Alex Kurtzman Talks Avoiding Star Trek Fan Service And Explaining Floating Nacelles In ‘Starfleet Academy’

Executive producer Alex Kurtzman has launched several Star Trek series over the past seven years, with another (Starfleet Academy) and a streaming movie (Section 31) on the way. These shows have spanned multiple time periods which included jumping the franchise forward into the 32nd century for Discovery, which will also be the setting for the Academy show. The producer is now talking about his approach to balancing references to previous Trek series, how they approach Starfleet tech in the 32nd century, and where he sees the franchise going in the future.

Kurtzman worries about “annoying” fan service

Over the last weekend, Paramount+ held an Emmy FYC event for Discovery and Strange New Worlds with Alex Kurtzman and VFX supervisor Jason Zimmerman talking about the latest seasons of the shows. The event was moderated by Christian Blauvelt of IndieWire, which released a video of the full talk (which you can see below). With the latest seasons of Strange New Worlds and Discovery putting the focus on the Gorn and the Breen respectively, Kurtzman responded to a question of how they approach making references to elements of Trek lore to fit within the new stories:

There are lots of conversations in the writers room about [if a Trek reference is needed for the story]. And if you take on something like the Breen, and there was obviously a lot of mystery about the Breen. What do they look like? You have to be able to answer that question, but you also have to choose the Breen because they operate a certain way that works for the story. It was perfect for Bonnie and Clyde story. It was very interesting to make L’ak part of part of the Breen and understand what that culture was suddenly all about. So it wasn’t really just fan service. I think typically fan service can be very annoying. If you do it wrong and you’re sort of tipping your hat to it, but you’re not actually giving it any depth, it actually feels weirdly like it achieves the opposite of what you’re intending to do. So you really need to come up with a very strong reason to do it.

Breen in Star Trek: Discovery episode 509 (Michael Gibson/Paramount+)

Explaining 32nd-century tech

Discovery jumped into the 32nd century for its third season, introducing fans to a whole new era, complete with new designs for Starfleet and beyond. Kurtzman talked about how they have (and will) approach the future tech behind these designs:

There’s an army of people who pore over every aspect of every season so you’re always looking for what was the last, closest era? What did we see there and then how would we evolve from there? The continuity from Enterprise all the way to Discovery—you want to feel that each show in some form is represented in the sum total of what Discovery looks like or what anything in the 32nd century looks like. We took a risk in the 32nd century because we started separating the ship parts in a way that hadn’t been done before. And in Starfleet Academy we will end up explaining how that works. Which is actually interesting, because one of the questions that we always ask ourselves is: What is the reality of this? It can’t be magic, so what’s actually going on there?

The YA-focused Starfleet Academy series is set to go into production at the end of this summer in Toronto. Paramount+ just announced Paul Giamatti has been added to the cast in a recurring role as the main villain for the first season, joining Holly Hunter, who is playing the chancellor of the Academy.

Starfleet in the 32nd century

Limitless storytelling for Star Trek Universe

At the start of the panel, Kurtzman reflected on the journey that started with the launch of Discovery in 2017 and how he sees more opportunities for the Star Trek Universe:

It’s been an amazing, incredible ride for everybody. I don’t think we envisioned when we started Discovery that it was going to become six television shows and a movie. And I think as a fan of Star Trek to to be able to see so many different corners of the universe expanding and expanding, what it’s only affirmed for me is that it is one of those truly rare and precious gems. That it’s is a limitless well of storytelling to draw from. You could go on forever and ever and ever. And so then the question becomes: how do you do it and how do you keep it fresh and original? And how do you make sure that each show feels different from every other show. But it’s been a total joy and amazing, you know, partnership with so many extraordinary artists.

The panel wrapped up with him responding to a question about where he sees things in five years:

My hope is that the [Star Trek] Universe can continue to grow, but that it will only grow if we have new stories to tell and ways to innovate Star Trek. That’s really all I care about, honestly. The journey has been wonderful, but it’s also beenas the cliché saysthe destination. Because making the shows, as hard as they are, is such a joy. Fundamentally, we get to do such exciting things creatively. Firstly, I hope five years from now the world is less bumpy. I’m not confident that that will be the case, but I really hope that it is. And if it is less bumpy, then maybe Star Trek will get a little more boring, which wouldn’t be a bad thing, because we wouldn’t have so much conflict to have to interpret. I hope that Star Trek can continue to be the lens that allows us to understand who we are.

