David Cronenberg On Kovich’s Return In ‘Star Trek: Discovery’ In Season 4

One of the surprises for season three was the appearance of David Cronenberg playing the enigmatic scene-stealing character Kovich. Now the legendary film director is talking about his return in season four.

Cronenberg talks Kovich

Since Croneberg’s mysterious Kovich first appeared in season three, he has had fans and us wondering who he is. Even after multiple appearances, it still isn’t exactly clear who he is or what he does for Starfleet. But one thing we do know, he is coming back. Speaking to Entertainment Weekly about his other projects, including a return to directing, the interview briefly veered into Star Trek. While contrasting how working on a show like Discovery is different than his other projects, he also revealed how much Kovich we are getting in season four:

Well, Star Trek is quite a different thing because of course you have a series of directors. I was in three episodes last year and I think I’m in three this year. So your character continues from one place to another but every episode was directed by a different director. They all have a kind of different style but at the same time it’s a massive series with a huge history and so there’s a sort of momentum that goes with it. I think the director is not as important in terms of sensibility for a show like that because so much is established, the style of it, the incredible sets that we have here in Toronto for Star Trek, and the director has no input into that, so it’s really quite a different machine. But, also, of course a lot of fun. I mean, you still have to learn your dialogue and you still have to get into your costume. So for the actors it’s still a similar thing.

David Cronenberg as Kovich in “Die Trying”

With three more appearances, maybe we will finally be able to nail down Kovich’s job in Starfleet. Then again, maybe it will always remain a mystery.


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Yes! Awesome! Bravo! Look forward to seeing Kovich again. Want to learn about his interest in the mirror universe. What is he up for the next season? This is great. He added mystery to his character. This character was a very wise addition to the show. I had no idea who was David Cronenberg before Discovery. He has this ability to captivate his audience, to want you to learn more about his character.

I’ll recommend the Cronenberg films I’ve seen, Jay. The Fly is a horror classic. Videodrome was incredibly disturbing. Same with Dead Ringers (some critic said that Jeremy Irons’ Oscar was actually for this film instead of Reversal of Fortune). The films Cronenberg did with Viggo Mortensen, A History of Violence and Eastern Promises, are just great. If you hate horror, I recommend checking the last two out. They’re violent but they’re not horror films.

If you enjoyed him acting (don’t get me wrong, love his movies that he’s directed as well, huge fan of them), but him playing the part of Dr. Phillip Decker in the movie adaptation of Cabal by Clive Barker called Nightbreed, was wonderful. One of my all-time favorite movies, hands down.

Not many people have seen that one, I would guess. I loved the production design, and of course Cronenberg just eats up any scene he’s in.

Thank you, all. Will take a look at some of these films, when I get a chance. TG47 also mentioned some of these a while ago. The Fly is the only one I’ve seen, a long time ago when the film was released. :P

Well, cinephiles are very familiar with Cronenberg and you should definitely check out some of his films if you are into horror. The Fly, Dead Zone, Scanners, Videodrome, Existenz are some of the films I can suggest for you.

My first Cronenberg film was Existenz and it blew my mind away. (there’s a Scanners joke there, but I haven’t had enough coffee yet this morning to figure it out)

I still say he is part of Section 31!

He has to be! Maybe the mastermind!?

I don’t think anyone would be shocked if he was both involved in it and running it.

If he is not in Section 31, for sure he is involved or running the Temporal Integrity Commission.

He’s future guy from Enterprise.

Someone from Enterprise has mentioned before that Archer was the Future Guy. We were supposed to learn more on Season 5, which never happened. Who knows, the idea was not executed back then. They could change the concept and we could see Kovich as the Future Guy on Discovery.

(This is the original Jai!)

