Only a day after the much-anticipated Star Trek: Discovery premiere, and already a load of post-airing press had arrived from the series’ creative team on the aftermath of that eventful first two-hour story, where Discovery heads from here, and when Season 2 may come to fruition.


Alex Kurtzman talked to The Hollywood Reporter about how much time goes into producing a single episode of Discovery, from filming to post-production.

It’s a very complicated, elaborate process. We’re not kidding around with the visual effects. It’s four to five months just for the visual effects, per episode. Many people are waiting with arms crossed to see if it’s going to be worth the money.

The way I always think is that no one ever complains about paying for Game of Thrones. We have to deliver that level of spectacle and experience so the audience feels that this isn’t something they could get on network television and it feels worth it [considering All Access comes with a monthly fee]. Then you go do the mix and that can usually go one or two days and we need four. We’re mixing a movie; every episode is huge.

What we recognized was that CBS had never made a show of this scale before. I say that without judgment because very few people have. If you really want to bring a film experience — with all the requisite trappings — it was going take a lot more time. I would have been very scared to do a show in less time because having had production experience, you would not have been able to deliver something that felt worth the expectation.

He also spoke a bit about the creative team’s general hopes for the second season, should it be approved…

We have a larger picture for season two — if we’re lucky to get a season two order. As you’re breaking the season you get bunch of ideas you love and realize they won’t fit in this season, so you put them on index cards and up on the board.

We have a bunch of those as well as a big idea that emerged mid- to late-season one for something we want to do for season two. That’s now become the spine of what we want to do for season two. We have an emotional compass pointing toward a big idea for a second season. But given the scope of this thing, we’re also focused on finishing strong. Hopefully we’ll get an order for season two.

I don’t know that we’ll have a tremendous amount of downtime between seasons. There have been many iterations of Trek that have run for a very long time. I only want to keep it going for as long as it feels fresh and like we have stories to tell.

…and when we may see that sophomore season, if all goes well: sometime in 2019.

There have been preliminary conversations about when and how [a second season could air] and we’ve been very consistent in our message, which is that rather than announce a date and have to push again, let’s take into consideration everything we’ve learned from this season.

Now we know what we can do and where the sand traps are, so let’s give ourselves ample time to announce a date that makes sense to everybody — both the needs of production and CBS. Breaking story is, in some ways, the easier and faster thing; it’s the ability to execute on it that’s much harder.

We want to take the right amount of time and don’t want to rush. Ideally [it could arrive] on the early side of 2019.


Meanwhile, THR also spoke to showrunners Aaron Harberts and Gretchen Berg about the aftermath of the Discovery premiere, and where things may head from here.

First, of course, is the topic of Philippa Georgiou (Michelle Yeoh), and how the death of Michael Burnham’s mentor will affect the young officer going forward.

[Killing off Georgiou] was always a piece of storytelling that [former showrunner] Bryan Fuller and [executive producer] Alex Kurtzman had as the architecture for the first two episodes.

For us, it’s a very old way of telling the story. Getting people invested in these two characters, only to yank one away. It was sort of subliminally designed to say to the audience, “You think you know what kind of Star Trek you’re getting. You think you see who your Kirk and Spock are. But they’re not. This is not your everyday Star Trek.”

Not only was it important for Burnham’s emotional journey and the loss she’s going to carry the entire series but it was a really terrific way to announce that this show was going to defy certain expectations.

Casting somebody like Michelle Yeoh, we needed to make sure we had a character and an actress that, even if you don’t see her physically on the screen, you’re going to feel her absence because she leaves that kind of impact on Burnham’s life and on the audience’s life.

It’s a constant reminder for Burnham. It puts her in a very vulnerable position. There’s this character who’s so sure of herself. Every choice in her life was made with a goal in mind and it’s all been ripped away from her. Now she’s starting from nothing. She thought she knew who she was and where she was going and the people around her were going to be constants. That’s all different now, it’s all gone.

Harberts also touched upon how Burnham’s relationship with USS Discovery captain Gabriel Lorca (Jason Isaacs) will differ, as the series continues.

If Georgiou represents the absolute ideal version of a Starfleet captain, which is to say she has the moral authority given to her by Starfleet, Lorca represents the situational ethics that come into play during times of desperation and war.

During times where sometimes the rules don’t apply when it comes to matters of life and death. He exists in a very gray area and he’s almost a captain that could only exist in this context. And, in fact, context is a very important thing for Lorca. He believes that context is what should decide actions.

Finally, the showrunners confirmed that we’ll see plenty of James Frain’s Sarek in future flashbacks, but also that it seems we haven’t quite seen the last of Michelle Yeoh in the series.

We’ll definitely be exploring the parental relationship between Burnham and Sarek further on in the series in flashbacks. Georgiou will always be present in Burnham’s life, in her consciousness.

We won’t be doing as many flashbacks with Georgiou but we do definitely explain and explore what happened to young Burnham at the Vulcan learning center in that horrific bombing, when Sarek brings her back to life.

We explore how that event really cemented the relationship between this little human child and this Vulcan ambassador.