That last bit of him joking about Trek becoming boring refers to earlier remarks he made about how he has tried to carry on Gene Roddenberry’s “perfect template” of using science fiction storytelling as “an allegory or metaphor for what’s going on now.”

Watch full panel

Here (via IndieWire) is the full Paramount+ FYC panel with Alex Kurtzman and Jason Zimmerman.

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Floating nacelles is an interesting option for those times when you might need to navigate some irregular area or something, but for normal flight it seems like a mammoth waste of energy, and it takes some of the elegance out of the designs.

Say the expert in fictional technology

There’s unnecessary energy loss. Period.

Unless that universe uses a different physics from this one.

Ignore that person. He/she just likes to create fights for no reason.

You sound scared. It’s just a tv show. It ain’t real.

Really? “Period.” How the hell do you know that? Maybe having them detached uses less energy because it puts less strain on the inertial dampening system. Or maybe it uses no energy at all because of “insert technobabble here.” Seriously, you have zero idea how much energy it uses or doesn’t use, because we’re talking about a FICTIONAL universe where faster than light travel is possible, we can produce artificial gravity (and with our current understanding of physics, we have a better chance of achieving faster than light travel than creating artificial gravity as we really don’t understand how gravity works), time travel is an almost trivial thing to achieve, energy can be converted into matter with seeming ease (which is a hugely energy intensive thing to do with the whole E=MC^2 of it all – or in other words, M=E/C^2). I could go on, but I think you get the point.

You are absolutely right.

And what kind of expert are you: This is science FICTION. No one is an expert and stop being stuck up.

I just watch the show. I’m not obsessed.

I always liked the idea that the detached nacelles contained their own warp cores, and the primary hull had a warp sustainer, so that if a Burn ever happened again while the ship was at warp, the nacelles would fail and collapse the warp field, but the primary hull would just coast away out of danger while the nacelles blew up in the rear view mirror.

That seems reasonable.

That sounds reasonable but I wish it was explained in canon.

Sounds like it’ll finally be explained in the Academy show. DISCO really had terrible world building.

Ya it did!


Like they had to explain why holograms suddenly weren’t a thing anymore on the Enterprise back in DSC S2 after getting criticism for being inconsistent in S1? the whole conceit of the spore drive is really pretty silly in it’s own right.. and this seems equally so. It’s dumb to try to go down that road… It’s going to invite even more criticism. You’ve done it.. so just leave it alone and let it be. Focus on good stories and not these silly technobabble explanations that have no rooting in reality.

The Spore drive is stupid. In the 23rd century they had the ability to go anywhere in the galaxy instantaneously but in the 24th century Voyager gets stuck 70,000 light years away? No. Just no. Kurtzman can make up all the excuses he wants, his reasons are plain stupid.

They introduced the floating nacelles – which look like the designers forcing futuristic things to look more futuristic – and then showed them as a huge weakness a couple of episodes later. Yet another bad writing problem with Disco.

The nacelle got damaged. Nacelles get damaged all the time in Star Trek. The rage addicts who hate on Discovery because they have big feelings are getting lazy with their comments.

They have always been lazy.

I have no issues with it. After all, it IS a TV show.

TBH, “after all it is a tv show” is a weak excuse. Star Trek deserves better than that.

It’s not actually an excuse. It is the reality of the situation, whether you like it or not. A light saber doesn’t make much sense either… but then again, it is from a movie. Not an excuse…reality of the situation.

That’s the difference. Star Wars has never made real world sense. With the exception of transporters Star Trek always did.

There is plenty about Star Trek that doesn’t make sense… but again, it’s because it’s a TV show. And that’s okay. Because things in a science fiction show aren’t always supposed to make sense. That is why we have imaginations and have to suspend belief.

Star Trek is full of magical fantasy tech.

You need to go out and touch grass.

