shows. We would then be lucky (for posterity’s sake) if the show ended before the series declined.

These days many shows, especially serialized shows, often peak in their first season. They are often treated by the writers as if they are a mini-series, with a definite beginning, middle and end. They start off with a bang. If they’re run by someone competent, the show can build on that in subsequent seasons, but often they put their all in that first season, and the show just provides diminishing returns from then on out.

Star Trek, Star Wars, and Doctor Who taught me the hard and painful lesson that as a fan, I don’t have to enjoy or even like everything being produced. Because of that, I have basically stopped consuming anything new being produced in each of those franchises since 2018, instead moving onto greener pastures and enjoying what I do like of each franchise produced decades ago.

Life is too short to waste watching something you don’t enjoy.

Fair enough. I see it a tad differently. I see being a fan of an IP is similar to being a fan for a sports team. My favorite teams (if they were playing these days) all currently suck. That doesn’t mean I’m going to abandon them. If they were still on I would still watch their games and hope things work out. I do so knowing their current condition and hold out hope something might happen for the team to improve. That is how I see Trek. I’m a fan. Sure Trek is sucking right now. But it has been good in the past and there is a possibility it could be again. So even though there is a very good chance the next season of Trek will continue to be terrible, I will be there to watch and hope to be entertained by something good. It’s what fans do. And if it still sucks, I will complain how much they suck. But that doesn’t make me any less of a fan. I just want it to get better.

And regarding the “golden age” of TV… It’s funny. There is literally more TV being produced today than at any period ever before. And yet I find myself watching less TV than ever before. And I have more time on my hands now than ever before. Either the quality of programming overall has dropped or my standards have gone way up.

ML31, I see where you’re coming from with the sports analogy.

I might be called a fair-weather fan, but there’s a point where I just can’t support certain teams after being so woefully mediocre year-after-year. There’s a point where the issues I have with the club run so deep, it could only be fixed with new coaching or new management. Same goes for shows.

There’s a point where it’s clear that the writers of franchises I enjoy(ed) are not writing for “me” anymore. That’s fine. They don’t really owe me anything and I don’t really owe them anything.

If it’s between watching something that I generally dislike and am regularly disappointed with or re-watching something I do enjoy, I’ll pick the latter every single time. If I have the choice of watching new Discovery episodes or TOS/TNG/DS9, 100% I’m putting on one of the older series.

I’m with you on television habits. Despite more new (highly polished) shows than ever before, I’m watching less TV than I ever did in my entire life. I got burnt out on gritty/grimdark/morally-gray/”iT’S ReAlIsTiC” shows years ago. Also, nearly every genre show since 2008 tries to replicate a show like LOST with some kind of uninteresting “mystery” driving the plot, with nearly all of them being cancelled after one season.

It’s fiction, I don’t always need my heroes to be written equally as evil as the bad guys and I don’t need the shows I watch to rip depressing themes directly from the headlines as if the writers thing they’re being clever by drawing parallels to 21st century real-world events.

I’ll come back to Trek/Wars/Who whenever the writers rooms and people in charge change. Until then, I’ll check the scores on Monday morning and wait until the people in the owner’s box change.

And unlike some fans, I do not rip on the “fair weather” fans who come out only when the the team wins. In fact, most markets the fans are like that. Only a few teams get people supporting them no matter what. When I was younger I used to have a bit of a chip on my shoulder about how I was the “better” or “real” fan because I was there when the team sucked. Such things stopped bothering me decades ago. Fans are free to be whatever kind of fan they want and no level of fandom is the “real” fan level. That means people can watch it even if they are unhappy with the product. They are free to skip it until it gets better. It’s all good in my book. Therefore, I will never complain about someone ripping on a show but still watches it. I think most likely they are fans who just want the show to get better.