*   *   *

Lastly, a few new production photos have arrived from the filming of the premiere episodes.

Stay tuned to TrekCore for more Star Trek: Discovery news!

  • iMike

    I’m okay with an estimation of early 2019 for Season Two. Season One was pushed back so much it irritated fans. I would rather wait and have ALL of Season Two air in Spring 2019 than get broken up like Season One is going to be (although who can say if it will happen that way or not). If I had to pick anything about the way Season One is being presented, it would be that.

    • Your Worst Nightmare

      Agreed. Don’t rush it. Let it be done right.

      • Matthew Burns

        I guess it is the price you pay for a season of steller episodes.

        In all fairness, for example, every season, TNG had a fair few quite terrible filler episodes. The writers and produces admitted it themselves. They had to make so many episodes per season, 26 of them. But the season had to come to completion on budget. I guess an average of $1 million an episode.

        • I doubt it was ever their intention to make terrible filler episodes. They definitely had to make “bottle” episodes to come in on budget.

          • SpaceCadet

            And sometime being in that budget crunch is when they flexed their creative muscles and still pulled off quality episodes on the cheap like “The Drumhead”.

          • Matthew Burns

            A fair point. But good writers should always be flexing muscles, without the need for a studio placing pressures on budget and a certain number of episodes be made.

        • FightingMongooses

          Yep, the unfortunate reality of Trek. They were shoveling out about 25 episodes a season for so many years. It was inevitable that bad scripts would be made and that continuity would suffer.

    • The Science Fiction Oracle

      Makes sense!

  • Man I hope we get a second season. While this may not be everyone cuppa( and that is fine) it is most defiantly what I want

  • Tom Cruise Never Phones It IN

    “Not your everyday Star Trek” lol that’s for sure

    And they should have tried to make it like Trek , instead of trying to follow trendy stuff like thrones that isn’t Trek

  • The Science Fiction Oracle

    “We have a bunch of those as well as a big idea that emerged mid- to late-season one for something we want to do for season two. That’s now become the spine of what we want to do for season two. We have an emotional compass pointing toward a big idea for a second season.”

    Kind of relived to hear this. Sometimes on these serialized shows, so much effort is put into the inaugural season, that the creative team then have to scramble up new ideas for Season 2, which can be a recipe for disaster. Heroes Season 2 is a great example of how this can go south quickly.

    • Part of the problem with Heroes Season 2 was the writers’ strike. They knew the writers would probably strike, so they were writing as fast as possible, without the time to really work on the ideas. It’s possible that S2 would still have been bad, but it’s also possible that it could have been good, if they’d had a chance to work on it properly.

  • SpaceCadet

    Since we can all presume that a second season will happen let’s have fun and conjecture what we’d like to see for that season! My imagination may not be the best at the moment but I know things that I don’t want to see: Earth being threatened, time travel, the Klingons again, the Borg, an omnipotent super-being like Q, the Discovery being thrown into another part of the galaxy or another galaxy and having to find their way home. Lol

    • I would not mind seeing some first contacts, new races or fleshing out races we have not seen.

      • SpaceCadet

        Yes, and I’d like to see more non-humanoid aliens because that makes our universe seem more truly wonderous and strange. I really liked the aliens of “Tin Man” and “Galaxy’s Child” and “Devil in the Dark” and Star Trek IV: TVH as some examples. And I’m glad with Discovery we’re beyond doing the alien with funny bumpy forehead of the week.

        • Thorians, dude I want to see some stuff with those aholes. Or the gorn!

      • GhostLoveScore

        I would like to see details of regular first contact procedure.

        • Well, we saw them violating the prime directive lol


    overall though I liked it. I already had a CBS pw and watched episode 2 (was awesome) and will watch the first season to see what Plays out.

    I think the chain of command thing and lose and awkward almost forced friend fraternization and informality between the captain and no.1 (regardless of her maternal feelings toward her and why) are weird and not very star fleet (though there really isn’t any SF yet – but they had USN/USAF REG’s – okay anyway) and YEAH with the “DANG! New Klingons again!?” …but I’ll get used to them same as I did before (I liked the TNG versions).


    I love the time it’s set in (2254) and retconn that is tying together lore and what we’ve seen so far; right on the cusp of when all that we know with all the people we know is about to start happening.

    It’s when captain pike has just completed his first 5yr and about to start his fateful second (the cage/the menagerie) and spock is already a serving officer in star fleet. also wacky is 2256 is when bones broke up with the girl who he and kirk run into on the ST-TOS episode Man Trap (according to lore)

    It’s an exciting time in the Star Trek story. It’s the culmination of everything we’ve learned about 22nd and 23rd century earth and the beginning of our adventure in to “the last frontier”. I think there is a lot of room to spread out and fill in lots of retconn blanks plus establish some stories of their own.

    I think it’s an interesting juxtapose to have a human raised by a Vulcan; and not any vulcan but the Vulcan who married a human and had a half human child; who is a serving science officer on a federation starship.

