The excitement of Sunday’s premiere of Star Trek: Discovery was quickly followed by Tuesday’s release of Star Trek Discovery — Desperate Hours, the first tie-in novel featuring the crew of the USS Shenzhou authored by veteran Star Trek scribe David Mack.

(If you missed it, check out our review of the recent release!)

We were fortunate to get the opportunity to talk to David about the book, how it came to be, and the challenges associated with writing the first novel featuring a cast and crew who hadn’t been seen on the screen at the time of writing.

Our interview contains minor spoilers for the plot of Desperate Hours, including the supporting role of the Christopher Pike-era USS Enterprise and Mack’s integration of the Original Series and Discovery visual aesthetic.

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TREKCORE: I understand that Bryan Fuller had the initial concept idea for this story, and that you worked closely with the Star Trek: Discovery writers’ room on its execution.

Can you describe what that experience was like, and was that more challenging than the normal process for writing Star Trek novels?

DAVID MACK: Bryan Fuller’s request, which was relayed to me by Discovery staff writer and media tie-in coordinator Kirsten Beyer, was simply that he wanted to see a story that crossed over the crew of the USS Shenzhou with that of Captain Pike’s famed Starship Enterprise. How I accomplished that, and to what effect, was left to my discretion.

There were some false starts before we reached that stage, however. Much earlier, when the show’s concept was still being debated by its top producers, there had been some suggestions that the first novel might be a story from Michael Burnham’s childhood or her adolescence (at the time it was not yet clear how old she would be in the series, or when exactly the series would be set).

I had actually gotten relatively far along on a couple of those iterations before the creative direction behind the scenes changed, and I was asked to start over with the Shenzhou–Enterprise story as my new springboard.

The notes I received from Kirsten and the writers’ room on the outline were minimal. I made a few changes and cut a few details that were considered too spoilery for some of the characters. But aside from those minor adjustments, the story was approved quite easily.

Michelle Yeoh as Captain Philippa Georgiou of the USS Shenzhou. (CBS)

It was during the execution of the manuscript that I grappled with the two biggest challenges of writing a tie-in novel based on a series that hasn’t been filmed yet. First, all I had to guide me with regard to the characters’ voices were the scripts. I was deep into the novel when the show started filming and I finally got to see photos of the cast in costume and makeup. Before that, all I’d had to work from were set photos, design sketches, concept art, and prop designs.

The other hurdle was that I frequently had to stop writing and go back to revise earlier scenes and often also the outline of my novel whenever the writers’ room changed their mind about some detail or other. I had to pay very close attention to every update of revised script pages, because a tiny change of wording in a single line of dialogue could make the difference between my scenes tracking with the show’s continuity or winding up way off.

The biggest risk of all? My novel was locked sometime around June, after final edits. At that point, there was still half a season of the series left to be written. Which means any continuity errors between my book and the show — after episode 108 — are not my fault. Just sayin’.

TREKCORE: Which of the new Discovery characters were the most fun to write?

MACK: Saru quickly became my favorite Discovery character to write. There is such a great deal of complexity to him. Though the series’ premiere makes Saru seem very binary in his outlook, he is a being of subtleties and contradictions.

When I delved into his history and the professional rivalry between him and Michael Burnham, I found myself sympathizing with Saru much more than I’d expected to. His story arc in Desperate Hours focuses on his need to accept and make his peace with the fact that he has been passed over for promotion, and now finds himself placed in a role subordinate to Michael, who he thinks does not deserve to be the Shenzhou’s first officer.

But there is more to Saru than fear and resentment. He has hope, curiosity, and compassion. He also has a great deal of love and admiration for his shipmates—but he is plagued by a social awkwardness that makes it difficult for him to convey his feelings to those around him. He is a wise and gentle soul who is all too often misunderstood by his peers.

Doug Jones as Lt. Commander Saru, on the USS Shenzhou bridge. (CBS)

TREKCORE: Sticking with Saru, he has a strong supporting character role in the book, but there isn’t any previous backstory or reference material to draw from for him other than what we see in Discovery because the Kelpians are a new race.

How did you overcome the challenge of aligning your depiction of the character with what we see on screen?

MACK: Having concept art carried me through the early phases. But it wasn’t until after the two-part pilot script was close to locked that his personality and “voice” took shape.