For me the “realness” and “grittiness” that seems to be embraced these days is not a bad thing. I actually like seeing more morally gray characters. I LOVED Lorca before we had the rug pulled out from under us. Unfortunately many think if they drop a curse word in then they are being “edgy”. It’s not. IMHO there is a time and a place for that sort of thing. My issue is that it’s just not being done well. ESPECIALLY in the beloved franchises you mentioned.

I will never understand the concept of “hate watching” something. You’ll never affect any kind of change if you spend your money subscribing to a service for a show you don’t like or spend your time on message boards complaining about it.

Don’t watch the shows. Don’t spend your hard-earned money. That’s how your voice resonates loudest.

How about watching with the hope the show will improve rather that for hate?

I don’t spend my money on them (only watch on free trials), but in order to have an informed opinion, I do need to have seen them. With DSC, I don’t think having an informed opinion is even a thing going forward, as I don’t think I’d bother commenting on future eps, as I think it will probably remain a huge waste of time, especially now that the one jewel in the tarnished crown (Mount) is gone. But I honestly think calling crap crap and being able to back it up is the way the voice resonates most honestly, and some of that does trickle down, because you can’t put energy into a system without it coming back (paraphrasing a good TREK novel there.)

That’s why I still weigh in at length in Bond sites about the huge failings in CASINO ROYALE and SKYMALL that most folks seem stunningly blind about (I honestly believe that if the people who wrote MI-5 (not the movies, the British Intel series) had been writing Bond movies this century, you’d have seen a genuine leap in quality, not just more dumbness hidden in a veneer of serious drama.

There’s more great stuff to REwatch now. THE HOUR, THE WIRE, BOSTON LEGAL, CARNIVALE, and DEADWOOD have all joined with TOS, SEINFELD and most of DS9 as regular rewatches for us. And the number of feature films from the past (along with the occasional recent ones, like HER and UNDER THE SKIN and CHILDREN OF MEN) is great as well.

I could easily spend ALL my time just rewatching stuff I either find to be excellent or massively entertaining. And that’s without even thinking about having time to listen to commentary tracks (which I don’t think I’ve done in years, since getting the 10 TREK movies on blu-ray.) If I were independently wealthy, I’d have a very nice exercise machine set up so I could lap up the Criterion Channel every day!

I think that’s overly harsh. Most directors and actors treat their work as just another gig. The fan base of Star Trek is so die-hard, it’s hard to imagine as a fan thinking that the cast and crew aren’t equally dedicated to the franchise as the viewer is.

Not to sound cynical, but it’s another paycheck for most of these people. It’s rare to find people who are truly really into their own work, a sizable number of actors and actresses never even watch the finished product, or maybe watch it once, when it was initially released.

Star Trek is clearly meaningful to Frakes, but it’s not likely to remember the number of commands Riker turned down and what ships those are for. Not that those details actually matter in the grand scheme of things, unless you’re the writer or show runner and don’t even attempt to follow established character behaviors or backstory.

Back to the main point…

I think it’s fair to remain incredibly skeptical of any “shift” the show will have. That’s what has been promised twice in the past, with Discovery season 2, and then with Picard in comparison to Discovery. Any kind of meaningful shift will require a change at the top down to the writers room, a la the shift with TNG Seasons 1/2 to 3+. The only real meaningful “shift” Discovery had was restoring hair on the Klingons.

You also have to remember that the experience of making a show can be very different from the finished product. Especially for actors, they may have a really good time on set because there’s a good atmosphere with the cast and crew and they are given scenes that challenge their acting skills. Doesn’t mean that the finished product comes together as good.
Since Frakes doesn’t write the show he has to work with the scripts he gets. It makes sense for him to focus on positive aspects and not dwell on stuff that isn’t perfect (he probably can’t change the writing much as a director for hire).

Adventures with laser hand cannons – Star Trek: Mega Man!

