Doug Jones Talks Saru Romance And “Gorgeous” Epilogue Added To ‘Star Trek: Discovery’ Season 5 Finale

From Trek Talks 3 panel with Doug Jones and moderator Jessica Verdi

The upcoming fifth season of Star Trek: Discovery will also be the last, although the cast and crew didn’t know that when the season was filmed in 2022. During his Trek Talks 3 panel yesterday, Saru actor Doug Jones talked about the season finale and how they added an “epilogue” to turn it into a series finale.

Saru/T’Rina romance and tearful finale

Trek Talks is a marathon of Star Trek panels streamed live on January 13 on YouTube to benefit the Hollywood Food Coalition. Doug Jones had a solo Trek Talks 3 panel which wrapped up the event on Saturday. During a wide-ranging discussion with moderator Jessica Lynn Verdi about his career, Jones talked a bit about Discovery and Saru’s journey in season 5 and teased the ongoing romance with T’Rina, President of Ni’Var:

“If you’re wondering where the Saru/President T’Rina story goes, I can’t tell you anything except that I asked our showrunner at the beginning of filming, not knowing how the season was going to play out, ‘Will the romance continue with Saru and T’Rina?’ and she said, ‘I think you’ll be very pleased.’ That’s all I’m going to say.”

Doug Jones as Saru and Tara Rosling as T’Rina in the season 4 finale

Jones also talked about the original Star Trek: Discovery season 5 finale:

“While we were filming season 5, we didn’t know that that was our final one, but every season on Discovery has come to a close at the end. Every season closer has been like, ‘Is that the series done?’ Because they all come to some kind of conclusion. So when we got done with season 5 they brought the seasons to a lovely close and then we found out actually Star Trek cruise last year in February. We had to get on an emergency zoom call with the whole production and that was when we were told that season five was our last one.”

Recently, Paramount confirmed the fifth and final season will debut this April. Jones explained how last year the cast was told Paramount+ was planning on delaying the release to ensure they could properly promote it:

“We were told they were going to delay the airing of it. Because it is our final season they wanted to build up with all the PR materials to make a big thing of our final season.”

The double strikes ended up delaying the release further because Paramount wanted to be sure the cast and creatives would scheduled to be part of the promotion. Just this week, it was announced the season will have a world premiere at SXSW in March along with a Q&A panel.

From Trek Talks 3 panel with Doug Jones and moderator Jessica Lynn Verdi

In his TrekTalks panel, Jones went on to talk about how they were given a chance to add additional footage to the season finale to turn it into a series finale:

“In addition to that was going back to Toronto, opening up the studio again, and filming an epilogue that we could tack on to the last episode that would then bring the whole series to a rousing close… Not a lot of shows get to do that. Oftentimes your dressing room is locked and you’re done.”

He also talked about his emotional reaction when he got a chance to see this epilogue himself:

“When I went back in to do my ADR voice looping for that final episode to clean up the dialogue—that we do for every episode—I asked the people in the booth, ‘Can you play this entire epilogue for me so I can see how we end?’ And by the time it was done, I was doing this [wipes face] wiping tears. ‘I feel closure.’ That was great. Yeah… It’s going to be gorgeous.”

The way Jones describes the additional shoot, it sounds like the season 5 finale remains as originally shot but with this “epilogue” added to wrap up the series. At CCXP in December, showrunner Michelle Paradise said “Paramount+ and CBS Studios gave us the ability to go back and shoot some additional scenes.” At the same event, star Sonequa Martin-Green described it as “an addendum shoot,” saying “it is beautifully culminating… I really believe it was satisfying. It really ties up really well.”

New season 5 cast photo (Paramount+)

 Watch Trek Talks 3

Here is the live stream for the full event. (Video should jump to the start of the Doug Jones panel at 7:51:01)

The mission of the Hollywood Food Coalition is to feed and serve the immediate needs of the hungry every day of the year so they can build better lives. You can see some of the great work Hollywood Food Coalition is doing on their YouTube channel in videos like this one:

If you want to donate now, you can do so here:

Donate to the Hollywood Food Coalition

Get updates and learn more at trektalks.net.

Discovery seasons one through four are currently streaming exclusively on Paramount+ in the U.S., the U.K., Switzerland, South Korea, Latin America, Germany, France, Italy, Australia and Austria. Seasons two and three are also available on the Pluto TV “Star Trek” channel in Switzerland, Germany and Austria. In Canada, it airs on Bell Media’s CTV Sci-Fi Channel.


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So sad Disco is ending. I truly love SMG as captain.

Definitely. It’s my favorite of the new shows. Glad they got the addendum.

I was just thinking yesterday that I hadn’t seen your name on the Star Trek sites for quite awhile, and I was hoping you were okay. Glad to see you’re still alive!

