Production On ‘Star Trek: Discovery’ Season 4 Has Begun

The third season of Star Trek: Discovery arrived just a few weeks ago, and now production on the next season is already underway. Last month CBS announced that Star Trek: Discovery was renewed for a fourth season, and today they began production right on schedule in Toronto.

Star Trek: Discovery Season 4 begins, with some changes

Executive producer and co-showrunner Michelle Paradise took to social media this morning to celebrate the first day of production on season four, with the simple message “here we go!”

She also expressed her pride for the writers’ room, which has been working remotely during the pandemic.

The third season of Discovery wrapped production in late February, just a couple of weeks before film and television production went on lockdown. Work in Hollywood and Canada has only recently started ramping up again, under new strict protocols. The Discovery cast and crew were required to quarantine starting last month, and they are all taking COVID tests three times per week. Recently, Doug Jones talked about how things will be different in season four:

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]

Another season four change will be less location shooting, so the production has acquired a new AR wall that allows them to create virtual sets, essentially bringing locations into the soundstage.

One thing that remains the same is Doug Jones’ ritual of shaving his head each season, which makes it easier for him to get in and out of his Saru makeup. He shared this moment this morning on Twitter.

It isn’t known yet how many episodes CBS has ordered for season four. Executive producer Alex Kurtzman is also gearing up to start production in Southern California for the second season of Star Trek: Picard, possibly as early as January. The first season of Star Trek: Strange New Worlds should go into production in Ontario, Canada sometime in 2021. As of now, it’s unclear when any of these live-action shows will debut on what will become Paramount+ in early 2021.


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.

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I’m still on season 2, but from what I’ve seen on the internet (and now spoiled myself) it sounds like people are really digging the show’s new direction for season 3. So this is really exciting – I’m looking forward to catching up and seeing whether I enjoy it more than the Discovery I have seen so far. It’s great though that there are so many Disco fans enjoying this series, I’m happy they’ll get a season 4. Great positive news for this week!

Go ST: Discovery go!

I’m somewhat worried that this time around there was exactly zero chance to incorporate whatever fan feedback/criticism season 3 has received and indeed, still will receive. Whatever hasn’t changed from season 2 to 3, or is heading into a wrong direction even, won’t change in season 4 either.

I guess most of all that means, for season 4 just as season 3: engage hyper-emo-drive, warp 13!

Well, TV shows don’t traditionally change based on comments online anyway.

Unless they are called Discovery season 1 ;)

To be fair, the producers of Discovery acknowledged a lot more fan feedback than it’s usual in TV, … I think the problem was Moonves let Fuller totally change Trek with Disco and everything that the production did from Battle at the binary stars onward was try to save the show.

I was going to say exactly the same thing. I know many of the naysayers like to blame Kurtzman for the direction Discovery took in the first half of S1 (even I was not happy after the first 5-6 episodes), but IMO that is primarily on Fuller. Since then, Discovery has improved step by step and S3 is looking to continue that trend. Thx to Kurtzman and his team, he did enough for the network execs to commit to the franchise and now there are three and soon to be five productions to choose from (forgot about Prodigy). Good luck to the cast and crew downtown. COVID cases are high (about 700 per day in the GTA with a population of 4 plus million), but so far hospitals are okay. Too bad the cast is here in the winter but it is supposed to be back to 60F-68F for the rest of the week, so it is not so bad – yet! Good luck to America on today’s vote and stay safe. LLAP

Last edited 1 month ago by DeanH

The problem with season one was not the first half. It was OK and seemed like it could be leading somewhere. The problem was the 2nd half where everything completely fell apart and became a steady train of facepalms leading up to the ultimate face palm that was the Lorca reveal. Ugh…