Warp field geometry is supposedly a key factor in effectiveness (and presumably efficiency) of warp drive. For instance, ships are shaped in a way to efficiently fill in the space within the Warp bubble (as long as they look cool…). It’s not hard to imagine that with technology that can transmit power and control the positioning of detached nacelles, significant efficiency could be gained in travel with virtually infinitely variable warp geometry that would offset what could be a relatively moderate energy cost.

In other news Star Trek Legacy has secured filming rights to Shadybrook retirement community.

Will the day ever come where you make an ounce of sense?

Why so serious?🃏

Half the ships seen in Star Trek don’t have nacelles and can warp just fine. Should have done away with them.

They have nacelkes, they’re just incorporated into the main hull, like the Defiant. Cant have warp without a warp coil, hence nacelles.


I’ve enjoyed a lot of aspects of the Kurtzman era, and I think fans tend to trash him too much. But the floating nacelles never made sense. All it would take to render that kind of starship useless would be to knock out the wireless communication between the different pieces.

Nothing about the 32nd century was ever good. Star Trek is supposed to be about humanity advancing and getting better, not being blown to holy hell.

Only Sith deal in absolutes.

Nothing about the entirety of the settings is good? Nothing? Because it’s not futuristic it’s combustible? What on earth are you talking about?

Not true as we saw with the uplifting Disc series finale

Like so many things in Discovery itself the nacelle thing is just silly. Maybe Academy will be a better show overall but I have very little interest in thus far because I don’t care about Discovery or the 32nd century connections.


Wow good to see you again. I don’t think I had an exchange with you in months and that was right after the former Resident Lunatic finally got banned after how he treated you and being a crazy person to everyone here for weeks. That was the end of March IIRC. I thought maybe after that you just decided to move on. But maybe you have been posting and I just been missing them. I haven’t really been here that much myself lately.

Annnyway, did you watch the Discovery finale? What did you think? I think I already know the answer lol.

I’m very torn on the Academy show too but I’m staying open minded for now. At least the actors they got so far are a big plus.

Happy to see you again! 🙂

Haha no, perish the thought!

And yes haven’t seen you here in a long while either. I just don’t really come that often, and don’t click on every thread either. If you don’t see a post for me in one then it means I probably didn’t click on it. But that is really the main reason, just don’t post much generally, just whatever takes my fancy.

As for your Discovery question, I didn’t watch the season outside the first episode so I have zero thoughts on it besides the opening episode.

I can’t remember who I told this too, but either Danpaine or Tiger2 but I said I had heard people liking the season more and decided to give the first two episodes a chance. If I liked them then I would keep watching. If not just stop there. I didn’t get past the first episode unfortunately. It wasn’t horrible but it was still the same annoying issues I have with the show and every one discussing their feelings, more boring villains who wants to take down the galaxy and a lot of high school dialogue.

I did like the connection to The Chase being one of my favorite episodes.

I also liked that one new character. I can’t remember his name but he becomes the first officer but it wasn’t enough for me to keep watching. But I heard it was more popular this season so that’s good. Even one of my FB besties who has been a Trek friend for over ten years said she thought it was OK and liked it and she hated all the previous seasons like me. But she said I would probably still hate it and she knows me very well haha.

Maybe one day I will try and watch it and finish the last two seasons since I never finished those either. I just can’t click with it I guess.

But I truly hope everyone who likes the show really enjoyed it. I’m sorry but I don’t remember your personal feelings on the show. I think you were always a big fan of it. Am I right or getting you mixed up with someone else? If so please don’t overthink my negativity about it. I know many people love it. I don’t want anyone to feel bad, it’s just my personal perspective only. I think third season of TOS is even worse than Discovery is and that’s my favorite show lol.

But I do remember you telling me how much of a huge LDS and Prodigy fan you are haha. And you will be happy to know I finally gave Prodigy a try and absolutely adored it. All the characters are fabulous, the stories are really fun and clever and you can’t go wrong having Janeway back! I finished season one last month and now very excited for season two. 🙂

As for SFA, I have no excitement for it but I will try and stay open minded about it. It just makes it hard to care when it’s based off of Discovery. Hopefully it will be better than that show at least and also loving the casting choices so far, so there is hope.

