Alex Kurtzman Teases Villain And More For ‘Star Trek: Discovery’ Season 4

Even though season three just wrapped up a few weeks ago, Star Trek: Discovery is already in its third month of production on season four. We have been getting some hints as to what’s coming next and now the co-showrunner is teasing out some more information, including an interesting detail about next season’s big bad.

Deep dive into science and a different kind of villain

Star Trek: Discovery co-showrunners Alex Kurtzman and Michelle Paradise, along with star Sonequa Martin-Green, participated in an online panel with Deadline, primarily about season three of Discovery, but there was a brief discussion about season four as the event wrapped up. As always, Kurtzman was careful about what he said, but he did offer some new tidbits:

We’re actually exploring – we’re diving deep into science – in the fourth season, in a kind of new and interesting way.

He then made a cryptic comment about season four’s main adversary:

There have been many kinds of villains over the course of Star Trek. What happens when the villain is not actually any kind of living, breathing entity, but something else? How do you solve that problem?

Kurtzman admitted he was “trying to be cryptic,” so it’s not clear if the deep dive into science was related to this different kind of villain. Season one’s villains were the Klingons, but season two’s turned turned out to be an AI (Control) which also manifested in what appeared to be living entities, like Leland. That makes it likely Kurtzman isn’t talking about a technological villain.

Leland/Control in “Perpetual Infinity”

Culture clashes for a growing Federation

It has previously been revealed that a “big part” of season four will be about Captain Michael Burnham and the USS Discovery bringing new cultures into the reborn 32nd-century Federation. In the Deadline chat, Kurtzman expanded on that, talking about what kind of challenges they will face with this mission:

The Federation is coming back together but it’s not fully back together. And so the continued mission of bringing other worlds in and meeting the criteria and standards of what it means to be a member of the Federation but also not to rob other cultures of their identity is something that we’ll explore.

Book and Burnham put to the test

In addition to dealing with bringing new cultures into the Federation, Kurtzman outlined that some of Burnham’s challenges will be closer to home:

Burnham has spent a lot of time thinking she had to be one thing or the other and ended the season being rewarded with the captain’s chair for being two different things. Vance basically says, ‘You don’t have to pick. You do things your way and that’s why I want you in the chair. Because you’re always ultimately fighting for what’s right.’ Burnham is going to have to keep figuring that out. She’s going to have to keep learning what that means. Her relationship with Book will be tested in many ways, for reasons that I won’t tell you.

Book and Burnham in “That Hope is You, Part 1”

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Interesting to be hearing more about the new season while production is in progress.

Last year, the emphasis was on promoting Discovery S2 for Emmy consideration more than teasing out the new season, even though production had already wrapped on S3.

Could it be that the merged ViacomCBS is loosening up a bit and has realized that the tight communications control has reduced the opportunities to build interest among fans?

At this point, Discovery is ViacomCBS top performing digital original.

Or, is it that Covid has turned the schedule on its head and now Discovery will be the first of Paramount+ live-action series to stream?

With three months of production complete, and Picard S2 pushed back repeatedly, Discovery would seem to be the priority for post-production.

These excerpts are from an interview with Deadline as part of their Contenders series, so it was definitely tied to promoting Season 3 for awards.

Yes, it’s the season for that, but last year they were very mum about season three — more than what the jump to the 32nd century would suggest.

What about the temporal wars they said in season 3 they were done and over with in like the 29-28th century but In enterprises Daniels takes archer to the 32nd and nothing about the burn and temporal wars were still ongoing

Daniels only took Archer to three futures, one was the signing of the Federation Charter in 2161, one was to the 26th Century aboard the Enterprise-J, and the other was an alternate 31st Century where the Federation never existed.

Ok, it’s obvious: Sphere Data becomes “Control-ized” is and the enemy within. Through timetravel silliness, the 1031A has to be destroyed to kill the data and the 1031 is not taken into the future in a new timeline but is asked to wait for a Calypso millennium to meet up with the shipless crew. There, everything restored!

Later addition: And it’s probably the Emperor who pilots the 1031 into that space electrical storm to hide and wait for the crew while she returns to Section 31

That doesn’t work—if the 1031 now waits the millennium, the shipless crew won’t be there, because now they never went to the future in the first place (if they now got there some other way—pointless, since the Sphere Data they were trying to remove from the 23rd century was in the ship, not them—Season 3 still plays out differently, so it can’t match up).

We’re talking about that ship that is 50x bigger on the turbolifts inside than the outside right? The same one where the entire universe is saved over and over again by one stubborn irritating cry-prone young lady who just happens to be Spock’s never-before-mentioned half-sister? I’m sure that there is ample supply of wacky tobacky in that writer’s room to come up with just about anything.