One of my colleagues, a fellow Star Trek author, did a lot of work fleshing out the backstory and world-building related to the Kelpiens. My work was built while standing upon his shoulders.

Though most of that information about the Kelpiens is not yet canon, and some of our assumptions are likely to be superseded by future canon, we were able to get enough of it approved that we could arrive at a consistent characterization of Saru based on his species, personal history, and known quirks of temperament.

Later, during the editing phase on Desperate Hours, at which point we had a few more scripts from which to work, I tweaked some of Saru’s dialogue and exposition to make certain it tracked with facts established after I’d finished my submission draft.

That’s the really hard part of writing a tie-in for a show that hasn’t aired yet: revisions are like trying to repair a jet engine… while the aircraft it’s driving is cruising at forty thousand feet.

A promotional image of Jones as Saru. (Entertainment Weekly)

TREKCORE: The book includes a number of characters from the crew of the USS Shenzhou who did not have big roles on screen. How much of those characters’ back stories were the creation of the writers’ room, and how much did you have to invent?

MACK: When I started working on the story for Desperate Hours, I realized that in the early script drafts of the pilot almost none of the Shenzhou’s bridge crew had names. They were just “conn officer,” “engineering officer,” “tactical officer,” etc. In the action scenes, Captain Georgiou never addressed her crew by names, just by their job titles.

I quickly realized that was absolutely not going to work in a novel. In filmed entertainment, which has an external point of view, one can get away with glossing over such details. (Though, in my opinion, it makes characters feel less “real.”)

It’s possible the scripts were being left vague so that the identities could be tailored after casting to fit the actors hired to those roles. But I didn’t have the luxury of waiting for that to happen; I had to start writing my book.

I was allowed to compile information about the minor characters, new aliens, and the principal starships into a pseudo-bible for the series. Where there were gaps, I was given latitude to fill them in. Consequently, I got to name half the bridge crew of the Shenzhou, including Keyla Detmer, Troy Jannuzzi, and Kamran Gant.

TOP: Kayla Detmer, Troy Jannuzzi, Kamran Gant, Ensign Proat
BOTTOM: Jira Narwani, Danby Connor, Britch Weeton, Anton Nambue

Some of the characters never named in the pilot include Ensign Proat (the bald blue guy with plugs in his head) and Lieutenant Jira Narwani (the girl in the Daft Punk video helmet). I wrote full bios and profiles for all of these characters, as well as for Ensign Danby Connor (ops), Ensign Britch Weeton (engineering), and Doctor Anton Nambue, and also expanded bios for Georgiou, Burnham, and Saru.

I also got to place on the bridge of the Shenzhou some original characters who are, for whatever reason, no longer there a year later when the series premieres. Those include communications officer Ensign Mary Fan and operations officer Lieutenant Belin Oliveira. I also gave the Shenzhou a chief engineer, Lieutenant Commander Saladin Johar.

Fun detail: some of those bios ended up being shared by the show’s producers with the actors playing those supporting roles, to provide them with a foundation for their performances.

TREKCORE: In addition to the new crew of the USS Shenzhou, the story features a significant role for the USS Enterprise under the command of Captain Christopher Pike.

What was it like to put the Enterprise opposite the Shenzhou, and how did you balance integrating a ship and characters whose last appearance was in The Original Series, versus the new crew and the updated visual style of Star Trek: Discovery?

MACK: Once I began in earnest to develop the story that Bryan Fuller had asked for, I struggled at first to think of a situation that would be so dire as to merit the involvement of two Starfleet vessels, especially when one of them was the Enterprise.

I didn’t want to let the Enterprise and its crew overshadow the book’s main cast on the Shenzhou. I shared this conundrum with fellow author John Jackson Miller, and he gave me some good advice. “Pit the two crews against each other,” he said, “and have them both be right.” Once I did that, the shape of the story revealed itself, and it came together very naturally.

The chief concern I had in placing the crews and ships side-by-side in my narrative was that I knew it would invite questions and comparisons. In particular, folks would ask why the technology of an older ship looks more advanced than that of a newer ship. And why did the crews wear different uniforms? I didn’t want to offend fans of the new show or fans of the Original Series, so I knew I couldn’t just pretend that the Enterprise looked like the Shenzhou, or that its crew wore the same uniforms as the ones we see in Discovery.

