Interview: Wilson Cruz On Dr. Culber’s Arc In ‘Star Trek: Discovery’ Season 5 And Who Is Chief Medical Officer


The fifth and final season of Star Trek: Discovery arrives on April 4. Paramount+ held a world premiere event at SXSW in Austin on Monday, where TrekMovie had a chance to speak to star Wilson Cruz on the red carpet about what’s new for Dr. Hugh Culber this season.

Culber has been through so much—including death—but this season, he seems super chill. What do you see as his arc in season 5 or has he achieved ultimate Culber-ness?

I think at the end of season 5 he has achieved ultimate Culber-ness. Because I think his whole journey has been about owning the life that he deserves, right? And I think when we see him at the beginning of this season, he’s getting there. You see that he’s in a different place. He’s ready for whatever comes at him. But a big existential question does come to him during the season. And I think it’s the final key to his anxiety, to his view of how he fits into the world. And I can talk about that later on in the season, I guess. But yes, I think at the end of the season he really is completely in his skin in a way that he’s never been, even before he died.

A lot of season 4 was dedicated to Culber counseling Book. Who in season 5 needs the good doctor the most?

I think my husband [Paul Stamets] does need me a little bit because he’s going through a bit of a crisis, but he handles it. I think everybody needs me, which is part of Culber’s anxiety. But I do end up spending a lot of time with Book this season in a friendship way. Like we develop a real friendship that’s beyond our counselor and a patient, if you will. Like we get to the point where we see him counseling me a bit this season, so it’s great.

David Ajala as Book and Wilson Cruz as Culber in season 4 of Star Trek: Discovery (Paramount+)

Okay, this is a nerdy question: Who is the Chief Medical Officer of the USS Discovery?

[Laughs] Trick question! I think at this point I could probably own the fact that I am the Chief Medical Officer. But nobody has actually said that yet. Also, the fact that there was some controversy over whether Paul and Hugh were actually married or not. Which we were kind of confused about as well. But [co-showrunner] Michelle [Paradise] said, “You’re definitely married.” So, I’m going go ahead and go out on a limb—whether these f—ers want to support me or not —I am the head motherf—er in charge. [laughs] What are they going to do, fire me now? [laughs]

Well, will we see Culber again?

Oh, I think we will. They know that. How do you not bring me back? [laughs] I’m just kidding.

There’s the Academy  show…

I have no comment [laughs]

Embed from Getty Images

We know the season starts with an 800-year-old Romulan ship. Did you do any research to bone up on canon connections?


What did you watch?

If I told you that, it would be spoiling. But yes. I did the appropriate research for how this season is connected to Star Trek lore, I’ll say that.

Wilson Cruz as Culber and Mary Wiseman as Tilly season 5 of Star Trek: Discovery (Paramount+)

More to come from SXSW

TrekMovie has more interviews and coverage from the SXSW 2024 premiere and panel discussion so check back later for more exclusives. See our previous interview with Sonequa Martin-Green.

The fifth and final season of Discovery debuts with two episodes on Thursday, April 4 exclusively on Paramount+ in the U.S., the UK, Switzerland, South Korea, Latin America, Germany, France, Italy, Australia, and Austria. Discovery will also premiere on April 4 on Paramount+ in Canada and is also expected to be broadcast on Bell Media’s CTV Sci-Fi Channel in Canada. The rest of the 10-episode final season will be available to stream weekly on Thursdays. Season 5 debuts on SkyShowtime in select European countries on April 5.

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Early on in the show I think they were trying to give the impression that there was a lot of stuff going on on the ship, so that’s why they were coy about titles and implied there was a chief engineer that we just didn’t see and stuff like that. But we’re past the time were we should have met all senior staff (think of all the crazy stuff that has happened, they would have to have been involved in those things happening!), so they just go with it being the established characters. Its a minor thing and not a big deal though. It just isn’t a show that is concerned with defining all the roles and job titles.

I’m excited for the new season, I’ve always enjoyed the show despite its flaws.

Or defining any of the characters.


In the future, the science will likely dictate a completely different division of work. The producers could have really used that to their advantage.

The fact we never met the chief engineer is another reason why this show is so bad. They should’ve just made Statements the chief engineer long ago.

Him or Jett Reno. In fact when she was introduced on the show I thought she was going to be the new chief engineer. Instead they had her reporting to him too although we never saw him. Why not put her or Staments in the role?

This show is truly mind boggling at times).

