All Access Star Trek And Composer Jeff Russo Talk ‘Discovery,’ ‘Picard,’ And The Noah Hawley Movie

All Access Star Trek podcast epsiode 39 - TrekMovie

[Jeff Russo interview starts at 26:33]

Tony and Laurie start with the latest Star Trek news: John de Lancie’s been revealing more about Picard season 2 on Cameo, LeVar Burton confirms he won’t be in season 2 (but maybe season 3), a temporary production shutdown of Discovery season 4, and Michelle Yeoh talks about the possible return of Emperor Georgiou. We also get an update on the documentary In Search of Tomorrow about 1980s sci-fi cinema, with a clip from Walter Koenig.

The podcast then focuses on our interview with Star Trek composer Jeff Russo. We talk about the new Star Trek: Discovery season 3 soundtrack and how he changed things up for the show’s big jump into the future. He also takes us behind the scenes on recording during a pandemic, and talks about early plans for Discovery season 4 (and Picard season 2). Russo also gives us some insight into the currently paused Noah Hawley Star Trek movie, which he had started writing music for last year.

Links to topics discussed in the pod:

John de Lancie on Cameo

LeVar Burton Assumes Geordi Will Appear In ‘Star Trek: Picard’… But Not In Season 2

Michael Dorn’s Viral Campaign Reveals Itself To Be For ‘Star Trek: Legends’ Game

Watch: Walter Koenig Talks ‘Star Trek II: The Wrath Of Khan’ In Exclusive Clip From ‘In Search Of Tomorrow’ Doc

‘Star Trek: Discovery’ Temporarily Pauses Production Due To Off-Set COVID Contact

Michelle Yeoh Says Star Trek Producers Have More In Store For Emperor Georgiou

Additional mentions:

Interview: Composer Jeff Russo Says Fans Would “Lose Their Minds” Over Noah Hawley’s Star Trek Movie

‘Star Trek: Discovery’ Season 3 Soundtrack Out Now

Vinyl Soundtrack And More ‘Star Trek: Picard’ Tie-Ins Coming This Summer And Fall



Tony: Back to the Future extended scene with more Star Trek

Laurie: Kayla’s Bela Okmyx poster (art by Steffi Hochriegl) – and in “A Piece of the Action”

Bela Okmyx on the door

Let us know what you think of the episode in the comments, and please post your suggestions for topics we should cover in the future as well as guests you’d like us to have on.

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One thing I wonder about is whether Michelle Yeoh’s next appearance in Trek will even be on TV at all. What if wherever Georgiou was sent is the plot of one of the movies in development?

I was going to respond with skepticism, but I think that’s actually an interesting idea. She IS a movie star, and a global one at that, although not usually the first name on the call sheet. Fascinating.

It’s a TERRIFYING idea. Action movie star associated with nothing but screen violence in her role as space Hitler being the face of the next Star Trek project?

I get it, I do. I really did NOT like her character, especially when everyone was just accepting her behavior, and that weird tribute to her after she left felt totally out of place (and was for sure more about Michelle Yeoh than Georgiou). That said, the things she talked about on that podcast were more interesting than what we saw on TV, and exploring that could be intriguing. I’m NOT interested in her just being a badass surrounded by people who gloss over her former life as a tyrant.

And lately she’s been doing less action-y roles. I thought she was terrific in Crazy Rich Asians.

That’s what do, we gloss over people’s pasts in this world we live in. Why not gloss over Georgiou’s past behavior as it doesn’t seem to affect anyone in power positions these days, no matter how shitty they are/were/still are.

She was very good in SUNSHINE, which was a far cry from her action roles. In fact, I’ve not seen her anywhere near as good in anything before or since.

Actors sounding more intelligent than their characters isn’t something new to TREK; I remember being enthralled by early Mulgrew interviews, and yet VOYAGER was the first TREK series I gave up on completely and abandoned, largely on the way her character was written.

I don’t know, mirror Spock is able to strike terror in the likes of mirror Sulu by telling him some of his operatives are Vulcan. And yet, Prime Kirk turns over to him a weapon of mass destruction merely because he has a commitment to logic?

Somehow, I don’t think these Vulcans are vegetarians?

No, she wasn’t ‘Space Hitler,’ she was born into a society that only encouraged and allowed violence and she followed those norms because she never learned of any other possibility. Also, Michelle Yeoh is associated with more then just action fims and violence, she’s a great actress and her character deserves her in-progress on-screen redemption, so I’m glad she’ll show up again despite the mysogyny and racism her character receives.

Back to false claims of sexism and racism. That is the tactic of people who have no substantial logical argument.

@QuirrelOC: Absolutely agreed. She was by no means “Space Hitler”. Hitler created an inhumane, misantropist ideology and put it into action. He deliberately had the weak killed by the millions: babies, pregnant women, old people, disabled.

Georgiou grew up in a society where something like that had been acceptable for centuries. But even then, so only killed civilians as collateral damage, not unlike real-life warfare against terror. Her campaign was against restance fighters. Yeah, she did kill millions of innocents along the way, but so did the bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki…

What she didn’t do – as far as we know – was selecting infants for immediate termination.

In season 1, she killed all of her advisors (council members? whatever) but one, just to keep a secret. She also selected and killed Kelpiens, and ate them. I don’t think it was collateral damage. She was a brutal, murderous tyrant; she wouldn’t have been the emperor otherwise. At that point, she would have killed anyone for any reason that suited her.