My pet theory:

Yes, Kovich is obviously Section 31. But not just that: He’s a Section 31 guy originally from *the past*, or he’s spent a lot of time there during black ops activities (probably 20th or 21st century). The clothes and glasses may be big clues. It may also be a nod towards the alleged real-life “men in black”, who have been described as wearing somewhat old-fashioned attire. And it would fit in with Section 31’s potential time-travelling angle too, especially if that’s part of the impending S31 show.

Fascinating analysis, Jai.

I love how Cronenberg is repping Toronto production.

He is one a few key creatives who really built the foundation of international credibility of cinematic and television production in the Greater Toronto area.

His praise for the quality of the production design isn’t automatic.

Does the Jim Henson Company still have a production facility in Toronto?

It is so refreshing to see these shows being produced in Toronto. The quality of the production is outstanding. Talents. Locations.

The selection of Canadian actors has been excellent, cool, talented, and humble. Visually you can see Discovery is not Hollywood. Is not a generic show. For some reason, watching Discovery Season 1 and 2 reminded me of Farscape, The Matrix, Lord of the Rings, the excellent shorts produced by Pixar Canada. They all have a unique look and feel.

Really enjoy seeing this aspect from Discovery, and soon SNW; glad both shows will have the same look and feel. Many of my favorite episodes have cool exterior locations. People of Earth, New Eden, and the Guardian of Forever. :P

I hope he ends up being revealed to somehow be the same character he played in “Jason X,” and that this will pave the way for Cyber Jason to finally make his return.

No, not really. Well, kind of really. Couldn’t be dumber than some of the other things they’ve written.

I do think he’s a great addition to the show, though, so this is good news for me.

His appearance in Jason X is still one of the most bizarre cameos I’ve ever seen.

we need a Cronenberg Star Trek movie. rated R/18. a reimagining of WNMHGB with exploding heads. RPatz as Gary Mitchell. ScarJo as Dr Dehner

ScarJo is WAY too attractive for Dehner.

seriously? WAY more attractive than Sally Kellerman?

Definitely.

Awesome Idea! I like it a lot more than Tarantino! : D

I agree with you suggestion about a Cronenberg directed Trek movie but I think the on species that he could do well could be the Borg. Remember Cronenberg is a master of body horror and a kind of a Borg origin story from him is something I’d definitely want to see. I am curious how he’d interpret the Borg and their assimilation process.

or do the borg and Gary in the same movie – end could be Gary vs the Borg Queen (Alice Krige again) a’la Scanners. (maybe in this version Gary would turn good at the end to defeat the borg)

I thought his character was one of the more interesting elements of season 3. Looking forward to seeing him in season 4.

Would have enjoyed more explanation of how Lt.Cdr. Yor was transported from the Kelvin quantum reality into the Discovery quantum reality and then to a point in the 24th century – likely to one of the realities visited by Worf in “parallels”. Come to think of it, this chap could be working towards undoing some kind of rapid expansion and multiplication of parallel quantum realities caused by Worf’s shuttle in that same episode. Let’s hope he doesn’t reset the timeline to the original one where Michael died in that attack as a child.

The costumes about 1,200 years from now look very 20th/21st century. Boo. Do people in 2021walk around in the rags that most wore 1,000 years ago? It’s the one thing that I think demonstrates a lack of artistic vision and boldness. Otherwise, I love Disco. But, also, yeah, I hated that the Burn was caused by a kid crying. Boo, again. So hit and miss 3rd season. Looking forward to season 4!

And glasses?! Why not wooden teeth and a wooden leg too? Doesn’t really fit 1,000+ years from now. Boo again. #BadChoices

Maybe that is far as fasion goes……..I mean maybe that is as good as it EVER gets, and that’s it. Do you think they’ll redesign the spoon and fork and it will be totally different in 1000 years? Maybe clothes only progress so far and that is it.

Yep- some technology genuinely does reach an optimum that can last centuries. Besides, Kirk was using glasses in the 23rd century when everyone else just used Retinax, so this is not without precedent.

Aurellio did also hint also, that the galaxy has technologically stalled by the time of S3.