I’m still bummed out about it. Such a wonderful cast and after such a bumpy start, it’s become such a lovely and inclusive show.

I enjoy a lot of aspects of Discovery, but I honestly can’t stand SMG’s attempts at acting. She’s such a sweet, friendly person… but I find her to be needlessly melodramatic and whispery. Also, I just don’t like the character of Michael. Her story arc is all over the place. Still, I can respect that others enjoy her. maybe I’ll feel differently when I eventually marathon the entire show after it ends.

Yeah I don’t like her at all as a character, and the show is built around her so there goes my enjoyment

Honestly I don’t think it’s her acting, I think it’s the writing. I think SMG is doing the best with what she was given.

I’m right there with you. Discovery is my favorite new Trek show, and Michael one of my favorite Trek characters. I’m sad to see this incredible series end. Though I’m glad they got to put together a satisfying conclusion. I can’t wait to see it.

SMG’s performance has been the highlight of the series for me and it frequently has saved the writing, especially in Seasons 2 and 4, which were not as good as the first two stellar seasons.

For me it’s the opposite! The writing was so difficult to watch on a week to week basis that it often made me not want to tune in. That’s sad because the performances themselves often felt like the best people could give. I ultimately feel like the people that ran the show never quite got a handle on how to tell a compelling serialized story that would get people to tune in week after week. The only way the seasons even remotely worked for me was as a binge watch because it gave me the chance to see the vision the production team was going for. I hope that this final season offers a more weekly coherent story, great acting and a satisfying ending for its most devoted fans!

To each his own. I love the writing in S1 and S2. S1 and S2 of DSC I would argue is the most original and newest take on Star Trek we have seen since DS9.

The problem was, they made the mistake of listening to the loudmouth naysayer fans on Trek web sites who incessantly bashed the show during those first two seasons, and then they both time jumped and watered down the show to try to please that cabal, and the result was an inferior show, including the writing.

I can’t disagree with any of this. The only things I really didn’t like in season one was all of the intra-ship transporting and the senseless killing of Dr. Culber, but nothing show altering. I enjoyed it.

Ya never know. Does any Trek series ever really end? Even DS9 has had a bit of come backs of sorts.

I haven’t seen much in the way of PR, I’m assuming that will kick in just before the Superbowl, but that doesn’t leave a lot of time to build up general excitement between then and April (probably the 4th, since April 4th is “the day before first contact”).

Based on Doug Jones’ comments, I wonder if this filmed epilogue will be something akin to the montage at the conclusion of “What You Leave Behind?”

Here’s hoping for a Six feet Under style finale, and it closes out each character’s storyline definitively. But something tells me that they are going to want a few cameos on the Academy show.

I’m hoping for something more like the DS9 ending, where we see the characters moving onto whatever the next step in their lives will be. That way, we can still catch up with them in Academy, or some other show or TV movie, kind of like how Lower Decks has caught up with Kira, Quark, Rom, and Leeta.

Even if they did show what happens to the characters over the next few decades, that doesn’t preclude cameos in future shows.

The “Six Feet Under” finale was as good as anything I’ve ever seen on television. It was just a beautiful summation of the show’s original ideas and themes that had occasionally been sidelined during its run.

Agreed, best finale ever, imo.

I just posted to you in another thread mentioning I hadn’t been able to get into that series … maybe after SUCCESSION we finally will.

From what this epilogue sounds like I don’t think they will have the time for what you are describing (which is sort of like what DS9 did to a lesser degree at the end). But what I really hope is that it closes out the entire story to satisfaction.

Saru was already my favorite part of Discovery, and then they added the T’Rina romance, and the two of them were just so adorable together. Glad Saru will get some love; he’s such a wonderful person!

Saru is by far my fav part of the show. Great character. But I know why you like the one off alien of the crew LOL. :)

Hee! Aliens are just inherently interesting. But it’s true that Saru has a sweetness that reminds me of Mr. Nimoy’s Spock…

Ha ha, I know you so well :) Miss ya

It means a lot to me that you know me so well. Thank you, my friend.

It makes me happy that the cast and crew were able to go back and film the epilogue/closure that would, for them, properly close out the series. WAY too many series are not renewed or canceled and the production doesn’t have time to wrap things up. I am a Disco fan and glad the series will get a proper (and from the sounds of it) emotionally satisfying ending.

We had not had Star Trek on TELEVISION for a very long time and then Discovery arrived, then beget Picard, Prodigy, Lower Decks, Strange New Worlds

… and hopefully, Section 31, Legacy, Academy, and more.

Discovery was the first in SO many years to being back Trek to TV and it works.

Hoping for a fun adventure this season and will be watching!

Judos to evryone who made the “proper finale” possible after canceling and filming had completed.

“Kudos” to not judos — don’t want want to see anyone hitting each other (except a slap to auto correct!)

