See the Bridge From 'Star Trek: Discovery' Being Built in a Time-Lapse Video
Earlier this year, the showrunners for the upcoming Star Trek: Discovery (a show that is now tantalizingly close to airing but still, inexplicably, not quite here yet) claimed that a large part of the reason for the show's delays was the fact that the props and sets on Discovery are of such a high quality that it took longer than expected to actually get this thing ready for filming.
At the time this seemed like a bad excuse, but as we've had the chance to see more and more of what's gone into Discovery, it's hard not to be surprised that any network television show would receive quite such a high level of production quality. Now, CBS has released a good look at the effort that went into the show's crowning jewel: the bridge of the USS Shenzhou, one of the most important, and certainly most elaborate, sets that have been constructed for the initial pilot.
This is not normally the kind of work that goes into a TV project. You can see the time-lapse below (the video appears to be restricted in some countries, so here's a Streamable mirror if it's unavailable):
What's really interesting is that, based on comments that have been made by Discovery's showrunners, the Shenzhou isn't even the main ship of the first season. According to Aaron Harberts, the protagonist Michael Burnham, played by Sonequa Martin-Green, will make a "difficult choice" that will ultimately see her transferred to a new ship, the USS Discovery, for the show's second episode:
While it's too early to speculate on what will happen in the pilot episode of Discovery to take Burnham away from the Shenzhou, the fact that such an elaborate set has been constructed for a relatively small amount of screentime in the new series hints at just how much detail has gone into making this show look as cinematic and grand as possible.
This is backed up by everything that CBS has shown off from sets and costumes thus far - there are a lot of very pretty things in the upcoming show, many of which glisten with a future-retro look to match the original Star Trek's general time period while updating the look and feel of the show for a modern audience.
With the beauty and craftsmanship on display here, it's easy to see why Discovery's first season has taken so long to make. What's less clear is why CBS has been willing to trust such a large investment to a show despite a lack of enthusiasm from certain key executives attached to overseeing the project.
So it's definitely worth watching the first season of Discovery - if this show doesn't become a Game of Thrones level hit right off the bat, there's almost certainly not going to be as much money budgeted for future seasons, if we even get more episodes at all after the initial, very expensive run.