Star Trek: Discovery star Doug Jones was one of the presenters at Sunday’s Saturn Awards. TrekMovie had a chance to speak to him on the red carpet about what’s next for Saru in the show’s upcoming fifth and final season as well has his thoughts on possibly returning for the Starfleet Academy series.
Have you come to grips with Discovery ending?
Well, I kind of had to. I had no choice, right? There’s a part of me that’s melancholy that it’s the fifth and final season. Nobody wants to hear “final,” but at the same time, I think in this day and age to get five seasons is really good with television the way it is now. But the other part is a bit of relief. I was just talking about memorizing large blocks of science fiction dialogue. That’s very difficult and so I don’t have to do that anymore. “Oh, yay!” And also the rubber bits. I love Saru. He is a part of me now. But he also comes with a look that’s glued onto me and taking that off for the last time was like, “Oh, oh that’s good. I don’t have to wear that again.”
But then you did have to wear it again…
Oh when we came back, yes. We did come back to do a short epilogue that’ll be tacked on to the end of the last episode to give you some closure on the entire series. Yes.
[Showrunner] Michelle Paradise has talked about how season 5 has a pivot in tone to something more fun and adventurous. Did you feel that shift when shooting it?
Yes. It was especially different for me too as Saru. Saru has gone through so many changes throughout the entire series. My rank has changed, it’s gone up, up, up. My title and position on the bridge, or not the bridge, it’s been all over the place. In season 5 even more changes are afoot for Saru—a very dignified change for him. I can’t tell you what I’m going to be or do but the tone for me personally, yes it changed intensely. Also, this has a very sentimental vibe to it, more than the other seasons have, especially as we come to the end.
The synopsis for the first episode was released and it makes mention of Saru getting a special “offer.”
I get an offer for a position within Starfleet. And what will that be? Will I accept it? Those are questions you have to find out in that first episode.
How many captains can you have on one ship?
Right? That was my personal dilemma. We have a Captain Burnham and we have a Captain First Officer. Is that the best use of the captain within Starfleet?
You said you are somewhat relieved, but they are making another show. Would you put the makeup on again for Starfleet Academy? Like, what if they wanted Professor Saru to show up?
Starfleet Academy, I hear it’s in our same timeline. So that’s the one show that I could cross over. I guess any of us could. Will we? I don’t know what the writers have in mind. But I think Saru would have a lot to offer a class of kids, wouldn’t he? With his wisdom and his instructional ways. He’s been that way on the bridge of starship Discovery anyway.
It’s interesting as Saru had a mentoring relationship with Tilly, but then she left for the Academy last season, but now she’s back for season 5. So is he still mentoring her or is she past that?
Well, she doesn’t need me to be a mentor in that way. I think they still have a kind of father/daughter relationship, anyway. It’s very sweet. He’s very proud of her and she’s come into her own now. She doesn’t need to lean on him as much as she did.
Thanks, and since this is the red carpet, love the outfit: Can you tell us anything about it?
It’s a 1980s vintage tuxedo with a short waist that I’ve kind of accented a bit…
You kind of look like you are from the Mirror Universe with that sash…
I do, yeah! [laughs]. Either that or a bellhop. Someone is going to ask me to carry their luggage before this night is over, I’m sure.
More to come from the Saturn Awards
TrekMovie spoke to more Star Trek presenters, nominees, and winners at the Saturn Awards, including some non-Trek (yet) celebrities like Nicolas Cage, so come back for more interviews and updates.
Discovery season 5 arrives in April
Paramount+ announced the final season of Discovery will debut in April around the world, but they have not yet set a specific date. A clip was released at CCXP last month.
Discovery seasons 1 through 4 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