‘Star Trek: Strange New Worlds’ Producing Director Says Season 3 Can Start Shooting Soon After Strikes End

In our latest All Access Star Trek podcast we spoke to producing director Chris Fisher, who oversees production on Star Trek: Strange New Worlds. The discussion was mostly focused on what it took to make season 2, but Fisher also talked about how he and the team are thinking ahead about getting back into production for the third season.

Season 3 was ready to start

When the WGA strike started in May, it stopped work on the third season of Strange New Worlds. While walking the picket line at Paramount, co-showrunner Henry Alonso Myers confirmed “We won’t be able to shoot any of that [season 3] until after the strike is done, yeah.” That was about six weeks before the actors also went on strike.

In his TrekMovie podcast interview, Chris Fisher revealed just how close the Strange New Worlds team was to starting production:

I was going to direct the premiere episode… I had storyboarded pretty much the entire first episode. That’s how close we were to starting shooting. We were one day away from flying the actors in. We were like, “Do we fly the actors in?” That’s when it went above my pay scale.

A big part of Fisher’s job is managing the AR Wall virtual set. Building the visual effects for this needs to be done in advance of production, and Fisher revealed the team was well on their way when the WGA strike shut down work:

I think we were up to episode 307 with AR. We had a document, here’s your 10 genres, here’s your 10 worlds, and we were into 307 when we shut down and we were doing some exciting stuff. We found a way now to use [the AR Wall] in almost every episode… We were almost done with season 3 AR by the time we shut down for the strike… Everything I’ve heard from the studio is they can’t wait to get back on the horse as well. Once the strike is over, fingers crossed, I don’t think it’s going to be long till we’re back up and running.

He also talked up what he hopes to be doing in season 3 with the AR Wall.

I would say, that is the game changer for our show visually, what’s made our show succeed and look fantastic… I would say the big thing about season 2 is we really learned the technology better, and we really improved it. And I think now we’re extremely confident with it and that what we do seasons 3 and beyond are going to be truly mind-blowing.

Behind the scenes with AR Wall on season 2 (Paramount+)

Planning for lots of Trek after strike ends

Right now, there is no clear end in sight when it comes to the strikes. Last week, the WGA and the AMPTP returned to the negotiating table, but yesterday Variety reported negotiations are now in “limbo.” There are no current negotiations happening with SAG-AFTRA, but on Sunday the union said it was “ready at a moment’s notice” to return to the table. For his part, Fisher said he had no idea what was going on with the strikes, but his team has been continually planning ahead for how they could start production once the strikes end. He explained…

Myself and the producers up in Toronto, we kind of say, okay [the strikes end] at the end of this month, what would happen? What would we need to do to then get going? And then once the strike passes that, then we set it for the next month. We’re not that many weeks away from being able to start, absent all the other conflicts which may have arisen by now.

In addition to announcing a third season of Strange New Worlds earlier this year, Paramount+ also announced plans for a Section 31 streaming movie starring Michelle Yeoh. That project was originally going to go into production in Toronto in the fall, directed by Discovery executive producer/director Olatunde Osunsanmi. The Strange New Worlds and the Discovery productions have shared crew and assets, including the AR Wall in Toronto, so they would likely share some for this, too. Fisher doesn’t see any issues for the productions to work in parallel after the strike ends:

I don’t think [running parallel with Section 31] would hurt us. Obviously Olatunde Osunsanmi and that whole crew, that’s our family. So we’d work it out. Like that’s a great thing about Trek. This really isn’t hyperbole, it really feels like a family. We worked it out with Disco on season one sharing the AR wall and sharing everything… We used the [Discovery] sets all the time. We share everything… There is a lot of goodwill. It’s not like two separate shows that have to go figure out how to start on time… I’m so excited about Section 31. They are so close and it’s been so long. Everything I’ve heard is that the latest script is phenomenal. I don’t see why if the strike ends if they say “go,” I don’t see why everything Star Trek can start up and start get going.