Thank you for reaching out dear. Great to see you as well. And look at that, this post was longer than two sentences too! 😁

“I’m sorry but I don’t remember your personal feelings on the show. I think you were always a big fan of it.”

No that’s definitely NOT me. 🤣

Maybe the MU version of me thinks it’s amazing and Star Treks GOT, but in the prime universe version of me thinks the show still mostly sucks lol.

But I thought season 5 was mostly OK or it sucked the least out of the others. That’s high praise coming from me. 😁

I definitely had issues with it and a lot of the episodes still felt mostly useless but I wasn’t as bored like last season and no super cringe moments for me. Burnham still whispered her way through every mission but lot less crying for a change. That’s a win for me.

Oh there was one episode where it looked like Tilly could die and would’ve been my favorite episode of the entire show if it happened but spoilers…she lived.

Anyway,I actually liked the finale, much more than I thought. And it was the first one I liked lol. And revealing Kovich was secretly Agent Daniels was easily the best part! 😄 Even some of the bigger Discovery haters seemed pretty happy about that. I’m really hoping he will be part of SFA now.

I didn’t really post here as much last few months as well. I mainly talked about Discovery on Reddit this season and Trekcre. To be honest not a lot of people was discussing the season here or TC that much but a little more on Reddit so where I mostly went.

But even if I did enjoy the show more you don’t have to apologize for just being honest about your opinion. I have never cared about what other people think aboutTV shows or movies. Most of us understand that you come to a Star Trek board to give raw feelings about the show or movie even if it’s not always pleasant. And there was only ONE person here who was so triggered over people knocking the show he fought with everybody and got himself banned by acting like an immature and unhinged spoiled child. Its been a pretty easy going place since he’s been bounced and he knows it too.

As far as you deciding not to watch it that was probably a good call if you didn’t like the opening episode. The show always starts off stronger than it ends and I still felt the same way about this season even though I thought it mostly stuck to landing for a change.

Maybe one day you’ll give it another chance. I do think the show will get more popular in time like all the others have. I’ll probably be dead by the time that happens though lol.

And I guess season 3 of TOS is really that bad. Explains why I never watched it lol. I seen 3 or 4 episodes of it but that’s it. 😉

And lastly so happy you gave Prodigy and chance and liked it. I’m literally trying to convince another old fan on Trekcre to give it a chance and especially since like you he has hated most of the new live action shows. He doesn’t even like SNW.

But it proves why that show had a steeper climb when even old super fans were passing on it without even a glance. But can’t wait for season 2!

Fun talk! Thanks!

LOL perish the thought!


The back and forth conversations between people who hate shows that they watch 60-70 episodes of before saying they have no enthusiasm about the next show they’re going to watch religiously to complain about tell you everything you need to know about the Star Trek fandom in 2024.

Bro that’s been the fandom since the 80s and 90s. 🤣

Perfect example, I didn’t get into Star Trek until the late 90s and partly through my college roommate who came from a Trekkie family and was watching it the age of five. He loved TOS and TNG but loathed DS9 and VOY, the latter show I became a fan of first.

He complained about it all the time but still watched it every week. Even I couldn’t understand it, why are wasting your time watching something you claim to hate? And for 7 years lol. That’s 160 episodes, a hundred more than Discovery (160 Discovery episodes…shudder). It was bizarre to me although he did stopped watching DS9 but that wasn’t until the fifth season lol.

As a newbie at the time I just didn’t understand it at all…today I do. 😉

How Trek fans rolls. Star Wars fans do it too and they complain much more than we do lol.

I have said this many many times. Discovery wasn’t the first show that fans hated on from beginning to end. It’s amazing people acted like TNG, DS9, VOY and ENT were all sure fire winners out of the gate that everybody embraced. A good portion of the fanbsse watched and hated a lot of those shows from beginning to end just a as much fans hate some of these shows today. We just didn’t have the internet in our pockets to complain all hours of the day like now.

I can’t tell you how many times people would say back in the first season if you hate Discovery so much why are you watching it? But then forget about their own diateibes they went on about TNG, VOY, ENT etc and those have all been off the air years ago. Oddly enough they ended up watching those, many that went on much longer and many many more episodes to boot.

Just more proof everything basically goes in a circle.

