Since the days of the 1978 Battlestar Galactica borrowing aesthetics from Star Wars, sci-fi on TV has always been trying to copy what was happening in the biggest sci-fi movies. But, these days, that gap is pretty much closed. So much so that screenwriter and Star Trek producer Alex Kurtzman thinks good TV can have the same quality as a good movie, which is great news if you can’t make it to the movie theater very often. This week, in talking about the next season of Star Trek: Discovery, Kurtzman explained why each episode will basically be like a feature film.
“For me personally, the line between television and film is completely blurred now,” Kurtzman said at a CBS Emmy’s event in Los Angeles. “We endeavor every week to make it a movie. Certainly, that has been our goal this year. Hopefully, we can continue to do that.”
For hardcore Trekkies, the first season of Discovery started off slightly controversial, mostly because it was a prequel to the original ’60s TV series that didn’t have everyone running around in brightly colored spandex. Kurtzman also addressed this point saying: “We know what a phaser looks like, but we want to make it new, but we can’t make it too new because it is actually pre-TOS[the original series], so what can we do to give you something fresh, but also stay consistent with what you know. And that is a daily conversation on every front. That doesn’t just apply to the props and to the look of the show.”
Kurtzman’s experience on Star Trek comes writing the screenplays (along with Roberto Orci) for the J.J. Abrams 2009 Star Trek reboot and 2013’s Star Trek Into Darkness. In other words, he’s used to super-fans freaking out about tiny details and the color of Spock’s shirt. “I think the films taught me a lot about how to attempt to walk that line,” he said.
Speaking of Spock’s shirt, the pointy-eared Vulcan will almost certainly appear in season 2 of the new Star Trek series. In the season 1 finale of Star Trek: Discovery, the titular USS Discovery crossed paths with the USS Enterprise in the last scene. At this point in the overly-complicated timeline, Spock is totally hanging out on the Enterprise with Captain Pike, the dude who had the job before Captain Kirk. In season 2 of Discovery, Pike will be played by actor Anson Mount, known mostly for his role as Cullen in the western TV series Hell On Wheels. There has been no casting announcement for Spock in the new series.
Last month, when Deadline asked actress Sonequa Martin-Green or not Spock will appear on the show, she basically confirmed it. Martin-Green plays human Michael Burnham, who was raised by Sarek, Spock’s dad, which makes her Spock’s human step-sister. “You know, Aaron Harberts [the showrunner], said that Season 2 was going to be about that line between science and faith. He also said that there’s going to be a lot of family dynamic,” she said. “It is the Enterprise in that shot. We all know who is on the Enterprise. You see Sarek and Burnham look at each other, and there you have it.”
Sounds like a family reunion in the final frontier with a big movie budget scope.
Star Trek: Discovery season 2 is currently filming. It is expected to hit the streaming service CBS All Access in late November of 2018 or early 2019.