The show was actually pitched to the fans as a “lower decks” sort of thing- sure, we knew who the captain was, but he wasn’t the major character, who was of course Burnham. So the other characters are people like Stamets- who obviously isn’t the chief engineer but a sort of scientist/engineer in charge of an experimental technology- and Culber, who’s sort of a junior doctor, and Tilly, who’s a cadet, etc. Except they started Burnham as a senior officer, which meant it was probably only a matter of time before she was one again (and, within about two seasons, the commanding officer), and they made the spore drive a regular thing, which bumps Stamets up, etc. etc. So yeah, you’ve got Dr. Pollard out there, and a whole bridge crew we barely know, and presumably some engineer, and so on. It’s just a bit weird we don’t know them.

It doesn’t *have* to be this way- after all, in Lower Decks we know the names and stories of all the senior officers as well- but it’s how Discovery ended up.

When people question why I criticize this show’s writing, I can now offer this article as an example: the fact that we’re five years in but still don’t know what role Culber–a main character–holds is proof that this show is too broadly and arbitrarily written. The writers spend all their time writing needlessly melodramatic cry-and-emote scenes, when they should have spent more time actually defining the characters.

Was Culber the chief medical officer? Was Stamets the chief engineer? We didn’t know for several seasons. But if not, why were they the ones who always made the decisions? It’s just bad writing–and those are only two examples of how poorly defined Discovery’s characters are.

Meanwhile, Michael Burnham was raised on Vulcan and first showed up almost computer-like in her emotionlessness, yet now she cries more than a televangelist’s triple-mascara-painted wife. And Tilly’s characterization has been all over the place, changing from one episode to the next. The writers (and, to some extent, the actors) have never really had any clear plan about how to approaches these characters, and it shows.

We’re at year five; they should have gotten better at it by now. They haven’t. And before all the Comic Book Guy types attack me for this, this is **my opinion.** Yours may vary, and that’s fine. I’ll vehemently respect and defend your right to love this show, so I’ll thank you to show me the same courtesy.

I agree about the arbitrarily written character roles. They could have done a lot better job with that. It only takes a few minutes for them to define those roles and then have someone in the writers room make sure they stick to it. I just don’t think it was ever a priority for them. Some fans don’t even require them to. I was always one of the ones where it bothered me they didn’t. But to each their own!

Burnham’s role has changed quite a bit on Discovery but it’s worth mentioning all of the backstage issues may have contributed to this. Every season they have made the choice to revamp, most likely due to ongoing criticisms, but it has lead to a sense of unevenness where some characters are concerned. It’s unfortunate because their hearts have always been in the right place but the execution is what falters for me. For example, Wilson shouldn’t have to ask if Paul and Hugh are married. The show should have already addressed that on screen. Ultimately, Discovery is what it is at this point! As a critic, I think in order to find any enjoyment in the show you have to know this will happen and move on. Otherwise I think a viewer will get bogged down by it.

I do agree that their hearts have always been in the right place, despite the poor execution. These are great idea people, but not great writers, and they’re very sloppy in how they do things. The same was true on Picard–there were some excellent ideas on that show, but also a lot of bad writing.

It seems like the Discovery writing team just throw ideas at a dart board, then never bother to develop them once they hit. I offer Gray Tal as an example. That character was utterly pointless and did nothing of consequence, despite how important the IDEA behind the character was. Same goes for Adira.

Characters who could be really cool, such as Nhan and Airiam, are given precious little to do. And most of the people on the bridge are so blandly written that even after five years and two full viewings, I can’t remember all their names. This is the only Star Trek show for which I can’t name the bridge crew. LOL.

For me, the biggest indicator that they’ve not done this show justice is that many of the most entertaining characters on Discovery–Pike, Spock, Number One, Harry Mudd, Sarek, Amanda, Stella Mudd, and Vina–all originated on TOS. At least half of the characters who originated on Discovery pale in comparison to them. When Stella freakin’ Mudd is more interesting than a main cast member, that’s a writing failure.

Every season they have made the choice to revamp, most likely due to ongoing criticisms…

Not so much after season 1 (with the exception of dialing back the Klingons a bit), but starting with S2, yeah, and it was most likely due to those criticisms. They should have stayed the course and just lived with the fact that a very loud subset of fans was never going to like it, but keeping faith in all of the new younger and diverse fans that the show was bringing to the table.

He’s the ship’s counsellor is he not?

This was a fantastic post and pretty much the reason I stopped watching the show at the end of season two. And it’s not lost on me that I’m posting too much about a show I don’t watch anymore, but honestly I still feel bad. DSC is the only Trek show I’d ever quit watching, at the time. Now sadly, quitting Trek shows has become commonplace for me. But DSC started it, so it’s a sore spot. Anyway, well put.

Danpaine I really wish I had your will power. Would’ve save me seasons of disappointment and pain.