Beyond Truth !!!!

Um, maybe you didn’t read my post fully but I HAVEN’T watched all of Discovery and have only watched half the series because I simply don’t like it. I don’t believe in hate watching anything and exactly why I stopped. I also been a fan since the sixties and why I give everything a chance because I want to like it.

I could’ve watched the last season and grimace my way through just to say how bad I thought it was for the entire season if I hated it. But I don’t watch Star Trek just to hate it. I want to like everything of course but that’s not always realistic either.

And maybe I will like it if I ever watched it in the future. But I don’t think I have enough interest in the show to care anymore and exactly why I’m not bothered.

And at least I gave Discovery a chance. Lower Decks looks so bad to me I never bothered to watch it at all. I finally gave Prodigy a chance as said but didn’t until very recently because it simply didn’t interst me at first as well.

And believe me if SFA doesn’t grab me then I won’t watch that either. Hopefully it will.

But I’m doing the exact opposite you seem to be accusing me of doing. 🙄

Seriously I wish I had that will power lol. Season 4 of Discovery was so bad I did think to not bother watching Season 5 until after after the season was over and just binge it. But after they canceled it I decided to watch it when it aired.

And as I said overall I liked it but it’s not something I would tell others like yourself they must watch if you just don’t like the show because even my feelings were very mixed but it’s my favorite season overall. That should tell you how up and down I am with this show lol.

And I really wanted to like it but I really wanted to like every season obviously.

And you now love Prodigy after giving it a chance. Just focus on that instead of forcing yourself to watch something you clearly don’t like. That’s what we all should be doing but as I said that’s not the reality for most hard-core fans and never has been.

I really appreciate that. As I said I don’t come to wrangle feathers just give my own insignificant thoughts and move on. I don’t pretend my opinions should be followed by anyone and have no problems that people disagree with them and ad I disagree with others. But you have to act like some semblance of an adult if you want to engage with me. Unfortunately age has never defined maturity.

Yes I know about Kovich being Agent Daniels which is a great reveal. I always want to see more of him. And I always liked Kovich as a character, I just wish he was in a better show.

But very excited for Prodigy now. I’m not sure how I will watch it if it’s an episode a day or all at once but I’m very eager to to see it.

Hi Bud. Who are we talking about?

The guy who got banned here a few months back who was having uber meltdowns with everyone over Discovery. I’m sure you know who I’m talking about. He had like 12 different aliases lol.

Yes indeed, everything in the 32nd century is more magic then science fiction .. they missed the “science” part in “science fiction”

That’s also my issue with the tech too..just comes off too magical.

Doug Drexler did an interview with TrekYards back in 2015 and he talked about how he wanted bluetooth engines for the Enterprise-J. He correctly stated that the more counterintuitive a design, the more futuristic it is. And this goes all the way back to TOS. Back then, people complained about the pylons, but usually, the more spindly they are, that means they’ve got futuristic alloys that are stronger than anything we’ve got…transparent aluminum, anyone??

We have that…

Transparent aluminum is actually a thing today.

I have no idea why The President of Star Trek would say this

And if it is less bumpy, then maybe Star Trek will get a little more boring,

You’re selling an entertainment product, a frivolous thing as a way to spend (or waste) time on Earth. You’ve now put Star Trek in the same sentence as the word boring. Good job, President Kurtzman.

I hope that Star Trek can continue to be the lens that allows us to understand who we are.

That’s a boring way to summarize Star Trek.

I hope that Star Trek can continue to be the lens that allows us to understand who we are.

You know.. Trek used to do that. But it hasn’t under his purview. Secret Hideout Trek is a sounding board, where you can be pandered too. The best dramas pose questions and let the viewer decide. The writers and producers of this iteration of Trek have used Trek’s progressive past as justification and affirmation that it should preach to its audience. Growing up in a conservative household in the south, TOS Trek wasn’t the only reason I was able to think for myself, but it’s part of the stew that got me there. Why? Because it asked tough questions through moral and ethical quandaries and allegory that gave me things to think about. Modern Trek trys to tell you how to think. All that does is preach to one side. So no, modern Trek is not a lens for anything but those who are already a part of the virtues it espouses.