I addressed the difference in the ships’ aesthetics to a human tendency to want to redesign even the simplest things every few years, whether we need to or not. This confuses Earth’s closest allies, the Vulcans and the Andorians, who can’t understand why humans don’t just pick a style and stick with it. But that’s just the way humans are — always changing fashions, styles, etc.

Captain Pike and the USS Enterprise crew, as seen in “The Cage.”

The differences in technology posed a different hurdle. I posited that the use of subspace holograms had fallen out of favor by the time the Enterprise was built because the holograms were bandwidth hogs on subspace channels and prone to encryption flaws. And while the interfaces on the Shenzhou’s bridge look fancier, the characters who serve on the Enterprise feel proud that their ship is so advanced that it doesn’t need all these gadgets to get the job done.

I have a moment near the end of the book when the Shenzhou lands what the crew thinks is a solid hit on the enemy — and then they watch a phaser beam from the Enterprise’s state-of-the-art weapons carve off part of the enemy’s hull. And the Shenzhou crew is just flabbergasted and in awe. In that moment we see their respect and reverence for the majesty of a Constitution-class starship.

As far as the differences in the crews’ uniforms, there is ample precedent in real life for a military service having multiple approved duty uniforms at any given time, and sometimes special uniforms for elite units, etc. So my retcon for the difference in the uniforms is that most of Starfleet is wearing the “utility blue” jumpsuits of the Shenzhou crew.

But the crews of the Enterprise and other Constitution-class ships are considered elite units, so they’ve been issued special “diplomatic” uniforms to designate their status. What I like about my solution is that it explains the apparent discrepancy while showing proper reverence for the Original Series.

TREKCORE: For the better part of a year you’ve known the story behind Star Trek: Discovery and had to keep quiet. Now that the world has had the chance to see the first two episodes, what aspects of those episodes did you enjoy most?

Were there elements from those first two episodes that you thought were particularly ripe for greater exploration in Desperate Hours?

MACK: I loved the interactions between Burnham and Saru, and between Georgiou and Burnham.

The bonds between those three characters, and the dynamic of two children competing for a parent’s attention and approval, struck me as something new in the Star Trek canon, and as fertile ground in which to seed new stories (even if they need to be told in flashbacks).

The trade-paperback-sized ‘Desperate Hours’ and Mack’s ‘Star Trek: Vanguard – Harbinger.’

TREKCORE: For those people who are reading your work for the first time because of Star Trek: Discovery and want more, what other books you’ve written would you recommend they pick up, and what can we look forward to from you in the near future?

MACK: Fans of 24th-century Star Trek — that’s The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, and Voyager — would probably enjoy my two trilogies, Star Trek: Destiny and Star Trek: The Next Generation – Cold Equations.

Fans of the Original Series would likely get a kick out of the Star Trek: Vanguard saga, an eight-book series I developed with editor Marco Palmieri and on which I alternated writing duties with the writing duo of Dayton Ward & Kevin Dilmore.

Next up for me is a Star Trek: Titan novel, Fortune of War, coming out on Tuesday, November 28. It’s a follow-up to a third-season TNG episode, “The Survivors,” in which a godlike being exterminated a race known as the Husnock. But he left behind all of their terrifying ships and weaponry and technology — which now is being found by unscrupulous bad guys. It falls to our heroes on the USS Titan to keep the Husnock’s deadly toys out of the wrong hands.

My biggest book news, however, is the publication of The Midnight Front, the first volume in my original Dark Arts series from Tor Books. The Midnight Front is a World War II adventure that combines brutal action with demon-based black magick and a tale of revenge.

It’s coming out on January 30, 2018, and will soon be followed by The Iron Codex (a spy thriller with magick set in 1954 during the Cold War) and The Shadow Commission (a conspiracy thriller set in 1963, right after the Kennedy assassination).

Dark Arts is my passion project, years in the making, and I hope that all of the readers who have enjoyed my Star Trek stories through the years will follow me as I embark on this new narrative journey.

Thanks to David for taking the time to chat about his new book. If you enjoyed Sunday night’s premiere, we recommend picking up a copy of Star Trek: Discovery — Desperate Hours and get to know more about the Shenzhou crew!

For more information about David and his upcoming work, visit David Mack at his official website, find him on Facebook, or follow him on Twitter.