    The 100 years before this time the Earth is recovering and striving in leaps and bounds from a disastrous WWIII that ended in 2053 and only in 2079 do they begin real recovery and bonding as a planetary group…Over the next 100 years archer is born and cochrane makes warp fight, bringing us in contact with the Vulcans; only to disappear mysteriously in 2119 from alpha Centauri where he’s been “hanging out”.

    Not long after we (earth and our interplanetary allies) are drawn into a 4 year war with the Romulans that we fight to a draw and is the catalyst for the founding of the united federation of planets.

    Bones, Scotty and Sarek are all born on the cusp of the 23rd century…and later spock, Chekov, sulu and uhura and james t kirk are all born

    It’s another 100 years after that that Picard is even a twinkle in his Papa’s eye and long before the Klingons will of hear of a settlement named Natendra III or Khitomer and before any humans encounter the Borg.

    My gawd there aren’t even “galaxy class” starships yet! They’re practically in row boats out there.

    The story possibilities are so fertile and ripe. I hope they steer clear of the soap opera lameness of Voyager and DS9 and Enterprise in its last few seasons (the temporal Cold War story line not withstanding) and focus on humanity continuing to come into contact with other civilizations (friendly and otherwise) and the technology development (that was the best part of enterprise).

    Yeah I’m geeked out about it.

    • The Science Fiction Oracle

      Great post — thanks!!!

  • Quintillion Tesla

    I envision an alternate universe where Georgiou and Burnham really would be the two main leads of a more convential STAR TREK series – that’d just be wonderful!

    As it stands I’ll really miss Micheele Yeoh’s Georgiou – she really established herself as a really likeable Captain.

    • I agree, she was very likable. I think we will see here again all season in flashbacks

      • Karl

        Of course, they never retrieved Georgiou’s body… 😉

    • Your Worst Nightmare

      Well, its kinda funny since the whole idea was that Burnham had served on the Shenzhou for seven years. One could look at those seven years as the lost Star Trek series with the Discovery Pilot/Prologue (I think a better term) being the very dark series finale of Star Trek: Shenzhou.

      And I don’t think we’re done with Georgiou quite yet. The format of the show lends itself to flashbacks.

      • Quintillion Tesla

        Absolutely! Yep, I hope we will get flashbacks to the past seven years aboard the Shenzhou ( and of course, I think we can all appreciate why it was SEVEN years, ala most to runs of the prior Trek shows ). And of course, novels and comics will add to this – I’ve just picked up the “Desperate Hours” book today which so far seems great.

        I love your idea of seeing DSC’s first eps as the very dark finale for STAR TREK; SHENZHOU. That means next week, we begin proper with STAR TREK: DISCOVERY – can’t wait!

        • Your Worst Nightmare

          I’m debating buying “Desperate Hours.” But I think I’m going to wait until after the next few episodes air. I’d like to get more of a feel for the series and make certain its something I want to continue watching. I’m not certain how much I really want to get invested in these characters. Don’t get me wrong. I liked it enough to give it a chance and to keep giving it a chance. Just hasn’t won me completely over yet.

          • Quintillion Tesla

            Yes, that’s completely fair enough. I am going to give it a fair shake in spite of a few minor nitpicks.

            ( I Just watched Larry Nemecek’s interview today with on youtube, and he more or less has put my sentiments about the show ( and even minor reservations ) more eloquently than I could have )

          • Your Worst Nightmare

            I will watch! I love Matt’s work. And Larry’s pretty awesome too.

      • The Science Fiction Oracle

        As I’ve been predicting since last Spring, we will be getting Lost-style flashback of Georgiou and the Shenzhou for all this season, at least.

  • David Lund

    I still wouldn’t be surprised in Georgiou is still alive and makes a surprise return. Either that or if they really have done a mirror universe episode….

    • The Science Fiction Oracle

      I would not want to see that. Finally, we have a Trek with accountability, where key characters can die. No going back please to “Marvel ” Trek where everybody always lives, or gets resurrected.

      • SpaceCadet

        Right. This feels more real and dangerous like life in space should be when a character’s life won’t be guaranteed from one episode to the next. This is basically like Game of Thrones or The Walking Dead meets Star Trek in terms of character longevity.

      • Your Worst Nightmare

        I think she’s dead. I think she’ll appear in flashbacks and possibly the mirror universe episode, but I think Georgiou Prime is dead as dead can be.

        • SpaceCadet

          I think she should be dead (as Saru said her lifesigns were gone) and stay dead. There is something very poignant in it being final as it is in real life and it is an aggravating cop out when a TV series brings back a character that was definitely dead or they lead you to believe so – “hey folks, it was all a dream!”

          • Your Worst Nightmare

            Like I said: we saw a body.

    • FightingMongooses

      I considered the possibility; if she somehow survived, or if the Klingons resuscitate her it may come into play later in the series. I just hope these aren’t ISIS Klingons that plan to behead her on subspace TV later on. The show is TV-MA after all.

  • jurassicbond

    I’m still thinking about getting All Access or not. That being said, I am very pleased with what I saw for the first two episodes. It was fantastic.

  • scotchyscotchscotch

    Lorca kind of sounds like the character invokes some Captain Ransom