You my man are living in an upside down world. The first half with all the redesigns to the Klingons, the language, the ships,…and that it was set 10 years pre TOS and looked like 100 years post TNG was a slap in the face to Trek fans, just because they wanted a connection to Spock, Kirk,…Don’t forget Fuller wrote ep 1 and 2. And then everyone stated that the real pilot was ep 3. The second half was the Writers scrambling to redirect the show as CBS was at that point obligated to shoot those episodes. Don’t get me wrong Discovery was a total mess till some redirection happened is season 2. Also, I don’t get it, who in the right mind makes his main character totally unlikeable for the first two seasons. It looks like season 3 is a total reboot of the show and the characters. I saw all three episodes and it looks like the show might be getting better. I like the shift of the tone and how they paint Starfleet to be the positive force in the Quadrant / universe.

I do not disagree that the production design was a complete mess. That was a problem from the beginning. But forgetting about all that and just looking at where the story was going it seemed to be doing OK. And we had a completely fascinating captain. So it had that going for it. Once they went to the MU the show completely fell apart. (although the Tyler thing was pretty lame, too I grant you). But the show started off not great. But went from below average to complete garbage in the 2nd half.

You are certainly entitled to feel that way, of course… but you’ll find few to agree with you.

Yeah I disagree as well. For me, I thought much of the first half suck. Not horrible, but far from great. It’s not until the MU that I really started to enjoy it a lot more. I just didn’t care about the Klingon war at all. I liked Burnham but like others I still had problems with her. I will agree I did like Lorca from the beginning, he was different.

That said I don’t think he is a character people wanted to see lead a Star Trek show forever. I didn’t think he was going to be there that long, but I assumed he would just get killed or something during the war and have Saru take over. I didn’t have an issue with the MU twist, but it probably would’ve just been better having a captain who had PTSD, which on that you can’t blame Fuller. The MU twist was added after he left.

Fair enough. I will say that the PD shocked me so much that it proved to be a HUGE distraction. And the best episode of SH Trek ever made remains Lethe. Coming early in the first season. But I found the MU stuff just went on WAY too long. The Lorca thing pulled the rug out from under a complex character. I was really wanting to know what made that guy tick. I couldn’t wait to dive into his background and psyche. But no. Turns out he was just a cartoon bad guy on par with Snidely Whiplash. That is the reason why I find that “twist” to be the biggest mistake ever in all of Trek. There was a fascinating character that turned out really wasn’t.

And don’t forget it was the MU that gave us “space Hitler”. Another reason to be bothered with that way too long trip there.

No, ML31 is right. The MU eps were laughably bad. Cringe-y to the max. Captain Killy???

Or, they ruined the show by firing the only person (Fuller) who understood what the premise was and where it was going.

Show’s been without a premise ever since. Unless suddenly coming up with one in S3 counts. But I don’t see why it should.

Maybe but a lot of Fuller ideas they did use seem questionable from the beginning from how the Klingons looked to the ugly ship, Burnham being the main lead instead more of an ensemble, etc. It was Fuller’s idea to basically have the show look very different and updated in Prime universe. And of course that’s OK an expected to a degree, but SO much of it looked so different it felt like it belonged in another universe ot era.

And literally every one of those reasons given is why they should have kept with Fuller. I have no real interest in an administration that pumps out a LOT of Trek, pays far to much lip service to “listening to the fans”, consistently lacks the follow-through to tell the best story possible and isn’t even overtly creative except on paper at the earliest stages of production (and sometimes not even then).

If I remember correctly the rumours were that Discovery will be an Anthology show jumping through the different periods of the known and unknown Trek universe and time. It was very ambitious, but Moonves didn’t want to commit to it as the show would be even more expansive to produce, every season new sets,… But the look of the show, the Klingon redesign was Fuller and that was the biggest problem at the start of discovery. Also, the Klingon Language was unrecognizable with the Ish Gush ush-es,…

Sure, they would have had a lot to figure out. But Moonves (not Fuller) was the one living in a cloud in terms of not realizing how much a new sci-fi series built from scratch would cost MONEY. Even if they stuck with Fuller’s original plan, I don’t see that Kurtzman Trek overall has spent any less money with the sets they’ve built every year.

