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Wednesday, 3 June 2020

Screen-Trek round-up: Picard and Short Treks home video releases, plus Lower Decks, Discovery and Picard production updates

While things are moving slowly in the world of TV production right now, there are still quite a few updates from all corners of the current on-screen Star Trek universe: Continue below for the latest from Lower Decks, Picard, and Discovery productions. But first, some home video updates:

First up, Amazon now have a listing up for the Picard season one bluray and DVD release. At the moment it's just using the basic poster art, and doesn't even have a date, let alone any details of extra features and the like. You can get pre-orders in already though, and the listing probably indicates it's just a few months away.

Meanwhile the latest home video release came just yesterday, with the US release of Short Treks, which includes all the Discovery and Strange New Worlds related shorts (leaving out the Picard prequel, which will presumably come on the Picard season set instead). Some international release dates for the collection have now been announced too: It will arrive in the UK on the 13th of July, and Australia on the 15th of July.

The collection comes with an assortment of behind the scenes featurettes (see my previous report for a full listing), and CBS Home Entertainment have been busy releasing excerpts from several of them over the last few days. Continue below to check them out:

This first clip, posted by SyFy Wire, looks at the making of several of the episodes, starting with the animated pair:



Another animation focused clip was posted by the Star Trek Facebook page, with director Michael Giacchino discussing Ephraim and Dot:



Dive deeper into the key themes and characters of Star Trek: Discovery and the expanding Star Trek universe, with Star...
Posted by Star Trek on Thursday, 14 May 2020

From

IGN shared this clip going behind the scenes on the Mudd episode, The Escape Artist, with actor/director Rainn Wilson:



Screen Rant shared this clip, with Alex Kurtzman again, along with director Maja Vrvilo, discussing the Tilly episode Runaway:



And there are also a couple more clips I can't share here: on io9 you'll find Michelle Yeoh chatting about her return as nice-Georgiou in The Brightest Star. On StarTrek.com you can find a clip with Michael Chabon reflecting on Spock/Number One episode Q and A.


Moving on to things ahead. SlashFilm recently spoke to Lower Decks creator Mike McMahan about the forthcoming animated comedy series. He gave this nice overview of the approach the series takes:
I’m a huge Star Trek fan, and nobody needs a Star Trek comedy that made fun of Star Trek or punched down on Star Trek, nor was I interested in doing that that. I was interested in writing a Star Trek that could be canon, that follows the rules of other Star Trek shows that I loved, and has everything that you love about Star Trek, including the way you tell stories. But I’m a comedy writer. I’m never gonna write a serious Star Trek, so the way that we handled it is it’s on a ship that isn’t the capital ship. It’s not about the bridge crew. It’s about the lowest officers on that ship. But when we’re breaking stories for the lower decks, every episode also has a proper Star Trek episode that’s happening to the bridge crew, and our lower deckers aren’t involved in it. However, you can’t have a big sci-fi thing happening on a starship and not have it effect them because that’s their whole world. So if you’re watching Lower Decks, you’re getting a full Star Trek episode from the perspective of people who are having their own social and emotional stories and their own sci-fi stories, but they just aren’t on the bridge. They don’t have the information the bridge is getting, and they don’t have the responsibility.
A big thing that was important to me was figuring out how do we comedically access these characters. How can these characters be funny and not break Star Trek? You can’t have a Morty [from Rick and Morty] in Star Trek. You can’t just have a stupid person in Starfleet, otherwise it breaks the aspirational paradigm of what humanity is like in Starfleet. So our leads are foils for each other, but they’re very much ingrained in Star Trek.
He went on to outline some of the character traits of the new characters:
You have Ensign Beckett Mariner, who is sort of like our Tom Cruise/Maverick, where she’s amazing at Starfleet stuff, and she’s incredibly knowledgeable, but she just hates following the rules and she bristles at the military structure. She wants to do whatever she wants. She’s kind of like Captain Kirk if Kirk wasn’t a captain and didn’t have the power. Kirk would follow his gut, and she followers her gut.
Then, Ensign Brad Boimler also knows everything about sci-fi stuff, and is also an amazing Starfleet crew member, but he’s so by-the-book and so burdened by following the rules that he can’t follow his gut. So the comedic friction there is that they both want the same thing, they’re both good at this stuff, but emotionally and from a human level, they’re completely different about how they do it.

In the live-action world, writer/producer/director Akiva Goldsman recently spoke to Collider about all things Trek, including a little update on Picard:
We were not shooting. We were to start shooting in June, which I guarantee you we will not unless the world opens tomorrow. We had broken the season, we are about halfway through the writing of it. And you know, we will start as soon as we can once the world opens, you know? Prep will have to resume, and then we'll start. So, we know what it is, and it's cool, and we're excited by it, and I feel like we learned a lot from season one.
He also chatted a bit a bout longer term plans:
I think we have discussed it as both a 3 season show, a 5 season show, a “let's just keep going forever” show. I think that probably that three season thing. My guess is, and I do not know this to be a fact, there are probably two-seasonal option pick-ups in the deal. Star Trek: Picard in my view, will go as long as Patrick Stewart wants to do it.

While not currently involved with Discovery, he did speak a little about the shape of the forthcoming third season and how the plan to go to the future has been in the works for some time:
We all helped build that idea, all the way back to season one. Aaron Harberts and Gretchen Berg, the original showrunners from season one; that idea dates all the way back to that. I think it is a spectacular idea, which is to go post the timeline we know.

Alex Kurtzman has really been deeply involved in the building out of what season three looks like and what that post-Federation future is. I have seen some of it, because we all work together in the same – or we did – place with lots of Star Trek pictures on the wall and editing bays and things. It seems awesome. It's not a final frontier but it is a new one.
Hopefully we get to see all this soon!

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



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