RE: the score, maybe they should just finish post with the shows using extra sound fx and no music score at all — would probably be an improvement in some ways (take a look at THE CHINA SYNDROME and NETWORK — or GRAVITY’s disk where you can play it without music cues — and tell me how they’re hurting without using even a bit of traditional conventional film underscore), and also show how much of a crutch that is to prop up the show’s dramatic failings.

And just to show I’m not picking on the current shows, you can see the difference between whether a scene works with music and on mute by running ‘Khan’s sneak attack’ from TWOK both ways, and then the ‘Kirk fires first’ moment in TSFS. In TWOK, there’s tremendous use of insert shots and interesting angles, and sharp cutting, so the scene plays pretty good even without the music; in TSFS, there’s no sense of excitement at all with the visuals and the cutting, it’s as flat as a plate of pee, and the Horner stuff is just hyping things up so you think something exciting is happening.

For the most part I have enjoyed Discovery, but they do need to address some issues with the show and because of its serial format, they can only realistically do so at the start of shooting for each season. With episodic TV, one can lay a giant egg with some episodes (speaking of which Turnabout Intruder was just on up here in Toronto haha) and the next week, you can deliver a completely new and awesome episode. Not so with Discovery because once you’ve started a season narrative, you have to play it out. I for one am looking forward to seeing what they can come up with in the 32nd century for the crew of the Starship Discovery. Let’s hope S3 is a good one.

It’s SO great to see Frakes so involved in this franchise again! :) He’s becoming the ‘face’ of this phase of Star Trek as much as Alex Kurtzman is (and he’s much much more liked too ;)).

Of course I hope he’s right. But as someone who went from reeaaaally not liking the show much in season 1 to at least enjoying it a lot more in season 2, I have hope season 3 will improve even more. Yes, could be wrong, but we all know third season is usually when these shows starts to improve (minus TOS ;)), so I hope it continues that trend. They certainly went out of its way to breath new life into going where no Trek show has gone before so I hope its worth it!

Big Tonal Shi-t is more appropriated I think. Aftar all, we are talking about one of the worst written TV series ever.

Oh wow. I forgot about this show…

It hasn’t been on in over a year now, people literally can forget at this point lol. I know you’re just being a little snarky about it but I wouldn’t be shocked if people have just forgotten about this show if they aren’t hanging around Star Trek sites all the time.

Frakes is one for the history books. He’s the only person to be involved, big or small, in EVERY Trek show since TNG, who’ve got him credit for that.

Its pretty crazy, isn’t it? He’s been involved in both in front of and behind the camera of every post TNG show, the ONLY actor to have pulled it off. The only show he hasn’t acted in was Discovery so far for obvious reasons but they gotta rectify that. They have to find some way to get Riker on that show! I don’t care if Discovery run into a 800 years old hologram recording of Riker making pizza in the 32nd century or they turned him into an synth too who has lived for centuries, just get it done!!

At first, I read the beginning of your post as “It’s pretty lazy, isn’t it” ;-)
Frakes obviously enjoys making more Trek. And he seems to be good enough that they keep hiring him.
I’m not so sure about squeezing Riker into Discovery though. But if he wants to act on the show they can always put him into alien makeup and have him play another character.

I’m mostly joking, but this IS Star Trek so if they wanted to make it happen they could. I don’t see it happening but we know Frakes would be totally into it lol. And I’m guessing he’s personally given them the idea about a dozen times now, maybe one day they will stop saying no. ;)

I`m not to worried about the soundtrack not beeing recorded with an orchestra this time. There are virtual instrument libraies that they will use as a virtual orchestra. Those don´t sound anything like the free or cheap ones you can get on the internet…the professional ones cost thousands of dollars and sound totally like the real thing. The downside to them is that using them is pretty “technical” and it needs an expert to use them correctly…sometimes very tedious work. That´s why just using a real orchestra is still the prefered method if possible I guess.

I also think that they may use sampled instruments if the lockdown continues for too long. From what I’ve read you have to be aware as a composer that some synthetic instruments sound better than others. So you may have to compose slightly differently to get a good sound out of a sampled orchestra compared to a real one.