To each their own, I guess. I’ve never felt modern Trek tries to tell me how to think.

It doesn’t even work for that last part you mention, because I’d be nearly all-in on those virtues, but not when the storytelling and characterization and SF are all so miserably handled.

When peak TV was happening and we got that surge in “Prestige Dramas,” it was a shame that Star Trek went the route of “Game of Thrones done Xena & Stargate-style?” rather than aim for Mad Men, The Sopranos, Breaking Bad. Sure, maybe that tone worked for one of the shows, but they’re all basically made the same way — look the same, sound the same, have similar dramatic devices & turns.

I read the phrase “the virtues it espouses” a very specific way that has nothing to do with my comment and doesn’t reflect a view that I share; so I’ll only say that I think all of the shows have done the least interesting versions of their own ideas, whether that’s imagining future tech, deciding on what stories to tell, juggling their season arcs, and oftentimes, characterization. Lower Decks is a sitcom and Prodigy is for children so they don’t need to be held to any standards, but because of the animation medium those shows actually put a little more tender loving care into the fan service and storytelling shortcuts. The pandering, sloppiness, and surprisingly cheap-looking “adult shows” really make it difficult to connect how Star Trek is discussed with the end product. The gap between what the stewards of Star Trek say about it and what they produce with its name on it is so vast you’d need a snap from Q to traverse it.

I do think the aim of Discovery first season was supposed to be ‘prestigious drama’ as you put it and why it was he first show that started with a big war theme. It did feel like this very serious minded tone and heavy show that was supposed to make fans look at Star Trek in a different light. Not your dad’s TOS or TNG so to speak. In some ways it succeeded in that but probably not the way they were hoping for either.

Instead of the hard hitting compelling drama they were obviously going for, it felt like a cold and cynical show with a lot of ridiculous soap oprea twists and bad writing to complete the theme and felt very little like Star Trek. It just didn’t work for a lot of fans. I get others did like it but if the response was closer to The Mandalorian or Andor and less Boboa Fett and Obi Wan (sorry for using SW comparisons lol) then that direction would’ve stayed.

They probably changed direction in season 2 because I’m guessing subs were dropping hard by the end of season one and all the complaints over it but just my speculation only.

Discovery taught me that teamwork is for suckers, crying about everything is healthy, and talking about feelings regardless of the urgency of the task in front of you, is paramount. Paramount plus!

I genuinely don’t care what a rationale for them would be. They are ugly and overly busy and utterly unappealing.

When I was a kid I thought the more in the future the better with ships with crews of 1000000 going warp 9.9999999999 with 100000000 photon torpedo launchers and 100000 mega-phaser strips hitting the Andromeda Galaxy in 6 seconds.
Unfortunately it does not play out. Such a ship would look lame and hard to follow with little to no tactics or strategy. You can only follow 8 people max on the bridge.
Call it maturity but you eventually realize the brilliance of the Star Trek writers guide that goes something along the lines of : “Could be 1999 or 2800, it’s in the future but not too far in the future that remains relatable”. The guns are fancy, but you still need a gun.
i.e. You don’t want it where people on Earth are starving, but you don’t want it where the colonists are staying in a hotel either. If everyone is good and joins the Federation, where is the conflict? If there are a 100000 starships, the action of one ship doesn’t have the same impact where it is 1/12 of the Starfleet.
This is where the Starfleet Academy show will have problems, but luckily they can overcome some of that by having to rebuild the Federation. Still, I think the future is going to be a hard Trek reboot with a more “Yellowstone meets SpaceX” start.

Sorry to be off topic but since this site posts news about ST comics I’d thought I’d mention but I’m sure some of you might be aware about Benny the Comicstorian’s tragic death a few days ago. While he didn’t cover Star Trek comics he did do Star Wars. I was gutted when I heard the news

Of course when Discovery finally gets good it gets canceled. I’m not terribly exited about an Academy show but since they are able to produce actually very entertaining great Star Trek I will check it out. For now I would say new Trek has been 85% good to great and the rest was crap that really won’t age well and will make the audience facepalm even 20 years from now. But Trek has always had this kind of ratio.

I guess I’m one of the weirdos here who never had a problem with the separate nacelles. I know they were just trying to give the 32nd century its own identity but I get why others hate it too.

