‘Star Trek: Discovery’ Wins Emmy For Visual Effects

Two Star Trek shows were nominated for a total of five Emmy Awards this year, and this weekend they took home one.

Discovery wins for VFX

This weekend, over two nights, the Television Academy handed out awards for the Creative Arts Emmys. Up for contention this year was the third season of Star Trek: Discovery and the first season of Star Trek: Lower Decks, but it was Discovery that took home the sole win, for Outstanding Special Visual Effects In A Single Episode. The visual effects work for the episode “Su’Kal” beat out competition from The Crown, The Nevers, Vikings, and The Umbrella Academy.

The following members of the Discovery team were awarded Emmys:

Jason Michael Zimmerman, Supervising Producer/Lead VFX Supervisor
Ante Dekovic, VFX Supervisor
Aleksandra Kochoska, VFX Producer
Charles Collyer, Lead VFX Artist
Alexander Wood, On Set VFX Supervisor
Ivan Kondrup Jensen, VFX Supervisor Ghost VFX
Kristen Prahl, VFX Producer Ghost VFX
Toni Pykalaniemi, VFX Supervisor DNEG
Leslie Chung, VFX Supervisor Crafty Apes

This is the third season in a row Discovery has been nominated for visual effects, and it’s their first win. Discovery now joins The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, Voyager, and Enterprise as Star Trek series Emmy winners for visual effects.   This is the second overall Emmy win for the show, which took home the trophy in season one for Outstanding Prosthetic Makeup.

This year, Discovery was also nominated in three other categories: Outstanding Period And/Or Character Makeup (Non-Prosthetic) (it lost to The Queen’s Gambit). Outstanding Prosthetic Makeup (it lost to The Mandalorian) and Outstanding Sound Editing For A Comedy Or Drama Series (One Hour), which was won by Lovecraft Country.

Star Trek: Lower Decks was nominated for Outstanding Sound Editing For A Comedy Or Drama Series (Half-Hour) And Animation, but lost out to Love, Death + Robots. 

The 2021 Creative Arts Awards will be broadcast on Saturday, September 18 on FXX. The main Emmy Awards will be telecast on Sunday, September 19 on CBS.

Discovery VFX reel

 Keep up with all the Star Trek Universe at TrekMovie.com.

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Another Creative Arts Emmy is well-deserved, but it would be great for the powers that be to reflect on what’s needed to get nominations for the major awards.

Given that other genre shows are getting ample consideration, one has to wonder what is needed to get over the threshold.

It needs to be a stronger show. That’s essentially what it comes down to.

Much better writing.

There were a few times when Trek would put forth an episode that would have a huge swath of fans crying foul about no one outside of the Hugos noticing. The City on the Edge of Forever. The Inner Light. The Visitor. The acting efforts by the likes of Leonard Nimoy, Patrick Stewart, Brent Spiner, Tony Todd, Rene Auberjonois, Andrew Robinson, Jeffrey Combs, Jeri Ryan and Robert Picardo have gotten mention as being Emmy worthy in a just world. I don’t see that kind of chatter yet for these shows amongst professional critics, let alone fans, though fan critics are the most vocal.

Leonard Nimoy was nominated for an Emmy for all three seasons of TOS. He didn’t win, but during that era, it was noteworthy that he was even nominated; it was a sign of how very, very good his performance was.

Yep, Nimoy and TNG season 7 are the heights of Emmy recognition, with the latter being a testament to how big Trek fever was in the mid-nineties, rather than a reflection of how good the show really was that year.

And I believe DS9 season 6 was tied for most nominated drama that year, but they were all Creative Emmys.

TAS won a best children’s animated series Emmy.

It’s the only series award in the franchise

Oh yes! Thank you. Awards are a bizarre industry.

The Expanse has had some spectacular seasons, showcasing some great acting, and it is never recognized. SciFi is notoriously overlooked. Even TNG, only received a nomination in the “best drama” category for its final season.

And The Expanse was a far better show than Discovery. That said, with The Mandalorian, The Boys and Lovecraft Country each receiving best series nominations (and noms in other categories as well), science fiction being overlooked isn’t at play here as we see other genres being recognized this year.

Discovery is just another science fiction series. It isn’t presenting anything new or buzzworthy and, unlike the other series nominated this year, it isn’t earning near universal praise from fans and critics alike.


No matter how you feel about the show itself (and I’m very up and down on it depending on the episode) the FX in season 3 was amazing! Every week seem to have at least one jaw dropping scene. They really went all out to present the 32nd century and it’s visual look.

Had a LOT of issues with the episode Su’Kai when I watched it, but I remember praising how beautiful and unique it looked throughout the episode. Definitely deserves the award.

Should have been The Expanse.


Sorry Star Trek(which I love with all my heart) but The Expanse is a far better show on every level than Discovery.(IMO of course, before people get antsy)

That’s ok. I love both shows.

it is true. the expanse is better than Discovery. I would be happy if Discovery was more beautiful than the expanse, but I would not like the expanse to be less beautiful than Discovery.

Any excuse to denigrate the show, huh?

Not this past season. Last year with the Stargate thingy they went through, yes. But nothing about The Expanse Season 5 was particularly impressive. Bad acting. Bad writing. Mediocre effects.

I’ll admit only the Amos and Naomi plots really stuck with me, but the acting and production values I thought were on par with previous years.

I don’t agree on the writing or acting, but on the vfx, season five of The Expanse was unremarkable.

Congratulations to Discovery’s VFX team! That episode did look stunning.

So they were up against The CrownThe NeversVikings, and The Umbrella Academy. That’s a weird field of contenders.

Special Emmy for magical infinite dimension turbolift shafts.