It seems unlikely to me that a plant-based person would be able to have sex with a mammalian-based humanoid person… Certainly reproduction will be out of the question

Saru isn’t plant based, though.

That’s my assumption, true. I don’t think it’s been covered one way or the other.

then why is he kelp-ian

Sex, yep, and twice on Sunday. Reproduction, not so much.

There are always… possibilities. LOL

The only plant-based people I can think of are the Phylosians on TAS. Who are you talking about?

Saru isn’t plant-based, though that’s a fun idea!

To: Scott, Lorna, M1701:

Please point to the lines of any episode where they cover is physiology? I think it’s a distinct possibility his race originated from plants, and then as we know it was genetically engineered further, but I’m open to anybody providing me actual canon lines from the series that rule this out?

There are no canon lines to indicate anything. You’re just making things up and saying “nothing in canon says otherwise”. I don’t know if that’s how it works haha.

As someone else pointed out, “Kelp” is in his name. And he looks like his species could be of plant origin and some of the visual clues on his planet and things with his body have also led me to assume his species it plant-based.

So I’ve been assuming this all along and I think it’s a legitimate assumption. You were the one who challenged it and demonstrably said this was incorrect, so the burden is on you to show me that I cannot be correct. Otherwise you have to acknowledge that I might be right.

Considering how *regular* episodes are FULL of crewmembers crying, hugging, talking about how much they love each other, I dread to think what the epilogue will be like. shudder.

The ‘tell don’t show’ approach. Funny how you got the family vibe from any of the old Trek shows and they didn’t need to constantly force feed us with the notion that this crew really really loves each other.

It was the moment Owo did that in the season 2 finale when I started to think, “Uh oh…” Then they just leaned in. Michael’s message to her crew at the start of the S3 premiere where she declared her love for everyone set the tone. I do appreciate that this resonates with a lot of people who like to express their emotions more openly and it’s certainly helped distinguish this show, it’s just jarring to see in Star Trek for me.

I always find most of the emotional payoffs in the various series have been rooted in at least one party being very subtle, with reserved characters keeping it professional until those little moments where they let their guard down. Things like Picard beautifully pouring his heart out to his brother only truly work for me if they are not a regular occurrence. So Saru’s little romance hits a lot of the right notes right now while people hugging Georgiou out of nowhere, declaring their love for their workplace colleagues, or holding hands to beam out of situations feels contrived and even cloying at times. It’s fine to move on from the ‘90s model which was often too stilted, but sometimes it feels like everyone on this show has just come out of a spirited therapy session.

I’m actually anticipaing watching this season and the finale. Lately I’ve needed some help on deciding on what’s right and what’s wrong. Looking forward to being told exactly how I should feel about everything without much of an option to disagree. ( love the clarity of it) That’s what I’m craving right now and this show is perfect for that. It’s really well written and the characters are so real and emotional. My favorite part is when they use the personal logs to narrate what I should be feeling at the end of the episode with some slow music playing in the background. It’s also very good Sci fi, and extremely satisfying

can’t tell if you’re kidding lol

And I’m reading your post here to help me with being a even bigger a-hole than I am typically here. Thanks so much for highlighting me your best practices that will allow me achieve your high level of annoyance to others!

There’s an art to how it’s done here, take copious notes.

;-)

Love this 😂

Well done!

There’s been a bit of buzz that this could be the best Star Trek yet. I wonder if they will do a Yellowstone crossover.

Well if the reshoots are a mere epilogue, I’m not sure how it will properly wrap up the series with one scene. I mean if it were up to me somehow that one scene would undo the burn and restore the Daniels version of the future of the Federation but I doubt that.

Well, they put the show so far ahead into Star Trek’s future that the burn really won’t matter since there is now hundreds of years between Picard and Discovery S3 to tell new stories in.

And any future show could easily use the temporal cold war to erase the burn if they wanted to the same as they used it to alter the Khan timeline.

The temporal Cold War is so complicated. Like, for example, SNW season 2 takes place in an alternate time where Khan was only a child in 2024 instead of a dictator in the 1990s. For all we know Discovery exists (even in the 32nd century) in the timeline where Khan was still from the 1990’s and all of that could have been erased by SNW. So in a way I agree, the TCW can do pretty much anything at thins point. BUT, it will be epically hard to explain to the average viewer.

I always hate the “time cop” thing that pops up on scifi shows sometimes. The worst example is probably Loki — I stopped watching after 2.5 eps given the time cop set-up was just so dumbass silly.

The epilogue can be more than one scene. It’s probably not a big leap to assume that they won’t erase everything they’ve done in the 32nd season, especially if this ist also the setting for the Academy show.

Riker and Troi show up in the finale to make pizza and hi-jinks ensue because it was all just a program on the NCC-1701-G holodeck after all.