  • pittrek

    My English is not great, but I guess this is a typo: “Mack’s integration of the he Original Series”
    Nice interview BTW

  • Quintillion Tesla

    The interview is great.
    As far as the aesthetic discrepancies – I think novels are the best place to deal with them. I don’t want to see endless scenes on a tv show explaining costumes and tech differences.
    That said, if we got some Pike era costume nods somewhere down the line ( and even an appearance from the Enterprise herself ) I’d be down for that.

    • Locutus

      If they got Bruce Greenwood to play Pike again, I would be completely onboard with an Enterprise appearance!

      • Keith Melton

        No. We need nothing to muddy the waters between prime and jj-verse.

        Keep it pure. Keep it proper.
        Probably too old to be this era Pike right now, but I have always thought that Jeff Fahey looked very similar to Jeffrey Hunter.

        • Quintillion Tesla

          Actually he might have been good in the JJ 2009 movie as Pike, but then there’s a danger that he’s look too much like ( an older ) Chris Pine.

      • Quintillion Tesla

        They’d have to de-age him I think, but yes, I’d buy that, or perhaps someone who looks close to ( Jeffrey Hunter ).

    • Perplexum

      Why not have some crewmen in the hallways with the turtleneck and the Discovery insignia just passig by? Why not have a few TOS and TNG Klingons standing in the far background? It would be so easy to put those easteregss in the show. No explanation needed, people can connect the dots. Normal viewers wouldn’t care or even recognize it, but it would make the show feel more connected for the fans.

    • I find the whole inablity to accept new uniforms over 1960 thrift store cloths just odd

      • Quintillion Tesla

        I like the explaination in David Mack’s book – that’s more than enough for me.

        • Thank gods its not canon. Ugh, that stuff just makes his book harder to like for me.

          • Quintillion Tesla

            Lol, I imagine it was done just as an appeasement to some fans ( the ones saying why doesn’t it look like the 1960s/1950s ).

          • Likeily, but he did this in the vanguard series. Spent paragraphs on which females had those impractical and sexiest dresses and who bucked regulations to ware a mans uniform.

            None of that was needed

          • Quintillion Tesla

            Oh, did not know that.

          • It was a distraction to me. Anytime a woman was there, how her uniform fit or how she was bucking regulations to ware pants was ALWAYS mentioned.

            It took me out of the story.

          • The Science Fiction Oracle

            So sick of the entitled fan pandering in some of the novels, and also in the final season of Enterprise.

          • Yeah, Season 3 was great then season 4 went weak, weak fanwank. If they had stuck with the style of the stronger season three maybe it would not have took a nose dive. You can not survive on die hard fans alone.

          • Perplexum

            Because season 3 was such a hit with the audience, right?

          • From what I recall they were higher. Season three is agreed by many to be the best of the series.

          • Snap

            I agree with the “fanwank” stuff. You know how I appreciate continuity, but to have all of these references to Kirk being allergic to Retinox 5 or other small things which don’t serve the story, one of the prime offenders in Vanguard was a distraught Klingon operative bemoaning the fact that she wants to cry but Klingons didn’t have tear ducts.

            Some of the uniform-related exposition, I agree, comes across as nothing more than padding which has little to no importance to the story (like Spock opting for the science blue uniform, rather than the command gold he had in the pilot) but his compromise in this instance can actually be backed up canonically. The Starfleet officers on Deep Space Nine wore different uniforms from the rest of Starfleet, not only evident from the pilot but also the the concurrent TNG as well as episodes of DS9 with guest Starfleet personnel wearing the standard uniform. Along comes “Generations” and there’s a mix of uniforms in the crew, along with several members of the main cast actually wearing both through-out the movie. Finally, we come to Voyager, where the DS9 style had been adopted fleet wide… until “First Contact” came along and the uniforms changed yet again. As such, it is plausible that the same could be happening with Discovery, as the TOS uniform style becomes the standard.

          • Or we accept reality the the DSC uniform are the only ones in use and the ones from a failed pilot are not in use.

          • Snap

            If you don’t agree with me, fine, but when you have to resort to insults, implies or otherwise, it will do nothing to make me respect your opinion. Let me ask, though, why is “The Cage” considered a failed pilot which should be ignored, but failed concept art can be thrown in peoples faces as evidence supporting an unnecessary Klingon redesign?

