The third season of Star Trek: Discovery debuts next Thursday on CBS All Access, and a new teaser for the season was released today. We also have gathered together all the highlights from yesterday’s NYCC Discovery panel.
New Season 3 Teaser
NYCC Panel Highlights
Yesterday, CBS presented a two-part Star Trek Universe virtual event at NYCC Metaverse. Earlier we reported on the highlights from the Star Trek: Lower Decks panel but there were also some tidbits dropped during the Discovery panel. On hand were stars Sonequa Martin-Green, Doug Jones, Anthony Rapp, Mary Wiseman, and Wilson Cruz; new cast members David Ajala, Blu del Barrio and Ian Alexander; and series co-showrunners and executive producers Alex Kurtzman and Michelle Paradise. The panel was moderated by Sarah Rodman of Entertainment Weekly.
Season 3 goes beyond (but honors) canon
The third season jumps the show 930 years into the future. Co-showrunner Michelle Paradise talked about why they picked that specific time:
That takes us beyond canon. It takes us far beyond. There are some stories in [Star Trek:] Enterprise where there is some time travel-y stuff, and this takes us beyond. So it really is some fresh snow.
She also talked about how they balance this “fresh snow” with the future history of Trek
In season three we take our heroes to a place beyond canon, but at the same time it is Star Trek and it has an incredible rich history of canon. So while we are going past it, we also have to honor everything that came before. It is not as if they can go beyond it and everything is just wiped away. There is so much of the history and we are exploring in our new present day. It’s just that things are not exactly as we expect them to be.
Future tech will still feel Star Trek
Jumping so far into the future runs into the risk of magical technology, but executive producer Alex Kurtzman said they are keeping it real:
We always want to come up with the coolest ideas and we usually try to come at them from a place of how does this play a part in our story. So usually the technology comes from a need that the story is telling us it wants to deliver. The temptation is you can do anything. The temptation is you can just say that anything is possible and the laws of physics don’t apply anymore. While the crew definitely go into a world where there’s a tremendous amount of technology that they’ve never seen before, it was also equally important for us to have it feel grounded. So some of the technology they find is actually the evolved versions of technologies they’re already familiar with. That keeps it grounded in the language of Star Trek.
Season 3 goes back to basics for Michael and the gang
Discovery star Sonequa Martin-Green talked about Michael Burnham’s motivation in season three after they find themselves transported to 3187:
It’s all about the crew and it’s all about getting together and figuring out where we are, what’s happened. How are we going to navigate where we are… It sounds simple, but it is profound. Where are we? What are we going to do? Who are we going to be? What does this future look like?
She talked about how her character continues to grow:
For me, specifically as Burnham, it’s been such a progression. And that’s such a great tenet of storytelling is change is change and deep, deep permanent change… There’s so much change coming. I love that I’ve been able to mature.
Martin-Green also talked about how she felt this new season tied well into current times:
In terms of the time we are in right now and this world and how we think season three will relate to it or could relate to it… I have been thinking a lot about this. It’s about love and choice. Because these people chose each other and they have no one else. And so the value for each other has skyrocketed because we are all we have.
Tilly grows up
Mary Wiseman talked about how jumping into the future has a psychological impact on Tilly and the crew:
Everyone’s going to have to adjust to leaving everything that they know in the past. What’s amazing about that is it’s not just one person’s isolated experience. It’s shared by the entire crew and that’s going to manifest in as many ways as there are people on the ship… I know for Tilly that there’s a lot of growing up that will happen through coming to terms with that loss. And I know that that’s true for the other characters too.
A second act for Hugh (and Paul)
Wilson Cruz’s Dr. Hugh Culber returned from the dead in season two and eventually rekindled his relationship with Paul Stamets (Anthony Rapp). Cruz talked about what this jump to the future means:
For Hugh at the end of season two, he realizes a number of things. One is that staying behind isn’t an option, because everything that he loves and knows is leaving. And he realizes another thing, which is to really have a second chance at life. Because of that, he really steps up. For Culber and for me it was an opportunity for true resilience and a second at.
