Alex Kurtzman On Streaming TV Challenges And How Shorter Star Trek Seasons Helps Avoid “Filler” Episodes

Star Trek series with up to 7 seasons of over 20 episodes each is a thing of the past. Alex Kurtzman, who is in charge of Trek TV for Paramount, is talking about the ups and downs of the streaming era.

Making every episode count

Last week brought the sad news that Star Trek: Lower Decks was going to end after its upcoming fifth season, matching Discovery, which is currently wrapping up its fifth and final season. Speaking to Cinemablend (before the Lower Decks news was announced) Alex Kurtzman called Discovery getting 5 seasons a “miracle,” noting how things are just different these days:

“I think most people watch two seasons of a streaming show, and they check out, you know, and that’s not specific to Trek. I just think that’s the watch pattern for television in the streaming world.”

Cast for the fifth and final season of Discovery (Paramount+)

Discovery will end its run with a total of 65 episodes. The final season has 10, which is the new norm for the Trek shows on Paramount+.  Enterprise, the last Trek show before the streaming era, had a total of 98 episodes over four seasons. 100 episodes used to be a key goal for all TV shows so they could be more easily sold for syndication, but television distribution has changed since then.

Alex Kurzman on the Discovery bridge set(CBS Studios)

Kurtzman told CinemaBlend that today, it is “unlikely” for any Trek show to get close to the 100-episode mark, but he also pointed out this is actually a benefit:

“I think what’s lovely about that is—it’s funny, you can talk to old writers of old Trek series, and they’re like, ‘Man, there’s a bunch of filler episodes in there. We are just trying to get to 22 a season,’ you know, and we all know which of those episodes were [filler], we know the ones that were truly stellar from the ones that felt like they were kind of spinning their wheels. And so I think what ten episodes a season forces you to do is really make sure that every story counts as much as it possibly can. And I like that… I like what that affords us now.”

With two dozen or more episodes to make for each season, it is true they are not all going to be winners. But one fan’s filler episode could be another’s favorite, and sometimes those mid-season episodes offered opportunities for character development or experimentation and off-the-wall ideas.

The second season cast of Strange New Worlds (Paramount+)

Of course, comparisons to the previous Trek shows are a bit of apples and oranges, as the modern series have significantly bigger budgets (even after inflation), plus each episode takes up to twice as long to shoot. 22-episode seasons are still the norm for broadcast television dramas, especially procedural shows. In contrast, dramas on streaming services and prestige cable TV shows tend to have fewer episodes; the 2023 Emmy nominees for Best Drama had seasons that ranged from 9 to 13 episodes. The modern Trek shows are also in line with other genre shows: The Star Wars show Andor had 12 episodes and the the latest season of Marvel’s Loki only had six.

So shorter series is just the new normal… until things change again.

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Yeah, but there have been great filler episodes! Star Trek these days is so much strategic organised it knows what it wants but its the episode with some unknown space in it which has the potential to get outstanding.

I think (and I could be wrong) that he isn’t talking about standalone episodes or bottle episode. I am pretty sure he is talking about needing to put into production episodes that wouldn’t normally be done, except that they have to have an episode script ready to film in so many days.

Almost every show that does a full broadcast season (be it 22, 24, or in Trek’s case typically 26) have had to green light a story that isn’t fully developed yet. But because they need s how reading to film in two weeks, something has to get the approval to finalize.

It is always a very big risk that an episode that isn’t fully developed isn’t going to meet the quality that they try and achieve with a developed story.

Now, of course you absolutely will have developed stories that everyone thought would work, turn out absolutely not working. TV is littered with these. You can also find shows that were rushed into production simply to feed the beast, that surprisingly turn out exceptional well.

The idea is that on average a developed story has a better chance to succeed. while an underdeveloped story has a greater chance to fail. I am pretty sure thats what he is talking about. That cutting the episode number be it down to 18, to 15, 13, 10, 8, ect just give teams more time to get ideas that they want to price that they feel will be good. Again this doesn’t mean they will be. just that the belief is better developed material is likely to be better.

Agree! Your great episode is someone else’s “Meh…” that’s the problem. Still gotta pay to produce them…

I get streaming is the new thing and 10 eps X 5 seasons is the new norm. But I also have to point out some of the best Trek eps from the episodic era were bottle shows that were meant to just be filler. When you aren’t worried about season long arcs and effects budgets and things like that it makes you focus more on the quality of the individual stories.

My two favorite “filler” episodes were “Data’s Day” and “A Night in Sickbay.”

Data’s day was great and if you think about it, it helped form Picard S1 (good or bad). That’s how important those eps can end up being down the road!

Data’s Day might be on the cusp of not being a bottle episode on account of having a slightly bigger guest cast and I’m not sure if the set for the dance was a reuse.

“A Night in Sickbay”… is that the Enterprise episode with the sick dog and the chainsaw? Love that episode too. Saw it again yesterday!

I have ALWAYS loved A Night in Sickbay. I always assumed it was only me though lol.

I miss when Trek could do more of these types of stories.

Hugo nominee, that one.

Nope, not just you. I absolutely love A Night in Sickbay. Maybe my favorite Enterprise episode. I love the normal, ship routine stuff you’d see in the beginning of many episodes until the plot happened, and ANIS was an entire episode of that!

I as well has always loved A Night in Sickbay. It feels exactly like what LDS does and just show a routine day with a bit of shenanigans here and there.

It’s also one of those episodes that shows how delicate first contacts can be but in a humerous way.

“A Night in Sickbay” is one of my guilty pleasures, because I’m a dog person! Yes, Archer behaved like an ass when it came to his dog, which is something that never, ever happens in real life.

I woudn’t describe “Data’s Day” as a filler episode — a bottle episodes, yes, but it was a substantive exploration of Data’s humanity.

But that’s the thing… the current thing in streaming series are season long arcs. It is rare that streaming show are episodic – Broadcast networks, yes – but even then, you have seasonal arcs.

True but I would also say there are *certain* shows, even at 10 eps per season kind of fall off 3/4 of the way through and actually feel like they are going longer than they should. Even like 1 filler ep a season (if it is good enough) could suffice. I’m not saying we need it, just that that’s a lot of times where the best ideas come from.

Thats not what he is talking about.

I’m going to politely disagree here and say that several episodes of Picard seasons 1 & 2 felt like filler, sub-plots that were not needed (like the FBI agent encountering Vulcans and becoming obsessed with invading extraterrestrials — interesting but really didn’t matter to the plot)

For season 1 and season 2 of Picard, if felt like 10 episodes was too much — and filled with sub-plots that meant nothing and didn’t matter to the story. In other words, I feel the story for season 1 and season 2 of Picard could have been told in less episodes and been more effective.