And to assert that the LOOK of a show is its biggest problem… Seriously? The make-up would have to be visibly sliding off their faces like yogurt under those lights in order to prove more objectionable than the story problems Kurtzman Trek seems to have with every season of whatever series.

Season 3 has been mixed messages so far. Good luck to season 4.

I’m not sure if I want to continue watching Discovery in the long run. Season 3 might be the last time I watch Discovery.

I feel like the show has decided that this is what STD is now. I don’t think they know what the problems are and are just going with this formula. For good or ill, they are sticking to it.

From my point of view, and we only have 3 episodes thus far, but this season doesn’t seem like it will be any better than season 2.

That is my impression too. It seems after the time jump they want to devote the rest of the series exploring the changed galactic landscape, one galactic threat/species per season (and I dont believe for a minute the Borg won’t be among them!) Which in itself is not the worst recipe, but it doesn’t solve any of the problems with the writing of repetitive predictable mystery arcs, unbelievable characterizations and overemotional acting!

Last edited 1 month ago by Vulcan Soul

I agree, too. So far I find the writing as horrible as in season one and two. The setting I like little bit better. The new characters I like rather not.

DIS or DSC :)

A show can’t keep listening to it’s fans. Nothing good is ever *likely* to come of it.

I’m worried about season 3. I have some criticism of the season but good luck to season 4.

Right now I’m not sure if I’m committed to watching season 4. Season 3 needs to maintain the momentum to sustain itself.

Last edited 1 month ago by Faze Ninja

Unfortunate that they did not start SNW before season for STD.

Agreed! Episodic Trek can’t come back soon enough now!

Been busy lately? I’m vitally relying on you for a critical assessment hopefully close to what mine would be, as I will not be watching the next episodes of Discovery. Depending on if things further jump the shark or go back to middling but bearable episode 2 levels, that could be a short stint or a longer creative break ;)

Last edited 1 month ago by Vulcan Soul

I work from home these days but my work tends to fluctuate. There are times when I have more time on my hands than others. I also go into my office from time to time as things just work better there.

I am trying not to look forward to SNW too much. I was really excited about LDX but ended up being severely disappointed. I’m going in with low expectations but it’s hard not to want more than that for a concept that is looking to be a decent one.

Well we already got episodic Trek this year. It was Lower Decks. ;)

But I think the response to it was better than a lot people assumed it was because the stories did feel more like classic Star Trek even for being an animated comedy.

Well you know what I mean and desire, which is episodic non-comedic live action Trek ;)

OK fair enough.

When is SNW supposed to start?

SNW is a return to episodic Trek. Discovery has been interesting to say the least.

My fan theory is gathering steam! Fazescinating!

I don’t think that I took the clue in the alias seriously enough… “faze” indeed.

On the other hand, 1st year undergrad students (freshmen as they are called in the United States), are well known for being all over the place, especially when the first set of midterm exams hit.

Last edited 1 month ago by TG47

No one has said when it will even start shooting as far as I know…

The show is in pre-production now, principle photography 1st QTR 2021 through the second quarter….subject to Covid-19 change, of course.

Yes, the guild sheets have been showing this for some time.

For what it’s worth, Akiva Goldsman is listed as the Director for the premiere and Jonathan Lee as the production designer. It sounds as though it will be a very different looking show.

” It sounds as though it will be a very different looking show.”

Hopefully (and by virtue of the the excellent TOS Enterprise interior redesign already, it will!)

What can I say, Discovery is giving me the blues ;)

Not much to say other than nice to see it’s happening so soon. I imagine if 2020, year of hell, was a bit more normal they probably had plans to start in the summer and third season run in the spring. Better late than never though ;).