A philantropist she was not. And certainly no philkelptropist :-) But that’s what she had learned growing up in that society. If Hitler had won that war and if his ideology had become the dominant source for “morality”, would a tenth-generation successor still be responsible the same way the original creator of that ideology? I don’t know, because thank God, he didn’t win that war…

I think these are the fascinating issues that the show itself glossed over… as Tony always says, there’s what they wanted to do, and what actually ended up in the show. I think this is what they wanted to get into on the show but they didn’t really dig in. So if there is a Georgiou series, these are the themes I’d want to explore, rather than “Look at her being a badass!” And I hope she has to come to terms with all of this. It’s rich territory!

Georgiou grew up in a society where something like that had been acceptable for centuries.

Did you sleep through centuries of European anti-semitism before Hitler came to power in 1933?

Winning the internet for the day, the month, the year …

And to tie it back to TREK and put a perverse spin on things, you have BREAD&CIRCUSES, where slavery is institutionalized and the slaves have benefits not unlike modern WalMart employees.

I might have missed it, but was the question asked of whether Jeff was going to score Strange New Worlds? I’m sure he would have politely sidestepped the question regardless, but I’m curious if he’s being considered.

I remember reading that the producers hired one of the new composers who did the last round of Short Treks to score one of the new shows. I don’t remember if that was for Prodigy or Strange New Worlds, though.

I think you are talking about Nami Melumad. Melumad will work on Prodigy according to her discography…

Her “Future is Female” track on YouTube sounds like great scoring to me that would fit with Trek a lot…

“An American Pickle” shows both a strong Giacchino influence and a certain welcomed “Mickey Mousing” talent that she needs for a kids show…

I simply have to say both tracks sound absolutely great to me. I’m very much looking forward having her on PROD… If she can keep that level, it’ll be a wonderful score…

Yes, that’s it. So she’ll be working on Prodigy.

I hope she scores both shows! Have you heard her Medal of Honor: Above and Beyond score? crazy stuff.

Hopefully not. I like Jeff’s scores but his style is not classic Trek. His DSC and PIC scores are in the vein of people like Bear McCreary and Ramin Djawadi… dark TV-MA serialized premium shows…

As SNW needs to have a back to the roots kind of feel, we need someone who can emulate traditional space opera scoring. I’d so much like to have some of the people working for The Orville on SNW: Joel McNeely, John Debney, Bruce Broughton… They nail the TOS / early TNG vibe, even elaborate and improve on it…

Or, perhaps, as a nod to the past, the late Jerry Goldsmith’s son Joel, who had done incidental work on Star Trek Nemesis to complement & augment his father’s score, but is best known as the composer for Stargate SG-1 and Stargate Atlantis.

Unfortunately, Joel Goldsmith died 9 years ago.

Great podcast and it was terrific to listen to Jeff discussing the scoring process. I do love TOS scores (Kaplan, Fried, Steiner et al) and having done a complete TNG re-watch recently was struck by how unmemorable the music was (save for a handful of exceptions). This (along with making Pulaski a recurring character) was one of TNG’s missed opportunities IMO.

I would enjoy a show, series, or movie with Georgiou as the Chief of Temporal Investigations. As mad as folks on here are about Discovery glossing over Georgiou’s change of heart, I find it much more shocking that one of the key factors that reset the whole Star Trek universe between Seasons 2 and 3 was this Temporal War. But it’s only mentioned a couple of times in passing. Who was fighting? Over what? And how much time traveling happened when Discovery’s jump should have eliminated the very possibility except via Karl and his friends?

Also, I think the fate of the Terrans is partially explained in the Georgiou’s farewell episodes. I think Karl returned her to the first day of the beginning of the end for the Terrans. Shortly after this we learned about the alliance formed against the Terrans from Mirror Michael. Georgiou had already suspected their xenophobic, totalitarian way of life was unsustainable. Her suspicions were confirmed a 1,000 years later when Kovich informs us the Terran empire had fallen centuries ago. That fact is a significant part of her motivation for making different choices. It’s an attempt to save her home and rescue the Terrans from themselves.

And speaking of redemption, the fact that my favorite Emperor is so changed Mirror Saru of all people doesn’t believe she’s Terran says a lot!

The show that Laurie was speculating about, a time-travel show that goes to different eras to fix the time line, already exists! It’d called DC’s Legends of Tomorrow! It’s a fun show! They time travel to different eras in their time-ship to fix the time line!

I actually wrote a treatment for such a show back in the 1990s. I called it Time Trek. Small time-ship, small crew, has characters from a few time lines. One character was from TOS and wore that uniform and used the TOS phaser. It was fun. But when I saw that the prequel Enterprise show was doing the “Temporal Cold War” I abandoned my idea. Anyway.

Ooh, I should check it out. I like some of the other DC shows… The Flash is still fun, Supergirl was great so I’m going to stick with it until the end even though it lost its mojo a while ago, liking Superman & Lois as well. Never got into Arrow, though.

Laurie: they do a great job linking all the DC shows together. It really reminds me of Star Trek in the 1990s. If you liked The Flash, then Legends of Tomorrow has some of the characters from that show (Captain Cold, Heatwave, Firestorm). And, they did do a Star Trek parody when the crew were stuck in a TV network: they had to emulate famous TV shows long before Wandavision did it!
They also did Friends and Dowton Abby. Anyway, it’s a fun, quirky show.

Sounds right up my alley!

I’ve been meaning to give a shout-out to your podcast Tony & Laurie, I’m a fairly new listener but I’ve lent my ears to several eps recently, you both make informed, very pleasant & insightful voices!

Thanks for the nice comments! Glad you’re enjoying it.

Hi Laurie. I sent a comment last Saturday and it went into the “awaiting approval” zone but it’s not been seen since?

not sure why that happened. you should be able to see it now. The automated system flags things sometimes for mysterious reasons.

Thanks Tony. Loving the podcast and looking forward to your discussion with Gates McFadden on Friday