Behind the scenes on the bridge set (Paramount+)

More swings in season 3

The second season of Strange New Worlds was notable for its “big swings” into different genres, which presented a number of challenges for Fisher and the production. On the podcast, he reported that work on the complicated musical episode began ahead of work on the season premiere even though it was the 9th episode of the season. Recently, showrunners Henry Alonso Myers and Akiva Goldsman revealed plans for season 3 to be “bigger,” taking on more genres. When asked if some of these ideas have him scared, Fisher revealed that’s just the way he likes it:

Every one of the words up there scares the shit out of me. The show is terrifying to make and to know that my boss is an Oscar-winning writer and my first job directing was directing his script. I’m terrified. But that’s the best thing about the job. If it wasn’t exciting like that, if you weren’t challenged like that, it wouldn’t be what it is. But, yeah, they’re big swings. They’re definitely big swings.

Rebecca Romijn and Christina Chong filming the "floating" sequence

Behind the scenes on “Subspace Rhapsody” (Paramount+)

For much more about what it takes to make a season of Star Trek: Strange New Worlds, check out the full All Access Star Trek podcast discussion with Chris Fisher.

Keep up with news for the Star Trek Universe at TrekMovie.com.

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Looking forward to the Ballet episode

I can totally see them putting Spock in a tutu and justifying it . . . somehow.

Hear me out….. Muppets

And the authors on these sites will love it, but then on their next article start whining about the Gorns again…lol

Been done. See Farscape.

ANGEL did a good muppet show.

A silent episode like the excellent Buffy one: ”Hush”(which has a Star Trek connection)

They could never top Hush, which is one of the best episodes of television ever.

John Woo has a no dialogue action film with Joel Kinnaman called “Silent Night” coming up. The premise is hard for me to resist.

I’m still waiting for the nudist themed episode

They already did that with T’Pol on Enterprise. Results were mixed.

Bad Star Trek, awesome Only-Fans-like video.

Wasn’t that the TNG episode where almost naked (mostly) white people wanted to execute Wesley for stomping on some flowers?

A classic ;-)

Don’t give them ideas!!


Lol! You made my day.

We found a way now to use [the AR Wall] in almost every episode

I thought they used the AR wall a bit too much this past season.

I agree, I would much rather have soundstages with paper mache rocks and colored backlights.

You made me giggle, Jeff.


Yeah, what a weird comment?

As opposed to actual locations I think an AR wall is a great tool, but it’s usually pretty apparent. I think using it as, say, the engine room, is a good use of the tool. But every alien planet?

It’s less noticeable than fake outdoor sets…that’s always good enough for me.

Those Douglas Fit starships were the best. They don’t make them like they used to!!


I don’t think using it often is an issue, but I do see people complain when its very obvious when it is used in a scene. I seen the same complaints for some of the Star Wars shows as well.

Exactly. I get the idea and it certainly helps realize strange new worlds in ways that haven’t been possible before, but there’s only so much you can do on any soundstage. For me, it’s less effective with wide-open outdoor spaces than it is for things like the engine room or cargo bay.

It’s just a matter of how it is used. The Mandalorian and Ahsoka to me are the best examples of the tech being used the most seamlessly. Part of that is down to having more virtual locations that look Earth-like, but it’s also down to the shows being made by people who were there when the bespoke tech was being conceived and implemented. They know its limitations better than anyone (including many of those making Obi Wan, Boba Fett, Thor 5 and Ant-Man Quantumania with the same StageCraft tech).

The Star Trek shows have a steeper learning curve with their AR wall. In a lot of cases a traditional tried and true blue/green screen approach would still work better, which is also true on all the Star Wars series. The depth of field, lighting and perspective are often not doing enough to hide the seams. But some worlds, especially the stranger ones, will always call attention to themselves for not feeling quite real, just by their nature, so might as well lean into it sometimes. But we are still light years away from those fake-looking Planet Hell caves, little forest/ice planets/enclosed spaces with obvious flat studio floors and limited room. People rag on the stock footage in “What You Leave Behind,” but equally sad to me is that the production couldn’t afford less claustrophobic sets for the streets of Cardassia or the Sisko/Dukat throwdown. It’s a privilege to be able to nitpick AR walls these days!

Sooooo…..sometime next year?

