At last night’s Star Trek: Discovery For Your Consideration event at the Paley Center, fans came to listen to some of those who created and some of those who were actors in Star Trek: Discovery.
In attendance at the Trek panel were actors Sonequa Martin-Green, Doug Jones, Ethan Peck, and Wilson Cruz; and Executive Producers Alex Kurtzman, Heather Kadin, and Michelle Paradise, plus Visual Effects Supervisor Jason Zimmerman.
Star Trek.com shared photos and some of the panel discussion. The executive producers spoke of giving value for money, since Discovery is on CBS All Access. “[When you’re] starting with something like Star Trek that has an enormous fan base, the first thing [you think about] is how do we be true to what Trek is at its core,” said Executive Producer Heather Kadin. “And then [we ask], ‘How do we bring it into the modern age?’ If fans are going to pay for a show that they’ve never paid for before, then they’d better be getting their money’s worth.”
“It’s incredible to come on and have the opportunity to [help run the show] for season three,” said Paradise, who is the co-showrunner for next season. “It’s Star Trek; it’s iconic; so that is a dream come true within itself.”
“[The cast] took it so seriously and realized how important it is,” said Martin-Green. “We just care [about the franchise] so much. I had to learn a lot about the universe, about what it means to be Vulcan, [and] about what it takes to carry a story like this. I had to learn a lot about quantum mechanics and xeno-anthropology. I like to know what I’m talking about, so I spent a lot of nights in the rabbit hole of Wikipedia.”
Kurtzman spoke about finding the right actor to play Spock. “Each [would-be] Spock actor brought something very specific to the part,” he said. “The question is, how do you find an actor who embodies the spirit of Spock, but [is] going to bring enough of themselves to the table that their spirit shines through. I could tell that [Ethan] was going to dive into that part.”
Jones found himself facing a major change in his character Saru. “I relate to Saru on a deep level with that fear thing. I’m scared right now!” he said. “[But] I thought, ‘If Saru can do it, so can I.’ That’s been a lot to overcome. I have to redefine how I look at myself in the mirror as Saru. How does his posture change? How does he see himself now? That’s all changed after the fear. It should come out in subtleties [of acting].”
So why did Discovery jump into the future? “Part of it was knowing we had all these canonical issues that needed to be squared away,” said Kurtzman. “Jumping them to the distant past or the future was the only answer. The challenge of season three is going to be this: How do you reinvent the world and the future while staying true to everything that Star Trek is at its core?”
So it looks like Discovery will be staying in the future, doesn’t it?