But every season I always stayed hopeful it would get better since every Star Trek show prior always improved. I had faith this one would too …couldn’t have been more wrong.

And despite it all I’m still hopeful season 5 will be good, especially with the glowing reviews about it, but I’m a sucker for punishment I guess.

I stopped watching it as well. I’m pretty sure many did. Why keep watching something you know you think is bad? I don’t know if I will watch season 5 either.

Nearly all of the issues you mention were either started, or exacerbated starting with S3, when they made the mistake of “listening to the fans” and then continually over S3 and S4 (and it sounds like again in S5) — made changes and wholesale setting/purpose revisions and implemented tone differences, etc. etc. etc.

“In my opinion” there was very little wrong with the great S1 and S2 — with the one significant issue being the moronic changes to the Klingons that the overated Bryan Fuller stuck us with. The issue was it was a different type of Star Trek, with a different model for the lead character that some fans have never warmed up to. S1 had the awesome Prime Lorca/Mirror Universe storyline, and S2 had the Enterprise Arc that gave us the best Trek spinoff since DS9, with SNW. For me, those two seasons of DSC are right up there with SNW S1 and Picard S1 — for me, those are the four best seasons of Star Trek that I have watched since DS9 S7.

So, in my opinion, those of you who unnecessarily ragged on this here and on other fan sites (simply because you didn’t want a different kind of Star Trek show) bear some responsibility for the lackadaisical constant changes in S3 and S3 that your post above complains about — but Kurtzman and company are predominantly responsible for listening to all than underserved fan BS and then substantially changing the show to respond to it. If they had simply ignored all of you and continued the series without all of those changes I think we’d have already seen S5 and right now S6 would be in production.

I will say this for LDS — a show which I cannot stand — Mike McMahan heard a lot of fan criticism early on for his juvenile cartoon sitcom, but ignored all that and kind of doubled down on his approach. I gotta respect that, and the result is the series is still going strong today, whether I like it or not. So I think it’s unfortunate that Kurtzman, Goldsman and Paradise didn’t have the balls that McMahan had to ignore the internet fanboy critiques and stay the course for LDS after its early seasons.

Interesting. I completely agree with your 2nd paragraph but I won’t accept that the blame for S3 and S4 are all on the fans. How do you know it is in fact the result of the showrunners listening to the fan criticism? I for one don’t recall specific complaints about the show not having enough emotions or diversity or too rigorous a military structure pertaining to the Discovery crew. All this is completely on Paradise’s and Kurtzman’s shoulders.

And the reason why McMahan didn’t listen to the fans is moreso because the critics were complaining about the show being a cartoon and a comedy and you can’t change either of those as they’re integral to the foundation of what the show is.

It’s hysterical that the fans are being blamed but not the bad writers or show runner who is being paid a lot of money to make this show.

And BTW, fans complained about all the previous Trek shows. The producers listened and made changes to those too. And fans ended liking them more because they had competent writers who came up with better ideas and characters. TNG is the best example. Fans hated the first two seasons like many hated Discovery first two seasons. So they brought in a brilliant show runner and made the show awesome in third season listening to the complaints.

But with Discovery it got the opposite. 🙄

And I don’t remember anyone saying Discovery doesn’t have enough crying and hugging or that they have lame endings like a child crying that crippled the galaxy.

The blame goes to the people making a bad show even worse.

Yeah that burn thing. It still hurts thinking about it. I would really like to know who came up with that. Surely someone who has no understanding of science fiction or logic. Probably the same genius who thought out the tardigrade and the mycelium network.

The Burn was actually a very interesting concept but the people making this show clearly have no science fiction background when you land on such a ridiculous explanation for it. It’s insulting people’s intelligence.

It’s truly insane not only did someone come up with that but no one told them it was a bad idea.

Don’t get me started on the tardigrade nonsense. And having a spore drive in that era was just more stupid. It belonged in the 25th century, not the 23rd. It was obvious the people making the show just didn’t care about canon or basic consistency of the universe.

If you can’t write a proper prequel then maybe don’t make your show a prequel then.

They got away with their inability to stay within the confines of a prequel and the logic and canon of Star Trek by escaping to the far future. It’s no longer a prequel and if it doesn’t feel like Star Trek well that’s because it’s 700 years in the future!

In line with your last sentence I’ll add that if you can’t write a proper Star Trek show don’t call it Star Trek, but of course they wanted the fan base…

They got away with their inability to stay within the confines of a prequel and the logic and canon of Star Trek by escaping to the far future.