Quite a few years ago, I had heard that they were thinking of making a Picard movie. They used the original idea, but had to fill it for 10 episodes for a series. It would have worked much better as a 2-hour movie.
Don’t ask me where I heard or read this – it was maybe a year or 2 before Picard season 1. Not sure if Anthony or the Trekmovie team can confirm this, or if it was just fan talk.

Totally agree. Honestly I think PIC S2 could have been done in 5 eps. Season 1 was a little more involved because of the Gollum mystery but S2 was just like we go there cause in the end Q wants Picard to grow a heart. Dragging that season out did so much damage to it.

Discovery also. Lots of season 4 felt like filler, in part because the focus was so heavy on the story arc which moved at a snail’s pace.

Picard season 3 had some too – No Win Scenario was fantastic, but it was very obvious soon after that the show was largely confined to being on the Titan, and the story was treading water a bit by the time Vadic took it over.

Yes Discovery as well, especially season 4. It was so badly drawn out and tedious I was actually happy season 5 was only 10 episodes because the last two seasons barely felt like they had enough story to fill even just 13 episodes.

And yes Picard season 3 had similar issues although IMO way less than the previous seasons. Season 2 just felt practically lifeless by the time it got to episode 6.

I disagree with season four for the most part. There was one element that was a part of many of the last 6 episodes of the season, that I found didn’t work. That was the character of Tarka. Now the idea of a splinter group wanted to destroy versus reason with 10-C is absolutely valid. But Tarka as its focus didn’t work for me. Pacing wise (versus a story element that for me didn’t work) is better for that season as a whole. But again pacing for all the various serialized Trek stories hasn’t been spot on, even going back to Ent Season 3, or even DS9 final 10 or the 6 part retaking the station. On just pacing for Discovery season 4, I felt the ending the actually figuring out how to connect was the worst pacing aspect of that season and it being rushed.

Myself seriously tighten up the pacing of the splinter story, cut the Tarka character out or seriously rewrite, and use that extra time to progress to and spend episode 9 and 10 on what was ended up being handled in episode 10.

About the only pacing consistently I have found in 4 season of Discovery and 3 seasons of Picard is that the finals always feel rushed. And I while I thank season 3 of Picard is the best paced out of all serialized streaming Trek it also had room to improve.

Season 2 is absolutely guilty of not being fully developed, that was completely due to the fact that during early production of season 2, it came to their knowledge that Stewart wanted to bring back the TNG cast. This split the writers, so the head writer who started season 2, quickly switched to developing a season 3 that could film immediately after the end of shooting of season 3. This absolutely took part of the writers away from season 2. And impact their full script development.

Now almost all shows will produce what they considered fully developed stories that they think work. That fit what they need for an episode. But once completed realize that for what ever reason that it didn’t work. It happens. Now sometimes this is an internal issue solely for that episode. Or (in case of arc or serialized story telling) concepts that were deemed important for episode X and were planned to be vital for episodes Y and Z, are after the fact (ie after the shooting of episode X) that those points are no longer needed for stories Y and Z. That also happens.

Even for shows that have episodes fully developed and finalized scripts for each episode before filming of the season begins will have issues, that on the page worked, but don’t work in a filmed project.

For your your specific examples there is some common issues, but (I do give a caveat for season 2 that didn’t occur with season 1). I don’ think episode count is the issue.

I think both seasons have significant issue with story pacing spread across each season. Season 1 has a period that I feel should have been condensed at least one episode (perhaps 2) but I also think the end of the season was rushed, and should have been passed over at least one additional episode. So episode count works for me here, but pacing is a real issue.

Season 2, starts with a bang, with really solid pacing for three episodes. Then stalls. Now I know this season unlike season1, had the split focus so I give them a caveat. But there are 4 episodes that just as a whole don’t work well because of pacing on those episodes (not to mention a couple elements I just wouldn’t have ever used, season 1 was Stardust City, god I really dislike that episode). But like Season 1, the ending is also rushed. But unlike season 1. I honestly think you could have got the story beats down, fixed both aspects of pacing (the two slow and the two fast) and eliminated at minimum one full episode (I lean closer to two full episodes).

It helps highlight the issue of writing plot but not full scripts for a serialized show in advance. Of course there also disadvantages of writing finalized scripts all in advance, and then seeing finale cuts of episodes and seeing things that aren’t workin….

The formula for fixing modern Trek is this: Kurtzman and his cronies out (except for Roddenberry Junior), Matalas in, fifteen episode seasons (including so-called “filler” episodes, back to the 25th Century, so-called “progressive” agenda in the dumpster where it belongs.

According to you. At least you didn’t cram the word woke into your little paragraph there. Small blessings I guess.

Star Trek is all “progressive” agenda. Always has been. That’s why it’s great in part. Have you actually watched Star Trek? There’s a lot of words and thoughts and concepts beyond the spaceships and phaser battles that might be what you are watching for. I love the whole backlash against “woke agenda” by fragile minds that can’t handle change and Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations. Please keep being upset about your status quo being disrupted. It’s a joy to see things progress and the roadkill of history’s worst ideas and cultural norms lament.

He’s absolutely wrong, in my book, about ‘watch patterns.’ If a show is good, why would I bag out after only two seasons? Peaky Blinders is a good example of this, I would have watched it forever. My personal ‘watch patterns’ do come into play concerning the shows he’s been in charge of though. Two seasons of DSC was more than enough. If a show is good and the writing is tight, people will keep tuning in. Simple.

You may have personal watch patterns that differ from the norm (I have them too), but Kurtzman is almost certainly talking from a point of knowledge about streaming watch habits based on actual data from the masses of viewers watching his shows. He sees that most shows get tuned out after a few seasons (like you did with DIS, proving his point) because he sees the data that shows that that is actually happening. Trek is an outlier because the Trekkies keep coming back, but even then getting to 5 is a stretch.

Why I said, ‘in my book.’ Just my opinion. And I stopped watching DSC at the end of S2 because I thought it was terrible, not because it overspent my attention span. I do agree that 5 seasons does seem to be the average these days, and for an excellent show, ie. Breaking Bad, Peaky Blinders, that is a perfect number. My question is, where is Trek’s Vince Gilligan, Steven Knight, Taylor Sheridan? Our franchise needs a showrunner/writer that will make us not-be-able-to-wait for the next episode. That element does not exist for Trek, imo.

Just to make a point, what is the longest running science fiction/ fantasy series that is streaming only?