Anthony Rapp said he appreciated that even though things seemed good between the couple by the end of season two, the show doesn’t forget the journey they are on:
We get to start where we left off, which is: How do we come back together? And how is it? It’s not just a snap of the fingers.
Captain Saru, love machine?
The moderator pointed out how some fans (including TrekMovie’s analysis) spotted Saru wearing a captain’s uniform in the Star Trek Day trailer. Doug Jones said it wasn’t for him to confirm, but he did say the issue of who will become captain won’t be decided at the start of the season:
We don’t know right away… The captain’s chair is open and it’s a big question and that Burnham and Saru are both equally capable and qualified for it and both equally wanting the other one to have it. The other thing that remains when we get to the future, is the Federation intact? And is it in a place where they would assign a captain from the future or do we self-govern? All those questions remain into those first couple of episodes.
Jones and the panel were surprised when the moderator asked if Saru was “going to get some action” in season three. He answered diplomatically:
Let’s remember, Saru is a gentleman. But might his heart pitter-patter sometime? I hope so. [adds a knowing wink and smile]
Book is on his own journey of discovery
David Ajala gave some more hints about his new character Book:
Mr. Cleveland Booker is going to be your introduction into the future. He is similar to the other characters. He has left his past and is rediscovering his identity in the future and his purpose. But he doing it on his [own].
Gray and Adira: partners in crime
Also joining the cast in season three is Ian Alexander, playing a Trill named Gray. Alexander revealed that the producers created the character after he auditioned for a different role (presumably Adira). He gave a brief description:
Gray is a very optimistic, bright, intelligent young soul. He has a very special connection with Adira. They really are just like partners in crime together… Gray is Trill, and he has blue hair and I can’t wait for people to meet him. I am so excited to bring authentic trans representation to the table and to be an out and proud trans actor on a mainstream show such as Star Trek.
Blu del Barrio revealed they didn’t know anything about Star Trek before being cast as the non-binary Adira so to prepare they were sent “any episodes and any branches of the series that had any queer content and any Trill content.” They also briefly described the character:
Adira is pretty hardheaded as a person, a little bit very introverted. They have a select few people they feel comfortable with. It’s a small group. At their start with Discovery, it is pretty much just Gray. Gray is their person. Gray is the person they go to for everything.
Discovery is Blu del Barrio’s first job in film or TV. Anthony Rapp talked about their first day on the job (as did Jonathan Frakes in our recent interview):
I was there for Blu’s very first shot because it was in an episode we did together, and you would never know in a million years that Blu had never set foot in front of camera before. They were so incredibly focused, poised, ready to go.
ICYMI: Opening scene of season 3
The panel also revealed a sneak peek at the first couple of minutes of the new season.
Discovery season three arrives next Thursday, October 15. With new episodes of the series’ 13-episode season available on-demand weekly on Thursdays, exclusively for CBS All Access subscribers in the United States. In Canada Discovery season 3 will debut on CTV Sci-Fi on October 15 and be available to stream on Crave. It will debut internationally on Netflix in 190 countries around the world on October 16.
Watch full panel
The full NYCC Star Trek Universe event is available below. It is cued up to start at the 27:45 mark as the Discovery panel begins. There is more there than covered above, including David Ajala talking about working with Sir Patrick Stewart at the Royal Shakespeare Company.
Keep up with all the Star Trek: Discovery news at TrekMovie.com.
Keep the teasers coming!
Season 3 feels like it is going to be my favorite season of Discovery by far.
Season 2 was good because of Captain Pike, Spock, and Number One.
Season 3 is actually in the future. That’s the best part. Really going into the unknown.
