Monday 11 September 2017

Loads of new Discovery behind the scenes info

CBS let a gaggle of journalists tour the Discovery sets and offices recently, and now they've all started publishing their stories, revealing a myriad new details about the show. There's lot to cover, so continue below for all the latest:

First up, we have our first look at the Discovery's engineering room, complete with Wrath of Khan style isolation chamber. CBS released two images of the room full of the aforementioned visitors:

CBS have also released a time-lapse video recording the impressive building of the Shenzhou's raised under-saucer bridge set (alas another region locked job):

Meanwhile TV Guide have released a video tour of the Discovery's bridge:

This photo comes via IGN's Scott Collura, on the Discovery transporter pads. He has podcasted about his visit.

While there, he got to talk to showrunner Aaron Harberts, who had some very interesting things to say about the war setting of the series:
These Starfleet officers who find themselves in war are very quick to remind the audience that they didn’t sign up to do that. That they are explorers first, that they are diplomats first. So our officers are quick to comment on the fact that this is not Starfleet’s mission. War is not why we’re here. And in fact, Discovery is a science vessel that has been conscripted for the war effort.
Apparently Lieutenant Stamets particularly illustrates this point in the show:
[His] methods and life’s work is now being converted to be used for the war effort, and that bothers him greatly, and he talks about it a great deal. So we go into this with all of the people involved saying, this isn’t why we’re here. We have to do this, but this isn’t our main focus.
And ultimately it is the idealism of the Star Trek that will through despite the war:
So then the question becomes, okay, we’re in a war. What does it mean to win a war? At what cost? And for the writing staff, it really became, how do you solve a war? How do you end a war, how do you find peace, without crushing and annihilating your opponent? And to me, that’s the Star Trek way of doing a war story. It’s not the Federation annihilates the Klingons. It’s Starfleet and the Federation figure out a way to truly make peace. Now we know that when TOS picks up, that peace doesn’t last. But we have to find peace in our time, in our slice of the Star Trek pie. That’s a really important thing to us, and we’re going to offer up a way that these two warring factions come to an understanding.
And here are a couple more big group photos of the press pack getting to meet some of the aliens of Discovery:

A few other factoids we learnt about the production:
  • The Discovery is a brand new science vessel (albeit pushed into use in the war), which the Shenzhou is an older battleship. (IGN)
  • The production is rightly proud to to have a black female lead, gay characters, and other sprinkles of diversity in the main cast (which is still however majority male, and majority white...), but apparently they have also gone to some effort to make sure the background characters are also nice and diverse. (TV Guide)
  • The Discovery crew includes an alien with a large head, called Osnuillus, and a "synthetic human-like character" called Airiam. (IGN)
And about details on the sets:
  • Many of the sets serve double duty, with corridors taking up to week to repaint between Discovery or Shenzhou. The Disocovery turbolift doubles as an armoury, and engineering has been used as a torpedo bay. The Shenzhou's brig is used as Captain Lorca's "Menagerie", a mysterious room he often works in. (TV Guide)
  • The Discovery set was almost two decks, practically built together, but this was deemed too expensive to pull off in the end. (TV Guide)
  • Captain Georgiou's ready room includes Malaysian wayang kulit shadow puppets, reflecting Michelle Yeoh's heritage, and also hold a bottle of Chateau Picard. (C-NetTV Guide)
  • Captain Lorca's ready room has screens displaying the progress of the Klingon war, which will be updated week to week as the narrative progresses. (TV Guide)
  • The sets are super practical, with working touch-screens and functional devices. Similarly much of the lighting is built in, allowing them to shoot "natural". (TV Guide)
  • The Shenzhou bridge has "battleshields" which deploy over the windows, presumably during battle. (TV Guide)
And a bunch of stuff we learnt about the characters too:
  • Apparently T'Rell's family are specialists in deception, and she is really pulling the strings in the House of T'Kuvma. (C-Net)
  • Captain Lorca isn't a fan of chairs, he apparently tends to hang out at the viewscreen, or standing at his desk in his office. (TV Guide)
  • Stamets has work-life balance problems, and his work with fungus may be causing him health issues; something which causes personal issues given his partner is the ship's doctor  (C-Net)
  • Burnham spends much of her time in engineering once she gets to the Discovery, paired up with Cadet Tilly. (TV Guide)
You can read lots more about what all the visitors to the sets saw and learn at the original articles: IGN, IGN podcastC-Net (1), C-Net (2), TV Guide (1), TV Guide (2).

Star Trek: Discovery is due to start this September, and it will be distributed almost everywhere in the world on Netflix, except for the US where is will be available on CBS All Access, and Canada where it will be on Bell Media channels and services. To keep track of all the latest details from the new show, visit my Star Trek: Discovery guide page.

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