It’s Star Trek Discovery. While it might not be your cup of tea, or mine.. it’s done what it needed to do. It’s the 2nd longest running (by season) series that is from Paramount + (including of course CBS All Access) behind the Good Fight that lasted 6 years and 60 episodes. But it will have produced the most total episodes 65.

It might very well produce more episode than any streaming Trek series SNW would need 7 seasons (not impossible but again that would be an exceptional run for today) to have more.

For a Netlfix, Disney or Amazon Sci-fi program your looking at needing more then an 8 season run to pass that episode count.

You have to think so, but OTOH, I can think of a lot of high-profile streaming shows that lasted five seasons: House of Cards, The Three Percent, The Americans, Downton Abbey, Better Call Saul, Breaking Bad, etc. Jack Ryan got four seasons, and while it was well acted, the writing was so-so. (On an earlier thread, someone observed that the latter two were technically AMC shows, which is a fair point, but it still seems to me that they have some similarity to pure-play streaming shows, and they’re both distributed on streamers.)

House of Cards had a unique major factor involved in its continuing though.

Uhhh, The Americans, Downton Abbey, Better Call Saul, Breaking Bad are not streaming series.
The Americans – FX
Better Call Saul, Breaking Bad – AMC
Downton Abbey -ITV

Most of your examples aren’t streaming only shows. Most of them were designed for either cable broadcast or like Downton Abby for British television. That they eventually found steaming homes, is no different than American broadcast shows who got overseas broadcast as an addition revenue stream. Its not created for the purpose (though some have absolutely survived from it).

Only House of Cards, The Three Percent and Jack Ryan are streaming only programs.

Longest running streaming only scripted live action programming is Grace and Frankie (7 and 94 episodes), Orange is the New Black (7 seasons and 91 episodes) Bosch 7 season 68 episodes).

Orange is the New Black and Grace and Frankie typically maintain the 13 episodes per season that was common when they started. Bosch typically had shorter seasons from the get go.

Again which highlights how unlikely it is for any streaming show based on current patterns to achieve 100 episode runs.

That they eventually found steaming homes, is no different than American broadcast shows who got overseas broadcast as an addition revenue stream

I’m not so sure that “eventually finding streaming homes” is so irrelevant, though. What percentage of people watched via Netflix or Amazon?

I think he has a point, if this was 2022 still. Allow me to explain. Back then you had a show that lasted 10 eps (still do) but you wanted it for 10 weeks in a row and had to wait another 42 weeks to get season 2.

Sure that part is still true today but here is the difference I don’t think Alex is getting. Back before the streaming bubble burst, we were getting shows of all kinds on all channels like craze and the afore mentioned 42 weeks we got involved in so many other shows that sometimes it just became too much.

I for example can’t keep up with Star Wars anymore. I don’t even remember Clone Wars and now I have Mandalorian and Boba Fett and Ashoka and Obi Wan and all these other shows that rely on it and it’s like a literally have to google it just to know where to begin.

But this is not going to be the case moving forward. Streaming services are consolidating. Shows premiering are getting cut WAY down.

I think Kurtzman had a point in the past and even the present but certainly not the future.

They have data going back to the origins of streaming only productions, typically 13, without large connecting universes to track, and not a single one made it to 100 episodes. And even then most were canceled by the end of the 2nd season. His statement is entirely factual on these issues. The exception of this is when a service first starts up you do a have better chance for longer runs, just because the threshold of being good for the platform is usually at its lowest when it first starts out.

And since he’s talking about the difference between streaming and the broadcast model when it was still on average a 22 episode run. If you had a shared universe, or if you were a completely stand alone property you had a far less long break between originals, especially as US broadcast extended that seasons with rerun breaks so that your summer break is typically 16 weeks. Versus what if aired without breaks would be a 30 week break between new episodes.

For streaming there has been two primary models. The full drop on release date or the staggered weekly release (with often series openers dropping 2 to 3 then going weekly). For the largest part of the streaming universe gong back to 2022 that means 8 week run, with a break of 44 weeks between new material (or a 51 week on a full drop).

Even with broadcast when for whatever reason a show was going to have large then typical break, you almost always saw a larger percentage year to year drop off.

Now Streaming has started doing two tiered releases. It remains to be seen if this is going to be common place.

My point was that prior to the almost collapse of streaming, yes shows still could go up to 5 years / 50 eps, but the point is that they are churning out so many new shows and every show that ended got replaced with like 2 to 3 new ones. That is not going to be the case with any streaming service moving forward.

He’s referring to streaming TV as a whole. Peaky Blinders, like Game of Thrones, Doctor Who, Outlander et al still has a foot in the broadcast world which helps a show get a little more longevity right now.

There’s a reason Stranger Things and Star Trek shows are streaming outliers in getting as far as 5 seasons though. Most shows don’t tend to get more than 3 now. Bosch is one of the only exceptions I can think of. For originals, new shows are more valuable to streamers than old ones. At least now most creatives are starting to plan for shorter runs, but they still can get caught by surprise – Glow’s cancellation was a typical Netflix blindside, and obviously Discovery, Prodigy and Lower Decks have all been wary canaries in the coal mine for how far Paramount is willing to go.

Yeah sorry but you’re speaking of your own experience. Something that is true of you. He is of course not speaking of individuals, but the average behavior of viewers.

And simply put there are a couple of exceptions of longer running streaming only shows. But they are the exceptions not the rule.

While for many decades it’s common for broadcast and cable shows to decline in ratings over the life span of tv. They have data going back many decades showing the average rate of cancellation for both broadcast (and for cable those that is far harder for the public to track).

The average rate of cancellation for streaming only shows (shows were that is its only release platform) is far, far earlier than broadcast.

Now they have several theories about this from people not wanting to pay subscriptions year round, to the fact that programming is shorter in length thus on average easier to fall off the general public awareness (this is my personal belief).

But simply put what he stated is factually accurate for the masses as a whole. At least currently. As Streaming develops its possible that will change.

7 years is currently the longest number of season a streaming only show has ever made that is scripted live action.

So may question since you use Peaky Blinders (a great show by the way), isn’t a streaming only show. It was a British broadcast show. So it doesn’t speak to the aspect of streaming only programming.

I think shorter seasons can have the opposite effect. Worries about making every episode count sometimes translates to episodes being overthought and made needlessly complicated.

With less episodes the focus should be on good Trek, not experimenting with things like the musical.

The two aren’t mutually exclusive (either generally or in the specific instance you’re citing.)

Maybe, but by having 26 episodes a year the ’90s series accommodated more character development. Most characters got three episodes a year focused on them as individuals.