Enjoy the show, but I admit the crying kid, this idea that exploded all warp engines? Really!? Yikes! We spent the whole season trying to figure out something that we thought was more complex. The Burn being simply a boy crying, was very embarrassing for a Star Trek show. Overall, the whole season was great. So disappointing, the Burn concept and execution.

Every time I think of a crying Kelpian is what affected trillions of miles across the galaxy for over 100 years still makes my blood boil too.

Every season I say ‘you know Discovery is not that bad’ then they pulled something cluelessly stupid out of their butts. It has happened three seasons straight now and that was the worst. I hate to think what the big season 4 ‘reveal’ will be before we collectively cringe over it.

Like you I thought overall it was a good season, certainly the best of the show so far for me. What stopped it being great was the entire Emerald Chain arc and definitely the Burn resolution. It makes my head hurt thinking about it.

If something like that happened on TOS you would say the opposite. Charlie X comes to mind and that episode was an awful rip off of a Twilight Zone episode.

At least we understand what happened and can relate to that or not. Please tell me if DIS Season 1 or 2 give you that. Or PIC 1.

In TNG a “crying adult man” wiped out an entire species of billions. I mean, if we’re going to strip out all detail and context, I guess a lot of Trek stories are going to sound silly.

That being the cause of the burn was way more satisfying, as it tied into the themes of loneliness and isolation and loss from the entire season, than if it had been Michael on accident as some suspected, or from some “just another” big bad trying to destroy the federation which has been a hallmark of the Bad Robot era of Trek. Kudos to them for doing something thematically relevant, and very much in the vein of TOS and TNG in terms of “silly” plotting that plays into the very story they are trying to tell much better than doing more BIG stuff.

Yes, I agree.

Thanks for that A34.

I find the outrage that Kurtzman finally called the bluff on 50 years of “If this one person loses control it will destroy civilization in the galaxy” plot lines very weird.

It’s the most Trek season or movie major plot that we’ve had.

I thought it was very much in the vein of TOS in that sense. Fairly mundane by the standards of some TOS episodes, in fact.

I hate to think what the big season 4 ‘reveal’ will be

Just to expand on my reply to you upthread, I suspect the big twist involving Kovich may be that he’ll turn out to be originally from “our time”, ie. 21st century pre-WW3 (possibly also with a role in WW3 and/or First Contact with the Vulcans). He’ll have had some role in major events in our century anyway, whether it involves geopolitics or extraterrestrials or something else significant.

(If they really wanted to push the envelope on this, they could also show or suggest that the reported “black triangle” UFOs are actually decloaked time-travelling Section 31 ships, the “tic tac” UFOs are Section 31/Starfleet Intelligence AI drones, and so on. Especially given the high interest the real-life UFOs seem to be showing in nuclear missile bases and nuclear-powered naval ships. But that’s just me having some fun musing about this).

Totally agree. If there is no precedent, I guess will be fine. But having so many Star Trek series/episodes that are so deep and thoughtful, having a crying Kelpien killing trillions of light-years away, makes me scratch my head, burn my brain. :P

A34’s right. A whimpering Trelane? No, problem. Q”s bawling baby? You’d buy it in a sec.

But Kelpians whose ancestiors, evolved the ability to see the fourth dimensioni of living beings, evolving the ability to feedback and adversely affect technology he can see distorting and twisting said dimensions? This you find preposterous?

What next? Are you going to say it is impossible for the butterfly effect to account for the extent of its effects?

The frequent characterization of that moment as a “crying child” or worse “a tantrum” is what really troubles me.

The child grew up watching everyone he knew slowly dying. At the end of that ordeal, he witnessed his mother’s very much despairing death, which left him traumatized, grief-stricken and completely alone.

I don’t know whether the people who minimize that are not parents, or are lacking empathy, or simply dislike Discovery so much that it overrides these things, but something is badly off in those reactions.