We’re here. We’re queer. Get used to it. So great to see Trek show all people. From gay Sulu to Stamets/Culber and now the new trans/non binary duo, Trek is taking the torch of inclusion that started with Uhura and Sulu in TOS and continued with Sisko, Janeway, Burnham and others. Representation matters. Love this!
That’s how most of us feel about your posts here.
(You said it better than I Tiger2.)
My hot take on this: shine through your productive, creative achievements, not your involuntary born-with anatomical traits (be that being pretty or gay or whatever). If the former is good enough, nobody will care if you’re black or white or purple and what your particularly orientation is – not that it matters (should matter) for achievements anyway! It’s certainly no substitute for anything.
And your hot take is wrong. It shouldn’t matter, but, in reality, it still does.
That’s why finally seeing people like us on screen is important. It isn’t everything, but it’s nice to finally have just a little in Trek. It’s nice to be recognized as being human and necessary, too.
Exactly. Representation and equality has been at the core of the Star Trek’s ethos since the very beginning so it’s only right that this is manifest in the casting choices of the newer shows.
Michael Burnham Dax
This is very exciting!
I still want to find out how “Calypso” ties into all this. I have a feeling that’s one they’re saving for the end.
That sounds as though its several more seasons out based on the interview Kurtzman did.
Which interview? What did he say?
See the article “Alex Kurtzman And CBS Planning Star Trek TV Through 2027, Including More ‘Discovery’ Seasons” on this site.
Rewatching the Discovery S2 finale yesterday, I’ve realized that we haven’t been giving sufficient attention to the sphere data.
I think that going forward in this series Discovery, the ship herself, will be increasingly the/a star of this series in the way that the Enterprise was a character in TOS and TNG.
With the integration of the sphere data and the ship, the ship has become self determining. It refused to die.
Part of the continuing story has to be about how not only to avoid the sphere data being used to bootstrap a transcendent AI that is hostile to intelligent biological life, but also how to ensure that the Evolving Intelligence within Discovery is good, and upholds Federation values.
Surely Starfleet, or whatever it is at this point, is warping sound the entire galaxy at this point. Its basically Star Wars level tech at this point.
One of the theories for the diminished Federation in the 32nd is that the “burn” Book refers to is the detonation of an Omega particle (or more likely particles) that destroyed subspace and thus prevents warp travel. So, more than likely, Starfleet was warping all over the galaxy, but not anymore.
That’s what I heard too. Probably Discovery is the only vehicle that can make instant contact with the remainder of the federation. My guess is they will travel to the federation worlds and reconstitute the federation.
From what we’ve been told there isn’t much warping anywhere due to the cataclysmic “Burn” .
However we’ve also heard (I think) that “The Burn” affected dilithium.
At minimum, we have it confirmed that everyone is isolated and the challenge is to maintain society without contact.
(This is a completely fortuitous allegory for the impact of COVID-19 given production ended in February.)
Discovery may provide the unexpected salvation.
Not only does the ship have the spore drive and has integrated the sphere data, Reno and Stamets and have Queen Po’s dilithium incubator (which she share to power the time crystal). Reno, at least, was following the math and can reproduce the method and technology.
I’ve been enjoying Discovery a lot, but I’ve just not been able to enjoy Tilly or Mirror Georgiou. Hopefully, they’ll get a better handle on how to write those characters this season, but really, I think my problem isn’t the writing–it’s how they each approach their roles. Tilly is all over the place, while Georgiou is way too stiff. But I AM very much a fan of the show and look forward to its return.
Thank you, Rios, for saying that. I feel the same way. I enjoy DISCO, despite its flaws (what show doesn’t have flaws, after all), but have a hard time getting on board with Tilly (just too damn silly/flighty to be a cadet/ensign in Starfleet) and Mirror Georgiou (a slap in the face to the Prime Georgiou to allow her mirror counterpart to assume her identity and carry on in her name). I know people will accuse me of having a problem with female characters, but that’s bullshit — I have no problem with Burnham. I have no problem with Jet Reno or Detmer or Owosekun or Dr. Pollard. Loved Admiral Cornwell. Have to admit I feel Amanda was written a bit blandly and never got a good grasp on Ariam as a character (hence her death never affected me). I just don’t care for silly fangirls or over-the-top arch villainesses.