Yes, exactly. There was no reason for it, but they obviously were feeling the heat from the incessant Trek internet fanboy types who post 20+ negative comments on every single article evening remotely referencing DSC

Which was proof why it never should’ve been a prequel. I will never understand why not just put the show in the 25th century?? Did they just want to name drop Spock that badly? Or was it just having a war with the Klingons? Since that never even happened in canon it was even more nonsensical to do it

Discovery may have still been a bad show if they put it in another time period but it wouldn’t have felt so jarring either like it’s first two seasons. 🙄

Again you have to blame Fuller on that one. He was really into the idea of redoing TOS since he said that was his favorite era. But then you see what we got and I have no idea how Discovery felt anywhere close to TOS?? It felt nothing like it. It could’ve been ANYWHERE else and you lose absolutely nothing outside of TOS references.

And most fans wanted to go forward again. That had been obvious for years now, especially after the Kelvin movies. People were ready to forge new ground again and come up with new settings. It’s amazing how no one got the message at the time. Well they obviously got it now lol.

Now all that said if Discovery was just a BETTER show then people would’ve been fine it stayed in the 23rd century. SNW obviously proves that. Because it actually feels and LOOKS like a TOS prequel as well.

None of the is black or white. Discovery being a prequel wasn’t the real problem, it was simply its execution that was.

“They got away with their inability to stay within the confines of a prequel and the logic and canon of Star Trek by escaping to the far future. It’s no longer a prequel and if it doesn’t feel like Star Trek well that’s because it’s 700 years in the future!”

I think the real problem was Bryan Fuller. He just wanted to reboot the show in his own image basically and why we got the things we got.

But the show has no business being in the 23rd century IF they wanted to keep it in the prime universe. I will always say that was probably the show’s biggest mistake more than anything and TPTB seem to agree and why they moved it.

But the biggest irony about the spore drive issue is that wasn’t actually Fuller’s idea. He was on the Robert Meyer Barnett show and confirmed that was developed after he left the show. So that can’t be blamed on him at all. It was the new show runner ms who didn’t seem to either take account the time period they were writing for or just didn’t care.

And it goes back to what I been saying about people writing Star Trek, it doesn’t matter WHAT period you put the show in, in the end how consistent it is will simply be up to the writers. And since most of them want to write cool advanced tech then put your show in a period it makes sense in

Well no one can’t say that’s a problem in the 32nd century lol.

Exactly! 👍

And you just said it SNW works because they simply made a show that felt like it belonged in the TOS era. The biggest issue with Discovery is it never did.

And the other reason why they felt they had to move the show because they wanted to keep the spore drive. It made absolutely no sense in canon (and BTW I always thought that was Fuller’s idea as well. Good info!). That was the problem. They made far fetched tech they clearly loved using and didn’t want to let go of it. So what did they do! They not only moved it to a period where it wasn’t breaking canon every episode they also created a premise where they had to constantly rely on it thanks to the Burn. So they knew the show couldn’t stay in that era as long as they wanted to use it. They put themselves in the hole and that was their only solution.

And btw, most fans didn’t even like the spore drive. Many assumed they were going to get rid of it but instead they doubled down on it. They w loved it so much they were willing to move the show just as an excuse to keep it. But yes let’s blame the fans for their constant mistakes. 🙄

It just shows how much the show was in conflict with itself. They put it in a time period no one seemed that interested in writing outside of throwing in TOS fan service. But the show itself felt and looked like it was made for another era altogether because the people making it basically treated like it was in a different period altogether.

And then they were shocked when people complained about it.. Gee…I wonder why?

For the record I loved the spore drive. That was literally the only new concept that came out of season 1. And I NEVER thought they would get rid of it. It’s just too good of a plot device to ignore. You have something that can literally transport you to any part of the galaxy in seconds to tell whatever story you want. Who would give that up lol.

But yes by using it they put themselves in the hole. It made NO sense in the 23rd century. But I always assumed they would just keep it (or why introduce it at all?) but whenever the show ended maybe destroy it then or something. I doubt anyone thought that hard about it lol.

Until the complaints over it rolled in. And instead of destroying it they just put it in another time period. Problem solved.

Discovery just had so many internal issues because they were simply following Fuller’s blueprint but at the same clearly wasn’t in love with the idea. It’s disingenuous to pretend the show was firing on all cylinders when it sounds like it had just as much internal issues behind the scenes as there was external on where to take the show.

These are the same people who stated twice in interviews we would not ever even see Spock on the show just to not only throw the guy in the very next year but give him a season long arc as well. I still believe that came from the very top along with many other things.

And as said Discovery still doubled down on some of its flaws to this day. A lot of the things fans complained about in season 1 they still complained about in season 4.

For example people kept saying let’s not do another galaxy in peril every plotline every season and yet..