However, look at it this way: Emperor is back in “her” time and we all know she is going to go hang out with TylerVoq at Section 31. So, since time travel seems to be easier than buying a beer at a 7-11 without a mask, and we have the Guardian around too, she grabs the shiny new 1031 as it comes out of spacedock even before Lorca. No Sphere, no nuthin. There’s lots of crazy, untenable, ridiculous logic-shredding plots in Discovery and this would just be the latest.

IMHO any showrunner who takes a completely unrelated LeGuin story and turns into “kid temper tantrum causes the Burn” truly and fundamentally does not understand scifi anyway. What a silly way to defuse what could have been a truly great plot point!

Exactly. His timeline for this weird plot idea of his simply can’t work out.

meh- seriously, Kurtzman helmed this franchise into a cesspool. 1 note characters, defined by their identity politics issues, instead of like prior incarnations, allowing different characters to BE different yet be defined by HOW their skills work together. Chekov was a radical idea in the midst of the cold war. The first interracial kiss– served the story NOT the Identity card. This show is an infuriating sloppy over budgeted mess! Can all the writers and actually invest in contemporary top tier sci-fi authors.

Nah, not really.

I have to say some very good points are being made here. I’m down on the show but I still think things are salvageable. “Cesspool” is a bit strong but I understand.

Your plotting theory simply does not work because they are already in the future with the sphere data.

You haven’t really though this through, son.


Ok, so I have quarantine brain. I’ve been stuck in my freakin’ house so long I am hallucinating:

There’s a giant doing cartwheels,
A statue wearing high heels.
Look at all the happy creatures dancing on the lawn.

So let’s go with this: the wormhole thingy splits the timeline in two just as Leland is melted. The 1031A has been massively changed from the 1031 shown in Calypso. So the only way I can figure to make it all make sense at the end is if the “thousand years” ends at the time they destroy the 1031A to kill the Controlized Sphere Data. I will bet you guys 6 months of intensive psychiatric care that somehow, someway, the 1031 comes back to meet up with the crew through this millennium in the lightning show waiting room.

Did you see all those things out your back door?

I’m going to solve it for you all. Burman wakes up from her trippy dream…

Yeah, she wakes up next to… Bob Newhart! (let’s see who gets that joke)…

I do want to state one thing for the record: I believe that after three full seasons I am now officially tired of how this and the Mirror universe all rotate around Burnham. I have previously commented on how the showrunners are infecting the character with Archeritis. In a transparent ploy to garner fanboy support, Archer was everywhere, did everything, and the entire Federation and Starfleet were all up to him alone. Burnham has MegaArcheritis as no matter who has to be saved, she is the one who does all the saving. This has nothing to do with racism or misogyny. It has to do with lazy screenwriting. Now I’ll go back to staring at the same four walls I’ve been trapped in for the last 10 months. And when I was a kid I thought in the future we would be exploring space. I can’t even explore my street!

When I was a kid (50 years ago!), people were on the moon, but not now! Don’t get me started.

I got the joke! Bob woke up next to Suzanne Plashette! Arguably the greatest series finale ever.

That’s… not obvious at all.

I am excited about the forth season, and I really liked the third except for that train wreck of a season finale. Once again they just can’t seem to stick the landing. There was WAY too much action and not enough substance. Were they suggesting that the Orion Syndicate was no longer a problem just because Osira died? That would be ridiculous. Why were the sentient? robots brought in just to be cannon fodder? And for Gods sake why were we subjected to a truly awful action scene in an impossible environment within the ship? That entire turbolift battle was a true jump the shark moment for Trek. Where are the science advisors? I mean even casual observers were commenting on how silly that was. At this point in the shows run that type of mindless action is not going to lure more viewers. It will only chase away and frustrate people already watching.

Well said. Sad to say I’m done. Thought the show would eventually get better but it’s only gotten worse. Interesting ideas squandered, a show that l’s all over the place. What I wouldn’t give to be a fly on the wall in their writers’ room.

You do realize the dude you were responding to said he liked the 3rd season and was really looking forward to the 4th season, don’t you? LOL

I genuinely do think this season has improved but I also think a lot of people agree with your assessment too. There definitely were some great ideas squandered (the entire origin of the Burn for starters ;)). And yes the show still feels all over the place. Burnham’s crazy yo-yo of rank this season is another good example of that to go from commander to First officer to be busted down to specialist only to be the chair by the end is another good example. It wouldn’t feel so bad if that didn’t all happen just this season alone. But welcome to Discovery lol.

While I understand your frustrations to be fair the has gotten a tiny bit better each season after abysmal first one. Hard to imagine a show having a tougher first round of shows. Although that first round did produce the one and only one good episode of the entire series thus far. Funny how that works.

