Doug Jones And Anthony Rapp Preview What’s In Store For Saru And Stamets In ‘Star Trek: Discovery’ Season 4

Last week TrekMovie spoke to Anthony Rapp about the release of Star Trek: Discovery season 3 on Blu-ray/DVD, and season 4. Rapp spoke to some other outlets, with co-star Doug Jones also doing a round of interviews. We have curated some of the more interesting insights into what is to come in season 4.

Saru is still a captain, but…

The big news in the season finale was Michael Burnham being promoted to the rank of captain and given command of the USS Discovery. That left a bit of an open question regarding Saru’s status. Speaking to Doug Jones did offer some clarity:

“I’ve still got captain status with Starfleet,” Jones disclosed. “The question for Season 4 will be, where do they plug me in, and how? And you’ll have to wait and see how that plays out.”

Saru was last seen at the end of season three back on his home planet of Kaminar, helping Su’Kal – the lost Kelpien discovered to be at the center of The Burn – re-assimilate. Speaking to Inverse Jones talked about Saru’s divided attentions in season four:

“You’ll see a tug [in Season 4] between home and his duties to Starfleet,” teases the actor. “I think Saru’s longing for home is something any of us can relate to: how nostalgic we’ve all become for relationships, family, and friends. Those things have become even more important to us in a world faced with peril. I think you’ll see these seeds of Saru wrestling with that, the idea of being tethered to home during Season 4.”

Doug Jones as Saru in season four teaser

More family… and some Saru romance

Speaking to ScreenRant, Anthony Rapp confirms the family connection with Adira and Gray will grow in season four:

“Yes, and I don’t think it’s a spoiler to say that one of the cool things about season 4 for Adira and Gray is that they get to spread their wings a little bit. They have their sea legs now so you get to see them in their own right and not just simply as a piece of the family puzzle or being overseen and tended to in that way.”

And Doug Jones reveals to Decider he has a personal connection with the Adira storyline, and hints at more to come:

“And then the Blu del Barrio’s character, Adira, playing into the chosen family scenario with Dr. Culber [Wilson Cruz] and Commander Stamets [Anthony Rapp], that they kind of have a child now in a chosen family kind of way, which I can relate to because my lovely Mrs. Jones and I never were able to have kids of our own and did an adult adoption with a young lady that we met 18 years ago, who’s now our daughter. So chosen family is a real thing, and it’s nice to see that played out. We have more rotating in for Season 4.”

The actor also again hinted that there is a budding romance with Saru and a character introduced in season 3:

“…if you look at another episode in Season 3, you’ll see that he meets President T’rina from the planet Ni’var, which was formerly Vulcan. And his heart goes a little bit flutter, flutter over her. So if there’s a romantic interest, that’s probably going to be President T’rina from Ni’var.”

T’Rina and Book in season four teaser

Stamets saving the universe, again… with help from Book

In an interview with, Antony Rapp revealed season four allowed him to work more with an actor he didn’t get much time with in season three:

“I think I can say that one of the exciting things for me is that I get to have some really nice moments with David Ajala, who is such a fantastic person and a wonderful actor, but we were on very different tracks in season three when he first came onto the show, so I may have had one moment where we even were in the same room. But in season four, I get a nice extended sequence with him, working with him on something, and that was just a total pleasure to get to spend that time with David and to watch his wonderful work in person. Stamets is working his butt off in season four; I can tell you that much, trying to help save the universe again.”

Anthony Rapp in the season four teaser

Jones sees Discovery going more than five seasons

Production on the fourth season is wrapping up soon, with Jones telling Decider that pandemic protocols have added some time:

“We came back though, filming Season 4, and we’re closing in on the end of it now in Toronto. That’s been our first experience filming under the COVID restrictions… We have had a couple stops and starts. It has taken us longer this season. What normally takes us eight or nine months, it will take us maybe closer to 11 this year, maybe. But again, we’re going to complete a season. You’ll have a Season 4 to look at later this year.”

Note: In his TrekMovie interview last week Anthony Rapp revealed his work on the season was already complete, but that shooting was continuing at a different location that didn’t include Stamets. And David Ajala revealed on Twitter last Thursday he had also finished his work.

