Wednesday, 1 February 2017

Trail of Discovery: First Glimpses

Fourteen months of waiting seem to be starting to pay off with our first proper look at some of the elements that will make up Star Trek Discovery.

Released on January 31st, the 60 second trailer for the show recalls the ambition of Gene Roddenberry in its opening words and his "Star Trek is..." pitch opening before taking us through a series of snapshots through the five series of the show including behind the scenes pics from The Cage, Tomorrow is Yesterday, Encounter at Farpoint, All Good Things..., Deep Space NineCaretaker, Code of Honor, These are the Voyages, Genesis plus candid cast photos from Deep Space Nine and The Next Generation - oh and watch out for the one of De Lancie as the Q-Borg which never went on screen.

However, the real exciting stuff kicks in from around the 22 second mark with the announcement that Star Trek Discovery (note the lack of a colon in there) will begin that sentence once again. In almost lightning fashion we get to see the construction of a set from a couple of angles although precisely what the set is can't be made out. From some of the curves it might be alien but then it could just as likely be the Discovery or Shenzou starship standing sets for the first season. Is that oval block to the front a turbolift? Is that a bridge ceiling?

We get a clapper board for the first take of scene 8B (VIIIB) for episode 101 directed by David Semel with the board still bearing the older "sketchy" delta. There's also a director's chair back with that same older logo emblazoned on it just to tease a bit more.

As we get the announcement that Production has begun there's our first look at some costumes. Now for me the armoured effect very strongly suggests these are Klingon outfits but how they fit into canon between Enterprise and The Original Series is a head-scratcher. There's a lot of detail on the panels with some rather brutal shoulder spikes on both outfits we can see. The arm plating is what really suggests Klingon in the way that it's layered similar to that which we are familiar with in the 80's and 90's series and movies.

Next up - external shots of the USS Discovery. Now if this is right there haven't been a dramatic amount of changes to the overall shape of the craft but more some final touches. The style is still clearly Planet of the Titans inspired and it looks as though there has been some retouching on the profiles of the warp engines making them a bit more rectangular and detailed to front and rear. At this distance though I can't see much else that's been tweaked since we got the teaser from Bryan Fuller all those months ago.

Fleetingly there's a shot of someone in an internally lit helmet so could we be getting some space-walking in the pilot? No real indication what this might be but I'm gonna throw that opinion right in there.  Now the BIGGIE for me has to be the "uniform fitting". As a side note you've got to follow this guy on Twitter because his vids are brilliantly entertaining. Anyway - we're getting a high collar on a blue uniform with gold braiding around the seams to the arms. Now given that this uniform has a Support Services reversed "9" on it I think we can say one of two things. Either all the uniforms are blue as with Enterprise or that this is actually the more formal dress uniform option and the duty uniforms are being held back for another day.  What I am liking is that the Starfleet delta - which I thought only came in after it was adopted by Starfleet from the Enterprise - has that vertical split akin to the series logo and that they are polished metal rather than being material patches. 

Maybe one of the controversial points in the new trailer for the show is the wire model of a starship. Potentially the Shenzou or the John Glenn (a starship noted as being in the show by designer John Eaves) it has some eerie similarities (as noted by a few persons online) to a certain USS Ares from notorious production Axanar. Co-incidence? Possibly, after all there can only be so many iterations of the design at this point in fleet history.  Look at the saucer design though and you can make out clear similarities to the profile of the NX-01 saucer with those side "humps" around the bridge. The warp engine design does seem a little too streamlined for my liking and has a profile not dissimilar to those on a Jem-Hadar fighter.

Once again we have a blink-and-miss production shot of what could be the bridge of a starship given the position of the doors and the overall shape but it's just too far away to make out any clear details. We follow this with a shot up an under-construction stairway and some kind of spinning device, both of which must be important to the plot of episode 101 although what precisely is, like much in this trailer, open to serious interpretation at this time.

Closing out we have a command chair with some rather nifty fold-out and down arms followed by the newly updated Star Trek Discovery logo. It's coming. Soon apparently. I do like the updated logo that keeps with the feel of the franchise as a whole however the "sketchy" version did have its own unique identity. Either way not a big issue I guess.

Google Images
As with all trailers there are some golden nuggets in there which will make a whole lot more sense in a few months or even weeks if we start seeing some cast and production pics. Meanwhile we got to hear of a further two castings this week in the form of (possibly) the Discovery conn officer who could be played by Emily Coutts (probably most well-known for appearing in Dark Matter) plus a vid of Chris Obi on the way to set had what believes to be Maulik Pancholy in the car but he could just be catching a lift... Coutts so far doesn't have much more than guest-star credits so appearing in Discovery could be her first regular TV role from what I can tell.

At least the trailer from yesterday shows that we have a programme in the making - Discovery is a real thing and it is happening although what date we'll get to see it is still to be determined by CBS' crystal ball.

Check out our other selected images from the new teaser below...

Beltran and Picardo on set; Voyager

New Discovery set - but what is it?

Bridge plans for the Discovery?

"Old" Discovery logo on director's chair

Klingon kostumes?

High, formal collars - dress or duty uniforms?

Taking command - is this the new centre seat?

Has the new trailer upped your anticipation for Discovery? What did you think to some of the sneak peeks?

All Discovery images screenshot from CBS trailer.

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