Sadly agree with a lot of this. There was too much action stuff over basic exploration ALTHOUGH there was at least some actual exploration (finally). But this is still Discovery, they did a lot of dumb things in third season. As you said the turbolift space issues just made zero sense and really took you out of the show. I was watching thinking ‘WTF????’ And I too mentioned in one thread how ridiculous it is for the Emerald Chain died off just because Osyraa was killed. I’m hoping that’s not the case but they basically implied that’s what happened, but then everything about them felt pretty weak.

Like you I did like season 3 more but Discovery is just an odd show in so many ways. It’s trying to be more like classic Star Trek, but it’s still missing the mark and I think it is driving more fans away, at least reading the boards like this and others. But of course there are people who do seem to legitimately enjoying it more, certainly more than season one (still my WORST season out of every Star Trek show).

But I will say every season has improved for me, sort of like Enterprise, although I liked Enterprise third season much more than Discovery’s which is shocking for me to say considering I hate prequels and LOVE the fact Discovery is in the far future which I been watching to see….well, since Enterprise lol. But it is the premise itself that at least keeps me excited about Discovery. But that alone doesn’t make it a good show obviously. They simply need better writers. And yes better science at the same time.

I understand why so many people still hate this show even if I enjoy it a little more. It’s completely valid for them to hate it.

For me the show “jumped the shark” when they revealed the Lorca thing… I think the show was ruined forever from that.

For me, the show jumped the shark when they revealed the Spock stepsister thing.

Yeah… That sure didn’t help. It was an obvious “safety net”. Something they wouldn’t go to unless the show was tanking. And then…. Season 2.

Overall, despite some nice moments ( and great SFX ), I found Season 3 quite forgettable.

Ossyra was a dreadful villain ( not that each season even needs one ).

I thought Season 2 was a step up from Season 1, but season 3 for me has gone down.

In Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, the “villain” was the human selfishness that had caused us to hunt the whales to extinction. I’d LOVE to see that kind of villain again!

In a more literal sense, the villain was the giant space probe that was vaporizing the world’s oceans.

I would say you are both right on this.

Can you imagine the Star Trek Internet Fanboy uproar if Kurtzman tried something like this today? LOL That would not fly today — all of the malcontents here would be writing 10 times per day here, “OMG, what a stupid idea.” Yep

You mean the ones who would say Kurtzman was fired for the 173728384th time for suggesting the idea? Lolz

I think the villain is Time. Clearly Soran and Annorax though it was personified as a villain…

“Time is the fire in which we burn.” Always liked that.

So does Delmore Schwartz!

Yes. In that one the protagonist was indeed that probe. It was the thing that showed up willing to destroy the earth because whale songs (which somehow had the ability to leave the oceans and traverse the universe (eyeroll)) stopped. I mean, that is the feature film version of Discovery’s first set of episodes.

The probe was not a villain. There was nothing villainous about its motives. It wasn’t actively trying to hurt anyone–it simply didn’t take notice of us since it was attuned to whale song, not human communication.

No, I won’t let that Probe off that easy. You can’t plead ignorance when your actions to contact one intelligent race are obviously going to kill another intelligent race. And if you can do star travel, then please don’t make me try to believe that they could not notice the planet was fully populated with intelligent and advanced beings…that’s just “wishful thinking to make a plot device work” BS.

Not that I really care about them doing that — I love the plot, weak as it is…great Trek movie!

“What happens when the villain is not actually any kind of living, breathing entity, but something else? How do you solve that problem?”

Guy: Did you guys ever watch the show?!

Denny C, nice Galaxy Quest quote! LOL!

“We’re doing Episode 81?!”

It was a question to tease the audience for the 4th season, Mensa. LOL

Well, yeah, of course but he’s approaching the question as if it’s something new.

I hope it’s the kind of science that is like wormholes, Dyson spheres and time dilation. Not the kind of science that is “cosmic mycelial network”…

So, fake old school science vs fake newbie science.

Dyson spheres are probably fake science (Dyson didn’t mean for the idea to be taken literally), but wormholes and time dilation are real science and a century old. The first theoretical but absolutely possible, the second actually experimentally demonstrated.

I have no issue with the mycelial network, in the context of Trek’s fictional world. Subspace is big, got to have lots of layers/domains to it. It fits fine into the established (albeit questionable) physics of spacetime in Star Trek.

But the concept of Dyson spheres roots in serious very advanced science fiction.

Right. See my post above. Dyson Spheres are simply a very tough engineering challenge, that’s all.

No, you are mixing up Engineering and Science. Dyson Sphere’s are 100% scientifically possible, but the engineering challenges would be formidable. But there is no inherent scientific reason that they could not be constructed by a super advanced technological race.

Alex Kurtzman’s idea of Star Trek and my idea of Star Trek are not compatible. It saddens me that he continues to be entrusted with this franchise.

Talk to Paramount? I guess?

Thanks for the advice? I guess?

I love what they’ve done with Discovery, Short Treks, and Lower Decks. Picard was interesting, but very flawed. Still, out of four TV shows in the Kurtzman era, I’ve loved three.