          • I did not felt I used an insult man. All I said was we accept reality. And the reality is the DSC uniforms are the cage era uniforms. Not those from the failed pilot, the cage is only canon as they chose to reuse footage. It did not do the job of a pilot, it did not sell the TV show to the studio. It had a few folks that backed a “rework” and that 2nd Pilot sold the show. But the Cage failed. Its a 1960’s TV show, do you really think a modern Bonanza show, that keeps all the old events will look like this?

            https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/bc1104fdceaf3ef2cd340f1963a96cbc33ec45d0f209a99397bd5d39d7dc2e3f.jpg

            This is simply not hurling insults, its stating facts.

            As for concept art, that is not failed or “rejected” its concept art. I know a bit about concept images and the design process. If it had been rejected, none of it would have been used. As parts of it were used, it was not rejected, but moved to the next stage in design. That is how design works ” Oh I like this bit, dial that in more and change this “. If something is rejected you toss the whole thing and are back at square one.

            The fact they used the sketch is self evident. This was a production choice, We can like or dislike the choice, but the fact they did it remains. You can’t really reject it, as they have done it. You can disagree with their choice of course, but you can’t say “I don’t like it, so they didn’t do that”.
            They took the sketch and went somewhere with it. The armor and baldness is a bit too self evident .

          • The Science Fiction Oracle

            Great example!

          • Snap

            That is where I will agree with you on how “The Cage” failed as a pilot, being unable to sell Star Trek as a series. However, it was not a total failure as it did a good enough job of selling the concept of Star Trek that the network ordered a second pilot so that concept could be refined into a television series. As it was ultimately aired as part of the series, it is a canonical part of Star Trek.

            I understand your point with Bonanza, hell I could even cite the 60s Batman as something which you would not want to be replicated today, but I am going to just say: Star Trek 2009.

            You’ve made the criticism of the Starfleet uniforms in TOS being 60s and that Star Trek isn’t the 60s. Despite how polarizing aspects of the Kelvin movies may be, they took the “campy” and “goofy” TOS uniforms and updated them and I think we’ve heard about how those movies are among the most successful of the Star Trek movies. Any of the negative feedback I have personally seen didn’t rail against the uniforms, rather aspects of the writing, the overuse of lens flare and the use of a brewery to stand in as a set piece for portions of the Enterprise.

            The implied insult I mentioned was the implication that anybody who does not accept that the Discovery uniforms are THE prime uniforms are not accepting “reality,” which is just offensive no matter how it may have been intended. I’m sure if I said that you and anybody else who did not accept that Discovery is a “reboot” when there is just so much which ignores the time period are not accepting reality, it would not be received well and rightly so.

            It’s too easy to just use the “self evident” claim concerning the contesting of the use of the concept sketch, and it really has nothing to with what was asked. Some of your arguments against the TOS aesthetic have invoked the production year as an example why it should be “written over” (for lack of a better term) but that sketch is barely ten years older than TOS itself, yet the people who so vehemently want to see Discovery supplant it will bring it up every chance they get. The question wasn’t why they used it as a base, but why those who want nothing more than the look of TOS to go away, like I said almost always citing that it was from the 60s, yet have no qualms with a 40 year old concept with obviously didn’t work for what Gene Roddenberry wanted with the Klingons. Remember, TMP is the only movie in which Roddenberry has direct creative control.

            There really is no need for the redesign and considering the redesign is not only in regards to the look of the Klingons and their uniforms, but their ships and their weapons as well. It is very clearly change for the sake of change. How, in any way, could the story of Discovery NOT been told with the Klingons as we last saw them in Enterprise? Since they say they are honouring canon and the existence of Enterprise is preventing them from doing certain things, there is no way to reconcile that the creatures we’ve seen in Discovery are Klingons. It was so easy for them to do so, as well, as there could have been the Klingons we know among the other houses who answered T’Kuvma’s call.

            I guess I really shouldn’t be TOO surprised about the constant reference to the rejected Klingon concept art, considering Discovery has based itself on rejected concepts from the beginning, though at least the final designs for the ship is not as ugly as the concept it was based on.

          • I am gonna do points, so I do not miss anything

            1: On the cage, yest they made the events canon. But it is still a failed pilot, it did not do the job of selling the show.

            2: ST09, did really well, but if you think fans did not hate the updated uniforms you got insanely lucky online. I mean go buy lotto tickets lucky. There were fans( same dudes that hate DSC by the way) who said and I quote “Those uniforms are raping the corpse of TOS, nothing but a mockery” That is insane hyperbole.