Well…it depends on the type of synthetic instrument. (the professional term is VSTi) For the really good and expensive ones each note, articulation etc is recorded seperatly. That type of virtual instrument sounds identical to the real thing when used by an expert.

Is it going to be like in Booby Trap, Jon?

wait… what is Georgiou doing there? Was she on Discovery when it… did whatever it did into the future?

Yes, she went to the future with them. Did you not the watch the finale?

I took the plunge and rewatched DIS season 2 on Netflix to see how it stands up a year later; particularly after PIC. Their answer is not well. PIC was itself flawed of course, but wow is it better than DIS.

It struck me that the reason I couldn’t ‘relax into’ DIS is that all of the characters seem unhinged and utterly out of their depth on a starship. It makes the whole concept of the narrative utterly unbelievable, which is saying something in a show of magic fungi realms.

Tilly and Stamets always come across as being one sneezing fit away from a complete nervous breakdown. Tilly in particular stands out as sounding intellectually sub-normal and her emotional immaturity and poor physical shape would have meant she’d have been weeded out long ago. Burnham’s binary interaction modes are either ‘arrogant robot pedant’ or ‘weeping toddler’ with no in-between state. Colbert’s character develoment is as one dimensional as the beings from TNG season 5’s Disaster. Georghiou is a comic book character that seems so out of place, it’s like the actress drove to the wrong set and no-one had the heart to redirect her the other way to the Marvel Comic Universe lot. Spock is a needless (desperate?) inclusion. Although Ethan Peck isn’t dreadful, and is MUCH better in his dialogue pacing and delivery than Zach Quinto, he just doesn’t have the range of Leonard Nimoy’s transparent ‘eye acting’ within the confines of a purposely-emotional-display-limited Vulcan remit.

Cornwell and Pike are well cast and better written. Number One has potential. Within the confines of her limited screen time, her chemistry with Pike carries her through favourably. Tyler can’t pronounce Kronos or Kahless properly, so again belief suspended and why Chancellor ‘L’Russian’ talks with that accent is just plain distracting.

All of these issues, along with faux outpouring of grief over the death of yet another unexplored character (Airium) make this show feel amateur and more soap opera than sci-fi.

I’m open minded enough to wonder what everyone else genuinely thinks and welcome constructive discussion without being precious about my own insights. I want to like all iterations of Star Trek, but DIS just doesn’t hit the standards for me.

Honestly don’t think Pike is better written, it is just that the actor is bringing so much to it — combo of professionalism and zest? — that he is transcending the material. I’ve gone on before about how the plotting and writing reflects amateurish mistakes so obvious that it boggles the mind that these are professionals.

The way they screwed up the bit at the end with the 7th star flash or whatever it is called is my go-to example. Instead of Spock and her wasting more time talking before the great timesuck, Burnham should have just gone. Then later on the E, he sees or detects the seventh flash or star and realizes that is her message to him.

That would have been visual storytelling, possibly actually emotionally-engaging storytelling, instead of spelling things out pedantically in advance and then paying off with a payoff that is no payoff.

Series and films miss connecting on stuff all the time (I still think NEM would have benefited at the the finale with Data telling Picard ‘shut up’ — echoing what he was told by Baldy at the start of the film, but with a much different nuance attached, a subtext of love), but with a whole damn committee writing this show, it is hard to believe that nobody spoke up about this egregious miss on DSC.

Tilly in Season 1 was a fun character. Tilly in Season 2 (especially the second half) was an insufferable discount Neelix.

Mirror Georgiou arguably should be ‘totally out of place’ but not in the way she came across. The character was inconsistant and plain ridiculous at times. “I want to see Leland die, I want him to scream. Look at me, I’m so evil! Muahahaha!”

Ash Tyler had an interesting journey in Season 1 and I liked his chemistry early on with Lorca. He looked bored in Season 2.