Not a chance. 2025 at the earliest.

I meant the release date.

Like you know when the strike will end? Lol. If they resolve it by October, then SNW could come out fall 2024.

None of us know when the strike will end…I’ve seen it many times in strikes, where both sides are postured and it seems like it’s going to drag on for months, and then suddenly you hear there are breakthroughs and week later you have a new agreement.

October 23, or 24? Someone in the industry was commenting on the state of affairs recently. Management isn’t talking to SAG at all, and managements “proposal” to WGA is a disjointed mess, suggesting that management isn’t in agreement on what they want.
It’s highly unlikely we see season three of SNW before 2025. If at all.

My thought too. And since I’m a lawyer I can’t help but wonder how the actors are contracted during the strikes and what kind of complications could arise relating to actor availability.

I found out today Dune 2 has been pushed back to 2024 and that’s a completed film that was suppose to be coming out in two months. If completed projects are getting delayed, think of all the ones that hasn’t even been shot yet?

2024 is possible, but September is already next week. The end of 2023 is basically here now. I mean this is the same show that delayed season 2 over an entire year after season 1 came out and they shot that season around 6 months after season 1 was made.

If they started shooting season 3 when they were suppose to, it probably would’ve came out next summer at the earliest like this season did.

It’s wonderful to hear that the Strange New Worlds team is ready to hit the ground running as soon as the strike is over! I love the show so very much; it feels like REAL Star Trek to me, in ways that many others haven’t.

C’mon, Paramount, just pay the writers and actors what they’re worth.

As sad as this is, I suspect it will only be this show and Lower Decks in 2025 although maybe season 5 of LDS can still happen next year.

Lower Decks should be generally unaffected by the strikes since animation has a separate contract. So I think Season 5 coming out in 2024 is still more likely than not.

It sounds like the Section 31 movie is ready to film as soon as the strike is over, so maybe that too if the project still happens after the strike.

Oh yeah I forgot about Section 31. Good point.

That still depends on Michelle Yeoh tho. Who knows what projects she had lined up after her Oscar win but before the strikes?

I mean, assuming the strikes end and they can start up production in 2024, Section 31 and maybe even the Academy show should be ready in 2025. They haven’t taken either off the table, have they?

The Section 31 show was suppose to shoot this year and already has a script and a director. Starfleet Academy wasn’t suppose to come out until 2025.because it sounds like they were just at the conceptual stage with the show. It doesn’t like a single script has been written yet. But sure it can still come out i 2025, but if the strike goes into 2024, I probably wouldn’t hold my breath. To be honest I’m wondering if that one survives at all if the strike goes too long.

Meant Section 31 movie…but yeah still can’t edit I see. Sigh.

Apart from the fact that this guy is promoting a struck show, I’m not sure that it’s above board for him to try to influence the union members by putting this out there.

He’s not an actor or writer for SNW so I’m pretty sure he’s allowed to talk about it.

It’s probably OK legally, but I agree that the optics are not good for him to be out there going public with this.

It’s kind of an equal opportunity statement though. It takes two parties to strike. Plus, this is also aimed at the general public, who don’t seem to be particularly warm towards the studios, so…

He didn’t really “put this out there.” He did a long interview with us and we asked him how soon everyone could get back to work once the strikes end, and he answered. We then spun it off into its own article, figuring that not everyone listens to our podcast and the information was something Star Trek fans would be interested in.

Spock’s Brain: the Musical is going to be a real blast!

The lyrics are already there. Brain and brain, what is brain? it is controller!

Wow I didn’t realize how far into pre-production they are/were!

The strike will never end.

The longer it goes on the worse it is for the studios. Forget the streamers for a minute and think about the actual networks – ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, CW – that produce shows that mostly air 20-24 episodes per season from fall to spring. When the strikes began, most of the networks pushed their scripted shows to January/February of 2024 and put reality shows/game shows (with reruns of scripted shows) in the fall primetime slots.

Other than the really big reality shows, MOST air over the summer months or winter break. If the strike is not resolved in time to get scripted shows on the air by January/February, then the networks are looking at an entire lost season. That’s A LOT of ad revenue.