            And they look campy, they do not even stay in them, they switch out so very often as they look goofy, like sleepware they put on in place of the uniforms they ware all the time elsewhere. And the girls forced into the sexy, but silly dresses is just too much.

            3: I can not help you are offended by reality. The DSC are the cage uniforms, they are the starfleet uniforms of the 2250’s and the 2240’s it seems. You may not like it as it kills a look from a failed pilot, but that is the reality. You can make fan theories and fan canon as that book did, or you can accept what we know for fact. This is the Starfleet uniform.

            4: The sketches I have used to explain where the new look came from. GR totally remade the look of the setting in less than 10 years, his Titan and Phase II projects both dumped the look you are so fixated on. He knew it was super dated. GR himself killed the TOS look, he made sure nothing of it remained, scrubbed all traces from his setting. And Man TMP Klingon look pretty close to that concept art.

            5: There was no need to make a new startrek at all, it could have died in 69. But they did. And they choose to rework Every. Single. Visual. Aspect. The people in charge wanted to redo the klingons, you or I can like or dislike it but its done. And its a minor thing for a race that has had 7 redesigns.

            6: Also Planet of the titans was not rejected. It died because of studio and funding issues. The ship was approved and green lite, as was the script. It was not rejected, it was approved and would have been the last startrek, luckily it fell though.

          • Snap

            2. All I can say to that is I don’t check out every single post made on every single Star Trek-related forum, so perhaps you and I were just checking out different sections of feedback. I am well aware of the negative opinions regarding the movie and the general aesthetic itself, but did not come across seething vitriol for the uniforms.

            Where I do agree with the criticism as you have pointed out is the uniforms the women had to wear, not only the pantsless miniskirt aspect, but for some reason they even lost their sleeves.

            I am not sure which version of Trek 09 you were watching, but they don’t change out of the uniforms at every opportunity. Once the movie shifted from the Academy, Spock was constantly in his duty uniform and after beaming aboard the ship, Scotty donned the uniform. The only time they weren’t in the duty uniform was when they returned to Earth, at which point Kirk was assigned command of the Enterprise. The only other instances were for very specific reasons, such as the space dive sequence on the drill over Vulcan.

            3. You see, you had to go the “offended by reality” route to attack an opinion instead of just making a counterpoint without being offensive. It is not that difficult, so it is somewhat disappointing that you didn’t even make the attempt.

            As I have said elsewhere, I don’t expect a modern take on the TOS time period to slavishly ape the 60s. The TOS aesthetic can be replicated with modern cinematography without the garish colours of the original show. The point of contention with Discovery’s look is it tries to insert itself into a specific point in the prime timeline while making a mess all over the place.

            You are right, though, they may be the Starfleet uniform we are seeing at this point, but as David Mack interpreted and as replicated in the TNG era with two different uniform styles existing concurrently, we very well may see that a modernized TOS uniform is being phased in to the fleet. From one goofy style to another, hmmm?

            4. You’re not even bothering to answer the question I posed, instead opting for more condescension. So, Roddenberry “killed” the TOS look and “scrubbed all traces” from his setting? Is that why early TNG is so very close to the TOS style than what TNG grew into? The uniforms are very clearly an updated TOS uniform, a return to the tri-colour theme but updated, whereas the look and feel of many of the episodes, save for that of the tech itself, was very reminiscent of TOS.

            The Klingons also bear a superficial resemblance to the sketch which to use your terms, you and others are so fixated on. It is not unusual for a final design to contain elements from multiple pieces of concept art, combining the favoured aspects. That the Klingons now had ridges is similar to that concept art, but the armor they wear is completely different.

            5. Yes, when Star Trek was brought to the big screen, it was visually overhauled. One of the primary differences, though, when it came to the Enterprise itself, it was not only modernized but it was specifically stated in the dialogue that it was redesigned and refitted, with Decker telling Kirk that it was “an almost entirely new Enterprise.” Even the bridge took the original bridge and modernized it. It’s not exactly the same, of course, bit it hits all of the same beats.

            Most importantly, which makes it somewhat of an apples to oranges comparison with Disscovery is TMP moved forward, not backwards. It wasn’t trying to say that it took place before or during the five year mission of the original show, it was set at a point where the Enterprise had been in drydock for 18 months undergoing its overhaul.

            It would also not be logical to expect that a big budget Hollywood movie would keep everything as it was on a 60s budget TV show.