So are they listening to the fans there? Obviously not. And these literally drive the entire season.

Now look at SNW. They took EVERY complaint people had over Discovery and just made an inheritly more appealing show. How? A. They were just able to start from scratch and B. I have to think the other showrunner Henry Alonso Meyers just understands the show and its audience better. I want to include Goldsman but he still gave us Picard season 2 and yes Discovery. But again obviously I don’t know.

But the results are obvious. SNW is a more popular show because the people making it truly heard all the complaints and produced a better show overall. It’s certainly not perfect as I have made many complaints about it myself and I know many people, some on this board, don’t like it or think Discovery is better. All valid opinions.

But it can’t be denied the response to it was overwhelmingly positive out of the gate. It still is.

Discovery is in the hole it’s in because admittedly it tried to over ride all the Fuller stuff but the people running it today has still presented a lot of questionable issues on their own LIKE the spore drive.. And questionable decisions keeps happening every season like the galaxy being destroyed. Has SNW had one episode where the galaxy was on the verge of destruction? No. Guess what no complaints about it then lol.

To pretend like Discovery just did a complete turnaround is disingenuous at best. Some of the shows biggest problems NEVER went away. And regardless how people feel about the show personally the people making it ultimately have all the power and makes all the decisions so they will get either all the credit or the blame as they should.

Well said!

I think why so many people like reading your thoughts is you know how to cut things down in an honest and very analytical way.

The point about the galaxy crisis plotlines is one of the biggest issues this show has had. People complained about it the first season. They complained about it the second season. And then the third season and then the fourth season. This has never went away no matter how many times fans said they just want something simpler and more exploration based.

It’s no different than the constant complaints with the the TNG movies and later JJ verse where fans got sick of Marvel villains trying to destroy the Federation but they just kept doing it anyway. 🙄

More proof at the end of the day they do what they want. They have certainly changed things due to fans complaining but not every time either.

And as said SNW shows the difference of not just listening to fans complaints but actually executing it with good ideas and just better stories. Two things Discovery has been lacking for four seasons now.

For the record the galaxy in peril storyline don’t bother me that much. I didn’t love how they did it season 2 but it was a means to an end so whatever. I loved the Burn idea in season 3. I think most people did. The mystery behind it really soured me, but the basic concept was cool at least.

Season 4 is when I finally rolled my eyes and said enough already. Ironically I think that one was actually done the best lol. Again what is frustrating about Discovery is great concepts but very poor execution and horrible pacing issues. But yeah people complained about them every season, mostly because they never really ended that well.

Anyway I wasn’t trying to turn this into a rag on Discovery thread lol. But I agree with pretty much everyone here. Hopefully season 5 will be better overall.

And to keep this more positive (and on topic lol) the reviews have said Culber is one of the big stand outs this season. I think him and Staments sound like they will have an interesting arc. We’ll see.

To kind of continue on your point about SNW, I think the biggest problem with that show is that the 10 episode format is not working for it. It needs to have more episodes in a season so it can truly balance the sillier episodes with more serious ones.

Budget restraints forced shorter seasons, and Anson Mount may have influenced the decision. Pike was supposed to be only S2 of DSC, then he was finished with Trek. In interviews, he expressed frustration at being in front of a green screen for hours. His previous show, Hell On Wheels, took place in the 1860s. Anson mentioned that he enjoyed filming outside.
SNW wouldn’t have happened without Anson Mount, who used this to his advantage when negotiating. On his (excellent) podcast, The Well Pod, Anson made a side comment about having dinner with Bill Shatner before SNW was greenlit. I wouldn’t be surprised if Shatner encouraged him to take the role.
So, I’m guessing that budget restraints, negotiating salaries for the stars, and other factors got us ten episodes a season.
FWIW, I’d LOVE love a longer season or SNW movie in between seasons…

To kind of continue on your point about SNW, I think the biggest problem with that show is that the 10 episode format is not working for it. It needs to have more episodes in a season so it can truly balance the sillier episodes with more serious ones.

Agreed. At least 12, but better 14. That way those who want the silly BS get their two gimmicks shows, but then we have at least 10 shows that reflect core Star Trek elments.

Yeah I agree. It would be nice to have more episodes of them ‘boldly going ‘ too. Maybe there are too many comedic or light episodes.

Of course they can just make less of those but people seem to respond to them positively although the musical one was very mixed.

The crying Kelpian kid is truly one of the dumbest things they have done in Star Trek and that’s saying a lot. To this day I don’t understand how anyone thought this was a good idea??? Not only to hang an entire season on but the entire basis of the Federation collapsing.

