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