That was the 90s. The 26-episode-a-year format did not increase character development at all for TOS in the 60s. It was a different era, to be sure, but still.

Also, I thought that Picard Season 3, even with its only 10 episodes, had a ton of character development for Picard, Riker, Jack, Beverly, Seven, Worf, Shaw, and a few others. Just saying it can be done

Well, writing on TOS and TV in the ’60s in general was poor.

“Doomsday Machine” and “City on the Edge of Forever” were pretty good, though.

Two out of how many?

The first season of TOS had 28 episodes, then the number of episodes dropped to where the third season had less than 26 episodes.

Good points. And the writing quality of those shows was very high most of the way through. “Brain, brain, what is brain?”

That pace was breakneck though and you just couldn’t do it nowadays. You could argue the shows don’t need to be as cinematic as they are, but even thought DS9, Voyager and Enterprise managed to upgrade the lighting and shooting style to be a little less stagey than TNG, they all were doing 16 hours days and OT each week to do that. It’s not realistic to expect them to crank out an episode of a glossy sci fi show every week for the shoots, let alone the more elaborate Post work involved now. The cast and crew would revolt.

Didn’t Hurd make some remarks about how working for streaming services doesn’t work that well for actors due to the shortened episode counts during the strike, though?

It sounded to me as if actors like her would appreciate having more regular work than just doing 10 episodes a year for one series and having to find work doing something else for the rest of the year.

As in, they’d appreciate the regularity and work security of doing 20+ episodes a year and the paycheck that comes with it.

Absent pandemics and strikes, networks still do over 20 episodes a season. Sure, the effects aren’t as intricate as on science fiction series, but it can be done.

She has a point, though better residuals and popularity metrics seem to have been the more pressing thing to get out of the streamers. But nowadays it takes the better part of a year to do a 13 episode show anyway, if it’s elaborate like a Trek series. Even The Orville, stylistically shot like 90’s Trek, was never going to be able to do 22 episode seasons.

They need to tone down the over elaborate productions. It wouldn’t be impossible to do. More location shoots and the like.

Location shoots make a show more complicated, usually.

I do think Trek has gone too far in taking the cinematic lessons from JJ Trek. A lot of that worked for a movie, but now we get cameras moving around all the time for no good reason, shallow depth of field when sometimes you want to see more than one character, and super widescreen formatting that isn’t always used right. Plus moodier lighting which sometimes is thoughtful and beautiful and other times takes up half the oxygen in a discussion about Picard season 3.

But there’s only so much you can dial back on now. I really think everyone would crack from writers to crew and cast if the shows went back to 22.

Location shooting in Canada would be Modern Trek’s version of sound stage shooting on Planet Hell in the ’90s. But it would look better because it would be outside.

If Stargate could turn exteriors in Vancouver into hundreds of alien worlds, there’s no reason Star Trek can’t do the same.

You’re advocating for Trek to go back to the sameness of all the planets that looked liked Vasquez Rocks, except now it would be forests with a good chance of snow and/or rain. There would be tax breaks, but relying more on location filming is not always cheaper, and it doesn’t automatically lead to better writing just because it might mean they can stretch the dollar to squeeze out a few more episodes. This is just not a realistic solution and all of television save for network and reality TV has upped its game in the production values department.

Less can be significantly more. Not everything needs to be big and bombastic. That’s just these shows replicating what Abrams did in the movies.

Remember, the goal of expanding the episode count is to have more room to expand on the character development, not the spectacle.

Whether that is a bottle episode in which a character gets trapped in a warp bubble or they just go about their day, or one in which they f a ghost or one in which they become possessed by the psychic imprint of a murder victim. Those don’t require much expense.

Sci-fi shows are not worth it if they do not have amazing cgi and spfx and vfx as that is the main draw for people

Not EVERY episode of a Trek series needs that, though. Instead of using the VR wall, they can go out of on location to shoot that they’re on an alien planet.

Stargate SG-1 and Atlantis did fairly well using that production style up in Canada where Star Trek shoots now.

Nonsense. Some of the best sci-fi was limited in what they could display – Doctor Who, Babylon 5, Stargate SG1 and Stargate Atlantis.

I would prefer more interesting stories and characters than big pretty explosions.

But the trend is not to go backwards in scope either. 90s Trek was some of the slickest sci-fi on TV at the time, let’s not forget that. Even Doctor Who now has a budget on par with some prestige shows. A genre show can be clever like The Expanse and not spend all its money so wantonly, but cinematic production values and VFX are here to stay.

Your lack of understanding of sci-fi is glaring. Maybe you should educate yourself by reading classics from Asimov, Clarke, Niven and the like, but you would probably scoff and say they’re old and dated.

On Discovery, there were filler seasons.

No there was not any filler seasons discovery told a season long story arc starting with season 2
Season 1 had two story arcs that were intertwined but that was due to a change in show runner who had started it and left both story lines unfinished and Alex and his team had to salvage it and make it work as best as they could

That was snark. Back in the day, maybe an episode. For Discovery, it was an entire season.


This is why after 4 seasons we still barely know anything about the bridge crew of the Discovery.


Oh, I dunno. There’s the one with the implants, the guy with the facial hair, the one who flies the ship and that other guy over there on the right.

LOL! You get the best comment award for this article!

Who cares about the little people? I don’t. But I do miss the cyborg. 🥲

i’m fine with 50 episodes per show, allows for more ST shows. i’m hoping with Prodigy and LDs ending we get a new animated ST show in the vein of SW The Clone Wars. my dream show would be a CGI animated show ST: Titan, with Captain Riker. Later seasons/shows could switch to Shaw and the Titan-A and later 7 and the Ent-G; kinda like how Clone Wars branched out into Bad Batch and Rebels. to me this would allow OG fans to enjoy the 24th / 25th century separate from the live action shows and allow those live action shows to try and experiment and bring in new fans.

i’m watching DS9 for the first time (started when my son was born, DS9 and S3 of ENT were the only incarnation of ST i hadn’t watched) and i really like DS9 (may be my 2nd or 3rd fav ST show) but man 1/3 of them are real clunkers. i power through those and half the time they do something interesting in the last 10-15minutes.

i remember Harve Bennett said when he binged TOS ahead of making ST2 that 1/3 were amazing, 1/3 ok/entertaining and 1/3 were ‘ewww’. i’d agree with that in the Berman era ST shows as well.

but i just don’t think the straming serialized trek is trek at its best. SNW seems to do a better job than DSC in telling modern streaming ST shows and trying to thread that needle. RDM’s BSG did that the best telling individual stories while keeping it part of a larger story / arc. the expanse, while i enjoyed ticked me off, it was like they shifted where the story would end, so each episode had a cliffhanger. so i started watching that show from mid episode to mid episode and it was more enjoyable lol.

