'Star Trek: Discovery' Showrunner Hints at What's to Come in Season Two

Tuesday, 26 September 2017 - 10:11AM
Star Trek
Star Trek Discovery
Tuesday, 26 September 2017 - 10:11AM
'Star Trek: Discovery' Showrunner Hints at What's to Come in Season Two
Image credit: CBS
If you were one of nearly ten million people who watched the premiere of Star Trek: Discovery last Sunday, you may be wondering where the series will go next. Considering the tumultuous production that led to the show's debut and the lack of enthusiasm for the project that some higher-ups at CBS have shown thus far, it's probably justifiable to worry about the future of Discovery—if this show doesn't convince a lot of people to sign up for CBS All Access, the network might consider it to be unworthy of its hefty production budget.

Those fears can be assuaged somewhat by the fact that Discovery showrunner, Alex Kurtzman, is already working hard on the show's finale episode for Season One, and has been building initial plans for a second season. Nothing is set in stone just yet, but it's clear that Kurtzman expects the show to be around for a while. Said Kurtzman:

Opening quote
"We are about to start shooting the finale. Part of the grand design of the season included the ending. We knew where we were going from the beginning and that was important in terms of a lot of the big ideas we set up in the first two episodes. It's all leading to something. We are just finishing episode 14 and about to start 15. That's in terms of production. In post, I start mixing episode five on Monday. That gives you a sense of how long it takes between shooting and post."
Closing quote


It's interesting to note just how long post-production takes on Discovery, and how close to the wire things are running in terms of editing and special effects that only two episodes are currently ready for broadcast. If the team are filming episode fifteen while editing episode five, it shows just how long it takes to make the CGI-heavy footage of the show nice and pretty.



Going on, it sounds as if the upcoming episodes are going to start laying the groundwork for Discovery's future beyond the current fifteen-episode first season:

Opening quote
"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.

One of the great things about streaming is that we're not obligated to 22 episodes, which allows us to tell more stories. So as long as we feel we are not compromising quality or scope, I'm down for whatever Trek becomes."
Closing quote


This is especially interesting considering that the initial premise for the show was an anthology series--when Discovery was at the initial draft stage there weren't any plans for a long-running narrative that would extend beyond a few short episodes. In some ways, the delays to the show's release have likely given the production team the needed time to flesh things out and establish where the show will go after the "strong" finish that has been planned for Season One.

The hope is that CBS decides that Discovery  is worthy of a second season. Based on initial fan responses, Discovery would do well—were it to air on regular television. How things will turn out with CBS All Access remains to be seen, but if the internal attitude within the network is one of optimism for the future of Star Trek, that's at least a step in the right direction.

You can watch Star Trek Discovery on CBS All Access, with new episodes premiering on Sundays 8:30 PM ET/5:30 PM PT.
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