The third season of Discovery just premiered, but the cast is already about to begin production on season four. At last weekend’s Virtual Trek Con 2, actors Doug Jones (Saru) and David Benjamin Tomlinson (Linus, Cosmo, and others) talked about both.
More Linus and Kelpien singing in season three
The panel with the two Discovery actors who spend the most time in the makeup trailer was wide-ranging. It started off with David Benjamin Tomlinson talking about playing the Book’s rival courier Cosmo Trait, filming in Iceland, and the “bonkers” alien language lines he had to learn to play the Betelgeusian. He also confirmed that he worked with famed Star Trek linguist Marc Okrand on the alien language, who would coach him on Skype during his ADR sessions. “He was incredibly supportive, incredibly good to work with, and very patient,” Tomlinson reported.
Jones dropped a season three hint as he also talked about working with Okrand on Discovery:
[Marc] is the one who helped me with my Kelpien as well. A brilliant man. Good gosh. He is creating these languages as we need them… He and I had a funny exchange when I had to sing in Kelpien for Airiam’s funeral—and you might hear Saru sing again in season three at some point. [winks]
Tomlinson is probably best known to fans as Linus, the Saurian on the Discovery. He confirmed Linus will be more prominent: “We will be seeing a little more Linus this season.”
Jones also weighed in on Linus:
I love Linus so much. I am so envious David gets to play him, but I can’t imagine anyone doing a better job. I wouldn’t come close. Whenever he is on screen it’s always good for a laugh and is a light-hearted moment. And he is so adorable, you just want to pet him. I love Linus.
Tomlinson picked up on that, giving his view on the character’s appeal:
The thing about Linus is, he is a bit awkward, but he is completely comfortable in his awkwardness. He doesn’t’ feel weird about it. He likes what he likes. No apologies.
Bold storytelling and future tech in season three
The pair also talked about Discovery jumping into the future. Tomlinson discussed how this has freed up the writing:
I think it is an opportunity for the writers to just let their imaginations go wild and conceive new and exciting things… It’s a huge creative opportunity for some bold storytelling and they’ve totally stepped up to the plate and delivered this season.
Jones picked up on that to talk about how the show is beyond canon:
And they can step outside the confines of canon and keep continuing to create canon from this point forward. That’s been very liberating for the writers, I do believe.
He also got into how some elements of this jump into the future manifest on the show:
We do have new sets. We do have new places to explore, new people to meet. That was the newness of season three… We have to adjust to technology. We have jumped 930 years forward. Technology has evolved and we are finding out about it step-by-step and going, “Whoa, you can do that now?”
After some discussion with the panel hosts about the season premiere and some of this new technology, Jones added some more detail:
What you are talking about is programmable matter. That is something you will see more of in season three, for sure.
Fewer people on set for season four production
Doug Jones also briefly talked about the upcoming production on season four and some of the new COVID protocols:
I feel we are blessed to be back at work at all. November second, cameras are going to roll. The preparation for all of us Americans in the cast had to return here [to Toronto] for enough time to quarantine for fourteen days, by the Canadian government standards. I’ve already had two COVID tests since I have been here. We are going to be COVID tested three times a week while in production. The departmentalization of everything on set, there are going to be different department bubbles and much less intermingling with fewer people on set. And maybe a shorter workday as well. We aren’t sure how this is going to go. It feels like a big COVID dance and we are going to throw some filming in just to make a show while we are at it. [laughs]
Watch the full panel
New episodes of Star Trek: Discovery premiere on Thursdays on CBS All Access in the U.S. and on CTV Sci-Fi Channel in Canada, where it’s also available to stream on Crave. Episodes will be available on Fridays internationally on Netflix.
Keep up with all the news and reviews from the new Star Trek Universe on TV at TrekMovie.com.