I’m starting to think we may not get more than one show a year so we’re looking at less content, not more. We’re probably looking at two Star Trek series with one airing each year. This year we get discovery, next year SNW, the following year Academy (maybe).

Those “filler” episodes have their place, Kurtzman. They help with character growth and depth. As well as tell contained stories. Some of the best episodes of Star Trek have been these so-called “filler” episodes.

What else is there to say but typical Kurtzman.

Well said, Captain. At least one other person on this page knows what TRUE Star Trek is supposed to be about.

Thanks, non-arc episodes help with character growth and development. It allows the audience to form a relationship with these characters, even through the mundane. It is as if you become a part of the crew. Alex “Dark Universe” Kurtzman was never the right person to helm this franchise. Maybe Skydance will shake things up with the hierarchy, but doubtful.

Who’s the one besides Braxton?

Nonsense. Typical ultra lazy Kurtzman hate.

The writers, producers and actors of 90s Trek were on the record saying 26 episode seasons were physically and psychologically exhausting and rushed. They frequently commented in retrospect that some ideas didn’t work, the final product didn’t match the intentions, the B plot was too long, the A plot didn’t land, but nothing could be done, because they had to quickly move on. How many TNG episodes did we have about a planet in trouble and the Enterprise had to use the deflector dish to something something while Troi talked to someone in a gray suit?

Fans who get to look back at 170 episode catalogues at the end of 7 seasons and recall nostalgically growing up with Star Trek that was on every week, not two months every eighteen months, will of course say more is better. The people who actually have to build the thing are qualified to talk about how difficult it was.

If the numbers were there to justify the expense of producing more than 10 episodes per season, they wouldn’t hesitate to do so. There’s a reason you only get 10 episodes of SNW but 22 episodes of S.W.A.T., Chicago Fire or Law & Order SVU. It’s not about better storytelling, it’s about the financial implications.

Producing 20 live action Star Trek episodes across two separate series is a net positive financially for all production partners on the backend, not-so-much for the writer’s and talent.

What does “filler episode” even mean in this context? “Episode I didn’t like”?

When you’re breaking 22-26 distinct stories a year that usually aren’t driving a single specific plotline, what counts as filler and what doesn’t?

This term has been overused into meaninglessness. It started out (at least in my understanding) to refer to stories created for anime to buy time when they ran out of manga to adapt and were waiting for new adaptable stories to arrive. These obviously couldn’t affect anything important since they were still following the original source material otherwise.

I can see how the term got borrowed for a tightly serialized show that didn’t have enough story to fill the episode count. I guess “A View from the Gallery” from Babylon 5 might qualify; I remember that was a rushed script for some reason, and you can remove it from the season with basically zero effect. But you can remove around 90% of TNG episodes and not miss anything in terms of ongoing story.

So is a “filler episode” one that was reluctantly rushed out to meet the production schedule? And, if so, how rushed does it have to be to qualify? (Not looking for a specific number; just making the point that the term is nebulous.) I guess maybe “Shades of Grey” since it was rushed out to fill an abbreviated episode count after the WGA strike in the 80’s?

Look, this probably feels a little pedantic, but I’m just mystified when I see people say “I hate filler episodes!” when referring to a show like Strange New Worlds. What, pray tell, is a filler episode of that series?

I think with regard to SNW, they’re all ‘filler’ episodes, imo. There’s no pattern there. Some are stronger or weaker than others, is all.

And to paraphrase Syndrome from The Incredibles, when everything’s filler, nothing is.

That’s the nature of episodic storytelling. Some are stronger than others.

It’s a good question, When you have shows like TOS and TNG that had zero over reaching arcs, every episode can be a filler episode. In that context I always assumed filler shows are bottle shows where stuff just takes place on the ship and they can focus on the story rather than sets or effects to have enough money for the whole season.

I’m probably being a grumpy old man fighting yet another change in language that I’m not fond of and will ultimately be forced to accept, but I think it would be a shame to consider “bottle episodes” a subset of “filler episodes”. They’re very different things IMO.

Yeah I agree with this. Those were basically made to save money and yet some of the best episodes of Trek are considered those.

I just listened to the Delta Flyers discussing Duet the other day and they remarked it almost felt like a play since it’s mostly just two characters arguing with each other in a room. And yet still one of most effective Trek episodes to this day.

But honestly you could probably classify that episode as a filler too but I imagine every fan of that episode would push back on it and rightly so.

You blow through the budget on other eps, you create smaller episodes that cost less to produce, giving you eps like “Duet”, “A Night in Sick Bay” and a lot of other great Star Trek episodes.

For anyone who has worked on a show, you can tell if an episode is going to eat through a big piece of the budget and that somewhere down the road there is going to be an episode or two that’s going to offset that with an episode or two which will feature just a couple of actors on one or two sets. Those aren’t filler episodes, they’re just episodes produced on a smaller scale.

Yeah, in fact I was just going to bring up “Duet” but you beat me to it. That episode would definitely be considered as “filler” in my definition of the term but it is one of the absolute best episodes of Trek ever made. I would also consider “Measure of a Man” or “The Inner Light” as fillers too but those are also excellent episodes. This comes back to OP’s question about what exactly consititutes “filler”. I think its just a word used by people to describe the episodes they don’t like.

When it comes to traditional episodic storytelling, there are no filler episodes. A story told is a story told. If you have fewer resources due to budgetary issues you may structure a story that costs less to produce but it’s not a filler episode (and Star Trek has had a number of great smaller stories over the years to save a buck or two).

So “Cost of Living” (in which Lwaxana and Alexander take a mudbath) is the same as “Best of Both Worlds.” Gotcha.

Enterprise season 1’s “Broken Bow” and “Shuttlepod One” would be a better comparison.

Star Trek has always had great episodes and what the Ingloroius Treksperts call meat and potato episodes. They are the episodes that are rewatchable, good, entertaining, ones you can turn on Pluto TV to watch and get your trek fix. They’re not on anyone’s top 10 list but they are fun. They usually have great character moments or character development. I think Alex is saying, he doesn’t want those kinds of episodes.

LIke say STARSHIP MINE or BOOBY TRAP? If so, his taste is even worse than I thought possible.