And I guess it will mean we will get at least one live action show next year. Possibly two if Picard does actually start in January. So that means maybe we will get four shows next year: Discovery, Picard, Prodigy with Janeway and Lower Decks. SNW will come out sometime in 2022 and Section 31 maybe 2030. ;D

Last edited 1 month ago by Tiger2

How many episodes ? A minimum op 20 episodes is needed for good character development and story telling! DS9 with 13 episodes per season would be same bad as the former Discovery seasons !

Last edited 1 month ago by Tim

I can’t see it being anything other than about the same. Maybe a bit less if production takes longer.

When Kurtzman was asked if they were doing fewer episodes per season due to Covid restrictions, he responded that the issue was to reduce page-counts.

The trade off is between shooting more scenes that they aren’t certain to use vs getting more coverage in shooting key scenes.

My parsing of that is that Kurtzman’s response to the “military level planning” required for each scene has been to go back to the writers and resolve the “should we do this scene” questions before shooting rather than in editing.

This will mean a lot less flexibility later, but in the case of Discovery and Picard it might improve coherence in plotting.

there is no minimum for good character development.
You can do it in less episodes.

Most films meaningfully tell the entire arc of a set of characters in the running time of two or three TV episodes. In the UK we almost always max out at 8 episodes for each run of a show, usually fewer (and lots of shows only get one outing). So yes, it’s not necessary.

Most streaming shows gets 8-13 episodes. This isn’t network TV. All the new Trek shows minust Discovery only gets ten episodes, at least PIC and LDS did and I imagine will be the case with SNW, Prodigy and Section 31. Would love to see more too but I think it makes sense for them since they want to put on 3-4 shows on a year but not overlap either. Discovery will probably the only show to have 13 episodes at least.

Kurtzman fired yet? LOL

I wish. A Ron Moore or Dave Filoni, he is not. We need someone who understands the franchise running point. Alex is not that person.

Well, the good people at CBS disagree with you.

True. And that is disappointing news indeed.

Moore is overrated, in my opinion. Galactica was good for about two years and then just kinda fizzled out and it seemed like the whole crew was really a Cylon by the end. Ugh. Outlander went off he rails even faster. Moore really seemed to need good people around him to make a really good show, and he had that with DS9. But on his own, he burns out fast.

Last edited 1 month ago by Thorny

I’m actually rewatching BSG now and in third season. It’s just as good as the first two IMO. It’s all opinions of course but I disagree with you on that. Outlander never seen so can’t say.

But I will say this when you make shows basically following one story line through its entire run, it’s always pretty hard to maintain once you go over so many episodes. Some can do it and have done it well but most don’t. It’s why no one seems to love shows like GOT, LOST, X Files, Dexter and yes BSG by the end of their runs as much as their beginnings. It’s just really hard to pull off. I give every TV producer and showrunner credit for trying to expand these stories for literally years on end but at some point, many will just run out of juice.

Last edited 1 month ago by Tiger2

Tiger2, it’s not just a matter of “running out of juice” , it’s often a matter of setting aside or damaging characters that viewers have become attached to in order to raise the profile of the mystery or villain of the season.

DS9’s slow burn towards serialization still stands out as a successful exception.

I’m still convinced that these kinds of shows would do SO MUCH BETTER if the television writers would step back and let the novelists determine the arcs…

Now, I understand that for GOT that didn’t work out in the end, but I can also say that the I’ve noticed that the novel series from George Martin’s grimdark group tend to peeter out at the end or just dig a deep hole and cover themselves with the grimness.

Also, the follow the military leader as they advance their career series often bog down and Peter out after a point, which includes the Horatio Hornblower type books. Which is why in my view Trek works better telling the story of an ensemble and not one rising officer.

BUT, there are series, including the Trek Relaunch novels, where a writer or group of writers can sustain long story arcs, and deliver “event” series of 5 or 6 novels.

