Monday 4 May 2020

Discovery round-up: Set photography, aliens, concept art, unrealised mirror universe, and season 3 update

In this latest round-up of Discovery behind the scenes stuff, we'll get a good look at some Disco sets, behind the scenes photos and stories from some of our favourite aliens, concept art, and details of the mirror universe that we didn't get. Continue below for all that and more, but first, and update on season three.

Replying to a tweet from actor Wilson Cruz, editor Scott Gamzon gave a quick status update on where production is:
Post production, Sound, VFX and Editorial are all hard at work from our homes.  It’s going to take longer and there have been challenges but the results will be worth the wait!
One wonders how the heck they're going to do the music from home! Here's hoping they find a solution soon and we're enjoying the far future before we know it.

Meanwhile CBS have been pushing Discovery as part of their general promotion of CBS All Access lately, including releasing this set of set photography for use as Zoom background:

Really showing off the sets is this remarkable half hour long time lapse video of the bridge being built. You can also see this on or Instagram if YouTube below doesn't cooperate:

Some of the crew have also shared some of their own behind the scenes photos. Here's motion graphic designer Timothy Peel on the USS Enterprise bridge:

And visual effects supervisor Ante Dekovic in the USS Discovery shuttlebay:

Actress Avaah Blackwell shared this photo of her in character as Osnullus, with this story of the challenges of playing the character:
Osnullus is a beautiful alien, but my oh my she weighs a ton, this is my way of resting between takes. Yes, I am indeed pondering the meaning of life and existence itself here like any proper Starfleet Officer - and yes I am also likely singing in my mask between takes as @fromthewoodshed discovered I do from time to time 😂 “WHO LEFT THEIR WALKIE OPEN?!” “... oh! No one sir, sorry that’s just Avaah singing to herself inside her mask again.”
Also stuck inside an alien head, here's Doug Jones as Saru, getting touch-ups on set, as shared by CBS:

Concept artist Adelaide Filippe shared this look (on her website) of another head cover, a concept for a helmet:

And storyboard artist Rob McCallum shared a few boards, I believe from the episode Despite Yourself, where the Discovery finds itself among wreckage upon arrival in the mirror universe:

On the subject of the mirror universe, creator and former showrunner Bryan Fuller recently joined Robert Meyer Burnett on his Robservations podcast, and talked briefly about his ideas for where Discovery would have gone had he not departed the show. While talking about the mirror universe he describes a much more subtly different alternate universe, I think would have been fascinating to see played out:
Yes in some ways it was an abstraction about: The thing that really fascinated me in sitting down and crafting the story for Discovery, was just the human condition. I thought that there's elements in the mirror universe that we have seen that have sort of boiled to the broadest ends of the spectrum, and everything felt really binary. And what I really wanted to do in setting out was looking at the minutiae of simple decisions that have a cascade effect on our lives. And so it's not about gold lamé sashes and goatees versus no sash and clean-shaven. It is more about like, we are at forks in the road every moment of our lives and we either go left or right. It sort of makes me think of Joe Menosky’s wonderful speech in Tinker Tailor Doctor Spy, I think is the name of thepisode, where The Doctor has to choose between, he has Sophie’s choice, he can only save one life. And he choses Ensign Harry Kim, versus this other ensign; and it is a split decision, and it causes his entire program to unravel. Because he can’t handle how his choice was always going to cost a life, and it was his Kobayashi Maru.

So there was something in the mistakes made by Burnham in Battle of the Binary Stars that had this ripple, but the mirror universe was always meant to be an exploration of a small step in a different direction. So it wasn’t necessarily the mirror universe we know from all of the other series. It was something that was closer to our timeline and experience, so you can still recognize the human being and go, “What did I do? How did that seem like a good decision for me in that moment? And how do I continue with my life forward?” And everything was a sort of an extrapolation out on that. So, there were things that I wanted the mirror universe to function in a narrative exploration of like “Oh fuck, if I just hadn't done that one thing, everything would be better.” As opposed to, “I don’t recognize that person, I don’t know who that person is, because they are a diametric opposite of who I am.” So that's kind of what the goal was.
Finally, a glimpse into the all green actual reality of The Ready Room set, care of host Naomi Kyle, who shared these photos of her time interviewing the Disco cast for the support show:

Discovery will return sometime, hopefully later this year, and will be available on CBS All Access in the US, Bell Media services in Canada, and Netflix in most of the rest of the world. To keep track of all the latest Discovery news, have a look back through my Discovery tag, for previews, behind the scenes, tie-in fiction, and other merchandise updates.

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