It saddens many of us. We still have what Wil Wheaton calls ‘headcanon.’ They cannot take that from us.
Well, not yet anyway.

Why can’t the dude that played commander Riker become executive producer? Or at least someone who knows Trek. AK just does not seem to know what the hell he is doing.

Science fiction, Alex. Science fiction. Like it or not, Trek is to science what Marvel is to classical literature.

Yep – the sooner he just admits his Trek is fantasy rather than sci-fi, the easier it’ll be for him.

We’re flying through space in a ship powered by magic crystals. Sounds like Trek fantasy to me…

Are we talkin’ another Doomsday Machine perhaps?

They’ve already bastardized the Mirror Universe, Section 31, and the Guardian of Forever so at this point why the hell not? Nothing is sacred to Klutzman and his merry band of idiots. I’m actually surprised they didn’t go with Gary Mitchell, and say that after the rock fell on him “he got better”. That would be so idiotic that Klutzman would probably pat himself on the back for thinking of it.

I’m at that point, too. Nothing they do will surprise me any more. They will grab something from some other show, twist it do to something they need it to for their story, and feel great because they referenced something from the Trek universe. Groan.

Fluidic space. You heard it here first.

That was a ridiculous, melodramatic “Comic Book Guy” comment. Some of the people who post here are just embarrassing themselves.

It would be very cool to bring a cinema-version of the Doomsday machine episode.
That would be a villain like V’Ger or the whale probe. (Unless you show a villain using the doomsday machine as a weapon… than we have the same story again.

It’ll be a virus…….

While not breathing, a virus is a living thing. And we have ideas how to deal with it.

“The Immunity Syndrome”.

He should stop treating Star Trek like a superhero show with another archvillain every season.

But then Mikey Spock wouldn’t be the BESTEST EVAR!!

Kind of agree, but this has been going on since Voyager. Every show since starting with that one started with some enemy to defeat basically every season. DS9 had it too of course with the Dominion, Klingons, Maquis and Cardassians lol but it didn’t really start off that way. But I do miss the days of TOS and TNG where the whole season wasn’t about defeating a villain. Yeah you would see them show up in an episode like the Romulans or Borg, but they didn’t structure an entire season around them.

Yes, there is a difference between having an antagonist who shows up from time to time and having an entire set of shows devoted to that antagonist.

While I know you’re not a big fan of LDS either, it’s one of the other reasons why I enjoyed the first season so much, because it’s the only show since TNG that DIDN’T have a constant antagonist. It went back to the old model of having a villain show up in an episode but that’s it. And really only got one in the finale. I liked how they made fun of the movies for doing it too much to the point it has now become a parody.

I admit that was a bit of a plus. But it’s kinda like getting a car that was promised to go 0-60 in 6 seconds. Then when you get in the one you bought, the stereo was nice and the color looked fine but when you tested the power it took a full minute to get up to 60. Those other things are good but the main reason you wanted the car was the power. And it didn’t deliver. That would be a fail in my book.

Just like most of the last Star Trek movies, where a once not that bad person turned into a villain, seeking for revenge because he blames the federation for his misery.
Gone has the mystery and the solution of a problem by doing something different than just kill the villain.

Exactly why I don’t care as much about the movies since they constantly do the same thing, especially the Kelvin movies. They have proven to be the worst culprit since it’s always about revenge.

I enjoyed Star Trek 2009 very much and partially still Into Darkness.
But after that I would have loved to see a different story.
I liked Interstellar, the Martian, Gravity. Those movies worked without a villain.
I also like TMP a lot despite its flaws.
We can’t we have that in Star Trek (again)?

Ugh, enough with the whole “villain of the week” for each series. Look, we get it. They don’t know what else to do, but now they’re not even pretending they’re making Star Trek anymore. To think, they’re actually trying and Star Trek is this bad.

It’s especially shameful given how good the cast is.

I have to say for the first time since season 2, I’m not really excited about the next season. But I don’t mean that in a bad either. I think because the way third season ended where they honestly wrapped up most of their arcs and no big twist at the end like the Enterprise showing up or jumping through a wormhole to go a thousand years into the future. Many have said this but the third season finale almost felt like it could’ve ended the show. It felt pretty complete how it ended and giving Discovery a new mission of unifying the Federation in the 32nd century with its new captain. And part of that was (again) being disappointed with the finale like I have been with literally every Discovery finale lol.

But of course I am curious where fourth season will go, just not at the edge of my seat right now. But I do love the fact the show will actually be about exploration now. We haven’t had that since Enterprise and why I still miss that show. The irony is though that I always envisioned if Enterprise actually went the full seven seasons, we would actually see that show eventually trying to build the Federation by going to warp faring planets to become part of it. I thought that’s where the show would eventually lead to along with the Romulan war (which basically was the catalyst for creating it) and what season four was hinting to. Now, it sounds like that will happen with Discovery instead, only a thousand years into where Enterprise was. ;)

I’m just hoping like Enterprise fourth season, it will actually be a well written show, but not holding my breath just yet.