And speaking to Inverse Doug Jones talked about his expectations for more to come:

“They told me they had a five-year plan,” says the actor, discussing his earliest meetings about Discovery. “That was, like, three showrunners ago.” Jones laughs. “Those people weren’t even around anymore,” he adds. “I’m sure [the series] could go on much longer now. Or will go on much longer.”

Shortly before season four went into production executive producer Alex Kurtzman said he was discussing plans for the future of the Star Trek Universe on Paramount Plus through to 2027. And specifically, the co-showrunner said he felt there are “years and years left on Discovery.” As of now, Paramount+ has not yet announced plans to continue the series past season four and traditionally season pickups aren’t announced until the latest at least begins to stream.

Anthony Rapp as Stamets, Wilson Cruz as Dr. Culber, and Dr. Pollard (Daven Duada) in season four teaser

Season four of Discovery will debut on Paramount+ later in 2021.

Find more news and analysis for Star Trek: Discovery.

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I adore Saru — he’s my favorite of the Discovery characters — and I thought his fluttering with T’RIna was cute and sweet in Season 3. So I’ll be thrilled if Saru and T’Rina manage to get a bit closer. Saru has been through a lot in the past few years, and it would be nice if he had that bit of happiness.

I hope Rapp misspoke when he talked about saving the “universe.” Saving the ship, saving a planet, saving Starfleet, saving the Federation, all those are fine. But the universe is awfully big, and plots were the very UNIVERSE is at stake always feel ridiculously grandiose to me.

It’s nice and low-stakes compared to saving the multiverse in season one, right? 🙄

It is no more grandiose than the avengers saving the same with vastly inferior tech in MCU. Yet people seemed fine with it, so your objection to that in Star Trek is silly.

Well, you don’t know how Corylea feels about the Avengers saving the universe. She may not like it any more in the MCU than she does in Trek. Just because “people” are fine with something doesn’t mean everybody has to like it, right?
Also, maybe that’s just me but I would hope for a higher level of “realism” in Trek (I know it’s still Sci-fi) than in some superhero comic book adaptation.

Exactly! Thank you!

While I’m not huge fan of traditional superheroes I couldn’t care less about “realism”… Guardians of the Galaxy – comic-based or not – is great space opera stuff, so are most Thor movies… I just want to see strange new world, go places, meet some really freaky aliens, explore other dimensions and dreamworlds… space fantasy… second star to the right, straight on till morning…

The reason I don’t like superheroes that much is not the lack of realism but the silly costumes and the even sillier telling name monikers. I could never fully wrap my head around those tropes. If these superheroes wore something like Starfleet uniforms or Jedi robes and used their normal names, I’d probably be a huge fan of the genre. For example, I very much liked the X-Men movies: no silly costumes. I didn’t even know those were CBMs for some time. They just felt like sci-fi movies…

I don’t watch the Avengers. But really, MCU is a COMIC BOOK universe, whereas Star Trek aspires to be — or at least seem — closer to reality.

I used to think that too, until they thought up that idiotic mushroom drive…

And that’s why I love the spore drive… They couldn’t call it the force drive but it’s the same… magic in pseudo-scientific words… Midichlorians, Mycellium Network, Spice… Bring it on!

oooh, good one, Silvereyes!
Generally speaking, I don’t get much “drive” from mushrooms!

Honestly I truly love the idea of the spore drive, but understand why it bothers others. It was mainly just WILDLY out of place in the 23rd century for so many reasons and probably another reason why they put the show in an advanced timeline to correct that mistake (but then its weird its the ONLY ship with it 900 years later but I’ll digress on that ;)).

But what I always found funny about it is that people whined they wanted Star Trek back in the 23rd century because they didn’t want ‘magical technology’ and the spore drive is probably one the most magical pieces of technology ever created in Star Trek lol.

Just goes to what I been saying for years now, the ‘century’ Star Trek takes place in has nothing to do with whatever level of tech we will see, it will simply depend on the writers. And DIS proved that in droves. If they really want to do something, they will always find a way regardless the year a show takes place in.