            Thank-you for your response, it is very clear that we disagree on numerous points and there is nothing wrong with agreeing to disagree, especially when further debate will just result in circular argument which go nowhere. All I ask, and I don’t think it is unreasonable, is that when you disagree with me, you don’t respond in a condescending manner and treat me like an idiot. I am entitled to my own opinions every much as you are entitled to your own.

          • 2: Man, this was not a little issue. There was like 20 threads on this at TrekBBs and other sites, it was a massive dislike. Which stay right up into the DSC uniforms came out then magically “that is how you update them”. All I can say is if you missed it, good. Some of that stuff was just vile.

            And they go though a few uniform changes. More so in the other two movies.

            3: It is reality. I am not saying anything that is not an objective fact. David Mack did the thing he always does, fan wank uniform porn.

            4: TNG was so unlike TOS fans did what you are doing, they published articles in actual print new papers talking about how it was not “real” startrek and how it looked nothing even remotely like TOS

            The Klingons got changed alot. You do not have to deal with it, but you need to stop the revisionist history and take off the rose tinted glasses man.

            5: Dude, they REDESIGNED the whole freaking ship. Its not the same ship, its longer, taller, have more decks, wider and taller hallways, more lifts, they replaced the secondary hull, primary hull, neck, pylons, and necells.

            it design wise, is nothing like the TOS ship. the forms are totally different. Its kinda the same ship like a model T and a 1968 GTO are kinda the same car. Whatever BS line they feed you, that is not the same ship.

          • Snap

            Fine, whatever. Like I said, circular arguments which, clearly, will only satisfy you if I agree with whatever you have to say. I’ve said my piece, I have no intention to continue beating a dead horse.

          • I have not used any circular arguments. You simply do not like what is being said.

          • Snap


            “That is simply not true and clearly indicated you didn’t even read my statement. I clearly said we can agree to disagree, since we both have different views on certain things. However, that wasn’t good enough for you as you had to attack my responses and, in a way, make my point for me.

            “they REDESIGNED the whole freaking ship”

            Yes they did, and I even quoted the lines or dialogue which specifically stated that. It is modernized but still recognizable as the Enterprise. Haven’t you, among others, been arguing about modernizing Star Trek and some even demeaning those of us who dislike the Discovery Klingon design?

            “Whatever BS line they feed you, that is not the same ship.”

            As the “BS” you refer to is dialogue within a canon production, I can just as easily say that no matter what BS the producers feed you, Discovery is not in the prime timeline. That doesn’t demean Discovery in any way, it just means your crusade to have anything TOS-related removed from canon.

            Sorry, but you would have to remove the entire freaking franchise from canon as the TOS aesthetic, to one degree or another, has appeared in every Star Trek series with the exception of Voyager, which featured the TOS movie aesthetic.

            The one thing which it doesn’t seem any on your side of the argument seems to understand, and I have said it far too many times but I can understand that my posts can get a bit lengthy. Slavishly apeing the TOS style isn’t what I am championing. By all means, give the ship corridors which don’t look like plywood walls, but you can easily take major sets like the engine room, the bridge, the briefing room and, naturally, the transporter room and keep them exactly the same in composition but updated with modern production values. Replace the 60s chairs off the bridge, give the bridge a more TUC colour scheme and make the captain’s chair less boxy and more like the movies.

            I don’t expect the red alert lights to remain rectangular boxes scattered about the ship. The Shenzhou had a screen with the movie era red alert display and, even though it may be years too early in the timeline, it’s an awesome feature. And, most definitely, get rid of the stilted computer voice and consider the Discovery computer voice the TOS computer since there is no way to have Majel Barrett update it.

            In debates such as these, I try to use arguments based on canon since everybody is arguing about Discovery replacing the established canon. You keep falling on outside factors like production values, or the styles of the times, while insisting that any canon which you don’t agree with is BS. It just keeps going around because the way it comes out in your posts is you will not be satisfied until I agree with what you’re saying. On some things, it’s not going to happen and I certainly do not expect you to agree with everything I am saying and have made it clear that I am perfectly happy with agreeing to disagree. I’m not saying you’re detached from reality for not dropping your own opinion in favour of my own. There’s already too much of that BS in the real world, I don’t need to perpetuate it in something which is supposed to be entertainment.