Myself, I’m not curious where the show will go because I think it is pretty obvious where it will go. I was dead on right for this last set of shows. And I think I will be correct about the next set. Therefore, very little to get excited about.

I’m sorry to say but Star Trek just is not in very good hands right now.

My hope was a revelation at the end of the season which would have been entirely unexpected and with major ramifications for the crew of Discovery. What we got instead was a resolution that didn’t seem fully realized and what was ultimately a missed opportunity going into Season 4. There seemed to be indications that things were not entirely what they seemed and that there was an underlying mystery lurking beneath the surface which could have been any number of things. In the end there was nothing there.

Ok, just need to drop here that I liked Discovery S3, and felt the 3-part finale elevated the season. As I’ve said earlier, it raised the season from a B+ to an A- in my assessment.

(Tiger2 – we often agree, and I do agree that there is still room for improvement, but I’m surprised that you’re feeling “meh” about next season. Picard is the SH series I’m feeling that way about.)

On the lack of suspense about S4, for me that’s a positive. In the current streaming context where we have no idea when the next season will premiere, I’m very glad when we don’t get cliffhangers at the end of the season. I also know that our teens couldn’t take it. As it is, they’d rather wait until the entire multipart season finales are available and then binge them. The idea that we had to wait months for the second part of TNG BoBW boggles them.

Unlike many here, I really liked the rationale for the Burn in Discovery S3. I am so surprised that so many of the older TOS fans here on TrekMovie can’t seem to grasp how it is a natural extension of the earliest TOS influences and stories (Forbidden Planet /The Tempest; The Cage, Charlie X) as well as holodeck episodes from all the 90s series; as well as psychological horror stories like Voyager’s The Thaw.

For me, Su’Kal’s story was probably the most classic Trek story that Secret Hideout has produced. It was also beautifully and compellingly executed.

I find it really wild that there are so many fans nostalgic for the kind of 60s psychological mysteries of TOS and the original Twighlight Zone or Outer Limits, but when we’re offered a credible, value-based, psychological analogy story with a Trek-science twist, so many of you are disappointed, and derisive.

I can only conclude that if many of the folks who post here saw TOS for the first time today, at your ages, you would deride it.

BTW I would agree that the intensity of the season went up and down, but that’s going to be always a part of it when the episodes are permitted to have some stand-on-their own quality in a series that’s more serialized than not. If Discovery isn’t intended to be written like a heavily serialized novel, we need to see episodes that don’t advance the “main story arc of the season” as a feature not a bug.

I’ve been working through a number of the late 90s beginning-of-serialization series (Farscape, Buffy) with one of our kids and the shifts in tone and pace can be jarring, but they’re also what make them work. And sometimes the episodes that don’t seem to be directly tied to the “main arc of the season” are important in terms of laying pipe that can be built on later, even in future seasons. At least Discovery has 13 episodes to work with rather than 10.

 am so surprised that so many of the older TOS fans here on TrekMovie can’t seem to grasp how it is a natural extension of the earliest TOS influences and stories (Forbidden Planet /The Tempest; The Cage, Charlie X)” Well, I did by noticing Forbidden Planet and mentioning it. ;-)

Yes you’d DaveCGN, and I’d still love for TrekMovie or the ShuttlePod Crew to do a deep dive on that when there’s a lull.

Seriously, when The Cage was first restored and available on VHS in the 80s (with black and white sections that weren’t in The Menagerie), a reviewer strongly recommended viewing Forbidden Planet first.

So, some friends and I rented both and watched them in sequence.

My first thought was that TNG was so very much closer to the original concept.

My second, was that I would have liked to have seen more of Pike’s Enterprise, but also that I would have liked to have seen more of Leslie Nielsen’s captain from Forbidden Planet.

As I said though, I don’t mean I’m not looking forward to it in a bad way, I just mean I’m not over thinking all the possibilities of where it’s going next. I’m pretty mellow on it since there was no big twist like the Borg coming out of a vortex or 800 year old Synth Riker suddenly showing up to save them. And I’m not saying I wanted anything like that either. It was fine on how it ended (the no mystery part). But it’s not like how the first two seasons ended where your brain was now overloading with possibilities.

And I’ll be honest, I wasn’t overly excited about season 2 until we got the first trailer of what it was about. That’s when I got really psyched for it because it was clear Discovery was moving away from the dreary tone of season one, more of a science mystery vibe AND Pike looked like a lot of fun. I’m sure when the trailer for season 4 come out, and it looks fun and interesting, then I will be in a more hyped going forward. I actually don’t mind it. It felt almost painful to want to know more about season 3 and outside of the short teaser got literally nothing for over a year lol.