TOS “The Alternative Factor” :-)

  1. That was ONCE, not all the #$%@ time.
  2. It’s generally agreed that “The Alternative Factor” was the weakest episode of Season 1 of TOS.

Well, I don’t agree :-) TAF is not the best Season 1 episode but I actually quite like it. I’m not a huge fan of Miri, Dagger of the Mind and Conscience of the King… But then I differ from most “general agreements” time and again.

There are many eps, movies and seasons of Star Trek that are “generally agreed” to be the worst Trek ever that I actually like a lot: TOS 3, TNG 1, VOY 5, TMP, TFF, GEN, STB… And yeah; DS9 is NOT my favourite show although it is “generally agreed” to be. But I LOVE Move Along Home :-)

I’m not sure where you get that VOY season 5 is considered “bad”.The show is in it’s absolute peak. Episodes like Drone, Dark Frontier( which would look as good as FC if it was in HD) Counterpoint, Someone to watch over me and Relatively, all great shows. It also includes the single best episode Voyager ever produced: Timeless( a Harry Kim story no less!)

Also… I always point to Seasons 4 & 5 of Voyager to recommend to newcomers to Trek as well. It’s a great starting point to enter Trek( no doubt I will get objections!)

There’s no such thing as a bad season of Voyager. Bad individual episodes, maybe; but it was good from the beginning to the end.

You are Correct Sir!

Agreed. I think seasons 4 and 5 are my favorite seasons of the show. I’m currently rewatching season 3 now (which I always liked as well minus a few stinkers) but the show really gets good once season 4 starts.

Rapp’s head looks like it’s warping into position on his shoulders in the photo at the top of this article and now I can’t unsee it.

That’s so cool… A queer version of the TMP / STB poster on which the rays came from above…

Man it’s so great to be getting SO MUCH Star Trek news these days! And with Lower Decks being the first out of the gate in just a few weeks, it’s going to be really exciting from that point on! Thanks for covering it all TM! :)

Unfortunately I have to say I’m looking forward to Discovery the least out of all the new shows. Not because I think it will be bad, but the other shows just look like they have more intriguing story lines so far (well we don’t even know what SNW will be about yet). But of course I want to hear more and what they said here sounded great. But like a lot of things about Discovery it will mostly come down to whatever the main story itself will be and I really hope they hit this one out of the park. But at the moment I’m still a bit….unsure, especially after three seasons where I felt all the stories have been major let downs by the end (but liked each season more than the previous one overall).

And I do hope the show can go for several more seasons because I really want to see the 32nd century developed more! Even if I didn’t love how they did the Burn or the Emerald Chain, I still love how they built up the era in general and really want to see more of it. Everything about it is SO intriguing for me and why I wanted to see Star Trek FINALLY expand into new centuries and eras pass the 24th century. In fact I’m hoping whenever Discovery is cancelled, they spin off a new show to continue in this era.

“well we don’t even know what SNW will be about yet”

Errr… I hope it won’t be about anything but the Starship Enterprise exploring STRANGE NEW WORLDS, seeking out new life and new civilizations, boldly going where no one has gone before… That’s the mission and it should be the mission of every Star Trek show no matter what the ship is called…

I hope that if SNW becomes a smashing success, they will send DSC on an exciting mission of exploration to another galaxy… the spore drive should suffice and if it malfunctions, we’d have a mini-VOY arc. That’s fine with me as long as they fail to “fully realize” that premise’s full potential again and give us planets and nebulas of the week as back on VOY :-)

Back in the day, I used to deem it a failure to largely ignore VOY’s potential for ongoing arcs… But not anymore… I’m sooooo glad that show is basically TNG 2.0 in another part of the galaxy and not anything like NuBSG…

OK, I guess we do know a little of what it’s about. ;D

I thought there will be an ongoing story line of some kind happening like DIS and PIC but just not so connected as those and still just do standalone episodes within the story like Enterprise still did in season 3. But maybe I’m wrong on that and it will literally just be completely different stories each episode like TOS, TNG and VOY did. I’m actually fine with either JUST as long as the story they have isn’t another convoluted saving the galaxy story and maybe something on a smaller level. But we’ll see.

