In their first public event together in the lead up to Discovery’s second season, the cast and crew of Discovery took to the stage in the infamous Hall H at SDCC for an hour long panel on the upcoming season!
Giving news and insight into whats to come, as well as sharing their vision of hope and the future, Tig Notaro led Sonequa Martin-Green, Anthony Rapp, Shazad Latif, Doug Jones, Wilson Cruz, Mary Wiseman, Mary Chieffo, and Anson Mount in discussions alongside showrunner Alex Kurtzman and producer Heather Kadin in front of a ravenous crowd as they were welcomed to the stage.
With a new trailer and new insights, we’ve taken a quick look at the highlights of the night ahead of Discovery’s next foray into space.
Unsurprisingly, little was given away about the next series and it’s core story outwith Anthony Rapp explaining to fans that it was very science heavy, which has been a difficult task for him as his dialogue had been carefully crafted to fit very closely with the science aspect of his character. The season is expected to explore more than the first, with new science, new adventures and new challenges to face the crew as they delve into a huge mystery.
The trailer shown to fans afterwards also confirmed that Captain Pike would be temporarily leaving his chair on the Enterprise to take command of Discovery, which allows the show to tackle the first captain of the Enterprise; and the one with the least screen time.
Kurtzman described Pike as Lorca’s opposite; a kind and gentle leader who’s not afraid of owning up to his mistakes and taking his crew opinions on board, with tremendous optimism and a ‘good heart’. While Pike remained largely unexplored in the original series, the recent Kelvin Timeline movies gave a chance for the character to become a mentor to Kirk and the crew. By the looks of things, this version of Pike may just balance out those two previous iterations of the first Captain of the Enterprise.
While the story remains a secret as of now, Kurtzman was also keen to confirm that season two will begin to line up Discovery with what had come before by ‘syncing up canon’ as they get closer to the timeline of the original series.
As for the Klingons, they’ve not been forgotten. While Discovery’s crew go off on a new adventure, L’Rell will be facing the trials of becoming the Chancellor of the Empire by force. And she’ll have the tormented Ash Tyler by her side as we explore their relationship through his adjustment and finding themselves amidst the chaos of their decisions.
While the story, described by Mary Chieffo as a ‘beauty and the beast’ scenario, is largely based on Qo’nos, Kurtzman did add that their storyline and that of Discovery’s will merge and cross paths towards the seasons end.
In a surprise announcement by Anson Mount, former Mystique of the original X-Men trilogy was named as the new Number One of the Enterprise, with Romjin confiirming that news soon after through twitter.
Just call me “Number One!” Honored to play such an iconic character in #StarTrek Canon originally played by the First Lady of Star Trek, Majel Barrett-Roddeberry! #StarTrekDiscovery pic.twitter.com/rdpWOxBYAk
— Rebecca Romijn (@RebeccaRomijn) July 20, 2018
Stepping into the shoes of Majel Roddenberry, Romjin will be the first actor to take on the character since the original Trek Pilot, The Cage, which was later re-purposed for Spock’s trial in The Menagerie.
Wilson Cruz was also on hand to point out – again – that he would still be a part of Discovery despite his characters death in the first season. Ever since that moment, Cruz has been vocal about remindng fans that although it seemed to be, his story was far from over.
But of course, the news that brought the most excitement from the crowd was that we would see Spock this season. While they didn’t confirm whether it would be Lieutenant Spock or the younger Spock in Burnham flashbacks (news that Jonathon Frakes let slip months ago), from the trailer it looks certain that everyones favourite Vulcan will likely make an appearance alongside his foster sister, Michael Burnham.
It was made known some time ago that while the first season of Discovery was very closed within the confines of the ship, the second would see the crew get out a bit more.
The trailer did show some shots of an away mission, perhaps from the ship Tig Notaro’s character is assigned to, but during the panel the team let us know about one of the new worlds we’d be exploring in season two: Saru’s homeworld.
On Saru’s world his people, the Kelpians, are the prey to a more dominant species and the season would see a more experienced and confident Saru return.
Through the panel we also learned we’d be getting more Trek from the Discovery producers in the form of four shorts to be released in December.
Extending the Discovery world, writer Bo Yeon Kim confirmed that ‘Short Trek’ would be character-centric mini-episodes while Kurtzman mentioned that three of those pieces will revolve around Tilly, Saru and Harry Mudd. The fourth of the character exploration pieces will focus on new character, Craft, portrayed by Aldis Hodge.
There wasn’t much time to discovery more information due to the panel only lasting an hour with Q&A Sessions, but we expect to hear much more over the weeken from interviews, appearances and even Trek merch with Anovos already stunning fans with their replica of the new USS Enterprise model.
Season Two of Discovery is set for release in January 2019, while the first season is available in the UK & Europe on Netflix alnogside all other Star Trek Series (and the latest Kelvi Timeline film, Beyond, has recently been added to the line up!).
We’ll have more news and titbits over the coming week for all SFCQ2 members at Starbase Europa and a full breakdown of the event in our next edition of Comms. To join the discussion, you can join Starfleet Command for free on our enlistment page!