Saturday 16 May 2020

Trek TV: Cast and crew updates on Strange New Worlds, Discovery, and Picard

The cast and crew of the various live action Star Trek series currently in production have been providing updates on where each series is at, all requiring some rejigging due to the impacts of Covid-19. Continue below for news from Discovery and Picard, but first some interesting info on Strange New Worlds:

Speaking to Variety, SNW writer and producer Akiva Goldsman gave details of the format of the new Pike spin-off series, confirming a much more episodic approach:
We’re going to try to harken back to some classical ‘Trek’ values, to be optimistic, and to be more episodic. Obviously, we will take advantage of the serialized nature of character and story building. But I think our plots will be more closed-ended than you’ve seen in either ‘Discovery’ or ‘Picard’.
I think one thing that we always struggled with [as fans] was that Kirk is heartbroken at the loss of Edith Keeler in ‘The City on the Edge of Forever’ and has to be just fine the next week. I think what we would want to do is keep the characters having moved through and recognizing the experiences they’ve had in previous episodes, but to be able to tell contained, episodic stories.
Spock actor Ethan Peck also spoke to Variety, and highlighted the spirit of Star Trek he hopes to continue:
I believe so much in what we’re doing. I don’t think that there’s ever been a better time for ‘Star Trek,’ because of its ideology. It’s all about coming together and using the ways that we’re different from one another for the advantage of people as a whole.
Meanwhile on Twitter, Disco and presumably SNW prop master Mario Moreira mentioned what he's been up to already to prep for the show:
Finally can tell you what we’ve been working on while in isolation. Actively prepping, and getting new and old prop designs together for whatever strange new worlds we go to!!
Hopefully we'll get a better chance to check out some of the updated TOS props designed for Discovery which I shared concept at of a few days ago.

Music wont be recorded like this for season three!
On Facebook, Discovery and Picard composer Jeff Russo gave an update on how the music for Discovery season three is going among a Q and A video he did. Writing is underway, and recording will be done with a bit of innovation to accommodate social distancing:'s kind of like a puzzle. What we are doing is, we are recording individual session players from here in Los Angeles, who are fantastic and mostly people I have used on the Star Trek scores and Picard scores and Umbrella Academy scores.

So we will record each individual in their home and then combine all of it to make the orchestra, so we don’t have to put everybody in the same room. It is not an ideal situation, but it is working. We were very hopeful at the beginning that it is going to work and started small. We started with four, and then we started with eight, so when we got to 8 people we went to ten. And now we're about to go up to twenty-six people and then hopefully we will get to thirty-five or forty.
He also addressed how this process might affect the sound quality:
Well Michael Perfitt, who is my recording engineer and mixer, is and has been working diligently with the players to make sure they have the right microphones and the right mic pre-amps, and where to put the mic in conjunction to the instrument. And then it is literally his mission to figure out how to take all these players and put them together and make it sound like it's at the Warner Brothers or Fox scoring stage, or wherever we record these things.

We've made it sound great. So when you ask will the soundtrack for season three sound okay, I say it will sound great. It will sound as good as it ever has sounded. It may sound slightly different. I am not sure it will sound too much different. You know I think we are going to do everything we can to make it sound as close to it as possible. We are working under a situation that is unprecedented: So we really didn't know how it was going to sound, we really didn't know what we were going to do or how how we going to be able to make it work, but it has been working.
This is where he's up to on work for Discovery:
We haven't started recording Discovery, although we have started writing, I've started writing and putting together the score for that. Someone somewhere said that I was quoted as saying that, the inability to record the orchestra is going to hold up the release of Discovery, and that is simply not the case, music was never going to be an issue, in terms of the ability to deliver the score, or the ability to deliver the show. There has been a lot of things that needed to slow down and stop, but we were able to finish production, we are in post production and working on that, as we speak. I'm writing episode four right now, and moving forward already spotting for episode eight, and we do continue to move forward. 
New characters will bring new musical motifs in season three
He also spoke a little about his approach to the new season:
If someone said to you, "you need to write music that sounds like a thousand years in the future", well what would yo do? I think that's kind of a silly way to look at it, and people have tried, I think, to do that.
There are new characters, there are new situations, so there will new musical motifs. There will be new themes, there will be new things musically to do; but will it change in a tone, or tonality, or sound? No, we are still Star Trek: Discovery, we're still Star Trek. I think that is the sound of it. So the sound I created in season one and season two is going to make it into season three. You know obviously there are changes, but it is not going to be a significant departure for it. It will be a natural progression.
Part way through the discussion Russo also jumped on his piano to play some of the Picard theme, which is fun! And of course he talked a little about creating that theme; what the whole video for more musicy goodness!

Finally from actor and producer Patrick Stewart, a little hint of the future of Picard, via an interview with Gold Derby:
Because of how we're living currently, there is no writers room of course. But everybody is writing, and they're keeping me in touch with what is going on; we have conferences and so forth, video conferences. There are startling events predicted in season two; I am so excited by them, because it is taking season one on from where we were, we are not going to be covering the same ground. And it's going to be, I think extraordinary, I am very excited about it.
He also mentioned that he's not expecting Harry Treadaway to return in season two, seemingly confirming Narek wont be back to cause more trouble.

The interview mostly talks about the first season though, and is an interesting discussion. The most touching moment was that Patrick Stewart revealed he bought from the production the chair he sits in during is final conversation with Data in the show, because he found such a sentimental attachment to the work he's been doing.

Also speaking to Gold Derby, writer and producer Akiva Goldsman also spoke about writing by conference call, and where that gets the production to more broadly:
We’re pretty deep into the story break and have started writing for season two, and thinking in the most gross sense beyond that. But focused right now on that season two arc. We manage to do writers room by Skype. We’re lucky in that way, that that's a thing that we can do. Some writing has begun; we have a really good staff. We're drawing and designing, and probably just get to the point where soon, we're going to have to say ok we're going to not be building, because we can't. We're not quite ready for that yet, we haven't quite finished all the drawing and designing of sets. But that's coming, and like all other shows we will wait until we’re allowed to build. We’re excited to start.
Gold Derby also have similar interviews with showrunner Michael Chabon, visual effects supervisor Jason Zimmerman, and production designer Todd Cherniawsky, all of which are really good listens if you're interesting in the production of the series.

To keep track of all the latest Trek TV news, chave a look back through my TV tag. And for updates from each of the series, have a look back through my DiscoveryPicard, and Strange New Worlds tags, for previews, behind the scenes, tie-in fiction, and other merchandise updates.

1 comment:

Fox said...

Episodic and optimistic, eh? Well, better late than never.

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