There were SO MANY better and more logical ways to take it. They were so busy trying to not have anyone guess the mystery they lost the whole plot.

Yes it does hurt thinking about it. A fantastic idea that was trashed over this nonsense. This is truly one of those times I wish they had an experience sci fi writer in charge.

The Burn came in S3 — that aligns with my my point. And again, my point applies to those of us, who I think include you, that either loved or at least were OK with S1 and S2 of DSC — for us fans in that group, the “listening to the fans” thing did not make the series better.

There was no major problem on DSC that needed fixing after S2. They should have stayed the course and let the whiners whine.

The Burn only proved none of these clowns making this show shouldn’t be working on Star Trek period. And here is a secret, season 3 is actually my favorite season but clearly that’s not saying much lol.

The show has been a complete train wreck for four seasons now. I will be fair and say they actually have decent story ideas every season but executing them has been abysmal. At the end of season 2 when the Red Angel thing turned into a bad Terminator rip off was proof this show was simply in the wrong hands.

Well said. Discovery has incompetent writers from the start who didn’t really understand Star Trek. It didn’t even feel like Star Trek either. Even if you didn’t like some of the other shows they all felt like Star Trek. This show felt like it was trying to be something else.

That did improve more in season 2 at least but it was still a dreadful show.

“And BTW, fans complained about all the previous Trek shows. The producers listened and made changes to those too. And fans ended liking them more because they had competent writers who came up with better ideas and characters. TNG is the best example. Fans hated the first two seasons like many hated Discovery first two seasons. So they brought in a brilliant show runner and made the show awesome in third season listening to the complaints.”

A thousand times yes. TNG was considered awful and they knew fans weren’t happy and brought in new blood who not only understood Star Trek but modernized it that appealed to both and new fans. They made the show feel like its own but still inherently Star Trek with strong stories and character development. The show only got stronger and stronger.

With Discovery they improved some things but the bigger issues never went away. Yes they resolved a lot of the canon issues by throwing it in the 32nd century and they gave the show it’s own setting so it won’t be compared to TOS every second of the day. And it no longer mattered it looked nothing like TOS universe anymore.

So there were certainly a lot of positives. But they still double down on Discovery old problems as well, the biggest making it overly serialized and not developing the characters enough. And then ALL the ridiculous plot twists along the way that just made people scratch their heads.

I think the people making the show just couldn’t effectively write a fully connected season and why it just felt frustrating to watch season after season. Michelle Paradise is just a really bad show runner. If you truly believe the show got worse after season 2 like many seem to then it’s not rocket science the blame falls on her since she became the sole show runner after season 2.

She should’ve been fired after season 4 when the show became a true dumpster fire.

Exactly. And most people thought season 1 and 2 royally sucked. It’s again hysterical to believe the show was a fan favorite in season 2 and yet still sitting at a 36% rating audience score. 😂😂😂

Even though people loved Pike many still thought the season itself was mostly terrible. That’s why they gave him his own show and many at least like that one which BTW they ALSO listened to the fans when making that show.

I think the notes on that show was just do the opposite what you did on Discovery and jackpot! 😉

The show has been a disaster from the beginning. That’s literally why they keep trying to change it to no avail.

Season 2 did start off very popular but yeah by the end it was a big disappointment for many so not surprised why the rating is so low. But more proof people wasn’t digging the show and season 2 is my favorite because the first half was very strong IMO.

I always say even though SNW is a spin off of Discovery it almost feels like an anti-Discovery show at the same time.

I guess you could say the same about TNG and DS9. But the difference being DS9 still followed all of TNGs canon and those characters from TNG popped up on that show constantly.

But they didn’t throw TNG 900 years into the future so the crossovers were much easier lol.

I think it’s a very clear deduction that the wholesale change of the show between S2 and S3 was to respond to fan criticism. I can’t definitively prove that though. But it seems incredibly likely to me.

On McMahan, I think it’s also that the dude has more belief and more confidence in his show than Goldsman/Paradise/Kurtzman had in DSC.

How much rebooting is too much? I think at some point you do have to say enough is enough. If the fans aren’t going to like they just aren’t going to like it. Then again how much of a role does the studio play? We know they send their opinions down and expect them to be followed so I am sure this also played a part in the production process. Maybe one day we will know the entire truth of what went on.

As for a season 6, I am not so sure about that because of the studio’s current financial situation. Most streaming series are barely getting 3 seasons so 5 is more than most. I am not surprised that they have made the choice to move on. However, they must like the characters because there is the chance they can come back in the Academy show.

They have rebooted this show countless times and it never improved. Maybe studio interference is part of that but that’s not the only reason it’s bad. The people running it are simply incompetent.

