The 55-Year Mission Star Trek convention featured four different panels with actors from Star Trek: Discovery. We have already reported that on one of the panels, Kenneth Mitchell revealed he will have a “unique” role in season four. We now offer some more clues we learned—or think we learned—about season four from the other three.
Stamets and Book pushing each other
In his recent interview with TrekMovie, Anthony Rapp (Paul Stamets) talked about having a chance to work more with David Ajala (Book) in season four. Both were on stage at Las Vegas and offered some more detail on these scenes, indicating they may have confrontational scenes together:
Anthony Rapp: One of my great hopes was that I would get to work directly with David Ajala. And I can say that we have some really cool stuff that we get together in season four… When I went to read that script, I was very, very excited just because I think he’s amazing. And then it was just a tremendous honor to spend those days with him in those scenes.
David Ajala: It was so much fun dude, when we were on the scenes. It was literally a two-hander [two-character scene]. I thank you for your generosity, your openness. You’re willing to play and to feel uncomfortable and to explore certain things that you can’t quite explain… We trusted in each other. And I am happy you felt the room to push me, and I felt the room to push you. Hopefully, we will be proud of the work we got to do. Thank you, again.
The end of season three saw Book using his empathic powers to navigate the spore drive, making him the first person who can do it besides Stamets, whose abilities had given him something of a sense of superiority. Perhaps this leads to some tension between the characters.
Another computer voice… so another ship?
Julianne Grossman provides the voice of the USS Discovery. Since there are more shows coming, a fan asked if she might follow in the footsteps of Majel Barrett-Roddenberry during the TNG era and become the voice of all the computers across the new shows in the franchise. Grossman loved the idea and revealed she has taken the first step:
From your mouth to god’s ears… I don’t even know if I’m allowed to say this, but I did pick up an additional character. So there is another character of me that has a slightly different voice that’s hovering out there that you’ll hear soon. But I can’t say anything more than that, but gosh I hope [to play all the computers like Majel]. I would love that.
While this “additional character” computer could be on the USS Discovery, it’s also quite possible it could be for another ship. While the season three finale did have Starfleet discovering a new source of dilithium—therefore allowing for warp travel again—building new spore drive-capable ships still seems like something Starfleet might want to do as they’d be able to jump greater distances faster than any warp-capable ship.
More Vance in emotional season four… and more in season five?
Oded Fehr is returning in season four as Starfleet Commander-in-Chief Vance. The actor spoke generally and warmly about the upcoming season:
I’m sure the show is going to be just as wonderful and amazing. Season four is incredible and very moving.
When talking about the constraints of production under COVID (more on that later), Fehr offered some hope about more Discovery and more Vance:
Hopefully, it’s going to be much easier next season, if I get to come back next season.
More T’Rina … and another Saru romance clue
Another actor introduced in season three was Tara Rosling as the Vulcan T’Rina, President of Ni’Var. She talked about her surprise at being back and gave a little hint:
It’s been an utter gift to return. I had no idea that T’Rina’s storyline would continue. And there’s been all kinds of lovely things to play as a president and in other areas. And I will leave it at that.
The “other areas” could likely be related to hints from Doug Jones that there is a budding romance between T’Rina and Saru.
Linus actor says to expect the unexpected
David Benjamin Tomlinson has delighted fans as Linus the Saurian, and he is back in season four, which he described in one word:
If I was going to talk about season four, I would say this: unexpected. I would say “unexpected” in so many, a myriad of ways.
Exploring Rhys and the bridge crew
The regular bridge crew is back in season four, which includes Patrick Kwok-Choon as Tactical Officer Rhys. The actor was careful about what he could say about the upcoming season, but did offer something:
I can’t say much… You’ll see more of the bridge crew in season four.
In response to a fan question about the development of actors of color through Trek history, Kwok-Choon indicated that there could be more exploration of Rhys in season four:
With the producers and the writers, they’ve always been open to conversations about the character, and where we want to take it… As you see on Discovery, they embrace everyone on the show… And they’re doing more for not only for the LGBTQ community, but for… I’m going to leave it at that because I don’t want to spoil too much for season four.
AR wall is a game-changer
A big new thing for season four is the production is now using a state-of-the-art AR Wall. The technology replaces greenscreens and allows the actors to perform in virtual sets. Patrick Kwok-Choon talked about how this new tech is impacting the upcoming season:
For season four, I will say the AR wall is amazing. It’s the future. It’s game-changing. The stuff they were able to create I will say AR wall is amazing. It’s the future. It’s game-changing, and the stuff that they were meant to be able to create. I have… there’s things… I am not going to say.
COVID is slowing things down, putting a strain on cast and crew
Season four of Discovery began production last November and it started winding down in recent weeks, but work has continued for some on the show. In fact, after appearing on a panel on Wednesday, Tara Rosling was recalled to Toronto for additional shooting. However, during her panel, Rosling explained how production under COVID protocols was the primary reason for the extended shooting schedule:
It’s been very, very long. Everything is slowed down. The entire cast and crew are tested three times a week. And we all have to stay on our levels. And when you’re on set, things go very slowly because touches can only come in waves. What I mean by that is makeup, wardrobe, hair, each have to take their turns… It’s also been slowed down because there are false positives along the way and things that happen and so production shuts down for a couple of days and then it has to restart.
Oded Fehr talked about the toll this all takes on the cast and crew:
I won’t lie to you guys, it’s been really, really tough, especially on a show where you couldn’t wait to go to work in the morning… When I work I hate going back to my trailer… I just stay on set all day long. And not being able to do that anymore, having to quarantine to just get into Toronto for two weeks. And then the show got pushed back and pushed back. And we’ve had a whole bunch of stuff that happened this year that’s beside the show, that affected the show… Everybody’s still very happy to be working. But we were separated by the sheer rules of the pandemic which made it a much more lonely experience.
Mary Wiseman spoke about how the cast was really happy to get together after quarantine:
The transition from spending so much time inside alone to getting to be around these people again, was like this kind of like, really crazy, uncontrollable ecstasy. Like I remember, like, we all felt like golden retrievers… “Hi, hi, hi…”
But Blu del Barrio revealed that their enthusiasm was constrained by the protocols:
Our crew told us to stop talking so much. Our masks are off when we film and they were like, “Hey can you guys not laugh all the time?” Literally, we got complaints.
David Benjamin Tomlinson had a lot of good things to say about the Discovery production crew:
I think when I look back — when I watch season four and when I think about it, I will be reminded of the remarkable perseverance of the crew on the show who lifted this season up and made it possible. The cast was amazing. So many people did push through so many extraordinary limitations to make some magic happen… I found that incredibly moving that this is could still happen in the delightful, fun tone that it did to shoot it. Every show thinks their crew is the best, but our crew is the best.
Patrick Kwok-Choon summed things up with this:
It was a difficult year for everyone. But, as everyone said, it was a lovely experience. And we just felt incredibly safe.
More from Vegas
The convention wrapped up on Sunday, but there is much more to cover. So stay tuned to TrekMovie for more news from the Star Trek convention, including updates on Star Trek: Picard, the Voyager documentary, and more. And don’t forget to check out the coverage we have already posted.
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