I get the idea of the 20+ episode format maybe being a bit too strenuous for the writers to come up with stuff, but I feel like there could be a better middle ground. It’s one thing for more serialized shows like Discovery and Picard to have shorter seasons to tell those specific stories, but a lot of the charm of the older shows did often stem from the “filler” episodes. They gave us more time with the characters, and allowed for a nice variety of ideas and tones. Hell, even with DS9, as great as the Dominion, Bajor/Cardassian, etc. stories were, I don’t think it would be half as good without those “filler” episodes. But with 10 episodes, even the more episodic shows can suffer, as is the case with Strange New Worlds, as good as it is (for example, that Hemmer moment might have had more impact if he had more character development beforehand).

26 episodes allowed for a better run of variety and creative story telling. Never felt like filler, it was Trek giving us a range of sci fi and character stories. Not every one was a winner but a lot of great episodes were produced.

Compare that to today’s long form story telling structure and the story can definitely drag. DSC meandered with emotions in the wrong places and Picard season 2 was really stretching out 4 episodes worthy of story into 10 episodes.

Also with less episodes stop doing episodes like the musical episode on SNW. With only 10 episodes focus on Good Trek.

Star Trek has never been in a worse state and under worse leadership than it is now. Strange New Worlds, which is arguably the best of all new Kurtzman-era Star Trek, has had a total of 20 episodes over the first two seasons (10 each), and I would say that when comes to the last season (season 2) only two episodes or three episodes were actually good/enjoyable.

As for the “filler” episodes during the Berman-era of Star Trek, all of those episodes help to further enrich the series and characters, building on the lore of the Star Trek universe. I absolutely agreed with the above sentence: “But one fan’s filler episode could be another’s favorite, and sometimes those mid-season episodes offered opportunities for experimentation or off-the-wall ideas.”

Despite owning all of TOS, DS9, and Voyager on DVD and most of TNG and Enterprise on Blu Ray, I never get tired of watching reruns of Voyager and DS9 on Pluto TV. And whenever they air an episode of Star Trek Discovery of the Pluto Star Trek channel, I instead opt to watch a DS9 or Voyager rerun. There is no comparison between the two eras. New Trek only proves that throwing more money on Star Trek is no substitute for excellent talented writing and production. From 1966 to 2005, Star Trek producers, directors, writers, art designers, and model makers, successfully demonstrated how to make quality television and films without millions of dollars per TV episode.

The only season of new Trek that I own on Blu Ray is season 1 of Strange New Worlds, and I seldom choose watch it and I didn’t like the second season enough to warrant purchasing it on Blu Ray.

Kurtzman has no idea what he’s talking about, in my opinion. Yes, he brought Trek back to the TV, but he’s like Kathleen Kennedy in my opinion. We don’t need big budget 10 episode seasons. I’m fine with low(er) budget 20 episode seasons.

Agreed! Kurtzman is the Kennedy of Star Trek. Not good for either franchises, both need to go.

3 words Mr Kurtzman: For All Makind


The show also got renewed today! So happy!!!

Imagine Ronald D. Moore was the current head of Star Trek? It would have been a new golden age. With Kurtzman, it feels like we are in the Mirror Universe :(

Speaking of Apple +, I just finished the first season of Constellation, and thought it was great. I hope it gets a S2.

If we had filler episodes, maybe we would have cared when Airiam was killed off.
Filler episodes are a huge opportunity to “fill” in the development of a character.

It’s worked for British shows for decades, but the author is right to point out that great ingenuity can be borne from having major budget limitations.

Some of Trek’s best episodes are bottle shows. Duet, Clues, Shuttlepod One, No Win Scenario, Remember Me, Meld, Similitude, The Drumhead, The Doomsday Machine, Whispers, The Offspring, Someone to Watch Over Me… All take place on standing sets with only a couple guest stars at most and limited VFX.

Plenty of bad bottle shows too, but the idea of having to do them should be looked at as a reason to flex different creative muscles. Getting in the habit of making every story big and not fussing about budget can create a different kind of viewer fatigue.

Is The Drumhead a bottle episode? I don’t recall seeing the hearing room appear in another episode, and I doubt Jean Simmons worked for free.

yes, it’s a bottle show

sources listed here saying production staff intended it to be as such, and it came in under budget to boot.

The courtroom is likely just a minor redress of the conference room or captain’s quarters or something

I always figured you could get away with a couple guest stars and still be a bottle episode. But “The Drumhead” was specifically called out by the writers and producers as being a cost-saving episode written to avoid having to do another clip show. The hearing room set was first seen in “The Defector,” but it’s actually a redress of the 1701 Enterprise set from Star Treks I-III!

It really depends on the type of storytelling your’e doing. Serialized storytelling works best in a more confined format, 8-10 episodes a season. But episodic TV feels best served by more rather than less, especially when the gaps between seasons are so long.

TV shows do not have to be long-form movies. These 8-10 episode seasons are not right for many series. The whole “filler” argument seems to be about TV vs. movie formats. And about today’s short attention spans.

Other than SNW, all the new Trek shows have felt full of filler. They have movie plot-level ideas that could be fairly decent in a 2.5-hour stretch but get really smelly after 10 hours.

100% – Kurtzman and co think of an ending and just puke up 10 episodes to get there. Yet, with very little wider character development or depth. I mean, we hardly know anything about the Discovery crew and we are in the final season. Madness.

Picard 3 was the most egregious imo – they spent how many episodes just loitering around the ship doing nothing? at least 3 full episodes that could have been 30 minutes of a movie. It was worse than the slow-speed chase in The Last Jedi

Kurtzman knows that virtually word that came out of his mouth is spin. It’s less expensive to produce a 10 episode season and the benefit on the backend is for the studio. Pair that with a budget north of $80 million per season with limited viewership for anything on a platform which relies solely on subscription fees and a high churn rate for original productions is all but guaranteed. Look no further than the success of “Suits” on Netflix and most broadcast originals streamed on other platforms after their premieres to counter Kurtzman’s argument.

Picard Season 3 was produced on a very tight budget (reportedly far less than half than the usual $8 – $10 million per episode). To keep Star Trek going, those are the kinds of numbers they’re going to be looking at.

It would be very interesting to see an episode that had no new effects: could these writers handle it?

With the right showrunner at the helm…

I love how you break down the BS lol.

Yeah they don’t have the money to make more episodes and those episodes probably don’t bring in a lot of money like the way the 90s shows did so there backs are to the wall

When shows are getting cancelled after just making 50-60 episodes kind of says it all sadly but he did admit that at least.

There was a time when Star Trek was like printing money for Paramount. Those days are long gone.

Alex is overcomplicating things. It’s simple. There’s good writing and poor writing. You are responsible for what you produce whether your season has six episodes or twenty six. Also true if your show gets canceled after season one, or runs forever like The Simpsons.