Hopefully the 32nd century period will be stronger with SFA. But I do have to give Kurtzman credit, he did take a huge gamble going that far into the future.

Most people here would be fine if we just got more Spock, Seven or Janeway for the next ten years; but it was refreshing to have a show that couldn’t just rely on the past or fan service anymore…even though they still tried lol.

But that’s also why season 5 seems to be more popular. It was able to go its own way but still leaned on TNG and others to keep some fans happy or coming back. If season 1 did a little more of that from the outset instead of ignoring so much of Canon out the gate, maybe it would’ve had a better reception initially.

We’ll never know of course but they gave it their all in the final season. I’m kind of now curious how season 6 would’ve turned out if they didn’t cancel it.

I didn’t really have a problem per se they just never made sense to me. The great thing about Star Trek is historically tech has always made sense, right down to being applicable to real world applications. This new generation of Trek has tech for ‘reasons’ rather than explainable options.

My issue is more to do with a lot of the new tech just being hastily come up with, and the crew just instantly adapts to it. I miss when a show would slow down and explore things. Discovery didn’t even give these characters outside of Burnham any time to grieve the people and lives they left behind, let alone figure out how to use the magi– I mean programmable matter.

SFA having the lead time to retroactively figure this stuff out and expand on it is great, and what Disco season 3 ideally would have had to properly world build.

Transporting to another room on the same ship will never not look stupid though. ;)

Fan service, fan service, fan service.

I’ve been watching a lot of old convention footage where, for instance, De Kelley gets up and says – we’re doing this for the love of the fans. Those days are well over.

The current lot are a mess of contradictions. It’s either Picard season 3 or Lower Decks, which are absolutely packed full of all sorts of nods to the past (perhaps too much), which feel a little like a consolation prize for a subset of fans to keep them quiet.

Then you’ve got endless rehashes of the same ideas and, in some cases, characters and stories, which are at best boring and at worst completely lazy and disrespectful to what came before.

And finally, you’ve got new ideas that don’t seem to land right consistently, alongside a total disregard for canon – whether visually or otherwise. Marry that with an open contempt for fans who care about this (and anyone who was involved in Trek pre-Abram’s era) and well, it’s not great.

All of the above – the desperation, the retreading old ground, the iffy new stuff, the defensiveness – are symptoms of the bigger problem.

Which is, to put it succinctly, a severe drop in competence from the writers and producers.

It’s not just Star Trek – it’s everywhere. Standards have collapsed – and this is, I think, because being a good writer or producer has been overshadowed by an unholy combination of pleasing the suits and being an activist.

Agreed! The thing that drives me crazy is the plagiarism in the writer’s room. They take others ideas and pass them off as their own. They give no credit to the original writers.

Extremely well put.

Thankfully Roddenberry was able to please the suits and be a little activist at the same time. At least for a little while.

Floating nacelles…a Starfleet HQ that flies at warp speed…spore drives..never seen such nonsense, which is why I have no time for Discovery.

The campus in the Star Trek: Starfleet Academy series better have an interactive hologram of Boothby that dispenses sage advice to the students that need it…

I’m still not seeing an explanation of why nacelles need to be detached from the hull of the ship

I’m really hoping that the Starfleet Academy shows does a better job of actually showing the various ships. One of my biggest complaints about DISCO was that, for some reason, starting all the way back in Season 1, TPTB (at least appeared to be) super reluctant in having any beauty of the various ships. Things got a bit better once we jumped to the 32nd century, but even then I’d be hard pressed to identify any 32nd century ships (I think the top pic is of the USS Mitchell, but only because that is the only ship I can remember getting a good look at). I remember in season 1 having a really hard time discerning what the various Klingon ships actually looked like as the space shots were both dark and shimmering, make all the ships look slightly out of focus, and thus making any level detail near impossible to tell. I didn’t even understand what the Klingon cleave ship truly looked like until the season 2 finale.

“And so then the question becomes: how do you do it and how do you keep it fresh and original? And how do you make sure that each show feels different from every other show.”