I rather like Tilly, but I agree with in regards to Mirror Georgiou. My biggest issue with Mirror Georgiou is that in the Mirror Universe she was a genocidal madwoman, she was outright evil. However, now she is being portrayed as simply morally questionable, with the crew of Discovery tolerating her existence as opposed to being outright disgusted by it. This isn’t a problem unique to Discovery, but a problem with the Mirror Universe in general being incorporated into our Universe. This very much started in DS9 where the Mirror Universe changed from being a true mirror (bad is good, good is bad, etc.) to something, well just a bit different and bit darker than our Universe.
With that being said, something I was hoping might have been explored is that maybe there is something outright “wrong” with the Mirror Universe that actually makes people break bad. Mirror Lorca, when in our Universe, was not a bad guy, and in some way he was actually a good captain to have in a war. However, once back in the MU, he became a mustache-twirling villain. The exact same thing has happened with Georgiou, outright evil in the MU, but simply morally questionable in our universe. It would have been interesting to see (and perhaps we still will) Georgiou reconciling with who she was in the MU and who she is now.
Rios, I do think that both the writing and directing are a factor for both Tilly and Georgiou.
At one point I read an interview with the director of the episode Saints of Imperfection. He talked about how he and the writer (Kirsten Beyer) really pressed Mary Wiseman to show in that scenario how Tilly was evolving towards a future captain.
But both the writing and the direction at several points later in the season had Tilly reverting or reset as if that growth hadn’t taken place.
That reset to disturbing keeps happening with Georgiou too. As much as we see her attachment to / relationship with Burnham pulling her towards healthier pathways, the season finale seemed to relish in her sicker, pathological desires and behaviours.
Mary Sue to save the universe again single handedly while other characters wow at her brilliance?
Love Discovery though, and think Martin-Green deserves better writing.
How many times did Kirk save the planet of the week, Earth, galaxy? Yeah, almost every episode/film. There is zero chance this would be being said if the hero of Discovery was a man where “brilliance” is expected – or white where being the center of it all is the norm. Sexist culture has created an atmosphere where people are uncomfortable with strong, assertive, “know-it-all”, save-it-all” women. It’s a double standard and it’s as boring as it is outdated.
How many times did Kirk save the planet of the week BY HIMSELF? It was always a team effort. He leaned on Spock’s logic or McCoy’s heart, or Scotty’s ability to get more power out of the engines. Without the team, it never would have happened. This surprises nobody. Janeway was the same. She saved the planet of the week too, but by using the skills of the people AROUND her. Sometimes, gosh darn it, it was ALL about everyone else’s skills and Janeway was just giving the orders, or (clutch the pearls), trusting them to use their expertise to get it done. And if someone went too far over the line, she’d KNOCK THEM DOWN, demote them, express her disappointment. And it was vicious. She was in CHARGE. She was the Captain. And when you pissed her off, you damn well knew it. I LOVED Janeway and respected her. Did I respect her DESPITE her gender? No. Was she a result of the sexist culture of the 90’s? Of course not; it was a beacon against it. Your sexism argument is specious and facile. Burnham overrides her captains. She makes the decisions. She uses her skills to tell the experts what to do, and she’s always right. She had a life sentence for mutiny, and not only did she get out of that without incident in six short months, she got her rank and commission back. Granted, Kirk was put on trial too, and got a demotion. But he couldn’t have stolen the Enterprise without Scotty and Uhura. He couldn’t have broken McCoy out of the funny farm without Sulu. He couldn’t save Spock without McCoy. It was never a one-man show with him, yet Burnham has done many of those same things, or damn similar things, all by herself. The closest thing to Burnham in Star Trek has been Wesley Crusher. Kid could do damn near anything because he was smart. Never made it past ensign in canon, and is widely reviled by the fandom. It it because he was a white male? No. It was because he