CBS All Access and Netflix’s “Star Trek: Discovery” came to a close last night with a rather visually spectacular episode which ended up resetting the board, tying up some loose bits of canon, and laying the foundation for a very different show if not a mini-reboot next season.
SPOILERS AHEAD FOR “STAR TREK: DISCOVERY” S2 FINALE
Showrunner Alex Kurtzman spoke with THR today about the show’s future, the “Section 31” spin-off, the adjustments to canon and more. The season ends with the U.S.S. Discovery travelling over 900 years into the future, jumping from its current time of the late 2250s, well past the 2360s-2370s of the Next Gen-era and into the late 32nd century.
The beauty of such a move is that the showrunners and writers no longer have to worry about canon, and have immense freedom to setup a future Trek universe with a very different landscape. Kurtzman says:
“We love playing within canon. It’s a delight and a privilege. It’s fun to explore nooks and crannies of the universe that people haven’t fully explored yet. That being said, we felt strongly that we wanted to give ourselves an entirely new energy for season three with a whole new set of problems. We’re farther than any Trek show has ever gone… We’re now completely free of canon, and we have a whole new universe to explore. There will be canonical references to everything that has happened in the various shows; we’re not erasing that. But we’re so far past that point that all of that is a very distant memory. We’re very excited to see how you put the elements of Star Trek in an entirely new universe.”
Fans have REALLY liked Anson Mount’s Captain Christopher Pike, the former “Hell on Wheels” actor scoring high praise for this work and calls for a potential spin-off series featuring him, Ethan Peck’s Spock and Rebecca Romjin’s Number One all onboard the U.S.S. Enterprise. Kurtzman says:
“The fans have been heard. Anything is possible in the world of Trek. I would love to bring back that crew more than anything. It was a huge risk for us. One of the most gratifying things is to see how deeply the fans have embraced Pike, Spock, Number One, and the Enterprise. The idea of getting to tell more stories with them would be a delight for all of us.”
The spin-off they are working on though is the “Section 31” series which will go further into explaining how the organisation went from being a sanctioned legitimate part of Starfleet to a covert and underground group by the time of “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine”:
“If you’re a fan of Deep Space Nine, you’ve probably spent the past two years saying, ‘what the hell are they doing with Section 31? That’s nothing like the Section 31 we know.’ That’s exactly right. In Deep Space Nine, they did not have badges or ships. They’re an underground organization. What you see on Discovery and our upcoming show with Michelle Yeoh is how Section 31 became that organization and why it was so underground by the time Deep Space Nine comes around.”
That show won’t shoot for a while though as the Jean-Luc Picard series is about to begin filming and the third season of ‘Discovery’ will shoot after that but before the “Section 31” series’ first season.
The season finale also dealt head-on with the largest holes in canon – why does no-one in Kirk or Picard’s era talk about the Discovery, the spore drive technology or Spock’s adopted sister. Part of it was solved by the ship being flung into the far future, taking the one person who could get the spore drive to function (Lt. Stamets) with it. In addition the main senior officer aware of the drive (Admiral Cornwell) is dead, and the ship was seemingly destroyed by the experimental drive itself in an accident – at least as far as Starfleet is aware – making it too dangerous to try and replicate.
In addition with the threat of Control potentially arising again and causing galactic extinction, Spock suggests Starfleet command issue a general order that the ship, crew and Spore Drive be erased from records and not be discussed under penalty of treason while he and his parents do not discuss Michael outside of their own family. The ground has been laid in numerous Trek series for Starfleet having fleet wide orders with severe penalties, such as General Order 7 in the original series which forbade communication with the Talosian system under the penalty of death (an order that came back into play earlier this season on ‘Discovery’). In addition, it also allows the Federation to sweep the entire scandal under the rug.
Critical reviews for the finale have been a varied but have followed the pattern of the season – namely those who’ve loved the current season or seen it as an improvement on the first seem to like it, those who’ve not been keen on the season seem to hate it. What did you think? Have your say in the comments below.