How much rebooting is too much? I think at some point you do have to say enough is enough. If the fans aren’t going to like they just aren’t going to like it. 

Yes, exactly. Stay the course — there were plenty of existing fans, and a lot of new fans who were really into DSC after the first two seasons. They should have had the guts to continue what they were doing and not cave in the subset of Berman-era older fans who were never going to like it.

Who are “all of you?” I never complained about seasons one and two, yet you’re responding to me. I’ve many times said I enjoyed one and two a lot more than three and four.

Also, blaming the fans and not the folks who write these episodes is hilarious, and it shows a total lack of understanding of how television shows are made.

“And before all the Comic Book Guy types attack me for this, this is **my opinion.** Yours may vary, and that’s fine. I’ll vehemently respect and defend your right to love this show, so I’ll thank you to show me the same courtesy.”

So… you’re going to attack and insult other people’s opinions even after you demanded that they respect your opinions because you respect theirs?

Right. Okay.

So… you’re going to attack and insult other people’s opinions even after you demanded that they respect your opinions because you respect theirs?

Yeah, that comes across like: here is my lengthy opinion on this that you must take seriously, but if you disagree then you must be a comic book clown.

OK, sure, if you didn’t complain about S1 and S2 then this does apply to you. But it applied to many of the posters here and elsewhere who have ragged on this series since Day 1.

Regarding your second comments, I clearly stated that the predominant responsibility of the changes were the showrunners and the producers listening the fans. However, some of the fans who were complaining simply because they just didn’t like type of show they were getting and/or because they were just slamming on the Michael Burnham character (some, not with the best intentions) — those fans bear some contributing responsibility for the changes to the show. And I’m not backing down from that opinion — for example I read tons of negative comments here and elsewhere on Michael/SMG — and on top of the other more reasonable negative comments, that all effected the paper thin confidence that the meek showrunners/producers had on this show, unfortunately.

I agree with pretty much everything you just said. The show has been awful for four seasons straight now. The characters are all over the place and while the story arcs start strong in the beginning they become a mess by the end because the writing is so poor with no clear vision. It’s hilarious that Wilson Cruz is still not even sure he is CMO or not after 5 seasons really says it all. 😂🙄

This show can’t end soon enough.

I’m pretty sure Doctor Pollard is the Chief Medical Officer.

The fact he doesn’t know that, a main actor, speaks to how bad this show really is. And I couldn’t even remember her name.


Wrong again tiger. Be better.

You haven’t been right on anything here in six years lol.

This, ^ was funny… 😄

six years ago? I didn’t even know this website existed six years ago. You’re losing the tread again tiger poo.

You’re so pathetic lol. I can’t imagine how much you love to yourself im real life.

He doesn’t know probably because he doesn’t watch the show in its entirety. He’s only really concerned about his own scenes.

If you watch the show you would know Pollard is the chief Doctor. No need to have her sitting on the bridge doing nothing like crusher.

Also Patrick Stewart never watched TNG when he was filming it.

Can you tell me with a straight face Patrick Stewart didn’t know Beverly was the CMO either even though he never watched it? 😂

Don’t kid yourself man, half the viewers have no clue Dr. Pollard is the CMO either because she’s barely there and Culber makes all the decisions on his own. And if he isn’t why would he assume he was then? Did someone tell him that? Obviously not because he just admitted no one has lol. He’s only saying he feels like he IS the CMO because why wouldn’t he since he acts like one now.

Which leads to the bigger question why is she even the CMO? Why not switch the roles and have her under Culber. That would make more sense right. But this is Discovery, making sense has never been this shows strong point lol.

I’m pretty sure I didn’t say that. Are you okay? Are you hearing voices again?

I was only pointing out how ridiculous that excuse is. The guy has been doing this for five years now. It’s pretty sad in all that time he still doesn’t even know his full position. 😂

Most actors don’t watch their work. I never did.

I mean it’s Discovery so I can’t blame the guy. 😂

I’ll take it, Culber is CMO. Honestly the more Culber I can get the happier I’ll be. I hope he is in the academy show because I’m defiantly going to miss Dr. Culber.

People, including me, rightly complain when it seems like Burnham solves every problem on the series, she’s always the one solving everything, and the reason for that is summed up in this article… The rest of the cast just aren’t defined enough to the point where them getting things done actually makes sense.

Culber: Husband apparently, kind of CMO?, friendship with Book, loves opera, randomly adopted two others.


Discovery is such an awful show it nearly made me question my fandom and I been watching it since the original series aired. I still haven’t finished watching the last two seasons. I gave up both times.

I don’t blame the actors they gave it their all. They can’t help they have badly developed characters and awful storylines.

