Last night marked the season two premiere of Star Trek: Discovery. CBS All Access‘ maiden voyage into the Star Trek universe was met with widespread acclaim and there are high hopes from fans and critics alike for the show’s second chapter. Some of those fans and critics got a chance to watch S2E1 with the cast and creators of the show at the season’s red carpet premiere at The Conrad Hotel in New York City.
The stars were all out as Sonequa Martin-Green, Mary Wiseman, Shazad Latif and more strutted down the red carpet to the tune of thunderous applause from fans. The talented crew of the USS Discovery soaked in the fruits of their labor after months of 12 to 18 hour days on set with the weight of carrying the franchise where no series has gone before.
Season one introduced the galaxy to Sonequa Martin-Green as Officer Michael Burnham, the first African American woman to appear as the lead in a Star Trek show or film, as well as the rest of the characters that make up Discovery. Co-creator Alex Kurtzman had glowing praise for his star’s ground breaking portrayal as well as the bonds shared by the entire cast.
“Burnham is the emotional core of our show and Sonequa is so spectacular at delivering that feeling,” said Kurtzman. “I let her do a lot of the work, I don’t have to help her get emotion out, she does it all on her own. It’s like that with most of the cast though, it’s the greatest cast ever. They love each other so much and the connections you see on screen are really real. They spend time together on weekends and they’re together all day, 24 hours a day. It’s wonderful because everyone brings out the most of each other every single day.”
No matter how talented and flexible a cast is there will always be challenges and taking on the Star Trek franchise comes with over 50 years of storytelling to carry on.
“Story-wise whenever you’re doing the first season of a show, no matter much you like it and believe in it, no one has seen it yet,” said co-executive producer Heather Kadin. “Sitting at Comic Con or other panels before you’ve premiered you’re just hoping the fans all around the world will like it! Then with this second season, fans have seen it and now there are real expectations. You get more confidence after season one but you can’t afford to rest on your laurels – we went into this season knowing it was time to push it even more.”
Kurtzman detailed how the crew went about pushing season two to the next level from the ground up by giving Discovery a big film feeling.
“We really brought a new cinematic language to season two,” said Kurtzman. “We really tried to blur the line between movies and television. When you watch this, especially on a bigger screen, you’re going to see that we basically made a movie. It’s really a wonderful thing to be able to bring that to TV. It took a lot of re-jiggering of production to be able to bring that to TV. We really upped our game. We changed the aspect ratio we used to film it, we changed the lighting, we changed so many things; so that was challenging but wonderful.”
When asked what they were most proud of both Kurtzman and Kadin spoke to the importance of the show’s commitment to diversity and respecting the established Star Trek universe.
“Although women over the various Star Trek series have progressed, they’ve never been portrayed the way we portray them,” said Kadin. “We have Captain Georgiou and Captain Tilly and we’re never talking about their gender, it never comes up, it’s not a factor, that’s just who they are. I think a lot of women I’ve met at Comic Con or other panels, that’s meant so much to them. I’m pretty proud of that.”
“I’m proud of the fact that we stuck to the Vulcan motto ‘Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations,’” said Kurtzman. “That and I’m also proud that we did something with a very high degree of difficulty in terms of pleasing fans, adhering to cannon, figuring out a way to walk this high wire act of why Spock has never mentioned his half-sister, Michael Burnham, which everyone has a lot of questions about. We knew the answer wasn’t going to be in one or two episodes, we knew that the whole season had to be about that in a lot of ways. The mystery had to tie into it and everything had to be really organized around it and I believe we have created a very satisfying payoff. We planned backwards from the ending and that was really exciting.
The first episode of season two is live now on CBS All Access with a new episode available every Thursday. Visit the official Star Trek : Discovery show page for more information.