Certain writers / showrunners / producers may have a preference for shorter or longer form storytelling, but you have one job: consistently make good TV. We, the audience, will take as much of that as your industry is willing to give us.

On that note—I read the “make sure that every story counts” comment as more of a self-own rather than a mission accomplished. There’s been a lot of filler in Disco, if you ask me.

Positively: one benefit of fewer eps per season and shorter series runs is that we get a wider variety of Trek. I’m delighted by the differences in tone and style across the current crop of shows. Some I like much more than others, of course—because that’s how a ‘buffet’ works. But I’d much rather have this variety than seven, 26-episode seasons of only one or two shows with generally poor writing. Which, I fear, is what we would have if these producers were working in the 1960’s or 1990’s. So I’m thinking the current trends in the streaming era may be a net benefit, just not exactly for the reasons Alex explains.

I think its not just Kurtzman but life, people and entertainment in general these days wants to “overcomplicate” things. I mean simplicity is not all bad if you know how to use it and sometimes being overcomplicated comes across as more fake or stupid than something simpler. I think people in general consider being complicated with being smarter but it doesn’t always work that way.

Indeed, one must indeed concur with your observation, a preeminent testament to your keen acumen and discerning intellect. Your erudite elucidation, a veritable cornucopia of sagacity, has pierced the veil of ambiguity that had ensnared this matter in a labyrinthine quagmire of obscurity. The perspicacity of your argument, an exquisite tapestry woven with the silken threads of cogency and insight, adorns the edifice of our shared understanding. Your words, resplendent with the luminous radiance of truth, are akin to the guiding stars that lead an errant voyager to their destined harbor through the treacherous waters of disconcert. Thus, it is with an air of irrefutable certitude and profound appreciation that I express my unreserved agreement with your proposition, dear interlocutor.

(Or, you know… “I agree.”)

I’d be disappointed if SNW doesn’t get past series 5

I am thinking that after season 5 of SNW they are going to change the show to a full on TOS reboot.

I would have to disagree with him. All of the current live action seasons of Trek have had filler episodes. A lot of the classic Trek filler episodes were actually good. Filler isn’t necessarily a bad thing if the quality of the writing is solid….which in the case of current Trek it is not.

Exactly. His argument would be stronger if there wasn’t complaints every season of these shows just treading water.

If those in charge of Star Trek plan on doing more serialized shows with 8-10 episodes per season for 3-5 seasons, then they really need to consider creating plots and themes that extend over multiple seasons. The entire series should be The Story.

I get Kurtzmans point but yet so much of Picard and Discovery felt exactly like filler even with less than half the episodes of the classic Trek shows.

My biggest complaints (and many others) was that both Picard season 2 and Discovery season 4 just felt beyond tedious by their halfway marks and could’ve told their stories with even less episodes those seasons. It could’ve been due to COVID reasons but then there were tons of other shows in the same boat and yet had amazing seasons with every episode as strong as the last one.

Sorry I don’t buy that excuse at all. Yes that was originally the argument for having less episodes that the seasons would feel tighter but that hasn’t really been the case either. Both of those shows could’ve had shorter sessions in fact and you lose nothing. Picard season 3 was a little better IMO but even that could’ve just been 7-8 episodes.

SNW does feel like it has less filler but as others have pointed out since it’s back to episodic crises of the week format it’s just telling random stories basically so the word ‘filler’ is hard to define in this case.

I will agree about the five season thing though and that’s clearly true with a few minor exceptions and why I wasn’t shocked that both Discovery and LDS were cancelled. Look at every original show on P+; to this day only ONE show has made it past 5 seasons and that was The Good Fight with 6 seasons. That’s literally it AFAIK. Most shows haven’t made it to 3 seasons, much less 5.

It’s still very different for Network and cable TV. I just read an article citing a few shows on BET have been renewed for season 11. That’s seems almost insane today but it does speak to a different animal.

That said maybe a Trek show can go a little longer and SNW may go beyond season 5 but that will probably depend on a lot of factors. And make no mistake both DIS and LDS were cancelled and probably just due to a lack of viewers.

The biggest problem is when your show is behind a pay wall it’s hard to keep more casual fans invested in something in the long term. That’s true of network TV as well obviously but I imagine the challenges are even bigger with streaming and the rate of churn.

I wouldn’t be shocked at some point we will just get 8 episode seasons as well but as said some of these shows felt like they should’ve been that short.

Guy who has only ever followed a trend remarking upon a trend. It’s a copycat business and he’s as far as it gets from an innovator or outside the box thinker. And yes, my pitiful little self in the cheap seats well never be as accomplished, but even I can identify a car accident when it happens in front of me.

It all depends on the type of storytelling a series is doing.

Strange New Worlds, as an episodic based series, should have more than 10 episodes a season. If nothing else it allows for a little more latitude when they have an episode that doesn’t hit for a lot of viewers; one bad episode out of 10 is a miss of 10%, which is pretty significant. I think a 15 episode season for something like SNW would be good, allows for a miss or two and creates enough space where every main character can have their own episode.

Serialized series like Discovery and Picard could at times benefit from fewer than 10 episodes.

I think business pressures force creative decisions.
If the most popular shows are finished, either with their season or their series, many people will commit to a month of binge-watching.
I’ve binged a season of DSC or PIC, and the arc makes more sense. You don’t have to remember what happened in week 2.
As narrowcasting continues, I wouldn’t be surprised if we start seeing Trek+ or similar.
FWIW, I’d happily pay $30.00 monthly for a Trek + service, provided we got fresh content weekly. (I don’t need to eat all those Doritos anyway…I could cut back a bag or two to help fund it!)

Beverly Crusher and her Magic Candle was a filler episode.

Please don’t mention Beverly’s Magic Candle ever again.

I would rather have that than another musical

Same – musicals feel so cliché. It’s been done to death. The novelty wore off about two decades ago after Buffy did it.

“Beverly’s Magic Candle” would make a great band name. 🙃🤣

Worf and the Prune Juicers.

I loathe this attitude. The concept of a ‘filler’ episode stems from a biased assumption that all storytelling must be story-arc based. It doesn’t really work that way in episodic TV. But the thing is, the average season of Trek (outside problematic opening seasons) still contains more than 10 worthwhile episodes, and the writing of just 10 or 12 episodes does NOT guarantee that they will all be winners. ‘Filler’ or flop episodes still exist, and now they represent a larger percent of the overall season. We get higher production values, but far less time over the lifetime of a show getting to know these characters.