I actually like Culber but the fact the actor is not even sure if he’s the CMO really says it all.

It was a barely conceived show and no matter how many times they tried to improve it never did it any favors in the end.

I had issues with Discovery from the start and still feel season 1 is one of the worst seasons of Star Trek IMO. Not all bad but still pretty bad.

I did have better hope in season 2. It felt like it was not only feeling more like a Trek show, it was just telling better stories in general, but the season still went off track with the whole Red Angel plot line. But I understand it was just to get them in the future, one I was truly excited for and where the show should’ve been on DAY ONE!

But they managed to screw that up too lol.I know there are plenty of people who truly love this show and I really envy them. I want to love it as much as they do. But there has been a lot of missteps along the way. and no one is to blame for that than the people making it. The fact one of the main actors on the show isn’t sure if he’s the chef medical officer or not (note: he isn’t) speaks volumes to me.

Um I guess Cruz didn’t get the memo the ship already has a CMO? The same one he’s been working with since the show started?

When people say the show has serious problems, this is a glaring example of what they mean. The show is now officially over and the actor who has been on it for all five seasons is still confused over his role on it. Imagine how the average viewer feels.

BTW this is also the first time I’m hearing he and Paul are married lol. Was it ever stated anywhere? Maybe I just missed it. This show man.

And…. 1000 years ago marriage was different. 1000 years from now…

Star Trek may have lasted 60 years so far… but 40 years from now? It’s all going to look outdated.

That’s probably true as well. I agree.

i wish SFA was set in the 23rd, 24th or 25th century, that way we could be done with DSC in 3 months. this show is broad, uneven and feels like a CBS action procedural with some ST window dressing. Its unique to DSC and not new ST, because SNW, LD and PIC S3 showed you can tell actual do modern tv sci-fi shows. SFA is gonna be a CW HS drama with the DSC crew showing up periodically to cry and speak in whispers something thats suppose to sound profound.

As someone that has Discovery as their least favorite show I definitely understand why others want the SFA show in a different time period but I am really hoping the show just use it more fully.

I get it you want Discovery erased period but I still think focusing on a new time period is good for the franchise overall. But I know I’m in the minority on that one.

Would anyone let a 12th century physician perform surgery on them? I figure that there would be so much advancement in medical knowledge and training over the course of 900 years that Culber simply wouldn’t be qualified to be CMO. Frankly I’ve been a little surprised that Discovery Crew can function so seamlessly in a 32nd century technoverse…

Nothing about this show makes a lick of sense. It’s like it’s being ran by fifth graders.

This is the same show that made Tilly an XO. The same character that was hiding behind a bar when a fight broke out in the same season lol.

Wait when did Tilly hide behind a bar?

Edit: Nevermind. I remember now.

Oh yeah it happened. And I’m not saying you have to be an expert fighter to be in command but you have to at least show fortitude and courage.

And who is the one person they usually send down on the dangerous away missions? The first officer. Do you really want to follow someone like Tilly on an away mission? Just utterly ridiculous.

I know it was just a temporary position but why her at all??? Sorry for the rant lol. Just so many things about this show bothers me.

Is Culber the CMO? Well, I don’t see any other doctors in the senior staff meetings.

Memory Alpha notes that Dr. Pollard was first seen as part of the crew in 2257, after the Klingon War, while Culber was part of the crew since 2256.

Culber appears in 41 episodes, Pollard only in 15, out of 65 episodes to date.

We haven’t seen either of them interact in a way that suggests one reports to the other, so, while it’s not explicitly stated, we can infer that by time served on the ship, he’s the senior medical officer, until it’s contradicted in canon.

As to whether characters are “loosely defined,” I hasten to remind everyone that audiences (and writers) discover things about characters as a series goes along, and they get better defined the more a show finds its footing.

A lot of stuff is Early Installment Weirdness that gets handwaved away.

The other thing that can be an issue is characters who change very little over time. Someone mentioned CBS police procedurals – characters on those shows are practically cardboard cutouts that barely change, because each one has One Personality Trait that defines them, so you don’t have to think too hard. Real people change and evolve over time.

That said, while I don’t have a bunch of trading-card bullet-points about people’s job titles to help me put them in little pigeonholes, I have never really needed them.

I have no questions about who the characters are, what drives them, and who they are to each other, nor what the stakes are.

Yes, it’s fully within everyone’s rights to like or dislike aspects of the acting, the direction, the SFX, etc. But I feel this is crossing over into needless nitpicking.

I don’t go onto message boards for shows I dislike to dump all over them. I don’t feel like I own the shows I like; I own what I like about them, and feel free to ignore the parts that don’t make sense.