So I actually agree with you, because we don’t know when these shows will premiere (and Discovery took a long time between premieres even before Covid), it’s probably a good thing that we’re not going crazy over what is coming next. Maybe not great for the show in terms of keeping viewers on the hook but if it goes another year until we seen season 4, which is a big possibility, then yeah probably for the best anyway. I do miss the days when a show ended in May and showed up again in September. Sigh

But as for the Burn, I’m sorry we totally do disagree on that. It’s been a month now and I still hate what they came up with. It just really lame to me. Maybe it will change later, but so far that reveal turned at least a decent season into a disappointing one.

And I am not overly nostalgic for TOS story telling either. Not in the least. I doubt that has anything to do with it, but if so, that’s not the issue for me at all. Although I will be watching TOS straight through for the first time in probably over 20 years now since I decided to rewatch the entire franchise in chronological order from the 22nd to the 32nd century. I’m literally now starting the fourth season of Enterprise today so will get to TOS soon. Really looking forward to it even if the show does feel severely dated for me these days.

“I’m literally now starting the fourth season of Enterprise today so will get to TOS soon. Really looking forward to it even if the show does feel severely dated for me these days.”
With or without the series finale of ENT? ;-)
I recomend to watch the mirror episodes of ENT and TOS together. You should also try the mirror episode of “Star Trek continues” (Nr. 3.) which takes place immediately after the original episode “mirror mirror”. Maybe the best episode of the fan-series.

Actually I’m following a cool chronological guide someone suggested to me:

And this places the Enterprise MU episodes after The Tholian Web episode from TOS. That makes sense obviously too, so will go that route.

But I have always thought to just do a MU marathon and just do all those episodes in chronological order starting with ENT through DS9. It’s hard to believe there is now over a dozen MU episodes at this point. The ENT ones are still my favorites out of all of them.

I agree to a point about the classic Trek nature of the cause of the Burn. However, TOS episodes worked as single episodes, almost parable like tales, layered in metaphor. Stretching such a thing out with a whole season mystery hinging on it doesn’t land as well for me.

Villain of the season? Again?

Kurtzman and Co. do NOT understand Star Trek, nor its legacy. Social issues du jour, please.

Star Trek has had season long villains before. The Dominion, Seska, the Xindi, etc.

Yes, but they had writers who could put together a coherent story back then.

You mean like brining in a model in a ridiculously tight fitting body suit with a little piece of cardboard on her head a and calling her former Borg?

Or Captain Kirk dying via collapsed pedestrian bridge?

Or Vulcans suddenly being bigoted?

Or having Spock and Sarek in the same ep, but killing off Sarek without even having him see Spock before he died?

LOL, no dude, not really.

I just want to point out that Jeri had been acting for six years by the time that she was cast in Voyager.

And even if she hadn’t, Seven is a terrific character. The catsuit was there to bring in the LCD crowd; the writing almost never played to them.

Yes. I think meaning an interesting character who actually has to go through something rather traumatic.

I’ll give you the bridge thing. But even the writers themselves later admitted they made mistakes there.

Yes, it was interesting that Vulcans 100 years earlier were not exactly the same people we saw later. Societies DO change over time.

I’ll give you the Unification argument, too. That was poorly put together and was mainly a commercial for the upcoming TUC.

But here we got a great character turn out to not be. A terminator like AI who (sigh) wanted to destroy the universe. And a predictable and tired story about a broken federation. All done with badly written characters who are VERY difficult to care about and with some of the worst plotting ever in Trek. And that includes the first season of TNG.

“Yes, it was interesting that Vulcans 100 years earlier were not exactly the same people we saw later. Societies DO change over time.”
But in case of Vulcans they have the double lifespan of humans. That would be like changing our society in just 50 years.

But even then they weren’t completely changed. And since we saw SO few Vulcans on TOS, it’s really hard to say either way.

And yes a lot can happen in 50 years regardless. Racism still exists in America and around the world, but it was nowhere like it was in the 60s. And even by the 60s, it was nothing like it was 50 years prior to that. A great deal of change can happen even in that time.

Indeed a lot can happen in 50 years. But in some point the Vulcans were very different in ENT. I remember the discussions about how mind melt was forbidden in ENT which was common in TOS. That change was to drastic to happen in half a life span.

I do agree the mind meld thing was always weird for it to be so taboo in the 22nd century but pretty common by the 23rd. But the bigotry stuff doesn’t seem like a big difference. We saw more Vulcans that were suspicious of humans in the 22nd century but they weren’t all like that or they wouldn’t be Earth’s ally to begin with. I just saw it as more realistic as what they considered a more primitive species, but as they grew and proved themselves to be competent and reliable allies, things begin to thaw after a century of real world space travel.

