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Monday, 11 February 2019

Oodles of Discovery production art from Disco panel at Director’s Guild of Canada

This weekend the Director’s Guild of Canada hosted a special Star Trek: Discovery panel, with many members of the the production team discussing and showing their work from the series. The panel largely focused on season one set design, but also looked at some of other details, and a few hints at things to come. Continue below to check out what was shared.

Prior to event the DGC also shared several sets of artwork, some of which don't appear to have been discussed at the panel itself. For instance this interesting set of drawings and photos from set designer Michael Stanek on the construction of the Discovery shuttlecraft set:





Perhaps most enticing of what was shown was a hint at a deleted scene from the final episode of season one, which would have seen a peace treaty signing, with the Klingons apparently transmitting themselves to Earth holographically - TrekMovie reports this was filmed, but cut from the episode.. We can see here and for many of the sets discussed, concept art, location photos, and plans:




The above images, and most of the following from the panel were captured by redditor MoreGaghPlease, who pretty comprehensively recorded what was shown, with a few additional shots from excellent Twitter coverage from TrekCore and DigiGeekTV, and TrekMovie's coverage too. I've straightened up most of those shots to get a nice clear view of what was shown.

The treaty signing, and the Federation headquarters scenes we did see in Paris were shot on location at Vaughn City Hall near Toronto:









A couple of slides from the show gave us nice clear looks at the newly presented but very much familiar emblems of the founding Federation members:



A significant chunk of what was shown during in the panel focused on the end of season visit to Qo'noS:




I rather like the old school Klingon architecture seen in these couple of pieces of concept art:



Here's a close look at the Shrine of Molar, including some of the details of the well that would become a doomsday device:




Of course most of the visit to Qo'noS in season one took place in an Orion enclave, steeped in details and nods to earlier in the season and Trek at large. The top image here comes via The Credits, who previewed the panel with a series of interviews:






I particularly enjoy the concept art for some of the individual stalls at the Orion market, including a gormagander BBQ, complete with a giant chunk of space-whale as it's back wall, ready to be served up, as well as a "living dumplings" stall! Apparently a gorgmander prop was actually built for it's initial appearance in Magic to Make the Sanest Man Go Mad, before it was scrapped for the CGI version used in the final episode.







Inside the Orion embassy a Klingon game of chance could be seen, and DGC previewed a selection of art from that before the panel too, giving us a nice close look at the designs for the Klingon currency, darseks. The game, based on Craps, was designed by Andy Tsang, and had to be taught to the cast - It was named T’Sang after him.






The columns from the Orion interior were inspired by those seen in the Orion scene in The Cage (I assume the notched background ones from The Cage, seen in the foreground in the art below):



Of course the Discovery itself got some attention to, including a note that the bridge set features some 120 monitors, run by more than 80 computers!




The ship is apparently designed to be wheelchair friendly (despite steps all over the place!), and indeed we have seen a wheelchair bound member of the crew already; apparently we can expect to see more of that in future.



As might have guessed the ships corridors are designed to be switchable back and forth from the Shenzhou and Discovery with changeable bumpers and panels. This technique is going to be used for other Starfleet ship transformations in future.



The engineering lab set was originally designed as a torpedo bay, but was repurposed before the show got going, according to an interview by The Credits with set designer Emilie Poulin, the set has been modified at least ten times since then as scripts have called for new features in that location. The first image here is from another of DGC's previews, where Poulin shared some renderings and final set comparisons:





Tyler's quarters of all places got some attention:




And we also have plans here for the brig set, and the war-room:




Here's a couple more of the rendering/set comparisons: Captain Georgiou's ready room, and Emperor Georgiou's chambers:



And finally from the panel itself a cruel tease of the Enterprise we nearly got, with straight nacelle struts! As the panel pointed out, this version of the ship accidentally has appeared on screen as schematics on display panels, oops.


A final couple of images here come from production designer Tamara Deverell's website, showing off two of the new season two sets: The Section 31 ship, and Captain Pike ready room.



In an interview with The Credits before the panel, Deverell discussed shooting the planet Harlak in a quarry, and noted another quarry will be in use this season for a known planet getting a return visit:
We used a quarry near Uxbridge, near Toronto. It’s a big Lafarge Quarry, and it was an area where they were no longer excavating or doing any work so we were able to control it. Quarries are actually quite dangerous; you have to have safety equipment and be escorted in. They were really good about it. People hear Star Trek and think, oh, so exciting. You’ll see a quarry coming in season two for a different planet—and this planet is canon. Also, we looked into going to places like Iceland and Scotland for other planets—that might be in the future for Star Trek.
Other notes from the panel include that we should expect to learn more about Airiam later this season.

There was also some discussion of the Kelpien design seen in The Brightest Star, which designer Emilie Poulin expanded upon in great detail in her The Credits interview.
The structure we designed was a pair of 18 sided elliptical huts. So, if you imagine 18 slices of 3-dimensional pie curving up to a circular peak. For the pattern of the facade, I took inspiration from Saru’s face. I loosely traced the geometry of his cheekbones, philtrum, and brow and then developed a series of iterations with them – extruded, stretched, and mirrored the linework until I came to a form that felt original and exuded the essence of the Kelpien race.
We got to be pretty vast in our gathering of inspiration. I made the decision not to look at any ‘alien world’ precedents, and tap into my days of playing in the dirt. My reference image library was composed mostly of armadillo and turtle shells, deep sea creatures, bioluminescent algae, and African mud huts.
We had to think about how the Kelpiens would have realistically built the huts themselves. For our purposes, we needed to design a very detailed steel structure, with removable walls for the camera, spaces within the walls for electric requirements. But to uphold the story, it needed to appear as though the characters had constructed the huts themselves out of indigenous materials such as mud, algae, sticks, and plant matter.
The full panel at DGC consisted of Tamara Deverell (production designer), Joshu de Cartier (supervising art director), Matt Morgan (set designer), Emilie Poulin (set designer), Michael Stanek (set designer), Andy Tsang (graphic designer), Chris Penna (set designer and concept illustrator), Timothy Peel (motion graphic designer), and Jody Clement (art director).


You can read and see lots more from the panel, including a few video clips, via redditor MoreGaghPlease's excellent coverage, and the Twitter feeds of TrekCore and DigiGeekTV who also reported live from the panel in great detail, and a great TrekMovie article. Collectively they noted most of the details of designs discussed above. Additionally TrekCore have a new interview up with Tamara Deverell, and as noted above The Credits have posted several interview with panel members: Jody Clement, Emilie Poulin, and Tamara Deverell.


For an overview of the Discovery so far, including behind the scenes coverage, and details of tie-in products, visit my Star Trek: Discovery guide page. Or for details of each episode, including links to previews and reviews, see my episode list.