Obviously it could be a number of issues but I do think the BIGGEST problem is just keeping a story going when you have no end date and yet you are producing 20+ episodes a year. That was the biggest issue with LOST for example. Damon Lindeloff has talked about that a lot, they had this very big story going on with all these characters but had no idea if the show was going to last 5 seasons or 9 seasons. That caused so many issues because they just had so much story in general and then they were just adding extra mysteries to keep it going which I imagine happens a lot. He originally wanted the show to end after season 3 and it was no way that was happening.

As I said I can imagine most showrunners it must be difficult always walking a tightrope. With novels, most of the time you know how many you will write when you start writing them. Its easier to plan out story beats when you plan out 6 novels as opposed to 120 episodes of a TV show and you don’t even know how many episodes you will even have before you start.

So I always give TV production a lot of credit. They make more content than ANY medium around and now building years long serialized stories. Again you do have some great success stories like DS9 but then again DS9 wasn’t always focused one singular story the way LOST or GOT was.

Yeah, I think it was still good going into Season 3. It was when pretty much all the characters started humming Bob Dylan that the show lost me. People whine about Six Degrees of Michael Burnham on Discovery, yet most of the crew of the Galactica (a lowly obsolete warship about to turned into a museum when the show started) really being a Cylon is overlooked. That was preposterous to me.

If you read the discovery ships book, alot of the show’s design choices make more sense.

For example, the show originally was going to be a spy story with the discovery transforming into a Klingon ship behind enemy lines. That explains the odd design which had a Klingon flavor.

I like the design and show, all 3 seasons so far.

“Transforming” … does Discovery have some kind of camouflage that we haven’t seen yet.

Haven’t thought about getting that ships book in yet…

Didn’t YouTube tell me that it was canceled halfway thru season one, and that Kurtzman had been fired, according to inside sources? And that it had been canceled during season two, and Kurtzman fired again?

Kurtzman is just thr Energizer Bunny of TV producers. No one has had the heart to explain to him that when the paychecks stop you don’t have to show up anymore.

I’m really enjoying season 3. I look forward to each episode as it drops. I know some fans are clamoring for SNW (I am!) but I think I realize why the creative team have decided which tracks to take. I was worried that the lack of a heroic character similar to Kirk or Pike would drag the show down. I was worried that Burnham or Saru just weren’t Captain material. What I’m finding and hoping for is that Saru will grow into his Captaincy. I’m hopeful that Burnham will become a fierce first officer. I think trying to replace or emulate Kirk or Picard in Discovery would have fallen flat. “Well, he/she is no Kirk/Janeway (insert favorite Captain)” I’m glad DSC is continuing on with S4.

That’s refreshing to hear. I have not started Season 3 yet. I plan on binging it when my son is home from college. The first two seasons of Disco had more bad than good for me.

Good news.

Plus we’re days away from Young Sheldon Season 4 and weeks away from SEAL Team OSV Season 4. It’s a great time to be a ViacomCBS superfan.

LOL!

I’m starting to wonder if the rebuilding the Federation storyline is going to take more than a season to finish? So far all their storylines are in a single season but since we know the 32nd century is permanent and everything is brand new, maybe this might be a multi-season story like how the Dominion war became for DS9?

It could take 5 seasons Tiger2.

If “What caused the Burn?” is the mystery of the season, how to rebuild something as profound as the Federation surely is a multi-season agenda.

Well hopefully it won’t take THAT long. ;)

But I do think now that we see just how bad things are, I just don’t know if I see it all wrapping up with a pretty bow on top by episode 13. This really hit me once we were told Earth is not only no longer part of the Federation, they don’t even know what happened to those guys, where they are, etc. That’s pretty crazy for an organization you not only help formed but was part of for 900 freaking years. So when things collapsed, it truly collapsed.

Now maybe it will all be wrapped up by the end of the season, but I’m starting to think we’ll definitely learn what the burn is this season but will probably be some big conflict of something or yes someone beyond that trying to keep the Federation separated. And if the Burn is more of a someone, then yeah it will make the story much bigger going forward.

Couldn’t care less…

Yay!!