If you think about it the reason societal change is often slow is because many people are emotionally attached to traditions that they don’t want to give up (even if it causes them disadvantages).
You would expect that a culture based around logic would be faster to accept change once it has been determined to be the logical thing to do.

AGREED. They should not have changed that radically in such a short relative time for them.

Vulcans weren’t “suddenly” bigoted. They always were. You need to watch TOS again. Spock and Sarek were both arrogant and intolerant. And several Vulcans who’d appeared on TNG were as well.

Yeah Vulcans have always been pretty bigoted, arrogant and isolationist. I’ve always seen them that way. It’s literally why Spock had the internal conflict he had since most Vulcans weren’t exactly open to him being half human or having a human mother and that was already 100 years after Enterprise. The first Kelvin movie made it even more clear of how bigoted they were towards him to the point he’s fighting other Vulcans. That all came from TOS, so yeah.

And rewatching the first three seasons of Enterprise the past few weeks, how the Vulcans were done is one of the best things about the show. I really loved their portrayal and the antagonism between humans and Vulcans at the time. And they do eventually soften up towards humans on the show by the end. Obviously T’Pol but even Soval. Clearly that has to happen if they eventually create the Federation together; but it doesn’t mean every Vulcan is behind the idea, even centuries later.

So, the enemy for S4 is the agency that enforces the Laws of Physics?

Not sure why they feel the need for there to always be a “villain”. But whatever.

Sadly, I was correct in predicting the 3rd set of shows. In the 4th set of shows I predict we will see Burnham have a bit of a learning curve as captain. But then she will get over it in some unknown magical way. Just like she went from being a pariah to respected member of the crew over 2 episodes way back in the first set of episodes. The only difference is this will have to be spread out over 10 or 13 episodes. But one thing is certain. Whatever comes her way will most likely come as a result of circumstance and we will get no character growth or learning in any way. That is how Discovery writers operate.

This stuff is really not very hard to predict.

Perhaps the enemy will be an ideology. Arguably, Osyrra was a secondary enemy in S3, next to the natural disaster that was the Burn.

There have been many kinds of villains over the course of Star Trek. What happens when the villain is not actually any kind of living, breathing entity, but something else? How do you solve that problem?

That’s … actually most Star Trek Episodes and Movies. It wasn’t until Kurtzman took over writing in ’09 that everything needed a villain and universe-ending stakes. You would think that after more than a decade in charge, he would have managed, to actually watch some Star Trek for once …

It reminds me of a Story John Rhyse Davies told an interviewer once on why he left Sliders in its third season. He walked into the writers room and everyone was watching Species on DVD and talking about writing a Sliders Screenplay from the best Scenes. I imagine, it’s not very different from Trek these days given how many stories, story-elements and scenes are way to similar to other media to just be inspired by them.

That’s … actually most Star Trek Episodes and Movies. It wasn’t until Kurtzman took over writing in ’09 that everything needed a villain and universe-ending stakes.”
But that already was the case with Nemesis. The basic plot of both movies is almost similar and was simply a variation of Wrath of Khan like both follow-up movies.

In the one hand … yes. In the other hand: should Nemesis really be the movie to copy? 😁 … after TWOK they felt, they needed a villain in every movie. It almost never worked. The ones that don’t were the better ones.

Luckily it was most of what’s on TV.

Furthermore: Nemesis didn’t really have universe-ending stakes. It was a powerful illegal weapon and they were on their way to earth. But they never really got close.

But that illegal weapon could have gotten close…

 “… after TWOK they felt, they needed a villain in every movie. It almost never worked. The ones that don’t were the better ones.”

I think you are claiming a trend in Star Trek movies that never existed. In both Trek V and Insurrection, there weren’t really traditional villains, and both stunk. And in Trek III, Trek VI and First Contact, we had a traditional bad guy, and all three are well-liked in general by most fans.

This proves the opposite of what you are trying to say is a trend.

It really doesn’t, since the movies barely matter in the grand theme of things. I should have left the movies outbid my original post since most of them aren‘t that Great to begin with.

I hope the villain is Khan. He was put back in the tube at the end of Into Darkness, so he and his followers might still be frozen. If Khan got loose in the 32rd century he could wreak some havoc!

No, I’m done with Khan. TWOK was enough. Into Darkness was too much.

Is the Star Trek universe done with Khan, though?

I thought trek was done with Khan before Into Darkness (which hinted at a future Khan plot), so who knows?

Who doesn’t want to see Michael Burnham fight Khan?

Khan is a living, breathing entity, is he not?
I would also argue that Into Darkness happened in the Kelvin timeline while Discovery takes place in the Prime timeline but Discovery has established that people can switch over.

I think Khan is an ephemeral concept that signifies human hubris and superior arrogance triumphing alongside superior intellect and charisma over empathy and human kindness.