was a one-man starship crew, and that just isn’t Star Trek. Star Trek is about diverse people working together for common cause. It’s not about one “diverse” person doing all of the jobs. Just because Burnham’s sexual organs are on the inside rather than the outside doesn’t give her a free pass. It’s not a sexist issue. It’s not a race or diversity or patriarchy issue. It’s a balance issue. The entire story is heavily weighted toward her. She is the axis around which everything else revolves. Literally everything. Season 1 was about Lorca trying to get his lover (“daughter” of the empress of the known galaxy) back, as well as the Klingon war which Burnham started. Season 2 was about Burnham being the red angel and single handedly guiding history thanks to her secretly not-dead mom’s time machine. She had the Klingon chancellor on speed dial in the 2250’s, was the former lover of the first known choH’a’ spy, and the “sister” of one of the most pivotal people in Starfleet history. Also called the Vulcan ambassador “father” and routinely emotion-shamed him. Season 3 has her waving a tattered Federation flag, front and center on the poster. She’ll clearly save the whole thing, because she LECTURED THE FEDERATION COUNCIL on “what Starfleet is” back in Season 1. The whole crew gets medals of honor, but SHE gets to lecture the council. The mutineer gets that honor. Not the acting captain. The person who held NO RANK at the beginning of that council session ends up teaching the council about the United Federation of Planets. She’s a friggin’ xenoanthropologist, but also a test pilot (who does a LOT of Anakin Skywalker spins… I mean A LOT), science officer who is awesome at debugging code, master of Suus Manha, and lived on Vulcan for 30 years but never learned the language, but can execute a nerve pinch without the requisite Vulcan strength. Also a commander in Starfleet but never attended the Academy. She just… gets a pass. She gets all of the passes, and the only ramifications are emotional ones. I lost my boyfriend, even though he’s the same race as the people that killed my parents. The angst! I got two of my captains killed (though one had it coming and was also my alternate’s lover). It makes me sad, but I got my pips back, and a MEDAL, so it’s all good. I used my only “friend” on the ship as a ganglia experiment to prove a point. Does that make me a bad person? My mom is maybe dead, but is also a Time Lord and also possibly not dead. Gosh, how my heart hurts. My heart with… Read more »
How many problems did Burnham solve by herself?
You and I are watching very different shows…
First season was broken up into two parts; second season was designed to follow suit but it aired the season straight through. Season 3 they are doing the same thing, promoting it as “23 weeks of trek” I wonder what the strategy behind the scheduling of that was? Did too many people drop the subscription after the first half of season 1, or was it something else.
Discovery was suppose to come out months ago but was delayed due to the coronavirus. So they are just airing it all together now that its complete.
First season was broken up because they were still working on the final episodes when it started airing and decided to break it up to give the producers time to finish.
Um… you knew about the pandemic… right? That’s what happened.
FINALLY, Star Trek is going where no one has gone before again. This is so exciting. I still wish the show just started in the 32nd century instead of being a tired prequel but the fish out of water angle should make it more interesting too.
Very excited about the two new characters. It’s great we finally get another Trill character after not having one since DS9.
Can’t wait to find out how the universe will once again revolve around the incredibly annoying Michael Burnham. Discovery, a show where identity politics is deemed more important than good cohesive story-telling.
Isn’t there any other point that you ever want to make Steve?
Not only is this getting old, most of us have no interest in engaging you by now as you seem to have missed one of the fundamental points of the franchise.
What is that fundamental point, exactly?
Diversity is a strength not politics.
Running and shooting and running.
I see nothing. The teaser is taken down already?
There is a good link to a globally accessible version in a tweet on the CBS Studios Twitter account. It’s open for viewing through a browser.
I bet the season ends with a climatic battle scene.
But where will Riker get a time suit?!!