Yes. Agreed. Fully and completely. I have struggled to understand the negative narrative that so many folks seem to have around Season 3’s conclusion of the Burn arc and the declarations that it was lazy or nonsense writing. First, it’s science fiction — so park your disbelief at the door and actually allow yourself to slip into the shoes of the characters, primary and secondary. Some people will probably butcher me for this here, and so be it — but I thought it was a deep and emotional concept that was beautifully executed.

What!? Dude. Getting this the totally wrong way. (^_^)v

I’ve got my problems with this Trek, but this ain’t one of them. The fashion on the 90s shows was ABOMINABLE, the way they tried so hard to make it look futuristic that it just looked ugly (see: Jake’s day clothes, or anything on TNG).

Now, for all we know that’s exactly what fashion will be like in the 24th century, but we’re watching it contemporarily, so i’d much rather they not try so hard.

Given a choice between 21st century attire tweaked (hey look no collar on that shirt!), or the ugly sparkly pajama designs of 90s Trek, i’ll take the former in a heartbeat.

TNG era Trek was an experiment to determine how many things and people could be upholstered and/or carpeted.

Kovich!!!

My goodness … DC is the one aspect of DISCO Season 4 that makes me excited to view it.

Seriously, if Kurtzman & Co have done one AWESOME thing narratively, it was to hire David Cronenberg to do exactly what he has done. And then give him freedom to just rock the future frontier with his stealthy, secretive, ambiguous motivations.

I still think he’s Section 31

Come on he needs to direct some episodes too. Can you just imagine trek being directed by Cronenberg? Even the thought of it is like a different parallel universe. Then again, I am a big Cronenberg fanboy so I am probably a bit more giddy than others that he is involved with Trek at all.

He’s said that he’s used to having more creative control when he directs, but clearly understands how important continuity is with franchise shows.

He might get there, but he also really enjoys acting in other productions that are being made in the region where he lives.

He did do television shows back in the day though. I remember him directing some episodes for the Friday the 13th show. So its not completely out of the realm of possibility that he might direct some Trek too.

True, but he’s been commenting repeatedly about the lack of scope that directors have on the series.

I think he’d be more inclined to direct a Short Trek or a made-for-streaming movie.

Exactly.

Totally right. I think he is absorbing as much as he can and getting up to date with Discovery. So glad he is on the show. I believe he is taking some time to think and decide if he is accepting this opportunity.

I have seen in his interviews, he is glad to be on the show and very proud they are producing Star Trek in Toronto.

Will be a missed opportunity for Star Trek not to maximize his participation. Not only as Kovich but also as a director. Kurtzman must be trying to get him to direct for Discovery and Strange New Worlds.

As a director must be difficult to yield total control of the creative aspect of the project. He does not need to prove anything, he is in his seventies, has his films and followers.

I totally agree with you. It seems he is debating if he could (or want) to do his magic under the control of Paramount executives, under the creative control of the franchise.

Wish they could find a middle ground to make it happen. Three episodes and people are thrilled with his performance. They nailed it. So much potential. For me, he is like Saru, he has so much to offer, right from the start!

Interesting Fact: the tears shed in Discovery so far could fill the Atlantic ocean 3 times.

Honestly this is my biggest gripe. It’s like every choice Burnham makes, the directors tell her to act like it’s life and death.

“Sonequa, in this scene you’re choosing your off-duty attire for a dinner with Tyler in the mess hall, and you can’t decide between a “DISCO” shirt or a red jumper. The decision will haunt you forever if you get it wrong. Making a good impression on Tyler this evening is crucial, and it could all be determined by the top you wear. It could be the difference between being happy the rest of your life with one true love, or living in eternal misery lamenting the love that was lost. As you contemplate your fateful choice, a tidal wave of emotion– a mixture of joy and sorrow, a tumultuous swirl of anguish and elation, come welling up from deep within your heart… and… ACTION!”