Friday, 23 June 2017


The date is set, the audience prepared and the excuses(!) are in for Star Trek Discovery.

We will finally get to see the latest interpretation and vision of the Gene Roddenberry-created franchise on September 24th for the US with the Netflix premiere taking place the following day, September 25th. CBS announced the date with a shot of the Discovery shooting up the screen to reveal the date while Netflix received a pic of a Starfleet officer in a spacesuit (probably Burnham) standing on a rocky surface marked out as the Starfleet Command emblem.

CBS have also been quick to back up this nine month delay stating that due to the scale of the project and the care with which they have been taking with Discovery the initial launch date was extremely optimistic. The bridge set for the USS Shenzhou alone (noted to be an older ship than the Discovery) took six weeks to build. That's just one set from, I would guess, several that will have been required for the first episode. On top of that there's the sets for the Discovery which we haven't even seen yet - everything has been about Captain Georgiou and the Shenzhou. It's all about getting the look and the new universe right. Noting that this craft is older than the Discovery also crosses off one fan theory that the two are the same starship. 

We also got to understand a little more around Michael Burnham's background in that Sonequa Martin-Green's character is 100% human but raised by Vulcans which is a new twist and might even add some weight to the reason there is an uneasy relationship between Sarek and Spock by the time of The Original Series. Also it does mean that some of James Frain's comments within the teaser trailer make a lot more sense when applied to this relationship. 

Perhaps even bigger news from the Discovery camp were the two photos revealed from Entertainment Weekly featuring Jason Isaacs, Martin-Green and Michelle Yeoh. 

The first out was Isaacs as Captain Gabriel Lorca - a master tactician from the info - on the bridge of the Discovery herself. It's our first look (be it out of focus and in the background) of the new lead starship and it also emphasises just how blue the new uniforms are. In the darker, older, light of the Shenzhou bridge the colour didn't seem that striking but here the colour is electric enhanced with the command gold braid and captain shoulder pad epaulettes. Lorca looks ready for action (tense?) in this shot and I expect Isaacs to have a strong presence on the bridge. We have nothing to gauge his relationship with Burnham so far.

As to the bridge it's a lot brighter, cleaner and silver echoing the fact that the Discovery is a new ship and potentially a brand new craft at the time of the series. Now all we need to see is a few more shots of the rest of the cast main Discovery cast...Anthony Rapp where art thou????

Talking about the ship the promos for the launch date have included the title ship with much more surface texturing than we saw in that short tease over 12 months ago. I don't think this will be the final visual version for the show and is more a representation used for the purposes of the graphic. Does seem that the warp nacelles have been lengthened a little however.

Secondly we have a cracking shot of Burnham and her commanding officer, Captain Georgiou, on the transporter pad of the Shenzhou. I have a sense that a lot of the first episode is going to be set up and we'll be spending a good period of that story on this craft. Indeed, it's not unlike the original concept for how Enterprise might have started with the intention of the first season to lead up to the unveiling of the NX-01.

There's a gallon of stuff to love about this pic from the transporter room. For starters it's a massive departure from previous designs with a more linear nature to the pad and some very unique backing panels. The transporter seems a lot more openly mechanical rather than the smooth finish we might expect from the Enterprise-D. Are the big circular items behind the actors there for look or do they have a more practical involvement with the workings of the transporter? Here's another thing - is that some sort of heads up display screen infront of Doug Jones? 

Contrast this look to the pic of Isaacs on the Discovery and you can clearly see a huge difference in the quality of the tech involved. The title craft is a lot smoother with Captain Lorca having touchscreen controls on his armrests. They do seem to flip up too much in the style of Picard's in the early early days of The Next Generation.

The bigger interest in this transporter room pic is that away teams are finally getting their own armour *and not that we get a rear view of Doug Jones' alien makeup). No more redshirt deaths perhaps(!) the armour seems to look not too dissimilar to police riot gear and bears the Starfleet emblem on its left side. Also note the two pouches on the belt. The one sitting to the front might well be for a tricorder as it looks a little large for a communicator and those devices are usually rear slung. The second, which includes a thigh strap is the phaser. It's our first - murky - look at the iconic Star Trek weapon and this one definitely bears the hallmarks of the classic phaser. Will it bear any resemblance to the lasers from The Cage or not?

September is a strong month for Star Trek premieres with only Deep Space Nine and Voyager premiering outside it. Both of those had shortened first seasons and premiered in January. In the case of Enterprise and The Next Generation, both of these opened their accounts with fans the same week as Discovery will begin on 26th September 2001 and 28th September 1987 respectively. It in some ways seems fitting that the new show should kick off almost 30 years to the day since Picard and co took the Enterprise-D out for its first spin. 

Talking anniversaries though, it's fitting that at the time we are marking the 35th anniversary of The Wrath of Khan, it's director and now Discovery producer/writer Nicholas Meyer is reportedly working on a new Star Trek project. 

A lot of muttering seemed to immediately jump to suggest this might be another TV series - perhaps one post-Nemesis - but I'm more inclined to believe that he's working on the next movie. After all, Star Trek movies are something of a Meyer forte with him being directly involved with II, IV and IV with the classic cast. If your movie franchise was a little troubled then wouldn't you call in the experts? Not that Beyond was a bad film, it just wasn't received as enthusiastically as it deserved. Flip side to that would be if this is something he is working on for CBS and not Paramount as the former only holds the TV rights for the show; the other the movie rights.

Certainly the effort can be seen on the screen and now it's making sense just why it took so long for Discovery to become a reality. The Alpha Quadrant wasn't built in a day y'know...! I am absolutely behind this series and cannot wait to be writing about it and reviewing the stories.

What have you been most impressed by in relation to Discovery? What's been the big win so far?

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