And then we have stupid background characters who offer up insightful thoughts and dialogue like “yum yum”.

Kirk was lucky he never had to deal with Nhan and Conolly on the Enterprise. Though he did end up with Stiles on the bridge.


By the Prophets’ grace, may this not royally blow. I will gladly pay for 12 months of CBSAA in advance if this doesn’t blow.

Honestly, now that the Pike arc is over, I don’t have much interest in Discovery Season 3. None of the characters of the crew are that compelling to me and I have little interest in the time period they chose.

Well that sucks , just throw some Tupac in if you can’t get an orchestra

Make it so.

I can only hope they fired the whole writers team and started new. The setting is interesting and would leave room for a much needed reset. I hope they don´t try to get back in time.

Send the writers to scrub plasma coils, or whatever happened to the EMH Mark 1’s

Still nothing compares to the Original series. The playfulness of the series, the overt sexuality of the women and men, the chivalry and derring-do of the crew, the deep friendship and yet chiding interplay of the characters, and the strong passions and convictions of each, and the Don Juan devil-may-care attitude of Shatner’s Bond-in-space roguish Captain Kirk showed the world the best science fiction Space Opera we have ever seen, and something we are unlikely to ever see again. Once Trek moved away from the passion and sexuality and morality plays of it’s past, it was doomed to be second-rate. With Next Generation, Star Trek started taking itself too seriously, forgot that it was supposed to be entertaining and fun, and the show also forgot that women were allowed to where less clothing and be a bit more forward, and men were allowed to be a little more macho and even cocky in science fiction. Each successive reboot series has decapitalized on the mistakes of the Next Generation, amplifying them grotesquely, and Star Trek on television has resultantly gotten progressively worse. JJ Abrams brought some of that original magic back with his first two Star Trek movies, but any hope that that would be carried back into television was shattered with Discovery and Picard. Fans keep hoping, but our hopes keep getting dashed. Maybe someday. I just hope I’m still alive to see it…

Out of all the shows now, I watch TOS the least these days and that’s what made me a Trek fan in the first place watching it in the late 70s. The stuff you mentioned about the women in TOS is part of the reason why I watch it less now. I can’t take it very seriously but I know everyone feels differently and that’s totally fine. But TOS was a show for the sixties, especially with its attitudes towards women. It was fine for its time of course, but it wouldn’t fly today if they tried to remake a show in that vein. Look how heavily STID was criticized for THAT Carol Marcus scene which I was totally fine with personally. But that was something taken out of TOS playbook and it sort of proved you can’t really do things like that today without heavy push back from people.

And I’m very happy TNG and the others went a different way and why I enjoy those more even though I still love TOS too. And its probably a generational thing as well.

Same here Tiger2.

I watched TOS in first run in primary grades, TAS in first run for its 1.25 seasons to fill the gap when it was gone, and then watched the syndicated reruns on both Canadian and US UHF channels in my teens. I also read all the Bliss Logs.

So, I was surprised by how cringy I found TOS by the time TNG premiered. I’ll be honest to say that I flat out couldn’t tolerate more than a select few TOS episodes in the 90s. I’d matured and changed, and there was a lot in TOS that was off-putting for 30 year old me. I could not identify with the treatment of women, but also the casual arrogance of Kirk’s command style.

Really, it’s been watch our set of TAS DVDs and then some of the more accessible TOS episodes that got me past the cringy to see the good in TOS again.

Yeah it has gotten really hard for me to watch the show in general. I still catch an odd episode now and then (I rewatched Assignment Earth last week for the first time in ages and still like it) but its just not part of the rotation like I do the other shows. There are probably about two dozen of them I can rewatch anytime in theory but the rest I never watch at all unless I’m just curious about it if it was discussed somewhere.

Again I don’t think this is an issue for most fans, especially people who grew up with it or watched it from the beginning but for me it has felt more and more dated over the last decade or so. But outside of the stories themselves its hard to take a lot of them seriously these days.