I get that this is the way things are now, and the return of mid-budget, higher-episode-count sci-fi is unlikely. But don’t be disingenuous and pretend that it’s an upgrade that cuts out the fat and gives us higher quality. I’d take the 90s model any day, and end up with a lot more quality stories in the process. It’s great to make the best of the new paradigm, but pretending that it’s inherently superior to the old is just silly. It could be, theoretically, if everything in the new seasons were perfection, all the way through. But that seldom happens.

I want a Harry Mudd mini-series.

I think one point of view that can’t be argued, and I speak this is someone who’s grateful that new Trek even exists, is that every show under the Kurtzman era has been extremely divisive.

The closest we came to show that most agreed worked was Strange New Worlds season one. Season two seriously jumped the shark by being overly gimmicky and suffered from poor writing. Even the Una trial episode that gets so many kudos… they got her off on a technicality not by making a point of fact about the law itself. A weak victory.

I’m optimistic about SNW3, but we’ll see if the gimmicks take over.

Also Mr Kurtzman: No muppets. Not ever.

One of the most beloved Trek episodes are “fillers”. 🍩

Disagree whole heartedly. The shows today are good, but the shows in the past were MUCH better, when they were good. A good writing team can easily write a full 22-26 episode season and have every single episode be very quality. There were a lot more good TV shows back then. Today, amount of good TV shows couldn’t fill a thimble. TV today, and their shorter seasons are garbage, and they severely hinder the good shows from telling proper stories because of the limited length.

The shows today are good, but the shows in the past were MUCH better, when they were good.

“When they were good” being the operative words, of course.

Discovery had more episodes its first four seasons because of Netflix. When Paramount took back the international rights to stream that series from Netflix, the episode count per season reduced to 10. It also resulted in a profit loss.

TNG and DS9 were syndicated, and back then it was easy to get roughly 26 episodes per season. VOY was used to start a network (big mistake, in my opinion). That era of TV is gone.

Unless a show is going to air on network televison, it is not going to pass 20 episodes per season. Star Trek is better off where it is. Yeah, I’d love more episodes per season. Heck, I’d be cool with 13 for each series instead of 10, but right now I’m just happy the wheel keeps turning.

Huh? Picard, SNW, and especially Discovery have all had numerous filler episodes.

Yep! 👍

“FILLER” Episodes?
You mean, Character development?
You mean, Holodeck Shenanigans?
You mean, a visit from Q?
You mean, a ROMANCE?
What *EXACTLY* do you mean by “filler” episodes?
Something where Keiko and Miles are about to get Married but Keiko changes her mind and asks Data to help her tell Miles?
Is that FILLER to you?
Because *TO ME* it is experiencing day to day life with the characters I want to get to know and watch.
I want to see more awkward moments with Linus.
I want to see more snark from Jett.
I want to see more Beverly Bad-ass moments.
I want to see Data be a little crazy from being several personalities at the same time.
I want to see Mirror-universe Mariner and see if she has a beard: because that would be funny AF.
Did it occur to anyone that “Filler” episodes immerse us into that universe and let us “relax and enjoy the time” there, without everything being on fire and everyone dying?
Filler episodes are where the family-time is. We know they are intrepid heroes, but can they play poker? Do they slip off and get drunk and naked when off duty? Can they play the trombone? Filler helps develop character and in-universe ties to the characters. Filler is how we know how much Data loves Sherlock Holmes.
As for “how much it costs to stream it and wah wah wah” Just post it on YOUTUBE and have YOUTUBE ads pay for it. It might even get ppl to sub to P+ so they can watch the adventures, and watch the downtime episodes on the Trek Youtube channel.

I love the YouTube idea.

With the mention of the cancellation of Lower Decks, I have to ask: Anthony or anyone from TrekMovie, is there any chance LDS gets picked up by another streamer? I know Jack Quaid referenced such, and we have the precedent of Prodigy, but is there any real chance???

Maybe I’m in the minority but I enjoy filler episodes which just allow characters to exist and develop traits on their own without having to have it be some massive long running pile of interpersonal drama always around them to progress.

You’re not in the minority. Decades later fans still rewatch the old shows completely. I literally rewatch the entire franchise a few years ago and I actually appreciated so many of those episodes now.

I was just thinking about this but it’s really crazy how different things are today vs when TNG was on the air.

TNG lasted for seven years and it’s now been seven years since Discovery started and a total of four shows have already been cancelled in the same amount of time including Discovery. Yes I know Picard just ended and not cancelled but same outcome regardless

And between those four shows have produced a total of 14 seasons but yet still made less episodes than TNG did in 7 seasons.

Fans wants more episodes but if shows are getting cancelled after just around 60 or less episodes, I don’t see any incentive for Paramount to make more per season.

And the one episode a week thing obviously failed while in the 90s we had two shows running together at 50 episodes a year that went on 6 years straight.

Trek just doesn’t seem to be as viable today as it was back in the 80s and 90s.

I consider these statements from Kurtzman to be unfortunate and a whole lot of egotistic. It comes across as a “know it all”. There is always a place for fillers, those more intimate, character stories. It makes them more endearing in the long run. I mean like many people mentioned here some of the best Trek episodes have been fillers and I just really dont like this negative connatation that the word “filler” brings up or used in that way by many.

I think YOU as show makers should set the watching trends. Or will we get the next star trek show in a tiktok like fashion with every episode an eye blink long and the next episode is a finger wipe away because people love the tiktok or youtube shorts style so much? When you as show maker have a good story to tell then TELL IT – “no matter” how long!

No filler episodes in the original series
just great sci fi stories, with 29 episodes in season 1

Go ahead ahead kick out the 16 “worst” episodes from Star Trek the original series season two, and see what that leaves you.

I’ll wait.

This is “bright-siding” a bad situation. If given resources and time, and of course, talent, Discovery should easily be able to produce a 20 or even 26 episode season as the original series did. it can be done, and it can be done very, very well.

Maybe just not by these teams?

Didn’t SNW season 2 have about 6 filler episodes.

Data’s Day was just filler, but it was pure gold

Its so hilarious to me, they spend way more money, have more shooting days, VFX that’s on par with a decent budget film and…

They aren’t even a pimple on the ass of the earlier shows in terms of quality writing. I’d give up an entire season of Space Battles to have an episode as intelligent as “Measure of a Man” or “Inner Light” or “Trials & Tribulations” “Duet” “Whispers” or “Darmok”.

I watch those old shows and just think…my god. Yes the shows look and sound like movies but again. Have 10-15 million per episode is great. But creativity is born out of necessity. We have the Borg because the original alien was too expensive to produce. Think about that. Now? That wouldn’t be an issue, and we wouldn’t have the Borg.