Plus TWOK is clearly the best film and I agree that Lt. Yor illustrated that people could move from the Kelvin timeline to the Discovery timeline.

And John Harrison *wasn’t* Khan until he was, so the villain can *not* be a living breathing entity until it is…

He’s going to be pretty chapped with a nine hundred year old case of freezer burn….

Maybe they upgraded his torpedo tube with programmable matter or they’re now stored in transphasic torpedoes instead? So Khan and his frosty pals would be fine!

If the villain is not a “living, breathing entity”, then there are only three other choices…..

  1. Artificial life forms run amok
  2. Technology run amok
  3. A natural disaster

I really hope they don’t do 1 or 2. The whole of season 2 was technology run amok (Control) and even the source of the Burn was a category of technology run amok.
Picard season 2 was all about a combination of 1 and 2 (the synths, the evil mechanized race that was almost released into our universe, the borg).

Please, if there is no living, breathing villain; try option 3….. some kind of epic galaxy-wide or even universe-wide looming disaster that can only be solved by chasing down and exploring clues all over the galaxy. A rogue black hole about to swallow the galaxy, the galactic core about to explode, an anomaly in space about to consume the universe (like “All Good Things”).

Synths weren’t the villains in Picard. It was the Zhat Vash.

I’ve given up on Discovery. Hung in there as long as I could but the writing is terrible.

More different and deeply scientific than Season 3 based around a kid who sneezed near a dilithium crystal?

Where “sneeze” means “watched his mother die in the room where everyone else he ever knew was already dead”, leaving him to grieve entirely alone for a century?

Congrats on being even less feeling than the folks who called that “a tantrum”.

Agreed. It sucked badly.

Tiger2 I’m still gobsmacked how far apart we are on this one. Just unexpected.

Can I encourage you to track down Forbidden Planet and watch it please?

“Diving deep into science” means they are going to bring back that idiotic “fluidic space” from Voyager.

I thought the main villain is Kurtzman himself since season 1…

Don’t worry, the story will soon break on Midnight’s Edge that he has been fired and it will definitely be true this time for sure.


Perhaps after another decade of failed predictions those YouTube rumour mongers will happen to be right…

I’m a long time FAN, anything and everything in the star trek series makes me feel i’m part of the show.

i would hate to see another great part of this franchise cancel … PLEASE don’t..
I love all the characters in this series.. I would love to be part of this even an extra…

It’s going to be the Doomsday Machine.

If that is the case then this time I am rooting for what Norman Spinrad called the “wind-sock dipped in cement” to prevail.

Bugle cheesey corn snack in space was what I think I recall Sternbach calling it at a con.

So will the dut-duh dut-duh nuh-uh nuh-uh music pattern be reprised by Jeff Russo?

Or would that be too many notes from an earlier theme?

Kurtzman: “There have been many kinds of villains over the course of Star Trek. What happens when the villain is not actually any kind of living, breathing entity, but something else? How do you solve that problem?”

So, we’ve never dealt with this before?

Doomsday Machine
Whale Probe
The Lights of Zetar
Oracle of Yonada
Computerized Losira

The other thing I question is WHY DO WE HAVE TO HAVE A VILLAIN? Since 2009 Star Trek has focused on villains in every instance. That’s not what Star Trek is supposed to be, IMHO.

So, we need to ignore your list of pre-2009 Trek villain’s to believe your argument that Trek now focuses to much on villain’s?


You missed the point. That is a list of the non-living, non-breathing entities dealt with previously in Trek. Kurtzman is making sounds like this has never been done before. When you take that list and compare it to the multitude of Trek episodes in all pre-2009 series where the emphasis was NOT on villains then maybe you will see the point. Name a Trek episode or movie since 2009 that did not have the majority of its emphasis on a villain.

Try and keep up.

Higgs field collapse. I’d have it where an alien race was purposely trying to trigger it for “exploratory” purposes to break the universe and meet the creator or whatever, unfortunately it would destroy everything in process. Tie this into the burn with the dilthium crystals that we can get away from the magic mushrooms.

Please tease the end of this series. Enough already. CBS executives if you read this … please clean house in writers room, please give AK the boot while at it. This show has been a hot mess from start till finish. It cannot be saved.

Was thinking about it… should be Locutus.. have it where it turns out robo Picard ends up with some sleeper cell programming and then lives forever.. where it awaits it’s chance to rebuild a “perfect society” of timeless machines with feelings/imagination that can totally replace organics. And he has a fleet waiting to pounce on the weakened remains of Starfleet.

There have been many kinds of villains over the course of Star Trek. What happens when the villain is not actually any kind of living, breathing entity, but something else? How do you solve that problem?

Not to be pessimistic but this is exactly what they said when beginning work on Into Darkness. And then the villain turned out to be a living, breathing entity.