That’s really the conundrum there. Kurtzmann put it well. I’d argue that TOS, TNG, and DS9 were all significantly different from each other. Yes, TNG was on an Enterprise too with the same mission, but the characters and their interactions were extremely different from TOS. They were different due to the times they were made and Gene Roddenberry’s wish that the characters be different and that personal conflict between them be turned down.

DS9, similarly was different from TOS and TNG in that it was set on a station with the outside coming in. Also, the mixed Starfleet and Bajoran characters, in addition to the hilarious Quark and enigmatic Garak, ensured that there would be conflict and intrigue between the characters. I’m rewatching DS9 with my family and its such a great show. So well written and such a strong ensemble of characters. I don’t think there’s a weak one in the bunch. I think it’s probably the strongest ensemble of characters in the franchise (and that’s coming from a TOS fan).

Voyager had an interesting premise, but due to Paramount wanting it to largely resemble TNG, it ended up feeling that way all over again. I call it TNG v2. I liked the show, but IMO it wasn’t as good as TNG in terms of writing and its ensemble of characters.

I’ve only seen a few episodes (<5) of Enterprise. I tuned in to watch it and just felt, like Voyager, it was TNG v3. I felt like I’d seen it all before, so I tuned out.

Now, I get the criticism of Discovery with it being “too woke” and, imo, emo. I really like Sonequa Green and the idea of focusing on a character that isn’t the captain, but the character just hasn’t completely won me over like Kirk, Picard, Sisko, and Janeway did. She’s done things where she’s risked her ship and gone directly against authority and been rewarded and yet she’s captain and everything, since the Klingon battle which she could have stopped but didn’t by killing the Klingon leader, has worked out for her. She kind of stabbed Saru in the back in season 3, just like she did with Captain Georgiou. I didn’t like that.

Despite the stuff I have problems with and not really loving this ensemble of characters, I really like the writing on Discovery, including the plotting, the action, and the production. It’s kind of a mixed bag for me, but I generally like it and, more importantly, it is very different from previous ST shows, with its focus on a non-commanding character who goes from disgrace to redemption, season wide arcs, and the inclusion of LGBTQ characters. With respect to the last, I think it was too much and a lot of fans have reacted negatively and they apparently lost viewers, but that was the creators’ choice. Again, I give Discover a lot of credit for doing something different. It was a breath of Fresh air after the Berman Braga formula, TNG repeated with Voyager and Enterprise, got stale.

I finished Season 2 of Picard and I really like that show. I liked the ensemble of characters very much and I appreciated how they trying to do something different from TNG. I guess a lot of fans didn’t like that show either, except for the 3rd season.

So, yeah, I think Kurtzmann’s right. You have to try new things but still keep it ST if possible. I’ve seen several articles addressing that very question. When does it stop being ST? When is it too far from the archetype, TOS?

I mean this with all due respect. You are giving the fans a show no one asked for(set in a future no one cares about) and you let Terry Matalas go to Marvel. I got one word for you sir: Acolyte.

Nobody cared about the end of Discovery. Picard Season 3 which should have been seasons 1-3, gave the fans something they not only wanted but loved. I am intrigued by the idea of Holly Hunter and Paul Giamatti but there is zero momentum carrying them into this show. Am I the only one who thinks this academy show is a bad idea?

He didn’t let Matalas go. S31 and ACD were already greenlit. The suits control the budget, not Kurtzman. He talked about this in a previous interview. As much as I loved PIC S3 and would love to see Legacy in some format, I am very much looking forward to Academy. The whole premise has a lot of possibility.

Substitute “I” for “no one” in your post. (Also, Alex Kurtzman isn’t reading this.)

I want to see the Academy show.

People move on to different jobs! It happens all the time in Hollywood. You are either working or you’re out of work!

I cared about the end of Discovery. I didn’t like all of it, but I thought it was a fun sequel to The Chase that showed us the cast adapting to new realities, and gave us interesting looks into other species.

Picard was…ugh. I wanted to like it, I liked ideas in it, but they tended to drop them too early. S1 carried it all the way through, but S2 took us to an interesting future that we abandoned instantly, and S3 was just pure nostalgic fanservice; in retrospect all of its interesting angles were blunted and filed off, and the CGI was…meh.

In my opinion, of course!