And I have never seen TAS to this day. I always say I will but haven’t.

I watch DOOMSDAY MACHINE, ENTERPRISE INCIDENT and BALANCE OF TERROR more often than any of the others, probably a couple times a year.

If you do try TAS, I’d say YESTERYEAR, BEYOND THE FARTHEST STAR, PRACTICAL JOKER, JIHAD, SLAVER WEAPON and TIME TRAP are really good bets. I only strong dislike three or four of them, so I’m more accepting of it than most folks. If you like TFF, or want to see how daring Saturday Morning TV got in the 70s, watch MAGICKS OF MAGUS TU. Dang, I think I’m going to take my slick plastic TAS dvd box out and watch a couple tomorrow, before my wife gets up and rolls eyes at me.

Balance of Terror is definitely one of the few I can easily still watch. I think last time I saw it was a bit over a year ago. I also rewatched The Enterprise Incident around the same time. Its one of the (very) few decent episodes in third season. I have not seen Doomsday Machine in ages though. Maybe give that one another watch soon.

Thanks for your suggestions for TAS episodes. If I ever get around to it I will give those a shot. I just hear so much negativity about the show in general and since its never really been canon I never had much enthusiasm to watch as the other shows. But I hear Yesteryear mentioned on other boards too so that clearly seems to be the fan favorite.

Casual arrogance of Kirk’s command style? You mean, what Shatner called, ‘wearing command like a comfortable old jacket’ and the very quality I found most commendable out of any TREK skipper (tho Sisko is probably more realistic.)

I grew up on 2001 and TOS, despite the vast visual differences, and have never wavered in my appreciation of either. And for the most part, the ones I hated then are still the ones I hate now (I can tell, because I do rewatch even the bad ones every 20 years or so, and usually can’t get through them — except for ALTERNATIVE FACTOR, that I won’t even click on when the disk is in the machine.)

I have watched The Voyage Home about once every 10 years just to see if my attitude towards it has changed with time. There are some things where my opinion has indeed wavered the further removed I get from it. The last time I watched it about 5 years now I think, my opinion of it has not changed. It is still a completely unwatchable film that was absolutely devoid of any of the charm it was so desperately trying to capture. It’s a popular film and I really wish I liked it. But each time confirms that it just didn’t work, especially as a Star Trek film. In fact, that is exactly the reason I suspect it did well at the box office. While they used Kirk and Spock & Co, it really wasn’t a Trek film. And that is the only film I really feel comfortable saying that about.

And yes, for all you nit pickers out there I do realize the film is indeed canon. As much as I’d like it not to be.

I’ve been enjoying every bit of CBSAE’s NuTreks so far. Unlike its predecessors, Discovery and Picard came roaring out of the starting gate, they’ve made bold choices, and although there’s was a little backpedaling in season two of Discovery, it worked for me.

I’m one fan of 53 years who is happy as a clam. As much as I enjoyed the Berman Tek shows, there was always a tentative, timid quality about them… the reality of their jobs rarely intruded. Under Moore and Behr we saw some consequence for action, and Moore made it the infernal engine that gave his take on BSG so very powerful. It seems like Kurtzman and Co have taken many lessons from it.

Wow, I don’t even know where to begin, can’t disagree strongly enough about your conclusion. There are a ton of lessons for Cbstrek to learn from DS9 and B5 and FIREFLY, but I doubt Kurtzman will ever be one to turn an ear in that direction. There were plenty of TNG eps that I’d have been embarrassed to be associated with, and I find VOY and ENT largely unwatchable, but none of that touches the overreaching awfulness of pretty much everything at CBStrek right now. Except for casting Mount, I can’t point to a single solid ‘win’ out of 3 seasons of programming. And the sheer volume of damage to Trekverse from DSC s1 is just staggering.

That these folks are getting paid to tell stories (if you want to call it that) just blows my mind.