            Despite these issues i have, I don’t hate Discovery. It hasn’t won me over, though that could be entirely the fault of a lackluster pilot, but just because the designers have gone with the “how ugly can we make this?” mentality, I’m not going to make a judgement one way or the other until I have a good feel for what the series is really about.

          • First off,why are you responding again to a post you responded to 18 hours before hand?

            I did not attack you, and just because I disagreed with your post, in which you tried to counter my point, does not mean I did not read it.

            1: I explained the ship thing.In setting it can not be the same ship, unless it did not look like the TOS ship.

            2: GR ditched and utterly erased the TOS design style.

            3: If you do not want to be countered, don’t respond post online.

            You are getting super defensive over your views, so I am just walking away.

          • Snap

            That’s a good idea, since you simply do not seem to be able to understand what I’m saying. The whole issue blew up because you were offensive in how you decided to disagree with me. It is not my problem if you cannot recognize that. I can only say that I will do my best not to do so when responding to you in the future. If I screw up, I will own it and apologize.

          • I was not insulting to you. YOu took offense for zero reason.

      • Matthew Burns

        I find it amazing, how often Starfleet changes the uniforms! The show is set 10 years before Kirk and Co on five year mission. The Star Trek 2009 film must be set about 2 or 3, maybe 5 years, before that mission begins at end of Into Darkness? So if this show lasts more than about 5 seasons, then it is likely that they will be wearing the uniforms, or similar, to the ones worn by Starfleet, in Star Trek 2009.

        • The Science Fiction Oracle

          I have an alternate theory.

          My theory is that what we are seeing on screen is actually fiction. Furthermore, I would postulate that this “fictional show” was produced in different eras of television, and therefore there was not a real-life Starfleet uniform department that kept changing the uniform design? And I would theorize that the reason they kept making these changes was to update the look largely based on creative changes and styling of the time of production, and not under any sort of approval from this “Starfleet,” which as I theorize, is a fictional construct.

          I realize that this theory is a lot to digest, and defies the acceptance of many fans, but I think it explains the uniform changes completely.

          • Vger64

            YESSSS!!! Thank You! Well said!

          • Matthew Burns

            Your right!

            I also think of the Clone troopers and storm troopers in Star Wars. They change with each passing movie, we see different designs…

          • The Science Fiction Oracle

            Good point!

      • The Science Fiction Oracle

        please see my post below. 🙂

      • Snap

        If it wasn’t set in the same time period, I would agree. But we can look back to Victorian and Elizabethan fashion and can find them incredibly outlandish and goofy, but if you set a story in that time and place, you cannot just have the characters walking around in modern clothing.

        What I can’t understand, though, is why there are people who will gladly ignore such continuity with arguments of either the year or “production values” or other bunk like it being “fictional history” but steadfastly defend such changes using equally goofy looking concept art from nearly 40 years ago. It’s a double standard and doesn’t make a lick of sense.

        In a personal opinion, it would be MUCH easier to accept the Discovery uniforms if there weren’t so bloody ugly. I’d take thrift store clothes (or pajamas, as they have also been referred to) any day.

        • It 1960 clothing, with 1960’s style and 1960’s props. TOS is not the 1960, its the 2250-2270s its not old, its the future,so it should not look like the 1960s.

          • The Science Fiction Oracle

            Exactly. Snap is mixing apples with oranges…that analogy of his just doesn’t pass common sense.

          • Yeah I dont get it. When somobe says 2256 I do not think 1960s tv

  • Paul Walker

    When I read the book I thought to myself that it might be better if translated into Klingonee

  • I do not like what I have heard about his silly fanwank uniform BS. Always a issue I have with him, he is into uniform porn and spends paragraphs on it

    I would like to know more about Proat and Jira Narwani

    • The Science Fiction Oracle

      LOL — I agree completely. Enough with fan pandering crap on “the look”. It was different generations of TV production values — deal with it!

      • Agreed. They look silly now days. Leave the uniforms out. That way if you want to imagin them in TOS goofy you can.

  • Tuskin38

    I think its cool that he got to name some of the background bridge officers.

  • Eric Watson

    I love the book, but the “about the author” section just being a plug for another novel is tacky. I love his work though, and this book is very good so far.

  • Neil Fuller

    After 51years of fandom for Star Trek, After waiting through the delays, After all the expectations, After 6 episodes. What the hell is this pile of compost doing calling it self Trek ? Critics like it? Fans HATE IT!