As for VOY it is interesting what a different world we live in today. If that show was on now, it probably wouldn’t even get on the air unless it was serialized.

I feel like Voyager should’ve been darker and had more conflict instead it was TNG warmed over. The thing with Maquis working with Starfleet shouldn’t have been resolved so quickly. They were on the frontier Janeway would have had to be severe to maintain discipline. There is no stopping at a starbase. No Civilization. By every indication it should’ve been darker than even Deep Space Nine.

I understand and I don’t disagree that much. But you have also to look at it with the context at the time.

We have to remember at the TIME, the fact DS9 was ‘darker’ was already pretty controversial to both the studio and a lot of the fans. That was part of the issue, some felt DS9 had went TOO far and away from Roddenberry ideals (but I’m not one of them) and the network wanted something ‘safer’ and in line with more optimism that TNG had and especially since, after all, that show had the bigger ratings then too. And the last thing anyone wanted who was putting up the money for the show was to be even DARKER than DS9 was even considered. That was probably a hard no and would’ve never gotten on the air. Certainly not on UPN anyway.

Even though the entire premise of the show was set up for conflict, I think the issue was DS9 was already presenting too much of it, especially when compared to TOS and definitely TNG.

Voyager was given a premise that was a little too much for TPTB to dive into beyond a few episodes every season. They were probably afraid people would reject it if Janeway was doing things that didn’t look Starfleet enough. And of course she DID do things that were questionable and the few times she did that, a lot of fans didn’t like it and became divided over it. That was the problem, trying to find a balance. And I think the producers felt it’s better to be safe(r) than sorry in the end.

But I don’t disagree with you. I would’ve liked a darker tone too but I just don’t think it would’ve flew then. So many of us today look at DS9 with such praise but 20 years ago it was considered the red headed step child of the franchise back then and VOY was there to right the ship so to speak, especially for all the fans who just wanted more TNG.

Optimism, positivity, teamwork and spirit of family is ultimately what sells the franchise, not antagonism and bleakness. Discovery had to kind of learn that the hard way and it too changed its tone a lot more lighter by season 2. And ironically why the Pike show is probably replacing it in the 23rd century now to feel closer to the ‘optimism’ and ‘Federation virtue’ of old with all around good guy Pike at the helm with waaaay less foreboding we got with Lorca.

But I’m hoping the Voyager documentary go into this kind of stuff as well just like the DS9 doc admitted it had problems catching on because it was a little too different and dark for a lot of fans. VOY seem to had the OPPOSITE problem and it felt too familiar and comfortable for others.

So stoked about season four of Star Trek: Discovery, whether it would live long and prosper or die short and suffer.

“They told me they had a five-year plan,” says the actor, discussing his earliest meetings about Discovery. “That was, like, three showrunners ago.”

Bring on “Chaos on the Bridge II” as a DSC documentary… :-)

You’ll probably have to wait a few more decades. “Chaos on the Bridge” only came out 27 years after TNG premiered and long after that whole era of Trek had ended.
It seems that people in power don’t like to talk about their failures unless it’s long enough in the past so that it can’t “hurt” them anymore.

Haters be damned, I’m looking forward to season four. Although those asymmetrical uniforms are already grossly offending my OCD.

Has anyone heard whether Netflix will continue to carry Discovery internationally in Season 4?

Why wouldn’t they? Paramount+ is still in its infancy outside the US so it wouldn’t make sense to pull the show from Netflix. At least not in the markets where they aren’t established yet.

AFAIK, the deal is to carry the show on Netflix indefinitely as long as it keeps running. I have never heard anything differently.


Until Enterprise, the “rule” for Star Trek shows was 7 seasons. I hope that resumes here along with Picard and Lower Decks and Strange New Worlds.

I’m sure there is a story there. Why they decided to do the JJ Abrams Star Trek and cancel all television projects for ten years. You could also do a story on UPN and its failure and Enterprise being connected to that albatross. There is also the breakup of Viacom to consider. Studio politics, Les Moonves.